Author: Michael Bailey
Release Date: December 28, 2018
Length: 30,000 words
It will be available on Prolific Works
Cover Artist: Designs by Morningstar
Thirty years ago, Charlie was a high school nobody, more comfortable with fading into the background than being out and proud.
Thirty years ago, Noah was a star high school athlete, more comfortable with running the baseball diamond than admitting who he really was.
Thirty years ago, Charlie and Noah had a secret relationship. No one knew they were friends, let alone lovers. Pressures from home, from school, and their own self-doubts ended things before they could really begin.
But that was thirty years ago.
A lot can change in thirty years. Noah now works in sports medicine after an injury derailed his baseball career. And Charlie is attempting to open his second restaurant.
A chance encounter, a hotel screw-up, and two meddling friends may be all it takes to bring these two back together. If they can only deal with the past, and one huge secret. They may get their…
I rolled onto my back, stretching my arm across the width of the bed. When it landed on nothing but mattress and sheets, my eyes shot open, pulling me from my memories. I groaned as the light from the window hit me, and I slammed my eyes closed again.
I was alone.
My heart sank. I wondered if my memories were real at all. Had I simply dreamed the previous night with Noah? The dance at the reunion, the kiss in the middle of the dance floor, and the lovemaking after. Or had it all been too real, too much for Noah to handle, and he took the hotel up on the offer of another room, stealthily leaving me in the middle of the night? My heart raced at the thought. I thought we had made progress. I thought we were finally going to have our moment.
But he wasn’t there.
I was in an empty bed.
Then I heard the shower running and chanced to squint my eyes open. The bathroom door was closed, and the sound of the shower running coming from behind it.
I breathed out a sigh of relief.
Maybe I hadn’t been wrong after all. Maybe the previous night hadn’t been too much for him. Maybe we were finally at the same place.
The bathroom door opened, and Noah stepped out, steam billowing behind him as if he had just stepped out of a cloud. He had a towel wrapped around his waist and was using another to dry his hair one handed. His other hand held a Q-Tip to his ear. He stopped, in that exact pose, when he saw me. He would have looked almost comical with that damn Q-Tip in his ear if I didn’t know what was under that towel. Instead…“Oh,” he said. “You’re awake.”
I took a second to take him in. The stubble on his face and the hair on his chest were both shot through with gray. Evidence of a six pack, now long gone, still lingered. But in its place was something softer, more masculine, at least to me. The scar from his injury ran the length of his knee. But despite all of this…no, because of all of this, he was simply one word. “Beautiful.”
The word was out of my mouth before I could stop it. I realized what I said a split second later when he quirked an eyebrow and the corner of his lips twitched up into a smile. “Excuse me?” he questioned, smiling shyly.
I tried to cover, because I was almost certain that he was unaccustomed to being called “beautiful.” At least not in his world. “I said, fucking hot.”
The blush that bloomed from his chest, up his neck, and enveloped his cheeks only served to add to his beauty.
He stepped into the room and came to stand on my side of the bed, hovering over me for a moment. Then he leaned down and kissed me. The heat from the previous night was still there, but caged, restrained, held back by something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
“You’re beautiful too,” he whispered against my lips.
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