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Captain of His Heart by Michael Mandrake - Mario Dagosta has just broken up with his high school sweetheart and hasn’t dated since. Downtrodden and not able to cope, he spends many of his days at home. A very eclectic young man who prefers Tom Clancy to gay or m/m romances.
Cooper Delaney is a retired general who watched his forty something lover walks out on him. Always upbeat and confident, he knows he will find someone suitable to be his man.
Mario has it bad for the mature man and wants more but will he be deterred by the mocking from his best friends about his choice for a mate?
Later on that evening, Mario made the fish along with the side dishes. Cooper called while he set the table, letting him know he was only minutes away from his flat and instead of driving he’d be walking since they lived relatively close. Mario’s spot was in the South Loop, more than a mile away but Cooper mentioned how nice it was outside and that he didn’t mind. Mario laughed and accepted the decision. He admired the Captain’s desire to walk in the menacing heat instead of taking a taxi.
This also gave him an idea to do something he hadn’t done before. He knew it would be very forward but he was already that type of individual. Still, he never attempted to do this. Ask someone to stay at his place on the first date.
Mario and Jaz didn’t even stay together on their first night and because he’d been in a committed relationship all this time, he didn’t really have experience in this area. He wondered if Cooper would agree to it and not take offense. There’s only one way to find out.
Disturbing him from his thoughts, the doorbell rang and Mario rushed to it. He looked through the peephole and smiled; his gorgeous grey hunk standing there with flowers and a bottle of wine.
“Hiya.” Mario opened the door wide.
“Hey.” Cooper handed them to him and leaned in to give him a kiss on the cheek.
“Ooh thank you, Cooper. They’re gorgeous.” The half dozen roses were beautifully arranged in the simplest bouquet with baby breaths attached. He took a whiff of them and grinned. “Hey, I wanna ask you something and if you say no, I’ll be bummed but I’ll understand if I’m too forward.”
Cooper’s blue eyes twinkled and he walked closer to Mario. “What’s that?”
He could feel his stomach churn and the goose pimples form on his skin. Mario bit his lip and chuckled nervously, suddenly feeling very tense about asking the question. “Um, I wanted to know if you’d like to stay with me tonight. I really like you a lot and, since you walked over here and…”
Cooper took his hand, pulled Mario into him and crushed their mouths together.
Mario gasped and clung onto Cooper’s back through his fitted cotton shirt. He felt the Captain’s hardened muscle poking him through his jeans, making his own stiffen from the embrace. Mario continued to reciprocate and thrust his tongue inside. He tangled his with Cooper’s and enjoyed the tastes of his mouthwash. “Mhmphmm…” he groaned into the kiss and let his hands fall to his waist. “I…I suppose that’s a yes.”
“Yes.” Cooper smiled wide and leaned his head against Mario’s. I really like you, Mario. We don’t even know each other’s last names yet but…”
“Dagosta, Mario Dagosta and yours,” he asked while his placed light kisses on the side of his jaw.
“Delaney. Cooper Delaney, wow, you feel so good against me. Why were you scared?”
“I thought you wouldn’t take it the right way. It’s not somethin’ I’ve ever done before but I figured, I’m pretty straightforward with everything else so I might as well go for it.”
“I’m glad you did, um…can I say walking over here was kind of the strategy I used? I, um, thought that if worst case scenario you didn’t or said no, I’d take a cab.”
Mario held onto Cooper a little tighter. “I wouldn’t say no to you, Cooper. You’re too gorgeous to turn down and our first initial conversation was so stimulating, I feel like we could’ve talked with each other for hours.”
Cooper nodded, “Well, I hope you want more than just words, my friend.”
“Oh, I do, yes, I really do. I’ll leave it up to you how far you wanna take it.”
“As far as you do!” Cooper encompassed Mario’s lips once more. “Oh and…” he reached in his pocket. “I did bring my toothbrush.”
He smiled and grasped onto Cooper much tighter while returning that searing kiss. His new lover embraced him again and pressed his hard body against Mario’s. “Damn,” he sighed into Cooper’s kiss not wanting to pull away. “Dinner,” he breathed and wrapped his arms around his neck.
“Yes, even though I’d much rather put my lips on you, I’ll settle on eating now so I can taste your great cooking.”
“Pfft, I’m alright.” He pecked Cooper again. “Not a gourmet chef but okay. It’s not burnt and it is edible.”
“Stop selling yourself short. It had to be great coming from a man like you.” Cooper put the back of Mario’s hand to his lips.
“You’re killin’ me with the compliments, Cooper. Flattery will get you everywhere. C’mon.” He returned the affection and pulled him into the dining room. I’ve got plenty so I hope you’re hungry.”
“Not as much as I am for you but I’ll eat enough. Anything left we can have tomorrow, right?”
“Yep,” he agreed and reluctantly let go of Cooper’s grasp. He stole another peck and sprinted into the kitchen, clutching his own chest.