When Sean's air-conditioning suddenly dies in the middle of the broiling summer, it's the building's hunky superintendent, Dillon O’Leary, who comes to the rescue in this quirky comic tale.
Dillon soon gets Sean up and running again, in more ways than one. As the temperature in Sean’s apartment falls, the heat between the two men rises. However, Dillon unexpectedly pulls away and leaves. Sean’s air conditioning may be fixed, but his heart is broken.
Weeks later, temperatures once again soar as things heat up on the secluded rooftop of Sean’s building. Will Dillon fix things with Sean or will their obvious attraction for each other remain as cool as the air coming from Sean’s window unit?
I’d been lounging on my sofa, reading the latest Danielle Steele epic, sipping an oh-so-sweet, frigid-cold iced tea, when suddenly I heard the dreaded sound: clunk, clunk, clunk-a-dee-clunk, followed by an ominous hissssssss -- which sounded much like a herd of buffalo coming to a screeching, surprised halt. Or so I surmised.
You see, my air-conditioning unit, that great, big monstrosity that hung precariously ten stories above the teaming masses, had, without warning, up and died.
My heart, when it realized what had just happened, went clunk-a-dee-clunk as well.
“No, no. Not now,” I shouted at the cold, lifeless beast. “It’s August in New York. Are you insane, dying now? Are you trying to take me with you? I’m sorry I didn’t pay more attention to you these past five years, but I’ve been busy.” Those Danielle Steele novels don’t read themselves, after all.
It was then I noticed it: the silence in my too small, overpriced walk-up -- the building’s elevator now on the fritz for month number two. We were promised it would be fixed soon. I wasn’t holding my breath. Mainly because I needed it to climb all those friggin’ steps. In any case, that silence I mentioned was very nearly deafening. And the heat, the dreaded heat that had been kept at bay by a mere inch of thin, rattling glass, plus the unappreciated efforts of my overworked, now-dead unit, was slowly, menacingly creeping in.
A certain prophetic last few, terrifying words seeped into my already addled brain: I’m melting, meeeltiiing.
I slipped on my slippers and ran, as fast as my legs could carry me, down, down, down the endless, narrow, paint-chipped flight of stairs to the one person who could save me from certain disaster. Still, I dreaded knocking on his door. The building superintendent, a crotchety old man who hated everyone and everything except for the Mets and the occasional Nathan’s hotdog, would not be thrilled at my uninvited, though obviously quite necessary, visit.
Gingerly, I rapped on the wood.
But there was no reply, not a peep from within.
I knocked again, louder this time. “Mr. Wordlow, it’s Sean O’Malley from apartment 1015,” I spoke into the door, all the while profusely sweating in the sweltering, airless corridor.
Still there was nothing.
I tried again, fearless now in my desperation. “Please, Mr. Wordlow, it’s life or death.” My life. My air-conditioning unit’s death.
And then I heard the faintest of sounds, that of feet shuffling from behind the door, then the familiar click-click-click of several locks being unlocked before the door slowly creaked open. And then ... KAPOW! Which was the sound of my heart nearly exploding from my chest.
For there, in Mr. Wordlow’s very entryway, stood a be-toweled ginger-haired behemoth dripping tiny drops of water on the buckled, worn hardwood floor. “Sorry,” he said. “I was in the shower.”
The sun from the living room window rocketed through the tiny apartment and bathed the near-naked angel as if he had emerged from a Botticelli painting. I gasped and gaped and gawked at the site of him -- at his red, wet hair, his sparkling blue eyes, his full lips and chiseled jaw and chiseled chest and chiseled, well, chiseled everything.