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Slow Dance: Crispin and Wills 3

Southern Seduction 3

by Julia McBryant

Crispin has moved in with Wills for the summer, four hours away from their parents in Savannah. Without rules, or even Wills' nosy twin to police them, neither can wait for their three months of freedom. But Wills gets stuck memorizing tree biology, and Crispin's boss works him to exhaustion. In fact, everything about their lives seems incompatible. Crispin keeps a bizarre sleep schedule that messes up Wills' circadian rhythms. Wills wakes up as queen bitch while Crispin channels Tigger. Stuck scarfing frozen food, unable to work the washing machine, Wills and Crispin both feel miserable. They've been together since eleventh grade. But can their teenage love transition into the real world?

This book is on:
  • 4 To Be Read lists
Cover Artists:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Coming of Age, Fated Mates / Soul Mates, Friends to Lovers, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Married Life, Reunited and it Feels So Good, True Love
Word Count: 23600
Setting: Georgia, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters

They wake in darkness, light a bonfire, eat the rest of the food and drink the beer. They lean against one another. “It’ll work,” Crispin tells him. “See? You can sleep like this. You’re functional. We can make this work, if you can be less bitchy in the mornings, and we can see each other more. It can work, Wills.” 

With Crispin’s lips on his neck, the humid Carolina dark close around them and the bonfire crackling on the small beach, that black fear in Wills’ stomach begins to uncoil. 


They stay up late. Neither wants to have sex out here, just in case. People. Bears. Sand in uncomfortable places. They fall asleep eventually, spooned up on the hammock, wake with the sun.  Wills has a miserable headache, but there’s something here, something he didn’t realize he’d missed desperately until now, holding it again. So many mornings, so many camping trips, he and Crispin would wake dew-damped to the rise and fall of birdsong. They’d stand in the mist of a gray dawn, driven to whispers. Full voice seemed a blasphemy, a sour note in the waking orchestra of the woods. But this morning, unlike their last year in Scouts, when they had to avoid each other, not look, not touch — and even earlier, when there was that something they both knew and couldn’t look at — Crispin holds Wills one more time while they sit on a flat rock and listen to the river. It’s one more thing they have together then, one more old thing washing away with the current tickling their toes. 

“Missed this,” Wills says quietly. “And it’s so much better now.” 

“Yeah,” Crispin agrees. 

 After the silent hike out, in the coffee shop, while Wills shakes out the cobwebs and his headache ebbs, thanks to the Advil he always keeps in his daypack, Crispin smiles. “I forgot,” he says. 

“What?” Wills asks. 

“How much we loved it, camping like that. Such a dumbass thing, to forget it, when we were Eagle Scouts, right? But I didn’t think how good it would be, just you and I.” 

It works, that weekend. It works enough that Wills can start to believe in it again.


About the Author

Julia McBryant is, as the saying goes, Southern born, Southern bred, and when she dies, she’ll be Southern dead.  Julia likes to play with her German Shepherds and hike, especially in the North Carolina mountains. When she isn’t writing, she’s writing. She is grateful her husband tolerates both her and her affinity for glitter.