The Realist (The Vers Podcast #3) Read Online Riley Hart

Categories Genre: Contemporary, M-M Romance Tags Authors: Series: The Vers Podcast Series by Riley Hart

Total pages in book: 78
Estimated words: 75496 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 377(@200wpm)___ 302(@250wpm)___ 252(@300wpm)


To listeners of The Vers, a queer podcast I host with my three best friends, I’m known as The Realist—I accept life the way it is, believe in honesty over sugarcoating, and okay, I can maybe be a little bossy.

If you asked The Vers guys, they’d tell you I’m a caretaker who’s always thinking of others, but they also give over-the-top hugs and don’t believe me when I say feelings are the worst.

It’s why I have no business offering Kai Lewis a place to stay when he’s in need. He’s a flirt who makes no secret about wanting in my bed…somewhere I’d like to have him if he wasn’t the employee of one of my closest friends. But, he’s too trusting and leaps before he thinks, so at least he won’t get taken advantage of if he’s with me.

Now he’s always around, wearing shorts that leave nothing to the imagination and saying he wants to take care of me because I’m always doing it for others. It’s not long before I can’t resist him—a man who likes listening in the bedroom but is stubborn in other situations.

Kai is sweet and funny. He gets me to open up to him. Maybe this whole relationship thing wouldn’t be so bad…if he wasn’t nine years younger…and leaving Southern California soon…or if I had any idea what I was doing.

The Realist is an age-gap, forced proximity romance with a bossy realist and a sunshiny flirt who has Marcus wrapped around his finger.

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Chapter One


“What are we going to do today?” asked Corbin, one of my three best friends. He’d shown up at my house a little while ago. I needed to edit and master the latest episode of The Vers, the queer podcast we hosted with Parker and Declan, the other two from our group of four.

“Nothing. I’m going for a jog on the beach, and then I’ll clean up and do some work.”

The argument was coming, they always did, so I wasn’t surprised when he said, “You’ve already conquered the residential and commercial real estate markets in Los Angeles County. I think you can take an afternoon off to give me attention.”

I chuckled. “So it’s all about you, huh?”

Corbin’s brows pinched together as if he was confused. “Isn’t it always?”

I rolled my eyes before wrapping an arm around his shoulders and kissing his temple. “You’re a fuckin’ mess, kid,” I teased.

He was, but he also wasn’t. People who didn’t know Corbin well thought his comments came from a place of conceit, but they didn’t. Corbin was always looking for something to make him feel better about himself, even when he didn’t realize it.

“I have time for lunch before I get back to work,” I told Corbin. “What do you want?” I opened the fridge.

“Nah, I’m good. I’m not hungry.” When I turned and cocked a brow at him, he sighed. “Ugh. You’re so fucking bossy. How about something small, like a smoothie?”

“Perfect. I love chicken Caesar wraps. That was a great idea.”

He sat on a barstool at the kitchen counter while I started making our lunch, but he didn’t argue.

For most of our lives, it had been me, Corb, Parker, and Declan all here together, but the previous year Dec had fallen in love with Sebastian Cole, a fucking movie star, of all things. For someone labeled The Loner on our podcast, that had come as a shock to most of us. And now Sebastian had just gotten back from promoting his last movie, so they were spending time together, just the two of them.

Then Parker had married and fallen in love with Elliott—in that order. They were planning a second ceremony for next summer.

The point being, they were around a little less, and while Corb would never say it, he was struggling with it.

“No date tonight?” I asked, sliding his plate over to him. Date probably wasn’t the best word for it. Corb liked sex and hooking up as often as he could.

“Nah, don’t think so. I’d much rather bug you.” He immediately bit into his wrap. I knew he was hungry.

“You’re good at it.”

“I know. Just like I know you love it more than you’re willing to admit. I bet you end every night with a silent prayer thanking the universe for having me in your life, like…Gay gods…whoever you are. Thank you for Corbin. He’s funny and charming and, really, the best of our group of friends. Do you think I could be more like him?”

I laughed because how could I not? “You’re a fool.”

“You’re a fool,” he taunted.

I really did have shit to do, and I was supposed to have dinner with my folks tonight, but I could tell that Corbin didn’t want to be alone, so when we finished eating, I said, “Come on. You can help me get the episode finished. I had a busy-ass week, and it should have been done days ago.”

“You know you’re not the only one of us who can do this. You don’t have to take it on yourself every week.”

“Do you know me at all?”

“You’re a workaholic who loves control. Why do you think I call you Daddy Marcus?”

“Because you like to annoy the shit out of me, remember?”

“Well, that too.”

We worked together on getting the episode ready to go live. Our studio was in my house, and while the other guys could help, the studio being here was one of the reasons it made it easier for me to take care of it all… But yeah, I probably wouldn’t give up control regardless. Life was a whole lot easier when you took care of shit yourself and didn’t depend on others.

Just as we finished, my cell rang. As soon as I saw Mom on the screen, I knew what it was about. I was in my midthirties. At my age, this shit wasn’t new. I also knew better than to let it get to me. This was life, so why spend time wishing it were something else?

Corbin watched me from across the table as I answered. “Hey, you,” I said to my mom.

“Hey, baby. Listen, I know we were supposed to have dinner tonight, but something came up at work. Your dad and I have to put together a proposal for a potential client that could be huge for us.” You’re already the top architectural firm in the state. You have people working for you who can do the proposal. But then, if it were me, I wouldn’t trust anyone else to do it either.