Her Kind of Man by Nona Raines
During the day, Roy Girard works with truckers. It's a macho environment where a man is judged by how tough he is. And everyone knows Roy as one of the toughest.
On his own time Roy helps mentor young people who are LGBT, and cares about them as if they were his own. He's in love with Venetia, a trans woman.
He's careful to keep his nine-to-five completely separate from his private life. He knows his work buddies wouldn't understand. And he doesn't want Venetia exposed to their crude, narrow-minded views. It's his job to protect her.
But when his two worlds collide, he has to make a choice. In trying to protect the woman he loves, he asks for more than she can give. In his need to keep her safe, he risks pushing her out of his life forever.
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“You know, I’ve been thinking…”
“Always a dangerous activity,” Venetia quipped.
“Ha-ha. Come here.” Roy grabbed her and pulled her down onto his lap. What a relief to have the workday over, to just chill with his lady at her place. “Seriously. I’ve been thinking about getting back into driving.”
Venetia flicked a strand of hair behind her ear, surprise washing over her beautiful face. Shit, every time he looked at her, it struck him how lucky he was. “Really? What brought this about?” she asked.
Discomfort made him squirm, but he covered by settling her more firmly on his thighs. What brought it about? The article from this morning’s newspaper, for one. Bill’s stupid comments. And his own worry and fear, growing stronger each day he remained in that community of macho assholes. The community he used to be part of, feel at home in. But he’d grown beyond it now, because of Travis and Venetia and SPECTRUM.
He wouldn’t share his fears with her. It was his job to protect her. Let him do the worrying. “Well, it’d be more money, for one thing.”
“Yes, but a lot more travel. I thought you left over-the-road driving so you could settle down.”
“Yeah, sure, I’ve given it a try.” He shrugged. “But I’m getting kind of itchy, a little bored. Maybe it’s time for a change.”
“Itchy?” Her beautiful brown eyes widened and seemed to darken with concern. “Is your job the only thing you’re bored with?”
He blinked. “What do you mean?”
She loosened his arms from her waist and stood, then sat in another chair, putting space between them. “I know it’s not easy, Roy. Being with me.”
“What’re you talking about?” He closed the gap between them, perching on the arm of her chair. Never mind he was such a lug he’d probably tip them both onto the floor. “Being with you is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
She lifted her head to gaze at him, her expression only growing sadder. “Is it the guys at work? Do they give you a hard time because of me?”
He went still. He kept his work life and his private life totally separate. Bill and a couple of other coworkers had met Venetia, though Roy had never meant for their paths to cross. He and Vee had been bowling at the Lucky Lanes when they ran into the guys. None of them knew she was trans, and none of them knew about his involvement with SPECTRUM. And that was how he meant to keep it.
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