Burn Outs #1
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- 1 To Be Read list
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Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay, Non Binary
Protagonist 1 Age: 46-65
Protagonist 2 Age: 46-65
Tropes: Bad Breakup, Badass Hero, Everyone is Queer, Friends to Lovers, Hurt / Comfort, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Most Mindblowing Sex Ever, Reunited and it Feels So Good, Second Chances, True Love, Uncommunicative Masculinity
Word Count: 72579
Setting: Midwest, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
“The reason that we have to put the current events in perspective, other than to avoid mass panic, is clear.”
The gray and white streaked hair of the lecturing professor bounced with a youth he no longer possessed as he paced the college coliseum’s floor. Four hundred students made up his Relevant History class and at least half, if not more, were there not for his knowledge but because of his own history. Still they were here. Now more than ever, in this new world without Heroes, they needed to have a new understanding of ethics.
“If you consider the Phoenicians…”
A hand went up. “Mythos? I mean, Professor Stephens.”READ MORE
Twenty seven years after his last battle, after he’d burned out his power and said a sad farewell to the name and life he loved, somehow he still had fan-boys. Still, he was good-natured about it. Colton “Mythos” Stephens wasn’t a Hero anymore but he knew he was still an example for the next generation. He’d be eighty and they still would be cheering for him. He attempted to placate his admirer.
“First, we learn. Then maybe in the last ten minutes of class we can-”
“Tell us about the battle where you defeated The Hammer and ended his reign of terror.” The student begged with excitement.
Of course. They always wanted to hear about the very last thing he wanted to talk about. The former Hero did his best not to think about the Hammer. Privately, the Hammer had been his closest friend but publicly, they were bitter rivals. Most importantly, he was the man who Colton had found a peace with within the chaos of learning the demands of the powers the Disk had bestowed on him. Though the memory that came back the most often of Matt “The Hammer” Evans was the day he walked out of Colton’s life, disappearing into anonymity as if they had meant nothing to each other.
“The class is called Relevant History. Please keep your questions about the unit we are currently-” Colton forgot what he was going to say as his eyes fell on the last man he ever thought he’d see again.
Standing in the back of the lecture hall, barely more than a profile with the light behind him, looking for all the world like a specter summoned from the depths of Colton’s psyche, was Matt. Even after twenty-nine years, seven months, and two days, Colton would know him anywhere.
“Class dismissed,” was all he could think to say as he bolted from the lecture stage, not sure whether he wanted to run to Matt or find some dark hole to hide out in.
Colton made it about ten feet out the side door before he heard Matt’s voice behind him. “Still got some run in you, dontcha Pony?” Matt used the nickname he’d given to the much smaller boy Colton had been back in their early days as rivals. “Did I scare you?”
“How dare you?” Colton stood rigid, trying not to shiver at the sound of Matt’s voice and to keep his resolve to send him away. “Don’t say another word, you… You don’t get to call me that anymore. And you not only don’t sca-scare me, you have no effect on me at all.” He kept his eyes front as if staring holes in the far wall would somehow make the storm inside his heart calm.
“Great, that’ll make things easier,” Matt’s sarcasm was an almost physical assault on the back of Colton’s head. “I don’t have time to rehash the past right now, Pony. Is there somewhere private we can go?”
Colton spun around and instantly regretted it. Now it was real. He quickly looked anywhere but Matt’s piercing eyes. “Nothing about this is going to be easy.” He was about to start another kind of lecture.
Then he saw it. Beyond the fire he knew so well, there was fear in Matt’s eyes and damn himself, Colton was going to care. “Fine. I’ll give you ten minutes. We can go to my office. It’s really private. They put it under the library for me.”
Matt nodded and waited for Colton to lead the way. When they just stood there, looking at each other, he spoke up. “Yeah, I’m getting old.” He self-consciously ran a hand through his dark blond hair, longer now then he used to wear it, and streaked with silvery lines. “Happens to the best of us. Can we get out of the hallway before one of your fan boys recognize me?” Matt inclined his head towards the group of students who were gathering at the end of the hall, curious about the man their famous professor was talking to.
“Down the hall. Take a left. Then a right. Take the door outside. Go in the library, the one with the big gilded doors and walk into the third study room. It will look locked but go in. I’ll be there after I double back around. Try not to get bored without me.”
Colton had tilted his head up and taken a couple steps forward so he could whisper in Matt’s ear. His voice was breaking as he fought back a sultry tone, one he reserved for much more delicious words than directions to his office. Whatever Matt needed to say, he needed to say it quickly. And then Colton needed to get Matt as far away as possible because Colton finished his words with the first syllable of the intimate nickname he used to use for Matt and almost choked on it.
Colton pulled several feet back, pretending to be considering the snack machine. Maybe Matt hadn’t noticed. “Go. Now.”COLLAPSE