***Love is Love***

Clay is highly skilled but you couldn’t tell it from his dead end job. Then Joseph comes in late one night needing his help and it begins. They realize right away that they are interested in a relationship. What they are not ready for is all the danger and excitement that follows. They stand together, and handle everything that comes their way. As they face the unexpected, they find that as a unit they are strong and their bond is real. They come from different worlds and then there’s the age thing. Maybe their differences aren’t so important after all.     

Not So Different Cover o     

Check it out on Friday. Here’s a little tease…

The man’s eyes were blue and so very different. The outer edges were a blue green and the area near the pupil was lighter. Clay would like to be able to look at them more closely and for a long time. When he heard the man clear his throat, Clay realized how long he’d been doing just that. Uh-oh.

“For shit’s sake? I’ve heard ‘for God’s sake’, for heaven’s sake, for pity’s sake, even For Gom’s Sake, but that’s a book. I’ve got to say I’ve never heard ‘for shit’s sake. ” Clay couldn’t help it. He was a smartass.

“Are you high?” the man asked, looking sternly at Clay.

“Not at all. I’m just a smartass. I’m sorry. Can I help you?”

“I highly doubt it. I have a problem that needs immediate attention from someone who knows what they’re doing. Clearly that isn’t you,” the disdain in the man’s voice did not sit well with Clay.

Maybe not the complete man of his dreams after all. Just because Clay looked, what he liked to call unique, wasn’t any reason for the man to assume that he didn’t know what he was doing.

“I’m going to ignore the ‘clearly’ remark and say just, if you tell me what you need, I could help you,” Clay suggested, mildly. Clay was not one to get angry. Well, it took a lot.

“Son, I…”

“Not.” Clay was firm.

“What?” The man looked taken aback.

“I’m not your son. I mean I never knew my father, or mother for that matter, but I’m certain you’re not him.” Clay could be pretty literal at times, too.

“Of course I’m not. Look, is there a manager around who could help me?” With that the man put two folders on the counter and crossed his arms, uncrossed them, then crossed them again.

“I’m more likely to be able to help you than the manager, sir. This is my specialty and he’s more, uh, generic.” Clay was being diplomatic now. The manager, Richard, was a dipshit, know-nothing asshole.

“Hell! Where is everyone?” The man looked around as if expecting hordes of people to be wandering about at eleven-thirty-something or other.

“It is almost closing time and most people know that. If you would just show me what you need…” Clay left it out there. He thought he was being calm and respectful.

“Look, I don’t think some twink who’s likely to go all flappy hands on me when I’ve got this crisis going on…”

“Flappy hands? A twink? Could you be more condescending, more stereotyping? Maybe you want me to what, be more dramatic? I’m not the type, thank you, though. I’ll ask you again, is there something I can help you with. Sir, I have a degree in Computer Science and Technology from the University of Louisville. I think I’ll be able to figure it out. We only have a few minutes before closing.” Clay didn’t get snippy from hurt feelings very often. He was used to letting things roll off his back but he’d liked this guy’s looks and it hurt that he wasn’t what he’d expected. Wait. Was he doing the same as the other guy? Did he have expectations and now he was upset that they weren’t being met?

He watched the man straighten his back and realized that they were the same height. Clay was five ten and he was able to look right into the man’s gaze, which seemed to be filled with remorse. Clay raised his eyebrows and waited.

“That was uncalled for and I apologize, young man. I don’t even know where that came from and it was very rude, even bordering on harassment.”

Before Clay could tell him that it was fine and he’d heard worse, his manager’s voice slid right into the conversation.

“Harassment? Really, Clay? Rude? You know I can’t have that. I’ve told you before that you barely qualify as professional in appearance, but this is beyond what I’ll accept from you. You will clock out and you may consider yourself fired. Tech Support doesn’t need your type here.” The evil smile on Richard Harrey’s face was clear. The man had wanted to get rid of Clay since he’d gotten the job. Clay knew it was because he was so much smarter than Richard and Richard knew it, too. And it pissed him off something awful.

“I’m sorry, but you misunderstand the situation,” the man said to Richard, surprising Clay. “Clay, here,” he said, pointing to Clay, “is trying to help me with a problem and I’m the one who got a little rude in my frustration. I was apologizing to him. That’s what you heard. We’ve got things well in hand. I know you’re about to close and I’m sure you have more important things to do. You can go along while we get my problem figured out.”

The man seemed much taller in Clay’s eyes as he dismissed Richard as if he were a lackey. Inside Clay was almost having a ‘flappy hands’ moment. He stood as tall as he could as Richard looked at him and mumbled, “Carry on, then.”

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