Stevie Caruthers was a retail clerk during the day and a rent boy at night. Of the two jobs, he preferred rent boy, even though it was riskier. He liked the control he had, no boss to answer to, there was more money and honestly, he didn’t figure he deserved anything better. Thanks to a douchebag father and his multitude of girlfriends…that thought Stevie was fair game, no matter that he was gay.
He would say he missed his mother, but he didn’t remember her since she’d died when he was still an infant. That’s when every form of abuse there was became Stevie’s world. Did he let it break him? No. Did he have pride in what he did? Not really. He was ordered around like a servant during the day, and he sold his body on a nightly basis. But then, that was all he had of value.
It wasn’t until a nice looking, very kind yet persistent man came along that things began to change. Stevie started itching for something more, something meaningful. And just when he thought he had it, he learned a hard lesson in trust. He should have known better. And he paid the price for his stupidity. But the itch didn’t go away, instead it grew stronger. Therein lie the dilemma, Stevie wanted more, but would never trust again. He was sure he’d never find a man to scratch the itch that persisted.
Duncan Stark was smitten with a co-worker. Ah hell, he was in love. But Stevie seemed a very complicated guy. Too complicated for Duncan’s simple life. It was easy to see that Stevie held secrets. Bad secrets from what Duncan witnessed. He’d seen bruises on Duncan and the man was habitually tired. He wondered if Stevie was ill and ached to help him. But Stevie never let anyone close. Ever.
Duncan figured the best he could do was try and be a friend. He kept things light, just being there if Stevie needed anything. He never did, but Duncan couldn’t make himself give up. He weathered Stevie’s aggressive, withdrawn personality, hoping to work his way through the walls that Stevie had built around his heart. It wasn’t going to be easy, especially after Stevie quit working at their store.
With some huge misgivings, Duncan went searching for Stevie. What he found confirmed his guess that Stevie was full of secrets. But it didn’t deter Duncan from his goal. For that matter, it made him even more determined to work his way into Stevie’s life. Why he thought he could attempt such a thing, he didn’t know. He just knew Stevie was worth the effort.
But Stevie sure didn’t make it easy and the hurt he inflicted on Duncan was slowly wearing him down. But he couldn’t give up! Maybe that was the problem. Stevie drove everyone away, none sticking in there to prove to Stevie that there were still good, caring people in the world. Well, Duncan would prove it, and then, just maybe, Stevie would learn to trust him and his love.