I’d seen the cute guy with the big blue eyes and the cropped blonde hair way before he spotted me. He was chatting to another guy, about fifteen or sixteen years older than him maybe – who looked really quite similar now that I came to think about it. Maybe they were related... or not... Whatever. I didn’t care about him being related to the guy – I was just kind of fascinated with him. He was very attractive. He was of medium height and build – not too big, not too small. Perfect, a little voice in the back of my mind piped up.
The excitement in my stomach as he headed away from the older guy and approached the bar was hard to contain. I had to speak to him. I had to...
I blurted out the first thing I could thing of – which thankfully was actually appropriate to the situation. I offered to buy him a drink but he wasn’t exactly what you’d call approachable. He looked at me suspiciously and told me in no uncertain terms that he really wasn’t interested. But I didn’t believe him. A flicker of interest in his eyes belied his words – I know because I couldn’t tear my eyes away from his. Azure blue... incredible...
Still, it was time to tread carefully, “Jeez, I was just...”
He snapped something about me wanting a freebie, which was a bit weird since I’d offered him a drink and I looking at him in confusion. What the hell was he on about?
He sighed and apologised, “I’m sorry.” he said, “Just chat up someone else – someone worth your effort, mate.”
Ahh, A mystery man with a murky past. He thought he was saving me from my bad self... I smiled, “That’s what I was doing.” I said.
And now he looked panicked but his eyes were still gazing at me with longing. And I felt that pull. It really was love at first sight... This was the one I’d been looking for my whole life. Someone who needed me as much as I needed him. It was like magic...
Of course when magic comes along in your life – it’s laced with a little of the black magic too – and he sure as hell had his very own evil wizard in his life – his cousin, Lenny Roblinski. I’d heard of the Roblinskis and the McCarthys come to that – but I had no idea that the beautiful guy sitting at the bar was the younger brother of the guy who’d been shot here a couple of years ago until he started talking to me.
“Hang on a minute,” I frowned at him as I took a sip of my cocktail through the fancy straw, “your cousin is Lenny Roblinski?” Hell. That guy had been suspected of being involved – albeit allegedly – with Lionel Hessey and his associates. Sadly the cops had never been able to get anything concrete on him but it was widely known that he was – again, allegedly – a pimp...
He shrugged and nodded, “Someone’s gotta be related to him,” he muttered, “Guess I just got really unlucky.”
I nodded, “And your brother was...?”
He raised his massive blue eyes to mine and nodded again, “Yeah.” He said, “Callum McCarthy. We weren’t really what you’d call close – what with him only having a relationship with heroin and crystal meth in the end but he was still a buffer...” he shrugged. His face had gone very red. Clearly thinking he’d said too much he changed the subject, “So, what do you do?”
I smiled shyly at him. I really wasn’t one for talking about myself. I’d always kind of thought that I had nothing to tell anyone worth listening to, “Well, I live up at Northcote farm on the east side.
He nodded, “Oh, yeah.” He said, “I know the place.”
I rolled my eyes, “Mum wants me to take over the running of the place when she retires...” But I wanted more... I wanted to go places. Travel the world, get my degree in art and be an artist...
Hendrix (I know – who has a name like that? So cool.) looked at me with interest, “Oh, wow.” He murmured, “What sort of farm is it?”
I blinked. What sort of a farm did he think it was? Farms were farms... “Well, you know – we do potatoes and carrots and swedes and beetroots – we supply the markets and we have a couple of lines of the ‘posh’ veg in the supermarket in the town. We don’t have much in the way of livestock. Just a few sheep, goats and chickens. We had to get rid of the dairy herd after dad passed – it was too much work for Mum and I.”
His eyes widened, “Oh, wow.” He breathed, “It still sounds amazing.”
Amazing? It was hard work and pretty damned boring as far as I was concerned. But I guess I’d grown up with it. He was looking at it with fresh eyes – and through a pair of (very heavily tinted) rose-tinted glasses... I shrugged. I didn’t want to dismiss his enthusiasm. My jaded views were down to the fact that I wasn’t exactly living my dream, “Yeah, I guess it’s pretty cool – but getting up at five in the morning soon starts to piss you off.” I grinned. It was no joke getting up that early to go around the farm before heading off to college – and particularly in the winter – it was a killer.
It had been nice when we were kids. My sister was two years older than me and she’d left for university two years ago. She was doing really well and she really didn’t want to come back for anything more than a visit these days, having met the man of her dreams.
Sadly, Dad died a year ago – leaving us financially quite well off – but still with the working farm to manage between me and Mum.
Mum was passionate about the place but I really wasn’t. My passions lay in the beauty of the place. I couldn’t deny that. I could spend hours sitting in the fields, sketching the landscape and watching the birds in the trees and the hedgerows going about their business. The lake was utterly beautiful and I couldn’t deny that it was an idyllic place to grow up but it wasn’t really where I wanted to spend the rest of my life – just me and Mum. I wanted to spread my wings and fly. And meet the man of my dreams... And yet, hello! I think I just had...
He was looking back at me with a little smile on that gorgeous rosebud mouth of his. I really wanted to kiss those beautiful lips. They were so red in his pale face. He was like a model. All golden haired and massive blue eyes. He looked like a doll. “Yeah,” he agreed, “I can see how that could become a little wearing. I’m usually just getting in at that time.”
I chuckled, “Party animal.” I joked.
He sighed and shook his head, “Well, not really.” He muttered, “I’m just trying to survive.”
I frowned, “Want to come back to the farm?” I offered, “I could show you around?” It was lame but hell, what else did I have to offer?
I was convinced he’d tell me to get lost but he didn’t. He nodded his head, “I’d love that.” He said enthusiastically, scrambling off his barstool. “Now?”
His eyes were sparkling and he suddenly looked like a little kid at Christmas. My heart melted, “Sure.” I agreed. I reached for his hand but he snatched it away from me, “Not in here.” He muttered. “I’ll go to the bathroom – you head out and wait for me.”
I blinked, “Oh, okay...”
He nodded and disappeared to the bathroom.
I headed for the doors. Buzz looked at me in surprise, “Going out for a smoke, mate?” he asked.
I shook my head, “Nah, I’m off, mate.”
He raised his eyebrows, “Already?” he asked in surprise. I didn’t usually leave this early even though I was always up at the crack of dawn to start working on the farm.
I shrugged and nodded, “early start tomorrow.” I said.
He nodded, “Yeah, I’ll bet.” He agreed. He knew I lived on a farm. “Say hi to your Mum for me.”
I nodded and grinned. Mum was quite well known around the community. She did farmers markets on the first Saturday of every month in the town square and I helped her out for most of them. Buzz was a regular customer along with his cute little boyfriend and Mum adored the pair of them. She often told me I should look for a guy like Buzz. But there was only one Buzz and he already had his happy ever after...
Well, now I might have found mine – but there were things about my mystery man that I needed to figure out before I allowed myself to fall in love...Ahh, who the hell was I kidding? I was halfway there already.
Pre-Order Now... Release date 24th August 2017