It was just a one-time indiscretion after an intense disagreement with the love of his life, David Fulbright. But little did Cal Anderson know it would change his life forever. The fallout would take him on an unusual quest – sometimes wittingly, and sometimes not – across the ocean and even across time. During that journey, he would learn that his love for David was his destiny in more ways than he could have ever imagined. And a young man named Gunter from another place and time would be the one to show him how important that love is to him. Join Cal as he takes an extraordinary journey to find redemption, and to be reunited with the man who was meant to be in his life.
Heat Level: 2
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 3 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Fated Mates / Soul Mates, Hurt / Comfort, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Mistaken Identity, Reunited and it Feels So Good, Second Chances, True Love
Word Count: 58900
Setting: Multiple settings and time periods
Languages Available: English
Even before he opened his eyes, Cal felt the effects of the alcohol from the night before. All the champagne at the party, and the brandy at home were already causing his head to hurt. The dreams he had about David did not help either.
He opened his eyes a crack and the brightness in the room hit him like daggers. He tried sitting up on the side of the bed, and the world began to spin all around him. Why was it so bright in the bedroom? He could not find his bear slippers, so he managed to hobble barefoot into the bathroom. There he found a bottle of ibuprofen in the medicine cabinet, and swallowed three with a glass of water.
As he looked around, Cal realized something was not right. There were only a few cosmetic items sitting around the counter, not the usual mass of bottles and jars David used to get his messy hair “just right”. And the walls were white, not the “Maritime Blue” David had selected for all the rooms of the house.READ MORE
He stumbled back into the bedroom. More white walls, no paintings on the walls, and even the furniture was different. It was his old bedroom set from his mom’s place.
Cal sat on the bed, confused and disoriented. He felt a sudden need to hear David’s voice, even if it was only on his voice mail message. He picked up his phone and looked for David’s name in the contacts. For some reason it was not there. That was strange! So, he dialed David’s number, and immediately got the automated message:
“We’re sorry, but the number you have dialed is not in service. If you feel you have reached this message in error, please hang up and try your call again.”
“What the …?” Cal said to himself, before trying the number again. The same message responded. “This can’t be right. David has had this number for over five years now!” he wondered out loud. He tried again and got the same message a third time. He slammed the phone down on the bed. “What the hell is going on?” he said angrily.
At that moment, the door to the bedroom opened and Loredo entered cheerfully carrying a tray with two cups of coffee and a plate of coffee cake and fresh cut fruit. “What’s going on about what?” he asked with an innocent smile.
Cal jumped up from the bed. “What the hell are you doing here?” he asked incredulously.
“What do you mean ‘what the hell am I doing here’?” Loredo asked, the smile fading from his face. “I’ve been here almost every weekend since the end of baseball season.”
“What?” Cal’s confusion and anxiety were building. “That can’t possibly be! Oh, fuck! David is going to be so upset!”
“What are you talking about, Cal?” Loredo asked, setting the tray on the dresser. “Are you okay?” He walked towards Cal, offering an embrace.
“Stay away from me!” Cal exclaimed, stepping back defensively.
“What is wrong with you, Cal? I know you had a lot to drink last night, and you’re probably hung over. But this is so unlike you. And who is this ‘David’?”
“Oh, my God! I’ve gotta get out of here! I have to get to David!” Cal’s anxiety and exasperation were growing exponentially. He grabbed his wallet and car keys from the top of the chest and a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt from the hook in the closet. He picked up his phone from the bed and headed past Loredo for the front door.
The living room was equally perplexing to Cal. More white walls with none of David’s paintings or sculptures displayed. Nothing felt right about the place. He pulled on the sweatpants and t-shirt and a pair of hiking boots sitting next to the door, and put on a jacket hanging on a hook. He opened the door and headed out to the car.
On his way to the car, Cal stopped at the outbuilding that housed David’s studio. He looked in the window. There were no art supplies, no easels with unfinished paintings, no pieces of unfinished sculpture sitting about. There were only stacks of boxes and storage bins. He banged his hand on the window frame, saying over and over again, “No! No! No! This can’t be real! I have to still be dreaming or something!”
A gust of cold wind blew up against him, letting him know this was reality. He turned and headed for the car. At least the Sorento was there. But instead of the silver-gray color he was used to, it was maroon. He got in the car and started the engine. Only then did he realize how cold it was outside. He waited for the heater and heated seats to warm his body.
He looked at his phone, still confused why he could not reach David’s number. He brought up Patrick on the contacts and made the call. The phone rang several times before his friend finally picked up.
“You’re up early, considering how much you had to drink at the party last night,” Patrick answered groggily.
“Hello to you, too,” Cal sniped back. “And what are you talking about? I didn’t have that much to drink last night.”
“Oh, honey! You were totally trashed! I was so glad you had that handsome Loredo there with you to get you home safely! He’s such a nice man!”
“What?!” Cal rubbed his temples to ease the throbbing. “This isn’t making any sense! Please, Patrick, tell me David is there and okay with you.”
“David? Who’s David?” Patrick asked, confusion lining his voice.
“DAVID! You know, my partner for the past nine years!” Cal felt like his head might explode from the building anxiety he was feeling.
“Oh, Cal … honey,” Patrick said, concern in his voice. “I know you’ve been lonely for a long time, and I’m glad you’ve had Loredo in your life for the past several months. But you have not had a ‘partner’ since college, much less for nine years!”
Cal sat back and sighed heavily. “What is happening?” he asked himself rhetorically.
“Cal, is Loredo still there with you?” Patrick asked, concern in his voice. “It sounds like you shouldn’t be alone at the moment.”
“I … I need to get going,” Cal replied after a few moments. “I’ll talk to you later.” He ended the call and threw the phone down on the passenger seat. He saw Loredo coming out of the cottage, headed for the car. He put the car in reverse and spun the tires backing out of the driveway. He needed to get away from there and try and figure out what had happened.COLLAPSE