Love, served with a twist.
Nursing a broken heart, Will Martin throws himself into teaching classes at NYU and writing. An invite from his ex-boyfriend to an uptown speakeasy called Under surprises Will by beginning to heal his bruised spirit, and he finds himself enjoying both the drinks and the company.
Soon after, Will is shaken by news that his father, Republican New York State Senator Bill Martin, has been diagnosed with cancer. Will and his father have been estranged since Will’s coming out, but he reluctantly returns to the family’s home in Garden City, Long Island, to support his family as Bill recovers from surgery.
Senator David Mori is a colleague and mentee of Bill Martin’s. Bill’s conservative views sometimes conflict with David’s more moderate politics and his status as both mixed race and openly gay, but each respects and likes each other, and the men have built a friendship.
Sparks fly when Will and David meet, though Will’s liberal views lead to clashes with David. Will is looking for a no-strings-attached fling and David is leery of getting involved with his mentor’s son, so they keep their affair a secret, in spite of their deepening feelings.
As Senator Martin’s health worsens, Will elects to remain in Garden City where he finds solace with David and continued trips to Under to seek the support of his friends. After David finally admits his feelings have grown beyond a casual sexual encounter, both men must decide how to bridge the divide to create a future together.
David did his best not to stare at William Jr. as they shook hands, but he nearly flinched away from the odd tingling sensation he felt where their skins met.
He’d seen photos of William Jr.—no, Will—around the Martin’s home, but they depicted a sweet-faced boy growing from toddlerhood into his late teens. Fully adult Will was, as David’s sister would say, stupidly attractive. He’d inherited both parents’ good looks, including Bill’s athletic physique and Agnes’ regal bone structure.
Tall and rangy, Will appeared lean beneath his gray Henley and dark jeans. He had a square jaw and the artfully styled brown hair his mother had spoken of so fondly. His large blue-grey eyes were almost dazed. He was checking David out—ogling him, really—and to say this surprised David was an almost comic understatement.
Where the hell is this coming from?
Bill and Agnes had talked at length about their children during his last visit, detailing educations and careers, and expressing affection for Olivia’s children and pride in Will’s accomplishments. They hadn’t mentioned their son being gay or bi, though, nor had anyone in the Senator’s social circles.
David dropped Will’s hand. “All right if I come in?” He gestured at the briefcase slung over his shoulder and tried another smile. “I need to unpack the docs and organize them a bit—shouldn’t take me more than a minute,” he added, keeping his tone even in the face of Will’s wide-eyed stare. “I have a card from the Senator’s staff and a few others signed by his colleagues, too.”
The tips of Will’s ears turned pink and he immediately backed away from the door, gesturing for David to follow. “Of course, yes, come in. I expected a delivery man or one of the neighbors and not…well, not someone like you.”
David quirked a brow and stepped into the foyer. “Someone like me?”
“Someone from my father’s office.” Will shrugged and shut the door. His features were pinched when he turned back to David. “I suppose it’s too much to expect him to wait a few days after major surgery before he starts back at it again, but how can he when you people enable him?”
Well, shit. David wanted to escort himself right back out of the door. Of course, Bill’s family would be feeling protective of him right now—he was fortunate to be alive. In the meantime, his son had definitely regained his composure and decided to focus his irritation on David.
“He’s barely been home twenty-four hours—how did you even know he’d come home?”
David didn’t bother correcting Will’s mistaking him for a member of Bill’s staff. “Agnes messaged me yesterday evening,” he replied gently and licked his lips at the surprise streaking across Will’s face. “I asked her to keep me updated on your father’s surgery, and we’ve been swapping messages since your parents drove to Philly.”
“You text message with my mother?”
“Just about Bill,” David assured. “Your parents have no idea I planned to come by today. Bill didn’t ask for these files. I used them and the cards as an excuse to stop by to see how he’s doing in person.” He watched the tension in Will’s face ease. “So, how is he? Doing, I mean.”
Length: Novel (95,295 words/263 pages)
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