Home > Final Stretch (Glen Springs #1)(5)

Final Stretch (Glen Springs #1)(5)
Author: Alison Hendricks

My mind runs wild, thinking of all the things I could do with a man like that—and all the things he could do with me. It's a little surprising, considering my recent catastrophe of a relationship. But while my heart isn't over Jeremy's betrayal, my dick seems more than ready to climb back into that saddle and ride.

I know I should probably discourage it, but I can feel this guy giving me a discreet once-over, too. My body flushes and my muscles tense as I wonder if I look as good to him as he does to me.

Then I remember we're not just two queer dudes meeting at a grocery store. I'm an NFL prodigy with a sex tape circulating all the major porn sites, and my dark sunglasses aren't doing much to conceal me.

But he either hasn't recognized me yet, or he's too nice to say anything.

"That's a lot of kale," he says, gesturing to my cart.

I laugh like an idiot and toss the dressing he rescued in without really caring what it is.

"Still growing."

The stranger just arches a brow, his gaze flicking ever-so-briefly downward. Enough to make my own jeans tighten in response. I've got a reputation for being a flirt, but this is like a Grindr exchange waiting to happen.

It doesn't escalate, though. He just dips his head in the universal signal for 'have a good one,' gives me another smile, and navigates his own cart around mine.

I watch him go—watch the way his jeans hug tight to every muscle in his sculpted ass—and remind myself I'm here to get away from my scandal, not start a new one.

But if there are other local guys who look like him—guys who aren't immediately falling all over themselves when they realize who I am—I may need to do some discreet cruising.

 

Way-too-arousing encounters in Aisle 1 aside, I actually make it through my shopping trip without incident. I can tell the cashier recognized me. Her eyes got huge when she looked at me over the credit card reader. But she didn't say anything, and seemed validated by the wink I gave her.

I get my $300 worth of food home and stock Jake's fridge and pantry. With hours left before I'm supposed to meet him, I chop up a salad, then go about unpacking. Through it all, my mind drifts back to the man at the grocery store.

If he's a local, there's a good chance I'll see him again. This town is too small for me not to. By the time I'm folding my shirts and putting them into the dresser, my brain's fixated on some clandestine second meeting where I end up on my knees, barely covered by a store display, my lips around his cock.

It doesn't take long before I have to do something about it, and I stroke myself in the shower, letting my fantasies go crazy for the few minutes it takes me to jack it before I cool off and try to get on with my day.

Turns out, anxiety over seeing my brother for the first time in years is a great cure for any lingering horniness. I get ready and head out, but as soon as I hit the highway—the one place that's over 45 in this town—I hear it: The telltale slap of a deflating tire against the road.

"Seriously," I mutter even as I pull off to the shoulder.

It doesn’t take a whole lot of scrutiny to reveal the problem. There's a huge ass roofing nail shoved deep into the tread. I'm not sure when I ran it over, but enough air's leaking out of the hole that I know I have to put the spare on.

I pop the trunk and get everything I need, grumbling a little but still prepared to change it out quickly. I've just gotten the jack underneath the car when I hear a vehicle slowing, tires moving smoothly off the asphalt and onto the gravel-lined shoulder.

I forgot this is the south, where people will actually stop and help if you're stranded on the side of the road.

"Need a hand?" a sorta-familiar voice calls.

I look up and my mouth goes instantly dry as I realize it's the guy from the grocery store. He shuts the door of a truck and strides toward me and I try not to think about the fact that I just jacked it to thoughts of him not an hour ago.

He laughs as he gets closer, the sound as rich and smooth as his voice. "The kale guy. You got your groceries home, right?"

"Yeah," I manage, clearing my throat. "A while ago. Supposed to meet my brother for dinner, but…" I gesture to the tire.

He leans over to get a better look and hisses. "Man, that's rough. You know how to change it out?"

I almost respond on reflex, but something stops me. There’s some wicked part of me that is totally okay with playing the helpless victim in this scenario.

I run with it, because if fate's going to just throw this in my lap, why the hell not?

"My dad taught me, but it's been a while."

And just like that, Mr. Balsamic Vinaigrette crouches down and gets to work. He changes out the tire quickly—too quickly—and I watch him do it with no shame, my gaze falling to those places where his shirt is strained against the muscles in his back and arms.

When he finishes, I decide to go for it.

"Looks like I owe you twice over now," I say with a smile. "Should at least be worth a cup of coffee or something."

He looks a little startled, and for a second I wonder if I'm just totally off in my assumptions. But there's a flicker of heat in his gaze, and he finally nods.

"Uh yeah, sure. Coffee sounds great. Maybe tomorrow?"

He doesn't move for his phone, so I prompt him. "Can I get your number?"

"Right, yeah. It's uh…" He laughs. "Hold on."

He pulls out his phone, an off-brand with a touchscreen, where the one I hand him is a current gen iPhone. The brush of fingers as we trade sends an electrical arc straight through my body.

"I'm Travis, by the way." I enter my number and give the phone back to him, taking mine in exchange.

"Shane," he says.

"I'll give you a call, Shane," I tell him, lifting the old tire so I can stow it in the trunk. "Thanks again."

"Anytime."

He gets back into his truck, but waits for me to pull onto the road. Probably just in case I needed help with anything else. This meeting has mostly fended off my anxiety over seeing Jake, and I'm in pretty good spirits as I get back on the GPS' course.

Then I realize Shane's truck is still following.

Okay. No big deal. It's a two-lane highway, and there's probably a lot of town still this way. It's just a funny coincidence, like the fact that he just happened to be on this road when I had a flat.

As I drive deeper into Glen Springs, though, my heart starts to beat just a little faster. He's still following, despite several places where he could have turned off. My eyes are on my rearview window and I almost miss my turn, two-wheeling it into the parking lot of Gracie’s Place.

Shane's truck pulls in a few moments after.

Fuck. I bang my hands on the steering wheel and let out a growl. Of course it wasn't some weird coincidence. He recognized me at the grocery store and probably followed me. He's not some random, friendly hot guy, just another asshole looking to cash in.

I get out of my car, shutting the door hard. I can see him a few spaces away, an amused smile on his lips. Fuck this guy.

"I appreciate you helping me," I say, cutting him off just as he opens his mouth, "and I'll be happy to sign something or pose for a selfie, but let me be real clear about this: You're not going to be the next guy who gets famous for posting a video of Travis Morrison's ass, so just forget about it."

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