Finding Alex (Taking Lance, #4) has finally been published. It’s been a long road to get here for a variety of reasons. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of you who have read the series.
In Finding Alex, all loose ends (Jenna and Lauren, Travis’ mother and stepfather) are finally tied up. Rick and Lance finally get married. The wedding is told in their POV in Marrying Lance. It’s told in Dean’s in Finding Alex.
You first met Alex and Dean as an established couple in Saving Travis. Now you can see how they got where they are.
Below is an excerpt from Dean. To set it up, Alex is at the lowest point of his divorce battle. Not wanting to be thrown into the media fray, Dean’s about to take off.
The photos are the character inspirations for both Alex and Dean. Can you tell I love Antonio Borges, my Alex inspiration? He’s a few years younger than my Alex but look at him. 😉
Finding Alex CANNOT be read as a standalone. To understand the characters and events you would need to read the others in the series.
Alexander Langdon and Dean Collins have been together for five years. They’ve had to overcome some obstacles, the least of which being their twenty-year age difference.
In less than a week, Rick Preston and Lance Scott will be saying their vows. After four years and a lot of drama, they’re now ready to commit in the eyes of the law.
After a heated discussion with Rick, Alex starts doubting his and Dean’s relationship. He’s wanted to get married for years, but Dean refuses to take that final step. They’re committed heart and soul. Why do they need a ceremony and piece of paper to prove it? Alex just wants to be able to call him husband. This has both men reflecting on what brought them together.
From Dean’s family secrets, to Alex’s very public divorce, they’ve been through it all. Will Dean get over his fears and finally do the one thing Alex wants most? Or will this issue continue to grow until it pushes the two men completely apart?
Finding Alex is the final story in the Taking Lance series. The wedding, told from Dean’s point of view in Finding Alex, is also told in its entirety by Rick and Lance in Marrying Lance, a bonus story at the end of the book. Free e-copies of Marrying Lance are also available at most e-tailers and via request from the author.
The series is best read in order to understand characters and events.
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In the coming weeks I refused to meet up with Alex because he was being hounded everywhere he went. Some even went so far as to try to gain access to the building that houses the penthouse. They didn’t get beyond the lobby. Tenants pay handsomely for privacy and security and each person who tried to gain entry was promptly removed. If they persisted, the police were brought in. He and I did speak a few times on the phone but we didn’t see each other again until the height of the public divorce fight when I should have been running in the opposite direction. I tried to run in the opposite direction. I spent weeks watching everything play out and wondering why I hadn’t already moved on.
I’d always moved on.
One day I made the decision to leave.
I could get my revenge later. Doing it during a very public divorce battle was probably not the best time. I’d waited for over a decade. I could wait a little while longer. I packed my bag and was seconds from checking out of the cheap motel and jumping on my Harley and heading up north somewhere. Then I reached for the remote to turn off the TV and stopped short.
I knew at that moment that I wasn’t going anywhere.
There was a live shot of Alex being grilled by reporters as he attempted to leave his law practice. He looked tired and unwell. It was as if the fight had completely gone out of him. When he looked at the camera with circles under his eyes and a look of utter defeat I knew at that moment that I was in love with the man and that I’d go to my grave making sure he never felt defeated again.
One photo after another of Alex in sexual situations with men had been plastered all over the newspapers and the local television news. Most were blurred and couldn’t definitively identify Alex, but it was enough to hurt his public image. The ones of me standing naked inside the motel room of Mick’s were included in those photos. Thankfully the photographer wasn’t very skilled because only Alex and I could confirm for sure that it was us standing inside that door. There were none of Travis Jordan and Marcus Parker, which surprised me. Howard Mills was seen speaking to reporters on a daily basis threatening lawsuits for the slanderous photos and videos being publicized.
Through it all, Alex never said one harsh word about his estranged wife. He took the high road and allowed such vicious and brutal things to be said about him without resorting to doing the same about Vanessa. On one hand, it made him look like the better person. On the other, it made it look like he wasn’t defending himself against his wife because all the things she’d been saying were true. It was a double-edged sword.
I knew as I watched him trying his damnedest just to get to his car in the parking lot of his law practice that there was no way in hell I’d ever be leaving him. None of it made sense, but it didn’t have to. I knew what was in my heart and I believed with complete certainty that Alex felt the same about me. He was barely in his car with his seat belt fastened before I took out my phone and sent a text.
Tell security to let me
in your building.
I’ll be there in twenty.
I’d barely taken my jacket off inside his penthouse several minutes later when I heard the sounds of the code being punched in outside the door. Before even one word was spoken, I opened my arms and he practically collapsed when he walked into them.
“It’s okay, Alex,” I whispered in his hair. “I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere.”
When he pulled back to look at me, his sad expression was almost my undoing. I pulled out of the embrace and took his hand. He didn’t fight me as I led him to his bedroom and slowly removed his suit and tie.
“Shh,” I said as I placed my finger over his lips. “It’s just you and me here. Let me take care of you.”
He looked at me sadly and I removed my finger.
“I figured you’d be long gone by now,” he whispered.
I shook my head.
“I couldn’t leave.”
Instead of answering I cupped his cheek with my palm and leaned in and kissed him softly. My hand went from his face to his neck and I slowly massaged it as I took the kiss deeper. He moaned into my mouth and pulled me close to him, my clothed body flush with his naked one.
No more words were spoken as I undressed and Alex laid flat on his back on the bed. He looked so vulnerable. I wondered in that moment if he’d ever had any type of peace in his life. From his parents, to his wife, to his career, I doubted it very seriously.
“What would make you happy, Alex?” I asked him from the foot of the bed.
“To be able to live my life for me,” he answered without hesitation.
I got a condom from the drawer next to the bed and rolled it down over my dick, then reached over and grabbed the lube and poured some on my right hand. He pulled his legs up to his chest, spreading them for me.
“You’re the most beautiful man I’ve ever laid eyes on, Alexander Langdon,” I whispered as I crawled on the bed between his legs.
I took my time preparing him for my dick, neither of us in a rush.
My heart ached knowing how bad he was hurting. All I wanted to do was take his pain away. I never would’ve dreamed that Alex Langdon, of all people, would be the man I’d fall head over heels in love with in a matter of weeks. No. I think I fell in love with him before I ever met him when I knew it couldn’t be possible.
“Please, Dean,” he whispered as I slowly stretched his asshole. “I need you.”
I slowly pulled my fingers out and crawled over his body, keeping my weight off with my arms on either side of him. I placed my lips against his for a brief moment before pulling back and looking him in the eye.
“I need you too. So bad.” When his eyes teared up I almost lost it. “It’s okay, Alex. I’ve got you and I’m not letting go. You’re not alone anymore.”
I moved down his body and guided my dick to his hole, my eyes on his as I took my time entering him. He didn’t flinch. I slowly made love to him – this wasn’t just a quick fuck – giving him all of me. I took his cock in my hand and slowly stroked it as I moved mine in and out of him. He closed his eyes and lifted his lower body to meet each of my slow thrusts.
“Open your eyes, Alex. Watch me as I make love to you.”
His eyes popped open.
“Is that what you’re doing, making love to me, Dean?” he asked, the nervousness in his voice obvious.
“I’ve never made love before,” he murmured.
“Me either,” I responded as I started moving my lower body a little faster.
“It’s always just been fucking.”
“Not this time, Alex.”
No more words were spoken as we both moved toward the finish line. I think we both knew in those few moments that our lives would never be the same again. When we came, we came together, our eyes still on each other.
When it was over, I pulled out and disposed of the condom and wiped off my hand and his stomach. I got back on the bed and pulled him close.
“Did I make a mistake, Dean?” he asked, his face on my shoulder. “I knew it would be bad, but I never anticipated this.”
I slid my hand up and down his back.
“Only you can answer that question, Alex.”
His eyes came up to meet mine.
“Why are you here?” he asked me.
I could’ve made a joke. I could’ve just said I was horny. I could’ve done a lot of things. I went with the truth.
“Because you shouldn’t be fighting this alone.” I leaned down and kissed him softly on the lips before pulling back. “And because I’m in love with you.”
His eyes went wide. He opened his mouth to speak, but I placed a finger over his lips to stop him.
“I’m not asking for a declaration from you. You’ve got enough going on in your life right now, and I know a relationship is the last thing you need or probably want. I don’t believe in beating around the bush or wasting time. You said there was something special between us. I know that with certainty now. If you’re willing to have me, I will fight with you, and I’ll be by your side through it all. If you’re not ready to come out, I’ll respect that and remain in the background until you are. I know I said before that I wouldn’t, but I know it’ll take time for things to settle enough for you to be comfortable being public with a male partner; hell, with any partner. If I’ve read things wrong with you, now is a good time to tell me so I can get out of your life before I’m in so deep I’m unable to.”
I moved my finger from his lips.
“I think I fell in love with you the second I saw you at the bar.”
My heart full, I wrapped my arms tighter around him.
“Then we’ll get through this together,” I said over the lump in my throat. “You and me.”