Bankers' Hours

By: Wade Kelly

Even though bankers’ hours leave long weekends for romance, cosmic intervention is Grant’s only option when money doesn’t buy happiness and he’s got virginity in spades.

Grant Adams is a twenty-six-year-old bank teller who’s unlucky at love, yet hopelessly hopeful. After years of horrific first dates, he’s convinced he’s saving himself for true love. Surely he has bad taste in men because it couldn’t possibly be his persnickety nature that’s sent them packing.

Tristan Carr has been in a holding pattern since his daughter was born fifteen years ago, which suits his workaholic lifestyle just fine. This ex–naval officer turned auto mechanic never wanted anyone interfering with being a weekend dad. For Tristan to rearrange his carefully orchestrated life, a guy will need to be special. Or in the case of the newest employee at his bank, the guy will need to be adorable, shy, and open to the prospect of forever when it shows up at his window.

I would like to dedicate this novel to all my readers who continue to support and encourage me. Some days have not been so easy and your constant outpouring of love really means a lot to me. Chad, Lynn, Kayla, Simon, Jason M., Z., and so many more, you will never know how much I appreciate your kindness.

To beta readers, whom I will refer to as “my pack.” (Like in Teen Wolf, ha ha.) Taryn, Will, Jeff, Beth, and Mandy, you guys rock!

To Poppy, thank you for believing in me.

And to that random bank guy, Josh, who unwittingly inspired an entire book simply by being adorable. Thank you!

Chapter 1: Same Job, New Location, And Starting My Life Over

“WHO’S THE hottie?” a female customer asked my colleague Jessica. She “whispered” her question in a none too hushed voice, as if it wouldn’t be overheard four feet away in the adjacent teller cubicle. I kept my back turned, pretending to tidy my work area, because I wasn’t sure how to respond. I didn’t really know Jessica, since I’d only worked in this branch of the bank for a week. I certainly didn’t know the customer who asked the question. I hadn’t seen her in the bank before. I did, however, know enough to understand I was the object of the question.

It wasn’t the first time I’d been referred to as hot, although I wasn’t sure why. I didn’t have the muscle I normally associated with hotties. I guess I was okay looking, and I was kind of tall, but after people got to know me, my looks never mattered. I was pedantic, persnickety, and on some days positively puerile. But even though I knew myself pretty well, that didn’t mean I knew how to change. I guess I was a little too much for most people. I had very few friends, and I rarely got asked out twice by the same man. Actually, I couldn’t remember ever being asked out twice.

I almost threw a pity party for myself in my cubicle, but knocked over my pens instead. When they went rolling everywhere, I stopped stewing over being twenty-six and never-been-kissed. It was more rational to think of my virginity as “saving myself,” but truth be told, I was a loser and no one had ever liked me enough to kiss me. I picked up my pens, set them back in the container, and moved it to a different location.

“That’s Grant,” Jessica answered her customer. “He transferred from another branch when it closed.”

I made the mistake of glancing over and caught Jessica and the woman staring at me. Was this what penguins felt like? No, they probably didn’t notice the humans staring through the glass as they swam at the zoo. Monkeys were more intelligent. Maybe monkeys understood the uneasiness associated with being gawked at. It wasn’t merely the staring, or the compliment she’d given me; my problem was in knowing the remarks never stayed on the complimentary level. Once they got past my dark blond hair and blue eyes, people eventually laughed at me for something.

I turned away from Jessica and headed toward the restroom. Once I locked the door, I took out my phone and texted my mother. I didn’t live with her—I wasn’t completely pathetic—but we texted often.

How are you, Mom?

She texted back quickly, as usual. I’m fine, Grant, but you’re supposed to be working. Stop texting me.

I’m on a five-minute break.