Grace looked at Dillon as he reached up turning the showerhead. Her new stepson’s bareback rippled with more muscles than she ever imagined. She had watched him grow from age fourteen, and now at 18 he was a strapping man.

Grace had started working for Dillon’s father right after his wife died, and as the secretary to a widowed executive, a number of family related duties fell to her. Initially it was her who remembered Dillon’s fourteenth birthday, and since his father was out of town on a business trip at the time, it was Grace who delivered his present.

When she first saw her soon to be stepson, she was taken back. He had a narrow tanned face with dark blue eyes and sun-lightened brown hair. He was slightly taller than other boys his age, but more striking than that was his old soul. Grace found that Dillon didn’t say much, but when he did speak his heart seemed so full of warmth and depth that she couldn’t stop staring at him.

“This is from your dad,” Grace said handing him an exquisitely wrapped gift.

Dillon looked back at Grace seeing right through her attempt to make his father look good. Dillon knew who his dad was at this point, and now 14-years-old, he no longer felt the need to pretend. “I thank you for your gift, Miss Evans,” he replied.

Grace considered fighting for his dad’s reputation but knew that Dillon was far smarter than that. “You’re welcome. But he did pay for it, so you should thank him for that.”

Dillon smiled at the beautiful brown-eyed, dark-haired woman in front of him. Staring, he decided that she looked a little younger than his mom did, but she was just as fit. His mom had spent many hours at the gym to look like she did, so he presumed that the long-legged woman with her cleavage showing was equally as committed.

 Continuing to stare at her, she reminded Dillon of his mom in two other ways: She was equally as beautiful; and like his mom, this lean, narrow featured beauty didn’t lie to him.

“So do you like working for my dad?” he asked curiously.

Grace looked at the beautiful boy in front of her wondering how much of her real self she should reveal. “He’s a good boss. He’s demanding, but most executives are. I’m glad to be working for him.”

“Good,” Dillon replied saying much more with the silence that followed.

“So are you going to open your gift?”

Dillon turned his attention to the extravagantly wrapped box. Tearing off the paper he fanned the games in his hand. “Oh wow! These are exactly what I wanted,” Dillon offered with reserved enthusiasm. “I have been asking my dad for these. I didn’t think I was gonna get them.”

Dillon looked up at Grace. “These have made my night.”

Grace’s heart melted upon hearing Dillon’s announcement. She couldn’t tell if it was practiced gratitude or sincere appreciation but his words made her tingle a little. The idea that she could make this lonely boy’s night special satisfied something in her that she didn’t even know existed. She could feel herself glow from it.

“Is someone staying with you tonight?” Grace asked looking around at the seemingly empty house.

“Yeah, Mrs Fernando. She’s our housekeeper.”

“Where is she?”

“She’s watching TV in her room. Did you want something to eat? I can get her.”

Grace looked at the boy wanting to experience more of him and hence knowing that it was time for her to leave. “No, I just wanted to make sure that you weren’t here by yourself.”


“Did you two do something special for your birthday?” Grace asked worrying about what he would say.

“No. She doesn’t know,” Dillon said losing the fight to hide his feelings.

Grace’s heart broke staring at the gentle young man in front of her. “I’m sorry.”

Grace’s apology only withered Dillon more.

“You know what? I’ve been known to play a mean game of ‘Gears of War.’ I bet you that I can take you two out of three times in any one of your new games. It can’t be any that you have practice in. We have to start on a level playing field.”

Dillon’s eyes lit up. “You play video games?”

“Of course I do. Do you see which games I chose? What, you think I asked the sales clerk which ones to buy?”