Book Title: Home Again
Author: W.S. Long
Publisher: JMS Books, LLC
Cover Artist: Written – Ink
Release Date: 4.11.2020
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Themes: Coming out, forgiveness, second chances
Heat Rating: 2 flames
Length: almost 30k words/ 97 pages
It is a standalone story.
Can resurfaced high school memories lead to forgiveness and a second chance at love?
David Peterson had his whole life charted out for him by his parents. An athletic scholarship to a prestigious college in California and a future in major league baseball were almost certain. But his high school love affair with quarterback Kaden Morris almost changed his predetermined path. When Kaden eventually rejected him, David swore he would never return to Orlando.
Fifteen years later and divorced with a child, David returns home to find a newly divorced Kaden seeking forgiveness. Old feelings resurface, but can the pain of the past be forgotten and a new future together forged?
Kaden changed his shirt again. He sighed and threw the third shirt on the bed. Once he had found out that David Peterson had moved back to Orlando and was living in the same neighborhood that they lived in as kids, he obsessed about running into him. When Sarah texted him and told him she would be at David’s house later and would text him if it was okay to stop by, he’d been nervous all day.
The last time he spoke to David was right before graduation, and he was a dick to David. David hadn’t deserved that.
Thinking about David now depressed him. Maybe David’s father was right, in keeping them apart.
He sighed, sat in the living room, and turned on the TV. He flipped through the channels and couldn’t make up his mind. He continued this way to channel surf and finally wound up watching baseball.
David and baseball, Kaden and football.
Life was so simpler back then. He should’ve never let David out of his life. He hoped Sarah was right and David could forgive him.
* * * *
David opened the last box as Sarah and Quinn sat in the newly delivered leather sofa and watched a movie on Quinn’s iPad. He checked the air conditioning unit one more time. It didn’t seem to blow a lot of cold air. They were a few days away from heading into the Memorial Day Weekend, and it seemed that Florida was more humid than he remembered.
“Does it feel like we are getting cold air?”
“I had them check the air conditioning unit before you guys flew.” Sarah glanced up from the couch to talk to David. “They said everything checked out. Actually, now that I think about it, it was like a day before you go here the A/C guys were here.
“Papa, when are we getting wi-fi? I want to watch a Disney Junior show, and my Star Wars cartoons.”
“They’ll be here to install cable and wi-fi in two days.”
“Should I order pizza or Chinese?” Sarah asked.
“I’m still full of Beefy King,” David said. David closed the box containing Quinn’s Star Wars toys. Five of the seven boxes he shipped to Sarah were Quinn’s stuff. The other two contained David’s baseball memorabilia.
He hoped the movers would arrive on time because they only had a limited amount of clothes.
“Oh, come on, the owners of the old restaurant we loved in ViMi have a new place now, and it’s so good. You can have leftovers from whatever we don’t eat! What about you Quinn, are you hungry?”
“He’s always hungry. He’ll eat a little but ask me to finish the rest. This is why I have a middle-aged spread.”
Sarah laughed. “You’re not middle-aged, and you don’t have a gut.”
David pinched his soft love handles. “Remind me to have your eyes checked. I really need to go back to yoga.”
“No, yoga! No!” Quinn shouted.
Sarah glanced back at David who stood near the kitchen. He shook his head and signaled to Sarah to drop it. Sarah shrugged.
“Daddy had a friend over when Papa went to yoga.”
David’s face flushed from embarrassment. He hadn’t expected Quinn, who’d been reluctant to tell David that he caught Jason kissing another man, to suddenly turn in to someone who wanted to tell everything. Even if that someone was Sarah.
“Oh,” Sarah said. “You could go with Papa and me to yoga.”
“But if Papa goes to yoga, then Daddy will have a new friend visit.”
David didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at this. His son equated Jason’s cheating with his other father going to yoga.
David moved into the living room and sat next to Quinn.
Sarah stood up. “I’m going to order some Chinese food. I’ll be right back.”
“Quinn, son,” David paused. “Your father … your daddy and I will never be getting back together. You remember we talked about this at the pool, right? We cannot live together anymore. I hope one day you will understand. But it is something your Daddy has agreed to, I agreed to, and hopefully you will one day be okay with it.”
Quinn straightened himself on the couch, then threw the iPad in his hand on the seat cushion next to him. Without saying anything, Quinn got up and ran upstairs.
Sarah ended her phone call. “What happened?”
“I think he’s upset. I thought he was okay yesterday when we were at the pool.”
The doorbell rang, and David stood up to answer the door. “Wow, that was quick for Chinese. Did you order it before you got here or something?” When David opened the door, Kaden stood behind the screen door, holding a basket of edible fruit, some dipped in chocolate, sealed in cellophane.
Kaden appeared the same as he did in high school except his blond hair was a little darker, and his muscular chest stood out more. It was like he was still working at the mall at Abercrombie and Fitch.
David stood, almost shell-shocked.
“Hey,” Kaden said.
“Hey, yourself,” David said.
“Sarah said you just moved in. I moved back about a month ago.”
“Hi, Kaden!” Sarah had moved in so close she practically was shouting in David’s ear.
“I brought you a welcome gift.”
“Thanks,” David said matter-of-factly as he opened the screen door and accepted the arrangement. He debated a millisecond on what to do. “I’m sorry, Kaden, this is a really bad time. My kid, my son, is not happy about being here and I have to check up on him.”
Before Kaden responded, David retreated into the house leaving Sarah behind with Kaden, who stood open-mouthed.
Second chance love stories are really one of my favorites. This one did not disappoint, but I found it lacking in anything original.
The characters’ chemistry was very good, and Quinn was an added bonus. The side characters were well done and did not overtake the story, which I always appreciate.
Although this story was very well written, and wonderfully edited, it just didn’t ring any bells for me. It almost felt like I had read this before, which I haven’t, but that’s just how it felt. Just too much in common with other stories in this trope, nothing new or nothing that surprised me.
Please do not take my word as law and grab the book yourself!
About the Author
Immigrant, military-brat, gay veteran, and former theme park employee, among other things, W.S. Long upon leaving the military became a lawyer. During the day, he practices law but at night he reads and writes male-male romance under this pen name. Once in a while W.S. Long travels or dreams about traveling to wonderful places with his wonderful husband, a mild-mannered college professor.
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