Scotty Reedville has had his office job for two years, long enough to fall for Ryker Callen, head of the landscaping crews. It’s ridiculous, really. How could he fall for someone so completely his opposite in every way? Answer: he couldn’t help it. Still, Scotty would never make a move because he doesn’t think Ryker would go out with a guy who wears braces and snaps at everyone.
However, when Ryker is injured in a softball game one weekend and needs a place to live temporarily that doesn’t have steps, Scotty’s boss Gavin suggests he stay with Scotty. The time they spend together is both the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Scotty, and he doesn’t want it to end. But it must.
Thankfully, Ryker has other plans. Can the two men stumble their way to love?
“Happy birthday, Glen,” Ryker replied and turned to introduce me. “This is Scotty Reedville, a co-worker. Scotty, this is Glen, a friend from college.” Wait, Ryker went to college? Assumptions were a bitch.
The big man hugged me as well and kissed me on the cheek. “It’s nice to meet you, Scotty. Thanks for coming to my party.”
I glanced briefly at Ryker. “It was under duress, but that’s not your fault.”
Glen laughed, a full-bellied sound that made me want to laugh, too, surprisingly enough. “You were right about him,” he said.
“Told you,” Ryker replied.
I frowned. “Wait. Right about what? He told you about me?”
“Oh, yeah,” Glen replied, grinning. “Ryker told me all about this cute, growly dude at his job who had taken care of him while his ankle was healing.”
I blushed, damn it. “I didn’t do that much.” I glared at Ryker. “He exaggerated.”
Ryker chuckled. “No, I didn’t.”
I left them to talk about me and grabbed hors d'oeuvres from a passing waiter, relishing in the fact that I wouldn’t have to worry so much about things getting stuck in my braces anymore.
I watched the people around me, those who were dancing to the pounding music, straight, gay, and lesbian couples, people dancing by themselves, some just hanging around the dance floor, watching others, like I was. Many were dressed expensively and in the height of fashion, but they didn’t seem to look down on those who weren’t.
I didn’t feel pressured to be something I wasn’t, and that was nice, actually. I felt a hand touch my waist briefly. I looked to my left to see Ryker beside me, smiling, the nitwit. “Forgive me?”
I sniffed. “I don’t see why I should.”
“Because I’m adorable and you just can’t help yourself.”
“That’s beside the point.” Oh, I shouldn’t have said that out loud. It was wishful thinking that Ryker wouldn’t notice.
His smile was toothy. “You realize you just admitted to liking me, don’t you?” I was right.
Crap. “No, I didn’t. You tricked me.”
“Keep telling yourself that. Want to dance?”
I shook my head vehemently. “Nope. Not happening. I look like a spider run through with electricity when I try, and that was as a teenager. I’ve stayed away from dancing ever since. I’m a better wallflower, and your toes, chest and eyeballs will thank me.”
Ryker laughed. “Is that right? Thanks for the warning.” He pulled me onto the dance floor anyway. A fast song was playing with a heavy bass beat.
I tried to stop him. “I don’t want --” Ryker placed a finger over my mouth, then winked and placed my arms around his neck. He wrapped his own around my waist and moved us side to side, in time to the beat so all I had to do was follow.
I could feel every part of him, from chest to toes, and it was more than heady. I wanted to writhe and rut against him and that was dangerous, because I could never control my reactions around him, and that was very evident in my pants. I hoped it was too dark from him to see how embarrassed I was.