When I Say When
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Published: Oct 03, 2012
ISBN # 9781623800000
Available in: Epub, Mobipocket (.mobi), Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)
Instead of trying to find a date, Jordan makes an appointment with a prostitute—something he’s never done before—and his companion turns out to be his high school crush, Gabe! Panic would ruin everything, including the chance at something real that Jordan suddenly craves.
JORDAN sat in his dark Mercedes and stared at the building across the street. It was an ordinary neighborhood; the houses were farther apart from each other than they were in the neighborhood he had grown up in, but otherwise it was just the same. The trees were the same, framing the street here and there, the picket fences and the hawthorn bushes lining yards.
He wondered idly if he should just leave. Drive away and not get out of the car as he should in—he checked his watch—three minutes, if he meant to be on time. The e-mail had said to be on time or not come at all.
Jordan’s cell phone rang from the passenger’s seat, and he picked it up hastily, as if someone might hear it and notice him there in the dark. Without looking, he slid his finger across the screen and lifted the phone to his ear.
“Yes?” he snapped, nervous as hell.
“Boss?” Jordan’s personal assistant, Kyle, sounded taken aback.
“Shit. Sorry, Kyle. What is it?” Jordan did his best to muster his professional demeanor. This was work, he tried to remind himself.
“Uh… I just, I forgot to ask if you wanted the Jensen files on your desk on Monday morning?” When Jordan didn’t answer immediately, Kyle hastily added, “I thought it wasn’t too late to call you to make sure, since you don’t open your e-mail during the weekends….” The young man was rambling, nervous, and for good reason, because Jordan had made it clear he didn’t want to be disturbed after he left work.
God, Jordan was an asshole and he knew it.
“No, Kyle. It’s okay.” He sighed a little and forced his voice into a gentler register. “And yes, I do want them on Monday. Thank you for calling.” His gaze moved to the clock on the dash, and he winced. “Shit, I’m almost late. I need to go now. Have a good weekend, Kyle.”
“You too, boss—” He disconnected the call before Kyle could say something else.
For a guy with a multi-million-dollar publishing business he had built from the ground up, calmly facing the accompanying setbacks and disasters, Jordan was a mess right now. If he was completely honest, he’d never thought he’d be doing this. Sure, he was as busy as hell and couldn’t bother trying to fit some fuck buddy into his irregular-at-best schedule, but this was extreme.
It wasn’t even just that, really. He was too hung up on an idea he’d had since he was sixteen. He’d crushed hard, then. Too hard for his age. A shrink he’d seen some years ago had told him the experience had scarred him. Well, the crush and the attempts at relationships afterward. Nothing worked, and Jordan had done what he was good at: worked like crazy during the weeks, hardly left the office to sleep, and didn’t bother with sex. It had worked, really, until his doctor had told him he needed to take weekends off—completely off—if he wanted to live to forty.
Sad and pathetic, really. His few friends had tried to hook him up on blind dates, but he didn’t want that stress on top of what he already had. Clubs… those weren’t his thing, and he didn’t have time for hobbies or going to other places where he might meet someone. Besides, if he was honest, nobody would measure up to the only partially imaginary ideal man in his head.
And all of that was why he was there, gathering the courage to take this impossibly stupid leap to have something other than work. He left his cell in the car—another instruction that had been clear in the e-mail—and exited the vehicle. Locking the doors, he looked once in each direction before crossing the street to the ordinary-looking house. He’d never have known it was the right place, if there hadn’t been the number “225” painted on the mailbox.
His nerves were jittery, his palms were sweating, and he was wondering what the hell he was doing as he walked up the path to the front door. At thirty-three, he was far from a young and inexperienced man, but this was something he’d never done. He’d never gone to a prostitute before.
He hated the fact that his hand shook when he reached out to press the doorbell. Jordan pulled the hand to his stomach, made a fist, and wrapped his other hand around it to stop the trembling.
Steps approached the door from the other side, and as soon as it flung open, a deep voice said, “You’re two minutes la—”
The man stopped speaking and stared at Jordan with his mouth hanging open. After a couple of seconds, Jordan’s scrambling mind tossed him back fifteen years, half of his life, more or less.