When He Plays

by J. Hali Steele

When He Plays - J. Hali Steele
Part of the Brief Knights series:
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 2.99 USD
Pages: 105

“I painted with love until she died. I never expected to meet him.”

Weston Tucker overhears a young man lament finding adequate living space or having to return to his father’s home. Perfectly manicured fingers pulled out a credit card few can name on sight alone. Young, far too handsome, Wes thinks to knock the spoiled brat, whose family name he recognizes, down a peg or two. With paint stained fingers, he proffers his card offering a room in return for having the inside of his home painted.

“He’s crotchety, mean, disdainful. He smells damn good, he’s delicate, gentle, and oh so very nasty!”

Hunter Gold’s job as an escort for Brief Knights has to end or his father threatens to cut him off. At the same time, his roommate leaves Hunt in a fix for housing. A few more escort assignments are booked but he takes on a job painting for a recluse to have a place to live and a small salary until he can straighten things out. Hunt never dreamed of becoming enamored of the enigmatic loner he worked for.

A young escort, a painter with a secret, and sex in the pantry. Paint gets everywhere!

A standalone MM/May-December Romance, with an HEA, and no cliffhanger. Includes angry sex, and strong language with cursing!

Publisher: Independently Published
Pairings: MM
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 46-65
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Age Difference, Big Character / Little Character, Enemies to Lovers, Love Can Heal / Redemption, May/December, Opposites Attract
Word Count: 28000
Setting: USA, California, Los Angeles
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters

Wes decided to finish painting the room Hunt practically completed before his injury. Using the ladder he manhandled into the room, he managed to eke out trim. Hearing a vehicle stop and idle out front, he peered through curtains to see Hunt’s goth friend disembark, lean against his car, and press his phone to his ear.

Entering the hallway, he saw Hunt navigating stairs. “Do you need something?”

“Uhh, no, I’m good.”

“Would you like me to have your friend come in?”

“Fuck me.”

“Yes, well, that’s between you and him.” Wes climbed steps and proffered an arm. “If anything gets broken, you’re out.”

“Jesus, it was an accident and I…”

“Offered to pay. I’ll draw up a contract for installments.”


“Do you have seven thousand dollars? Can I fetch your check book?”

“Fuck. Me!”


“Is your vocabulary stunted or are you truly that horny?” A horrified look widened eyes and twisted Hunter’s face. He had no intention of making him pay for an antique pot he didn’t care for anyway which is why it set outside by the pool. However, didn’t hurt to scare him into being responsible. “Sit here and I’ll let your goth friend in.”

Forehead wrinkled. “Seven thousand? Are you positive?”

“As I overbid on the piece at auction, yes, I’m positive.”

“Damn.” Head shook. “By the way, Scott’s not, umm, he’s not goth.”

“No? Is he going to walk in here with one of those tiny barbells above his eye?”

“He likes black.”

“I see. My mistake. Would behoove him to sprinkle color into his wardrobe so others don’t suspect he’s a probable pincushion.” He exited the sitting room. Yanking front door open, he complained, “May as well come in. Don’t want you scaring my neighbors.”

“Sorry, dude,” he uttered crossing the threshold.

“Weston or Mr. Tucker.”

“Weston, dude, sorry.”

Insufferable! Walking him to where Hunter sat, he excused himself. Passing the housekeeper, Wes groaned. His solitary existence had, unappreciatively, screeched to a halt. Judy was necessary. Hunter… Shit. He’d already gathered their close proximity was trying as he found himself attracted. “Get rid of Judy,” he mumbled.

“Pardon, Mr. Tucker?”

“Nothing. Do not sneak about.”

“I followed to discuss a few things.”

He shuffled mail on the counter and pulled out relevant bills. “I’m listening.”

“I’ve made a list and will begin tomorrow giving the place a thorough cleaning. I’ve tacked up a wipe board in the pantry where I’d like you to jot special items aside from ordinary grocery fare for the dinner meal I’ll prepare each day. I’ll pick them up when I shop.”

“Judy, let me make a few things perfectly clear.” He opened the refrigerator. “Damn it.”


“Fruit. I like apples and pears. Nothing else. No bananas, no oranges and please, please do not stock anything low fat, low calorie and certainly nothing calorie free. Is that understood?”

“You don’t want healthy meals?”

“Meat and potatoes suffice. Don’t buy margarine either. I prefer salted butter.”

“She swiveled toward the door but briskly turned back, “Where shall I find petty cash?”

“You’re here so I don’t have to go anywhere. You need money, unless it’s middle of the night, find me. I ask that you knock on any closed door and I’d also prefer you not enter my home after eight in the evening or before sunrise.”

“I’ve never worked like this.”

Weston had had it. “You don’t have to now.”

“Well!” Squaring shoulders, she reached her full height of five-feet maybe three inches before she hustled out.

“Thought it was just me.” He peered up to see Hunt eyeing him from the doorway. “Won’t say it’s good to see your derision extends to everyone.” He sat his phone by the sink and reached for a glass. “She didn’t deserve that.”

“How long did you eavesdrop?”

“I came for a glass of water. Should I seek permission first?”

“I’m surrounded by people who skulk.”

“I hope I never become as lonely and bitter as you.”

“Kiss my ass.” Christ, he did nothing but bite everyone’s head off since… “I’m going out for air. Keep an eye on your non-goth friend.”

“He left and as soon as my foot heels, I’ll scout for another place. This is not going to work.”

“Your choice.”


About the Author

J. Hali Steele wishes she could grow fur, wings, or fangs, so she can stay warm, fly, or just plain bite the crap out of... Well, she can't do those things but she wishes she could! Multi-published author of Romance including Contemporary, LGBTQ, Paranormal, and ReligErotica stories where humans, vampyres, shapeshifters and angels often collide—they collide a lot! When J. Hali's not writing or reading, she can be found snuggled in front of the TV with a cat in her lap, and a cup of coffee.

My Quotes:

Growl and roar—it's okay to let the beast out. – J. Hali Steele

Death is overrated as punishment. – J. Hali Steele (from The Descendants)

Life is complicated, it’s loud, death arrives silently. – J. Hali Steele (from Twice the Burn)

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