Yes, I’m churning them out. I love a little opposites attract in romance so I’ll see how I do at it. Enjoy.
‘You know a what Mrs. Chen?’
‘Handy guy,’ she said in her broken English. They had been neighbors for 6 years and she was sweet. Her husband had died about 2 years ago and she was a able-bodied woman for 72 years old. Between her children and Grace she was taken care of, that was what Grace was doing now giving her some of the tomatoes she’d grown.
‘Oh handy man, you mean.’
‘Yes, handy guy. Isn’t that what I say?’ Mrs. Chen looked at her incredulous.
Grace looked over her shoulder from the ground and smiled. She’d been looking for someone to some work to her bathroom. A leak had caused a huge hole in her in shower wall. Tiles and dry wall had been everywhere. She’d been using Mrs. Chen’s shower while she got estimates. The estimates were not good, she wasn’t sure where she’d get a couple of thousand bucks. She could always ask her sister but with the asking came the lecture. She figured it was easier to live with the hole in the wall.
‘Yes that’s what you said. Who is this?’
‘I don’t remember his name but I got card.’
‘Oh good, I’ll take these over and you can give me the card.’
‘I want card. You just take number and name. I will keep card.’
‘Okay,’ Grace rose from her knees and showed Mrs. Chen the basket of beautiful red ripe tomatoes. ‘What do you think Mrs. Chen?’
‘I know it takes hard work to get them this good looking. I’m really proud of myself.’
Grace stood there admiring her hard work, she’d decided a couple of years ago to start a garden and it had grown. Half her backyard was now a garden and she had a hothouse. She liked this much better than trying to buy overpriced, under-flavored veggies and fruit at the grocery store.
‘Okay, Mrs. Chen, let me take these over for you and you can give me the number for the handy guy.’
The handy man was supposed to be there at 11am. Grace was doing laundry, that’s what her Sundays were normally for, laundry and house cleaning. The neighborhood she lived in wasn’t fancy but it was safe. She loved living in Seattle, had moved her after college. She was originally from Spokane, she’d been an Army brat and had been there most of her life. Her parents were both dead now but she lived here because her sister, who lived here with her husband, had encouraged her. Her sister Faith and she weren’t particularly close because Faith was wealthy and loved to rub it in Grace’s face in the most subtle ways. But they were still sisters. Faith had tried many times to set Grace up with some eligible bachelor her husband and she knew. Grace had been on a date or two, even had a short fling with one of the guys, but nothing ever came of it. Her sister usually blamed her for the dismal failures but Grace didn’t have much time for overly macho bullshit and guys who needed their egos stroked because they thought they were important since they were ex or current athletes.
Right now she just needed a handy guy to fix this bathroom. She was wearing shorts and an old Wu Tang t-shirt from her days of being a rebellious youth. At 32 years old those days were gone but she sure did have fun over at Washington State University.
She was throwing her dark clothes into the dryer when the doorbell rang. Dang, she thought. She dried her hands from handling the damp clothes and ran to the front door.
‘Who is it?’
She heard the most beautiful voice pipe up from the other side, ‘Hi! I’m Craig from The Handy Guy.’
She’d come to find out that Mrs. Chen wasn’t mispronouncing the name, the name of the business just happened to be The Handy Guy.
‘Oh yes,’ she started unlocking locks and unbolting bolts and chains to let him in. As she opened the door he appeared with the most amazing smile and gorgeous face she’d ever seen on a man.
‘Hi, I’m Craig Bellows from The Handy Guy,’ he did a little flourish to show her his t-shirt with the company name emblazoned on it. But all she saw were those rippling muscles trying their best to break free of the constraints of cotton. She had a sudden intake of breath at the physical pain she was feeling because he was incredibly fine. Grace was a bit awestruck, she heard him talking but wasn’t exactly listening.
‘Huh? What?’ she said embarrassed that he’d caught her gawking. She looked up to find him smiling at her again, even his teeth were gorgeous. Crest would be happy to have him as a spokesman.
‘I’m sorry maybe I was speaking too low.’
But Grace knew that he knew better, his knowing smile gave him away. She straightened up and tried to play calm, cool and collected.
‘Oh no, you are fine…I mean you sound fine.’ There was just no way not have those words produce a double entendre, she wanted to crawl into a hole.
He smiled really big again, then his eyes got a twinkle in them. ‘You are Grace Underwood?’
‘Yea, yes I’m her. Come on in.’ She moved out of his path and he entered as she shut the door she noticed her image in the hallway mirror. Oh lord, she looked a hot mess. Since this was Sunday she had made no effort to fix herself up, so her hair was in a haphazard pile on her head, no make up, no jewelry, and her skin needed lotion badly. It was looking gray in pallor.
She turned to find him staring at her as she stared at the mirror. She couldn’t read anything in his face but friendly patience. But she was sure this hunk with muscles rippling like waves and the gorgeous golden blonde hair and blue eyes thought she looked like death warmed over.
Gosh, he thought, I wish I could rip those clothes from her body and take her where she stands. When she opened the door he wasn’t expecting to find this glowing umber skin, those beautiful sienna eyes, and well…that body. He figured she thought was hiding something but those shorts were just showing long shapely legs and a round firm bottom and that t-shirt just struggled to hold those bountiful breasts in. He was keeping under control but just barely. The last thing he needed was to be accused of being inappropriate with a client his hold business would go up in flames so he’d keep his roaming thoughts and eyes to himself or at least try.
‘Well, it’s my bathroom. I’ve got a leak.’
‘Yes, you described it a little over the phone. Why don’t you take me to the bathroom and I’ll check it out.’
She lead him to the bathroom down the hall. Her walk wasn’t lost on Craig, she moved and he watched entranced by that firm bottom motioning from side to side. He wondered if she was taken, oh there was no need to wonder. Men couldn’t be that stupid as to let something so breathtaking not be claimed, he chuckled under his breath.
She turned and there he was smiling again but for a moment the smile looked slightly lusty. Couldn’t have been, just her mind wishing for something she knew she had no right to.
She entered the bathroom with him behind her. ‘Well, here it is.’
He moved the shower curtain and there it was, it looked the way she described.
‘Have you been using this?’ he looked back her in concern.
‘Oh no, I’ve been using my neighbor’s shower. Mrs. Chen has been letting me use hers. She’s the one who recommended you.’
As she said that, Craig had a picture of a naked black beauty wet and lathered pop into his mind. He couldn’t help it but he wish he had, her closeness was wreaking havoc on his body. He needed to get to work and get her out of here.
‘Do you have another bathroom you can use while I work?’
‘Sure, downstairs, I’m down there anyway doing laundry.’ She smiled at him and Craig sighed audibly. She was stunning but he needed her to leave this space.
Grace saw his brow furrow as a sound came from his lips that sounded as if he deflated.
‘Will you be able to fix this?’
‘Yes,’ he replied but he wanted to add and anything else you need fixing.
‘It’s not hard fix just some dry walling but I’ll have to come back a couple of times. Including parts and labor about $600.’
‘Come back,’ Grace was not pleased to hear that. That was all she needed some hot handy man at her house for the next few days.
‘Yes, dry walling takes a few days to complete, to make sure it’s done correctly,’ he was already on his knees hammer out and picking at the walls.
He looked over his shoulders at her, she was lost in thought ogling him. He enjoyed that she appreciated what she saw he most certainly appreciated all she had to offer.
‘So Ms. Underwood does that sound good to you?’
Grace tried to look like she was giving the prospect careful thought but she wasn’t, she was wondering how she’d be able to make it with him in her house.
‘Well, I’ve got work so I’m not home till about 4 or so. Are you available then?’
Craig thought for a moment, he had some day time work to do and a business meeting. Oh what was thinking about he’d come here to fix her shower if she wanted him here at midnight,
‘Yes. May I ask what you do?’
‘I guess. It’s nothing fancy, I work as a court clerk.’
‘Ahh, filing cases making sure we’re all dragged in by the scruff of the neck.’
His tone kind of pissed Grace off, he seemed dismissive of what she did. She liked her job and thought she did great work.
‘Well, Mr. Bellows I think I need to finish my laundry. You’re hired but I ask you be here by 4:30 pm to do any additional work this week and please don’t leave a mess on my floor.’
She turned briskly and stomped out of the room. Craig looked after her, she seemed sort of upset he wondered if his comment had come out wrong. Well that was bound to happen, courts and litigation were not his favorite thing. He’d been dragged in a few times by customers who had more mental issues than issues with his work. He’d also fought a long battle with his ex-wife, Wendy, she’d walked away with half his stuff, alimony, and shared custody of their daughter. He thanked the Lord that someone had married her and she was off his hands but he still had to deal with her when it came to their 7 year old daughter, Chelsea. It had been bitter long battle with her and he had the scars to prove it.
Grace was downstairs throwing laundry into the washer. What an ass, she thought. When she opened the door she’d been swept away by his hunkiness but when he opened his mouth she’d decided that his looks weren’t enough to mask his ignorance. She was always proud of her work, she helped people figure out the complicated legal system, get their filings in on time, and filed correctly. She wasn’t trying to screw anyone, the courts were part of everyone’s lives and although justice wasn’t always served she knew many times it was. It was just an insult to her and what she did, she figured that would be the last time she would converse with him at any length.
She could hear him banging upstairs most of the afternoon, it had been ridiculous. She decided to just stay downstairs to try and read or watch TV but to no avail he was just too dang loud. Then it stopped, thank goodness she thought it was about time.
‘Hello, Ms. Underwood,’ he was calling from upstairs to her.
She got up and stood at the bottom of the steps. He appeared at the top and she couldn’t help herself she had to tighten her legs. She was so pissed at herself, this guy was a jerk this was not the time to be thinking she wanted to get her freak on.
She was mad at herself so when she spoke it inadvertently came out kind of bitchy. ‘Yes,’ she said with a long sigh.
He noticed she was annoyed at him still. Now, all he wanted to do was get this job over with maybe he’d send one of his other guys here for the remainder. He did not need this kind of drama in his life.
‘There are some parts I need for this job that I don’t have available to me.’
He looked at her a little exasperated, ‘well, I’m going to head to hardware store to pick them up.’
‘Okay that’s fine,’ she was turning to go back her sofa when she heard that deep voice speak again.
‘Well I’ll need money for that.’
She stepped back into his view, ‘money?’
‘Yes Ms. Underwood. I charge for parts and labor and if I don’t have parts, I need the person who hired me to pay for them.’
She put her hand on her hip and pursed her lips. Goddamn it, he thought to himself, he should fling himself down those stairs and make love to her she looked as if she needed it.
‘Why don’t you have the parts? Shouldn’t you have everything you need?’
‘Well, Ms. Underwood usually I do but your house is an older one with older plumbing sometimes homes like yours need special parts. That’s what I’ve just discovered.’
She sighed and rolled her eyes.
‘You can come with me if you like, I don’t mind. I don’t want you think I’m trying to take advantage.’
If only, she thought. She shook her head, now was not the time to be lusting after the handyman, especially one that seemed so not her intellectual type.
‘Okay, I’ll be right up.’
Craig stepped away from the door and just stood against her fridge trying to will his cock down. He didn’t know when all that occurred but suddenly he got a raging hard on, this was really not like him especially with clients. He had to keep it professional.
Grace trudged up the steps the last thing she wanted to do was go to the hardware store. She looked down at herself and she looked an absolute mess but this was about as good as it was going to get on a Sunday afternoon.
‘Is it okay if I come in this?’ she asked.
Craig looked at her as she stood there looking like a complete sex kitten and nodded his head. He dare not speak because so many nasty thoughts were rolling through his mind he was sure they would come out.
They headed out the back door as Grace grabbed her purse from a coat hanger and they headed for Craig’s truck parked in her driveway. He had huge twincab red Ford F-150 a real man’s man truck. Great, she thought, he’s a male chauvinist pig to boot. He opened the door of the passenger’s side and helped her in. She looked at him as he took her arm, she was not trying to feel anything for this man but his touch made her tingly.
Craig saw her shiver a bit as he touched her to help her into the truck. He didn’t want her to fall so he thought the gentlemanly thing to do would be to help her. That was at least how he was trying to explain it to himself. He actually just wanted to touch that soft skin, he’d been willing himself all day not to just reach out and grab her she looked so soft and she smelled fantastic. Any excuse to touch her he felt needed to be seized upon.
As they rode to get the plumbing parts, it was silent. He was listening to country music. Grace almost started rolling her eyes, he was hick too. He was everything she never wanted in a man, probably from some of these small towns outside of Seattle or worse, some of the small towns in Eastern Washington. Although she was from Spokane in Eastern Washington, she liked her hometown it was diverse and cool unlike most towns on that side of the mountains. She tried to sit close to the door, she figured she didn’t know him very well and if she needed to she could always jump out.
Craig kept looking at her out of the corner of his eye, she looked uncomfortable she kept squirming as if she was about to fly out of the window. She was hostile one moment and jittery the next. He wasn’t sure if he should talk to her, his comments about court didn’t go over so well and they were probably very different people. From what he saw in her home she seemed quite liberal and he was conservative, although not to the Tea Party extent, but that would probably not be the best conversation. She didn’t seem to like his music while he was tapping his fingers to Miranda Lambert, she sat there, still. Well she was wearing a Wu Tang shirt he wasn’t that into rap but some of it he liked. Oh why was he having this conversation in his head. He was physically attracted to her, he was sure of that but anything beyond that would be an absolute disaster. The last time he went by what his dick said he ended up with an ex-wife and child support. Well right then and there, Craig Bellows decided he was keeping his hands and his cock to himself even if it killed him. As he stared at those smooth, beautiful legs he was thinking maybe he was going to die today.