When Dr. Thomas Paulson receives a cryptic phone message from his very first boyfriend's mother after ten years, he leaps to the conclusion that JJ--Johnny Boudreaux-- is dead. His current lover, Alan, makes the same assumption. So imagine Thomas's surprise when returns to his home town to grieve and discovers that not only is JJ alive and well, but is getting ready to marry Thomas's old girlfriend.
Life can be funny sometimes, and in the course of Thomas's visit he discovers a lot of things that force him to examine his own actions, past and in the present. He's made mistakes, but so has Alan who has flown to Oak Grove, Arkansas to try to help his lover and best friend. But Alan's interference makes things even worse, leading Thomas to believe that he's blown every chance at happiness he ever had.
Vista del Sol, California
Dr. Thomas Paulson stumbled into the apartment, tired as shit and worn almost to a nub, the only thing on his mind right then being a shower… and maybe some food. Possibly a beer, though that would likely have him passing out on the couch rather than in bed, which was where he belonged. And thank God it was only a twenty minute drive from the hospital in LA to his sweet little place.
Then he noticed the marked lack of silence, a small smile crossing his lips with the realization. Not small because the sounds were unwelcome, but more because that was all the energy he could muster.
Okay, he told himself, time to rework the plan, since Alan was obviously back from the location shoot in Arizona earlier than expected. Make it a shower, then food and maybe even a blow job. Which would still have him passing out, but in bed, most likely.
Yeah. That was a good plan. Better. Best, really, until he woke up in a few hours, anyway.
Christ, his residency was a bitch. Five hours to himself after nearly fifty at the hospital… and even so, he was for damned sure going to sacrifice at least a good half hour of that for sexual gratification. He'd barely even seen his lover in the last three months, what with Alan's work taking him out of town so often and Thomas' own responsibilities grinding him down to almost nothing.
He moved slowly across the living room, then leaned against the doorjamb between it and the kitchen, just admiring the lines of the man, the sweet curve of spine and long thighs under tight linen.
"Sit," his lover said, and clearly Thomas had been less than silent himself. Then Alan glanced at him and his pretty blue eyes widened. "Jesus Christ, Thomas, you're skin and bones! And some really nice muscles, but… God. Sit. You've got pancakes coming. You're going to eat them and drink some juice. Then I'm going to make you melt."
Damn, he was a lucky man.
"And we need to talk," he heard Alan murmur, and… maybe he wasn't so lucky after all, he thought. Wondered.
"An Emma Boudreaux left a message on our voice mail for you," Alan went on. "How many times have I told you not to give our number out to patients? Or their mothers, because she wants to talk to you about 'her boy Johnny.'"
Jesus. Just… fucking God. Johnny Boudreaux? JJ?
He hadn't heard that name in years. Hadn't even wanted to. Hadn't ever expected to hear from him again, after what he'd done to the guy. And he hadn't, Thomas reminded himself, because it was JJ's momma who'd called, not JJ himself.
"Did she say what she wanted?" he finally managed to ask, the words pushing from his lips slowly, reluctantly… almost fearfully. It had to be bad. Had to. No way Miz Emma would be calling him, otherwise.
He saw Alan shrug, but not all loose and easy like usual.