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About the author:
I am a reader and writer of romantic erotic fiction of all varieties. Sometimes, the little stories in my head just need to be shared (and sometimes they are just for me). I enjoy red wine, black rum, shell-hunting walks along the seashore, and solo late-night drunken dance parties.
What inspired you to write your book?
― Rob Bell
Here is a short sample from the book:
I’d lived in my house for four years before Matt moved into the neighborhood. It’s a small ranch-style house, typical layout. Some previous owner had added a small deck on to the side where my kitchen door was, not big enough for more than a chair but it was a good place to set down groceries or a laptop bag, and it was right near the driveway, so that little two-step-up deck turned into the entrance I used most often. I tried to make my house nice, and I gave my yard more than just the minimum effort. Choosing a house over an apartment or a condo meant something to me, it was a commitment, and I took it seriously.
For two years, my boyfriend Rick had lived with me, but it was my house and so when we broke up he moved out. It took me a long time to erase all the pieces of Rick from my home. We’d met soon after I’d bought the house and shared a comfortable, easy partnership. Maybe too comfortable. We got along well, had a great friendship, and love, and respect, but not much passion. And for Rick, that meant he had to find that passion somewhere else. So I guess all we really had was a mediocre friendship, after all. Forget about love and respect.
Six months after I discovered his affair we finally, officially, ended. I realize now I was grasping at straws, trying so hard to make something out of nothing. But all the therapy, the long nights talking, the promises, the mini-vacations… nothing brought back the spark that was probably never really there in the first place. I promised myself after Rick that I’d never let myself be used again, never be taken for granted or led on. I was so ashamed of the way I’d acted, how I’d been so willing to take him back despite everything, how I’d begged him to try to make things work between us. I realized I’d done that with almost every guy I’d ever dated. So, I took a break from dating. A long break.
A year later, Matt moved in to the little colonial across the street. One day he showed up, knocking on my door to ask if he could borrow a ladder. I helped him fix his porch light, and then ended up staying for pizza and talking with him for hours. He was outgoing and funny, and I thought it was cool that he had decided to buy a house as a single guy, just like I had. He made a few comments too flirty to be straight, held my eyes a little too long. I found him attractive, and I wasn’t sure if he was gay or if I was just seeing what I hoped was there, so I told him about Rick. Once he had confirmation that I was gay he made sure to mention, just casually of course, that he also had an ex-boyfriend or two.
After that first afternoon, we got together randomly, usually when he needed to borrow something or had a project I could help him with. I got the feeling he wanted to spend time with me, and I was flattered. I’m not a bad looking guy, but Matt is gorgeous. Around my height, just barely six feet, but with the kind of muscular torso I could never hope to achieve. His hair is dark and his eyes are brown, and when he smiles his whole face lights up. I was infatuated with him immediately.
I worked hard to hide my feelings, though. The last thing I needed was some kind of awkward unrequited crush, so I resolved to wait until he made the first move. He never did. Months went by, and we were still just friendly neighbors. We’d share a beer now and then, but we weren’t exactly close. I didn’t even know his phone number. All our visits were unplanned, usually post-lawn mowing or snow-shoveling, and although we got along well, we never took our relationship to the level of true friendship. We talked about baseball, politics, the neighborhood, the weather, our jobs. Nothing too personal, no feelings revealed, no secrets traded.
I slowly realized all he felt was some kind of kinship with me because we were both gay, like a neighborhood rainbow-alliance. I almost wanted to tell him about the lesbian couple who lived one block over on Maple street, just to see if he’d start chatting them up too. He was cute, he was friendly, but there wasn’t anything real between us, and since I was too scared to make the first move, I was sure it would stay that way.
My social life was suffering on other fronts, as well. Tara, my best friend since college, had recently married and was now expecting her first child. I was thrilled for her, of course, but our margarita movie nights were a thing of the past. And my friend Marcus, who occupied the cubicle next to mine at work, was going through a difficult time at home. His wife’s mother was dying of cancer, and besides the emotional issues that entailed, he was spending a lot of time helping to care for her and supporting his wife through it all.
So I had a lot of free time. My only dependable weekend date was with my sister Sophia and her husband Tyler. She asked me to dinner almost every Saturday night, and if I skipped out on that she’d usually insist on Sunday brunch. I liked spending time with Sophie, I just wished, for once, I’d be able to say ‘sorry, Soph, I can’t make it this weekend, I’ve got plans’. But the weeks dragged on. I liked being alone, had never been exceptionally social, but this was extreme, even for me. I was growing so lonely I seriously considered just risking rejection and asking Matt out for a date, but each time I came close I lost my nerve. I noticed he was out a lot on the weekends, so I wasn’t sure he was even still single, anyway.
On a warm Saturday night in May I was at Sophia’s, my niece Arianna sitting on my lap, both of us laughing at my nephew Alex as he played with their dog. He had taught the beagle-mix a few tricks, and was trying desperately to make Oscar perform on command in an adorably unnecessary attempt to impress me.
Finally Arianna piped up helpfully, “I know, Alex! Uncle Leo can train Oscar when he watches him next week!”
Alex looked up at her, a wounded expression on his little face. “Ari, Oscar is trained, I trained him! He’s just nervous right now, he can do this.”
“Keep trying, Alex, he’ll do it.” I tried not to smile at him. This moment required a serious demeanor, to show proper respect for his dog-training ability. It took me a minute after Alex turned back to his task before I realized what Arianna had said. “Wait…What do you mean, ‘when I watch him next week’?”
Sophia shot me an apologetic look from across the kitchen. “Sorry, Leo, its kind of last minute. We just decided to go to Florida with Tyler on his business trip! He has to work, but the kids and I are going to do Disney a couple of days, hang out at the hotel pool, just have a last minute vacation. If you can’t take Oscar, I can board him.”
“No Sophie, of course I’ll take him.” I turned towards Arianna and smiled, “Disney?”
She giggled and clapped, her excitement making her act younger than her six years. “Yes! Disney!”