1 Chapter 1


Calvin Maxwell displayed an air of nonchalance as he waited for Turner Marsh outside on the crowded sidewalk. He was standing next to the building where the annual San Francisco Food Fair was being held. He might not seem nervous on the surface, but deep inside, he couldn’t stop worrying and thinking that Turner would end up ditching him. After all, Turner was forty-five years old, very handsome and distinguished, built like a brick shithouse, and extremely wealthy and successful. Turner had recently opened the fifteenth branch of The Paradise Fable, one of the most popular and expensive fine-dining restaurants in the world, in San Francisco. That was how they met.

Calvin had visited the restaurant with a group of friends, and Turner had joined the table after being invited to. His friends had been aware of his instant attraction toward Turner. Hence, they had asked Turner to sit with them at the table. Calvin loved his friends. They were all kind, loyal, and supportive, but he was a little pissed off at them at the moment. Maybe his friends had unintentionally pressured Turner into taking him out on this date by pointing out how much he loved unique food. Now, he had to bear with the disappointment that Turner might not turn up after all. He would be simultaneously embarrassed and miserable about losing the chance to date someone like Turner, but he would get over it. Turner was too good for someone like him anyway. He stared at the time on his smartphone. Turner was now nearly thirty minutes late for their date. Or whatever it was supposed to be.

“Damn it,” Calvin muttered to himself under his breath. “Guess it’s not meant to be.”

He was about to walk away when he felt someone grabbing onto his wrist and pulling him backward. He turned around and gasped a little. It was Turner. Calvin knew his reaction was rather strange, but Turner had that effect on him. Turner had these gorgeous dark-green eyes with a thick mop of dark-blonde hair, and Calvin was mesmerized by them. In comparison, his amber eyes and dark-brown hair were boring. At least that was how he felt. With Turner’s height of six feet, four inches, the man was a full two inches taller than Calvin. He wasn’t a short man, and he was a huge man himself, weighing two hundred pounds of bulky muscles everywhere, but Turner had to be thirty to forty pounds heavier than him. Turner had so much muscles, Calvin felt weirdly small next to the older man. If Turner’s height and weight didn’t give Calvin some kind of inferiority complex, the man’s wealth certainly would. Calvin was quite successful himself. At twenty-eight years old, he was the Junior Manager of the Research and Development department at the pharmaceutical company he worked at. However, that meant little next to someone as outstanding and extraordinary as Turner.

“Shit! Cal, I’m so, so sorry,” Turner said while panting and huffing mere inches away from Calvin’s face. “I’d forgotten to charge my smartphone before falling asleep last night. Then there was an emergency at the restaurant earlier this morning. One of the suppliers hadn’t delivered an essential ingredient we needed for the private luncheon party, and I had to contact the person in charge. By the time everything had been taken care of, it was already half past eight. I had to drive my car like a madman possessed all the way here, but the traffic was horrible. I knew I would be late, and I’d wanted to call you, but my phone died on me. Then I discovered the car charger for my smartphone wasn’t there. It was probably inside one of my other five cars. I know I should have put one inside each of my cars, but I—”

“Turner!” Calvin half yelled while suppressing his relief and amusement. “Breathe. You’re going to give yourself a heart attack.”

Turner’s cheeks reddened, obviously embarrassed, but he smiled widely at Calvin. “Sorry. Again.”

Calvin was thankful that he wasn’t being stood up by Turner. He chuckled and nodded at Turner.

“It’s okay.”

“Are you sure?” Turner asked while staring intently at Calvin’s face. “You looked kind of angry and sad earlier.”

This time around, it was Calvin’s turn to be mortified. He darted his eyes around, doing his best to avoid eye contact with Turner.

“N-no. I-I’m fine. Really.”

Calvin was taken aback when Turner abruptly wrapped both arms around his waist and embraced him tightly. He was also more than slightly aroused. There was something really sexy about a man who could manhandle him like a rag doll. Being as tall and muscular as he was, it wasn’t every day he could find a man as powerful as Turner. He didn’t even get the chance to resist. Turner’s strength was incredible, and Calvin lost his breath for a second or two as the older man simply dragged him close before proceeding to hug and hold on to him like a vise. If he wasn’t attracted to Turner before this, he definitely would be now. Then Turner released him before ruffling his hair and patting his head while grinning widely. He could feel himself blushing. The heat was rushing all the way up his neck and cheeks. He didn’t mind being treated like a little boy by someone like Turner. It was actually somewhat comforting to him.

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