Jake Soames is the quintessential everyman. He survived a wild youth and grew up strong. The only thing missing from his life is that one special guy to tilt his world. A man to walk beside him without playing head games with him.
With nowhere else to go, Memphis Wheeler knocked on the door of a former cellmate and found the refuge he'd been promised. His spirit is wounded, and he needs a place to rest and recover from years of physical abuse. He worries he'll never be able to allow another man to touch him again.
When Jake meets his buddy's houseguest, he's instantly drawn to the shy, retiring younger man. Memphis doesn't say much and seems skittish around him, yet when Jake proposes they participate in a road rally, Memphis agrees to be his navigator. But there's no timed course to traverse to reach the future Jake envisions with Memphis. It'll take patience and understanding to help Memphis to move on from his past and say yes to more than an afternoon together.
* * *
Jake released him. "Maybe you'll let me hold your hand when they can't chaperone, huh?"
He took a step back and finished ripping open the envelope. The man said to divide the money. He took fifty for himself and handed the envelope back to Jake. "And don't argue with me about the split. I don't want to hear it."
"I wouldn't dream of. I think I've crossed a few too many of your boundaries for one afternoon."
So he recognized that, did he? They were both still standing. Jake because his transgressions were minor and himself because…
He liked Jake.
Admitting that was a risk. The sky could fall or something equally nasty occur, but it hadn't happened yet.
"Okay, Jake. Let me tell Logan I'll be home later, and we can go get me a phone and you can buy me something non-alcoholic and fizzy."
Jake side-stepped him and waved his arm. "Logan! I'll have him home before midnight."
Before Memphis could protest, Jake grasped his elbow and pulled him towards the car. Logan took two steps in his direction before Mick stopped him. Memphis waved and smiled, mouthing "it's okay" at the guys.
He was going to have some explaining to do when Jake finally took him home.