GENRE: Gay Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 36,660 words
Two years after the death of football legend Thad Force, his lover Jay Falcon opens Holly Kill Cottage on Pennesco Island, Lake Erie. When the guests begin to arrive for the extended Fourth of July weekend to pay homage to Thad, trouble follows.
Saul Mellow is an alcoholic and has anger management issues. He's also bitter over the ending of his football playing career. Tom Klayson, Saul's lover, is tender and weak, and a frequent victim of Saul’s rage. He fears he may not survive the weekend alive. Bernie Cavanaugh is writing Saul’s biography, Off Season. Bernie's adorable, sweet, and not at all like Thad. So why does Jay have a sexual attraction to the man? Ex-actress Gillian Shank is sassy and curt. Jay loathes her, but she was a loyal friend to Thad. Will they ever be able to put aside their differences and get along?
The weekend is full of surprises -- a visitation from Thad’s ghost, a thunderstorm resulting in a power outage, the discovery of a secret cemetery, amateur football games played on the lawn, streaking, and an abundance of alcohol. Can Thad’s friends pay homage to his memory and celebrate his life without destroying their own relationships in the process?
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
“Are my sheet and comforter fresh?” Gillian asks from the upstairs bathroom, patting her face dry with a cotton towel after a fresh wash. “The last thing I want to do is catch bed bugs.”
“Gillian, we have our differences, but I promise not to give you bed bugs.” I stand in the hallway outside the bathroom and retrieve a thick blanket and extra pillow from the linen closet for my night’s sleep on the sofa. The closet smells a little like Thad’s cologne, I perceive, or maybe it’s just my imagination playing tricks on me because I emotionally and physically want the football star here this weekend to deal with his two friends, Tom, and Saul’s shadow, Bernie. “Thad is dead,” I whisper to myself at the front of the closet, let out a sigh of discontent, and squeeze the fluffy pillow against my chest, sullen.
“What did you say, darling?” Gillian asks while exiting the bathroom and placing a palm on one of my shoulders.
“Nothing,” I reply.
Tom balances Saul against his right side as the pair make their way up the narrow stairs to the second floor. Tom says, “We are going to bed.”
Once at the top of the stairs, Saul slurs something none of us can translate, blitzed. I half believe that he calls Tom a slut, but honestly, I’m not sure.
“You’re three sheets to the wind, Saul. Once a drunk, always a drunk. Have some respect for yourself,” Gillian says, unable to keep her trap shut during any conversation.
“Funk-zing bee-ch,” Saul slurs, points a finger in my direction instead of Gillian’s. “Funk-zing cunz.” He hiccups once, provides a girlish giggle, and leans all of his weight into Tom.
“Be nice, Saul,” I try to appease him. When has a drunk ever listened to a sober person, though? Never. Not in my lifetime. And certainly not in my next lifetime.
Gillian tries to fight with Saul again and says, “There’s nothing nice about him. He’s shit and he’ll always be shit.”
I roll my eyes and shake my head. Tom and I make eye contact that clearly states: Get us both out of here. The moment has turned sour.
My escape happens at this very second. I tell the three guests to sleep well and that I will see them in the morning.
Gillian says, “Only if we’re lucky.”
Tom says, “Goodnight, Jay. Thanks again for having us here on the island.”
And Saul mumbles something about powering up.
I squeeze past the three people with the pillow and blanket compressed against my chest, and make my way downstairs, to the sofa, and a night of restless sleep, wishing this weekend over.
* * * *
Once I’m downstairs and toss the pillow and blanket on the sofa, I watch Bernie exit the kitchen with a glass of water and ice. I can’t help myself and accomplish a double take of his chiseled body. The man wears nothing but a pair of sky blue briefs, which are snug around his middle and details the length and girth of his private parts without any guessing whatsoever on my part. I note that his chest is covered in brown fur and somewhat hides a six pack of constricted abs. The man’s nipples are pert on mounded pecs. His shoulders are well-muscled and his biceps are inflated. Frankly, he’s beautiful from head to toe, a model without a New York City, Milan, or Paris career.
“Off to bed you go,” I say, watching him carry his water toward his room. The muscles in his thighs move with athletic motion and hold my attention.
“I’m sorry to have taken over your room. I know it’s yours. Things in there belong to you.”
I fluff the pillow on the sofa with a fist, but keep my stare locked on his sculpted frame. “Don’t worry about it. I’m the host and want to make you comfortable.”
I half think he is going to ask me to join him to share a bed tonight, cuddling our masculine bodies together as one.