Read The Lonely Drop Online

Authors: Vanessa North

Tags: #M/M Romance, Love’s Landscapes, gay romance, culinary/bartenders, reunited, second chance, long distance, businessmen, masturbation, switch/versatile

The Lonely Drop

BOOK: The Lonely Drop
5.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Table of Contents

Love’s Landscapes

The Lonely Drop - Information

Dedication

Author’s Note

The Lonely Drop

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Epilogue

Author Bio

Love’s Landscapes

An M/M Romance series

THE LONELY DROP

By Vanessa North

Introduction

The story you are about to read celebrates love, sex and romance between men. It is a product of the
Love’s Landscapes
promotion sponsored by the
Goodreads M/M Romance Group
and is published as a gift to you.

What Is Love’s Landscapes?

The
Goodreads M/M Romance Group
invited members to choose a photo and pen a letter asking for a short M/M romance story inspired by the image; authors from the group were encouraged to select a letter and write an original tale. The result was an outpouring of creativity that shone a spotlight on the special bond between M/M romance writers and the people who love what these authors do.

A written description of the image that inspired this story is provided along with the original request letter. If you’d like to view the photo, please feel free to join the
Goodreads M/M Romance Group
and visit the discussion section:
Love’s Landscapes
.

No matter if you are a long-time devotee to M/M Romance, just new to the genre or fall somewhere in between, you are in for a delicious treat.

Words of
Caution

This story may contain sexually explicit content and is
intended for adult readers.
It may contain content that is disagreeable or distressing to some readers. The
M/M Romance Group
strongly recommends that each reader review the General Information section before each story for story tags as well as for content warnings.

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is
entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved worldwide.
This eBook may be distributed freely in its entirety courtesy of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group. This eBook may not be sold, manipulated or reproduced in any format without the express written permission of the author.

The Lonely Drop, Copyright © 2014 Vanessa North

Cover Art by Vanessa North

 

 

This ebook is published by the M/M Romance Group and is not directly endorsed by or affiliated with Goodreads Inc.

 

 

M/M Romance Group Publication

THE LONELY DROP

By Vanessa North

Photo Description

Two men lie naked in bed. One is on his stomach, with his head out of the frame, the other strokes a hesitant hand down his lover’s back.

Story Letter

Dear Author
,

Ten years ago, I turned him down.

One night stands were his norm, and not because he couldn’t have had a relationship if he’d wanted one. He could pretty much have any man he wanted. I walked away because I deserved better.

Now our paths have crossed again. He has the world at his feet. It’s a tempting thought to throw away my lifetime of ideals for a single night with him.

Do I still have the strength to walk away?

Do I even want to?

Take the story where you want it to go.

My only request is for a contemporary story with a HEA.

Thank you!

~ Pamela Su ~

Story Info

Genre:
contemporary

Tags:
culinary/bartenders, businessmen, reunited, second chance, long distance, masturbation, switch/versatile

Word Count:
24,337

Dedication

To Pamela Su

Author’s Note

Some events in this story take place during the snowstorm that hit the southeast United States in January 2014. In order to make this work with my story timeline, I took some artistic liberties with details of the storm, including the dates the storm occurred.

Asheville, North Carolina is a special place to me, a place I lived for several years. The Haywood Inn in this story is an amalgam of Asheville hotels, and should not be confused with the very real Haywood Park Hotel downtown. Though the primary settings in the book are fictitious, street names and neighborhoods are based on real places, and reliable sources (AKA Google and Urban Spoon) inform me that Nick’s favorite noodle shop is still located on Pack Square.

THE LONELY DROP

By Vanessa North

Prologue

May 2003

Campus was deserted.

All the underclassmen had gone home for the summer, leaving only the few seniors who lived on campus. Mom wouldn’t be coming in until the next day for graduation, and I’d finished my final work study shift at the library.

Finished.

Tomorrow, I’d be a college graduate. I felt a pang of nostalgia as I walked toward the dorm where my friend Kevin lived. There was something particularly collegiate-looking about this part of campus, and every time I’d walked through here, I’d felt it like an epiphany.
I’m in college.
Today I felt it like a punch. This was the last time I’d walk over to Kevin’s dorm.

Kevin. He was going to grad school in New York— so he could work part time for his dad and learn the business. We’d talked a bit about me going too, living together in the city. I’d been accepted at Columbia, but I couldn’t afford it, so I was staying in Massachusetts to get my MBA. I was going to miss him something fierce.

I trudged up the steps to his room on the third floor, finding the door wide open and Kevin sprawled on his couch, staring at the boxes stacked by the door. I knocked and he looked up.

For a moment, he looked like a runaway puppy that just discovered he’d lost his owner. Then he smiled and all was right in my world. I missed him already. He was right in front of me, smile shining like a lighthouse, and I missed him already.

“Dad got me a new cellphone for graduation.” He stood up and thrust a piece of paper into my hand. “There’s the number. Don’t you dare lose it, okay?”

The vehemence in his voice startled me. “I won’t.” I shoved the paper into my pocket and kicked the door closed behind me. “Wanna order a pizza? One last time?”

He laughed, then shook his head. “I can’t believe it. It seems like yesterday— I mean, we really made it.”

“Yeah we did.” I grinned at him as he flopped down on the sofa. I moved across the room to the beds. The top bunk had been stripped down, but Kev’s bed still had navy blue sheets on it. I sat down, kicking off my shoes. “So, that’s a no on the pizza?”

“I ate my last three packs of Top Ramen for lunch so I’m not hungry yet, but maybe later. Sorry I already packed up the TV, or we could play video games.”

I shrugged. “S’okay. Want to go out?”

He shook his head. “Why am I sad, Nick?” He looked up at me. “We’re graduating and I’m supposed to be so happy, but mostly I just feel empty inside.”

Ah, shit. I held out my arms, and he moved into them. Some of the other guys on the team would be assholes about it if they saw us hugging like this, call us faggots or whatever. We were both out to the team, but it didn’t make the teasing any easier to take. As of tomorrow, we weren’t on the team anymore, and if I wanted to hug my best friend then I would, and they could all be damned.

Playing soccer in college would have been hell without him. The day I came out to the team, he stood up and told them he was gay too. And from that day on, we were tighter than brothers. He had my back; I had his.

“Are you worried about moving back to New York?” I asked, squeezing him a little tighter before letting him go.

He stretched out on the bed in front of me and shrugged. “It would be easier if I weren’t moving in with my folks.”

“Yeah.” I met his parents freshman year, and still felt like I’d walked into a freezer every time I thought of them.

He rolled onto his side and tugged me down with him. “I’m going to miss you, you know? But maybe I can come out and see you sometimes.”

I nodded, afraid to meet his eyes, afraid he’d see my feelings for him and laugh at my crush. “Definitely.”

“Hey, Nick. Will you look at me?”

I let my eyes travel up the front of his T-shirt to rest on his face. My face flushed with embarrassment, and I started to look away, but stopped when he cupped my chin in his hand.

“What are—?”

When his lips touched mine, my brain switched off. He nudged at my mouth, gently plucking my lips between his own. He drew back a little. “Is that okay?”

Was it? I didn’t know. I didn’t care. And I couldn’t talk. I leaned in and kissed him. He groaned into my mouth and pulled me roughly against his chest. It made me feel weak and flushed at once. It was so different from how he’d touched me before— and he was an affectionate guy, he hugged me often. But this embrace was…
carnal.

I shoved closer to him, pressed our bodies as tightly together as I could, letting my hands travel over every bit of him I could reach. He seemed to melt against me, his body going soft and responsive— well, except for the one part of him that wasn’t soft at all. He nipped at my lips with his teeth, and I ground my dick against his.

I pulled away enough to break the kiss, then dove into the warm, slightly damp skin between his neck and shoulder. This was crazy. I knew he didn’t love me. He didn’t have boyfriends, he had hookups. But with his hands on my skin and in my hair, and holy fuck, down my pants, it was hard to remember why that mattered.

“What do you like?” he murmured into my ear, his breath tickling. My whole body felt hot, and I realized that the expression “turned on” meant so much more than just being horny. Horny was impersonal. Horny could be solved with my hand. This was anything but. This intense chemistry was Kevin and years of friendship and desire and being there for each other— it was like being lit up from the inside out because it was
us.

“What do you mean?” I licked at the salty skin of his throat, reveling in it.

“I mean, what do you like?” He pulled back a little to look in my eyes, and I pulled him into another kiss. He ground against me, hard, then pulled away again. “Come on, Nick, I’m not gonna get all judgy. I’m verse, I’ll do whatever, but you know— I want to make you happy.” His grin was sweet and a little shy.

I blushed, this time not from arousal, but embarrassment. “I’ve never…”

His eyes grew wide. “You’re a… wait. No, that guy at the club that time— you guys were…”

He trailed off and stared at me. “You’re a virgin?”

Fuck. I untangled myself from his arms and legs, wondering how the hell we got so intertwined so quickly. “Yeah.”

He pressed further. “You mean, anal right? You’ve done other stuff? BJs, dry-humping, mutual jerk-offs…”

How much more embarrassing could this get? “This is a mistake.”

I tried to sit up, but he pulled me down. “Wait a minute, Nick. Why? For fuck’s sake, what are you saving yourself for? It’s not like you can get married. I mean, come on.” He laughed, and my flush deepened. Of course he wouldn’t get it; he’s the king of the one night stand.

“Just forget it. Forget all of it.” I shoved away from him, humiliated. I didn’t expect him to understand— he didn’t grow up the way I did— but I certainly didn’t expect him to make fun of me either.

“Aww, come on, Nick,
stay.
I want you to stay tonight.”

Tonight. One night. I could stay there, lose my virginity to the guy I loved, and walk away in the morning knowing he’d never love me back.

No. I couldn’t do it.

“I deserve better.” I said softly. “I want my first time to be about love, not just being comfortable and being scared of the future. I want it to be special.”

I swallowed around a lump forming in my throat. I
had
to get out of there.

“I have to go.” I stood up and straightened my clothes.

I crossed the room to the door, which hell, we hadn’t even
locked
, and as I opened it, I took one last look over my shoulder at him. Confusion and something like pity warred for dominance on his face. I closed the door behind me, and I practically ran to my own room. Hurt, ashamed, and alone, I threw his new cell phone number in the trashcan outside.

****

Chapter One

November 2013

I’m the master of the multi-task.

At least, when I’m behind the bar, that’s true. With the bar phone tucked between my ear and my shoulder, I can pull a perfect draft and nod a friendly hello to the two businessmen walking through the door, all while plotting my bar manager’s ex-husband’s violent murder. Not that I’d actually kill anyone— I’m a pacifist. Hell, I don’t even eat meat. I just wish the guy would stop complicating my life.

BOOK: The Lonely Drop
5.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Story of Hong Gildong by Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Minsoo Kang
The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
Spin the Bottle by Rhian Cahill
Sleeping Alone by Bretton, Barbara
A Working of Stars by Doyle, Debra, Macdonald, James D.
The Pirate by Katherine Garbera
Everything Left Unsaid by Jessica Davidson
Star of His Heart by Brenda Jackson
Cartwheels in a Sari by Jayanti Tamm