Manny To The Rescue: Gay Romance, page 1
Manny To The Rescue: Gay Romance
By Trina Solet
Copyright © 2014 by Trina Solet
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, locales or actual events is entirely coincidental.
All sexual activity takes place between persons eighteen years of age or older.
This novel contains material intended for mature readers.
Cover image is only for illustrative purposes. Any person depicted is a model.
Manny To The Rescue
The alarm never woke him any more, not since he moved in with his mom to help take care of his nieces. For the last two years, Owen Wakefield had been jolted awake by the sounds of something getting dropped or knocked down, the sounds of laughing or arguing, or like this morning, the sounds of tiny, running feet. The feet kept going back and forth, back and forth until he couldn't take it any more.
Owen threw off the covers. After a quick visit to the bathroom, he grabbed his phone and walked out into the hallway. Maggie was there, holding two stuffed bears straight out in front of her and running up and down the hallway outside his bedroom door.
"What explains this?" Owen asked her.
"They're racing," Maggie said of the bears and just kept going.
"Let me know who wins," Owen told her and went in search of Connie.
Maggie, who was blond like her mother, had turned four over the summer. Connie was six with auburn hair and dark eyes just like her dad and Uncle Owen. Connie was the ringleader, the troublemaker, the evil mastermind. Going into the kitchen, Owen found her making a Fruit Loops necklace. OK, so she wasn't living up to her reputation at the moment other than for the Fruit Loops spilled on the kitchen table and a few on the floor. Owen kissed her cheek and asked her what was going on.
"I'm making the winning necklace for the bear who wins the race," Connie explained.
"And how long is Maggie supposed to run out there?" Owen wanted to know though he wasn't worried that she was disturbing her grandmother. She was probably already up and doing last minute packing.
"Till someone wins," Connie said.
"We might need to declare a tie at some point. We are taking your grandma to the airport in a couple of hours," Owen reminded her.
"I know," Connie said. Her face turned gloomy.
Owen knew she and Maggie were going to miss their grandmother. Looking through the kitchen door, he saw Mom's suitcases already by the front door.
"Don't use up all the cereal for that necklace," Owen told Connie as he got the coffee going.
After giving the girls breakfast, Owen had gotten dressed and was checking work emails. There was a problem with a sale of a townhouse. The closing was supposed to be next week. If the buyers couldn't sort out the financing, it might not happen. The doorbell interrupted him in mid-groan.
"Can you get that? It's for me. I'll be right there!" his mom yelled from her bedroom upstairs.
When Owen opened the front door, he found himself staring at a familiar face. The blue eyes were bright, clear and so hard to look away from. The hair was light brown, short and unruly. There was also an awesome body that Owen tried not to dwell on. A winning smile completed the picture of a gorgeous but unaffected guy – Dan Resnick.
"Dan," he said. "Hi, it's been a while." Owen tried not to look like he was checking him out.
"It's kind of a weird reversal, right?" Dan said.
Owen had no idea what he meant. "Reversal?"
That's when his mother came down the stairs. She already looked perfectly put together for her honeymoon trip except she was still in her robe.
"Dan, sweetie, so punctual. Too bad I'm not. Busy packing toiletries." She gave Dan a hug. "Wish you could have made it to the wedding. Well, come and sit." She invited him into the living room.
Owen was about to go his own way when his mother took him by the arm and said, "You too, honey."
Owen was confused as he was hustled into the living room.
"Tell Owen why you're here, sweetie," she instructed Dan.
"He doesn't know?" Dan said, taken aback. He looked over at Owen helplessly.
"He will in a minute. And hurry up. I have a plane to catch," she said.
"I'm going to be helping you with the girls?" Dan said or asked.
Owen looked over at his mother.
"And Dan will be living here as well," his mom added. "You know we sold Lisa's house. The poor boy is homeless." Lisa was Dan's mother and Mom's best friend. She had moved away after she got married. Dan was staying at the house until it was sold, and now...
Owen was speechless as he looked from his mother to Dan. Dan raised his hands as if to say, "This is not on me. She's your mother."
Owen finally got his voice back. "So you're doing a job interview hours before you leave for your honeymoon?" he said to his mother in disbelief.
"Don't be silly. I am not doing the interview. You are. I'm already sold on Dan a hundred percent. I've known him since he was a little kid and I trust him implicitly. The interview is for your benefit, sweetheart. You two have fun," she said and left them alone.
Owen motioned Dan over to the window seat for this non-interview.
"So that's what you meant about a reversal," Owen realized. When Owen was in high school and Dan was eight or so, Owen's mother strong-armed him into babysitting Dan while their mothers went out. It was just that one time. Owen had seen him a few times since then. Their mothers were good friends, but the two of them barely knew each other.
"I remember you being very strict about my bedtime," Dan said like he was still holding a grudge for being hustled off to bed at nine on the dot.
"I wanted to watch the Oz finale, and I wanted you fast asleep."
"Oz – too rich for my blood at that age," Dan admitted.
Owen sighed, trying to absorb what was happening. "I can't believe Mom pulled this crap."
"Sorry," Dan said. "But you do need help, don't you? Kate said she didn't have a definite return date."
"Mom saw pictures of Kostas' home town – whitewashed houses and rocky beaches. A picture of him shirtless on his boat cinched the deal. She decided not to bother with a return ticket."
"She told me you encouraged her to go," Dan said.
"She devoted herself to the girls for the last few years. I thought she deserved it."
"You're not such a bad son," Dan said. "So you had a Greek wedding. They're supposed to be fun."
"Not if it's your mother's," Owen said to him sourly. He liked Kostas, but his mother running off was a huge headache.
"I know what you mean," Dan said, commiserating with him.
"That's right. Your mom got married recently. Sorry I couldn't make it to the wedding. Connie had a cold."
"I missed your mom's wedding too. Mom and my brother were only in town for the day. I wanted to take Jason to see our great-grandmother on our dad's side. She's in a nursing home. I think she's having a lesbian affair with one of the other ladies over there. A lesbian great-grandmother, how cool is that?"
That's when the girls ran in. Seeing Dan, they stopped and peered at him curiously.
"Who's this? Is he your boyfriend?" Connie asked.
"No," Owen told her as Dan grinned at him.
"Is he Grandm
"Your grandmother is married," Owen told her. Maggie showed no understanding of how that was relevant.
"He's too young to be Grandma's boyfriend," Connie said to Maggie.
"And she's married," Owen told the girls though his point didn't seem to be getting through.
"Who is he then?" Connie asked.
"What's his name?" Maggie asked, never one to be left out of the conversation.
"His name is Dan."
"Dan! Dan, the man!" Maggie said excitedly, and both girls jumped up and down.
"Dan, the man. It's him. He's going to be our manny!" Connie said.
Maggie kept on jumping and started singing, "Dan, the man! Dan, the manny! Dan, the man! Dan, the manny!"
"Is this a conspiracy?" Owen asked the girls. He couldn't believe they knew about this before he did.
In answer to his question, Connie said no, Maggie said yes then Maggie said no, and Connie said yes. They went on like that until Owen told them, "The correct answer is yes. Now let me and Dan talk."
"He's supposed to play with us. That's his job," Connie said.
Maggie nodded. They each grabbed Dan by the hand, ready to drag him away.
"Girls, leave Dan alone. Go eat breakfast."
They went reluctantly then Maggie started her "Dan, the man" chant again and danced her way into the kitchen.
"You still want the job? I won't always be here to protect you, you know," Owen said to Dan.
"Aren't you afraid to be left alone with them?"
"Terrified. Mom has been in charge of the girls all this time. I had a more auxiliary function like a dad from the 1950's. or an uncle from the 1950's. When Mom cut back on her hours at the office, I had to take over more. Now that she's leaving on an extended, indefinite honeymoon, I'll be swamped. Though Yolanda is in charge at the office too. She's the one who sold your house from under you," Owen said, not wanting the blame.
"I knew it was going to get sold, but I expected to have a job lined up before then. I couldn't stay at my old job, and another one fell through at the last minute."
"What were you doing at your last job?" Owen asked, almost making it sound like an actual job interview.
"I parked cars for the valet service at Crystal Gardens Mall."
"Fancy. Are you going to college full time?"
"I am. Your mom said the girls are in school and preschool at the same time so it should work out."
"I remember hearing about a scholarship, right?" Owen's mom had said something about it.
"That's right. So I have tuition covered. I thought I had things figured out. I had this apartment lined up, sharing with three other guys. Then, two days before I'm to start at the new job, I get a call telling me there was a problem, and they went with a different candidate. I was scrambling to find something else. When your mom dropped by the house to say goodbye, I told her I was looking for a job and a place to live. Kate said she could solve both of my problems. She knew I used to help take care of my little brother and decided that counted as childcare experience. And here I am."
"You really don't have anywhere to go?" Owen asked since Mom had called him homeless.
"I'll figure something out," Dan said, looking a little crestfallen.
"I'm not saying I don't want to hire you," Owen told him. He hated to see him disappointed. "It's just weird to jump straight into a live-in situation. But if this doesn't work out, you won't be out on the street or anything. I'll make sure you have somewhere to stay."
Owen thought about what to do. "Why don't we try it out for the rest of this weekend," he decided.
"Sounds OK," Dan said, brightening a little at the news.
"That includes staying here," Owen added.
"Great. That way we'll know if that's doable. I'll bring my stuff?"
"You can come back later today. I'll text you when we're back from the airport. Having you here will distract the girls from missing Mom."
Owen gave Dan a quick tour of the house. Three bedrooms upstairs, one of which Dan could have. Owen's room was downstairs next to the office. The kitchen and the living room were across the hall. As they were walking to the door, Mom came back down, looking self-satisfied.
"Is it all arranged?" she asked, beaming at them.
"Yes. By you," Owen told her.
"I don't see why I had to be a surprise," Dan said, giving her an injured look.
"I'm sorry. I had my heart set on this working out." Mom batted her eyes sweetly at him. "I just wanted to see everything taken care of before I left," she said, explaining nothing.
"Like minutes before you left," Owen said.
"My sweet boy," she called him and squeezed Owen's cheeks. Dan laughed. Then she did it to him too. The look on his face was priceless.
"Was that an initiation, a hazing?" Dan asked while Owen walked him to his car.
"One of many. Just you wait till the girls get in on the action."
Surprisingly, Dan smiled at that. "I'm kind of looking forward to it. I miss taking care of my little brother since he and Mom moved away. I thought about moving to be near them, but it's better if my stepfather and I keep a big chunk of the North American continent between us."
"There'll be a big chunk of the planet Earth between me and mom's new hubby," Owen said with a sigh.
"Maybe you'll need to be distracted from missing your mom," Dan said.
Owen looked at him in surprise, but decided he hadn't meant anything by that. A guy as gorgeous as Dan could never be interested in a boring, real estate agent.
Dan looked at the Wakefields' house as he pulled out of the driveway. It was a nice one, like you'd expect from people in the real estate business. It was no mansion though. Two stories with an orderly yard, it had all sorts of nice features – big windows, that bay window in the living room, a fancy railing around the porch, a gabled roof with dormer windows. Ivy was climbing one slate blue wall to surround an upstairs window. The house wasn't to his taste, but Dan could see its appeal. The inside didn't match his taste either though it was pleasant. Both homey and elegant, it was decorated in soothing colors. The furniture was refined and traditional but still comfortable. The girls had left a stamp on the place, from toys left here and there to marks on the furniture.
Dan wondered what it was going to be like living there with Owen and the girls. It was definitely going to be a challenge not to make some kind of move on Owen. Dan hadn't seen him for a while, but he had a crush on him when he was younger. How the hell could Owen look even hotter now? He was tall and lean with wavy, chestnut hair and those very dark eyes that always looked knowing and humorous. Then there was that soft, deep voice that was designed to say things like "I love you. Make me come." Damn, if the crush wasn't back. Too bad Owen would never go for a guy like him. Dan remembered hearing how he was involved with a former client who had a modest mansion in town and a bunch of others scattered around the globe. If that's the kind of guy Owen liked to date, Dan didn't stand a chance in hell.
Owen was still buzzing from spending time with Dan. It had been a while since being with someone had such a strong effect on him. He felt both elated and scared. Neither one of those was an appropriate response to their future manny.
"What was that?" Owen asked his mother when he went back in and found her in the kitchen, pouring herself a cup of coffee.
"That was everything working out as it should and a huge load off my mind," she told him.
"You wanted to leave me no way out."
"I didn't have time to waste. I only just came up with the idea. You had nanny candidates lined up around the block, and you didn't like any of them," she reminded him.
"None of them were right for the girls," Owen said.
"And Dan is perfect," his mother said.
She had made up her mind, and she knew Owen wasn't going to turn away a cute, young guy at the door, throw him out on the street when he had no
Maybe Owen had a few misgivings about the arrangement, but he didn't doubt that his mother wanted only the best for the girls. His mother wouldn't hire Dan to look after Connie and Maggie without being absolutely sure of him. And Dan wasn't a stranger. Owen didn't know him well but his mom did. From their brief encounters in the past few years, Owen remembered Dan as an energetic, slightly awkward teenager, not the hunk he had seen today. He did remember Dan's bright eyes and his ready smile.
Since he had found out about his mother's plans to go to Greece, Owen knew he had to get extra help, but he had dragged his feet. He wasn't ready to trust the girls to anyone new until Dan came along. Dan was easy to say yes to. After talking to him, everything fell into place for Owen. He was the first person he could see taking care of the girls.
Did that mean that his mom did the right thing? Absolutely not! Owen wasn't going to admit to his mom that he was glad she railroaded him into hiring a beautiful, sweet guy. But if he was going to have a manny, why not a hot one? The answer was because it was going to drive him crazy.
While Mom and the girls were getting ready to go to the airport, Owen received a call, and it wasn't good news for their clients. The sale of their townhouse definitely wasn't going to happen. Owen was in the office, emailing Yolanda about it when Connie came at him brandishing a sock like it was a weapon.
"It's a lonely sock. I can't find the other one," she said.
Owen had told the girls not to bother their grandmother while she was getting ready. This was the result.
"Just pick a different pair," Owen told her, turning back to the computer screen.
"It's the only one left. Do the laundry," she demanded.
"You do the laundry," he told her automatically.
"I can't reach to press the buttons."
"Good. Don't mess around with appliances. Borrow some socks from Maggie," Owen told her.
"Her socks are too small. She's a midget."
"She's just little. Find some that fit."
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