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Trading Partners

Author(s): habu

A Gay Romance for Valentine’s Day.

Warning: Contains Gay erotic romance

It’s coming up to St Valentine’s Day and Avery, a handsome, hunky, and highly successful Richmond lawyer is, or so he’s convinced himself, on the cusp of a big lifestyle change—driven as much by his own sense that he’s aging out of the game as that anyone else is telling him so. He has always had it all and skimmed along the top with everything going his way, whether it’s burnishing his public image by being pictured in the society pages escorting pencil-thin models to gallery openings and concerts in Richmond or picking up young men for rough-sex, one-night stands in Virginia Beach.

With his fifty-fifth birthday looming, he has been trying to settle down with a one-and-only young man, living very discretely in his Fan district colonial mansion. His latest attempt to do so with VCU graduate art student, Dominick, goes sour when the flighty and effervescent Dominick shows signs of restlessness. Avery is shocked when Dominick suggests a couple’s swap date to spice up their life. He drags his heels despite his growing attraction to Kelsey, chosen for him in the swap, as his plans for his future start to spiral out of his control.


Avery moved faster than he normally would have from the jewelry store toward the men’s department of Dillards, in Richmond’s Regency Square mall. It had taken longer to buy the Gucci watch Dominick had been bugging him for for months. Not just any watch would do for Dominick’s birthday either. It had to be a Gucci Timeless Stainless wristwatch. Of course, having scrutinized and categorized the well-dressed and very presentable Avery and seeing how expensive the watch was that he had asked about, the salesman had tried to sell him an even more expensive timepiece. That had eaten up more time than Avery had planned spending on this purchase.

Avery wondered if Dominick even knew how expensive such a watch was. They hadn’t mentioned price. What Dominick had mentioned was that he was restless in their relationship. In response, Avery was doing what he could to keep Dominick’s attention focused on how good life was with an indulgent corporate lawyer, and Dominick certainly seemed to know what sort of toys and clothes would maintain his attention.

That was what Avery was afraid of—that he’d left Dominick to his own devices too long in Dillards men’s wear department while he was doing a “surprise” buy of the watch.

Dominick was something of a last hurrah for Avery, who was turning fifty-five the week after Dominick turned twenty-two—not that Dominick would notice that Avery too was having a birthday. . . .

Avery approached the men’s wear department at Dillards in time to see Dominick trying on a cashmere jacket and modeling it for another young man, maybe in his early thirties, tall and heavily muscled in contrast to Dominick’s lithe build and small stature, on the macho side where Dominick was slightly effeminate, and the taller young man had curly blond hair and blue-eyes in contrast to Dominick’s Mediterranean olive complexion and dark hair and eyes, a look that had always aroused Avery. The young man Dominick was talking with looked more like a high school football coach or car mechanic than a Dillards sales clerk.

“There you are, Avery,” Dominick said brightly as Avery walked up. “Isn’t this coat lovely?”

“Yes, it’s very nice,” Avery answered. He might have added that it looked very expensive, but that would be a waste of breath. Everything that attracted Dominick was very expensive. And he was more concerned with the man Dominick had been talking with. There was an interest or even a shared intimacy between the two that Avery didn’t like to see.

“What do you think, Logan?” Dominick said, turning to the blond giant. “Doesn’t it look stunning on me?”

“Ratty jeans look stunning on you, Dominick,” the other young man said and then he laughed.

Dominick turned a questioning look toward Avery, who, immediately capitulating, as he knew he must, said, “If you like it, of course you must have it. We’ll have to find a sales clerk . . . unless, of course, this gentlemen is a clerk.”

The “gentlemen” looked a bit amused.

“Oh, you haven’t met,” Dominick said. “This is Logan, he’s with a fellow student of mine, Kelsey. Avery’s the man I live with, Logan.”

Avery wasn’t wild about the baldness of Dominick’s explanation, but he was somewhat relieved that Logan was hooked up with someone else. Only somewhat, because he very much didn’t like the familiarity being displayed between Dominick and this Logan guy.

He was justified in not being quick to be relieved, because on the way home from the mall, Dominick revealed what he was thinking of them sharing—a trading partners date or two—with Logan and Kelsey, and, although Avery didn’t like the suggestion one bit, he knew he was being backed into a corner if he wanted to keep Dominick with him and didn’t want Dominick pointing to age as the source of Avery’s reluctance.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-922187-85-7
Genre: GLBT
Date Published: 06/27/2014
Publisher: BarbarianSpy

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