Calvin Lawson arrives in Clear River to rebuild bridges with his ailing father, not hook up with Emory Fleming, although being an honest man, he has to admit Emory’s on his mind. But first things first, and before he goes looking for his boyhood friend, he needs to find a restoration project to generate personal income so he’s not sponging off his father. Gutted by an arsonist, the Clocktower Theatre, affectionately called the Time by everyone in town, is in dire need of his special skills.
As an on-the-air journalist, Emory is making a name for himself and getting noticed. He’s back in Clear River at the local network affiliate, preparing for the move up to a major market in a few years. When Calvin rolls back into town, Emory’s stunned. The old pal he worked with at the Time kept a big secret—he’s gay. All the fantasies Emory had as a teenager suddenly become real as he and Calvin reconnect and quickly become lovers.
Calvin’s planned restoration of the Clocktower Theatre may not be a practical possibility. He has to secure a lot of funding to do the job properly, and money is tight everywhere. When Emory’s big break comes faster than anticipated, Calvin sees only one option—step aside so Emory will accept the job he’s always wanted. It doesn’t take Emory long to figure out why Calvin walked away, and he puts into action a plan to win him back before the doors of time close between them permanently.
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (29k words)
...“You don’t know what do when someone acts all gentlemanly toward you, do you?”
Emory reached out and squeezed his shoulder. “Not really, but I’m willing to work on it.” He climbed into the car, and Calvin closed the door.
If he were lucky, his knees wouldn’t buckle as he walked around to the driver’s side of the Charger and got the vehicle moving.
It wasn’t news to Calvin that Emory liked to lead, but some habits were hard to break. From an early age, his mother had drilled polite manners into him. A man opened doors, carried packages, pulled chairs out from tables, and held umbrellas. As far as Calvin was concerned, being genteel applied to gay men as much as straight guys. But maybe Emory didn’t see it that way.
“I won’t open the door for you if it makes you that uncomfortable.”
Emory pulled his keys out of his pocket and fidgeted with them. “It’s been a long time since anyone did it. It’s not all good memories, Calvin.”
Had one of those older men who swarmed around Emory hurt him? “What’s that mean, or don’t you want to tell me?”
“As a younger man, I seemed to attract a macho element intent on making me their bitch.” Emory looked at him and lifted his hands, palms up. “And there you sit, only gay for a few hours.”
Calvin snorted. “Disconcerting, isn’t it?”
“You don’t know the half of it. I mean, I tell you you’re dessert and that makes you decide to have dinner with me?”
Calvin parked the car beside Emory’s little sports coupe. “I was leaning toward dinner without dessert, but your way sounds more interesting.”
Emory scrambled from the car as he reached for the door handle. “I’ll leave your name at the front desk.”
Calvin hurried after him and blocked his escape into his own ride. “Wait a second! What are you scared of, Emory?”
“Feeling sixteen and clueless again.”
He was familiar with what Emory described. He had a case of it right now, but Calvin wasn’t going to let it stop him. He’d thought about Emory for so many years, and in the blink of an eye, he had a chance. Even if he screwed it up royally, he had to take his shot. Calvin cupped the back of Emory’s neck and kissed him.
Shock jolted through Calvin, an electric current that left heat in its wake. Emory’s soft lips opened and his tongue flicked across Calvin’s upper lip. His mouth opened, and Emory dove in, his silky tongue gliding over Calvin’s with invitation and promise. Calvin’s body tightened as blood rushed through his veins to deafen him. His cock filled, rock hard in just a few throbbing beats. He pushed Emory back against the side of car. Emory’s thighs strained against his as he arched his pelvis against his, the ridge of his dick riding along Calvin’s hard-on. Stars danced behind Calvin’s closed eyes.
This is what had been missing when he kissed other guys. They weren’t Emory. How could he have known the man’s taste and smell when they’d never been this close before? But he’d known all the others weren’t “right.” And Emory was.
Calvin pulled away and sucked in a desperate breath before he did something silly like pass out from lack of oxygen. Emory blinked at him, his blue eyes gone black and wild.
“Why didn’t you do that ten years ago?”
Calvin opened his mouth to speak and finally managed to shake his head and shrug. He swallowed and tried again, but the words wouldn’t come, so he did the only thing he could think to do. He cupped Emory’s cheeks with his palms and kissed him again. Calvin had no doubt where they were headed when Emory moaned softly into his mouth and gripped his hips to pull him closer. He ended the kiss and rested his forehead against Emory’s.
“We, um, should get moving.”
Emory’s hands slid up his sides in a slow caress. “To where? The station or my place?”
Calvin took a moment to breathe. “I don’t want to be in an unseemly hurry, but your place...”