Mix Christmas, a snow globe, and voodoo…it’s not a piece of cake!
Two lovers who can’t forget.
His last year was bleak, the present is miserable, and Darwin Lane’s future looks forlorn. Convinced he’ll never find happiness, he resigns himself to a life of loneliness.
Tanner Wallace, caught in a strange web of nonexistence, seeks return to here and now, a place he prays to find the man who owns his heart waiting. Time is running out but a long ago promise keeps Tan going.
It’s Christmas Eve and all that stands between them is a snow globe and…a voodoo curse!
- 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 36-45
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Love Can Heal / Redemption, True Love, Uncommunicative Masculinity
Word Count: 13800
Setting: USA, Louisiana, New Orleans; California, Big Bear
Languages Available: English
A beguiling grin and brown eyes resembling aged cognac lit with interest. “I’m Darwin Lane.”
“Tanner Wallace.” It was Friday night and he opted for a second drink otherwise Tan would be his normal cold and sarcastic self. Darwin filled him with high spirits and his easy southern drawl relaxed Tan prompting him to talk loosely about being a trained dancer until the woman walked by on her way out giving him side eye which made him jittery and it silenced Tan. Seeing she still wore her engagement ring dredged up additional discomfort. Why in hell did she continue coming to New Orleans? Flagging the bartender, his third drink warmed him up. Damn, the man beside him was hot and had Tan longing for something he didn’t think much about anymore. Company of a man had been missing for lots of years. At least regular company and that’s how he saw Darwin. Not a fly by night sort.
Afraid of his feelings, one more bourbon carried him over the edge.READ MORE
Darwin drove him home, assisted him into bed, and left a number on back of his business card with a note reading—I have two left feet but I’d love to stroll the Riverwalk with you. “Shit.” Tan had talked about dance.
Lane’s Antiques closed at seven. Tanner found himself in a ritzy shop on Julia Street. Not as if he had any real experience judging but Lane’s seemed to be chocked full of what appeared to be high priced items. One tag he flipped over on a desk he admired almost choked Tanner. “Fuck me.” Would take four months of his salary to purchase the piece.
“Can I help?”
Spinning at the sound of the sexy drawl he remembered, Tan stared into dark eyes once more, and again, he forgot a bit of his past. “I hope.”
“You look good in a suit.”
Tan wore a pair of jeans and a plain, gray vee neck pullover when they first met. “Thank you, it’s work wear. Not my preference.”
“I favor them and pretty much wear one every day.”
“You’d look good in anything.”
“Thanks. Want to walk? If it’s too much trouble…”
“Sure. I’m good.” Not many noticed his slight limp. How bad was it for Darwin to get him up steps to Tan's apartment? Damn leg and back always acted up when he drank too much. Didn't help he'd had a busy day escorting a prospective client around one of the ships.
They walked along the Mississippi river before a light supper at Cochon Butcher where they conversed for hours over regular coffee. Seems neither he or Darwin developed taste for the fancy stuff or roasts infused with chicory.
Leisurely strolling, they talked more. Thirty-one, same age as Tanner, single and damn easy on the eyes. Not an athlete but his near six-foot frame carried weight well. His hair is beautiful. Tanner liked what he learned so far. Darwin enjoyed nature and walking, he watched old movies, and damn if he didn’t like Christmas and spending it where there was snow. “Do you visit your parents in Phoenix often?”
“A few days when I travel through to my home in Big Bear.” Slowing, Darwin stated, “You’re far from the northeast.”
“Watertown, New York. Degree in business from the local community college. After dan…after years away, I ended up returning home. I needed a change from small town living and accepted a position as entertainment recruiter for a cruise company and they stationed me in New Orleans which hinders me seeing my parents as much as I’d like.” More information than he normally divulged to other men he met. “How’d you know?”
“Accent.” Darwin smiled. “You have one. Is Watertown upstate? Lots of snow?”
“Yes, and yes.” Before long, they reached Poeyfarre Street. “Been here a couple years but not familiar with this area. We’ve wandered from our cars.”
“A few blocks.” Darwin stopped in front of an old building. “I grew up in the Garden District but live here now. You’re safe with me.”
“Am I, Darwin?” Tanner studied the old building’s stone edifice. “A lot of windows.”
“Wood floors, very high ceilings, and a fantastic view. Call me Dar. Would you like to come up for a drink?”
“Your real hair color?”
“Dirty blond with lots of premature gray I opted to dye. It’s all my hair though.”
Tanner drew Dar close and ran a hand through platinum strands. “I wanted to do that last night.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“Too much to drink.”
“Haven’t done this in a while.” He leaned forward and pressed a light kiss on inviting lips. Tan was picky about men and he didn’t sleep around. Well, after the accident there had been a time or two when he’d grown tired of his own hand and had sought relief with strangers. Never liked it yet forming relationships was too hard. There were always questions which sent him running for the hills. “I dislike one-night stands.”
“I’m free tomorrow night also.” Darwin pressed his body against Tanner and stole his mouth. His tongue slipped between lips already opening. Deep, satisfying, it went on and on. When he backed away, brown eyes shone under bright street lights. “All my nights are free.”
“Rain check.” God, to go in and have him. All of him. “Tomorrow?” Needed time to think because something about this man drew Tan out of himself.
Darwin strode to the door and punched in a code. “You know where I’ll be.” The front entranced thudded closed.COLLAPSE