Our Love Story
A short story series (M/M Romance)
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Please note there will be two more instalments in Jordan and Lance’s story.
His Love Letters (Book One)
Originally published as part of the Over the Rainbow Anthology
Publication Date: September 29, 2017
Genre Information: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Gay, Short Story
Length: 4,660 Words
It all started the day Jordan found Lance’s love letters. He hadn’t been planning to snoop while Lance was in the shower, in fact he’d been preparing to do the opposite.
Jordan has an inappropriate attraction to his best friend Lance, a crush which won’t ever come to light for fear of ruining their friendship. But that all changes the day Jordan finds Lance’s stash of hidden letters, letters confessing his feelings. Each one addressed to Jordan.
On my phone, returning emails about the upcoming Pride event I was helping to throw in a week’s time at the Student’s Lounge, I try not to watch as Lance pulls his sweaty gym shirt off over his head. Worse, he wraps a towel around his waist and then, knowing he’s covered, lets his shorts drop to the floor.
Reclining on his bed, I have to cross my foot over my bent knee to cover my semi. Gaze glued to my phone, I wave him away. “Hurry up, or we’re going to be late.”
Lance is at university on a rugby scholarship, so he often hits the gym for extended hours, but on nights like tonight, when we’re due at a res party across campus in less than fifteen minutes, Lance’s need for physical exertion can be a real drag.
His tight grip turns his knuckles nearly the same shade as the white towel he’s holding. “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather wait downstairs?”
Frowning, I quickly chance a glance at him. Big mistake. Looking very unsure of himself, one hand holding the towel in a death grip, the other he ran threw his hair, putting his very impressive bicep on display.
And… now, it’s a full-fledged erection.
Doing my best to hide my lust, my gaze lingers on his face before I casually drop it back to my phone. “Yeah, right, like I’m going to wait on those rocks downstairs.” I laugh but don’t risk looking at him again. “Man, you linger in the shower. So, no, thank you. I’ll wait right here.”
Lance hesitates, which pisses me off. He doesn’t want to leave me alone in his residence room.
We’d been friends since grade school, played together as kids; we even got suspended together once for throwing a rock through one of the first-floor windows at school. When I’d come out in high school, he’d been supportive, even attended a few LGBTQ meetings with me to help keep some of the jocks from bugging me. But now, suddenly, he’s uncomfortable with me being in his room. What the fuck?
His sudden resistance spikes my temper. Frustrated, I look at him and insist, “Dude, we’re going to be late if you don’t hurry up.”
“Right.” He still doesn’t move. “Don’t snoop, okay?”
My eyes widen. That was it? He’s hiding something he doesn’t want me to know about. “Fine. But hurry it up.”
He considers me for a long moment before nodding and heading to the bathroom.
After a comment like that, how could I not snoop?
Once I hear the shower start, I shift from my lazy position and peek my head out the door. None of his roommates seems to be home. All their doors are shut, and other than running water, the house is silent.
I set about uncovering his secret.
Jordan is tired of waiting for his boyfriend to come out of the closet. He’s waited long enough to share their news, and as far as he’s concerned, it’s now or never.
After two years, Lance still refuses to tell his family he’s gay and Jordan has had just about enough. At Christmas dinner, Lance’s parents try to set him up with a family friend. For Jordan, that’s the breaking point. Walking out on a good meal, and a great relationship, Jordan leaves Lance to figure out just what their relationship is worth. Is this the last Christmas they’ll spend together?
Since high school I’ve always spent Boxing Day the same way—joining Lance’s family for Christmas dinner. But this year I’m fed up with the tradition.
I love the stuffing his Nana makes, and his mom’s apple crumble is to die for. What I can’t stand is the secrecy. I’m in love with a man who’s ashamed of us. Each year I sit by and watch as he lies to his family. We continue the façade of friendship, pretending the entire time we’re just roommates and not lovers.
We’ve lived together for two and a half years. We’ve talked about the future—our future. We both want kids one day, but I don’t see how that can ever happen if he won’t fess up and tell his family he’s gay and that we’re a couple.
I’m getting sick of being with a guy who isn’t willing to fight for us.
But it’s Christmas, and I love him, so I’ll grin and bear it. I’ll pretend it doesn’t bother me, and tomorrow we’ll go back to arguing over the timing.
Pulling the Elantra into the driveway, I put it in park and killed the engine. “Help me with the gifts?”
Lance frowned. “Of course.”
“Right.” Since our fight that morning, things had been tense. I pocketed my keys as we both pushed open our doors, and stepped into the frosty air.
Snowflakes had started to drift down. That night a large snow dump was expected. His parents had already invited us to spend the night, something else we’d fought over. Lance was all for accepting their hospitality, but I knew it would mean sleeping in separate rooms.
From opposite sides of the car, we ducked into the backseat to grab bags full of presents.
“You sure you don’t want to tell them tonight?” The question slipped from my mouth.
Lance gave me a hard look. “Would you drop it? It’s not the right time.”
I was starting to wonder if it would ever be the right time.
Arms loaded with gifts, we trudged up the walkway. I pasted on a smile as Lance shoved open the door. We were first greeted with the shouts of his nieces and nephews as they ran through the house.
“Mom!” Lance called.
Wiping her hands on an apron, Susan came out of the kitchen. She gave us each a hug, prompting us to come in. As I slipped off my boots, Susan took the gifts from my arms. “Let me help you with that, Jordan.”
She put them on Lance’s already enormous pile. “Put them under the tree with the others and then there’s someone I want you to meet.”
“Who?” Lance asked with a touch of suspicion.
Susan leaned in close to whisper, “You know our friends Robert and Natasha. Well, they’ve brought their daughter, Emily, along for dinner. She’s just about your age.” Susan’s eyes gleamed with matchmaking mischief. Smile bright, she turned her gaze on me. “This should be fun.”
Ever since I came out, back in high school, Susan had thought of me as a confidant and a sounding board. She asked my opinion on outfits and often tried to get me to help her win arguments with Lance. Playing up the part, I rubbed my now empty hands together and grinned along with her. “Oh, definitely.”
With a hop to her step, she turned around and led the way to the living room.
I shifted closer to Lance. “Did you know about this?”
Lance shot me a scowl. “No, of course not. I would have put a stop to it if I’d known.”
“Sure,” I said with a snort.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
Not bothering to answer, I started after his mother.
“Hey, aren’t you going to help me?”
Glancing back, I gave a partial shrug before leaving him to balance the gifts while removing his shoes. I knew it was petty, but I didn’t care.
Each year at Christmas, Lance’s family gathered for a big meal and to exchange gifts. His sister and brother sat on the sofas with their significant others, watching hockey as all their kids ran around together. The aforementioned Robert was also watching the game, while alternately talking with Lance’s dad, Aaron. All the adults shifted to the right, then to the left as Susan led Lance in front of the television to the Christmas tree.
I hung back, leaning in the doorframe, exchanging greetings with everyone. Aaron made eye contact and gave a curt nod. After I’d come out, it took a long time for Aaron to accept me. That was probably one of the major reasons why Lance was dragging his feet.
Susan came back across the room, briefly blocking the screen. “Jordan, how have your holidays been?” Without waiting for a response, Susan continued, “Would you like a glass of wine, dear?”
“Actually, if you have it, I could really go for a beer.” I’m not normally a beer drinker, but that night, I was looking for something with a little more grit to it, something to help me take my mind off the evening I was about to endure.
How many times can one proposal be ruined?
Lance is determined to make the evening perfect . The setting, the ambiance, the company. He wants nothing but the best when he proposes to his longtime boyfriend and best friend.
The evening doesn’t go as planned.
Each time he tries to propose something causes him to pause. Will he ever be able to get the words out? Will he ever be able to show Jordan how much he truly cares about him?
It had been nothing but a disaster. So far, this special trip I’d planned was falling apart.
It had begun when Jordan’s work had asked him to stay late, which meant we’d left late. I’d been waiting at home—bags packed—when his text message came through.
Have to stay late. Sorry. We’ll have to leave a few hours later than planned.
Odds were high that we wouldn’t even make it to Niagara Falls until after eight PM, so our seven o’clock dinner plans had to be altered. I called and made the arrangements.
Two hours later Jordan came home, and even though I’d packed his bag, he insisted on going through it to ensure I hadn’t missed anything.
I hadn’t. I’d checked. Twice.
Finally, we got on the road, but my temper nearly snapped when he stopped for a coffee.
“What’s your problem today?” He’d laughed.
I didn’t want to give away the surprise, but I was eager to get Jordan to cooperate and replied, “Nothing. It’s just been a long time since we had a mini-vacation.”
The excuse appeased him, but half an hour later, he asked if we should stop for a burger.
Mentally I groaned. “I made us dinner reservations.”
“Oh.” He glanced over with a surprised look on his face. “I guess I kind of derailed things.”
Understatement. I nearly bit through my tongue, but I managed to keep my mouth shut. I nodded. My nerves were getting to me. There was so much at stake, but I needed to relax. I tried to sit back and enjoy the car ride, after all, I was going away for the weekend with the man I loved. The man I was hoping to marry. If he said yes.
Check-in at the hotel went smoothly. I was beginning to feel as though things were going my way. We could make it to the restaurant with time to spare. Everything was going to be fine. I could relax.
We dressed for dinner. While Jordan was in the bathroom brushing his teeth, I used the moment of privacy to retrieve the ring from my bag.
I couldn’t find it.
Panicked, I began tossing items onto the floor.
This couldn’t be happening to me.
Jordan emerged from the bathroom and glanced my way. He chuckled. “What are you doing?”
Frowning, I didn’t bother to look over. “I think I forgot to pack my phone charger.”
“We have the same phone. Just use mine.”
Of course he had a simple answer to my lie. I ran a hand through my hair. I couldn’t leave the hotel room without that damn ring, and if we didn’t leave soon, we’d be late. I took a deep breath and tried to think.
Rounding the bed, Jordan tried to distract me with a kiss. Ordinarily, that tactic would work, but not today, not in this moment. When I didn’t respond, he backed up and searched my gaze. “Are you sure you’re feeling all right?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Can you just give me a minute?”
His eyes narrowed, but he relented. “Sure.”
On the other side of the room, Jordan began checking his phone. I returned to my search and finally found the small box in an outer compartment. Pulling my wallet from my back pocket, I chanced a glance at Jordan. His back was still turned. I grabbed the ring from within the box and dropped it into my wallet, before burying the box beneath the clothing in my bag.
With a sigh of relief, I said, “Okay. Let’s go.”
It took him a minute, but Jordan turned toward me and smiled. “Right. Let’s go.”
In his grey dress slacks, white button-up shirt and matching grey tie he looked magnificent. He looked as though he belonged in a suit, whereas I felt foolish in my all black attire. I hoped he didn’t look too closely because my socks were a few shades lighter. They would probably be considered a grey color rather than black. Jordan was always stylish and if he noticed he’d definitely comment.
“Got your key card?”
“Yep.” I patted my back pocket. “It’s in my wallet.” Along with the ring I hoped he’d love.
There will be more instalments of Our Love Story. Watch this page for updates.