When Levi’s new job puts him in Thane’s path, their chemistry explodes, but their fear of being involved in relationships keeps them apart. Unfortunately, despite the intense desire drawing them together, neither man can move forward until they get past their own…Reservations.
“What’s a guy gotta do to get some coffee around here?”
Levi startled, caught off guard by the huskily asked question. Lost in thought, he hadn’t even heard the annoying door chime, but he’d know that cocky voice anywhere. He abandoned the spray bottle and rag on the table before turning. He couldn’t help the grin growing on his face as his eyes landed on Julian Cullen standing in front of the cash register. Except Julian didn’t look like the broken patient he’d worked with at the PT clinic all those months ago. Instead, this Julian looked happy, strong, and professional.
Levi stepped toward him, wiping his right hand on his jeans before extending it to Julian. “You look great.”
Julian waggled those perfectly plucked eyebrows and appraised him with that mischievous gleam in his eyes. “You know, I’m not in the business anymore, but for a compliment like that, I’d do you.”
Levi busted out in genuine amusement at such a bold statement. That was just Julian; he said whatever he wanted and made no apologies. “Would you now? I think that’s some of that bad-boy you were always talking about coming out in you. How’s it going?”
“Well”, Julian drew the word out then paused for dramatic effect, making a show of looking back at the for-sale sign on the window. “Better than you, I think. I saw the place’s closing.”
Levi placed both hands on his hips and continued to stare at Julian. The guy looked like a million bucks. The clothes were expensive, and oddly conservative. His hair styled, artfully flipped off the forehead. His pristinely pressed slacks, hugged his long muscular legs, and the crisp button-down underneath a lightweight sweater perfectly paired with the shiny loafers on his feet. The transformation was quite remarkable, something he wondered if the counseling had anything to do with. Instead of asking that, Levi chose to keep the exchange light and only respond to the question asked. “Yeah, I’ll be looking for another side job soon.”
“No doubt with as busy as you are”, Julian spread his arms wide. Levi barked out another laugh as he followed Julian’s gaze around the bare coffee shop.
“I guess you’re right. It still feels like a lot of work though.”A chuckle bubbled up again, and he went with it, feeling much lighter than minutes ago. Levi watched as Julian shamelessly stepped closer to him, the guy’s hand smoothed over his bicep and gently squeezed before boldly reaching for his T-shirt, lifting from the hem.
“Huh. You were hiding all that and I never noticed?”
What the hell? Levi swatted Julian’s hand away, letting his T-shirt fall back in place. Their gazes collided, and he couldn’t help but notice the look of surprise in Julian’s eyes.
“I must have been mentally ill. I would never have let a toned body like that slip past my radar.”
Levi grinned at the outrageous appraisal and stepped behind the counter, heading toward the register. “It’s good to see you.”
“You too. I remembered you said you worked here. I thought I should come check things out. How’s your dad?”
The words draped him like a wet blanket weighing heavily on his shoulders. Levi’s smile instantly faded.
(Remember Julian from Secret? 😊 )