This week's excerpt:
Reese ran through the last strip of unmowed grass just as Jordan pulled up. With any luck, the nights would stay cool and it wouldn’t need to be mowed again. He watched as the car pulled up on the gravel drive and in the light of day, he could see that the old Ford had been well cared for, but the door squealed as it was opened and he doubted even a shot of WD40 was going to help. He pushed the mower into the shed and waited until Jordan joined him.
“Hey,” the young man said. He was clearly uncomfortable as he shuffled from one foot to the other, holding onto one elbow while he let the other arm hang loose, his fist clenching and unclenching.
“Hey,” Reese replied in acknowledgment and then waited until Jordan said something.
“So, the thing is, I don’t know if that piece of paper is legal or not, but I need a place to stay. I’ve got a job lined up and can cover my expenses. Hell, I’ll pay some rent if you want.”
Reese had a feeling that Jordan wasn’t the type to beg and even this little bit was taking everything he had to say it. “Well, I’ve been thinking about it, too. Tell ya what, I’m only here half the time, anyway. So, let’s give it a month, see if we can stand each other. I’m sure you’ve got to be a better roommate than Roger. Especially if you’ve already managed to find a job. I’m mildly impressed.” He grinned as he said it.
“It’s not much. Breakfast cook at Tammy’s Diner. You know the place?”
“It’s a small town, so yes,” he said with a nod. “And I am, I’m impressed. There aren’t many jobs around and you managed to pick one up in...well, I don’t know. How long have you been living in my house, anyway?”
“Four days?” It came out sounding like a question and Reese laughed. Jordan’s face hardened. “Four days,” he stated. “And I suppose I just got lucky. I ate at the diner the first day I was here and made friends with the waitress.”
“Miranda?” Jordan looked at Reese questioningly and he smirked. “Remember? Small town. Everyone knows everyone. So, you made friends with Miranda, huh?” He looked Jordan up and down. “You’re not her usual type, but I guess I can see it.”
“See what?” he asked darkly, his throat dropping an octave.
Reese raised an eyebrow at his tone. “You’re kind of cute. Too skinny, but some girls like that. Just keep the noise down when you two get busy. I’ve been told that the walls are thin.”
Jordan walked away from his mocking laughter. He ought to tell Reese not to worry, that he wasn’t going to get busy with her, or any other girl, for that matter. But his sex life really wasn’t Reese’s business. He doubted he was going to find anyone he wanted to bed in this backwoods, anyway. If he did, he’d cross that bridge when he came to it. His main goal for the rest of the day was to get Roger’s...no, make that his... bedroom habitable. There was a broken spring in that couch that had poked him in the back all night. He already missed Reese’s bed, the firmness of the mattress, the smell of sandalwood that permeated the pillow. For just a brief moment, he wondered if that was how Reese smelled. Sandalwood and sweat.
With a shake of his head, he let that line of thought drop. He wanted to stay here. Absolutely no perving on his hot--straight--roommate. That little slip in the shower last night had been an anomaly resulting from the noises echoing down the hall. It wasn’t going to happen again. He’d just have to find some other jerk-off material. Hopefully, the bedroom door would work as a sound barrier. That was, if Reese made a habit of bringing women home.
Now that he was thinking about it, the words came uncontrolled out of his mouth as Reese followed him back into the trailer. “So, if Laurie isn’t your girlfriend, do you have one?”
“No,” Reese said without expanding his monosyllabic answer. He pulled a beer out of the fridge and popped the top. He tipped his head back and drank half the can in noisy gulps. Jordan watched his Adam’s apple bob with each swallow and turned quickly before Reese noticed the effect the simple movement had on him.
“A bit early for beer, isn’t it.”
“Mowing, dude. I always need a beer to cut the dirt out of my throat. Why, you got a problem with it?”
“Not really,” he admitted. “Just, my old man’s an alcoholic, so I guess I notice things like morning drinking.”
‘Oh, that sucks. But no, I don’t normally drink in the morning. Actually, I don’t drink much. Which is kind of funny.”
“I bartend at The Prickly Pear.”
Jordan barked out a laugh. “Where?”
‘What, you think it’s funny that I bartend?”
“Not that,” he choked out. “Do the people around here even know what a prickly pear is? I mean, they aren’t exactly native around here!”
“The owner’s from Arizona.”
Jordan’s interest perked up. “Do you work for your Dad?”
Reese jerked back and his dark eyebrows drew together in irritation. “Why the hell would you think that?”
“Sorry! But you said Arizona and if you’ll remember, I’ve met your brother. The two of you look nothing alike.” He let his eyes travel over the man, scrutinizing his tall form. “I spent time out west and you could’ve walked right off the reservation. I don’t mean that as an insult. The level of hotness--” He stopped talking abruptly when he realized what he was about to say.
Reese gave him a cocky wink and his lips curled at the edges. “Does that mean you think I’m hot?”
Best to change the subject, Reese thought. “Bartender, huh? Except you’ve been gone. What, are you a traveling bartender?”
Reese did full-out laugh, then. “Kind of. I work in Vegas during the summer months. Friend of Mom’s owns a casino. The money’s good enough I could probably live off it during the winter, but I’d get bored. So I pick up a few shifts. I’m working tonight. You should come.”
Jordan had tensed up after his near slip, but he relaxed as Reese turned away, apparently willing to ignore the slip. Or maybe he didn’t catch it. No such luck, though, as he walked away and spoke to Jordan over his shoulder. “I never knew my dad, but Mom was hanging out on the reservation in Oklahoma when she got pregnant with me. And quit looking at my butt.”