M/M, Contemporary, Romance
[49 Pages / 15,800 Words]
Kurt Trench and his sister Lena make a good team, running the auto shop they inherited from their dad. Lately Shane Dolan—loyal customer and cheerful gearhead—has been coming by the garage all the time, and Kurt's pretty sure he knows why.
Shane isn't the first guy to hang around mooning over Lena. He is the first she's let stay. The fact that Kurt is drawn to Shane too shouldn't matter. Even if the feeling were mutual, he won't steal Lena's boyfriend. He would never hurt his sister that way.
But watching the two grow close is torture, and Kurt can't seem to rein in his jealous heart.
Read an exclusive flashfic (Shane POV) at Love Bytes Reviews
Kurt admonished himself to announce his presence. Instead he stood and watched, helpless against the flood of images that flared in his mind at the sight of Shane bent forward over the car. Tight denim stretched over the contours of Shane's ass, making it damn near impossible to look away. His rational mind was painfully aware he had no place thinking about Shane Dolan this way; his libido had other opinions. He'd fallen asleep imagining Shane the night before—frantic kisses against the wall of the garage—and even now, in the unguarded light of day, Kurt found himself wondering how Shane would taste.
Like a repeating loop in the back of his head, he imagined what Shane would feel like beneath his large hands, the warmth of bare skin, the strength of sleek muscle straining under him.
Kurt felt like an idiot for not recognizing the depth of his own feelings, when he prided himself on knowing his mind. He'd been interested since the first time Shane Dolan parked in the small lot outside and asked if someone could take a look at his brakes. Plenty of other unobtainable guys had passed through Kurt's sights without troubling him.
But this was no idle attraction twisting in Kurt's gut. This was something new and possessive, a craving that left him clenching his hands at his sides and struggling to steady himself before anyone noticed his distress.
That was the moment Shane straightened and caught Kurt staring. Surprise lit across Shane's face, whether at the intensity of Kurt's attention or simply at Kurt's unexpected proximity, only a few paces from the Mustang's front fender. Kurt braced himself, ready for Shane to take offense. There was nothing subtle in the way Kurt had been gawping.
Instead Shane grinned, either too polite or too oblivious to call him out. Or maybe there was a completely different explanation. For an instant, irrational hope surged beneath Kurt's skin. There was something bright and eager in Shane's expression, and even strongly suspecting the guy was straight, Kurt felt a sudden twinge of certainty he could have Shane anyway.
But he couldn't do it without screwing Lena over, and Kurt wasn't that kind of jerk.
The moment stretched to the edge of awkwardness before Kurt managed to speak, and even then his voice was gruff with all the things he didn't dare say. "For fuck's sake, Lena, stop teaching him things. You give away all our secrets, he'll just fix the damn engine himself instead of paying us."
Shane laughed as Lena straightened, and the skin at the corners of his eyes crinkled. Lena lowered the hood with a loud slam, then turned an unrepentant grin on her brother.
"Don't be like that, man." Shane grabbed for the towel on top of Lena's toolbox, using it to wipe his fingers clean. "I brought donuts."
Kurt forced himself to smile past the rumble of guilty feelings in his chest. "Dolan, what're you even doing here? Ain't you got a job to be at?"
Shane's laugh was louder this time, unrestrained and easy. He handed the towel to Lena. "Nope. I'm flying to the Chicago office for training tomorrow. Got today off for travel prep."
Kurt's voice felt smoother, calmer, when he teased, "They gotta train you to do your own job?"
Lena swatted Kurt with the towel. "He's the trainer, dumbass." There was no actual irritation in her tone. "Gotta teach all those baby account managers what's what."
Yeah, Kurt had actually figured as much. Still, it felt good—pleasant and normal—to catch Shane snickering at the exchange, shaking his head and glancing up at Kurt with an almost sly expression.
"You gonna be gone long?" Kurt asked.
"Nah, just a few days. Can't fathom how you'll manage without me, though."
Lena snorted a short laugh and tossed the towel down on the nearest workbench. "Donuts?" she demanded.
"Right." Shane gestured toward the other end of the bench, where a flat box took up the only empty corner. "Over there. You want chocolate or maple?"
"Both," Lena announced, and followed him away from the car.
Cover design by Yolande Kleinn