Two Mature Heroes Tales
It's never too late to find love. These two novelettes showcase mature heroes finding happiness…and a little more.
NOT THE DOCTOR
A moment of distraction on a lonely highway leaves middle-aged widower Joe Prescott with a broken arm and in need of surgery. He’s no stranger to long hours spent alone in his apartment, but until his arm heals, independence will be a luxury. Joe is used to helping others and doesn’t realize the strength it takes to accept a helping hand, especially from the neighbor he's had a crush on since he moved in.
Kai Hosino, “retired” chef, lives with his elderly Aunt Tilly so they can help each other navigate life with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Kai is drawn to the silver fox next door, but his painful history of falling for straight men makes him hesitant to take a chance.
A SUNDAY KIND OF LOVE
Jake McKynnie, middle-aged jazz musician, has the chops to solo—in every sense of the word. He’s living a lonely life in LA, convinced that’s the best he can expect. DJ, the boy who calls him Dad, turns up the day after his high school graduation like a sucker punch from the past. DJ grew up in a small Oregon town with his mom and stepdad, but now he’s come to Los Angeles with big dreams of becoming an actor. He’s not above doing a little matchmaking for his lonely father while he’s at it. Their celebratory trip to the salon could be the catalyst for Jake’s duet with the enigmatic stylist, Mason. If Mason sticks around long enough to replace the ghost from Jake's past.
2nd Edition: both stories were previously published under the name Charley Descoteaux, content has not been updated substantially.
- 5 To Be Read lists
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Tropes: Friends to Lovers, Hurt / Comfort, Interracial Relationship, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Rescue
Word Count: 26000
Setting: Portland, OR
Languages Available: English
Not the Doctor
A funeral dirge played in my head as I slung my small gym bag into the hall and followed it out the door. The day had come. I had no choice but to leave my apartment, walk out to the parking lot, and let George drive me to the hospital. I locked the door and steeled myself against the fear. Older brothers can smell fear, and reaching the age of fifty-five hadn’t tempered his propensity to go for the jugular. And it was only outpatient surgery. I’d be home within ten hours.
The next door opened as soon as I started down the hall. Kai peeked out and smiled. “Today’s the day, yeah?”
Kai didn’t come out into the hall, but his smile lit it up anyway.
“If you need anything tonight just yell. Or pound on the wall.”READ MORE
“Thanks.” Jeez, just what I need, a reminder that our bedrooms share a wall. “George is waiting in the parking lot. He’ll drive me in and stay with me tonight.”
“Okeydokey, Joey.” He winked, and I resumed walking.
Kai never said good luck, and I sort of wished he would have. I could have used a little.
The surgery went okay—so the doc said—but waking up screaming wasn’t exactly my idea of okay. The lovely nurses quickly got out in front of the pain, but the memory of literally writhing and crying wouldn’t be banished so easily.
George sat with me in the recovery room, working on his iPad while I nibbled saltines and sipped water for two hours.
“How’re you feeling? Because you look a little green.”
“I talked with the doctor, and he said everything went fine. I would’ve taken my chances with the screws if I were you.”
The crackers tasted stale but were better than getting pulled into this debate again. Especially on painkillers. Thinking too hard could dull their effects, and that was enough to make me shudder.
“There’s a reason they don’t suture bones, Joe. Experimental procedures are for people who can’t afford the best healthcare.” He looked up and frowned at me, and then his eyebrows arched toward his perfect hairline. “Anything I should know?”
I sighed and closed my eyes. “No.”
The screws came with a minimum of two surgeries. After everything Annie had suffered through under the knives of various surgeons, I wasn’t going down that road unless it was necessary. I was too old to be such a baby about it—something George had reminded me of more than once. But a single surgery sounded twice as appealing as two.
Maybe if I keep my eyes closed he’ll drop it.
The next thing I knew, an anxious nurse woke me up. She and George helped me sit up so I could eat a little more. They both wanted me to progress through the post-op period and get out of there on schedule. Sooner, if possible.
I was still a little foggy around the edges by the time George helped me on with my sweats and into the wheelchair. He had to pull over twice on the drive back to my building, but I managed not to throw up. Too risky—some of the painkillers could’ve still been waiting to dissolve.
By the time we arrived I was ready to collapse into bed. Not much for displays of machismo, I still had my pride, and it had taken a beating along with my arm. I was exhausted and felt vaguely humiliated but refused to ask George if I’d done anything to embarrass myself. He might’ve been in the mood to make something up.
The door before mine opened after we passed it. Kai shuffled out into the hall, leaning heavily on his cane. “How’d it go?”
I nodded but decided to answer verbally until further notice. “Okay. Thanks.”
His smile showed a mixture of relief and happiness all the way up to the crinkled corners of his deep-set black eyes. “Glad to hear it. You let me know if there’s anything I can do.”
George had the door open, and he took my left elbow to guide me inside. I barely had a chance to say thanks before my door closed behind me.
“You look tired. I’ll get you into bed and set the alarm for your next dose of the good stuff.”
“Why’d you pull me like that?”
“Just come on.” George took me into my bedroom and sat me on the edge of the bed. “Did I hurt you? I didn’t mean to pull. Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I’m good. I gotta piss and then sleep.” I stood up, and George caught me before I could fall over. Guess the good stuff won’t let me watch the bedroom wall while walking in the other direction.
If I were the praying kind, I would’ve spent the morning doing just that. Joey looked terrified as he walked down the hall—all by his lonesome. It defeats the purpose to say good luck out loud, but I almost did it anyway. He looked like he could use the boost, and his brother wasn’t exactly the nurturing type. Would it have killed George to come up and help with the bag?
Would I be judging him so harshly if I’d been up to walking Joey down myself?
Over the past few months, since he’d been doing more telecommuting, it grew more and more difficult to ignore the silver fox next door. His chestnut hair had barely started to frost at the temples, but silver fox just sounded sexy. And Joe Prescott was nothing if not sexy. He even had gorgeous feet—which I probably wouldn’t have noticed if not for my own problems down there, but that would’ve been my loss. It’s uplifting to look at something—someone—beautiful. Even a straight someone.
Those two, the Prescotts, they’re about as straight as they come. George wore a sport jacket to take Joe to the hospital. Even he wouldn’t have gone home during the procedure to change. Probably kept his head bowed over an iSomething the whole time. But he noticed me. He always notices me, and not in the same way Joe does. No, George had me pegged from the gate. If I didn’t have thirty years of experience saying I knew better, the zealous way he stepped between us would’ve made me wonder.
But if I’m interested in Joey he has to be straight because that’s my M.O. Show me a hot straight guy—bonus points for each prejudice and phobia he brings to the table—and before you can say Judy Garland, I’ve fallen for him.
Enough talking to myself in an empty apartment, time to cook something.
When Auntie gets back, maybe I’ll have gained a pound or two. Not likely, but it would make her happy.COLLAPSE
"Connection, passion and hope are the key components for these short stories."