People come to me because I fix things.
Broken taillights, faulty dishwashers, you name it. There are very few things I can’t make brand-new again. If it’s broken, malfunctioning, or just in need of a hand, it lands in my lap. That’s how Trey ended up in front of me, an unexpected stranger in my kitchen.
Only, he’s not broken.
Far from it. He’s gentle, creative, compassionate, and bright, all wrapped up in this timid, cagey package of blond curls and shy smiles. He’s been dealt a bad hand, running from someone that hurt him more than just physically, and he needs my help. My protection.
But Trey is different from every other guy.
He makes me feel things I don’t quite comprehend. Things I didn’t know were buried inside. No matter how hard I try to keep them quiet, I can’t ignore the way his attention quickens my heartbeat or how his soft eyes and even softer lips stir up desires I’ve never had before, and now that he’s this close to me, I’m not letting anything or anyone take him away.
“I don’t know how to get out of my head,” I manage to say. “I feel…trapped up here.”
“I don’t know either,” he replies. “But we’ll figure it out, alright? We’ll make sure you can have fun while you’re working on yourself. And if you need something, just come to me. I’ve heard I’m a pretty good helper.”
He grimaces. “I’m not sweet. I’m just mildly fucking decent to people that I—” Parker closes his mouth and looks away.
“People that you…”
“That I care about.”
The way that statement makes my whole body glow with warmth reminds me of when I was younger, when I brushed hands with the boy I liked. I can’t even remember his name anymore, but when we’d pass notes to each other during class, his fingers stroked mine and sent my heart spiraling, caught in a tornado just for him.
“Oh, you care about me, huh?” I ask, grinning. “A lot?”
“Not a lot, no,” he grunts. He rolls his eyes. “I just don’t want you to get hurt. Or be hurt. Or hurt yourself by being an asshole to yourself. And if I can help you, I’m going to. Because I care about you. But in the normal way. Stop fucking smiling at me like that, Trey.”