Jamie is a self-confessed geek and likes nothing better than to be stretched on the beach, reading his books--unless it's watching Trent, a handsome shifter and surfer, and the unrequited love of Jamie's life.
When anonymous gifts are left on Jamie's doorstep, he wishes they were from Trent, but there's no clue to his mystery admirer.
Following a terrifying run-in with some of Trent's gang, Jamie's heartbroken and convinced his crush set him up. But when danger strikes, Jamie needs to be a hero, using his own shifter ability.
With a little purr-suasion, Jamie can find all his dreams come true.
Parking his car as close to the library as he could, Jamie Madison scooped up his books and trotted across the road. Jogging up the stairs, he slowed down as he stepped inside.
Trying to avoid his sandals flapping noisily on the tiled floor, Jamie walked with exaggerated deliberation to the library desk. As he neared, he glanced around. There weren't many people close by and he relaxed a little.
"Hey! 'Sup, bro." From behind the desk, Tama waved at him and Jamie grinned back.
"Brought a couple back, looking to get a couple more." Jamie set his books down and waited while they were checked in.
"Still on your history-mystery kick?" Tama glanced at the titles before setting them aside.
"Yeah. I like seeing the historical details, how people lived in times gone by, while enjoying a good mystery." Jamie shrugged. "I need a couple of new ones to take to the beach at the weekend."
Some of the brightness dimmed from Tama's face. "You still hanging around that pack? They're feral. Dangerous."
"It's not a pack." Jamie sighed heavily. "Yes, there are a few shifters in there, but not all of them are."
"Yeah. So I hear. Felines and canines. I also hear they're a bunch of narcissistic pricks. Here I am, look at me." Tama shimmied his shoulders before wrinkling his nose. "I wouldn't have thought your kind of shifter would be welcome."
"Ah, man, they're not all like that. There are a few posers, but not all of them. Anyway, I just settle myself nearby, join in with the barbie if we're staying out late. Nothing too heavy." And at present they don't know I'm a shifter and I don't plan on telling them anytime soon.
"You still mooning over Trent? Does he even know you exist amongst all those bronzed six packs?" Tama's expression was sympathetic, but Jamie didn't really want his friend's sympathy.
I already know I'm an idiot, but Trent's gorgeous and he likes reading, too. He put me onto the history-mysteries and they were a great choice. As to noticing me? I'd only be kidding myself if I thought someone as gorgeous as him would be interested in a skinny, pale nerd.
A vision of Trent and his smooth golden skin popped into Jamie's mind. He doesn't seem to care that I'm more of a watcher than participant in sport. Anyway, I don't go to everything the guys arrange, but I usually get a text to see if I'm free, and it's not like I have to fend off the hordes wanting to go out with me.
Several months has passed by since he'd last dated and Jamie wasn't one for casual sex just for the sake of it.
Running his hand through his hair, Jamie wished it was a little less red and a little more brown. Sometimes, despite his best efforts to remain on the fringe and simply indulge in watching Trent, his hair got him more attention than he really wanted.
I can hide the pale, skinny body under a T-shirt and board shorts. No skimpy Speedos for this boy. But sometimes the hair is like: hey, look at me!
"You've got it bad." Tama shook his head slowly.
"I do not." Jamie straightened quickly, hoping to brazen out the accusation, but the smug grin that blossomed on Tama's face coincided with the growing heat on Jamie's cheeks. Busted.
"Don't worry, bro." Tama gave an exaggerated wink. "Your secret is safe with me."
They were cousins, albeit distantly, not that anyone would know it. Tama's big and broad, with beautiful light brown skin, and an armful of tribal tattoos. Just about as far as you could get from a skinny, geeky, pale-skinned dude like me. But up to now, he's never betrayed a trust. Jamie sagged slightly.
"Thanks. I appreciate it."
"Hey, birds of a feather--well, kinda." Tama laughed and Jamie joined in. Not that either of them was actually a bird shifter. In fact, Jamie hadn't ever met an avian shifter.
"Right, I'm off to find some good books. We had any new ones come in? It won't take me long to work my way through what's left."
Tapping on his computer screen, Tama pursed his lips. "Nothing scheduled. But you could try the second-hand bookshop opposite. I noticed him getting a delivery yesterday. He has a good selection. I go there quite often. His prices are good, too."
"Cool. I'll check out what's left here and then go take a look." Jamie hurried to the section he wanted and slowly walked up and down, peering intently at the books. Finally happy with his selection, Jamie jotted the names down onto a list on his cell phone. Don't want to duplicate anything, especially if I'm buying books.
Tama wasn't at the desk when Jamie checked out his books. Humming softly, Jamie gathered them together and trotted down the outside stairs straight to his car. Locking the books in his car boot, Jamie glanced at his watch. No time like the present I guess.