The son of a wealthy business man, Mark Addison is an expert at chess and hiding. Mason Grant labors with his hands in a menial position; he's open about who he is and what he wants in ways that terrify Mark. Their paths shouldn't have crossed, but now that they have...
They came from different backgrounds, yet each adheres to his own version of family duty and responsibility. One would make any sacrifice for his family's well being. For Mason Grant that means leaving school at sixteen and working hard while living as a man of integrity to set an example for his brothers. The other would sacrifice anything to keep his family life calm. If that means hiding who he really is from his high society, narrow-minded parents, then that's what Mark Addison will do. He just wants to run his shop, host a few tournaments, play a few games of chess.
When Mason meets fussy, precise chess tournament director Mark, he isn't expecting much more than a few hours of uncomfortable sleep in his car while his brother plays. One disdainful look from Mark changes that.
The golden brown gaze didn't warm in the slightest under his own admiring regard, but scanned his faded Levis and tight T-shirt with disapproval. Mason half expected to be informed he didn't meet the dress code for the elegant little shop. Instead, Mark Addison looked him over and dismissed him as though he were beneath notice.
Shrugging off the snobbery, Mason slapped his brother on the back. "Go get 'em, kid. Or whatever you guys call it." He hoped to sleep in his car while his brother played, and turned to leave immediately.
He met Addison's eyes again, tried for a smile, but the arrogant host stared right through him. "Students participating in the tournament are to be supervised by adults at all times."
The inflectionless voice grated on his nerves as much as the pronouncement. It wasn't like these were two year olds, for God's sake. It was Chess Club. By virtue of their very geekiness they were mature, well behaved teens.
Too bad such a sexy voice and face belonged to such a prick. Unfortunately for Mason, he couldn't focus on Johnny's progress through the tournament. All he seemed able to focus on was that slim figure moving between the tables, the unconscious grace of the small man's movements, the seductive draw of tightening khaki across his backside as he bent to survey a board or pick up something from the floor.
He scowled as Mark glared at him again, turning and facing resolutely out the window into the parking lot. In the reflection the glass provided, he watched Mark excuse himself from Ainslie, the kid's coach, and head in his direction, a determined expression on his face.
Good. The self-righteous prick had noticed him. Mark stopped right next to him, and they stood staring out into the parking lot together.
"Stop staring at me like that."
Mason snorted, turned to look down at the shorter man. "Like what?"
The older man twitched and licked his lips. Mason stifled the groan that wanted to escape. He shifted restlessly.
"You know. Like...that."
"Like I want to throw you over my shoulder and take you out of here and fuck you? Sorry. Can't do that." Fascinated, he noted the flush on Mark's cheekbones deepen, heard the hitch in his breathing and knew that he'd been right. Chemistry burned between them.
"You..." Mark glanced cautiously around the shop at the kids concentrating so fiercely on their chess games, the proud parents and coaches peering anxiously at their little darlings. Mark stuttered to a stop before starting again. "Not here. We need to talk privately. Meet me behind the shop in ten minutes."