Professor Samuel Rodgers and grad student Alessandro “Alec” Carbone are as opposite as can be. Samuel is steady and quiet, Alec's flighty and loud. Samuel has wine occasionally, Alec can outdrink a frat house. Samuel struggles with public speaking, Alec considers the world his stage. Samuel wears tweed, and it’s a good day if Alec wears pants.
When Alec's visa expires before a job opens at the university, the least likely person in the world suddenly holds the solution to his problem. What’s a green card marriage between coworkers, right?
Sam and Alec mix like oil and water, like encyclopedias and nudie mags, like tweed jackets and neon pants. Therapy doesn’t help, living together through arguments suck, and faking it long enough for a green card to come seems impossible.
All Samuel has ever wanted is a husband and partner to spend forever with, but wild child Alec seems determined to keep barriers up between them, even as the deadline for the green card draws near. Is a shared love of piña coladas and unexpectedly intimate moments caught in the rain enough to keep the odd couple together when their differences seem too much to overcome and outside forces are working to tear them apart?
“Professor Rodgers!” Alec Carbone-Sampson sure was cheerful today, dressed in what amounted to conservative clothing for him, hair combed and sunglasses off so Samuel could see the crinkles at his eyes when he smiled. “Do you got a minute?”
“Uh, Mr. Carbone-Sampson ...” Samuel hated how tongue tied he got around the beautiful obnoxious man. For heaven’s sake he was in his mid-thirties, he shouldn’t be stammering and blushing just because someone mildly good looking was paying attention to him. “What can I do for you?”
“First off, I think you should call me Doctor Carbone-Sampson.” Alec dead panned, and then almost instantly backpedaled, “Shit sorry, what was that, point-oh-seven seconds and I got on your nerves? Sorry. Let’s try again. You can call me whatever you want, cos boy howdy --”
Samuel adjusted his glasses -- a nervous habit to be sure -- and asked, “Boy howdy?”
“Boy howdy, do I have a proposition for you,” Alec finished. “Do you want to sit down? You should probably sit down for this.”
His phone rang then, a tune Samuel could have placed if he thought longer about it, something about piña coladas and putting ads in papers to find love and Alec grimaced when he heard it.
“Uh, sorry about that.”
The brunette was clearly anxious and that made Samuel wildly uncomfortable. He’d never seen Alec at anything other than the top of whichever game he was playing so this -- this was new.
New and Samuel didn’t really like it, so he adjusted his glasses again and cleared his throat, “I think we’re just fine right here, Alec. What’s going on?”
The ringtone jangled out again, and Alec muttered a curse as he swiped to ignore the call. “Sorry, uh sorry. Alright. I’m just gonna --”
The ringtone with the same line from the same obnoxious song rang again and Alec fumbled to turn his phone off, then finally met Sam’s gaze. “Okay. I’m just gonna say it. Here we go. Are you ready?”
“Uh --” Samuel gestured briefly and Alec screwed his eyes up tight before blurting, “Will you marry me?”
And Samuel Rodgers who said things like golly and darn it, who hadn’t cursed since that one time he broke his toe, who believed in calm words and measured responses and thinking things through --
“The fuck did you just say?!”