Hi guys, we have K.C. Wells popping in today with her new release Step by Step, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so check out the post and click that giveaway link! ❤ ~Pixie~
Step by Step
Jamie’s life is one big financial mess, and it really isn’t his fault. However, the last thing he expected to find in the library was a Good Samaritan. He might have been suspicious of Guy’s motives at first, but it soon becomes apparent that his savior is a good man who has been lucky in life and is looking to pay it forward. Guy being gay is not a problem. Jamie’s not interested… or so he thinks.
Guy is happy to help Jamie, and the two men get along fine. But when Jamie’s curiosity leads him from one thing to another, Guy finds himself looking at the younger man with new eyes. What started out as a hand up is now something completely different….
TODAY CANNOT get any worse.
As an afterthought, Jamie Stevens cast a mental eye heavenward. You wouldn’t do that to me, right?
Whatever plans God had in mind for Jamie, he wasn’t sharing.
“Jamie, you listening to me?”
He resisted the urge to resort to sarcasm. It always went over Dad’s head anyway. “Yeah, still here, still listening.” Not that he was going to hear anything new.
“I just said, sorry, kid, you’re gonna have to suck it up and get a job.”
“A job?” Jamie was close to yelling into his phone, and only the fact that he was in the library put a brake on his mouth. Do they ever listen to a word I tell them? Jamie clenched his fist, closed his eyes, and counted to five. Slowly. “Dad, I already work three jobs.”
Scrap that. I worked three. Jamie was still angry about the phone call he’d gotten that morning, informing him that his services would no longer be required. Looks like I need to find another one.
Dad snorted. “Then you should be rolling in dough. Why d’you need to ask for money if you have three jobs?”
Jamie told himself for the millionth time that it wasn’t Dad’s fault. Neither of his parents had been to college, and they seemed to have no clue how much it cost to get a decent education in modern-day America. But he knew that wasn’t it. Dad’s mind was on other things.
Divorcing Mom was pretty high up on the list.
As if to prove a point, his dad’s voice softened. “Look, Jamie, you know what’s going on. The lawyers are robbing me blind. If I’d known it was gonna cost this much to become a free man again, I might have reconsidered and stuck it out.”
Yeah, like that was going to happen. Jamie had lived through four years of his parents’ hell: arguing, name-calling, slamming doors, and bitter recriminations, with each of them laying the blame for the breakup solidly on the other’s doorstep. He was amazed it had taken that long for Dad to move out.
Jamie sighed heavily into the phone. “Yeah, I know.” This was going nowhere. “I’m sorry I disturbed you at work. I’ll let you get back to it.”
“Hey, wait a minute.”
Jamie paused, about to disconnect the call. “What?”
“If you were in trouble, you’d tell me, wouldn’t you?”
He caught the genuine note of concern in Dad’s voice, and just for a second, Jamie weakened. Tell him. Tell him you’re about to be kicked out of your dingy little studio apartment because you’re three months behind in the rent. Tell him you can’t afford to pay for next semester’s tuition. Tell him you’re in a mess.
Before he could respond, his dad gave a quiet laugh. “Yeah, of course you would. You’re a smart kid. Smarter than your old man, that’s for sure. You’re in college, for Christ’s sake.” Dad’s voice changed, and the note of pride that rang out was enough to make Jamie clam up. “I don’t tell you often enough how damn proud I am of you. Me and your mom. Our Jamie, a lawyer.”
“I’m not a lawyer yet, Dad,” Jamie reminded him. And right now it’s looking like I never will be. “Speaking of which, I’d better get back to my studies.” He had to get off the phone before he broke.
“Yeah, sure. I’ll talk to you this weekend. You gonna come by the house?”
“Sure,” Jamie replied despondently. He knew when the weekend came, he’d make some excuse. The last thing he wanted to do was sit on his dad’s couch and listen to his latest tirade about how the fucking divorce lawyer was shafting him, how Mom was making things difficult for him, et cetera, et cetera.
He said his good-byes and disconnected the call. He was about to pocket the phone when it warbled the arrival of a text. Jamie stared at the message in disbelief.
Time’s up. I’ve got a new tenant. You have until Sunday night to move out. Leave your keys on the coffee table. And you still owe me three months’ rent. I’ll be in touch to work out how you’re gonna pay that.
Jamie’s gut clenched and cold sweat popped out on his brow. This isn’t happening. He wanted to forget he was twenty years old, put his head in his hands, and bawl his eyes out. Right then he felt like some little kid learning to swim who’d been flung into the deep end and couldn’t keep his head above water.
Jamie was about to go under.
He leaned forward and put his head on his arms, his breath fogging the varnished surface of the table.
No wonder God had kept quiet. This latest bombshell was enough to break him.
Jamie closed his eyes and fought hard to hold back the tears, reminding himself that adults didn’t cry, and certainly not in the middle of the public library.
Except in that moment, he wasn’t an adult. He was a frightened little boy who needed a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a lifeline to cling to.
When a quiet cough pierced the silence, Jamie wanted to growl. No one had better fucking tell me I’m behaving inappropriately. He raised his chin, his mood defiant, ready to tear someone a new asshole.
Facing him in a chair across the table was an older guy, maybe in his late thirties. Brown hair, warm brown eyes, beard. A barrel chest, black shirt open at the neck, black leather jacket, unfastened. The guy was watching him, his expression neutral.
Jamie wasn’t about to sit there and be the focus of some stranger’s attention. He hoisted himself upright and grabbed his phone and backpack.
“Excuse me.” The stranger’s voice was deep, rich.
Jamie said nothing, but returned his stare.
Leather Jacket Guy studied him. “You look like you’re having a really bad day.”
It was on the tip of Jamie’s tongue: Ya think? Geez, mister, you have no fucking clue. Not that he’d have dared. His mom had brought him up better than that. “Something like that,” he muttered.
“Look, I know it’s none of my business, and you’d be quite within your rights to tell me to take a flying leap, but… I’m just about to go and grab a coffee. Maybe you’d like one? Or tea, juice, water, whatever.” The guy smiled. “It might help to talk about it to a complete stranger. Get it off your chest.”
Jamie stared at him. What the fuck?
There was that smile again. “I’m not even sure why I’m offering. Believe me, this is not something I do, go around inviting guys out for coffee. It just seems to me like you need to talk. I’m offering to listen. That’s all.”
Jamie was vacillating. A coffee sounded good right then, something with flavor and a rich aroma. But going with some strange guy who asked him out of the blue? He tried to figure out what his gut was telling him, but that was no use: his insides were still in turmoil after that last text.
Out of habit, Jamie went to his default. He went to the eyes.
He’d always told his classmates that the way to know if someone was a secret homicidal ax-wielding maniac was to look in their eyes. Windows to the soul, and all that. The way Jamie figured it, one couldn’t hide maniacal tendencies. Something like that was bound to reveal itself in the eyes. Of course, he knew it was all bullshit. Having never met a secret homicidal ax-wielding maniac—that he knew of, at any rate—he had no idea if his theory was valid.
So what if it was pure bullshit? It was Jamie’s bullshit.
Leather Jacket Guy’s eyes were warm. More than that, they appeared sincere. And there was something else, a flicker of recognition, as if the man knew what Jamie was going through.
It was enough.
Jamie nodded slowly. “Okay. Coffee sounds good right now.”
The guy beamed. “Excellent.” He got up from his chair and walked around to where Jamie stood, his hand extended. “The name’s Guy.”
Jamie shook it. “Jamie.”
Guy gestured toward the door. “Shall we go?”
Jamie nodded and followed Guy from the room, his thoughts a mess.
What the hell am I doing?
He didn’t have a clue, but in his present emotional state, it had to be better than sitting in the library feeling sorry for himself.
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….
K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….
Where to find K.C. Wells: