Publisher: JMS Books, LLC
Cover Art: Written Ink Designs
Release Date: February 9, 2019
Length: Short Story / 2,614 words
Heat Rating: 3 flames / Moderate
Okay, then…that’s what Sam said after Henry convinced him he was interested in dating, not merely a fling while together on a research trip to the Solomon Islands. And so they embark on their first date, but the conditions are not ideal.
Henry is desperate to convince his crush of his sincerity but second guesses his every move. He’s thrilled to discover Sam is just as anxious to impress him. Can these two work through their first-date jitters or are they destined to drift apart?
JMS | Kindle | Books2Read
Revisiting the main characters from ’Til Death Do Us Part, this short story takes place within the timeline of the flashback scenes from that novel, detailing Sam & Henry’s first date/encounter after Sam tells Henry “Okay, then” while they’re together on a research trip in Honiara in the Solomon Islands. It’s a short story written to be able to stand alone, with its own HFN.
“Okay, then.” That’s what Sam had said. His leg had bounced like it always did when he was nervous. It was endearing, and one of the things that drew me to him. His grin was another. I melted a little each time he leveled it in my direction, which had made it incredibly hard to hide my attraction. That ship had now sailed. For better or for worse, Sam now knew of my interest, and had agreed to a date.His words had come at the end of a conversation we’d had at breakfast yesterday morning after we’d cleared up a misunderstanding regarding my intentions when I’d previously asked him out. Well, I suppose technically I’d asked him back to my room for a drink, so I couldn’t actually fault him for not understanding that I truly wanted to date him, not just have a fling while we were here in Honiara collecting research data.
“I’m sorry, Henry,” Sam said now as we approached Mambo Juice’s entry. “I wasn’t thinking straight, obviously.”
Perspiration dripped down my face. My pits felt more than a little damp, and sweat matted my chest hairs. The shower I’d taken right before we’d left the Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel, where we were staying a few days before heading to the smaller islands in the chain, had been a complete waste of time. But even if I’d known Sam would suggest we walk a mile to the Mambo Juice, I probably would have bathed anyway. I wanted to impress the man, after all.
“I’m fine,” I replied. And truthfully I was; other than feeling, shall we say, somewhat less than fresh, the trek and the heat didn’t bother me. We’d both been out in it all day for most of a week, and would be spending at least five more weeks in the islands before heading back to Seattle. This wasn’t the first research trip either of us had taken to a tropical location, and we were both in good health and in the prime of our lives.
Sam looked miserable, biting his lower lip. His body seemed tense, and his brows drawn together. Not unduly physically uncomfortable, but like he was mentally kicking himself in the ass for having suggested we walk.
“Seriously, it’s not a big deal. If I can’t handle one little mile, then I’m a pretty sad case with no business attempting field work.”
He cocked his head to the side and stared curiously at me as I attempted a reassuring smile. His stance relaxed.
“You’re—” He cut off whatever he’d planned to say. His eyes widened and I got the distinct impression he’d been thinking aloud, and hadn’t meant to say anything.
“You’re what?” Because, really, it was better to find out now, before we fucked up our professional relationship beyond any hope of repair by, well…fucking…if there was something about me that bothered him. We’d been colleagues in the university’s biology department in Seattle for ten months, so we knew each other fairly well. I hoped to hell he wasn’t having second thoughts about dating me.
“You’re…you’re actually trying to impress me, just as much as I’m trying to do the same with you.”
I laughed and pressed a palm to my heart. I was so damned relieved to hear those words. “You’re damned right I am!”
His Henry-melting grin appeared, and I was lost.
Addison Albright is a writer living in the middle of the USA. Her stories are gay romance in contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal genres. She generally adds a subtle touch of humor, a smidgen of drama/angst, and a healthy dose of slice-of-life to her stories. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.
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