Faithfully Yours #1
Following his father’s death, Micah Forbes believes he can finally put the family who rejected him and their religious bigotry behind him. In a cruel twist, his older brother calls to tell him he’s inherited their father’s abandoned vacation home.
Micah discovers the house comes complete with a long list of repairs, boxes full of family secrets, and a handful of quirky neighbors. Despite not wanting to get in too deep, he can’t help the spark of interest stirred when the sexy redhead next door offers his help. Everything about the enigmatic Cat Rowland throws Micah off-balance, from his gender-bending sense of fashion to his handy repair skills to his deep spirituality. Before long, Micah is swept up by Cat and his friends, but Cat himself keeps his heart carefully protected.
When Micah’s past and his present collide in a painful way, his self-destructive coping habits threaten to overwhelm him. To save himself, he needs to open his soul and let someone in. Cat has the key to unlock him, if he can let down his guard and trust his faith enough to catch Micah as he falls.
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Publisher: Supposed Crimes
Pairings: M-M, Includes NB
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 2
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay, Genderqueer
Protagonist 1 Age: 36-45
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Age Difference, Death of Parent, Everyone is Queer, Healing Power of Sex, Hurt / Comfort, Love Can Heal / Redemption
Setting: Seneca Lake, NY
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
As soon as he opened the door, Micah heard a faint scuffling sound. He groaned, knowing that meant arranging for an exterminator to come out. He hoped he could hold off until then; he didn’t relish the thought of sharing living quarters with the local wildlife. When he stepped inside, he was met with a wall of stuffy heat. Inhaling, he choked on the stale air and coughed forcefully, desperately looking around to see what had caused his fit. Once his eyes had adjusted to the dim interior, he saw that bunking with the rodents would be the least of his worries.READ MORE
In addition to the thick layer of dust covering every surface, the house was a mess inside. The furniture was covered in old sheets, but everything else was filthy. The main living area was piled with junk—everything from old newspapers and magazines to what looked like the contents of his grandmother’s attic. It had obviously been longer than he thought since anyone had set foot inside the house. He suspected the mess was his father and stepmother’s poor attempts at cleaning out the house to sell it themselves, and from the looks of it, that had been several years before. With all the trash, it was a wonder the house hadn’t caught fire.
This was ridiculous. He assumed the rest of the house was no better, and he probably wouldn’t be able to sleep there until he’d done a significant amount of work. That meant driving back into town and finding a place to stay for who knew how long. No doubt every last one of his immediate family members was well aware of what he was up against; he imagined them having a good laugh at his expense. Irritation gave way to a surge of anger—at his father for leaving him a heap of rubbish, at Elijah for gloating over it, and at himself for being foolish enough to believe for even a few minutes that maybe he’d meant something to his family after all.
He picked up the nearest object, which happened to be an oddly-shaped ashtray, and hurled it at the wall. It smashed and rained shards of broken pottery onto the floor. It was thoroughly satisfying. Micah spent the next five minutes throwing things and watching them shatter, releasing the rage he hadn’t realized he’d bottled in. He had managed to clear a space around him when he reached down and came up with a hand-painted birdhouse. It was too pretty to break, and suddenly the whole situation seemed impossible and strange. He tried to laugh, but that, too, broke into pieces, and instead, he sobbed, sinking to his knees in the middle of the floor.
When he was spent, Micah stood up, wiping his eyes with the heels of his hands. He sighed and yanked the sheet off an old chair. He flopped down in it and buried his head in his hands, still sniffling a little. He decided he would sit right there until he was struck with a brilliant plan for how to manage his misfortune. It might have been a whole two minutes before someone knocked on the front door. Huffing, he rose and went to answer it.
He nearly groaned when he saw who it was. Cat, his oddly chipper neighbor, was back. He had a glass of what might have been lemonade in his hand and a lopsided smile on his face. When he looked up at Micah, his expression changed. His smile slid away and his eyes widened.
“You okay?” he asked.
Micah ran a hand through his hair and contemplated telling Cat it was just allergies. Instead, something made him say, “No. I am not okay. But if you want to come in and sit on my couch, risking black lung from all the dust, by all means.” He stood aside and swept his hand, indicating Cat should join him.
Hesitantly, Cat stepped over the threshold. He extended the glass to Micah. “Thought you could use this. Maybe you need something stronger, though.”
Micah snorted. “Yeah, probably, except I don’t drink.” He accepted the lemonade and took a sip. The tart liquid was refreshingly cool against his burning throat. “Thanks for this.” He tilted the glass toward Cat.
Cat grinned. “I was a little worried for a minute there. Want to tell me about it?”
“Not really.” Micah dragged the sheet off the couch, and Cat perched on the end as though he thought it might contaminate him.
“Fair enough.” He continued to watch Micah, though.
Micah sighed heavily. “I inherited this house. My father just died.”
“I’m sorry,” Cat said, his voice soft and warm.