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!


Coffee...With a Side of Sympathy -- Rowena Sudbury

A short drabble.

Just when you think everything is going the way you want it to something comes along and upsets the apple cart. Chris sighed as he waited for David to dress.

"Tore the muscle clean off the bone, there's nothing for it but surgery. I know it sucks, you'll be sidelined for months, possibly half the year. The sooner we can get you in the better."

They should have been used to it, hearing news like this. David was anyway, and Chris shifted angrily on the hard bench in the waiting area of the doctor's office. Chris still couldn't wrap his head around David's obsession with building his body, piling muscle on muscle, sculpting himself like a Greek god. Sure, David had tried to explain it hundreds of times, but to Chris it seemed like hiding behind excuses.

There were heated words once they got home; Chris unleashed all the vitriol in his soul.

"Well...this is just business as usual."

David winced as he watched Chris's pinched face. He bit his lower lip, cleared his throat and said, "'Scuse me?"

"Don't," Chris spat out. He turned and strode away. David could tell by the set of his shoulders that he was highly irate. He held his peace as he watched because it was extremely rare for Chris to show his pique this way. Not to say he didn't often get pissed, he just usually didn't get pissed at David.

"I told you didn't I?" Chris's voice was muted.

"Told me what Chris," David said with a sigh. He closed his eyes, willed the pain to ease, willed the blackness to keep from overtaking him.

"That you were working too hard. But no, Mr. Know-it-all says he's just fine. Says he's worked his body this way for years. Says, in essence, that I don't know jack shit about shit."

David didn't open his eyes because he could see Chris's flaming cheeks, lightning bolt eyes, and clenched fists. It would be easy, he knew, to stop the tirade in its tracks. It took a strong will for anyone to corner David this way, and it wouldn't be out of form for him to strike back. But, he couldn't, so he hunched his shoulders and hung his head.

"For fuck's sake David," Chris had come closer; he reached out and roughly jerked David's face upward. "Have the balls to look at me when I'm talking to you. If you had done what I asked you to we wouldn't be in this mess."

"We?" A bit of the accustomed anger made a feeble attempt to course through him. "We aren't in this mess Christopher, I am. I fail to see how it affects you in any way. I'm the one's facing surgery again. I'm the one's on the shelf again. You get to go out, have your drinking parties with the girls."

It was so sudden David wasn't expecting it, but Chris's hand met his cheek in a stinging slap. Whatever air had filled his balloon deflated, and he sunk back, defeated.

"Did it ever occur to you that I miss you when you're down? Is there room in your brain for even a tiny thought that I drink with the girls because it fills the time waiting for you? What the fuck do you expect, that I'm gonna sit in my room and pine away from you while you take yet another four month break?"

The anger began to drain from Chris's face, and he flopped down in a chair with a long expulsion of breath. He reached up and ran an angry hand through his hair. "Don't you ever try to throw this back in my face."

David sat back, kept his face neutral as the sudden shift in weight sent pain tearing through his arm. "I'm not, but I don't want you to make this any worse for me than it already is."

"Too late for that now." Chris spun on his heel, left David sitting in the den alone to stew.

Several hours passed, and David never joined Chris in their bed. At last he flung himself from the bed and grabbed up his robe, went to investigate.

David was still in the den, lying on his side on the futon. Even though Chris knew he would be there, he didn't expect to find him this way, curled into a ball of abject misery.

Chris wanted to keep the anger, wanted to tell David that he flat didn't care. That he brought the whole thing on himself. He was selfish, and careless, and fucking stupid.

Even though Chris had seen David cry before, it was the little tear that ran down from the corner of his eye that was his undoing. He stripped out of the robe and curled in behind David, pulled his cold body close and held him while he cried.

"I'm not made of steel," Chris thought, "his sorrow moves me."

In the morning David had eased somewhat, but Chris could still see the melancholy. Chris roused myself, stood up, gazed down at David.

"Can I get you anything?"


Chris gathered his robe and left David in the den while he gathered what David wanted.

Sympathy...with a side of coffee.


  1. Lovely scene! I immediately wanted to know more about the characters and was sorry when the piece ended.

  2. Thanks! These are characters I've written a LOT about, but I'm not sure if I'll ever put their story into a novel. Maybe. I don't know. I'd like to though.

  3. Nooo! I wanted more. I loved every moment of it. You are amazing :)


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