Wheeler Ridley is used to having men fall into his lap at a snap of his fingers. He's gorgeous, well-to-do, and absolutely clueless about commitment and what it takes to have a serious relationship. Which makes the fact that he wants such a thing with his relationship-phobic crush, Gregory Wang almost unheard of. And yet ...
Gregory runs the daycare center across the street from the gym owned by Wheeler, and he has a reputation in the tiny beach town for being the "ice queen." Although he's interested in Wheeler, Gregory refuses any overtures and leaves frustration in his wake.
When Wheeler saves the life of one of Gregory’s daycare kids, Gregory sees him in a new light. Together, they work to forge a new beginning: one man learning how to think with his heart; the other figuring out how to let the past go and let ... love.
“You came,” he began, grabbing a crust free sandwich in one hand and then taking a bite.
“You invited me. No way was I missing this. It’s a step in the right direction.”
“Which direction is that, exactly?” he asked, chewing on his food while keeping an eye on the kids.
“A date. With me.” I tried out a charming smile and Gregory’s cheeks turned ruddy. “No strings, I swear. Just a chance to get to know each other, maybe become friends of a sort?”
Before Gregory could answer, a boy started shouting that a girl had eaten his sandwich. Gregory got up and quickly took care of the crisis.
On returning to our table, he said, “Why do you really want to go out on a date with me, Wheeler?” He drank some juice and then placed his chin in his hands. “The truth, please.”
With him staring at me like that with clear, intent eyes, I couldn’t lie. He seemed to be the kind of man who needed honesty in everything. “It’s true, I’m a horn dog. I want you like I’ve never wanted anyone before. But something about you makes me want to go…beyond that. You intrigue me, inspire me, make me hot, and I just want to bask in the glow of your presence for a few hours, whether or not you ever say yes to more than a date. Is that truth enough for you?” I took a breath and hoped for the best.
The expressions that flitted across Gregory’s face were legion. He didn’t say anything for a while as we finished our meal. Only then did he speak. “Thank you for your honesty.” He got up from the table and asked me to wait for him by front the door while he helped his staff clean up and resettle the kids in the play area.
When that was done, Gregory escorted me back to the gym, which I thought was a sweet gesture. We stood before the glass and I waved to Mrs. R. so she knew she could leave whenever she wanted to. She gave me a “thumbs up” sign and headed toward the ladies changing room.
“It was sweet of you to have lunch with me and a bunch of screaming toddlers.”
“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. By the way, the fruit cups were divine.” This made Gregory laugh, something I definitely wanted to see more of, in my company.
“You’re easy to please, I see.” He ran a hand through his hair and sobered up. “Look, I know what people in this town say about me. I have a reputation for being standoffish, frigid ...”
“Ice queen,” I offered, and held up my hands when he glared at me. “Hey, just trying to be helpful.”
“As I was saying, I feel I’ve misjudged you. What you did for that little boy, how you jumped in to save his life without hesitation, not many would, and I just wanted to thank you. I think there’s more to you than your admittedly nice exterior” -- did he just compliment my looks? Hot dog! -- “and yes, maybe I’d like to get to know that version of you better.”