My teaser today is from For the Long Run.
Eric was sure the party would never end, and he’d be stuck at the thing forever in some bizarre political time-loop torture. Every time Kellie rested her hand on Jay’s arm or brushed her lips over his cheek, Jay would seek out eye contact with Eric. Sometimes it was a quick look before ducking his head, others a glance over his shoulder before dropping his gaze to his shoes. Eric varied his responses from allowing his jealousy to shine through loud and clear, to completely ignoring the couple.
How Jay put up with these things on a regular basis was beyond Eric, but he supposed he was going to have to learn. He did enjoy watching Jay try to discreetly scratch what had to be itchy skin by now. When Jay walked Kellie to her car and bid her good night, Eric made sure he was in Jay’s line of sight but hung back by the building entrance, a constant presence.
Eric didn’t get into his own car and drive home until Jay and his parents were getting ready to lock up and leave for Jay’s house. There had been a few times when Jay’s father and a few others had clustered in a corner, talking in hushed tones and breaking apart when other guests came near. He had no idea what that was all about or if it was even unusual. No one else seemed to care or even notice.
He had no idea how long the charade with Kellie was going to go on, but he was definitely going to put some thought into cutting that time as short as possible. It was providing them with some fun for now but wasn’t anything Eric really wanted to have to deal with for the long term.
Deciding he had plenty of time to work out that problem starting tomorrow, Eric yawned and pulled into his drive, happy to be home. Getting his clothes off quickly, he draped them over a chair. He’d deal with his laundry tomorrow. Right now he was plain worn out and fighting off a dull headache. Stretching, he headed to the bathroom and turned on the shower, happy to get under the hot spray of water.
Wandering through the house, he collected something to drink, a magazine, and his phone, checking for messages. There were none. Settling on his bed to read for a bit and unwind so he could sleep, Eric couldn’t help smiling at the thought of poor Jay having fallen asleep all sticky and itchy from dried sweat and cum.
Or worse, forced to sit politely and have a conversation with his parents.
He’d make sure to make it all up to the kid tomorrow and put a bright, happy smile on Jay’s face.
He fanned through the magazine a few times, getting little more out of it than the breeze the pages moving created. When he realized he wasn’t really focusing on anything in particular, not even the pictures, he dropped the magazine onto his night table, drained his glass, and switched off the light. Shimmying under the sheet and blankets, Eric got as comfortable as possible, refusing to dwell too much on the fact he was a little bit lonely. It was only one night, and he was a grown-up; he should be able to cope much better.
The obnoxious cop-show theme ringtone Jay had put on his phone blared. Sighing and smiling, Eric rolled over and grabbed the phone, wondering why Jay got the cop-show ringtone and not him. “Hey, buddy,” he yawned out. “I just about gave up on you tonight.”
Jay’s soft, wet “Eric” had him sitting up, turning on the light, and any smart-ass comment died before it got out of his mouth.
“Jay, are you okay? What’s wrong?”
“I… God, my dad, he….”
“He what?” Eric shouted, picturing Jay’s cringe and immediately feeling guilty. He was suddenly frustrated and afraid some harm had come to Jay.
“Don’t yell, I’ve had enough of that crap for one night,” Jay snapped, though his voice was a low, raspy whisper.
Throwing the blankets off, Eric swung around until he was sitting on the edge of the bed. “I’m coming to get you. Are you at home?”
“Eric, no. Don’t come here. I—I just wanted to hear your voice. My dad went ballistic over the locks to the house, like I should be grounded or some stupid shit. He’s an asshole. My mom told me they split up, and she moved to an apartment almost six months ago. Which, according to him, is my fault too.”
“Don’t be absurd, of course it wasn’t your fault.” Eric ran his free hand through his hair and took a few deep breaths. Jay’s words were coming too fast, slightly slurred and unsteady. “Did he hurt you? I want you to come here if you don’t want me there, but you’re not staying alone with him right now. Your mother needs to be out of there too.” Images of too many domestic violence victims—adults, children, men, women, gay, straight—that Eric had seen over the years thundered through his head.
For the Long Run is available in eBook, paperback and through Kindle Unlimited. Until the end of September the eBook is 50% off ($2.99) and the paperback is only $9.99 (regularly $12.99).
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