As far as Mike Johnson is concerned, Cory Hawkins is perfect -- big, strong, blond, kind ... and straight and going out with his sister. Usually Emma dated losers, but Cory was a definite exception to the rule.
When Cory breaks his foot playing rugby, he shows up at Mike’s front door on crutches. The lift up to Cory’s flat is out of order, so Mike invites Cory to stay with him. As Emma is away, Mike willingly becomes Cory’s caregiver and driver.
When Cory’s and Emma’s relationship ends, Mike believes he won’t ever see Cory again, so is surprised to get a phone call from the man. It seems Cory thinks Mike would be a better fit, romantically speaking, than his sister.
Mike is hesitant. Cory is straight and Mike doesn’t want to be discarded once Cory realises this. But Cory -- with his muscles, sexy smile, and winning personality -- can be very persuasive.
Can love be blind to gender? Or will Mike come to regret his sister ever bringing her boyfriend home?
It wasn’t until the next morning as I was making breakfast and heard Cory clomping down the hall that I wondered if he had to sleep in the protective boot or could take it off. Was he able to do that; should I have offered to help him? Surely he’d have asked for help if he’d needed it. “Stop obsessing!” I said under my breath.
“Morning.” Cory stood in the doorway, looking totally sexy in a pair of sweatpants and another of his tight tees, this one red with a white horizontal stripe.
“Morning. Sleep okay?”
Cory nodded, swallowed, and remained in the doorway.
Sensing Cory was feeling awkward, I turned from the microwave where I was cooking bacon and pulled out one of the chairs at the kitchen table. “Just in time. Bacon and eggs okay? Think there’s some mushrooms in the fridge, too.”
Cory smiled shyly and moved forward. Before lowering himself into the waiting seat, he lifted his right arm, crutch still attached to his wrist and patted my shoulder. “Thanks, Mike. You’re a real mate.”
“Yeah, well.” I blushed and dipped my head. Just then the microwave beeped, and I used it as an excuse to turn away. I’d been cooking the bacon for me but I could easily make more. Although with Cory in residence I knew I’d have to go food shopping sooner rather than later. As my grandmother used to say, “He’s cheaper to feed for a week than a fortnight.” This didn’t make a whole lot of sense because that was surely true of anyone.
“Scrambled, fried, or I could do poached.”
“Whatever’s easiest. You don’t need to go to any trouble, I’ll just have what you’re having.”
I wasn’t going to do eggs for me but I know Cory liked to eat a high-protein diet. As I’d served scrambled eggs the night before and fried eggs used oil, I thought poached would be best so got out a saucepan and half-filled it with water. As I worked, snacking as I went, I realised how cosy, domestic, and well, right this scene felt. Letting out a sigh I did my best to push away such thoughts and asked Cory what he wanted to drink.
“Anything. I like tea, coffee, juice. Anything.”
“Coffee it is then.” I’d already made a pot and it should still be good and hot. “Milk, sugar?”
“Just a spot of milk, please.”
“You’re sweet enough already then?” I observed, quoting my grandmother again. Damn, I had to rein this shit in. Didn’t want Cory to feel uncomfortable.
He laughed. “Don’t know about that, just don’t want the extra calories.”
Breakfast was soon ready and I put the plates on the table, again serving Cory about twice what I was having.
“You sure you’re eating enough?” Cory asked, eyeing the unequal portions.
“If I ate as much as you, I’d be the size of a house. Don’t get the chance to burn it off like you do.” The remembered sound of Cory nailing my sister popped into my head. “Uh, going to the gym. How often do you work out?”
“Three times a week usually.”