Read Nobody's son Online

Authors: Shae Connor

Nobody's son (page 2)

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“And I’d sure rather not find out.” Con gave him one last big smile as he headed around the front of the desk toward the hallway. “See you in a bit!”

Shaun was still smiling as he turned back to the computer. He ran through a few of the screens, making sure everything still worked fine, marveling again at how quickly everything loaded. Jimmy passed through shortly after Con left, and Shaun had to laugh at the eager look on the older man’s face as he headed out to meet up with his boyfriends.

With nothing else pressing to do, Shaun started clicking around aimlessly online, halfheartedly reading through some news stories. His mind wandered back to the texts from the night before. He was no closer to figuring out what to do about them. Text back? Call? If only he knew something about the man other than his name….

Oh. Wait.

Resisting the urge to smack himself in the forehead like a V8 ad, Shaun clicked over to Google. He typed in “Willis Erwin Atlanta” and hit Search.

And blinked at the screen in disbelief.

Willis Erwin, it appeared, owned a car lot in Union City, on the southwest side of Atlanta, selling “pre-owned and classic cars,” but that wasn’t what brought Shaun up short. It was the picture of Erwin that appeared near the top of the search results.

Assuming this was the same Willis Erwin—and it wasn’t a particularly common name—the man who claimed to be Shaun’s father was white.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Shaun nearly jumped out of his skin at Con’s words.

“Hey, hey, didn’t mean to startle you.” Con leaned against the edge of the counter a couple of feet away. “Just headed out to get some extra cables I forgot. Everything okay?”

Shaun’s mouth opened, and words came out without his agreement. “What would you do if you found out your real father was white?”

Con straightened, and his gaze flicked to the computer screen that still showed the Google search results. “What’s going on?”

Shaun wished he could pull his words out of the air, but they were there now, so he might as well tell the rest of it. He turned toward Con. “I never knew my father. Mom got pregnant young, and it was always just us and my grandparents, and then….”

He cleared his throat, which was trying to close up on him.God, would it ever get easier?“Grandpop died when I was ten, and then Mama….” He forced the words out. “Mama was a cop. Killed in the line when I was almost fourteen. After that it was just me and Gran.”

He swallowed hard and nodded to the screen. “Then this guy texted me last night and said he’s my father.”

Con stepped closer and leaned toward the screen, then reached for the mouse and clicked on the link to bring up the car lot’s website. It loaded with Erwin’s smiling face in the corner, looking for all the world like the slick used-car salesman he apparently was.

“You sure this is him?”

Shaun let out a hollow laugh. “My father? Not a clue. And even if he is, I’ve got no idea if that was really him who texted me. He said he got the number from a private eye.”

Con turned his head toward Shaun and lifted an eyebrow. “The plot thickens.”

Shaun rolled his eyes, but the line and the silly look on Con’s face had the result Con obviously intended of lifting Shaun’s mood. “Yeah, well, I’ve had enough plot in my life already, thanks.” He turned back toward the computer and reached for the mouse. “Wonder if there’s an owner bio or something on here….”

He clicked on the site’s “about us” page, but it wasn’t much help. “Opened ten years ago, family business, honesty and integrity, blah blah blah.” He shook his head. “Nothing personal about him.” He looked up at Con. “How are your hacking skills?”

“Leet,” Con replied, using the computer-geek shorthand for “elite.” “Have you considered talking to the guy? Maybe he’s a crackpot or just wrong, and his story will fall apart.”

“Or maybe he’s not, and it won’t, and….” Shaun couldn’t bring himself to finish the thought.My whole life’s been a lieseemed overly dramatic, but then, finding out you’d been wrong all those years about something as fundamental as your racial background would be no small thing.

“Hey.” Con leaned down far enough to put himself into Shaun’s line of sight. “If it’s the truth, then you’ll figure out how to deal with it. If not, it doesn’t matter. Right?”

Shaun half shrugged, half nodded. “I guess so.”

Con opened his mouth to say more, but the door to the pool area flew open, and Cory came in, holding the door open for Jimmy and Mikey. Mikey’s face was flushed, his eyes were at half-mast, and the towel tied around his waist didn’t do much to camouflage his boner. Jimmy had one arm wrapped around Mikey, probably helping keep him upright, and though he couldn’t quite tell from this angle, Shaun would bet Jimmy had a hand somewhere under the towel, keeping Mikey raring to go.

“Don’t mind us,” Cory said through a shit-eating grin as he let the door fall closed behind them. “Just passin’ through.”

Mikey’s face flushed deeper, but Jimmy kept him moving, and the strange-yet-hot little procession was across the lobby and out the side door in a matter of seconds. Shaun knew he shouldn’t stare, but he couldn’t tear his gaze away.

“They sure don’t waste any time, do they?” Con’s low voice sounded like he’d swallowed gravel. “Don’t that just make you wanna go watch the show?”

Shaun’s face heated, and he bet if he had Mikey’s pale skin, he’d have been bright pink with embarrassment—and not a little arousal. He cleared his throat. “I….”

Con stepped in front of him, and whatever he was going to say was lost to the heat in Con’s eyes. “Have you ever done that?”

“Done what?” Shaun croaked out.

“Watched.” Con was close enough Shaun could feel his body heat. “I don’t mean just porn. In person.”

Shaun had watched his fair share of porn over the years, but he’d never even considered watching people have sex live. He couldn’t manage the words to say that, though. Not through the sensual haze that surrounded them. He just shook his head.

“It’s something to see.” The smooth silk of Con’s voice washed over Shaun like a physical touch. “People so into each other that you can feel it. Touching. Kissing. Especially when it’s real, like with them, and not just a show.”

Shaun’s gaze flicked up from where it had been fixed on Con’s Adam’s apple to meet Con’s gaze. “You’ve been to a live sex show?”

Con chuckled. “You could say that.”

He lifted an eyebrow, and it wasn’t until that moment that Shaun remembered the offhand remark Jimmy had made. Con was an old friend, yes, but Jimmy had also said they “used to work together.”

“You did porn.”

It wasn’t a question, and Con knew it. He took a half step back. “Yes,” he replied. “For a little over a year, when I was in college.” He tilted his head. “Is that a problem?”

“I….” Shaun tried to consider it, but he didn’t know if his answer would be influenced by Con still standing so close, keeping Shaun’s body on high alert.

He hesitated a moment too long. Con stepped farther back, his expression shuttering. “Well,” he said roughly, “I hope you’ll be okay working with me. I can tell Jimmy if it’s a problem.”

“No!” Shaun reached out automatically, grabbing Con’s arm to pull him back. Caught off guard, Con stumbled, catching himself with both hands on either side of the desk behind Shaun. His body pressed along Shaun’s, and Shaun gasped at the feel of him, long and hard—andlong and hard.

“Jesus Christ,” Con murmured, and then his mouth was on Shaun’s.

Shaun groaned deep in his throat and opened his mouth wide to accommodate Con’s questing tongue. His fingers dug into Con’s shoulders, where they’d somehow landed, and when Con rubbed against him, Shaun rubbed right back.

Time ceased to exist, until the phone ringing yanked Shaun back to reality. He tore himself away from Con, gasping for air.

“JesusChrist,” Con repeated, but he moved away and wiped a hand over his face. Shaun forced himself to turn and take a deep breath before picking up the phone.

“Oasis Resort, this is Shaun. How may I help you?”

He was amazed at how normal his voice sounded, but even as he listened to the caller’s question about availability and pulled up the reservations system on the new computer, a part of his mind kept replaying that kiss over and over like a looping video clip. His lips burned, and his body throbbed, but by the time he got off the phone, he’d gotten himself under control.

He still didn’t know what to do about it, though. Except that he was supposed to beworking, dammit, not making out with someone who, no matter how attractive, was still a virtual stranger.

When he hung up the phone, after booking a new reservation, he turned to find himself alone behind the desk. He’d been focused so fully on the phone call—necessary to keep his thoughts in check—that he hadn’t even noticed Con leave again.

Disappointment warred with relief. A word of some kind would’ve been nice after that unexpected kiss, but any kind of interaction would’ve run the risk of another. And another.

Becausedamn, the man could kiss.

Shaun shook himself out of that train of thought before he got sucked back down the rabbit hole.And thinking about sucking is not helping, he scolded himself. He turned back to the computer and clicked out of the reservations screen—only to be confronted by the smiling face of his maybe-father.

Blowing out a sigh, Shaun closed the browser window and moved away from the computer entirely. He usually waited until Monday to file the weekend’s paperwork, but something mind-numbing was exactly what he needed right then.

 

 

SHAUN DIDN’Tsee Con, Jimmy, or the others again until near the end of his shift. He heard the bumps and noises Con had warned about, but other than two couples who checked in midafternoon, he hadn’t seen a soul.

At five until four, he was about to call Jimmy’s cell phone to make sure he’d be there to cover the desk when the side door opened and Jimmy himself bustled in.

“Sorry, almost didn’t make it!” he exclaimed as he hurried over to the desk. “I’ve got Phillip coming in for some extra hours, but he can’t make it up until around six tonight. The boys will have to carry on without me until then.”

Jimmy gave his usual irrepressible grin, and Shaun couldn’t help noticing the bright purple marks on either side of his neck. His hair was damp around the edges, so he’d clearly showered before he emerged, and Shaun bet if he hadn’t, he would’ve smelled of sex and sweat.

“No worries.” Shaun stepped back and waved toward the desk. “It’s all yours. The computer is pretty awesome, gotta say.”

“Yay!” Jimmy lifted his fists and shimmied his hips. “Con should have the rest of the networking stuff set up pretty soon, and then he’ll get to work on the security system.”

Shaun picked up his backpack. “What’s with the security stuff, anyway? We’re kind of in the middle of nowhere. Not a lot of crime.”

“It’s mostly just insurance,” Jimmy replied. “Medical emergencies or a fire or something like that. This far out, getting an ambulance or fire truck can take a while. He’s gonna set it up with direct connections, so all we have to do is flip a switch or push a button.”

“Cool.” Shaun nodded. “Nice to have a friend who can do all that.”

“Always good to know people in high places!” Jimmy winked. “You get on out of here now. I know you have a long drive home.”

And a lot to think about.Shaun nodded. “See you in the morning.”

“Ugh.” Jimmy sighed. “Don’t remind me. Next life, I’m only taking jobs that start after noon.”

Shaun chuckled and shook his head as he headed for the door. Jimmy whined about having to get up early, but he wouldn’t actually make an appearance in the office on Monday until around ten, like he had that morning. The only days he came in earlier were Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when Shaun was off, and that was only if he had early checkouts. With his living quarters right next door to the office and the slower pace of business during the week, he’d hang up a sign with his cell phone number and have people call if they needed help.

For Shaun, the one big downside of the job was the commute. He should probably look into moving somewhere closer—Commerce was only about twenty minutes away—but he liked his basement space, and he liked being able to keep an eye on his gran. Not that he let that part slip to the fiercely independent Sherry Rogers.

His concession a couple of times a week was to take the train. Shaun had been carrying on a love-hate relationship with MARTA since high school. The Atlanta transit system had a station just blocks from the house and could get him to a lot of places in town in a hurry. It had been handy for the commute in college, but MARTA couldn’t get him to work. The farthest station out was still a good thirty minutes from the resort, and that was without traffic. But driving from the west side of the city could take nearly two hours during rush hour, so he compromised. He drove to the Doraville station at the end of the northeast line, left his car in overnight parking, and rode the train home. In the morning, he’d ride back and drive to work from there. It didn’t always save a lot of time, but it saved hassle, and he could read or nap or just zone out during the train ride.

He went with zoning out today. He leaned his head against the window and stared out over the city, watching high-rises and graffiti and blankets of kudzu pass by until the train hit the tunnels through the center of the city. The car was jam-packed by the time it reached Five Points, the system’s center station, but boarding at the far end of the line meant Shaun had a seat for the whole ride.

The car gradually emptied again, until only a dozen people remained when the train pulled in to East Point station, just two stops from the southern end of the line at the airport. Shaun shouldered his backpack and exited onto the platform, making his way out the gates and down the street toward home.

It was five thirty by the time he got to the house, and he knew his gran would be getting ready to go back to church for the evening service. She used to cook a big meal after the morning service, but since Shaun started working weekends, she’d taken to going to a local restaurant with some of her church friends most weeks. There’d probably be leftovers from the day before in the refrigerator, though. She never had been able to adjust to cooking for just one or two.

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