I have a new release for Christmas! A contemporary m/m novelette published by Torquere Press as part of their Single Shot Extravaganza, Fortune’s Choice.
Just before Christmas, Keith returns home to claim an inheritance, but can’t decide whether to stay in his aunt’s old house, or keep his city apartment. He loves that house, but his hometown holds bad memories. Deciding to stay until New Year’s before making a decision, Keith goes to buy a Christmas tree and runs into the one person he isn’t ready to meet again.
Seeing Dale again is sweet torture, complicated even more because Dale’s out and about with two kids. But Dale seems happy to see Keith again, and extremely interested to discover Keith is a successful author. Not only that, but under the pen-name of Guy Fortune, Keith is one of Dale’s favorite gay authors. Will Dale have a confession to make for Christmas?
He parked in the small lot and pulling his collar up against the cold, he walked to the section where the Christmas trees were lined up.
There were a few other people wandering around, inspecting the trees. Keith saw a couple he did not recognize so he passed by, then he spied Mr. Murphy and, other than a few gray hairs, the man had hardly changed. Keith smiled at him and the man stared at him, probably trying to place him but coming up short. Keith decided to let him think on it; he would introduce himself later when he had chosen a tree.
He walked down another aisle and saw a man bent over talking to his two young children. Keith idly wondered where the man’s wife was. Abruptly, the man straightened, turning slightly to point at a neighboring tree and Keith was forced to suck in a breath as he recognized the man.
Oh, God, Dale. After all these years, the thought of the boy, the man, could churn up his insides like nothing else. To see him in the flesh… Keith felt his whole body tighten up. He looked… oh my Lord, he looked even better than he had at age seventeen, when Keith lusted over his friend day and night. Better than he had at aged twenty, when Keith knew he loved him and ached each night with the knowledge that he could never have him. Dale Ormiston might not have been the only reason Keith had left Mereton and headed to the bright lights of the city, but he was one of the main reasons and, in the end, the most pressing reason.
Keith had thought that making a clean break, leaving behind an unrequited love and building a new life for himself would be the best thing for him. In some ways, it had worked. He had been successful, though not in the way he had expected. He did have a good life, not spectacular, but he made enough from his writing, both fiction and non-fiction, to be comfortable. The one thing he had never achieved, though, was happiness in his private life because he had never been able to leave behind the feelings he had for Dale. Oh, he’d tried. Trawled the gay bars, picked up and been picked up, probably slept with more men than had been good for him, trying to find someone to capture his heart and mind the way Dale had, but it had been useless. No one measured up to his boyhood friend, and gradually he accepted that no one ever would, or ever could. He still had the odd fling, but now he never expected anything else and no longer looked for emotional attachment.
It was almost a shock to recognize that he had clung to a vague dream that returning home to Mereton, he might finally fulfill his long suppressed fantasy that he could yet win Dale. He had been stupid. Dale Ormiston had always been at the top of the cheerleaders list and one of them had obviously finally caught him.
Keith dragged his eyes from Dale and looked at the two children with him. A boy and girl, aged about seven and five he guessed. Pretty children, with Dale’s big green eyes and light brown hair. He wondered who the mother was. She didn’t seem to have made much of an impression in their looks. Abruptly, Keith realized that Dale might turn around and see him at any moment, and he knew he was in no state to see the man he still loved after all these years. Not with his children. God!
Available from Torquere Press: