SynopsisPhil Mitchell pours his heart and soul into his job as manager of Speedy Mart, a local convenience store. He loves his work and he loves his fellow employees, but when it comes to his personal life, Phil is lonely and depressed and still pining for his long-departed ex.
He embarks upon the week from hell where anything that can go wrong does. It begins with a truck crashing into his outdoor sign and only goes downhill from there.
Add an asshole homophobic boss hell bent on seeing him fired and Phil realizes he needs to put into place a plan to save himself and his job.
First step in his plan… do something about his love life.
Meanwhile, Ezra, one of Phil's team members, is dealing with his own roller coaster ride of a week.
As is Brandon, the local cop…
And Mark, the homophobic boss…
Perhaps, with a little… luck, the next week will be better.
After nearly three hours’ preparation, Phil stood in front of the full-length mirror sporting the exact same set of clothes he’d first tried on. An enormous mound of shirts and slacks lay behind him in a disheveled heap atop his bed.
He straightened his posture and sucked in his tiny belly. He checked his hair and teeth; then he turned around, trying to crane his neck far enough to scope out the reflection of his ass in the jeans.
He sniffed his wrist, concerned he’d used too much cologne... or not enough. Should he wear a necklace? A single gold chain. No, silver. No, none at all.
Sneakers, dress shoes, Dockers?
Oh fuck, he would hyperventilate if he didn’t quit. He eased back onto the mattress as he glanced over to the digital clock. 7:42. Humberto would be here in less than twenty minutes.
He took a deep, cleansing breath, then stared his reflection directly in the eye. “You look okay,” he said with confidence. “Not drop-dead gorgeous, but... I don’t know, attractive in a nerdy sort of way, maybe?
Anyway, you look fine, and you should be thankful a guy like Humberto even....
“No, wait.” He shook his head. “You look good. Damn good. Jesus Christ, how many thirty-five-year-olds can boast they still have a thirty-inch waist? And you still have a youthful face, and you have beautiful eyes. Humberto should be proud!”
In spite of himself, he giggled, then waved his hand dismissively.
“Nah. I didn’t buy it either, but it was worth a try.”
He stood back up and re-hung each of the clothing items in his closet. He then selected a pair of casual, slip-on shoes and walked down the hall to his living room. He picked up his cell phone, which he’d plugged in earlier to charge, and double-checked his messages to make sure Humberto hadn’t called and cancelled.
It was already 8:02 and he hadn’t yet arrived. Perhaps Humberto would stand him up, maybe as payback for Phil having blown him off on Tuesday. Phil could already feel the deflation, the crushing embarrassment. He’d allowed himself to get so excited, hyped up for his big date—his first time out with another man in over four years. Wouldn’t that just be the perfect ending of a perfectly miserable week?
As he slumped into a chair in his living room, feeling depressed and defeated, he heard a vehicle pull into his drive. Leaping to his feet, he rushed over to the front window in time to catch his sexy suitor climbing out of his truck. Phil’s heart stopped. Humberto wore sleek black slacks that fit him like a glove. His silky red button-up dress shirt remained partially concealed by a black leather vest. Not even a hint of construction worker/handyman strode up that sidewalk to Phil’s front door. Immediately Phil realized how absurd this whole idea really was. He wanted to dash back into his bedroom and quickly change into something dressier.
No, he really didn’t own anything that could compete with the likes of Humberto. He stepped over to the front door and steeled himself, holding his breath, until the booming sound of Humberto’s knock restarted his heartbeat.
“Humberto,” Phil pulled the door open and gave his date an apologetic look. “I guess I should have....” As he took in the sight in front of him, he couldn’t finish his sentence.
Humberto smiled. “Mmm,” he said, nodding his head. “Muy guapo.”
He had to be joking. He’d just complimented Phil, saying he was very good-looking. Phil laughed and shook his head. “Look who’s talking.” Phil stepped back to allow Humberto entry, and he moved confidently into Phil’s personal space. He inhaled the nutty scent of Humberto’s manly cologne, and a warmth spread across Phil’s chest.
When Humberto leaned in and kissed him softly yet squarely on the lips, Phil felt as if he’d swoon. He grabbed hold of the man’s biceps, steadying himself, and Humberto responded by intensifying the kiss. He slid his arms around Phil and pulled him in as he tilted his head slightly to the side and delivered a tiny bit of tongue. Phil received him and responded in kind.
His cock shot to full mast.
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About the authorJEFF ERNO began writing LGBT fiction in the late 1990s. Although an avid reader and amateur writer from a very young age, Jeff pursued a career as a retail store manager in Northern Michigan. When his first gay-themed novel was published, he was shocked that anyone would even want to read it. So far, he's published over thirty novels. Jeff lives in Southern Michigan, where he works part time at a convenience store.
Jeff's writing credits include a variety of themes and sub-genres including male romance, Young Adult, Science Fiction, erotica, and BDSM. He is the winner of a 2012 Rainbow Award and an Honorable Mention in 2011. His style is unpretentious and focused upon emotionally-driven, character-based stories that touch the heart. Jeff is especially passionate about young adult literature and combating teen bullying and youth suicide.