After five years with his live-in boyfriend, Lucas, he still hasn’t said it.
When Lucas calls it quits, it’s not a surprise, but it couldn’t have come at a
more inconvenient time—the eve of Gage’s first business trip to Sarajevo.
chaperoning Gage during his stay, is the walking epitome of sex on a stick. Gage
quickly develops an attraction to him, even before he’s certain it could ever
be reciprocated. When the feeling turns out to be mutual, Gage is surprised by
Nikola’s domineering bedroom persona but finds he likes being manhandled by the
convince Gage that even though they’ve only known each other a short time, what
they feel for each other is worth fighting for. With only his cell phone and a
plan, Nikola goes about getting the man who has stolen his heart to give them a
chance at happiness.
plane tomorrow, I’m going to pack my shit and go home,” Lucas shouted.
slight blond man who was in the middle of having yet another tantrum brought on
by Gage having to leave on a business trip. “I thought this was your home,”
Gage replied blithely.
threatened to leave, and it probably wouldn’t be the last since they’d had this
same argument each time Gage left on a business trip. Still, he knew he’d get
on the plane, and when he got back in a month, Lucas would be there—apologetic
and looking to make up. That’s the way it had gone for the last two years—ever
since Gage took over the emerging markets accounts at his dad’s company.
with you. There’s no other reason anyone would come to this Podunk town.” Lucas
gave Gage his best scowl. “But you’re never here. This isn’t what I signed up
never lied to you. You were the one who decided to move here. I was fine with
driving down to see you on the weekends.”
happy in a smaller city, but it was Lucas’s decision—after a year and a half of
only seeing each other on weekends—to move. Lucas had been happy in
Minneapolis, when they both had their own places and could see each other
whenever they’d wanted but had grown weary of the weekend-only visits that were
primarily spent in bed. Gage had been just as happy with seeing Lucas only on
the weekends when he’d moved back north to his hometown, and with all of
Lucas’s drama of late, he’d been thinking he’d be happy to go back to that
arrangement. He’d thought his feelings for Lucas would deepen over time but,
though he cared for Lucas, he’d never fallen in love with him—or at least he
didn’t think this was what love felt like.
want more. I’m not just some booty call here for your pleasure when you need to
get off,” Lucas spat out. And there it was. It was like there was a script for
their lives, and this scene was repeated often.
thirty-seven Gage probably should too, but he’d come to realize more wasn’t
always better, and even though he tried, it was impossible to convince Lucas
what they had was good enough. He’d only let Lucas move in with him because
he’d been lonely, although now he was thinking he should have gotten a dog.
went to Lucas. This was the part where he always took Lucas in his arms and let
him cry it out until he decided to stay. Then Gage would take him to the
bedroom, fuck him through the mattress, and Lucas would fall into a contented
sleep in Gage’s arms. In the morning, Lucas would wake up just enough to tell
Gage to have a safe trip and that he loved him when Gage kissed him before he left
for the airport. Of course, Gage would reply with a “Me too” because he’d never
said the actual words to anyone before, and he wasn’t about to start with
Lucas—Gage had never lied to Lucas.
up his hand to ward Gage off. “I’m not going to let you sweet-talk me into bed
this time.” Oops, Lucas had gone off script. He looked up at Gage with his big
blue eyes on the brink of tears. “I’m really going this time. You know I love
you more than anything, but I can’t do this. I’m sick of being alone so much,
and there’s nothing here for me. All of my friends and family are back home.
You’re all I have here, and you’re never here.” His voice cracked with emotion,
and he ended his speech with a sniffle Gage knew always preceded the tears that
were inevitably going to come.
You know how this is going to play out. Can’t we just skip this?” Gage grabbed
his hand, giving it a tug, and Lucas let himself be pulled to Gage’s chest,
even wrapping his arms around Gage’s waist like he wanted to be there. Lucas’s
chest hitched, and Gage knew he was crying before the wetness seeped through
his shirt. Gage stood there holding him for a couple of minutes, hoping Lucas
would come to his senses like he normally did.
right. Maybe we’re just in different places in our lives—our timing is off. I
just can’t do this anymore. I’m going to be gone when you come home. I hope you
understand. I don’t want you to hate me because I still love you. Maybe someday
you’ll be ready, but I can’t take the chance that you may never be,” Lucas said
into Gage’s chest after he’d calmed enough to talk.
was that Lucas was the one saying it to him instead of the other way around. He
should be the one ready to settle down and start a family, not Lucas, who was
only twenty-six—just a cute little twink. Someone like Lucas should be out
clubbing and fucking everything that moved and not tied down to a guy like
with just one guy for the rest of his life and maybe adopt a couple of dogs or
kids or whatever. It was hard for him to explain it to Lucas because he didn’t
really understand it himself. He could tell Lucas that his shrink diagnosed him
with “commitment issues” that stemmed from his not “fully accepting his
homosexuality,” but Gage was sure Lucas wouldn’t buy it for a minute—hell, Gage
didn’t buy it for more than the time it took him to walk from the guy’s office
to his truck.
Luke. I just wish you wouldn’t have waited until the night before I leave to
tell me.” Gage was more than a little annoyed at the timing.
have had time to talk me out of leaving. I thought about just letting you
leave, thinking I was happy, and moving while you were gone, but I couldn’t do
this over the phone. I’ve loved you too long to end it that way,” Lucas said
softly. He tilted his head up to look at Gage, who leaned down for a kiss,
which Lucas accepted, letting Gage kiss him tenderly but pulling away before it
could become anything more. “I can’t do one last goodbye fuck with you, Gage, I
know how it will end. I’m going to go stay at Jen’s tonight. I’ll move my stuff
out before you get back.”
here. We’ll just sleep. Just let me hold you while we sleep one more time.” It
was finally sinking in—Lucas was serious this time and was going to leave. That
fact hit Gage harder than he figured it would. He wasn’t sure he wanted Lucas
to stay, but he was almost certain he didn’t want him to go either. Yeah, I
can’t even figure things out in my own head, some great catch I am.
happen. I need to go now while I still have some control over my emotions.”
Lucas put on his coat, grabbed his car keys off the hook by the front door, and
then turned his tear-stained face to look at Gage. “I’m so sorry, Gage. Have a
safe trip. I love you.” Opening the door, Lucas walked out on Gage without
giving him the chance to say “Me too.”
Blog Tour Exclusive.
I’d like to thank Abbey’s 1-Click Book Blog for hosting me today.
I think every author, at one time or another is asked about their writing process. Like it’s some sort of mystical experience or interesting even, which I don’t think it is but I’ll do my best to describe how I manage to write a book.
Usually the idea strikes out of nowhere. One second I’m doing some menial chore around the house or sitting in the car and I’ll start talking to a voice in my head. Now that may make me sound a bit off but honestly, I have no other way to describe it. It’s like there’s this separate person in my head and we have a conversation. I get to know them and when I feel like I have a good handle on their personality and some knowledge of what’s driving them to do the things they do, I normally will sit down and start writing.
Most of the time the people come to me in pairs, which I guess makes sense but usually one of them starts the story and the second is more reluctant to open up. I find this funny because usually the second main character turns out to be the less problematic one once I get them in the hot seat.
There are apparently two types of writers: plotters and pantsers. I know there are many levels in between these two. I know authors who outline everything. They know everything in advance and have every little detail planned out, down to what the main character is going to wear on page seventy-five of the manuscript while he’s working on his 1967 cherry red Chevy with Bob, his best friend who just stopped over to borrow the power sander but decided to lend a hand. I am not this sort of writer.
Confession time. I’m a pantser.
I’m a little ashamed of how simple my process is when faced with all the advice on the internet on how to write a book and also when confronted with other authors who methodically plan out their manuscripts. Most of the time when I sit down, I have no idea what I’m doing. There’s just this vague idea and a couple of characters in my head and I start typing. Sometimes I’m just as surprised at what comes out of my head as I figure my readers will be and that’s probably one of my favorite parts of writing. When the story is revealed as I go, I feel like I’m getting the reader experience which I love because really, I’m a reader first and a writer second.
Now, I know what you’re thinking; if you’re so ashamed of how you write, why not try to do it the right way? Oh, the answer to that is so simple! I’ve tried to do it the right way. I always sit down with the intention of writing up an outline, even have once or twice, but the story always goes off the rails at some point. For me, there’s nothing more frustrating than not following through on what I’d planned so I’ve given up on it. No more outlines for me! It’s a bit freeing to break the chains and accept that I’m not ever going to be a plotter. No matter how much half of my brain tells me I should be trying to do it right, the other half, the half where the stories come from, doesn’t care.
I’m working on embracing my free-spirited ways when it comes to writing. For now, I’m going to keep plugging away and hoping that what comes out is not a disjointed mess, unlike my attempts at wiring blog posts. Please excuse the mess, I’m a work in progress.
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Meet the Author
CL Mustafic is a born and bred American mid-westerner who mysteriously ended up living in one of those countries nobody can ever find on the map of Europe. Left with too much time on her hands—let’s be honest here: it was the lack of television channels in her native language–and too many voices in her head trying to fill the silence, she decided to give her life-long dream of writing a novel a shot. So now, between shuttling kids back and forth from various activities and risking her life on the insanely narrow, busy streets of her new hometown, she loses herself in her own made-up world where love always wins.