If there is one thing Dustin is good at, it’s putting up a false front. While his friends and coworkers think he’s easy going, happy and flirtatious, inside, he’s really scarred, sad and self-conscious. After being in a destructive relationship that left him hurt in more ways than one, Dustin never really recovered and is determined to never trust anyone again. So he resolves to lose himself in his job as a paramedic while he continues to hide his true self.
Pontiac City Firefighter, Vaughn finds himself immediately attracted to Dustin the moment he spots the paramedic at the annual EMS Neighborhood Beautification event. Dustin is everything Vaughn likes in a man, cute, smart and sexy. Every time he tries to get close, however, Dustin pushes him away. Undaunted, Vaughn decides that Dustin is just playing hard to get and vows that he’ll get the other man in his bed if it’s the last thing he does.
When Vaughn learns the secret pain Dustin has been hiding, he realizes that everything may not be as it seems with the other man. Will Vaughn be able to convince Dustin to give love another chance or will the paramedic forever be lost to the horrors of his past?
“So, since we already have so much in common, how about you let me take you out to dinner?” Vaughn suggested.
All the humor fled Dustin’s face as his gaze once more assessed Vaughn. Only this time it was the way prey would size up a predator rather than the checking-you-out look of interest. Vaughn wanted to curse in frustration. More than that, he wanted to find Dustin’s old boyfriend and pound on the guy for scarring Dustin so much that he couldn’t even accept a date without feeling threatened.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to,” Dustin hedged. “I’ve been working a lot lately, so it’s hard for me to get any time off.”
“Then how about you let me buy you a drink? You are going to the after party tonight, aren’t you?”
Vaughn realized he was probably coming off a bit needy, but at that point, he’d have done anything to get Dustin to agree to spend more time with him. He felt certain, that once Dustin got to know him a little better, he’d come to realize that Vaughn was nothing like his ex.
When Dustin continued to hesitate, Vaughn reached out and gently pried the sucker from his fingers. Bringing it up to Dustin’s lips, he lightly fanned the sweet over his mouth. At first, Dustin stiffened. Vaughn didn’t take offense. He’d come to realize that he’d have to become a master in patience as far as Dustin was concerned. So he just continued to rub the sucker along Dustin’s lips and waited for the other man to relax.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the tension ebbed from Dustin’s body. The uncertainty left those baby blues and what may have been the softest of whimpers came from Dustin’s parted mouth. Then just as Vaughn was about to give up on the game, Dustin stuck his tongue out to lick the candy.
Encouraged by Dustin’s reaction, Vaughn decided to take things up a notch. He made a quiet tsking sound as he pulled the sucker just out of reach. Just as he’d hoped for, Dustin followed, his mouth open in anticipation.
Desire shot through Vaughn, making him briefly weak in the knees. Just like some heroine in one of his mom’s old romance novels. He couldn’t help his reaction, though, because damn if he could ever remember seeing something so sexy and hot. All of the innocence that Dustin gave off only made things better.