What do you do when the right man walks into your life at the wrong time?
College student Nathan Reed is so close to graduation he can taste it. So can his parents who have two more kids in the academic pipeline. Nathan looks forward to leaving his night shift at the convenience store for a job he can be proud of and a relationship with someone other than his two guinea pigs.
But Nathan’s careful five-year plan didn’t include lawyer and hunk in need, Adrian Hampton, who walks into his life at 5:25 each weekday morning. Adrian’s plea for help with an office gift leads to a friendship built on shared humor, a charity fun run, and Adrian’s ongoing battle with his PA. It’s the best part of Nathan’s day, until he realizes he wants more.
Does Adrian feel the same? Time is running out and Nathan is about to change to another shift. What will happen if he takes a leap of faith and adjusts his plans to include Adrian?
Nathan’s plans for a game of heavy-handed innuendo vanished the next Monday at 5:38 A.M. Not only was Adrian running late, but the frazzled man who pushed through the door bore a shallow resemblance to Nathan’s usual calm and collected crush.
“Breathe,” Nathan said, thankful the morning rush hadn’t hit yet, when Adrian collapsed over his counter like the hottest sack of potatoes ever. Nathan’s hands hovered above the broad back before gingerly patting the hard muscle beneath his favorite navy cardigan. A very cold navy cardigan. Adrian might claim to be warm-blooded, but the short walk from heated car to warm interior was enough to suck the heat right out of him.
Didn’t Adrian have anyone to worry about him catching cold other than some creepy clerk at the convenience store? Nathan’s concern vanished along with the air from his lungs when Adrian shifted under his fingers, offering him another section of firm muscle to pat.
Wowser. How much did Adrian workout? Nathan choked before taking his own advice. He inhaled. Then exhaled. “What’s wrong?” he asked. Not bad, his voice was a little rough, but otherwise sounded pretty normal.
“I need your help.”
A quick scan of the sidewalk outside the front door told Nathan there wasn’t any immediate threat, and Adrian appeared to be in one piece. Nathan’s pulse slowed its frantic pounding. No blood, no slimeball in wait. He could handle this. “I got you. It’s okay.”
Adrian stood, forcing Nathan’s hands to drop from where they had dug into the soft knit like a piece of malware on a known Windows fault. “What’s going on?”
“It’s my assistant’s birthday,” Adrian huffed out. “I need a gift.”
Say what? Nathan blinked. Once. Twice. He studied Adrian’s distraught expression, then he deliberately blinked a third time to give himself a chance to process with no luck. He had to have missed something. “Excuse me?”
Adrian groaned, dragging one large -- yes, sue him, Nathan noticed -- well-kept hand over the top of his head. The gesture disturbed his normal tidiness and left a few adorable little spikes behind. “I sound crazy, but I’m serious.”
“And I can help, how?” Did he seriously look like some personal shopper? Nathan crossed his arms over his chest. Laundry still hadn’t happened, and even though he found some disturbingly dust-covered socks under his couch, he wanted to hide the stains left from when he cleaned out the hot chocolate machine two days ago.
“I’m not sure. But I don’t know what else to do.”
Nathan glanced around the store. A few customers milled around the shelves, but no one was ready to check out. He leaned his hip against the counter. “Explain.”
Adrian smiled, a sweet, relieved upward twist to his lips that did sad, sad things to Nathan’s already frayed attention. How could he focus on anything right now beyond the fact Katy Perry had nothing on him? She may have kissed a girl, but he touched Adrian Hampton. And boy, did he like it.