Farewell from the Bookshelf!

Please note that GLBT Bookshelf -- the community wiki which was the parent to this fiction blog -- went offline on May 31, 2016, after seven years' service to members.

All Gay Romance will remain online till the end of 2016 in order to give contributors every opportunity to recover materials uploaded here.

Many thanks to all who contributed over the years, and good luck to everyone in your future works!


Depth Perception

This is not part of any other work, just a short story about some men coming to terms with their relationship. Sex is hinted at, but not specifically spelled out.

Depth Perception

Mark stood along the wall, nursing a drink.  He smiled whenever someone looked at him, but otherwise did not join in any of the myriad conversations that swirled around him.  The objective was to be seen, show that he wasn't pining away at home, but to leave as soon as it was decently possible.

Sean will be there you know.

With a sigh, Mark took another sip of his gin and tonic.  He had to make his escape before that happened.  Sure, he was over it, he told himself that every single day.

The ice cubes clinked against the side of the glass, and smacked against his upper lip.  The drink done, he felt he could successfully depart without it being noticed.  He set the glass down on a table, and turned to leave.

Too late.

Mark's hands clenched into fists, nails cutting deeply into his palms, and he stared.

Sean looked good.  Grey shirt, muted blue necktie, black wool trousers, his hair tousled and wild.  He had the same easy smile he always had, the same infectious laugh.  When he turned to accept a drink, the light bathed his face, appearing to light him from the inside.

A lump formed in Mark's throat.  As unobtrusively as he could, he sunk down into a hard chair, scooting into the shadows, hoping to avoid notice.  All the ugly thoughts roiled around him, and he gave in to the pain.


"And I'm getting a puppy!"  Mark's face shone with happiness.

"Where are you going to keep a puppy?" Sean asked, his face set in a scowl.

"Here silly," Mark said, spinning through the empty room of the apartment.  "There's plenty of place for a puppy to run in here."

"We're not getting a dog Mark," Sean said softly.  He shoved his hands deep into his pockets and walked to the window, gazing down at the street below.

"Oh come on," Mark enthused.  He sidled up behind Sean and twined his arms around his waist.  "They allow pets, and I've always wanted one, and there's plenty of room, and I'll take care of him…."

Sean turned, and pressed himself tightly against Mark's body, pinning his arms to his sides.  "Read my lips Mark, no dog."

Mark tipped his head back, and looked at Sean.  With an impish grin, he whispered, "I can think of things I'd rather do with your lips then read them."

Sean arched a brow, "Oh really?"

Mark smiled warmly and moved closer.  He wormed his arms free from Sean's and wrapped them around him.  "Really."  Keeping his eyes locked on Sean, he moved forward, touching their lips together.

"Mmmm," Sean murmured.

Although the apartment was essentially empty, Sean maneuvered them to a small day bed in the corner.  Mark tumbled back against it, a dreamy half smile on his face.

Standing over him, Sean's fierce expression softened, and he smiled.  He sank down to his knees and whispered, "Take off your clothes baby, let me make you forget all about having a dog."

As Mark complied, he realized that Sean had done it again, had shaken him off the scent of something he really wanted to do.  But Sean's vivid blue eyes danced as Mark shed the last of his clothing.  Goosebumps raised along his flesh, and he scooted back to watch as Sean gracefully shed his own clothing.

"Sexy baby," Sean whispered as he reached down and caressed Mark's knee, then urged it up, spreading him wide.

Mark's eyes slipped closed under the intensity of Sean's gaze.  His body responded eagerly to Sean's touch.  The long accustomed dance between them.  Gentle fingers, soft lips, replaced by hard, insistent flesh.  The multitude of colors that flashed across his closed eyelids, the cacophony of noise as climax neared and then was met.  The cool breeze through the open window after, sloughing across sweat dampened skin.

"Mmmm….Sean," Mark whispered against his solid chest, lips teasing at a pert nipple.  "So good…."

Sean grunted, his finger tracing a lazy pattern on Mark's back.

The shadows lengthened in the small room, and at last Sean slipped from Mark's side and moved to sit on the edge of the narrow bed.  He bent forward, groping for his boxers.

"So," Mark said, making no moves to get up himself, watching the flexing muscles of Sean's back, "When do we move in?"

Sean looked back over his shoulder, "I move in on the fifteenth."

Mark's lips lifted in a half smile, "You?"

Sean nodded.  "Me."  He took a deep breath.  "You won't be living here Mark."

The gasp nearly choked him, and Mark was frozen at first, then he slowly said, "Good one Sean, you scared me."

"I'm serious Mark," Sean said with a shrug.  He turned and began sorting through the pile of clothes on the floor, taking his jeans, socks, t-shirt.  "This is goodbye."

"No," Mark's voice was small and pathetic.  His mouth was suddenly dry, and he could feel his cheeks beginning to tremble.

Sean completed the task of dressing, then stood.  He turned to look down at Mark coldly.  "Get up and get dressed."

"Sean," Mark whispered softly.  "Not like this…."

Hands on hips, Sean said, "Then how?  I told you in the beginning that this wouldn't last forever, that the day would come when we'd move on.  This is that day."

Mark covered his face with his hands, suddenly vulnerable under the cold scrutiny.

"Did you want me to sugar coat it?  'It's not you Mark, it's me,'" Sean said in a mincing voice, "'I need space, I'm all screwed up inside, I don't want to bring you down with me.'  Fuck Mark, I'm not about that and you know it.  It's over, plain and simple.  Now get up and get dressed, or you can stay here and let the super find you this way for all I care."

Mark curled on his side, his face still covered with his hands.  "I thought," he said softly, "That things would be different.  I thought maybe you cared for me."

"You knew my reputation," Sean said, stepping into his shoes, bending to tie the laces.  "This ain't the first time."

Mark remained miserably silent.  It was true, he'd known the risk when the relationship started, but he hoped he had the power to change Sean.  He realized now that he hadn't.

Shoes tied, Sean stood up.  "You have good qualities Mark, you'll make some man a fine mate.  You're good in bed, and you can cook."

For some reason, the words cut deeper than any other Sean had spoken, and Mark began to cry.  "Just go Sean," he said brokenly.

"Look Mark," Sean began.

"Leave me the fuck alone," Mark said fiercely.

Sean stared down at him for a moment, then said softly, "Suit yourself."


The party was in full swing when Sean arrived.  He planned it that way, knowing that Mark would likely be there.

He's a coward, he'll jet before you get there.

Although the flippant words had angered him, he knew they were true.  Mark was many things, brave wasn't one of them.  Sean started on his second bourbon, beginning to relax a bit, pleased to be amongst old friends.

A movement, a shadow in the corner caught his eyes.  Slowly Sean turned, and the breath left him as surely as if someone had punched him in the gut.  Mark looked small sitting by himself along the side of the room, but his eyes were haunting.

The words that had chased themselves around inside his head came to the fore, he felt his hands begin to shake.  You fucked up Sean, letting him go.  You.  Fucked.  Up.

Of their own accord, his feet found their way surely across the room until he stood right in front of Mark.  One word, that would be all it would take.  One word and Sean would relent, open his arms and pull Mark back into his world.

Not daring to swallow, let alone breathe, Sean watched as Mark stood.  Their eyes met, yet the expression on Mark's face never changed.  Without a word, he stepped past Sean, and walked away across the room, never turning back, not saying a word to anyone.

He disappeared through the front door, leaving a trail of CK Obsession in his wake.


  1. Oh, I want more! What a bittersweet piece. Thank you for sharing!

  2. You know, I sort of want more too, so I'll file the idea aside and see if something comes of it!


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