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!

19.1.10

Seeing You by Dakota Flint

An excerpt from a novella, Seeing You by Dakota Flint, which is now available from Samhain Publishing.




Seeing You coverBlurb:

Love can be found among the pieces of a broken heart.

The night his brother, Simon, was killed in an accident, Dylan took on a double load of guilt. Guilt for walking away unscathed…and for secretly loving Simon’s partner, Wade. Unable to bear the pain, Dylan left the Lazy G ranch to rebuild his life elsewhere.

A year later he reluctantly responds to his sister’s plea to come home, where he finds the Lazy G falling apart. And so is Wade. Wade has stopped caring about the ranch, about everything that should matter most to him.

Though there’s more ranch work than one man can possibly handle, Dylan throws himself into the task. Wondering how he’s going to find the strength to pull Wade out of the fog of grief when his own is still as raw as a fresh wound. Wondering when Wade will finally see that his second chance for happiness is standing right in front of him.

Warning: Contains explicit, emotionally charged m/m sex. Extra box of tissues required. You could use your sleeve, of course, but we don’t recommend it.




Excerpt:

I hadn’t dreamed about the accident in weeks, hadn’t woken up sweating and crying and wondering "why me?" in months. I had recently, in fact, started dreaming of our childhood together, of Simon and Erin and our parents, Annie and Fred. I dreamed of the day I came to live with them when I was six, bewildered by the disappearance of my mother and this concept called death, when this Simon boy sat and held my hand all night when I was too scared to sleep. I dreamed of the time a pair of nine-year-old boys thought they could hitchhike to California instead of doing their chores, but wound up waiting at Miss Flossie’s house for our parents to pick us up while the town librarian fed us stale cookies and Lactaid. I dreamed of the time twelve-year-old Simon tried to convince Erinshe was adopted and was really born at a house located at 666 Damnation Drive, of the moment when she looked at Simon and said, “If you’re trying to make me cry, it won’t work. Dylan was adopted by Mom and Dad and look how lucky we all are.”

Much better dreams than nightmares of blood and death and grief.

My attention was caught by the light flashing on in the kitchen of the ranch house, and I wondered what Wade dreamed about at night. A moment later it looked like the front door had opened, and I squinted, trying to see in the darkness if Wade was outside. Then the moonlight caught him as he stood at the top of the porch steps, his face tilted up to the rain.

I watched as he made his way down the steps, over the mud and grass, to the corral fence. Puzzled, I stared. This wasn’t a drizzle. It was a storm, and even if it were almost summer, a drenching would sap body heat pretty quickly. “Christ, what the hell is he doing? Doesn’t he care if he gets pneumonia?”

Abruptly I realized, no, he didn’t care. That was the point. And just like that, once again I felt the burn of anger infusing my limbs, powering through me as I dragged my Levi’s and boots on, bubbling under the surface as I stomped down the hall and out the door. I didn’t stop until I reached Wade where he was leaning against the fence, and I grabbed his shoulder and whirled him around to face me.

“What are you doing?” I barely recognized my own voice.

He blinked water out of his eyes and stared dumbly at me before saying, “What?”

“I said, what are you doing out here? I know it might seem like a nice night for a walk to you, but I thought I might inform you that it’s fucking pouring outside.”

Wade looked away, as if he was too tired to even look me in the face, and said, “Go back to bed, Dylan.” Then he turned back around to lean on the fence, dismissing me, and my anger turned to rage.

It felt like someone else moving after that. Someone else’s hand grabbing Wade’s shoulder to turn him around again, someone else’s arm that cocked back and let fly straight into Wade’s granite jaw, someone else that watched as Wade’s head snapped back from the force and he stumbled against the fence. Because surely it couldn’t have been me that touched Wade in anger.

But it was definitely me that went down, without a fence to catch me, when Wade’s fist connected to my own jaw. I was sure that would hurt later, but at the moment I couldn’t feel anything except anger and relief that Wade was still fighting.

I scrambled back up out of the mud, and then it was happening so fast, the adrenaline moving through my veins as we both grunted and swore and swung our limbs, that I wasn’t sure who was landing punches where. We were like one beast, ugly and flailing. I hadn’t brawled like this since Johnny Baron, one of the linebackers in high school, had called Simon a faggot when we were juniors.

The rain and mud were making things slippery, and then we were on the ground wrestling like a couple kids in the mud, both of us obviously no longer going for blood. Wade managed to roll me onto my back and straddle me, and I felt mud oozing around my head. I could barely see with the rain falling into my eyes.

It felt like the mud was seeping into my ears, which was just fucking nasty, and I stopped struggling for control and reached out, grabbed a handful of mud and aimed it for Wade’s face.

It landed around his left temple and I smashed it into his hair and ear as best I could. I started laughing when Wade stopped moving and just sat back, looking down at me as if I had suddenly turned into a purple dinosaur.

I laughed and laughed until I was scared I would never stop laughing, and all the while Wade looked down at me with his mouth hanging open in shock. Which just made me bellow more as he was catching mouthfuls of rainwater like that.

Just as Wade was starting to look really concerned, the laughter just dried up, and I became aware that we were out in a thunderstorm and it was pouring, and I hadn’t bothered with a shirt. I wouldn’t be surprised if my nipples were little blue pebbles, and I grinned at the weird thought.

That must have been the final straw, because Wade grabbed my chin and forced me to meet his gaze. “Are you fucking crazy?”

I considered this. “Probably. But if I’m crazy for lying here in the mud and laughing in the rain, aren’t you crazy for watching me do it?”

Wade grinned and said, “Probably.” The grin caught me off guard. It had been so long since I had seen it, making him look unexpectedly boyish despite the years carved into his face. I looked at that grin and the momentarily happy look in his eyes, and I couldn’t breathe.

As if he was deflating, the look faded from his face and he said, “Why did you hit me?”

“Because I couldn’t stand it one more minute. Not one more fucking second.”

“Stand what?”

“Watching you give up.”

“I have not.” But he said it quietly, and I knew he didn’t even believe himself.

“You have. What do you think Simon would say?” I winced as I said this, hating myself for it, and Wade looked like I had punched him again.

“I—”

Simon died. Not you. I want you to stop acting like it was you that died on that highway.”

“How do you know it wasn’t?”

That physically hurt. “Because that’s bullshit. I watched my brother die in my arms, okay? I watched and for a while, I wish I had, too. You’re not the only one who lost something that day, and I’m sick of watching you wish you could join him when the rest of us are doing the best we can to pick up the pieces.”

Wade snarled back at me, “Why do you care now? You just left. Just packed your bags and left like I was nothing to you. Like this place was nothing to you.”

That left me momentarily speechless. “I… Wade.” I wasn’t sure what to say. I tried again. “I just… I was trying to adjust to a world without my brother in it, and every time I looked at you I kept waiting for you to get angry that I walked away from the crash and Simon didn’t. I just couldn’t stay for that.” I told myself that the burning in my eyes was from the mud and rain.

Wade looked shocked. “You thought that? I… Never.” He scrubbed his hands over his face, not that it did any good. “Christ, I thought a million times that it shouldn’t have been Simon. But I never once thought it should have been you instead.”

I hoped Wade would think it was only rain leaking around my eyes. “I… Thank you. Didn’t want to think of you hating me.”

“No.” Wade was looking down at me, and I was about to ask him to get off me because I could feel my teeth getting ready to chatter, when he let out this weird choking sound. Then he said, “What do you want from me, Dylan?”

1 comment:

  1. I didn't want it to end. Nice hook! Lovely characters.

    ReplyDelete


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