Sometimes it hurts to give up a past love to embrace a new one, no matter how good you know it is for you.
Tate has always liked to stick to his living quarters and mind his own business. But when his friend, Zaid, comes to him asking for help to find Walsh, Zaid’s drug-addicted friend, Tate feels like he has no choice but to say yes. They eventually find Walsh—filthy, stinky, emaciated, and at death’s door. Zaid puts him in rehab and hopes for the best.
Six months later, Walsh comes back. Not only has he cleaned up his act, but he has cleaned up his looks. Tate can’t help but be drawn to this new version of Walsh. But he also can’t help but worry that it’s too soon for Walsh to start a new relationship. Will Tate and Walsh find a way to be together? Or are they doomed to forever be apart?
“Walsh, you’re home,” Zaid exclaimed as he ran over and gave the stranger a hug.
Wha!!!! Did Zaid just say Walsh? If so, then Tate should put in an order for a hearing aid. Because there was no way in hell that this hot-as-butter-on-a-skillet guy in front of him could be the same guy they had scooped up from that cockroach-infested home six months ago. That guy had been sadly pathetic. A meek pup. A couple of days away from death. There was no way they could be the same person.
Walsh cocked one brow at Tate. “You look a little shocked. Does my change in appearance throw you off a bit?”
“Yes, it does,” Tate replied. As soon as he said the words, he wanted them back. It was just that he’d been so stunned stupid that he’d blurted out the truth without thinking it through.
Walsh and Zaid laughed, and Tate let out a sigh of relief. At least he hadn’t offended them. He would have felt like the biggest douche bag if he had, and that was the last thing he had wanted to come off as.
“I don’t blame you. I look a lot different when I’m not on drugs and I actually have some weight on me. The last time you saw me, I wasn’t exactly my cleanest, even after that shower I took at my living quarters. I swear I was carrying half of the city of Flint’s grime on my body,” Walsh said.
“Well, you look a lot better now,” Tate replied, scratching the back of his head. He wasn’t sure, but going by the way his face was heating up, he was willing to bet he was blushing.
God, if Finn and Kline could see him now, they would never let him live it down. Tate was not the type to blush and flirt with other men. Usually, he just took what he wanted, and that was that. He didn’t like to come off as cocky, but he knew he was good looking enough to get pretty much any guy he wanted. It was just that he never wanted to keep them after one time. His bedroom was fitted with what was pretty much a revolving door.
“Thank you. Detox was a bitch, and rehab ripped me apart at first, but I’m glad Zaid made me go. He was right—if he hadn’t gotten me out of there, I would have ended up dead within a matter of days. I had hit the wall and didn’t even realize it,” Walsh said.
Behind them, Tate could hear Kline giving the armory hell. Tate hoped he wasn’t too hard on them. After all, it was half the soldiers’ fault for not checking their weapons themselves before they went out to the mission. That had been their first of many blunders for the day.
Walsh gave Tate the once-over. “I have to say, you don’t look half as good as I recall. Of course, I was so high that night I didn’t know my ass from elbow.”
Since Tate wasn’t quite sure if that was a compliment or not, he just said, “Thank you?”
Walsh bit his bottom lip before he said, “Don’t worry. I meant that in a good way.”
Zaid rolled his eyes. “Now I know for sure that you’re feeling better. You’re starting to flirt again.”
“What can I say? I likes what I see.” Walsh gave a predatory smile.