"Let me go, you big queer!"
"Make me, ho."
Sandy dissolved into laughter, turned the hose full force on Keen and laughed as he let her go to scramble away. He should have known better. Don't mess with her when she was already in a mood.
"Hey, slut, ease up on the water. We're supposed to be washing the truck, not the hunk."
"You wish. Homo hunk. You're wasted around here." She laughed at his expression.
"Got that right. Why couldn't you've been a man?"
"Yeah. And why'd you have to be gay? We'd be so good together, except for those small differences." She bent to get the sponge and gave him an eyeful down her shirt, to which he was completely oblivious. She had a generous D-cup chest and small waist. She was one hot babe, and he loved her...for her mind and her humour and her friendship. They were the best of friends and had been for the two years they'd been neighbours.
"Who you callin' small?" he said, bending to scrub the hubcaps. He knew she was thinking, for about the zillionth time, how hot he was. She'd told him enough times that he was built like a brick house. She swore that gays would be lined up around the corner if they knew where he lived. He was supposedly that hot. He had a mirror, so he knew he was tall, muscular with broad shoulders. He was strong, tanned, had short blond hair and blue, blue eyes. But Sandy said that they were clear and bright and they shone with honesty and compassion. What the hell? He just didn't see what that was all about. He was a good man. He'd admit to that. He worked on being just that. He chuckled as, once again, she sighed.
"Now what?" He exaggerated his exasperation.
"Just wishing again that you were straight. You need a clone."
"Told you. Got one," he said, scrubbing away. "Name's Kale. Lives and works in Cincy. Not gay, not married, but not interested in settling down either. He lives for his work." He moved around to the next tire.
"You sure? Why don't you invite him down and let me try to change his mind?" she teased him. They'd had this talk before.
"Oh, didn't I tell you, he's coming in this weekend?" he said and waited.
"No way. You butt! You did not tell me. How come?"
"There's some kind of shit going on at his job, and he needs to get away. Nashville's out of town so he's coming to visit. Gonna stay with me for about a month, I think. That long enough for you to vamp him?"
"Long enough to try," she said. "If this brother is anything like you, I want to get to know him. I could live in Cincinnati. I'm an emergency room nurse. I could get a job anywhere."
"So, isn't your brother still coming in this weekend? Got everything ready for a hungry teenager?" he asked. He'd moved to the last wheel now.
"Step-brother, LJ. Yeah, I guess. I stocked up on burgers and dogs, pop and crunchy things. I'll let him tell me what kind of sweets he likes. Figure all kids like the other stuff. I don't know what Mom was thinking." She shook her head at her mother's request.
"But you don't really mind?"
"Nah. She said he had trouble in his job, which I don't even know about. Just that he needed to get away and change his life. So, Mrs. Cantu is sending her baby to me...for what? I don't know what to do with him. You have to help. No, wait. You can't help. You're gay."
"I'm sorry?" He straightened to look at her, his eyebrows raised so high his forehead was wrinkled.
"I don't mean anything by it, you know I don't. But you can't take him to gay bars or to hang around with your friends."
"Sandy, Miss Slut-Wannabe, you know I don't go to the bars that much and half my friends are straight. It's not like being around me will turn him gay. I'm not like the poster boy for 'Come on, everybody, be gay like me'."
He had both hands on his hips, in his snug cut-offs, and no shirt. He was hot and sweaty and wet and ripped and, uh-oh, she had that look.
"You, by God, do look like the poster boy for joining the gay life. You're the sexiest thing I've ever seen, and as I've told you many times, your body is wasted on men.
Keen's answer was the same each time.
"Not according to them."