Shifting Gears (Crossroads Series Book 2)

By: Riley Hart

CHAPTER ONE



Rod Nelson really wanted to fuck the man browsing the lube aisle.

This wasn’t the first time sexy Brown Eyes had been there. More like the third visit in the last three weeks, and every single one of them he spent in lubrication.

Obviously, he was having a whole lot more sex than Rod was lately, which had him slightly cranky. Who knew that starting his own adult store would keep him so fucking busy?

But then…people liked sex, so it made sense that traffic at the shop stayed steady. Rod liked sex too, hence the whole reason an adult “romance” store worked so well for him. Sure there was always the Internet, and a good chunk of his sales came from there, but he realized a lot of people liked to buy their sex toys in person. There was something special about checking out the product rather than clicking a button. Plus, three quarters of his business came from spontaneous couples who wanted to add a little spice to their night. Drinking helped with that.

He watched as Brown Eyes grabbed a bottle of Easy Ride—apparently his preferred brand—before making his way to the counter. As he approached, Rod straightened from his slouched position over the counter. Don’t hit on customers; don’t hit on customers; don’t hit on customers.

Please let the customer hit on me.

“Will that be all for you today?” Rod asked, as Brown Eyes set his lube on the counter—one bottle a week, just as he’d done before.

In a gravelly voice, the man said, “Yep. Just like always,” and then he winked—fucking winked one of those sexy brown eyes at him. Great. Obviously the guy was a sadist and wanted to torture him.

Brown Eyes glanced at Rod’s nametag and then chuckled. “Rods-N-Ends has a whole new meaning now.”

He’d had the name picked out before he even applied for the loan for his new shop. It was smaller than where he used to work, but this place was his, and that was all he cared about. “I have a good sense of humor. What can I say?”

Brown Eyes nodded. He had long, thick, dark lashes, and equally dark eyes. They were mysterious which sounded like a fucking cliché, he knew, but it was true. He was taller than Rod himself, with lean, hard muscle that didn’t come from the gym. Another cliché, he guessed. But Jesus, the man was pretty in a rough, masculine way that prompted those kinds of clichés.

He shook his head, making the dark brown hair that hung over his forehead move. He looked to be older than Rod was, but only by a few years or so.

“The place is yours, huh?” he asked, and Rod realized he was staring. He’d always had a weakness for pretty, rugged men, and this guy was exactly that.

“Yeah, it’s only been a few months. I used to work about half an hour away from here, but some friends of mine talked me into trying to get a place of my own, and here we are.” He hated to admit Nick and Bryce had been right. In a lot of ways, Rod would have been completely comfortable floating by working for someone else, but he was twenty-five and being a clerk at an adult “romance” shop probably wouldn’t keep him afloat forever. So he’d decided to be a clerk at his own adult shop because that was a whole hell of a lot different.

Rod let his eyes scope out the aisles of the store. There was a couple in the back, but other than them and Brown Eyes, the place was empty. “What about you? What do you do?” he asked.

He held up his hands. They were beat up, but strong hands with veins running the length of them, callouses on the pads of his thick fingers. Looking closer, he noticed what looked like grease around his cuticles. It fit with his faded, slightly low-slung jeans with a hole in one of the knees. He wore a T-Shirt he’d obviously been working in as well. “Some kind of manual labor obviously. Mechanic?”

Brown Eyes smiled. “Yep. Motorcycle.”

“Shut the fuck up!” Rod said and when the other man’s eyes got bigger, he clarified. “No, don’t really shut up. It’s just that my friend, Bryce, is a motorcycle mechanic. It was Bryce and his boyfriend Nick who talked me into this place.” This was too big a coincidence. He glanced around waiting for Bryce to pop up from around a corner laughing his ass off. It was something he’d do—dangle a gorgeous guy with sexy eyes and faded jeans in front of Rod before playing some elaborate joke on him.

“Really?” the man asked. “Small world. If he’s hiring, tell him I’m looking. I moved here about a month back and it’s been a little harder to find work than I thought it would be.”

Jackpot, Rod thought, which probably made him an asshole because the guy was telling him he was out of work and Rod was thinking this could be a way in with him. “You’re going to have to give me your phone number then…you know, so Bryce or I can get ahold of you….” This is where you give me your name and phone number.

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