Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they're perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.
Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.
It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.
Holding up the tire pump, Richard said, “If you’re that out of breath, your tires are probably deflated.”
“I’m not out of breath.” He hopped off the pedal and walked the bike a few steps until he stood beside Richard.
“You were when I called.” Richard set the bike pump down and started unfastening the grocery-filled pouches.
“That’s because I was trying to beat my time.”
Fingers working on the straps, Richard glanced up at Todd. “Beat your time?”
“Yeah. Yesterday was my record. Eight minutes.”
“Record for what?”
“How long it takes me to get to your house after work.”
“You clock your ride home?”
“Uh-huh.” Todd bobbed his head. “From here to there too. It’s fun.”
“I’m sure it is.” Richard smiled and shook his head.
One of the things he liked about Todd was his lightheartedness. Todd didn’t take anything too seriously, which was horrible for a relationship commitment, but wonderful in nearly all other aspects of life. He found the simple joy in every situation and his good humor was infectious. Who else would turn a commute to and from work into a playful competition with himself? No matter how stressed or frustrated Richard was after a hard day, being with Todd raised his spirits.
“Here.” Richard handed Todd the pouches. “Take the groceries inside while I check your tires.”
“They’re not flat.” Todd grabbed the bags. “I was just riding fast, I swear.”
Flipping the bike over so the tires faced up, Richard said, “Better safe than sorry.”
“That’s, like, your life mantra or something. I should get it printed on a T-shirt for you.”
“Ha ha.” Richard pulled the tire pressure gauge from his pocket. “I had eggs and milk on the list.” He tilted his head toward the pouches Todd was now holding. “Go put them in the fridge.”
Todd dropped the grin from his face and stiffened his posture. “Yes, sir, Sheriff, sir.” He pivoted around so he faced the house.
“Brat.” Before Richard’s brain caught up with his actions, he lightly smacked Todd’s backside.
The contact was fast and innocent, but it was also familiar and affectionate, and it made Richard’s breath hitch. Todd walked into the house without another word, and Richard stared after him, his body aching with longing for something he couldn’t have.
Have you read Cardeno C. books?
For extra entries share this post using the FaceBook and Twitter buttons below.