Milo Callan is convinced the disease that ravaged his legs and left him in a wheelchair as a child has damaged something inside him because, as he grows to adulthood, he only becomes aroused by men. His secluded life means he’s convinced he is alone in this until the day Robert Grange, his temporary valet, rescues him from his life inside and takes him into the summer heat, changing his life forever beneath the shade of an ancient tree.
Overwhelmed, confused, and helplessly in love, Milo struggles to deal with his feelings and pushes Robert away time after time.
When Robert can bear it no longer, he decides to leave. Beside himself with grief, can Milo find the strength to believe in himself and accept their love? Will he be able to convince Robert to stay, or has he pushed Robert away for the last time?
Grange stood. The towel hung loosely in his hand. His legs were spread and he towered over Milo. “Want me to do something about that?” He nodded and looked between Milo’s legs.
“Such fucking insolence,” Milo said, fear and fury bringing blood to his cheeks. “How dare you ...”
Grange bent down and grabbed Milo’s hand. Grange somehow managed to get his shoulder beneath Milo’s armpit and, before Milo could offer any further comment, he was flung over Grange’s muscled shoulder. He let out an unmanly squawk as he found himself dangling. Grange had his arm firmly clamped under Milo’s buttocks, holding his legs tight, and Milo was staring upside down at the man’s back. He grabbed hold of the waist of Grange’s breeches and held on.
“Jesus Christ!” he said, struggling to breath and speak as Grange started walking and his midsection jolted against Grange’s shoulder. “What in God’s name are you doing?” He grabbed tighter hold and the material of the breeches sagged, allowing Milo a view of the top of Grange’s arse. “Put me down this instant. Put me down. I insist ...” His breath gave way as he felt a large hand cover his backside and he started to struggle in earnest. “You bastard, let me go.”
The direct sunlight was no longer burning his back, and he realised they were under a huge tree. Grange stopped, and holding tight to Milo, knelt down and then laid him on the grass. Milo found himself staring up at Grange’s face. It was too close. He put his hands on the man’s shoulders and pushed, but he was caged by strong arms. Grange moved Milo’s leg with his knee and knelt between.
Milo was shaking. “Fucking move,” he said, pushing again and struggling, but Grange didn’t budge.
“Do you have any idea how stunningly handsome you are?” Grange said.
Milo shut up, stopped moving, and stared.
Grange closed his eyes and shook his head. When he opened them again, they were filled with something Milo didn’t dare put a name to. “Your eyes are ...” He tilted his head as if considering. “Not quite blue yet not quite green. They’re like a stone I once found as a boy. Agate.” He shook his head again. “If it makes you feel any better, just looking at you gives me a cockstand.”
Before Milo could say a word, Grange leaned down and touched their lips together. Milo moaned. He had never been kissed. Never been touched. Grange’s mouth moved on his and Milo didn’t dare move. Afraid to do it wrong.
When Grange pulled away, he was panting.