Excerpts

An irresistible pull…

What am I doing here? Jason said to himself for the fiftieth time since arriving at the funeral home. He was standing in the back of the completely filled, unnervingly quiet room, trying to look inconspicuous. He pulled at his jacket, feeling awkward in his suit, wondering again if he should have worn his police uniform. The suit seemed too personal, as if he had a right to be there. But the uniform would have made his attendance plain, or so he thought, though now he missed the protection it always seemed to provide. He felt vulnerable and wasn’t quite sure why. This is why I never go to the funerals. He hadn’t seen Rusty Jackson since the night of the accident, and maybe his being there was intrusive. Should I leave? He kept asking himself that question, but made no effort to move any closer to the door. He could see Rusty up front, stoically accepting offers of condolence, hugs, and reassurances. Jason felt a bond with this stranger, a bond he couldn’t explain any more than he could ignore it, so he stayed. He sat discreetly in the back when the service began. When Rusty stood at the podium, he looked around the room, his eyes coming to rest directly on Jason. Jason felt their eyes connect for a couple of seconds. He saw no hint of recognition from Rusty, but that brief connection reaffirmed his reason for being there.

One man’s unexpected desire…

They discreetly made their way to the French doors that opened to the deck. The silence was instant once they stepped outside and Jason closed the door. The noise level was indicative of a good party, but Jason appreciated the sudden quiet. He had taken them through the guest bedroom out to the deck, rather than through the living room, worried that someone may notice and want to join them. The sky was crystal clear and awash with stars, the air crisp and cool. The night was picture perfect, and the romance of it all didn’t escape Jason’s notice as he explained the layout of the deck and his inspiration for the design. As the conversation rolled comfortably on, Jason was imagining what it would be like to take Rusty into his arms under the starry sky. For a few minutes, they just stood there, looking at the stars and enjoying the serenity of it all.

Rusty was nearly overwhelmed. What he was feeling for Jason was strong, and he didn’t know how to define it. He was sure if he was having these feelings for a woman, he might be falling in love. But this was Jason, his buddy, a guy. Nevertheless, he couldn’t ignore what his heart was yearning for. “Jase . . . ,” he started, and then stopped, wanting to say something, but not being able to form the words. Jason felt the emotion in the air and, as he had been doing all evening, just went with it. “Yeah, Rusty? You okay?” He turned and in the dim light of the half moon, could see the smoldering desire in his eyes.  Jason had taken a chance and moved closer, so now they were standing only inches apart. Rusty’s throat was dry, and his mind was almost blank except for a thought that thrilled, scared, and freaked him out all at the same time. He wanted to kiss Jason. Oh my God! I want to kiss a man. No, not just a man. He wanted to kiss Jason. His Jason. While his mind seemed to be in shock, his body was apparently taking action on its own. He reached out and gently stroked Jason’s cheek. “Jay, you confuse the hell out of me.” Jason was trembling, but whether it was from the chill in the air or the thrill of the moment, he wasn’t sure. “confuse you?” That was all Jason was able to say when he felt Rusty’s hand rub the back of his neck and gently pull his face toward his own. As much as he wanted to lean in, he instead held back, his voice just above a whisper. “Rusty, you sure about this? Maybe you’ve had too much to drink.”

An uncertain future…

Jason was in a deep sleep when he felt something pushing against him. Not quite awake enough to process what was going on, he suddenly felt an arm drape across his chest and a warm body push close against his back. He heard Rusty’s voice whisper, “Hey, buddy, this is okay, right?” Before he could answer, he heard Rusty’s breathing go slow and steady; it was obvious he had quickly fallen asleep. In his semiconscious state, Jason didn’t give it much thought. He just knew it felt wonderful as he slipped back into a content slumber. Jason later woke up to feel Rusty’s morning wood pressed against his hip. While that was incredibly erotic, it was the feel of Rusty’s arm holding him close, the warmth of his breath, and their bodies pressed together that really affected him. He closed his eyes again, not to go back to sleep, but just to lose himself fully in the thrill of being in such an intimate position with Rusty. Just then, he sensed Rusty stirring slightly and felt a light kiss on his neck. Rusty shifted his position, pulled Jason a little closer, and dozed off again. Jason felt a surge of happiness he had never known. Of course, he had spent the night with guys before and even cuddled occasionally. Even so, he never felt like he did right then with Rusty—his Rusty—curled up against him. He swore their bodies were made for each other, fitting together perfectly. The tender contact was like heaven and it was enough. Sex wasn’t necessary. Jason loved the way Rusty had his arm around his body, pressing his hand against Jason’s chest. Rusty’s head was nestled into his neck, and the warmth of Rusty’s breath gently floated across his skin. Rusty had also tangled their legs so they were touching somewhere all the way from their heads to their toes. It was the most exquisite feeling Jason had ever experienced. He was super-aware of every inch of his skin that was in contact with Rusty’s, and the thrill was euphoric.

He felt so comfortable, so safe, so loved. He didn’t dare move, afraid to wake Rusty. Oh God, I really am completely in love with him. That truth had been in the background, kept at the edge of his consciousness. Now there was no way to ignore it. In that hotel room with Rusty’s body so tenderly connected to his, it was impossible to deny it any longer. His heart was totally and completely Rusty’s. He knew he had turned a corner, and no matter what happened next, his life would never be the same.