Life Lessons Book 3.5

by Kaje Harper

This is a Life Lessons short story 3.5, occurring a week after Home Work - book 3. (* contains spoilers for Home Work*)

Mac, Tony, and the kids have had a long complicated year. Each of them has dealt with fears and losses, joys and triumphs. As December 31st approaches, it's time to look forward to the new year, and what may be in store. Mac and Tony figure whatever happens, they can handle it, as long as they go through it together.


11,000 words

This book is on:
  • 5 To Be Read lists
  • 6 Read lists
  • 1 Currently Reading list

* spoilers for book 3 - Home Work *

Tony heard the sound of Oliver's knock on the apartment door and set his book aside. Crossing the living room, he had to kick a couple of foam lightsabers and a stuffed rabbit out of the way. He resolved to make the kids clean up when they got back. Their Christmas toy bonanza was out of control. At the door, he hesitated and peeked through the peephole, just to be sure that it really was Oliver. Mac's partner had buzzed the downstairs door a few minutes ago, but there had been another reporter just yesterday...

Through the fisheye lens, Oliver was visible standing with his head down. Tony cracked open the door and looked at Oliver's face. The surge of nausea in his stomach was pure conditioned reflex. “Fuck! What now?”



The last time you looked like that Mac had been shot.” Although as Tony took a calmer look he decided Oliver's expression wasn't quite life-and-death grim. “So what now? Did Brittany escape? Or no, she tried to accuse Mac of police brutality, right?”

Oliver sighed. “Since she's claiming she wasn't even in her townhouse when Mac was shot, she can hardly accuse him of anything. Is Mac here? Can I come in?”

Oh, yeah, sorry.” Tony pulled the door open and stepped aside. Oliver walked past him, pulling off his coat. Tony eyed him while relocking the door. Oliver might not be bringing Brittany-disaster news, but there was definitely something. He looked unhappy and exhausted.

Hey, can I get you some coffee? You want to sit in the kitchen or collapse on the couch?”

Kitchen is fine.” Oliver headed that way, pulled a folded envelope out of his coat pocket and tossed his coat over one kitchen chair, while he dropped into another. “Mac is here, isn't he?”

Yeah, he's been sleeping.” Mac's headaches were getting better, but between the lingering effects of the head injury and the stress, he still needed time flat on his back with the blinds closed during the day. “Let me get you coffee and I'll fetch him. Um, I don't suppose you want to give me a hint?”

Oliver twitched the envelope in his hand. “Internal Affairs completed their report on the shooting. I told Captain Severs I'd bring Mac his copy.”

Tony put that together with Oliver's expression and bit back a curse. Dammit! Mac didn't need any more bullshit heaped on him. For a moment Tony thought about offering to pass the envelope along and then losing it for another week or two. But he was trying to get his overprotective mother hen side under control, and besides Mac would kill him. “Ah. Okay, here, take this cup and I'll go wake him.” …


About the Author

I get asked about my name a lot. It's not something exotic, though. “Kaje” is pronounced just like “cage” – it’s an old nickname.

I live in Minnesota, where the two seasons are Snow-removal and Road-repair, where the mosquito is the state bird, and where winter can be breathtakingly beautiful. Minnesota’s a kindly, quiet (if sometimes chilly) place and it’s home now.

I’ve been writing for far longer than I care to admit (*whispers – forty years*), mostly for my own entertainment. I mainly publish M/M romance (with added mystery, fantasy, historical, SciFi…) I also have a few Young Adult stories released under the pen name Kira Harp.

My husband finally convinced me that after all that time writing for fun, I really should submit something, somewhere. My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out from MLR Press in May 2011. I have a weakness for closeted cops with honest hearts, and teachers who speak their minds, and I had fun writing the four novels and three freebie short stories in the series. I’ve been delighted by the reception Mac and Tony have received.

I now have a good-sized backlist in ebooks and print, both free and professionally published. A complete list with links can be found on my Books page.
I also have  an author page on Goodreads where I do a lot of book reviews. You can find me to chat there– I hang out on Goodreads a lot because I moderate the  Goodreads YA LGBT Books group there. I also post free short YA stories on that group, more than 50 of them so far. Or find me on Facebook –

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