FICTIONChildren's Fiction Classic Literature Comic and Graphic Books Drama Fantasy Free General Fiction Historical Fiction Horror Humor Mystery/Crime Poetry Romance
NONFICTIONArt, Music, & Entertainment Biography Business Children/Young Adult Cooking & Food Crafts, Hobbies & Home Education Family/Relationships General Nonfiction Geography Health/Fitness History Humor Language Arts Personal Finance Politics/Government Reference Self Improvement Social Science
Current Events Ethics Feminist Folklore Gender Studies Human Rights Multi-Cultural Philosophy Sociology Women's StudiesSpiritual/Religion Sports Technology/Science Travel True Crime
DescriptionLaw student, Aaron Hedlund, is on the cusp of a new career with a cute boyfriend. Life is easy and perfect, until he gets a call that shatters his plans.
When Ian Mitchell discovers that his sexy former student, Aaron, is back in town, he’s relieved to know that someone will help Aaron’s little brother recover from the death of their parents. But as Aaron struggles to keep the family together, Ian finds that getting close enough to help may be more temptation than he can handle.
And the biggest challenge of all is showing Aaron that fixing shattered plans can become a blessing, actually.
Reader Rating: (16 Ratings)
Aaron Hedlund stumbled out of the pub laughing, his arms draped over the shoulders of his companions. He’d missed these guys. No one understood a law student like another law student. The whoops of the revelry carried on behind them, oblivious to their departure.
“You sure you wanna leave so soon? We’re continuing the party back at my place.” Beside him, Barney shouted at the third friend heading for his car. “I told the others to meet us there.”
“I’m sure. I’m a year ahead of you two. I did my celebratory thank-God-I’m-not-a-freshman-law-student-anymore thing at the beginning of last year. Raise a glass for me. I’ll catch up with you tomorrow.” The upperclassman waved at them, walking backward, then pivoting and jogging to his car.
“Looks like it’s just you and me, kid,” Aaron teased. “Your roommate’s probably fending off the partiers right now with empty threats. We’d better get over there.”
“In a minute.”
Barney had that twinkle in his eye that said he had a plan. He hooked his arm tighter on Aaron’s neck and dragged him into the dark against the bar wall. Aaron laughed, tripping after him awkwardly.
“I’m not peeing on the alley,” Aaron protested. “Weren’t you listening to Professor Dougeray’s misdemeanors lecture? I have the notes from last semester if you still need them.”
Barney laughed. “I was thinking of something completely different.”
“This.” Barney hit the wall, bringing Aaron with him.
Their lips bumped, and Aaron was prepared to laugh, but the urge left him as soon as he realized it wasn’t an accident. Barney’s mouth tasted hot and sharp with whiskey. Math may not have been Aaron’s strong suit, but one and one added up, and he relaxed into the kiss.
He broke away, breathing as heavily as Barney. “What brought that on?”
“Don’t know why I didn’t do it last year, but I decided not to waste anymore time.”
“What are you thinking?” Aaron asked, nipping Barney’s lips between words. “A fuck, or a thing?”
“One could argue that it requires a thing to have a fuck, counselor.”
Aaron laughed. “I’m not a counselor yet, and you’re evading the question.”
Barney cleared his throat importantly. “Forgive me. If it pleases the court, I’d like to recommend a merger between the two parties in question.”
He hauled Aaron back for another kiss. Aaron accepted when his friend’s tongue swept inside to tangle with his. The arm around his neck fell away as Barney’s hands cupped Aaron’s waist and tugged.
Aaron pulled away to catch his breath. “What are the proposed terms?”
“Courtship, extensive dialogue between the parties, unsupervised private consultations requiring the consumption of foods, and the copious exchange of bodily fluids over the duration of time,” Barney answered.
“Ah. A binding merger with an oral contract,” Aaron teased back.
“Or anal. I’m not so picky,” Barney breathed.
“Is this an exclusive contract?”
“I suggest exclusivity be allowable in the contract for discussion at a later date, if those are acceptable terms for your client, Mr. Hedlund.”
“Non-exclusivity. I accept. Terms may be revisited after time has proven the partnership of mutual benefit.”
Barney rubbed his hips against Aaron’s. “God, I love it when you talk law.”
Barney shrugged. “We just make sense.”
“A convenience boyfriend?” Aaron supposed it was as good a reason as any.
“Why not? We’re too busy during the school year to date. We’re friends and a solid fuck works miracles for stress relief.”
“I was hoping you’d bend to logic,” Barney grinned. He pressed another firm kiss to Aaron’s lips.
“Bending is not currently my problem.” He tucked his hips so that Barney wouldn’t miss his meaning.
Aaron’s pocket buzzed. Barney swore with surprise as the phone vibrated against his thigh. Aaron laughed, reaching into his pocket to see who was calling.
“Don’t answer it,” Barney insisted.
Glancing at the display, he accepted the call. “Have to. It’s my kid brother.”
Barney groaned. “Tell him to call back after—”
He pressed his finger over Barney’s mouth.
“Hey Mike. What’s up?” Aaron stepped away from his friend.
“Can you come home?”
“I’m kind of at school.”
“I’m a minor or something. Mom and Dad—they’re—I can’t do it alone.”
A cold knot grew in the pit of Aaron’s stomach. “What are you talking about? What’s wrong?”
“They’re dead.” Mike’s voice cracked over the distance.
His heart might have stopped. He wasn’t sure. Hot and cold washed over him and his ears rang. Bile rose up in his throat, and he thought he heard himself ask another question, but Aaron didn’t remember forming it.
“If you come home, Child Protective Services won’t take me away. I can’t plan a funeral. I don’t know how. I don’t—”
His little brother’s reason fractured under the weight of grief, or shock, or whatever the hell this miserable disbelief was. Aaron’s heart pounded hard, painfully.
“I’m coming, Mikey. I’m coming. Where are you?”
“St. Joe’s Hospital. They want me to identify Mom.” Mike’s voice shook.
Aaron plucked his keys out of his pocket and strode to his car.
“Aaron,” Barney called after him. “Where are you going? What about the party?”
Aaron didn’t bother to answer. There was time for that later. Right now, his brother needed him. “Keep talking, Mikey. I’m on my way. Just keep talking to me, and if they ask you again, tell them I’ll take care of it when I get there.”
Reader Reviews (1)
Submitted By: anordwell on Jan 1, 2013I loved the realistic drama of this story. I admit to loving angst when I read, but when it feels like the story could be the lives of any strangers I met on the street. Aaron's difficulties with his little brother rang especially true.
ActuallyBy: Mia Watts