Noel Sauvageau is barely thirty years of age, yet one of the most powerful moguls on Wall Street. He also has a broken heart left over from high school. When a voice from his distant past rings him on Christmas Eve, will he allow his life to change for the better? Or will he remain closed off and isolated from the very love he needs to mend?
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Publisher: Love Lane Books Limited
Heat Level: 2
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Coming Out / Closeted, Coming Out Later in Life, Find Love and Come Out, First Time, Friends to Lovers, Hurt / Comfort, Passing as Straight, Second Chances, Slow Burning Love, True Love, Unrequited Love
Word Count: 6,100
Setting: Wall Street, Manhattan, New York
Languages Available: English
The silent elevator came to a slow stop, and he breathed in courage as the doors opened to raucous merriment. Before he knew it, Olivia had nearly tackled him in a fierce hug. It felt good—far better than he expected—and he smiled down at her. “Hello, Olivia.”
“Oh, Noey, I’m so glad you came! You’re the best Christmas present I could have hoped for! It’s so great to see you!”
“It’s wonderful to see you too.”
There was an awkward moment before she whispered, “The answer to your unasked question is ‘yes.’”
He slowly withdrew from her arms. “I can’t.”
“Yes, you can. He misses you as much as I do.”
“I can’t. I’m sorry, O.” He reached for the elevator call button and the doors silently slid open.
“Oh, Noey, please don’t go.”READ MORE
He stepped into the elevator and turned back to her. “I’m sorry. It was great to see you. Call after the New Year and we’ll get together.” The doors slid closed and he descended in silence, tears pricking his eyes.
He cleared his throat as he stepped off the elevator and bid the doorman good night. It was all he could do to make it to the sidewalk before he burst into tears. “Thirty fucking years old and you’re crying on the sidewalk,” he muttered to himself as he withdrew a silk handkerchief and wiped his eyes. He all but ran back to his apartment building. “You’re absolutely spineless underneath it all, you dumb bastard.”
Closing the front door behind him quietly, he kicked off his shoes and padded to the kitchen in socked feet. He retrieved a glass from a cabinet and turned on the tap. As water filtered through the Brita, he thought he heard a knock at the door. He turned the tap off and listened intently. Nothing. He turned the tap on again and watched the ultra-filtered water sparkle as it filled the tall crystal glass. Again the sound of a knock. He turned the water off.
Sipping water as he crossed the expanse of his finely furnished living room, he went to the front door. He looked through the peephole and saw nothing. He reached for the house phone against the wall.
“Merry Christmas, Mr. Sauvageau! What may we do for you this evening?” The valet’s voice was entirely too chipper.
“Did you send someone up?”
“No, sir. We wouldn’t have without calling you first. Why do you ask?”
“I thought I heard a knock at my door. It’s nothing. Thank you.”
He placed the receiver in its cradle, padded to the couch, and plopped down. His mind turned to unbidden memories. Sebastian’s touch, the feel of Sebastian’s skin, their nakedness sparing no distance between them. The feel of Sebastian inside him— This time he was certain he heard a knock at the door. He set the glass on the table and stood, wondering if some lunatic had gotten into the building.
He returned to the front door and checked the peephole yet again. There, outside hisdoor, was Sebastian Croft. He quickly withdrew. He felt sick. Lightheaded. Unbelievable. He checked the peephole again. Sebastian paced, his concentrated expression clearly reflecting nervousness and... fear. He’d never known Sebastian to be afraid of anything. How’d he get up here? More importantly, what in hell was he doing here?COLLAPSE