Euan & Gregg

an excerpt

Chapter One

Yawning so widely his jaw cracked, Euan shuffled into the bathroom. He hated early morning starts, but he was on the breakfast shift in the restaurant, and since that catered to the motel guests as well as any other visitors in town, there was little choice in the matter. He hummed with pleasure as the warm water poured over him, plastering his hair to his head and sending rivulets cascading over his chest.

At times like this he was glad his chest was as smooth as a baby's. Euan felt it was so much easier when it came to grooming. Euan knew he was fastidious, even down to manscaping. He kept his body hair to a minimum to feel clean. He'd put his hair into a ponytail. Since he'd have on a chef's cap in the kitchen, the heat would dry his hair in no time.

Switching off the water Euan then wrapped a towel around his hair to help start the drying process, stepped out of the shower, and briskly toweled his body dry. Grabbing his robe, he headed down the hall, through the TV lounge area and into the kitchen. If he didn't eat now, the chances of him snagging something later were remote. He'd already set the coffee percolating, and he dropped two pieces of bread in the toaster before pouring a glass of orange juice.

Finally he sat to watch the news with his juice, toast, and a fragrant mug of steaming coffee. Euan liked his few minutes of tranquil bliss before heading off to work. As soon as he'd finished breakfast, it was back to the bathroom to shave, gel his hair and secure it back, and clean his teeth.

Back in his bedroom, Euan pulled on clean pants and a chef's jacket, and checked his backpack. Satisfied he had everything he needed he headed to the garage. At four a.m. it was still dark, and the motel, restaurant and bar were all the other end of Copper Creek. As much as he liked being a chef, he didn't want work on his doorstep even if it was the family business.

He had to admire his granddad and dad. The Snug Inn, or Snuggles as the locals liked to call it, was his grandfather's business. Starting out with a pretty basic motel, it now boasted a small pool, sun area, picnic tables, and hot tubs. His dad had bought up land opposite and created Seasons restaurant, and more recently the small bar Shotz.

Both the restaurant and bar were hits with locals as well as motel guests. While Euan was happy to work in the restaurant, he didn't see himself expanding the family empire. His brother had ideas of branching out, but Euan just wanted to cook, not build empires.

The drive was quiet and uneventful. Nothing much happened in town this early in the morning. Pulling into a parking slot reserved for employees, Euan grabbed his backpack, and locked the car. He was already thinking ahead of driving into the city later. He needed some specialized foods, and although his supplier delivered what he needed, a drive after work helped him wind down.

And spending some time with Nicos was no hardship either.

Calling out a greeting, Euan stuffed his backpack into his staff locker. Being the son of the present owner didn't give him any special entitlements. If anything, Euan worked just a bit harder to make sure it could never be said he held his job from anything other than his merit. He loved his job as a chef, had a good income, a nice home, and life should be good.

Shouldn't it?

Pushing away maudlin thoughts Euan took out his phone and checked his e-mails and texts. He stared at one in particular. Gregg had sent him a link that included a clock counting down. The changing numbers held him mesmerized.