Read an Excerpt
Justin Nelson pulled up beside his partner, Luc’s, SUV and turned off the engine. He was tired and grouchy as usual. The last thing he wanted was an earful from Luc on why he’d stayed at the campus so late.
His lover just didn’t understand what it was like to be so close to a goal that you could almost touch it. Since he was a kid, Justin had dreamed of going to a bowl game. Even though the dream had him actually on the field as a player instead of a coach, it still felt unbelievable.
As he put his players through their drills earlier in the evening, he saw the desire in their eyes. He recognised that need as the one he saw in the mirror every morning.
Getting out of the truck, he pulled his workout pants up before reaching for his bag. He knew better than anyone that he was losing weight. The stress and long hours had played havoc with his digestion and he couldn’t keep anything down. He kept assuring himself he’d bulk back up over the winter, after the season had officially come to a close.
Using his key, he unlocked the front door and braced himself for the fight that was sure to come.
“Is that you?” Luc asked from the kitchen.
“Yeah,” Justin said, and dropped his duffle.
Entering the kitchen, he was surprised to find Luc working at the table. “Why’re you working in here?”
Luc gestured to the stacks of files. “It’s audit time. I’m just making sure all my ducks are in a row,” he said, without glancing up from his papers. “There’s a plate for you in the microwave.”
What? No yelling? “Thanks.” Justin opened the microwave and looked at the plate of barbequed ribs and mashed potatoes. “My favourite.”
“Yeah,” Luc mumbled.
Setting the timer, Justin made himself busy by fixing a glass of milk. Maybe if he coated his stomach, the food would stay down for a change.
When the microwave dinged, Justin took out the hot plate and looked towards the table. Luc made no effort to move his files. Well, that’s pretty telling.
Deciding to avoid a fight, Justin took his plate and glass of milk into the living room.
Getting comfortable on the couch, he set his food on the coffee table. Like always, the house was as neat as a pin. Once upon a time, he and Luc had fought over whose turn it was to clean the house, but lately they’d had other things to argue over. They were always petty fights that Justin felt shitty about afterwards. He wasn’t sure if it was the stress, but he couldn’t seem to hold his tongue lately.
He heard the scrape of the kitchen chair against the hardwood floor. Justin secretly hoped Luc was coming in to watch the news with him. Those hopes were dashed when he heard Luc walking up the stairs. Damn, his partner couldn’t even be bothered to tell him goodnight.
With his dinner half-eaten, Justin took his plate to the kitchen and flipped on the light. After scraping the bones into the trash, Justin rinsed the rest of the food into the garbage disposal and set the plate in the dishwasher.
He stood in the middle of the kitchen with his hands on his hips. For the life of him he couldn’t figure out what he was supposed to do. Did Luc want to be alone? Did he go up in hopes that Justin would soon follow?
“Shit,” he said and shook his head. He walked around the house and turned off all the lights, checking the doors as he went. Grabbing his duffle from the floor, he walked up the stairs towards the master bedroom.
When he entered the room he was surprised to see it dark. Usually Luc liked to read before going to sleep. His partner had only been up here for around fifteen minutes. Could he really be asleep already?
Since he’d taken a shower earlier in the locker room, Justin undressed and slid between the sheets. Despite the fact that Luc had his back to him, Justin spooned against his lover, hoping for some sort of response. When none came, he released his hold a fraction and rested his head on his own pillow. Another night without sex. Great.