Tucker Right was a touchy person--he pounded men on the back, kissed women on the cheek and gave the occasional shoulder-grip to people he was fond of. In fact, Norman Wells realised as he tossed back his Scotch, Tucker touched everyone but him. In the five years they'd known each other he could easily count on one hand the number of times his best friend had done more than shake his hand, always after one of Norman's breakups. Then he would rate a hug, sometimes a kiss on the cheek.
He held up a finger to the bartender. If he did this right he wouldn't be able to see how many fingers he was lifting in a few minutes.
It was one of those days.
"You're going to get snockered and I'll have to pour you home," a deep voice spoke beside him. Although Tucker's breath brushed Norm's ear, no part of them touched.
"What do you care? Go touch somebody else." Watching the man he wanted paw everyone but him made his heart hurt. He threw back his head and let the Scotch burn its way down his throat.
"Now that's just disrespectful, tossing back expensive liquor like that. I know it's the expensive stuff because my bud doesn't do cheap," Tucker teased. He cupped Norman's chin with strong fingers, turning his head until he faced his friend. Norm held back the sigh that always wanted to escape his lips when he looked into those brilliant blue eyes. Eyes so light they were almost colourless. His assistant Becca called them serial killer eyes. Norm thought they were the most beautiful things in the universe.
He's touching me.
The thought ricocheted through his head like a pinball marble.
"What's wrong, Norm? Len being an asshole?" The sympathy in his friend's voice was almost his undoing, but he knew he could keep it together--he just needed more alcohol in his system.
"Len's gone. We broke up last week," he confessed.
"Why?" A crease formed on Tucker's tanned brow. "I thought you guys were good together."
Norm couldn't explain how he'd felt trapped in the relationship, unable to breathe.
"Why is it a beautiful man like yourself can't keep a guy?" Tucker asked, musingly. "You're rich, more gorgeous than most of the people on the planet, and beneath your crusty exterior is the heart of a sweet man. Why are you always looking for your next boyfriend?"
"Apparently because I'm emotionally unavailable." Bitterness filled him as he remembered the conversation with his ex-boyfriend.
"Seriously?" Tucker released Norman's chin and slid his hair behind his ear in an affectionate gesture. The contact made Norm shiver. "That's what you get for dating a psychiatrist."
When had he become touch-worthy? With effort he forced himself to continue the conversation and not sit there sighing like a teenage girl with her first crush.
"I thought you said he was perfect for me?"
"I thought he'd help you with your people issues, not add to them." Tucker's sexy mouth turned down and his voice held an angry edge. "If I knew he was going to make you feel like crap I would've gotten rid of him."
"Things like that are why my assistant thinks you're a hit man."