Sidney has been divorced for a year, and he’s still learning to navigate life as a single man. He could do without his cousin’s help, especially when that help comes in the form of a hired escort—the prettiest man Sidney has ever seen.
Gairn had no idea what he was agreeing to when he accepted this job. In just a few minutes, he finds himself in a fake relationship with Sidney, who has to give his ex-wife Alba an explanation of who Gairn is before she makes assumptions.
Sidney and Gairn like each other, but can they work as a real couple? The obstacles are daunting—Gairn’s job as an escort, Sidney’s wariness and trust issues, and Alba’s reaction if she finds out what Gairn does to put himself through college.
Will Sidney and Gairn manage to beat the odds and find happiness together? Or will they crash and burn before even having a chance to explore their newfound relationship?
Sidney looked around his living room to make sure everything was where it was supposed to be. He'd never been a neat freak, but his ex-wife, Alba, was, and she wouldn’t be happy to drop off their son in a pigsty. She was already going to be annoyed at the boxes Sidney still needed to empty from the move—and he’d moved almost a year ago. But they could wait, because today he was getting his son for the weekend.
The doorbell rang, making Sidney jerk. He looked around one last time, even though he knew Griff wouldn’t care what the place looked like. Sidney wanted things to go the right way, and the last thing he needed was to piss off Alba.
He swung open the door, smiling, then frowned. “Who are you?” he asked the man standing in front of him.
He was cute—brown hair that flopped in front of his green eyes, about five feet nine or ten, slight but not too much. His clothes looked like they’d been painted on him, but they didn’t show a lot of skin.
“Okay.” Was that supposed to tell Sidney something? Because it didn’t. “How can I help you?”
Sidney’s eyes widened when Gairn pressed a hand against his chest and pushed him into the apartment. Sidney stumbled back and watched Gairn kick the apartment door closed. Was he being robbed? If he was, Gairn was a weird kind of robber. Sidney didn’t even feel threatened.
Gairn leaned back against the door and bit his lower lip. “So, how do you want me?”
“You didn’t specify what you wanted from me when you booked me. I have some hard limits, but I’d like to know what you are looking for.”
What the fuck? Sidney was clearly missing something there. “Hard limits?”
Gairn blew on the strand of his hair that fell in front of his eyes. “You know. Watersports, fletching, no condoms, things like that. We can talk about you tying me up, but I’d rather not do that today since it’s the first time we’ve met.”
Sidney blinked. He knew what Gairn’s words meant, yet they didn’t make sense. “What the fuck?” He was repeating himself, but nothing else came to mind.
Gairn pushed away from the door and slunk toward Sidney, his hips swinging from side to side. He put his hand on Sidney’s chest again and looked up at him, licking his lips. “Well? Where’s the bedroom? Unless you’d rather do this here?”
Sidney shook his head and stepped back. “Who the fuck are you, and what are you doing here?”
Gairn frowned. “I'm Gairn.”
“You already said that, but it doesn’t tell me what you think you’re doing.”
“What you hired me to do.”
Oh. A spark went on in Sidney’s brain. “You’re a prostitute?”
Gairn jerked back. “I’m an escort.”
Sidney didn’t think there was a difference, but he didn't care. “Escort. Whatever. Look, I think you have the wrong guy and the wrong apartment. I didn't hire an escort. I’ve never paid for sex.”
Gairn’s cheeks flushed. His shoulders slumped, and he pushed a hand into his jeans pocket. Sidney expected the fabric to tear, but it didn’t, and Gairn took out his phone. He thumbed the screen a few times, then squinted at the screen. “Okay. You’re Sidney Preston?”
“So I clearly got the address and the man right. It says here you booked a date with me for today.”
“Mmm. The credit card you paid with is under another name. Do you know a Reginald Preston?”
“Shit.” Of course Sidney knew a Reginald Preston. “Fuck him. Fuck his stupid ideas, and fuck my life.” He rubbed a hand over his face. He couldn’t believe this.
Gairn blinked. “I’m sorry?”
Sidney raked a hand through his hair. “Reg is my cousin.”
“So your cousin booked you an hour with me?”
“Looks that way.”
“Okay. Well, that’s not my problem. I was hired to do something, so if you want to show me the bedroom…”
“No, I don’t want to show you the bedroom. I don’t want to have sex with you.”
Gairn cocked his head. “I feel like I should be offended.”
For fuck’s sake. Am I going to have to soothe the escort’s feelings now? “I don’t care if you’re offended. I didn’t hire you, and I’m not having sex with you. You need to leave, now.” If Alba walked in and found Sidney with a prostitute…
Shit. He knew all too well how she’d react.
She was hot-headed, always had been, which was one of the reasons Sidney hadn’t been that surprised to find out she was cheating on him. What had surprised him was to find out that while he was hurt by that break of trust, he didn’t care about the fact that she’d had sex with another guy.
“Your cousin already paid, though.”
“I don’t care. That’s his problem, not mine. He shouldn’t have done this. I hope you charge a hefty price.”
The doorbell rang again. Sidney swallowed and stared at the door. Shit. Shit, shit, shit. Alba and Griff were there, and Gairn wasn’t gone.
Gairn frowned. “I wasn’t paid for a threesome.”
“Shut up. Please.”
Gairn snapped his mouth shut. There was no way Sidney could sneak Gairn out of the apartment without Alba noticing him. She was going to have questions, and Sidney couldn’t tell her the truth. Even if she did believe him if he told her it was all Reginald’s fault, she wouldn’t leave Griff with Sidney, not when there was a prostitute in his apartment, and Sidney didn’t want to miss out on the weekend with his son.
Sidney grabbed Gairn’s arm. “Okay, I need a favor.”
“I told you, I wasn’t paid enough for a threesome.”
“We’re not having a threesome. That’s my wife. Well, my ex-wife, and she brought my son. He’s spending the weekend with me. I need you to play along with me, okay?”