Power Tool

an excerpt



Chapter One

He was at it again.

Eight thirty on a Saturday morning. One of only two mornings I tried to sleep in after a long week of nine-to-five drudgery and repetition.

Well, that was before he moved in next door.

For two months I'd been woken by power drills and banging on Saturday and Sunday mornings by my immediate neighbor, whom I'd never even met. Gone were the days of new residents introducing themselves to the established owners and renters. No, they just moved in unannounced and started disrupting the entire place.

I groaned and rolled over, pulling the pillow over my head.

These condo townhomes were built with concrete firewalls between them which successfully muffled the noise from televisions and music systems kept at a decent volume. But not power tools.

The elderly lady that used to live there had never made a peep--no wild parties or early morning construction. I'd taken her peaceful, reassuring presence for granted. Now she was gone, moved into a nursing home by her adult children who'd promptly sold the place to this maniac.

Feeling my morning erection wilt under the onslaught of my frustration and the loss of the prospect of a lazy morning wank session, I almost cried. It was the last straw.

I lifted the useless pillow and threw it to the floor. That was it. I was done. He was going to get a goddamn piece of my mind.

Getting out of bed, I grabbed my jeans from the chair and yanked them on, not even bothering with underwear. I opened the drawer and grabbed a t-shirt without looking, pulling it over my head.

Fuck that guy. I'd lived here for five years and no newbie was going to disrupt my Saturday and Sunday sleep-in schedule.

I slid on my flip-flops and opened the front door to a goddamn Disney morning--birds chirping, sun shining, squirrels playing. That just made me angrier.

Fuck the whole world, I just want to sleep.

He didn't answer my first knock. Probably couldn't hear it over his power tools. I knocked again, feeling a matching thump-thump in my head from lack of sleep and the eight beers I'd had last night at the pub with Jamie. Couldn't a man suffer a hangover in silence?

No answer. The power drill was still going full bore.

I twisted the handle and pushed the door open.

Who the fuck kept their door unlocked in this area? I don't care that it was fucking Snow White outside, there were plenty of evil queens milling around ready to trick you into eating a poisoned apple, or signing an energy contract, or reading their end-of-the-world propaganda.

What an idiot.

"Hello?" I shouted into the bright hallway. Lifting a hand to shield my eyes I wondered why his house was so much brighter than mine? Didn't he own any fucking curtains? My head throbbed again as I moved slowly forward. It felt a little invasive but I'd knocked twice and he'd woken me out of an epic dream.

I followed the noise of the drill and stopped at the entrance to the kitchen. I don't know what I'd been expecting but it wasn't this.

There was the evil drill, making more noise than should be allowed anywhere on a Saturday morning, held in the strong hand of my Mystery neighbor who stood precariously on a metal step stool, in nothing but a pair of skin-tight boxer briefs that left nothing to the imagination. His spectacularly flexible and muscular body was bent at a strange but highly attractive angle as he attempted to access a spot deep inside the cabinet.

The speed at which my dick woke up pissed me right the hell off.

Of course. Of course, he'd be near my age and sexy as fuck. He was still an idiot.

I shook my head to clear my focus, which helped because the pain from my hangover reminded me why I was there.

"Hey!" I barked, hoping when he turned he'd have the face of an uptight missionary or a loose-toothed yokel so I could keep my anger pure and untarnished by unexpected lust.

He jerked in surprise and turned to look at me.

Fuck.

Blue eyes widened and pink, kissable lips turned up in a smile, and my traitorous dick got harder. It all just made me angrier. Because, of course, my fucking annoying neighbor was a goddamn Adonis.

"Hi!" He said, as though I'd come in offering apple pie and an invitation to a neighborhood barbecue. He turned off the drill, thank fuck, and stepped down the ladder.

"I'm Travis." He held out his free hand.

I folded my arms over my chest to keep from touching it. "I'm Danny. I live next door."

The smile faded and his eyebrows flew up. "Oh! I'm sorry, did I wake you with all the noise?"

I stared at him. Seriously, could he actually be this stupid? "Uh, yeah. You did."

He put the drill down, seeming contrite. "I'm so sorry. Can I get you a coffee or something?"

"I don't want a coffee. I don't even want to be awake," I said, not caring how rude I sounded.

He shrugged, looking around the kitchen as if he could find something to assuage my anger.

Good luck, fucker.

"There's just so much to do and I like to get an early start on things." His eyes fixed on something just before mine slid down for another look at his ass. That ass was so beautiful it caused me actual pain that it could never be mine.

"Here, I baked them yesterday. Take them."

He held out a Tupperware container.

"What?"

He opened it, revealing four of the most scrumptious looking brownies I'd ever seen. As the smell of rich, moist chocolate hit my nostrils my cock twitched with frustrated desire. I lifted my eyes to his perfect face. "I just need you to stop doing this so early on the weekends."

He nodded, withdrawing the container with some regret. "I'm really sorry."

I nodded, then reached out and took the container from him. "I'll take these."

"It's my grandmother's recipe. You'll love them."

"We'll see."

He nodded again. "Sorry." The smile he gave me made me suspicious, but I'd said my piece and now I was done. I grunted, then turned to leave.

"Where did you get the shirt?" He said suddenly. "I like it."

What?

I looked down at the shirt I'd grabbed in the dark.

Goddamn it.

I'd grabbed one of my club shirts by mistake.

It said, in rainbow-colored letters, Live Proudly, Live Loudly.

Ah, the irony.

I glared at him, clutching his no-doubt-delicious brownies to my chest. "Yeah, well, not at eight thirty on a Saturday morning."

"Right."

I nodded once, then turned and took my now hard dick away from his annoyingly sexy presence. Figured he was fucking gay too. Why was the world so unfair?

"Have a nice day!" he said just before I pulled the door shut behind me, perhaps a little too hard.

What an asshole.

****