When their son goes missing on a camping trip, Brook and Casey are given a chance to make amends for their past mistakes with each other.
Following a volatile break-up with his partner, Casey has been raising his son, Ryan, mostly on his own. While Ryan is on a camping trip in the Adirondacks, Casey and Brook make another attempt to work through their differences, with disastrous results. But when Ryan and his friend disappear in the mountains, Casey and Brook travel together to find him. The tension leads to an opportunity to listen to each other, reconcile their history, and recover the love they once shared.
Publisher: MLR Press
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Bad Breakup, Cheating, Families/Raising Kids, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Second Chances, Uncommunicative Masculinity
Setting: Adirondack Mountains
Languages Available: English
Casey Dalton was just shoving the last items into a plastic totefor his thirteen-year-old son to take with him camping when the doorbell rang. Assuming it was his friends Annie and Chuck with their kids, he slapped down the lid and set the bin on the floor.
“Coming!” he yelled on his way to the foyer. When he passedthe stairs, he called up, “Ry! Time to go!”
The doorbell rang again, and Casey huffed at whoever was on the other side. Annie must’ve sent Taylor; that boy had no sense when to quit. Casey hauled open the door, ready to tease Taylor a bit for being so impatient. Instead, he was greeted with the last person he’d expected to see.READ MORE
It couldn’t be real. It was a vision or a nightmare or maybe stress-related, but that could not possibly be his former lover standing on the porch with his hand raised to press the bellagain. That was not the man who continued to haunt both his dreams and his nightmares. He shuddered; the previous night’smental sleep wanderings had been a horrifying mix of erotic and sorrowful, and he wasn’t in a hurry to relive them in the flesh. In confusion, Casey slammed the door shut.
“Open the damn door, Case,” the man on the other side said.
Casey growled and opened it again. “What the hell are you doing here, Brook?”
“I came to get my kid for the weekend because you failed to drop him off.”
“We talked about this weeks ago.” Casey glared at Brook.“Ryan’s going camping with Annie, Chuck, and their kids. You knew about this.”
“Maybe I decided the answer is no.” Brook crossed his arms.“You never gave me the choice—you just told me what was going on, same as always. I’d like a say in what happens this time.”
“Not gonna happen. Also, you have no business showing upat my door. We agreed to a neutral location for a reason.”
“Oh, right, because we couldn’t stop pissing each other off every time we were together. I’m glad to see you’ve gained some maturity since then,” Brook shot back.
No, you ass, Casey thought. It’s because if I let you in my house, and you begged to stay, I’d have taken you back and gotten my heart crushed again. “Go home,” he said. He made to close the door again.
Brook blocked it with his foot. “He’s my kid too. I should’vehad a say in it. This is my weekend.”
“First of all, he’s not yours in any legal sense. Second, you lost the right to have a say the minute you screwed someone else in our bed.”
Brook’s mouth dropped open, and his eyes flicked to the stairs behind Casey. When Casey turned his head to follow Brook’s gaze, he sighed. Ryan was standing in the middle of the staircase, staring at them.