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The thought that there was something better out there took Tristan away…then pride almost broke his heart.
Tristan, Samuel and Casey had been friends since grade one. When Casey—the doctor's son—goes off to university, Samuel and Tristan are left behind in their small hometown. Samuel comes from a poor background and has no money for school. He takes a job in the hardware store that Tristan's parents own.
Tristan decides to work at the store for a year before joining Casey at school. He's expected to run the store eventually but wants to explore what's out there first. Breaking away from the town means breaking Samuel's heart.
When tragedy brings Tristan home again, will pride stand in the way of letting Samuel know how he feels?
Reader Advisory: This story has been previously released as part of the Sins of Winter anthology by Total-E-Bound Publishing
|Publisher:||Totally Entwined Group Ltd|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||201 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Everyone slips. Everyone makes mistakes in their lives, but the difference between those who are true failures and those who rise above seems to come down to one thing—humility. To admit you’ve made a mistake means swallowing your pride. That’s not an easy thing to do even when the stakes are high, especially when you risk losing the love of your life.
* * * *
The kids at school used to call us the three musketeers—Samuel, Casey, and Tristan—Tristan being me. The three of us had been inseparable from grade one onwards. I was the leader, full of cocky self-confidence, the daredevil who led the other two astray...or so they claimed.
It was a wonder we even became friends at all, because we were all so different. I tended to look for trouble, mostly out of boredom. Meanwhile, Sam was simply at odds with everything, a born rebel. He’d earned the bad boy rep early, and unlike me, he couldn’t seem to get away with anything.
Casey was an only child. His mom had died when he was a baby and his dad was a doctor. Casey was the 'good boy'—at least, everyone assumed he was. He was the teacher’s pet every year and always said the right things. I think Sam and I enjoyed leading Casey into trouble and watching him stress about getting discovered. He and the doc lived in a big white house near the school. Casey was all about style, even as a kid with his expensive, brand-name running shoes. It got worse when he hit puberty. Sam and I often teased him about being a snob, which he’d always vigorously deny, of course, just before showing off his designer jeans. We loved Casey in spite of his quirks. He was generous and funny, even if he sometimes got on our nerves.
Sam, on the other hand, didn’t give a damn about status. He came from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak, and was a little rough around the edges. He wore his background with a mix of pride and disdain. He was a great-looking kid but his clothes never seemed to quite fit, and his hair was either too long or had been hacked at by one of his sisters. He was the only one of us who had siblings—two elder sisters—who, besides giving Sam the occasional crooked haircut, weren’t what one would call doting. Basically they spent their time riding around in muscle cars with boys while their mother worked nights as the janitor in the town bank. Casey and I rarely went over to the two bedroom apartment where Sam lived because his mom slept during the day.
It was rumoured that Sam’s father was in jail. When we were kids, Sam said his father was a pirate who navigated the high seas, finding treasure on mysterious deserted islands. We all knew it wasn’t true. Nevertheless, it made for entertaining stories when we’d sleep in the tent in Casey’s back yard on warm summer nights.
My parents owned the local hardware store so we had a nice house near the school not far from Casey. Like my two friends, I had to fend for myself much of the time. My parents worked long hours at the store, including weekends. And when it was closed, they did inventory and the accounting. It was tough. It wasn’t until I turned sixteen that my parents could actually afford to take on more staff.
Given that we were all pretty independent, we looked out for one another.
We had a freedom other kids didn’t have and that was a plus, of course. Our lives weren’t structured in the same way as other kids’, what with our parents all working crazy hours. But since we lived in a small town where everyone knew one another, our parents didn’t worry too much. The town of Milton Corners was our baby sitter, with people telling us to ‘get on home’ when they thought we were out too late. It was never hard to find a trusted adult if we needed one in a pinch.
I knew I was gay by the time I hit twelve, but I kept it to myself. The three of us always confessed everything to each other. We’d made a pact when we were eight. That was the first time I’d broke it. Frankly, I wasn’t sure how Casey and Sam would take the news that I liked boys. I thought they’d freak out, not want to hang out with me. Their friendship was the most important thing in my life. So I kept it all inside.