Riley Gold likes things neat. He appreciates order, organization. Sure, he wants to find love but he sticks to the kitchen, loving his life as a chef, where he can carefully measure, time, and control every situation.
Basil Culver grew up alone. An orphan, he got bounced from home to home and learned at a young age to keep people at a distance. Attachment meant eventual agony—when the person unfailingly abandoned him. Better to live every moment, allow for the chaos of the universe, and keep rolling.
When these opposites clash, sparks fly. Can Basil manage to rumple Riley’s carefully tucked sheets?
He looked clean, neat, and somehow dominant all at once.
He was the kind of guy, Basil guessed, who pinned a man against the wall and claimed his lips. Not kissed, claimed.
Painting a cheerful and exceptionally fake smile on his face, he turned back to the class. “So that’s it! Next week, we’ll be making my divine cheesecake. If you want to register, see the front desk. Thanks so much for taking the time to come out tonight and cook with me and remember…. Don’t put aluminum in the microwave unless your goal is a fast fireworks show and a burned-out machine. Have a good night, everyone!”
Wiping down the counter, he waited for the students to finish chatting and leave so he could clean up. Evening classes like this one tended toward groups who knew each other—friends from work, mothers and daughters, husbands with their wives. Which meant they chatted after and sometimes sampled their creations before leaving.
A woman walked up to him, showing him her cake and asking a ton of questions about substitutions. Riley focused on her, answering her questions, but part of him seemed determined to split his attention—part of it zeroed in on Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Eggshell-Friendly.
The woman finally left, winking at him as she went—ah, one of those. Her gaydar was so off. In the time he’d spoken with her, most everyone else had snagged their coats and filtered out.
Except the guy.
As the other man closed the distance, Riley prayed to whatever gods were listening that he wouldn’t babble like a teenage girl at a Bieber concert.