If you pre-ordered a copy of the “Right Here, Right Now” anthology, you should already have it! If you didn’t, you can run to Pride’s Website and download your copy now. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until October 3 to read my short story, “The Soldier Next Door” along with short stories from Lily Harlem, Samantha Cayto, Alexa Milne, Jon Keys, and Thom Collins.
Sometimes, love is right next door.
All twenty-seven-year-old Travis Schultz is supposed to do is keep an eye on the kid next door for a few weeks while his parents are out of town. Eighteen-year-old Owen Wheeler has other plans. Newly graduated, with plans to enlist in the Army, Owen wants to get laid before he ships out and he’s had a crush on Travis for years.
The age difference and the responsibility he’s been entrusted with make Travis hesitant, but the attraction is too much to deny. When the casual one-night stand turns into something more, Travis has no idea how to tell Owen how he feels. He misses his opportunity before Owen leaves and is left at home with a broken heart when Owen cuts off all contact.
When they meet again years later, Owen is in the midst of recovery from being injured in the line of duty and Travis will have to decide if he can forgive Owen and try again.
Reader Advisory: This book contains brief mentions of PTSD and war-related injuries.
Owen was still sleeping when Travis awoke. He was sprawled on the bed next to Travis, on his stomach. Travis’ fingertips itched with the need to touch him. He wanted to trace them down the long lines of Owen’s back.
It was morning now. Not so late he was worried he’d missed work, but late enough he knew he’d have to get up soon. For a moment, he contemplated calling in to work and staying in bed with Owen all day. But that had never been part of the deal.
The sex had been amazing. Phenomenal. But it was a one-off. Four—five—off, maybe? One night. He knew Owen didn’t want more. Of course this had to end, but that didn’t mean it had to end this second. Maybe he could convince Owen to take another shower with him, for a final soapy hand job or a quick, wet rim job. Travis had enjoyed himself too much to stop now.
“I’m heading to work,” he said forty-five minutes later. He’d sucked Owen off in the shower. Afterward, Owen had staggered back to bed and collapsed. He’d snored while Travis had gotten ready for work.
Owen squinted up at him. “Shit, I should leave.”
Travis shrugged. “If you want to go back to sleep, that’s fine. Just lock up behind you.”
Travis leaned in to kiss him goodbye, then hesitated. Is that crossing a line?
Owen let out a small, annoyed-sounding grumble, looped an arm around Travis’ neck and pulled him down until their lips met.
What Travis had meant as a perfunctory goodbye became a lingering kiss. They were both panting by the time Travis tore himself away. “Damn.”
He stared down at Owen and shook his head. Funny, he’d warned Owen about the way feelings could get complicated and here he was the one having a hard time ending the night.