What We Deserve
Years after Sean was deserted by his first love Jamie, he is ready to settle down with Tyler, his handsome, perfect-geek-for-him boyfriend. But when Jamie returns home after twelve years in the Army, Sean finds himself still drawn to the boy who broke his heart. It's a choice between the past and present, and Sean is determined to choose Tyler, the man who has his heart now. Just when Sean thinks he's got it all figured out, sparks begin to fly between Tyler and Jamie, and Sean realizes that maybe he won't have to choose after all..
Loose Id, 2011
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What We Deserve began as my NaNoWriMo 2010 book. I finished it two weeks after the NaNo deadline, and I tweaked it for several months before pitching it to Loose Id.
I picked up his cup, and as I stood, I spotted a familiar face sitting at a table between me and the soda fountain. It wasn’t until I focused on her escort that I panicked.
“Oh fuck.” I quickly sat back in the booth and scooted up against the wall.
Tyler frowned. “So you give me grief, but you can say it whenever you want?”
“Quiet.” I leaned across the table and whispered. “Who would be the absolute last person I’d want to see right now?”
His eyes went wide. “You cannot be serious.”
I laid my head on the table. “I wish I weren’t. He’s here with his mom.”
Tyler began to lean out of the booth. “I want to see him. Where is he?”
I grabbed his arm and pulled him back. “No, he’ll see you.”
“What are we? In high school? Tell me where the hell he is so I can look at him.”
I sighed. “Second table from the drink fountain. His mom’s wearing a red shirt, I think.”
Tyler leaned out of the booth again. He was still and silent for several seconds before sitting up again. “Oh.”
I could see that Tyler’s playful mood had taken a nosedive. “Oh? That’s it?”
I laid my head back down on the table. So much for not seeing Jamie. Why were they even in Atlanta anyway?
I jumped up, determined to at least get out of the restaurant without having to talk to them. “Let’s go.”
I reached out and grabbed Tyler’s arm. “Don’t make me yank you up and carry you out of here.”
He held his hands up in surrender, his cheeks burning again. It always turned him on when I was dominant and demanding. The blush made me think our night wouldn’t be a total loss after all.
There was no way to leave without passing their table. I pushed Tyler in front of me, gave his ass a little smack, and told him to walk fast. I hoped the shield of his body and a little speed might get us out of there unnoticed.
“Don’t stop, no matter what,” I whispered.
Face forward and back straight, Tyler headed down the aisle between the tables. I wasn’t far behind. Just as we passed their table, I heard Dr. Matthews speak.
I pulled up beside Tyler and urged him forward with a hand to the small of his back. He stumbled slightly, but neither of us stopped. I cringed when I heard her voice again.
“James, was that Sean?”
Rushing outside, we walked a few yards down the sidewalk before stopping to lean back against the outer wall of a nearby store.
Tyler chuckled. “I think I just officially turned into a teenage girl.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that.” I pulled away from the wall and turned to Tyler, wrapping my arms around his waist. “You certainly don’t feel like a girl.”
“Yes, but I do feel like a complete idiot.”
Taking a chance, I kissed him. It was the only way I knew to apologize. He went stiff in my arms, but I didn’t stop. He finally relaxed, moving his lips slowly with mine.
“Forgive me?” I ran the pad of my thumb over his reddened lips.
“I must, since I let you kiss me in front of God and everybody.” He gave me a shy smile.
“This wasn’t exactly how I planned to spend our lunch hour. Come over tonight and let me make it up to you?”
“Only if you provide the food and the beer.”
“I think I can manage that.” I quickly kissed him once more. “It’s the least I can do after using you as a human shield.”
Still entwined around each other, we agreed on a time for dinner and said our good-byes. Tyler allowed me another quick kiss before pulling back and walking away, sparing me one brief look over his shoulder.
I could see him standing there out of the corner of my eye. I wasn’t sure how long Jamie had watched us, but judging from the look on his face when I turned toward him, he’d seen plenty.
Our standoff lasted long enough for me to really look at him. His skin was darkly tanned, and his arms and chest were bulging with muscles I didn’t remember him having. While obviously growing out from its army cut, his hair was still very short, and the dirty blond was mixed with a little gray at his temples. As he stared back, he wrung his hands, passing his fingers over the prominent veins. His bottom lip was clenched between his teeth.
The only thing that hadn’t changed were his eyes. Deepest brown. Expressive. Bottomless. No matter how hard he fought to cover his emotions, they were obvious with one look into his eyes. Even as he held his body confidently and almost confrontationally, he watched me with eyes that were sad…pleading…desperate. Still, he didn’t move toward me. He just waited.
I turned and walked away, leaving his wringing hands and puppy-dog eyes without a glance back.