Love doesn't always look like you expect.
Russ Bishop and Stephen Parker have settled into wedded bliss.
They've taken a new step forward, moving into a spacious new condo together. And not only have they found professional success, their connection in the bedroom is as sizzling as ever.
Parenthood has never been a part of either of their plans for the future but when their volunteer work at the Open Doors Shelter makes them realize how many LGBTQ youth are in desperate need of a home, they begin to reconsider.
After a snarky teenager named Austin comes into their lives, their future will never be the same.
- 3 To Be Read lists
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 46-65
Protagonist 3 Age: Under 18
Tropes: Adopted Child, Age Difference, Class Differences, Families/Raising Kids, Healing Power of Sex, Hurt / Comfort, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Married Life, May/December, Most Mindblowing Sex Ever, Office / Workplace Romance, Rescue, True Love, Uncommunicative Masculinity
Word Count: 108662
Setting: Georgia, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
“You don’t have anything to be sorry about,” Russ said. He popped a fry in his mouth. “You needed help and that’s why I gave you my card. I’m glad you called.”
“I thought you might be mad.”
“I’m not mad,” Russ promised. “I’m just kinda worried about you.”
“I’m okay now.” Austin shoved more burger in his mouth.
“Austin, you skipped school, ran away from your foster house, and got lost. That doesn’t really sound okay to me,” Russ pointed out gently.
Austin sent him an annoyed look over his burger. “I’ll be fine,” he muttered around the mouthful of food.
“Where are you going to go?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, you can’t just stay on the streets,” he pointed out.
“Kellie does,” he said sullenly.READ MORE
“Yeah, but you know that isn’t safe,” Russ said quietly. “I don’t know a lot about her situation, but I do know it’s better to have a place to sleep indoors, and hot meals and a shower. I’m sure she’d want that for you too.”
“I know.” Austin frowned. “I just can’t go back to the Nashes though! They don’t want me anymore.”
“Okay. What are you planning to do next then?”
He shifted in his chair. “I don’t know.”
“Well, that sounds like you might need some help figuring it out then.”
Austin let out an aggravated sigh. “Yeah, okay. I guess.”
“And I’m pretty sure I need to call someone to let them know where you are.”
“Not my foster parents,” he protested.
“Have they ever hurt you?” Russ asked. “Hit you? Abused you in any way? With words or anything else.”
“No.” He dragged a fry through a puddle of ketchup. “They never hit me. And they aren’t abusive. They just … they don’t want me anymore.”
“They actually said that?”
“Yes!” He paused and looked up at the ceiling. “Well, kind of. They’re moving to another state and they don’t want to take me with them.”
Russ nodded, not fully understanding. He suspected it was probably more complicated than that, but it was hard to know because it was all being filtered through Austin’s point of view. They were either really shitty foster parents who callously told a kid he was no longer a part of the family or they legally couldn’t take him and he’d interpreted it that way. Russ just didn’t know which. And Austin probably couldn’t tell the difference. There had been an issue with them and the sister though.
“Why did your sister decide to leave their house?”
“Dunno. She had a job and she wanted to be off on her own.”
Russ frowned. “How did she end up homeless?”
Austin shrugged and shoved some more fries in his mouth. “Her girlfriend dumped her and she didn’t have anywhere to stay.”
“Oh,” Russ said. “And your foster parents wouldn’t let her come back?”
“I don’t know. They didn’t like that she was with her girlfriend and Kellie got super mad about it.”
Russ nodded, still puzzled. Things weren’t quite adding up. Dan had seemed very positive about them as foster parents, and Russ would have sworn he said they were good with LGBTQ kids, so that didn’t quite make sense.
“What if no one wants me?” Austin burst out. “What if I don’t find a new foster family?”
Russ frowned at him. “I’m sure they’ll find someone for you.”
“We had to wait so long to find this place.” Austin frowned. “We lived at the group home for a while before then. It sucked. And this time, I won’t have Kellie there.”
“Well, maybe we can talk to Dan about what the options are,” Russ said. “There must be a place for you somewhere.”
Austin sighed like the weight of the world rested on his narrow little shoulders. “I just … the Nashes are getting rid of me and I don’t know who I’ll end up with next. What if they get rid of me too?”COLLAPSE