Two souls destined to be together will find their way, no matter what the obstacle.
Chase Madden never realized he’d find the love to save him in the woods. A throwaway kid from a rough homelife who loves to camp—that’s how he saw himself. Going to Blue Lick Mountain served as his refuge from the terrible parts of his life. Then he met Mac. The wolf listened to him and showed empathy. Plus, he was darn handsome in his human form. After one night together, Chase is forced to spend years away from the wolf he craves. When he returns to Blue Lick Mountain, he vows to chase Mac all over the globe in order to have another chance with the sexy shifter. He has no idea if he’ll find the wolf, but he’ll do whatever it takes to reconnect with his mate.
After years apart, will Mac still want him? Will he be able to accept Mac’s nuances? Or will the blossoming love die?
One man out of time and another desperate to share his life with that perfect someone. Can their answers come from a broken curse?
Owen Reed loves his secondhand store, but he’d rather run it with a partner. He’s tired of being lonely and having one-night stands. He wants a love to last forever. When he ends up with a statue of a man in pain, he has no idea how special this statue could be. Is love possible with the pained figure?
Sydney Keeler knows he belongs anywhere but locked in alabaster. When he’s delivered to Owen’s store, the unexpected happens—he can feel Owen’s hands on him. He wants to break free and be with the man with the sparkling blue eyes. Can Owen break the curse? If so, will Owen accept a man who’s been cursed to exist in alabaster? Can they have the love they deserve?
Sydney hated his pose. God, he’d been in the midst of begging for his life and for Arai’s life to be spared when Zeus cursed them. He hadn’t deserved to be reduced to stone. So, he’d been a terrible lover to Zeus and horrible at his job of guarding him. When he’d signed on to be a protector, he thought it was a joke. He hadn’t realized Zeus really wanted someone to play bodyguard for him. Sydney had been in love with the idea of living on Olympus and protecting a god. He never would’ve guessed Zeus truly demanded monogamy, even when he played around with everyone on the staff.
Good Lord. Who said things like, “I want you to come to Olympus and be my warrior”? No one that Sydney knew, yet he’d followed Zeus to a place that seemed like a dream and better than any fantasy.
Zeus hadn’t been joking.
Then again, Sydney hadn’t believed the silver fox was a true god. Were other gods roaming the earth? According to Zeus, the entire clan of Olympian deity lived there. Sydney hadn’t seen anyone besides Zeus, but he hadn’t been paying attention.
The adventure of living on Olympus was more than enough for him. He loved a good quest, especially if he could be himself. Zeus hadn’t minded he was gay. In fact, Zeus encouraged him to explore his sexuality. He spent his days guarding Zeus and his nights fucking him. All had been well until Sydney met Arai.
Arai had been everything Sydney ever wanted in a man—beautiful, masculine, sexy, and interested in him. He and Sydney guarded Zeus and stole off at night to make love. None of Zeus’s warnings had been enough to prevent him and Arai from getting together.
Sydney had been in love with Arai and felt confident about being out. He could love who he wanted and not be ashamed. He even embraced the idea he’d upset Zeus, but things would work out. They always did—until Zeus didn’t cooperate. He wanted Sydney to be his plaything and belong to no one else.
He winced, although no one could see the gesture. He still remembered the panic in Arai’s eyes when he’d been found guilty of being with Sydney and the pain of losing their relationship.
Now Sydney couldn’t tell anyone about his troubles or his curse. How could he if he couldn’t talk? At least he didn’t have that awful sheet over him and he wasn’t in the musty old house.
His brother, Max, hadn’t appreciated him and his younger brother, Stan, hadn’t wanted him. They had no idea he was locked in the alabaster. All they knew was a sculpture of someone resembling their brother had shown up in the parlor of the family home.
Voices caught his attention. He hadn’t liked when the woman caressed him, but he wanted the man to return. He could gaze at the fellow who seemed to run the shop where he was now housed. He’d been locked in the family parlor, moved to a barn, left in a garage, and then shipped to a house where Max left him in the back room. Now he lived in a “junk shop”—as the younger girl called the place.
The man with the sparkling eyes stood in front of Sydney. “Well, you’re all mine.” He folded his arms. “I’m not sure you’re worth anything, but I’m stuck with you.” His blue eyes flashed and the thin outcropping of hairs on his chin caught the light.
Heat, like the rush of excitement he felt when he’d first seen Arai, washed over him. Who was this man and why did he seem to kick the temperature up so high?
Kaz, one of the custodians, knocked on the door, jarring Mac from the tender moment. Kaz fluttered a piece of paper. “I’ve got your order, Sid. Here’s the packing slip.” He shoved the page into Sid’s hands. “Got a new haircut?”
“I did.” Sid accepted the paper. “Which order is this?”
Mac sat on the first student desk. Kaz was a great person and so helpful, but the man had awful timing.
“The new textbook order. Got them all this morning. Big ole freight order. Too me three hours on the pier to go through it and separate them. Had to do it solo, too.” Kaz shook his head. “Teddy’s out sick and they sent Nick to the elementary building for the day. Let me shorthanded, but I wanted you all to get the books in time.”
“I see.” Sid sighed. “Are the books on the dolly?”
“You’ve got ten boxes, so it’ll take two trips,” Kaz said. “I hear you’ve got until Monday to get them numbered according to the system and logged into the spreadsheets.”
“I’ll help him.” Mac hadn’t ordered or been given the orders to buy new text books. “Won’t take long.”
“Then here you go.” Kaz brought in the first dolly of books, left the boxes on the floor, then returned with the second stack. “Good luck.”
“Thanks.” Sid waved.
Mac said nothing. He wanted Kaz to go. Every time he tried to say something to Sid and make some progress, something got in the way. The meeting, the planning, people walking in. It seemed sometimes like the cosmos didn’t want Mac to make time with Sid.
“Well…” Sid’s shoulders sagged and he stared at Mac. “You’re really going to help me?”
“Of course. If one of us writes the numbers and the other records, we should get them done in a timely manner. If we pace ourselves, we should get this knocked out in an hour and a half.” Mac took the clipboard from on top of the second stack of boxes. “Ready?”
“Sure.” Sid grabbed a pencil. “I’ll start in something we can erase–in the event I make a mistake.”
“You won’t.” Sid might not be mechanically inclined, but he was meticulous in his record keeping. Mac had seen that firsthand. “Ready?”
“You’re going to inflate my ego by saying such things.” Sid blushed. “I’m ready.”
“Okay…” Mac looked over the sheets. “We start with A-100 in box A. Where’s box A? The bottom?”
“Um…” Sid rounded the desk and bumped into Mac. “Sorry.” He tapped the packing labels on each box. “It’s on top.”
“Don’t be sorry.” Mac paused. He had to say this now. “I meant what I said. I’d like to go on a date with you.”
“You would?” Sid dropped the pencil. “Mac?”
“I would. How about you get your bank run finished? I’ll organize this so when you come back, all we have to do is write numbers. Then we can go for coffee and have a date?”
Sid picked up the pencil and grinned. “I’d like that.”
“Then get going,” Mac said. “The faster you get back, the faster we get this done, but don’t rush. I’ll still be here.”
What happens when the curse goes wrong, but the outcome is all right?
Ryan Rourke wasn’t looking for love when he sat at the foot of the statue, Michael Emerging. The inanimate object listens and he could swear there’s someone beneath the granite. One night he gives into his desire and kisses the statue. It won’t hurt anything, right? It’s just a granite statue—except there’s a soul in the cold rock.
Indio fell in love with Ryan the moment the shy college junior spoke to him the first time. The tenderness, warmth, and sense of humor were everything Indio wanted—if he weren’t trapped in granite. The attraction is stronger than he ever thought possible. Can Ryan’s kiss free him forever? Or will the power of Zeus and the majesty of the curse be too much to overcome? If Indio has his way, he will get his man.
Ryan followed Indio into the building. He couldn’t wrap his mind around what had happened. Indio was real. He glanced back at the empty platform. He’d seen Indio walk off the stone slab and his skin turn from harsh gray to pale peach. If Ryan believed what he’d seen, then the curse story was possible.
He walked into the first life drawing room. Indio darted ahead and snagged one of the robes the models wore between stints posing nude.
Although he should be on his guard, Ryan swept his gaze over Indio’s nude form. For a man who’d spent time in stone, he was still toned. A bit pale, but if he’d been out of the sun, he would be pasty. His inky black hair curled over his forehead. When he glanced back at Ryan, his icy blue eyes sparkled. He strode with purpose, but not swagger. His velvety voice slid down Ryan’s spine and Ryan longed to grab his tight ass. Ryan wanted to gawk at Indio’s package, but also didn’t want to look too eager.
Indio covered his nudity in a robe. “Where do you want to start? I’ll explain everything.”
“I’d like to start by undressing you and licking my way all over your body,” Ryan blurted. Shit. He’d said that out loud.
“For a man who seemed afraid of me, you’re forward. I like it.” Indio sat on one of the drawing benches. “When I convince you I’m real, we will kiss again. You’re a good kisser.”
Convince? He could see a real man who’d stepped out of a statue. There was no need to prove what he’d seen. Still, he should apologize for what he’d said. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that out loud.”
“I don’t mind. I want to kiss and explore you, too.” Indio grinned. “I’ve learned if I want someone, I need to be honest and go for him.”
“You want me? Or someone else?” He needed to stop talking.
Zelus, the god of jealousy, has been imprisoned in solid bronze for the last two millennia. A simple kiss can break the spell and free him from the metal—if his lover is willing to believe.
Camden Crowe isn’t a specialist in ancient artifacts, but he does know how to guard them. He spends his days working as a security guard in charge of keeping the bronze statue of Zelus safe. He can’t contain his attraction to the nude god. What will happen when the security geek finds out he’s stronger than he ever believed and can harness the power of the gods?
Zelus placed his hands on the lid of the box. They couldn’t cover him. They couldn’t sell him. He was real. His heart hammered. This bastard couldn’t steal him or make money from him. No way.
Finally, he had his heart back. If he screamed, they’d know the curse had been broken, or at least they’d have him sent away from his guard. He’d have to bide his time and wait until someone opened the lid. He wasn’t sticking around for Gus to use him. Even if it took magic or begging his father, he’d get out of Gus’s clutches, then he’d find Camden.
He couldn’t believe his luck. He had finally found the person to break the curse, but now he was stuck in a crate, headed for a store’s window display.
What a time to not have his powers!
He’d wait. There wasn’t much else he could do. Zelus closed his eyes. Camden broke the spell once. With another kiss and a declaration of love, he could destroy the curse forever.
One touch from his lover and this marble will come to life.
Kratos, God of power and strength, has been imprisoned in pure white marble for more than two centuries. His lover can break the spell—if only his lover would find him.
Andy Green knows his ancient artifacts. He spends his days restoring works of art. When the sculpture of Kratos enters his studio, he can’t hide his attraction. Will he be able to free the god or will forces beyond his control destroy everything he’s earned?
“Do you have some … clothing?” Kratos waved his hand in front of Andy. “Something like you have?”
“I’ve got a change of clothes in my car. I don’t know if they’ll fit you, but anything is better than running around nude.”
“Nude can be freeing.” If he had his way, he’d strip the odd clothing from Andy’s body and learn every bit of him.
“Freeing, but it can get you arrested. Public nudity is against the law on campus.” Andy grinned. “Give me a minute or two. My car’s in the back lot.”
“Ah—it’s like a chariot, but without the horses.”
“Interesting.” He had so much to learn. He’d been able to observe some things, but not enough to venture out on his own. Andy would be invaluable, and not just as a guide.
Andy picked up keys. “Stay here. I’ll be right back.” He hurried out of the room, leaving Kratos to his thoughts.
Kratos glanced around the room. The human race evolved so well. Tall windows opened the view to the other rooms in the building. A couple of other statues waited in the room. They weren’t the vessels for imprisoned deities. He touched the face of the female statue. He remembered seeing the work back in Athens. Praxiteles carved Aphrodite well and captured the very essence of her faint smile. He’d been vanguard to sculpt her without clothing. Then again, Aphrodite preferred to spend her time in the nude—usually with one of her many suitors.
He sighed and folded his arms. He missed the other gods and goddesses. What he didn’t miss was the water and the ship. The man who’d rescued him from the depths of the sea didn’t please him and couldn’t free him from the marble. He shuddered at the memory of the man’s hands on his body. Rough touches, fondling his ass while the man grunted and rubbed his own dick on Kratos’s thigh. His stomach churned. Was the rescuer the man who sent him? Couldn’t be. That man had to be dead by now. Then who was his owner? He wanted to think about better things—like Andy. He closed his eyes. A vision of Andy’s bright-blue eyes formed in Kratos’s mind. He could listen to Andy’s voice and moan into his touch.
When Jacen Goodwin’s band, Disaster Transport, crashed in Dallas and ended up at the Nathalia Hotel, he never expected to find his heart’s desire. He wants to stay in his adopted home city, but he loves the roar of the crowd as well as their adoration. Can the star drummer step away from the buzz of fame long enough to grab what he needs with both hands or will the lure of the crowd be too much?
Matt Walker knew from the moment he got involved with Jacen that their relationship was temporary. Jacen’s a celebrity and he holds the position of the sexiest eligible bachelor of the band. Even if Matt saw a future for him and Jacen, the odds aren’t in their favor. But he can hope, right? He’s been head over heels in love with Jacen since the moment they met.
Can these two opposites make a go of their fledgling relationship or will celebrity and the challenges of fame keep them apart?
This book has been previously released at Blurred Reality by Megan Slayer, part of the Dallas Fire and Rescue Kindle World. It has been revamped and re-edited for this edition.
Matt busied himself with straightening the counter space and trying not to watch Jacen. Fuck. How could he not? The man featured in his dreams and had become his favorite spank bank material. He swept his gaze over Jacen. The denim shorts hugged his hips and accentuated the strength in his legs. Jacen rubbed the back of his neck with his fingers and flexed his upper body.
Jesus. Was Jacen trying to turn him on? If so, he’d accomplished his mission. Matt plopped onto the stool and pressed his knees together. Blood rushed to his cock and his mouth watered. Just a few touches. Kisses. He didn’t want much. Really.
“Mother fucker.” Jacen whipped around and held his phone in a white-knuckled grasp as he strode back to the desk. “He’s a piece of shit. Where are those peas?”
Matt offered up the bag. “Whoever it is, I hope you lit into him.” He shut the laptop down, then moved the device to the lower portion of the counter. “Better pick up your key before you forget.” He slid the card across to Jacen. “Have a good night…well, a better one than you’ve had so far.”
“Huh?” Jacen glared at Matt and plunked the bag back onto his bruise. “Are you here all night? I thought Cady hired on people to work the desk so you and her weren’t stuck.”
“She did, but this is my night. I have to earn my keep somehow.” He grinned to hide his displeasure. “I can’t feed my music and running habits without some source of income.”
Jacen tucked his phone into his pocket and lingered at the counter. “Want some company? I came here to work on music, yeah, but that wasn’t the only reason.” He offered up the bag. “I’ve melted this.”
“I’ll stick it back in the freezer. No problem.” He gripped the melting frozen food. “Stick around a moment in case anyone comes in and I’ll put it back.” He left Jacen alone long enough to put the peas in the fridge. He’d probably make them for lunch the next day instead of wasting them. When he returned, Jacen had rounded the counter.
“All good?” Jacen asked.
“I’ve got lunch for tomorrow.” He tensed. “Thanks for holding down the fort.” He expected Jacen to leave, but instead, he crept closer to Matt.
“I didn’t just return for Rory and the music. I came here for you, too.”
“Me?” He frowned. “What?” He had to be hearing Jacen wrong. No way Jacen meant that.
Who knew love could be found at a small-town hot dog shop?
Jack Walters opened his hole-in-the-wall restaurant to serve hot dogs—being a chef is all he’s ever wanted out of life. Love hasn’t worked out for him, so the last thing he expects is to find romance at his shop. But Jack’s been hurt before and he’s leery of the sexy man who keeps visiting his restaurant.
Henry Lord has been all around the world. He’s visited gourmet foodie places and tiny restaurants, but he loves the ambience at Jack’s Hot Dog Shop. He’s also in lust with the sexy owner. Henry’s shy, but he’s determined to get Jack’s attention. There are people who want to use Jack and change him.
Not Henry. It’ll take a herculean effort to prove to Jack that he’s the one for Henry. Good thing Henry believes in love, second chances and finding his home…in Cedarwood.
Reader advisory: This book contains mentions of homophobia, and emotionally abusive exes.
“I’m taking a break. Mind if I sit with you a moment?”
“No. Please, do.” Henry moved his notebook out of the way and gestured to the other chair.
Now that he was right across from Henry, he could really look at him. The grays in his hair worked for him and gave him the look of seriousness without seeming severe. His blue eyes sparkled when he smiled, and Jack swore he had a dimple on the left side. Henry folded his hands on his notebook. Jack liked hands and preferred men with clean ones. Blunt working ones were fine, but he preferred pianist ones. Henry didn’t disappoint. Jack wondered what he’d look like holding a fountain pen. Probably sexy. He suppressed a snort. He barely knew Henry, but he’d already fantasized about him. At least the man was handsome—close-up and far away, too.
“You’re staring at me.” Henry’s blush increased. “Am I wearing mustard on my mouth?”
“No.” Jack averted his gaze. This time, his ears burned. “I’m sorry. I spend so much time behind the counter, and I don’t get much of a chance to talk to the customers. You’re always in here, so I wanted to chat, but I got lost in the comfort of sitting.” Jesus. How ridiculous? The comfort of sitting? He pinched the bridge of his nose. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay.” Henry held out his hand. “I’m Henry Lord. I write travel articles for magazines and I’m a libra. I’m forty-seven and single. I like long walks at sunset and the quaintness of this shop.”
He laughed at Henry’s means to break the tension. “Thank you.” He nodded. “I’m Jack Walters. I own the Hot Dog Shop and I’m not sure which astrological sign I am. Never bothered to look. I’m forty-five and single, too. I spend too much time at the shop and not enough at home.”
“Nice to meet you.” Henry smiled. “Looks like we’re both a bit flawed.”
Jack shrugged. “There’s something to be said for flawed.”
The bell dinged and a group of customers entered the shop. Jack sighed. “Duty calls. Maybe next time we’ll get to chat for more than a few moments.” He winked, then left his seat and resumed his position behind the grill. Of all the times he had to work, it had to be this one, when he wanted to get to know more about Henry. A travel writer. Interesting. He’d barely ventured out of Ohio. Henry had probably traveled all over the globe. His partner had to be either very forgiving or the travel had led to their breakup.
A thought occurred to him. Henry hadn’t said he was gay, but he’d mentioned he was single. Christ, he had to get his overactive imagination under control. For all he knew, Henry wasn’t gay—just single. All the handsome ones in Cedarwood tended to be straight. Most of the gay men had paired up.
Jack focused on making food and tried to ignore the need to look over at Henry. He’d felt a spark when they’d locked gazes, but Henry seemed shy—not attracted. Jack shook his head. Knowing him, he’d overestimated the spark. Again.
He wanted to be in love. Wanted to be needed. There had to be someone out there for him. Someone who understood he had a business and was required to be there if he wanted to make money. Someone who could love him, despite his tendency to close himself off. He needed a partner. An equal.
Talk about a lot to superimpose on someone. Henry might not be interested in being all those things. Might not want to be any of them.
Jack focused on grilling hot dogs for the two-thirty rush and did his best to ignore Henry.
Why focus on what might not even be possible? Because sometimes the impossible did happen.
One never intended on being a father and the other isn’t looking for a relationship, but they’re about to find out that what they want and need might be the last thing they expected.
Steve Moore wasn’t planning on being a dad. He envisioned a life of teaching and professional swimming. Fast forward a year and he’s the guardian of his ten-year-old sister. He wants love and passion, but who wants to date a guy with a family?
Farin Baker believed love wasn’t in his cards—until he takes his nephew to swimming lessons. One glance at the water-slicked hunk teaching the class has him thinking about jumping into the dating pool once again. He’s ready for a fresh start and a hot guy for his bed.
Will these two men find heat between the sheets or will the guardianship situation be the biggest detriment to them finding happiness?
Available from Pride Publishing and these fine retailers:
Steve ambled up to the sedan, then collapsed in the driver’s seat. No more worrying about his lonely life. He could be lonely and emo about it later. Right now, he had to think about his sister and keeping her happy.
“I heard you talking to Mrs. Finch.” Genie buckled her seatbelt. “Yes, I have a boyfriend, but it’s just chatting on the computer and talking at lunch.”
“I wasn’t worried.” Not entirely. She was growing up too fast for his comfort, but he chalked that up to being a parent. He put the car into gear and headed home. “I’m worried about what she told you, though.”
“Her garbage about you being gay and going to hell?” Genie cackled. “I let her talk, just like you tell me to do, then smiled and went on my way. Yes, I told her I wanted you to get a boyfriend. I’d also like Mom and Dad to come back, but since that’s impossible and you getting a hunk isn’t, I figured I’d aim for the boyfriend.”
“Did you just say get a hunk?”
“Uh-huh. Like Jared.” She giggled. “He’s a hunk.”
“He’s also eleven.”
“I didn’t say for you to be his boyfriend. He’s mine.”
“You’re making me feel old, you know that, don’t you?”
When they reached the house, she bounded out of the car first and into the kitchen. “Stevie, you need a boyfriend. You’re lonely and getting dorky. Try one of those computer sites or something.”
“Mrs. Finch said she thought Grandma would be better to raise you.” There. He’d put that tidbit of info out for her to mull over.
“Grandma? Why would she do that? She doesn’t leave the retirement home that much.” Genie rolled her eyes. “I’m staying put.”
He tossed his car keys into the basket and his wallet onto the buffet. “Why don’t you go upstairs, get your shower, and get ready for bed? I’ll worry about men, okay?”
“Fine.” She grinned and shot up the stairs.
Steve massaged his temples. If he’d been told three years ago he’d be raising his sister, fighting to get permanent custody and living in his parents’ home, he would’ve laughed. Now, he was twenty-four and had assumed the roles of parent and breadwinner. He’d been given so much responsibility… He riffled through the mail he’d left on the counter and paused when he saw the thick envelope. The final custody hearing in court. Jesus. He’d spent a bucketload of money to keep custody of Genie and so many hours running to court. He was her brother, for God’s sake. Didn’t that count for something?
He caught a glance of his sister’s picture in the hallway. Maybe he would let Genie find him a boyfriend. Her taste couldn’t be much worse than the guys he’d already dated. She could be his good-luck charm.
Can an accident and a rim job lead to lasting love?
Aiden Connor isn’t looking for a date. Sure, he wants one, but relationships seem to be too difficult to maintain. He’s an ER doctor and doesn’t have time for commitment…that is, until he runs over a curb and needs a new rim for his sports car. The mechanic isn’t anything like he expects, but could be the one man he needs if he’s willing to open his mind and heart.
Matt Phillips equates dating with disaster, but sees himself as an eternal optimist. When he catches sight of Aiden, he wants to give relationships a try. Every cell in his body screams to get the sexy doctor naked and in his bed. But Matt has demons and addictions he’s still working through. Will he fall prey to his past or learn and move forward with the hot doctor?
Reader advisory: This book contains reference to homophobically motivated physical and emotional child abuse of main character and parental neglect. There are scenes of robbery and shooting, hospitalization, and references to past substance abuse issues.
Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released elsewhere. it has been revised and reedited for release with Pride Publishing.
“My name is Aiden and I’m not a parent.” Aiden stood in front of the support group and laced his fingers together. “I’m the not-so-rare breed called the child of gay parents. I grew up well-adjusted and happy. If my father, Keye, hadn’t died, we’d still be a happy family. My other father, Len, decided not to seek out another partner after Keye’s passing five years ago. Last year, he decided to try again with a man named Ross. Anyway, I knew I was loved, cared for, I had boundaries, and if I screwed up, my dads and Keye loved me enough to punish me.” He swept his gaze around the room. Meeting at the hospital wasn’t the norm for the group, but he couldn’t complain. They’d been able to come to him and he appreciated the gesture. Colin Baker stepped up beside Aiden. “He’s leaving out the best part.” He grinned. “Aiden grew up big, strong and to become a doctor.” “Well, there is that.” The tips of his ears burned. He wasn’t embarrassed to admit his profession. Being a doctor was in his blood. Sure, he had a good job, but he wasn’t much different from anyone else. “I’m here at the hospital and I’ve put my work number on the business cards in case you or your children have questions. I’ve been in their shoes and know a lot of how they feel.”
He flexed his fingers and waited for questions, but none came. Some of the group members left their chairs and others turned to chat with those around them. He eased away from the people and made his way to the door. His phone hadn’t buzzed—good thing. According to the schedule, he was off for the next twenty-four hours, but that didn’t mean much. If the emergency room staff numbers weren’t up to regulations, he’d be called in until he maxed out his allowed hours. He’d racked up so much overtime that if he were hourly, not salary, the hospital would go broke.
“Good turnout tonight, especially since we scheduled it for a Thursday.” Colin straightened the pamphlets on the table, then arranged the various cards. “It’s not one of our usual chatty meetings, but the others will be happy to have another resource in you. The kids need to know they aren’t alone and can succeed.”
“Gage is doing just fine and I guarantee he knows he’s not alone,” Aiden said. “I’ve seen his artwork in the children’s ward. I’m glad the school teamed up with the hospital to do that for the pediatrics. It’s awesome and boosts our morale, too.”
“He’ll be thrilled.” Colin stuffed his hands into his pockets. “You’re going to be at the wedding, right?”
“I am.” How could he forget the wedding of Farin Baker and Steve Moore? He’d only known Farin since the seventh grade. Everyone in the gay community seemed to be invited to the ceremony. He wished he had a date. Going alone would suck and he despised hook-ups at such events.
“I’m ready to rip out my hair. I never realized how picky my baby brother can be,” Colin said. “If it’s not the flowers or lack thereof, it’s the music or the events at the reception. He’s got the whole damn thing organized. There’s a time for dancing and one for sitting and being quiet. Who’s quiet at a wedding reception?” “The brother of the groom. It’s Farin’s day—well, his and Steve’s. Let them do it how they want.” Not that he knew anything about weddings. He’d never been married and his last relationship had lasted a whole three years. Other guys loved being with a doctor and the paycheck he received, but hated his hours and how much time he was expected to spend away from them. Maybe I’m dating the wrong men.
“I keep telling myself that. Jordan tells me the same thing, but I still want to clobber Farin when he goes Groomzilla on us. I wasn’t this bad when I married Jordan—at least I don’t think so. We walked, we stood, we said I do, then had one hell of a party at the house.” Colin shook his head. “I just wouldn’t have thought he’d be…like this.”
“It’ll be over in two days. You’ll live.” Aiden clapped Colin on the shoulder. “Speaking of days, I have exactly one day off before I’m expected back at the hospital. I’m on for an eight-hour shift on Saturday, so if I’m running late, that’s why.”
“We’ll keep an eye out. Thanks for the heads-up and thanks for talking to the group. Have a good night.” Colin winked, then strode away.
Aiden grabbed his jacket from the coat rack. The weight of a twenty-four-hour shift had gotten to him. He wanted to go home but wondered if he’d make it. As he navigated through the halls of the hospital, he waved at a couple of the nurses and, in the foyer, nodded to the elderly woman behind the main counter. The moment he stepped into the chilly October air, he blinked and dragged a long breath into his lungs. Nothing worked to wake him up like crisp fall evenings. Well, nothing like those and a good blow job in the morning, but he wasn’t likely to get one. He’d need a boyfriend first. He’d worry about his lack of a partner later. Right now, he wanted to go home, slip into a warm bath or hot shower and collapse for twelve hours straight. Maybe he would meet someone at the wedding or reception. Maybe hell will freeze over first.