Julian’s in cutoff sweats and no shirt and he’s trying to reach from the weight bench where he’s seated to the door handle of the small fridge, which is just a few inches too far away from him. From my hiding spot by the doorway, I can see his surprisingly V-shaped bare back, and the rise of muscle that runs from his shoulders to his neck, and the cut of his arms. I clear my throat and he turns.
Okay, there are guys who are utterly ripped, like bodybuilders. That’s not Julian. He’s not stacked like a bodybuilder. He’s just… buff, in this way, in this utterly sensual way. Like his pecs aren’t huge and bulging, they’re just pronounced enough. His chest, like his back, is broad and his body tapers in at the waist, leading to another hint of a V-shape pointing down from his hip bones, and above this the shadowy lines of a six-pack. He sees me. “Hello.”
My insides clench. Suddenly, I can’t look at him. “Can’t sleep?”
“No. I figured I might as well do something useful.”
“But now you’ll have to get your wheelchair all the way back up to the house.”
I glance at him and catch him studying me. “Yeah, I guess I will.”
Probably on account of his injuries, Julian is stretching out his left leg and leaning back on the bench instead of just bending the leg and sitting normally. This is what’s giving me such an amazing view. Of his sweatiness. The sweat has dampened his hair, it’s filming his skin. There are a handful of scars on his chest, and with his head back a little like it is, my eye can trace the line up those scars in a kind of zigzag pattern.
I gulp down some air and hope he can’t hear it. But he must, because that curve at the corner of his mouth deepens a little.
“Can you come here a minute?”
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