A Never Just Friends Novel, 3
LEON When I’m looking for a hook up, I want three things: Big, thick, and rough. So it doesn’t make sense that I can't get my new hire out of my head. He's a tiny guy with big ideas ... and he's my apprentice which means he's completely off limits. But he’s already under my skin. And for the first time with any guy, I don’t think I can hold my own against him. Physically, yes. Emotionally, no. Auggie makes me weak.
AUGGIE Growing up, I always wanted to go into the family business and follow in Dad’s footsteps. Until in my senior year of high school when he told me to find a new dream. No one would let a small, clumsy guy like me on a construction site. And after trying and failing for years, I was starting to believe him. Then LJ Constructions calls me for an interview and when I meet Leon, he becomes my new dream. He's hot as hell, self made, and instead of putting me down, he sees what I’ve always seen in myself. But I’m not dumb enough to throw away this one chance at my dream job, not even for him. Not even if I really, really want to.
Auggie flags down the bartender as I slide into the free stool and turn my attention to the man sitting next to me. He’s all big eyes and flushed cheeks, and when he turns his overeager attention back on me, I immediately soften toward him.
“You okay after today?” I find myself asking. I’d been prepared to ignore what happened, but I genuinely want to know.
His stare drops to the bar top. “Yeah, just one of those things, right?”
My bullshit sensors are in overload again. “Right.”
“Besides, plenty more fish in the sea …”
“I think that refers to dating.”
“Don’t see why it can’t apply here.”
Okay, he’s got me there. “True.”
When the drinks arrive, he nudges mine toward me and props his chin in his hand. “Did I stain your floor?”
“Nah. Nothing a little sanding won’t fix. Seriously, don’t worry about it.”
He watches me for a moment. “Since I’ll probably never see you again after tonight, can I tell you something?”
“I’m a total screwup,” he says on a sigh. “That’s why Dad won’t hire me and why I don’t have any references. The few places who have hired me haven’t kept me around for long, and none of them are anyone I want a potential employer talking to.”
“I kinda got the, ah, clumsy impression.”
“What could have given you that idea?” His tone is flat, even as he looks mortified.
I can’t help it—I start to laugh. “Is that how all your interviews go?”
“Only the good ones.”
For some reason, the disappointment on his face melts away. “I know, feel sorry for me.”
“Nah, something tells me you’ll be okay.”
“Well, you were literally my last hope, so I’ll have to be okay doing something else with my life.”
“Oh yeah, like what?”
“Maybe I’ll take up sculpting. And be a, umm, sculp…tist?”
“I think they’re called artists.”
I snort. “I don’t know. But you should probably figure it out before you print business cards.”
“I guess it’s back to the drawing board.”
I sip my drink quietly for a moment. “What do you want in a job?”
“Something physical, or at least varied. My attention span is way too short for sitting at a desk all day. Preferably outdoors.”
“What about … fisherman?”
“As well as clumsy, I’m exceptionally uncoordinated. Next!”
“Umm … miner? Logger?”
“You’re terrible at this.”
“Remind me which of us has a job.” I keep my voice kind so I don’t bring him down again.
Auggie orders two shots, and I’m not about to turn down free Jäger. We both throw them back, and I watch Auggie cringe through his.
“It’s no use. At this point, I should cut my losses and go into porn.”
I choke on my drink because that’s the last thing I was expecting an innocent-looking guy like Auggie to say. His eyes are starting to look a bit glassy and unfocused though, so I guess the alcohol is talking. “There’s a market for everything, I suppose.”
“Hey!” He gives me a little nudge. “I’ll have you know I’m quite confident in what I have.”
And even if Auggie isn’t my type, I’m red-blooded enough to recognize he’s sexy as hell in a twink kinda way. “Send me your OnlyFans and I’ll show my support.”
“Why?” He leans a little closer and wets his pink bottom lip. “I could give you a free show tonight.”
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Saxon James is an author from Australia who's obsessed with writing queer characters. She has a range of books from YA to adult and they all have one thing in common: swoony, sweet love.
When not writing, Saxon exists on a diet of coffee and chocolate while putting her KU subscription to the test.
Connect with Saxon: Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pg/thesaxonjames/ Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/saxonssweethearts/ Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/saxon-james Amazon: www.amazon.com/Saxon-James/e/B082TP7BR7 Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/19404191.Saxon_James Instagram: www.instagram.com/saxonjameswrites/