Joel Raner pushed through the front door of his family's accounting firm, glancing at his watch. Four forty-five. I'm late. Tossing his briefcase onto the passenger seat of his rust-and-red Explorer, Joel fired up the old beast.
A belch of black smoke erupted from the tailpipe and Joel squeezed his eyes shut, praying the thing kept running. After what seemed like an eternity, the shuddering vehicle quieted and the motor settled into an uneasy rumble. He looked around at his brothers climbing into their own cars, wondered what his family thought of the piece of shit he drove.
Tom and Dave both drove Mercedes SUVs, and Janet--Tom's wife and their secretary--drove a 2010 Town and Country minivan. Most days they ignored him, treating him like the geek in math class everyone avoided on principle. But today, he'd drawn attention because he'd sprinted from the office when Janet finished her fifteenth lecture of the day on how to properly check email.
It wasn't his fault technology hated him.
Shaking off the gloom of working nine to five, Joel shifted both his truck and his mind into gear and headed for Chocolate Dreams, the little bakery at the end of his street.
He checked the clock on his dash. Four-fifty. A tiny grin tugged at his lips.
Bet I can make it before five.
Yeah. If he missed the traffic, hit every green light, and the slow drivers stayed the fuck out from between him and his truffles.
Joel snorted as he weaved through traffic. Sure, it was the truffles, all right. And it had nothing to do with the handsome chef who hand-delivered them to his table every day.
Without any effort at all, Aaron Giadano's face formed in Joel's mind.
Dark brown hair, cut short but still long enough for little wispy curls to tease at Joel's fantasies. Curls that made Joel want to tuck them out of the way--right after he twisted his fingers in them, getting a good grip while Aaron sucked his cock.