Grady Nelson won’t admit to anyone that he’s doing more than just taking his greyhound for daily walks in Fairmount. But truth is, Grady has a little crush on best-selling fiction author Putnam Strand, who just happens to live a few streets away from him. He has a relentless obsession for the author and will do just about anything to get close to the man. Hell, he might even trespass into the author’s home when Putnam isn’t home; and when he does, he almost gets caught.
As springtime thickens along Lake Erie, so do Grady’s affections for Putnam, as well as his trespassing into the man’s life. Things heat up in their neighborly relationship, though, when Putnam has to leave town for a few days and asks Grady to house sit. Grady jumps at the opportunity.
During Grady’s short stay at Putnam’s house, interesting details of the writer’s life begin to unravel. Not only is a jungle room discovered on the third floor and Grady finds a vast collection of rare books, he also uncovers an astounding secret about the author, something that will change Putnam’s romantic life forever, and Grady’s, as well.
His eyes scan me from toes to head. I realize I’m wearing nothing less than a pair of tight boxer-briefs the color of the sun, my typical nap attire in the afternoons when I’m off work, alone in the saltbox. His view strays from my sweat-dappled pecs to the mound of masculine private part between my legs: a thick lump, long, capped, veined. My wardrobe choice leaves very little to his imagination. I cover up the tool with a hand and tell him, “My bad. I was just napping.”
“You don’t have to hide your niceties from me. You’re not the first good looking guy I’ve enjoyed as a man.”
Is he flirting with me, or just being kind? Who knows? I’ll take it as flirting. Why not?
“Let me go slip into a pair of shorts and a tee.”
“No. No. No. Don’t bother. I’m not staying long. I just wanted to give you this.” He pulls my wallet out of a back pocket and presents it to me. “I found this on the sidewalk in front of my place. You must have accidentally dropped it on one of your walks with Mr. Gray.”
Mr. Gray knows his name and tilts his head up to the storyteller. He demands a pet or biscuit, but Putnam doesn’t respond. Bored, Mr. Gray walks away, finds his bed, circles the bed a few times, and decides to take his own nap.
Shit! My stomach plummets and my toes warm. I must have dropped the wallet last evening while trespassing on Putnam’s property. How careless of me. How thoughtless. Such an awful criminal I am. Probably one of the worst.
“Damn, it’s a good thing you found this,” I take the wallet and set it on the edge of the coffee table. “You’re a lifesaver. Anyone could have stolen my identity.”
“You should be more careful,” Putnam says. He raises his view from my sun-colored middle and makes steady eye contact with me. “You wouldn’t want to lose something important, would you?”
“Absolutely not.” I rattle off a ludicrous fact about identity theft in the United States which sounds boring, but not irrelevant.
He steps toward me and reaches two fingers out. Their tips touch my chin ever so slightly and he says, “I wouldn’t think so. You need to be more careful upon your travels.”
I don’t back away from his touch. In fact, I want the tips to graze my lips, fall to my neck, and maybe find one of my nipples. Truth is, I want him to kiss me. Maybe we can even nap together in the sunshine. Does he like to spoon? Is he big on napping in the nude?
“Thanks for bringing this over.” I give the wallet a shake.
He rubs my chin with his two fingertips. “Thanks for just being you. It suits me.”
It sounds cheesy, but I don’t mind. Some guys like cheesy. Correction: some guys love cheesy. I guess I fall in this category and become woozy, feel as if will lose my balance at any second and faint. Fainting is good, right? Right. Why not?
He pulls his fingers away from my chin and tells me, “I should be getting to my book signing over at Gerald’s.”
“Nice place. Small and charming by the lake. I frequent there. Gerald sells a ton of mysteries.”
“I admit, Gerald Murrow is in love with me. I hate to break it to him that I’m more into books than him. I’m afraid it will ruin his heart if he finds out. Plus, he’ll stop having me sign there. My signings are always productive at his little shop. I sell out of all my work there.”
I purse my lips, supply him with a casual wink. “Are you leading his heart astray, Mr. Strand?”
“Unfortunately so,” he says, nodding. “I also take advantage of his baking skills. He prepares these amazing French pastries for me. I can’t pronounce what they are, but they look like lady fingers, and they’re absolutely delicious. I’m not proud of myself for such weak and dire behavior, but can’t help it.”
I chuckle at his confessions. “It sounds harmless. I’m sure you can live with yourself. Besides, every handsome man needs a yummy French pastry.”
“So far it is harmless, but who knows what will happen in the future.”
I pat his left shoulder, comforting him. “It will all work out in the end. Most things do among writers and bakers and bookstores. I hardly ever see stories on the evening news about murders concerning such difficult trios.”
He chuckles this time, lighting up. “I should really leave, and you need to put some clothes on. You’re teasing me, flaunting your yellow goods around like you are.” He waves a finger up and down at my center. You’re far too good looking for me to stay a moment longer. I could be all over you in a second, if I may be so bold to say.”
My mouth falls open because of his comment, and a jolt of excitement steers through my cock. Confusion suffocates my brain. I don’t just hear what he admits. My mind plays tricks on me. He doesn’t just say he thinks I’m attractive and has the potential to bone me, right? I’m confused, awestruck, bedazzled ... something. Suddenly, I come to and mumble, “I accept your kind words. And you can stay as long as you’d like, since you returned my wallet.”
“Not today. I really must go. My secret baker awaits me at his book shop.”
“Then so be it. You unfortunately have to go.”
I walk him to the front door. Once here, our faces almost touch: lips, chins, cheeks, and the works.
“You’re welcome about the wallet,” he says, breathing on me: English tea-scented, a sugar cookie.
I fall into his dark blue eyes and become lost. One of his palms strays to my chest and grazes the area above my navel: flat, unmoving, steady on a rib and ab. “You’re touching me,” I tell him.
“You’re hallucinating,” he teases. “I wouldn’t dare.”
We don’t kiss.
Instead, he pulls away from me and says, “You’re getting hard, Mr. Grady Nelson. Obviously, I turn you on like Gerald.”