NEW RELEASE! NOW AVAILABLE AT Allromanceebooks.com!
I’m happy to say my ebook His Fragile Heart (previously published in the Finding Love anthology) is now available as a single.
Do you believe in the power of love, even after death? After losing his lover in a car accident two years ago, actor Nathan Marshall wasn’t interested in another relationship. Until he meets waiter Justin Kowalski. Something about him seems so familiar that Nathan is instantly drawn to the younger man. Surprised at his capacity to love again, his relationship with Justin blossoms. But then an unbelievable truth is revealed – one that could break both their hearts for good.
“Nate? Everything okay?” Justin called out.
Nathan sighed as he gingerly picked up the ruined popcorn package and dropped it in the trash. “Great,” he muttered, then louder, “Um, yeah, everything’s fine.”
With a sigh he opened the refrigerator and freezer, looking for something else suitable to eat while watching a movie, and nodded when he saw the half gallon of rocky road ice cream.
Walking toward the living room, Nathan stuck his head around the kitchen wall. “Hey, how ‘bout ice cream instead?” he asked, seeing Justin standing in front of one of his bookcases, staring at one of the shelves.
When Justin didn’t answer or turn to look at him, Nathan walked into the living room. “Justin? You want ice cream instead?” he asked again, coming to a stop next to Justin.
Justin slowly turned his head toward Nathan, and Nathan immediately noticed how pale Justin suddenly looked.
“Hey, are you all right?” he asked, concerned, putting a hand on Justin’s upper arm.
Nathan saw Justin visibly swallow. “Who – who is this? In the picture with you?” Justin asked in a tight, strained voice, pointing at a framed photograph on the bookshelf.
Nathan turned to look, and saw himself and Mark, the blond haired man standing behind Nathan, arms wrapped around him, matching smiles on both their faces.
And suddenly Nathan didn’t have to wonder any longer how to broach the subject of Mark with Justin.
With a sad smile Nathan took the photo down and rubbed his thumb over it, remembering the day it was taken, the day they both arrived in California.
“This is Mark,” Nathan started, voice quiet. “We met when we were both twenty-one, waiting tables in Dallas, each of us with our own dream of making it to California. I wanted to be an actor and Mark a screenplay writer.” Nathan paused and smiled softly. “We fell in love, and about a year later made it out here. We were together for four years. And then—” Nathan took a shaky breath. “And then two years ago we were in a car accident. I made it out with some broken bones, but Mark was killed.”
Nathan looked away from the photo and up at Justin as he finished his story, and Justin looked even worse than before, visibly shaken, his eyes bright with moisture. But before Nathan could say anything, Justin was backing away from him, turning quickly, his movements jerky, agitated in a way Nathan had never seen him.
“I’ve gotta go,” Justin suddenly said, voice rough, heading for the door.
“What? Why? Justin, what’s wrong?”
The words tumbled out of Justin’s mouth, tripping over one another. “I just – I just remembered that I’m supposed to be covering someone’s shift at the restaurant tonight. I’ve gotta go.”
Justin was moving fast, out of the living room and to the front door by the time Nathan set the picture frame back on the bookshelf.
“Justin, slow down!” he called out as Justin threw open the door.
“I can’t. I’m sorry, I can’t,” Justin called back, voice breaking, not looking at Nathan as he practically ran for his car, parked at the curb.
It was as if Justin couldn’t get away from Nathan fast enough, his motions nearly frantic as he tore open the car door and sped off down the street, leaving Nathan staring after his taillights, wondering what had just happened.