Jeremiah Crawford’s need for coffee leads to a chance meeting with Trey Damone and his son Mikey. Mikey’s psychic abilities are obvious to Crawford, who wants to help the child learn to manage his powers. And Trey’s need for someone to care about him and his son is even more obvious.
Trey Damone brought his son to Boston to escape Mikey’s mother’s family–a cult-like group who want to take Mikey away from Trey. Trusting his new neighbors wasn’t easy for Trey. Trusting the man he randomly meets in a donut shop will be harder, especially when Trey isn’t only keeping Mikey’s secrets anymore. He has a secret of his own now: a month ago, he was changed to a werewolf while trying to save his son. If Trey tells Crawford the truth about himself without his Alpha’s permission, the penalty could be death.
Crawford hates secrets, even though he’s keeping one of his own: His employer is a sorcerer. And while Crawford’s life isn’t at risk if he tells Trey the truth, he won’t betray his boss. He trusts Trey and wants to earn Trey and Mikey’s trust, but can he and Trey build a relationship based on the secrets they have to keep?
Portions of this book were originally published as a short novella by MLR Press in 2013. This version has been significantly revised and expanded from the original.
- 1 To Be Read list
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Families/Raising Kids
Word Count: 55726
Setting: Boston, Massachusetts
Languages Available: English
He picked up his jacket and put it on. His phone, which he’d left in the pocket, thumped against his side. No one had called or texted in the past couple of days. Other than Trey, no one except Joel and Crawford’s mother ever called or texted, and contact from his mother was rare. Not that he reached out to her often. He kept in touch out of obligation, nothing more.
“Stop wallowing,” he instructed himself, zipping the jacket. His life had been like this for a few years now. He’d never minded it before.
Before, he’d never known a man with deep brown eyes and a six-year-old boy who reminded Crawford way too much of himself as a child. He’d never known hot chocolate could lead to finding two people who would make such an impression that he couldn’t imagine his life without them.READ MORE
So he would have to make sure he didn’t have a life without them. He would apologize to Trey. Accept what Trey was willing and able to tell him, and the promises Trey was able to make. He would be there for Trey and for Mikey.
He would deal with it tomorrow, because tonight he was too hungry—and chicken—to figure out what to say.
“And that’s why I’m probably going to die alone.” To save himself from going any further down that rabbit hole, he left.
Though he had no idea what he wanted to eat, with so many stores and restaurants around the corner, it didn’t take long to find something appealing. The burritos at the nearby taqueria were always perfection, and he hadn’t been there in a while. He decided to eat there, surrounded by Spanish conversation he couldn’t quite understand since he’d never managed to learn the language, rather than getting takeout, because it was preferable to going back to his apartment to spend more time alone.
As he ate, he shut down the thoughts of Trey that tried to harsh his enjoyment of the burritos. There was nothing to think about. Either he would apologize to Trey or he wouldn’t be able to think of anything to say. Either Trey would accept the apology or he wouldn’t. Crawford couldn’t make anything happen. All he could do was hope.
In his pocket, his phone chimed. His heart skipped a beat.
It was probably Joel checking in about the next day’s schedule. Or a spam text; he got those sometimes. If he convinced himself that the message was nothing important, maybe his heart would slow down and that stupid helium balloon feeling would go away.
Except neither of those things happened, because even without looking at the phone, he knew the message was from Trey.
He forced himself to eat another bite of burrito before pulling out his phone to read the text. We have to talk. Please.
The same words he’d sent to Trey two days ago. The words that had ruined everything.
This time, maybe those words could make things better. All he had to do was reply. Just type one word. As soon as he figured out what word to type.
He settled for, When?
No time like now. I’m outside.
Stunned, Crawford turned toward the window. His heart rose as he saw Trey standing there, looking in with a tiny but gorgeous smile. Before he could stop to overthink, Crawford motioned for Trey to join him.
Maybe things would work out after all.COLLAPSE