Uncut by Claudia Burgoa
Unexpected Series #4
Release Date: December 28, 2015
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Cover Design: By Hang Le
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SynopsisMy brother and sister found their calling and people to share it with for the rest of their lives. Our parents haven’t said a thing, but I can read it on their faces. What are you doing with your life, Matthew? I’ve always been a songwriter but can no longer find the words. Everyone around me thinks I’m where I am in life because of my parents. I’m at a crossroads in my life and I don’t know which way to turn. I don’t define my sexuality, I do what feels right. Love? Well, that is one melody I have yet to find the right notes to. Until them… Thea My childhood glittered with the lights of Hollywood while my adult life has been filled with the darkness of my ghosts and addictions. But all that is behind me and I am working on spinning the pain of my past into the promise of my future. Love? Well, that’s one addiction I have not yet dared to fool with. Until them… Tristan I’m running from a life where my future was decided for me. What to wear. Which company to manage. Who to marry. One day, I snapped, and I haven’t been back since. Now I manage my own businesses and I am who I want to be. But behind closed doors, I am still alone and I still long for things that I’ve been taught to hate. Love? Well, that’s one merger I’ve never braved. Until them… Warning: This book contains two sexy hunks and is not recommended for the faint of heart. This is a long, thought-provoking read which will work through the angst of finding love amidst past hurts and the pain associated with not belonging, not fitting in.
PrologueWhere Is Aggie Now? Agatha Levitz was released from her second trip to rehab late last year. Since then, her online presence has been nonexistent, and she has disappeared from her former home of L.A.
Chapter OneMatthew Maroon 5’s “Sugar” blares through my ears as I walk inside Black Out, a nightclub located in downtown Malibu. My eyes adjust to the darkness, the strobing lights, and the sporadic laser effects bouncing off the walls. My gaze lifts. I admire the high ceiling, and observe the second-floor balconies that are filled with patrons drinking and dancing. I make my way through the dance floor. Swaying, sweaty bodies press and rub against each other, some against me. It’s been a long time since I visited a place like this. The stench of alcohol, adrenaline, and pheromones hit my nostrils. Man, I feel fucking old at thirty. I should start rethinking my life and go back to partying. A thought for another day. At the moment, I have to focus on the sweet little blonde taking me to the office of my brother’s business partner. She makes a right, leading me down a darkened hall toward a massive oak door. The sign next to it reads Manager. The girl, whose name I never learned, wiggles the door handle, and opens it. “Mr. Cooperson, Mr. Decker is here for you.” Before I step inside the office, Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” resonates through the walls. I wonder why the sudden change in rhythm from snappy to a more somber kind of music. Checking my watch, I realize it’s almost two o’clock in the morning. Tristan Cooperson lays his pen down and lifts his head. And Oh. Holy. Shit. Those piercing dark green eyes make contact with mine. I drink in the gorgeous specimen before me. His dark, short hair highlights his facial features. A five o’clock shadow covers his chiseled jaw. His back straightens and his palms lay flat on the desk as his eyes penetrate mine. Fuck, I don’t know whether he’s undressing me or trying to eliminate me with that glare. All I know is that the room’s temperature just increased by a whole lot. I’m burning from the inside out. “Thank you, Becky. Please close the door on your way out,” he says, shifting his eyes toward the door. “What’s so urgent that couldn’t be handled over the phone, Decker?” I stare at Becky, watching her hips sway while she follows his directions. As the latch clicks, my attention goes back to him. “She’s hot. Are you tapping her?” “Yes, she’s something,” he agrees smirking slightly. Once again, he doesn’t disclose much about his taste in women—or men. I know he’s attracted to me, but he seems to fight it. There are so many questions swirling in my head when it comes to him, but with that major wall he puts up between us, I’ll never find my answers. “But I make it a rule not to mix business with pleasure.” “If she wasn’t your … staff, would you do her?” “Decker, concentrate.” He snaps his fingers at me. “What are you doing here?” I walk closer to his desk, and the oak, mossy scent of his fragrance replaces the mix of club stench from outside the door. My entire body goes into red alert. I reach inside my jacket and unfold the NDA as I hand it to him. He takes a quick look at it and starts shaking his head. “Another fucking NDA?” The thud his hand makes as it slams against the desk makes me jolt. “I’ve already sworn never to speak about your family. Parents, siblings, or goddamned pets. What is it now?” Touchy. I retrieve the paper back from him avoiding his gaze. It’s hard for many to comprehend why we need an NDA, but for me it is natural to hand them to business partners or employees. My fathers, the patriarchs of the Decker family, like to keep their private life within the family. It’s what my parents decided once they became a couple. Being celebrities made them news. Chris Decker is a famous rock star from the ’80s, and Gabe Colt is a critically acclaimed award-winning actor. And yep, both are men. These days it is hard to understand why a gay couple would want to hide their relationship, but back in the ’80s, when their relationship started, it had to be kept under wraps if they wanted to protect themselves and us—their children—from gossip. If it hadn’t been because of their rules, we would have become an attraction from day one. Watch the latest news about the triplets of the famous gay couple. These contracts are created to protect my loved ones and keep them far away from the media. There’s always a foe, or a contractor ready to find some important piece of information about our lives and sell it to the highest bidder. That’s why I brought this with me, to make sure Tristan doesn’t leak any information regarding the family, like Jacob’s recent nuptials. Of course, Jacob, my triplet, didn’t mention that Tristan already signed one when we spoke on Saturday during his wedding reception. He only told me to inform Tristan he’d be out of town for a few months and that I’d be in charge of all his shit. Shit which includes Thrice, the nightclub Jacob and Tristan are opening next year. I always cover my bases when I have to deliver any kind of sensitive information about my family—including the secret wedding. Jacob Decker became a solo act and with his new fan base, it’s in his best interest to remain single and detached. At least that’s what Pria, his wife and PR rep, said. “Jacob got married this past weekend. He’s going to be out of town on his honeymoon. You and I will spend more time together.” I wiggle my eyebrows as I slide into the chair in front of him. His growl is priceless. “I’m hurt.” I touch my chest, then lean closer as I lower my voice. “Your mouth says you don’t like me.” I give him my best cocky wink. “But your body screams that you want me.” I rise from my seat. He tries to laugh off my comment even though we both know it wasn’t intended as a joke. “I’m not gay like you, Matthew,” he says. My eyebrows lift because he’s assuming. If I’m seen with a woman, I’m straight. Yet, if I’m with a man, I’m automatically deemed gay. I like and enjoy being with both—but despise labels. “My taste is … different. We’re different, Matthew,” he says, his emotionless eyes narrowing on mine. “You wouldn’t understand.” “Email me your travel schedule,” I say, placing my business card on top of his desk. “When you’re working in Seattle, you can stay at my place. There’s no point to waste money on hotels when I have plenty of room. I’ll give you a set of keys and the code since I travel about as much as you do.” And with that perplexed look now covering his face, I turn to make my exit. “Decker?” he calls after me as I’m about to open the door. My shoulders hunch, as I wait for him to insult me again. “Are we okay?” I spin around, leaning against the heavy door and watching this contradictory man who, I’m guessing, has no fucking idea what he wants and is afraid of who he might be. I set my gaze on his and wait a few breaths as I search for an answer. An answer for what … What does he need, and can I give it to him? I don’t know. He shuts me down every time I try to start something with him. I shrug. “You tell me, Cooperson,” I respond crossing my arms. “I hate labels. And no, I’m not gay. I sleep with whoever I’m attracted to.” I press my lips together halting any more words from escaping, as I feel they’re coming out all wrong. But in part that’s the truth. “I like women, men … I don’t like to label who I am. I find you strikingly hot.” Tristan’s eyes narrow, his hands become two fists, and his jaw twitches. “In my mind, there’s nothing wrong with telling you because your body responds to me. If you’re straight, you might want to rethink a few things because your reactions toward men say something else.” I shrug and immediately regret saying the last sentence. Holy shit, I hit a nerve. Tristan stares at me, the strength of his glare unsettling. Awkward. Yet I can’t help it but ask, “So, you only sleep with women? Is that it?” He gives me a blank stare, and his hands are no longer a couple of fists. “Have you ever been with a man?” He remains stoic, though begins to fidget with his pen. “I’ll take that as a yes all round. Is it me, then?” He blows out a noisy breath. “You’re a public figure, Matt. You’re comfortable with your sexuality—whatever that might be. Good for you.” I flinch at his last words, releasing my arms. Oh man … he’s in the fucking closet. I run a hand through my hair, my long strands falling onto my forehead. “I prefer to keep my business to myself.” His head drops, and he stares at the desk. He’s piqued my curiosity and I want to discover what’s behind that façade. It might eat him alive if he continues to hide behind it. I push myself off the wall, walk to where he sits, bend down, then kiss his cheek. Fuck. How I want to do much more than simply kiss his cheek. “Around me, you can be yourself. I will never judge you, Tristan.” I place my hand on top of his. “Whenever you need me, I’m here for you,” I whisper and leave the room.
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About the AuthorBorn on the mystical day of October 30th in the not so mystical lands of Mexico City, Claudia grew up with a childhood that resembled a caffeine-injected soap opera. Seventeen years ago she ventured to the lands of her techie husband—a.k.a. the U.S.—with their offspring to start a new adventure. She now lives in Colorado working as a CFO for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, said nerd husband, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.
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