Authors: Anne Tenino
Tags: #Contemporary, #Gay, #Erotica, #Romance, #Fiction, #General
PO Box 6652
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Too Stupid to Live
Copyright © 2013 by Anne Tenino
Cover Art by L.C. Chase,
Editors: Tal Valante and Rachel Haimowitz
Layout: L.C. Chase,
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It isn't true love until someone gets hurt.
Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.
Until he meets Ian.
Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.
Until he meets Sam.
Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong . . . can they?
This book is dedicated to Thorny (and Jazz by proxy). I truly could not have done this without you.
Ian Cully locked up his house—ex-house—one last time and contemplated throwing away the key.
Nah, quitting his job, selling his home, and moving the hell out of California was probably symbolic enough. Instead he just watched the brass glint in his hand. Then he stared at the deadbolt and the knob.
It isn’t too late to go back to the department and drive a desk
. That thought triggered a sudden and visceral flash of scraping his back on the asphalt and the sound of his skin sizzling.
. He wanted the hell out of California. Wanted to live around family he
. Put some distance between him and his dad.
“That’s it?” his cousin Jurgen asked from behind him.
He should probably stop standing on his porch—former porch—staring at the locking hardware. “Uh, yeah.”
“C’mon then. I want to get moving before dark.” Jurgen’s feet scuffed on the wood as he turned, and then Ian felt the boards give as he thudded down the steps.
He stared some more. Jurgen didn’t say anything else, even though he was probably waiting by Ian’s truck, back crammed full of stuff, ready to take off after the moving van that had left a half hour ago. Leaving the porch had been to give Ian space, although he knew damn well Jurgen wanted to get home to his boyfriend.
Still, Jurgen’d probably wait half the day if Ian needed the time.
Ian turned around, shoving the key in his back pocket, and headed down the stairs. Yeah, it was time to leave. Get rid of the last of the old life, because he was sure the hell ready for a new one.
When he reached his truck, Jurgen didn’t move to climb inside. Instead he reached out and gripped Ian’s shoulder too hard, pinching a nerve, but Ian didn’t let himself flinch.
Jurgen looked him straight in the eye. “You’re doing the right thing.”
Ian nodded, held there by Jurgen’s hand. “I am, yeah.”
“Gets you the hell away from the chief.”
Ian had to look away. “Yep.”
If Jurgen didn’t stop the personal sharing shit, Ian might have to rethink the moving near him thing.
Oh, wait. He was supposed to practice expressing his emotions now. He shoved his hands in his pockets and cleared his throat. “Yeah, uh . . . It was stupid, you know? The accident. But I guess it kind of straightened out my priorities.” He stepped back from Jurgen, until his hand fell off Ian’s shoulder.
Jurgen tipped his chin at Ian and turned toward the passenger door of the truck. That must have been enough bonding time for Jurgen. And thank God, it hadn’t even been that hard. He could do this; all of it. No more being a firefighter, no more telling his dad he sometimes dated women, “just to make sure.”
Yeah, the previous thirty-odd years hadn’t worked out so well, but now he was pretty much free of that old life. Next step was to figure out what the fuck it was he actually
want out of the world. How hard could it be?