Rags to Riches 6
This is book six in the Rags to Riches series.
A moment in time can be the most pivotal one in our lives.
Kendall VanHooren is happy with his life. He works as a corporate lawyer in his father’s firm and does as he wishes on the weekends. He used to be a partier, but as he’s matured, he’s settled down and figured out that sometimes quiet is a good thing.
George Bowie is working a minimum wage job, which is barely keeping him off the streets most days. He lost his job in the banking crisis and has learned the hard way that pride has no place when it comes to survival.
Dancing barefoot on the beach might seem an odd thing to do, but it brings two men together at just the right moment for their worlds to collide.
The last faint sounds of the wedding reception faded behind Kendall as he made his way from the manicured lawns of the Bellamys’ Hampton estate to the cool, rough sands of the beach. He’d taken his shoes and socks off before rolling up his pant legs. Carrying his shoes, he wandered toward the figure that had caught his attention earlier.
It was a man and he had his arms flung wide while he whirled around in circles. The guy’s face was lifted to the sunlight, soaking the warmth in like a sponge. He smiled as though he had the most wonderful secret and all Kendall had to do was ask, and he’d reveal it to him.
Kendall paused a few feet away from the man, suddenly reluctant to disturb him. He didn’t think he’d made a sound, but the man stopped then faced him before opening his eyes. Biting back a gasp, Kendall stared into the deepest green eyes he’d ever seen. Holy shit! He has the most beautiful eyes ever. He was sure he’d never seen eyes like that on any of the men or women he’d dated.
“Hello,” the stranger said.
“Hi.” He swallowed then cleared his throat. “I didn’t mean to interrupt you.”
“You didn’t. I was just finishing up.” The man stretched, and Kendall’s gaze was drawn to the tanned strip of skin bared as the guy’s ragged T-shirt rose.
“Finishing what?” Then he remembered his manners. “I’m Kendall VanHooren.” He held out his hand.
“Nice to meet you, Kendall. I’m George Bowie.” His grip was strong and his hand callused. “Finishing my meditation for the day. Were you at the party up there?”
Kendall glanced back to where he’d left and nodded. “Yes. One of my friends got married today. The reception is still going on.”
George grinned. “Good for him. Congratulations to him and his bride. I’m sure they make a beautiful couple.”
“Handsome couple, and it would be his husband. Adrien married a wonderful young man named Ion.” Kendall chuckled at the rather surprised expression on George’s face. “Wasn’t expecting that, huh?”
Rubbing his scruffy chin, George pursed his lips in thought then said, “No, I wasn’t, but still… Congratulations are in order, no matter what sex the couple is.”
“True.” Kendall turned to face the water. “It’s peaceful here away from the crowds.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw George study him for a moment before strolling off toward the water’s edge. Kendall followed.
“It is. That’s why I come here every day when I’m in the area and meditate. I love listening to the waves caressing the sand when it’s good weather or pounding it when there’s a storm brewing somewhere.” George stuffed his hands in his sagging cargo shorts as he seemed to contemplate the horizon.
There was a slight unkempt air about him that made Kendall wonder if he were homeless. His dark auburn hair brushed his shoulders in the light fall breeze and a few strands caught on the stubble lining his square jaw. His skin glowed with a healthy tan, telling of the hours he must spend outside.
Kendall brushed his hand over George’s, holding his breath. Without looking at him, George hooked their pinkies together and Kendall relaxed, not realizing just how tense he’d become. Why does it matter that he’s open to something happening? Shouldn’t I be happy he didn’t punch me?
He eased closer until their shoulders touched. Then George encircled Kendall’s waist, pulling him into his side. Kendall rested his head on George’s shoulder, loving the fact that George was about four inches taller than him.
“This is crazy,” he muttered.
“What is?” George nuzzled Kendall’s temple.
“I met you like five minutes ago and we’re already cuddling on the beach. Isn’t that moving too fast?”
He felt George’s shoulder move in a shrug under his head. “I guess you could think that way or you could just go with it. Obviously it was fate for you and me to be on the beach at the same time. I’ve traveled a lot throughout my life and I’ve come to realize that we shouldn’t fight fate. When a moment feels right, we need to grab it with both hands and enjoy the hell out of it.”
Kendall hummed softly while he thought about what George had said. Had he ever done that? Just grabbed a hold of a moment and rode it until it ended? Not caring about the outcome because that wasn’t important. The thing that did matter was how his heart felt while he let fate have its way with his life. He frowned when he realized that sadly, no, he’d never been that kind of brave.