During the day, Roy Girard works with truckers. It's a macho environment where a man is judged by how tough he is. And everyone knows Roy as one of the toughest.
On his own time Roy helps mentor young people who are LGBT, and cares about them as if they were his own. He's in love with Venetia, a trans woman.
He's careful to keep his nine-to-five completely separate from his private life. He knows his work buddies wouldn't understand. And he doesn't want Venetia exposed to their crude, narrow-minded views. It's his job to protect her.
But when his two worlds collide, he has to make a choice. In trying to protect the woman he loves, he asks for more than she can give. In his need to keep her safe, he risks pushing her out of his life forever.
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Upstairs, she collapsed on the divan, doubts writhing like a tangle of snakes in her brain. Had she been out of line to question him? Had she been too suspicious, even paranoid?
Would he forgive her?
She’d changed into on her nightclothes, the comfy cotton ones decorated with cats, and was just reaching for the Häagen Dazs in her freezer when her phone buzzed.
Roy had texted her. I’m home.
Her fears eased. He’d kept his promise, letting her know he was safe. He was a man of his word. Her kind of man.
Good, she responded. Then, as of their own volition, her fingers tapped I miss you.
She waited, holding her breath. At last an answer came.
Miss u 2.
A few moments later, the phone rang. Her hand trembled as she picked up. “Roy?”
“For God’s sake, do you really think I’m the kind of man who’d pull a shitty play like that?”
“You don’t know the stories I’ve heard. Things that have happened to friends of mine.”
“Forget your friends. Forget the stories. This is me. The man who loves you. You’re the only woman in my life, the only one I want. And fuck! It pisses me off, you thinking I’m some lowdown scumbag who’d cheat on you.”
She caught her breath. The man who loves you. Did he realize what he’d just said?
“I was scared. I had to ask.” Why else would he have been so secretive? But she didn’t want to bring that up now and start the whole argument again.
“So you believe me?”
“And you trust me?”
She gripped the phone, her heart thudding. “Yes, I trust you.”
“So how come I’m here and you’re way the hell over there?” His voice lowered an octave, turned soft and intimate.
Her girl parts tingled, reacting to his sexy rumble. “It’s a problem. I do remember asking you up, though.”
“Huh. And like a real dumb-ass, I blew it, trying to make a point.”
“Well, the invitation’s still good,” she responded in the most mellow, seductive tone she could summon.
“I’m on my way.”