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!


New Fiction from Mary Calmes "Right Place, Right Time"

Meet Fallon Stone:

I was in no mood to talk to anyone and yet I was aware that I was being watched. Looking toward the door after taking a sip of coffee, I saw my head chef, concierge, groundskeeper, and day manger. They were all clustered together looking in at me from the hall.
“I hate you all and I hate this town.”
My concierge, Gwen Brown, smiled wide and walked into my office carrying a peace offering, an apple fritter from the bakery in town. She had to have made a special trip for it. “Here you go Fal honey.”
I growled at her.
“Oh c’mon,” she reached out and gave me a playful jab in the arm, “it’s not that bad.”
“Not that bad?” I asked indignantly.
That was the cue for everyone else to surge into the room.
But no one was listening to me even though I could fire them all. It was my inn after all; I owned it if not the land it sat on. Therein was the problem with selling it. I could put the building up for sale, which I had, but the not the land itself. And who in their right mind wanted to buy just a building? The nice people from Shoden Hotels had made me a great offer, an amazing offer, an offer that would have returned me to my home in San Francisco with money to rebuild my life and I was so happy, I was so thrilled…and then the mayor had popped by to see me.
In a small town you knew the mayor, I knew the mayor, knew Trevor Barnes well as he had coffee in my dining room every morning. They had city council meetings outside on the patio every Wednesday. Everyone came on Wednesdays, it was pot pie day and Danielle, Dani, my head chef had made them into a work of art. Not that I cared. I didn’t care about anything but getting out of Wyndam, Kentucky and back to California. But after Trevor stopped by, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. I had still held onto a kernel of hope until twenty minutes ago when the nice lady from Shoden Hotels told me that they were not interested in purchasing the inn from me, no matter how charming and how much of a cash cow it was, unless I owned the land as well. Since I did not own the land, the deal was off the table. My staff was thrilled.
Ohmygod I’m so happy,” my head chef Danielle Castillo broke down dabbing at her eyes with the tissue in her hand.
I scowled at her.
“Since you’re staying now,” Sutter Owens, my groundskeeper/gardener began, “do you want Honeysuckle or Gardenia or Freesia in the back corner by your cabana? You have to think of the smell in the summer.”
I flicked my eyes to his and he smiled but tried to hide it with a rough clearing of his throat.
“I’ll figure it out boss.”
“It’s kind of flattering that everyone around here wants you to stay so badly that they had a town meeting just to try and figure out how to get you to stick around.” Gwen said cheerfully.
I turned away from her to look out the window of my office. Two of the gardeners were walking by and when they saw me they both stopped and waved. I grunted and walked back to my desk, sitting down in front of my laptop.
“You want some more coffee?” Gwen offered hopefully.
“You want me to make you crab cakes for lunch?” Dani smiled at me.
“Here ya go boss,” Sutter said as he put an enormous vase full of yellow roses on my desk. “I know ya love yellow.”
My eyes flicked to him.
“Boss,” there was more coughing.
I turned my gaze to Justin Webster, my concierge.
“Do you wanna see the folks from the Garden Club,” he pointed back over his shoulder, “because the mayor’s wife asked to see you if you would.”
I got up and crossed the room but before I left I spun around to face them. I pointed an accusing finger at each of them. “When I first got here two years ago you all hated me.”
“That was a long time ago Fallon honey,” Gwen soothed me.
“I’m still gay Gwen, since when don’t rednecks care about homos?”
“No one cares about that,” Sutter dismissed my question, “but I do resent the redneck slur.”
“You could have just left when you found out that your boyfriend backed out of the deal,” Justin coughed nervously, not used to addressing me without scurrying away. “But you stayed and made a go of the inn and all of us that Rob hired before you even showed up got to keep our jobs and take care of our families.”
“And we have great benefits,” Sutter chimed in.
“And you care about the town and the people in it,” Justin chorused.
“And you’re the greatest boss ever,” Dani assured me.
“And you are very, very easy on the eyes,” Gwen waggled her eyebrows at me.
I threw up my hands and turned to the door, slamming into my night manager, Pablo Vargas.
“Oh,” he smiled wide, hands on my shoulders, steadying me, “you okay boss?”
“Why are you here?” I snapped at him.
“It’s Tuesday,” he said like I was stupid, “the Spanish club from the college meets here for lunch at the Veranda.”
He rolled the r on Veranda making it sound like some fabulous landmark in southern Spain. I hoped my look conveyed my desire to kill him.
“What? Why am I getting the look?”
The Veranda was the name of our dining room. Danielle had insisted I name it so it was The Veranda at the Dark Horse Inn. She was very proud of her restaurant and even more so that she worked for me. Hell, they were all proud to work for me which was such a turnaround from when my presence in a room elicited either whispers or abrupt silence. Funny that me being gay had gone from being the only issue to a non-issue in the course of twenty-four months.
I had followed a man who said he loved me and wanted to make a life with me from San Francisco to Lexington Kentucky. Three months later he backed out of our joint venture of buying an inn in Wyndam and left me with a bill for his half as he spent his on a wedding and a down payment for a new house. He was now married and working in the family business. Being gay had been too much for him and so he had instead proposed to his college sweetheart and been taken back into the fold. It had all worked out for him but I was stuck with a place I hated having drained my savings to buy something I had thought was my future.
I looked at Pablo.
“I have to be here to speak to the girls so they can practice their Spanish,” he smiled knowingly, arching a perfectly shaped brow for me.
He did not need to be there, he just liked bedazzling college coeds with his dark eyes and dark hair and mellifluous accent warmed voice that made their panties drop. The man oozed sex appeal and had he been gay, I would have had him a long time ago. As it was, the only gay men that I ever saw were either so deep in the closet that they needed a pit helmet, or just visiting…usually with their domestic partners. If I wanted to get laid I had to make the long three hour trip to Louisville from Wyndam which was a thirty minute drive from Lexington. It was picturesque, the scenery stunning, all lush green in the summer, many shades of mahogany, sepia and burnt umber in the autumn, and a white winter wonderland for Christmas. It was a postcard small town that rolled up the sidewalks at eight. Even the diner only stayed open until nine. I kept The Veranda open until ten and that was unheard of. The fact that I let it stay open until one or two in the morning for weddings made it thee place to have your nuptials. I got a plaque at a town meeting because of it.

Part I of "Right Place, Right Time" © 2009 by Mary Calmes (Stay tuned for more!)

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