Read Nobody's son Online

Authors: Shae Connor

Nobody's son (page 4)

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Which went a long way toward explaining why Con’s kisses had his head spinning.

Jesus.Shaun blew out a breath and rolled onto his side. Lying awake half the night trying to sort out his sexuality wasn’t going to do anyone any good. Though he guessed it beat obsessing over whether Willis Erwin was his father.

And now he was wide-awake, dammit.

Shaun reached for his phone and clicked to light the screen. 5:42 a.m. He didn’t need to be to work until ten, but his brain didn’t even have the courtesy to let him sleep more than four hours.

He sighed and sat up. He could still use his old student ID to access the gym on campus, though he rarely took advantage. He’d drive into town, work out until the endorphins cleared his mind, and then head on out to work.

Where he’d probably see Con, taking him back to square one, but it beat lying in his bed and staring at the dark.

Chapter SIX

 

 

TWO CUPSof coffee and a Diet Coke hadn’t driven away the aftereffects of Shaun’s sleepless night. He yawned as he clicked to print out the weekly report he’d put together for Jimmy. It was his main task on Thursdays: compiling a list of reservations and revenues from the previous week, along with the bookings for the week ahead. With Labor Day weekend coming up, they were sold out through Tuesday, and Shaun had already checked in three cabins that morning.

“Hey there, hot stuff.”

Shaun smiled as Jimmy sauntered up to the counter. There was no other word for it: he walked with his hips rolling like a runway model, or a guy who’d found all the secrets to life. Considering how everything had fallen into place for him with his personal life and the resort, the latter probably wasn’t far from the truth.

“Morning.” Shaun nodded toward the printer. “Just finishing up the reports.”

“Awesome.” Jimmy leaned against the counter. “So I wanted to talk to you about something.”

That rarely meant good things, coming from a boss. “Sure,” Shaun said, cautious. “What’s up?”

“Well, most of this you already know.” Jimmy smiled. “You might have noticed I’ve fallen in love. Two times over.”

Shaun laughed. “Yeah, I heard a rumor.”

Jimmy winked, then sobered. “I’m getting back into law too. And with this place staying pretty busy, something’s got to give or I won’t have enough time to keep all these plates spinning.” He lifted an eyebrow. “What would you say if I told you I want to promote you to manager?”

Shock shot through Shaun. “Seriously?” That had to be the last thing he expected. He’d only been there a few months.

“Seriously.” Jimmy shrugged. “You already practically run things around here. We’d just be making it official and matching up your pay to your responsibilities.” He tilted his head. “There’s one catch. I’d need you to stay overnight on the property sometimes. Mostly on the weekends. But one of the things I need to be able to do is spend more time in the city, and someone will need to stay on-site.”

Shaun nodded. “That’d be okay, I guess. What about when we’re booked up, though? I’d need a place to stay.”

“That’s the other part of it,” Jimmy replied. “We want to build another bungalow. My place is just too small for three, and the way it’s laid out, expanding it isn’t really an option. So we’d build a new one.” He waved in the general direction of the driveway leading out to the main road. “The property runs far enough to the side of the entrance that we can set it back in the trees a little. Make it more private. And then—” He grinned and pointed toward the side door. “—you can usethisbungalow whenever you need it. All the time, if you want.”

Thoughts tumbled unfettered through Shaun’s mind. “I… I mean, it sounds great,” he said quickly. “I’d probably want to talk about some more specifics first.”

“Of course,” Jimmy agreed. “I’m actually all organized about this. You’d be proud! I have an offer letter that spells out everything, and it’s totally negotiable.” He straightened up. “I’ll bring it out, and you can take your time looking it over.” He lifted a finger. “Don’t go anywhere!”

He disappeared around the corner toward the office he shared with Cory and Mikey, and Shaun drew in a breath and blew it out slowly.Wow.Three months on the job and the boss was ready to promote him? How often did that happen?

Granted, the offer had as much to do with Jimmy and his needs as Shaun and his abilities. But either way, the offer was there.

Thoughts tumbled over themselves in Shaun’s head until he couldn’t make heads or tails of them. He gave himself a mental shake.Wait to see the offer. Get the facts first.

He knew one thing, though: if he took the job, he wouldn’t be able to hide the specifics from his gran forever.Lord, what if she wants to come see my office?The idea left Shaun half amused, half horrified.

Jimmy returned then, and Shaun did his best to shove his thoughts down deep as Jimmy handed him two neatly typed sheets of paper. “Read it over, think about it, and let me know your decision.” Jimmy crossed his arms on the countertop. “No great rush, but… can you let me know in two weeks? If you decide against it, I’m gonna have to hire some more help.”

Shaun nodded. “Will do.” He smiled. “Boss.”

Jimmy laughed. “Okay, well, this is a bad segue, but we’re having two pool parties Saturday night. Both decks going full force. You can take your pick—I’m not about to tell an employee he’s gotta get naked when that ain’t part of the deal. But I do want you to come.” He raised a hand. “Totally separate from the job offer. Promise.”

Shaun believed that, but…. “Can’t. Got a long drive home and a long drive back Sunday morning.”

Jimmy snorted. “Bring a bag. You can stay over.”

Shaun spared him a glance. “We’re booked up. Have been for weeks.”

“Nope. Cabin two will be available.”

Shaun gave Jimmy a longer look and a raised an eyebrow. “You know something I don’t?”

Jimmy laughed. “It’s Cory’s matchmaking at work. He got Taylor to come out for Xavier, and holyshiznits, did they ever hit it off. They’ve been holed up in Xavier’s cabin for, like, six hours already. Hell, I don’t know if we’ll be able to pry them apart enough to get them to come out for the party. We might have to add a room-service amenity just for them.” He grinned. “We already cover the safe-sex supplies.”

Shaun didn’t deal with cleaning or setting up the cabins, except in emergencies, but he’d seen the boxes of condoms and lube in the closet behind the office, right beside the stacks of fresh white towels and sheets. Jimmy had mentioned once being thankful that he still had friends in the adult entertainment industry who were happy to send him freebies for the promotional boost.

Shaun pretended to ponder the idea. “Well, you could always make pancakes for breakfast,” he drawled out. “For forty. Early every morning.”

Jimmy recoiled in mock horror. “We would servebrunch, not breakfast. And every gay man worth his balls knows that brunch isneverproperly served before eleven o’clock in the morning.”

Shaking with suppressed laughter, Shaun held up a hand. “All right, you got me there. So pancakes—”

“And mimosas!”

“—which means a liquor license too. So brunch, for forty, at eleven every day. Delivered to the cabins.”

Jimmy let out a dramatic sigh. “Okay, okay. No room service. But maybe food service….” He glared at Shaun. “And stop trying to distract me. Pool party. Saturday night. Bring your teeny-tiniest trunks.”

The teeny-tiniest trunks Shaun owned would look like a bedsheet compared to what the resort’s guests usually wore to the pool—when they wore anything at all. But Shaun rolled his eyes and gave up. “All right, you win.” He had to grin when Jimmy let out a whoop like he’d hit a giant jackpot instead of just talked Shaun into coming to party full of hot half-naked men.

An image flashed across Shaun’s mind of Con, wet and wearing next to nothing, and a shiver ran down his spine.

Jimmy laughed. “Oh, I know that look. Yeah, there’ll be plenty of eye candy to be had. And unlike most places, you can touch all you want. In fact, it’s encouraged.”

He winked, and Shaun laughed even as his face warmed, glad that he didn’t have to worry about a blush showing up.

Jimmy pushed off the desk. “Back to the grind with me. Taking the weekend off except for handling the guests, so I wanna finish up the paperwork. Oh!” He held out one hand, curling his fingers in a classic grabby-hands motion. “You said you had reports?”

“Sure do.” Shaun pulled the stack of papers off the printer and checked quickly to make sure everything was there before holding them out. “That should be it. Let me know if anything looks off, and I’ll run them again.”

“Super.” Jimmy tapped the papers on the desk. “See you later, alligator!” He pointed a finger. “Now you gotta say it back.”

Shaun fought another eye roll as he complied. “After a while, crocodile.”

Jimmy was still laughing as he headed back down the hallway, but so was Shaun. He tended to do a heck of a lot of that when his boss was around.

The phone rang, and he managed to compose himself enough to answer.

 

 

DANCE MUSICwafted across the grounds in Shaun’s direction as he left his cabin and started toward the office building. Actually, he could hear the same song coming from two directions with a slight delay between them. Apparently Jimmy had set things up so the parties, while separated by a few hundred feet and a dress code, would feel like one big event.

Shaun tried to ignore his nerves. He knew no one at this pool would be fully nude, though he was sure plenty of skin would be on display. But he’d have friends there. Jimmy had said Cory and Mikey would likely stay there because they preferred to keep their nudity between the three of them. Jimmy would check on the clothing-optional crowd at the other pool off and on but probably keep his own suit in place.

But Con would be there too.

Shaun’s stomach clenched at the thought. What was it about Con Brooks that made him feel like a teenager with his first crush? He was almost twenty-five freaking years old, and here he was, mouth dry and palms sweaty at the prospect of seeing Con away from the job. And that was before he even figured in the way his pulse reacted to the thought of Con in a pair of skimpy swim trunks.

Shaking his head at himself, Shaun pulled open the gate and stepped into the pool area. The music was much louder now, but not quite at the deafening level he’d expected. Though considering he could still hear the echo of the sound coming from the other pool, he guessed the ear-searing levels were paired up with the lack of clothing.

Then he laughed when he realized the song playing was “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off.” He couldn’t remember the singer, but he knew it was from the ’80s or something, which meant Cory must’ve gotten his hands on the playlist.

“Hey there, hot stuff!”

Shaun turned to his right as Jimmy bounded up, clad in nothing more than a little slip of bright pink Spandex. For a second Shaun thought Jimmy was going to grab him up in a hug, and he didn’t know what he’d do in response, but that didn’t happen. Jimmy just gave him a quick up-and-down and nodded his approval.

“Nice. Glad you could do better than the typical frat-boy baggies.”

Shaun glanced down at his own attire: athletic slides left over from his dorm days, a snug white tank, and a pair of navy blue, square-cut trunks. No way was he going out in public in a Speedo like Jimmy’s, but the night before, when he’d pulled out his trunks from a few years earlier and realized how worn out they were, he’d bitten the bullet and stopped on the way to work to pick up something smaller and tighter than usual. He had a good body, so he might as well show it off a little, right?

“You look… wow.”

The deep voice came from his left, and Shaun took in a breath before turning to face Con. Con’s swimsuit was similar in style to Shaun’s, in deep green, but Shaun hardly registered that. Not when he was faced with what seemed like acres of warm, dark flesh. A tattoo in black ink wrapped around one shoulder, like a mirage next to Con’s rich, dark brown skin, but Shaun didn’t linger to study the design. Not with so much to look at. He ran his gaze all the way down to Con’s bare feet and back up to meet his gaze.

“Glad you could make it.” Con crooked a half smile, and Shaun felt it deep in his gut.

“Me too,” he murmured in reply, but before either of them could say anything else, the music changed, and Cory let out a whoop.

“All right, everybody in the pool!” he yelled. “It’s about to start rainin’ men!”

Shaun didn’t remember who sang this one either, but it didn’t matter. Con grabbed his hand and started toward the water, and everything faded except the feel of that big, warm hand wrapped around his.

Until he realized Con was headeddirectlyfor the water, and apparently planned to take Shaun right in with him.

“Wait, wait, I—”

Too late. With a tug and a belly laugh, Con pulled him over the edge and into the pool. Shaun had time for just one gulp of air before the water closed over his head.

Instinctively, he threw his arms out, searching for the edge that couldn’t be too far away. His fingers hit a wall, and he grabbed on, intending to pull himself up, but the wall moved, and he almost let go before he realized it was a person’s shoulder. He gave one good push, and his head popped up above the surface. He gasped and coughed, and then Con was there, hands on his upper arms, holding him steady.

“Easy, now.” Con’s voice was equal parts concern and guilt. “Sorry about that. Didn’t realize I’d caught you off guard that much.”

“…can’t swim.” Shaun choked out the words before he could stop them, and Con’s grip tightened.

“It’s all right,” Con murmured. “I’ve got you. Here.” Con turned, taking Shaun with him. “See if you can stand up here.”

Shaun’s toes brushed the bottom of the pool, and in another moment, he had his feet under him. He couldn’t look Con in the eye.Yeah, I’m a big fucking stereotype, the black guy who can’t swim.

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