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Obvious (The Finn Factor #9.5)
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How do you ask a guy out on a date with your foot in your mouth?
Matthew Finn is about to find out. He’s got a crush and a prickly pickle problem, but with a little help from his growing family, he might just be able to convince Oliver “Legs” Garcia that he’s his Mr. Right.
*This is a super short free read in the world of The Finn Factor series
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“So what’s the story on Legs McGee?”
Matthew made the question sound like an afterthought, idle curiosity meant to fill a lull in conversation instead of something he’d been patiently waiting to ask for the last hour.
He’d officially gone ’round the bend. Why else would he choose to spend a Friday night at his brother’s boxing gym, eating cold ham off a paper plate and working up the courage to approach a man he didn’t know? He wasn’t the obsessive type and, the last time he’d checked, he wasn’t into guys. But the slender fitness demon on his second set of come-hither squats had been taking up his attention for days. And he was definitely a man.
If he’d had any doubts on that score, the clinging nylon shorts that were threatening to Free Willy at any moment would have been confirmation enough. They were a menace, those shorts, and the same pair he’d worn a week ago when Matthew stopped in to harass his older brother, William, and see how preparations for the grand opening were shaping up.
“Whose legs are we talking about?” Rory asked. “Are we swapping sex stories now? Because that would make this a party and you know I’m down for that.”
He winked at Matthew before handing a napkin to Robert Wayne, William’s brother-in-law and the man Matthew needed to grill for information. The three of them were set up on stools around the front desk, plates heaped with baby potatoes, glazed ham, homemade rolls and leftover lasagna.
Matthew had learned that there was always lasagna at their family gatherings. The wife of one of his cousins, Tasha Finn, had a particular fondness for it. His family had recently quadrupled in size, so these little details were necessary to keep everything straight in his head.
The blond, blue-eyed Rory had dressed for comfort instead of a party in an old pair of scrub bottoms and an oversized superhero t-shirt, while Robert gave off a young Denzel circa The Pelican Brief vibe with his white shirt, rolled up sleeves, and a snug pair of slacks.
He still looked like a salesman instead of the manager of a boxing club, but William assured him that would change once the man relaxed.
Robert finished chewing his ham before trying to speak. “I think Matthew’s talking about Mr. Impatient, the guy who managed to wrangle a membership out of William before my ads were even put in the paper.”
Finally. “That’s the one.”
“I’m not sure what his story is, but it must be a good one,” Robert said. “The grand opening isn’t for another six days, but he’s come in every day for the last two weeks and stays for hours, which means I stay for hours, even when the workers aren’t around.”
Those workers were the reason Matthew hadn’t noticed Legs right away that first day. He’d been watching them install new lighting and pondering over how far his brother had come from backroom brawls for cash and debt collection, when the leggy man throwing wild punches at the recently installed heavy bag finally registered on his radar.
For Matthew, the earth may as well have flipped on its side. In the short time it had taken William to run upstairs to his apartment and grab the latest sonogram of his unborn son, everything had changed.
He’d made the appropriate sounds of praise over the snapshot of his nearly-baked nephew—who from that angle honestly looked like an alien hybrid with dimples—and left far sooner than he’d planned in an act of blatant self-preservation.
It wasn’t every day a man was hit by that kind of lightning. The “Surprise! You like peen!” type of thunderbolt. It would’ve been unusual if he hadn’t needed a moment to recuperate and take stock of himself.
Surprisingly, his dark night of the soul had lasted less than twenty-four-hours. A possible record in the family as far as orientation epiphanies went, but then Matthew had never been one to procrastinate or deny the facts. His desire was a fact.
So he’d come back the next day, and each day after that. William believed Matthew was working up to asking for a lesson or two in the fine art of bare-knuckle boxing from his big brother.
He didn’t have the heart to tell him he was wrong.
Bronte, Matthew’s sister-in-law, believed he wanted a closer relationship with her husband after the last few years of strained distance.
There was some truth in that, but that was why he was back in town full time, not why he’d been hanging around their property like some right creepy stalker.
Matthew hadn’t told either of them the truth. That the last four days of rushing from his boring IT job to Finn’s Ring was solely about staring at a half-naked stranger while he sorted through his new desires, and letting his curiosity about the man who’d caused it grow into a full-on obsession.