Broad chest . . . promising . . . and strong arms . . . especially forearms . . . definitely worth a try.
Farley loved to see a man's forearms proportional to his biceps. Too many guys, in his opinion, overpumped the biceps and neglected their forearms.
But this cutie had the arms of a Greek statue, from his manly hands all the way up to his broad shoulders.
And his tan contrasted invitingly against his wife-beater, doubtless the result of a healthy dose of sun exposure—not a tanning bed or, God forbid, a self-tanning cream.
Did he, Farley Stevens—a thirty-year-old graphic designer who did his due penance sweating at the gym for an hour three times a week, yet who had still spent way too much time sitting in front of his computer—did he really stand a chance with this hunky frat boy inside the trendy clothing store on Tryon Street in Charlotte?
Farley looked at his own reflection in the shop window—his tight, bubblegum pink T-shirt hinted at a torso not as buff as the guy's in the store but still well sculpted. And his low-rise jeans definitely flattered his slender hips and long legs.
Take a chance on the stud on the other side of the glass.
But what if he's straight?
Farley scrutinized his prey, searching for clues that could reveal his sexual orientation.
The guy must've been trying on the plaid button-down shirt swaying in his left hand. Finding either the color or the size unsuitable, he'd left the fitting-room in his undershirt, apparently to discuss the problem with the shop girl. There he stood, gesticulating in an attempt to communicate his needs, unwittingly displaying his great physique to passers-by on the street.
Farley'd been heading toward an advertising agency a few buildings down. He intended to drop off his résumé and portfolio there in the feeble hope of landing a job. He prayed the position was still vacant.
Then, he caught a flash of bare biceps in his peripheral vision—and had no choice but to stop and admire the view.
A tidal wave of lust submerged him from the depths of his groin up to his throat.
He hadn't gotten laid in almost three months—ever since Chad, his ex, had decided he needed some space and moved out of their San Francisco apartment . . . only to move in, as Farley later found out, with Paolo, their Brazilian hairstylist.
Farley's heart broke, his self-esteem crashed, and, consequently, his libido tanked.
That he ended up fired three weeks later did not boost his sex-drive either, nor did the stress of the long and fruitless job hunt that ensued.
So, after having pissed through his savings on luxuries like food, clothing, and the roof over his head, he succumbed to circumstances and returned to the Queen City, the hometown he had left behind twelve years before.
He'd been in Charlotte for two weeks already, and while there were no clear prospects on the job front—yet—the way he now salivated over a random hot guy indicated that his life was getting back to normal, at least in certain aspects.
I have to get in there and give this hunk a try!
Maybe I'd luck out.
What's there to lose, anyway?
The guy in the store touched the shop girl's arm and leaned in toward her in a way that left little room for doubt about his true intentions.
On the other hand, I might get a knuckle sandwich.
Farley jerked and turned away from the window.
He felt somewhat embarrassed, as if he'd been caught in the act. He squinted into the late August sun, trying to link the voice to the face.
No . . . it can't be.
A tall, dark-haired man wearing a striped tie and a pair of shades stood before him. The street shimmered in the heat, so, for a second, the fellow seemed to shimmer as well.
The stranger removed his sunglasses and smiled.
Farley's heart skipped a beat. "Brock? Brock Pearson?" The name sounded alien on his lips after so many years.
"In the flesh." Brock extended his hand. "And you're the very last of my high school buddies I expected to see around here."
Buddies? That's a new way of describing the way we were. Farley cautiously accepted the offered handshake. "I'm surprised you still remember me." Considering you hardly knew I was alive back then.
"Of course, I remember you." Brock flashed a charming grin, a well-remembered trademark. "I'm still not old enough for Alzheimer's."
© Dickey Roebuck and Austen Duane
Passion under the Poplars
Author: Dickey Roebuck and Austen Duane
Publisher: Noble Publishing
Genre: Contemporary GLBT
Heartbroken because his boyfriend dumped him for their Brazilian hairdresser, defeated because he got fired due to the recession, and desperate because his savings melted far sooner than he expected, Farley Stevens has no other option but to leave San Francisco and return to his Bible Belt hometown. The future seems bleak.
But then he accidentally meets his unrequited first love—a former quarterback who never acknowledged his existence back in high school. Can anything in his life remain the same after this chance reunion?