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Scorpio Hates Virgo (Signs of Love #2)
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This year is all about healing the heart, Scorpio. It’s time to leave negative attitudes and stoic facades at the door and let others see the real, more vulnerable you.
Percy Freedman is not grieving. Absolutely not, take that back at once. No, he’s entirely sure that selling his dead aunt’s home and leaving the neighbors he’s known for years is the sane thing to do. Who in their right mind would keep the house that smells like all the hugs he’ll never have again?
Nobody, that’s who.
Well, except his cul-de-sac neighbors. They all seem to think some paint and new furniture will clean the emotional slate. They all want him to stay.
Even his nemesis, Callaghan Glover.
Especially his nemesis, Callaghan Glover.
Lured into a game of Sherlock Gnomes, Percy finds himself hanging out with his neighbors more than might be considered healthy. Along with juggling new and surprising verbal grenades from Cal, and his burgeoning friendship with Gnomber9, Percy is starting to wonder if selling might have been the grief talking after all . . .
That’s right, Scorpio. With a little patience, heartbreak might be a thing of the past . . .
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“Scorpio Hates Virgo” contains sarcasm, sexual content, a slightly sappy HEA, and an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs.
Themes: friends-to-lovers, slow burn
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noun / per . cal . i . nary
Definition of PERCALINARY
: a reference explaining the implied meanings of words as used by Percy Freedman and Callaghan Glover
Example of PERCALINARY in a sentence
My first time watching Percy and Cal interact required frequent recourse to a percalinary to understand what the hell type of flirting these two were up to.
Praying would not bring back his aunt, so Percy Freedman was making a pact with the devil.
If he arrived at his aunt’s house and she opened the door, he might stop being sarcastic. For an entire day.
If she opened the door, he might let her cut his precious hair again under the supervision of a qualified hairdresser. Minus the bowl.
If she opened the door and she was alive and kicking, he might, just might, be nice to neighbor and nemesis Callaghan Glover.
He drove into the cul-de-sac. Cape Cod houses lined the small street, solid and heavy under a midnight blue sky and peppered porch lights. He parked under an old oak and wrung the life out of his steering wheel.
If she opened the door, he might cry.
He slid out of his Jeep and slunk past the paint-peeling mailbox, through weedy grass, and toward the porch suffering from broken column brackets. The house looked like it was wincing after a fight had sucker punched its teeth.
Kind of how he felt coming here again.
Music wailed through the brick and shingle. Impossible hope jackrabbited his heart.
If his aunt opened the door, he might forgive her awful taste in screeching death metal.
With a nervous twist in his gut, Percy inched to the porch. The front door rocked on its hinges, and he pushed inside, whispering against the loud music. “Abby?”
He turned on the light and blinked in the empty hall. Only the sound of untuned guitars greeted him.
He passed a ransacked hall closet and stopped outside Aunt Abby’s room. “Abby?” he said again as he opened the door.
Stagnant air funneled over him, smelling faintly of Aunt Abby’s hibiscus perfume. Strewn over two bedside tables and a trunk at the foot the bed were his aunt’s clothes and tennis gear.
Under a row of Percy-Abby pictures mounted on the wall, his cousin Frank rifled through a mahogany set of drawers.
Frank, who he’d been staying with the last couple of days.
Frank, who’d been acting off with him since the moment Percy had shown up.
Frank, who must know a faster way to drive here through the Twin Cities.
Like the snap of a lock, Frank looked up, guilt warring with defensiveness.
Percy shut off the music blasting from an old stereo, and sighed. “Well. Isn’t this peachy?”
Frank looked away from him. “Took you long enough to get here.”
“Have you finished taking whatever scraps she has left?”
“No.” He opened her jewelry box, grabbed a handful of worthless brooches, and tossed them on the bed. “I can’t believe she left the house to you.”
Percy blinked back the tender punch of grief filling his chest. “She paid off your college loans. She gave me the house, but it’s run-down and there are mortgages. She was fair.”
“Fair? When my parents died, she could have taken me in. I ended up in a shit-hole with my loser uncle. You practically pranced away from your living parents, and she took you in? Nothing she did was fair.”
“Are you suggesting my life has been all rainbows?”
Frank shoved past Percy, muttering, “Leave it to you to bring the gay to a fight.”
Percy followed him out the front door and over the ungroomed grass. “In all fairness, with this face, I bring the gay everywhere—”
Frank whirled around and tossed keys at him. “You forgot those. I brought them to you.”
Lights popped on in the neighboring houses. Percy’s neck prickled at a movement across the street. If he looked, he knew he’d see Cal Glover across the road looming in the shadows.
He stared at his blotchy-faced cousin. “Why did you rifle through her things? Why didn’t you just ask?”
Frank’s face flickered with frustration, and he shoved Percy’s chest, sending him reeling a step. “Because she loved you more. Though why I have no idea. You’re not family material, are you?”
Percy fought against the sudden hurt pulsing in his chest. He’d opened up to Frank about his ex in confidence. Where was his good-natured cousin who used to playfully rib him? The one he went to hockey games with? The one who laughed?
A tight smile tipped Frank’s lips. As if he knew he’d hit a nerve. “I’m not surprised Josh left you for someone else. You were someone to fuck around with before he settled into his real life.”
It took forty-two muscles to pinch a face in anger. Four to lift an arm and slap him. Difficult math. “At least I’m not in the closet.”
Frank leaned in and whispered, “At least I’m not destined to be unhappy.” Percy opened his mouth to retort but his cousin beat him to it. “It will happen again. You’ll get close to someone, and they’ll leave you. They always do.”