The Spencer Cohen Series, Book One

By: N.R. Walker

CHAPTER ONE





I walked out of the tattoo shop on Abbot Kinney Boulevard and smiled into the warm LA afternoon sun. My last job had paid well, so I’d just put two month’s rent in my landlord’s hand for the small apartment above the shop that I’d called home since I’d arrived from Australia two years ago.

I loved this place. Los freakin’ Angeles. I fit in here. I found the one place where I could be me, where I belonged. There was always bustling, always something doing. A million strangers, yet I’d come to know the locals and some of them even called me by name.

“Hey, Spencer!”

Lola waved at me from a table at the back of the coffee shop. She looked gorgeous, as always. Her usual 50s style rock-and-roll dress and her bright pink hair matched the Japanese blossom tattooed down her arm. She was my best friend and had lined up my next prospective client.

I kissed her cheek. “Hey beautiful.”

She beamed a pale pink lip gloss smile up at me, and I sat down at the table. We ordered our usual drinks, and as we waited for them to arrive, I prompted the conversation. “So, tell me about this guy.”

“Well,” she started, “I met his sister at a job just this last weekend.”

“The wedding?” I asked. “How’d it go?” Lola ran her own makeup styling business and weddings were just one of her specialties.

Our drinks arrived. Lola sipped her coffee and I let my tea brew a little longer. “Oh, it went just fine,” she said, putting her cup back down on the table. “Anyway, the sister was a bridesmaid, and we got to talking. Her brother’s just broken up with his fiancé, and she mentioned that he was trying to get him back.”

I smiled.

“So I told her I know a guy,” Lola said, looking pointedly at me, “who just might be able to help him with that.”

“He’s gay?” I asked. She said he was trying to get him back, but I wanted to be sure.

“Sure is.”

I sighed, a little relieved. I had no problem working with straight clients, but batting for my own team was my preferred choice. Especially when public displays of affection were required, sidling up to a stubbled jaw was more my thing than a sweetly perfumed, soft-skinned one.

“What else do you know about him?”

“Just that his sister said he was devastated and probably wouldn’t want anything to do with this, but that they’d be here at three.” I looked at my watch. It was right on three. Lola patted my hand on the table. “Oh, here they are now.”

I looked up at who was walking in. The woman was first, with blondish shoulder length hair, pale skin and a wide smile. She was a beautiful woman. The guy behind her had short sandy-blond hair, and palish skin. He was cute too, in a normal guy kind of way. He also looked like he’d rather be anywhere else but here.

Lola and I both stood up, and Lola waved them over. “Sarah, so nice to see you again!”

“You too!” Sarah said. She looked right at me and grinned. “I’m Sarah, and this is my brother, Andrew Landon.” She turned to her brother, which of course made both Lola and I look at her brother, and there was Andrew staring at me.

I was used to this.

I didn’t exactly fit the “well-adjusted into society” mould. I had a white button-down shirt on with the sleeves rolled up to my elbows, which meant he could see my arms. My full-sleeved tattooed arms. I wore three-quarter brown dress pants and suspenders, loafers, and my hair was shaved at the sides and kinda long on top, and I had a bit of a beard happening. Lola had called my look “lumbersexual hipster” once, and it wasn’t until I got home and googled it that I agreed with her. Though I kept my beard short, but it was a beard nonetheless.

“Um, I think this was a mistake,” Andrew mumbled and he turned to leave.

Sarah grabbed his arm before he could walk away. “You said you’d hear them out.” Andrew stopped and took a deep breath, and although it was clearly not where he wanted to be, he stayed.

I smiled at him. “Take a seat. Let me get you a drink. Coffee?”

Sarah sat down with a tentative, apologetic smile, and waited for her brother to do the same. Andrew sat with a barely contained sigh and forced a somewhat appeased look onto his face. “So, I’m the loser who needs help getting my fiancé back.”

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