Kelly Jeter is a 30-year old virgin who suffers from an acute shyness and extreme anxiety. He lives in Manhattan and collects lighthouses. He is the quintessential nerd. He also doesn't see how gorgeous he is, so when he meets Hawk Caliarchi, a friend of his besties, Krystal and Amy, he can't believe the hulking Greek man wants anything to do with him. So when Hawk shows an interest in him, Kelly does the only thing he can do... he has an asthma attack and almost passes out. Hawk finally gets Kelly to agree to a date but before these two completely opposite men can settle down into a relationship, Hawk must face his past and Kelly must face his insecurities, fears and overcome his low self-esteem. Will he be able to conquer his battles before he loses Hawk for good and will he be able to thank his besties for introducing him to the love of his life?
I had my arms around Amy, and Krystal stood cuddled up in Joel's arms when it happened. He walked over. I didn't know who he was at the time. All I knew was that a Greek god had descended and was now walking towards me, a gorgeous smile on his bronzed face and thick black hair blowing in the wind, ruffling his business-cut hair, his light brown eyes shining as he got closer to us. I saw Krystal look at me out of the corner of my eye before following the direction of my gaze. She let out a loud squeal and dashed out of Joel's arms towards the gorgeous stranger.
"Hawk!" she whooped before launching herself into his muscled arms. Amy shoved me away before dashing after Krystal and throwing herself into Hawk's arms as well. I watched in wonder as the tall, thick-muscled man lifted both of my friends into his arms and bounced them up and down, causing them to giggle like children before placing them back on their feet. What I wouldn't have given to bounce in his arms as well—though I'd prefer his cock to his arms.
"Wipe your face, you're drooling," Joel teased me, and I hurriedly wiped my chin, not surprised to find saliva there. "Holy shit, you really were drooling!"
I chuckled and could do nothing except nod my head. All of my brain cells had melted in the direction of my cock, which was even now jerking and leaking in my boxers. "He's just so fucking hot," I breathed, my breath catching in my lungs as Hawk walked towards us, his hands resting on Krystal and Amy's shoulders. They both only came up to his pecs, which meant I only came to his pecs as well. My ass clenched at the thought as I realized how much taller and broader that made him than me.
I was frozen in place, his gaze locked on mine as Krystal and Amy walked with him over to Joel and me. They couldn't be bringing him over to introduce him to us, could they? They wouldn't do that to me. Not when they both knew how shy I was, how I practically ended up in the hospital every time I tried to talk to a gorgeous man. Hawk was beyond gorgeous, however. He was a fucking god, and rather than wind up in the hospital from not being able to breathe, I would probably turn into a pillar of salt just from looking at him with lust.
Wait, I was thinking about biblical stories now? Yeah, my brain had completely melted.
I watched warily as Krystal and Amy brought Hawk directly to me with mischievous grins on their faces. "Kelly, this is Hawk Caliarchi. Hawk, this is our best friend Kelly Jeter, no relation to Derek," Krystal introduced us with a glint in her eyes.
"Hello, Kelly. It's nice to meet you," Hawk's voice was thunder wrapped in velvet and dipped in chocolate. I shivered and opened my mouth to respond. A squeak came out and my eyes snapped to Krystal's face. I felt my face flush in horror even as embarrassment and panic began to set in. What if Hawk was the one and I was too chicken shit, too nerdy, too... me, to grab onto him with both hands?
"Kelly? Calm down, honey. It's okay. Just don't freak out," Amy's voice came to me as if through a fog. Her tone was calm, peaceful, and soothing, but although it had worked when we were kids, now it only managed to heighten my awareness that I needed to be calm before I could speak like a normal human being.
My chest tightened and I struggled to pull air into my lungs. I could hear myself wheezing, feel my face flushing hot, and I mentally waved goodbye to ever having a chance with Hawk. Joel grabbed my arm and spoke frantically in my ear.
"Kel? Hey, buddy, where's your inhaler? I need to give you a puff of Albuterol."
That was Joel for you. Krystal and Amy would try and soothe me with their words, rubbing their hands on my arms and back, through my hair, trying to calm me with human touch while Joel went instantly for the medicine that would save my life. We were a well-oiled machine, and I wondered, briefly, what we looked like to Hawk. Would he see a family that had done this time and again and had all of the steps worked out, or would he see nothing but a short, skinny nerd who couldn't even talk to a man without almost collapsing from lack of oxygen?
"Kelly, I want you to listen to my voice," Hawk's voice penetrated the haze and I looked up, up, up into his gorgeous eyes. When had he moved to stand in front of me? Why was he trying to help? "Breathe with me, Kelly. When I inhale, I want you to inhale; when I exhale, I want you to exhale, alright?"
I nodded my head frantically, because it seemed the only thing I could do, and felt my friends step away as Hawk stepped closer to me. He cradled my face in his hands and stared down into my eyes.
"Ready? Inhale," Hawk instructed me before placing his hand on my chest. I inhaled with him, a deep inhale, and when he exhaled so did I. I was enraptured by him, by his strength, and I felt as if my lungs were connected to his as the tidal wave of panic began to recede and my breaths came easier. I continued to breathe with Hawk, who didn't stop breathing even when Joel came rushing back from the car with my back-up inhaler. My walking inhaler was in the pocket of the purple hoodie that I wore, but I'd been too distressed to tell him.
"Take two puffs of your inhaler," Hawk commanded, and I nodded that I understood before shaking the inhaler, pulling off the top and placing the puffer between my lips. Squeezing down on the barrel, I pulled the medication into my lungs and held it for twenty seconds before exhaling. Waiting thirty seconds, in which I continued to breathe with Hawk, I took another puff of my inhaler and finally, finally felt my lungs open fully, the panic all but disappear, and my embarrassment rush full-throttle over me.
"Nice to meet you, Hawk. My name's Kelly and I'm beyond embarrassed right now because I really wanted you to think I was sexy, not needy. You know, if you’re gay—"