Marcus Hampton is a staid forty-year-old bookkeeper and a confirmed
bachelor. When Demitri Costas, a young photographer, asks if he can take
some pictures of Marcus, the older man is surprised but reluctantly
Demitri becomes infatuated with Marcus, despite the fact he believes the man is straight and married.
Slowly they become friends until each realizes the other is gay, at
which point Marcus begins to pull away, certain he is too old for
It will take
everything within Demitri's power to convince Marcus he's wrong. If he
can, and he is determined he will, one way or another, they just might
find a future together.
The Weekend Before Thanksgiving
stretched, checking the time before getting back to what he was doing.
His fingers flew across the keyboard, his eyes following the scrolling
information on the screen in front of him. It was all rote. Add this,
subtract that, make certain part one equaled part two when he'd
finished. He was sometimes tempted to move some of it to his own account
just to see if he'd get away with it, but he was too honest to even
Honest as the day is long, and today seems very long.
He checked the time again.
Why the hell do I care? It's not like I've got anywhere to go other than home.
Running a hand over his short, graying blond hair, he sighed.
I'm a creature of habit and boring as hell, the stereotypical bookkeeper.
An hour later he jumped when someone tapped his shoulder.
"Hey, you planning on spending the weekend here?" one of his coworkers asked.
if I can help it," Marcus told him with a small smile. He closed out
the spreadsheet he'd been working on, shut down the file, and logged
off. Grabbing his coat from the hook on one wall of his cubicle, he made
it to the elevator just in time for the doors to close in his face.
He shook his head, pressed the 'down' button and waited, thinking, The perfect end to a perfect day, week, month, lifetime, then snorted softly. Not.
* * * *
arrived at his small house on the outskirts of the city to be greeted
by a very petulant "Meow" from Daisy. She looked up at him with her full
fluffy tail standing straight up and, stalked to the kitchen. When he
joined her, she looked disdainfully at her empty food bowl then glared
sorry," he told her. Opening the cupboard he took out a can of her
favorite cat food, popped the top off, and spooned it into her bowl.
"Now for my supper," he muttered, checking the refrigerator to see what was available, if anything.
Leftover lasagna or second-day stew, decisions, decisions.
stew won out so he dumped it into a pan, set it on the stove to heat,
and grabbed a beer before going to turn on the TV. The news was wrapping
up, the weather report said it would be cold and snowy for the next few
days, and his favorite team had just lost their best player to an
So much for making the end of my day any better than the rest of it.
smell of something burning had him rushing back to the kitchen. The
stew was boiling over, the hot liquid hitting the burner. He rescued it,
dumped the stew into a bowl and set the pan in the sink to soak with
the hope he'd be able to scrape the burned residue off the bottom
he sat down to eat he felt something soft brush his leg and seconds
later Daisy had jumped up onto the other chair. She watched him avidly;
meowing piteously as if she hadn't just eaten a whole bowl of her own
such a sucker for a pair of golden eyes," he grumbled, setting a small
sliver of meat in front of her. She batted at it, sniffed it and then
delicately ate it before looking at him beseechingly.
game continued through the rest of his meal. When the bowl was empty he
got up to take it to the sink, at which point Daisy knew she'd had all
she was going to get and jumped down, walking sedately into the living
got there a few minutes later to find her curled up in her corner of
the sofa grooming herself. He sat down at the other end, picked up the
remote and flicked through the TV channels until he found something that
might be worth watching.
* * * *
Halfway across the city Demitri Costas slammed his book shut, startling his roommate.
"Problems?" Jack asked.
"Yeah, no, I have no clue, which is actually the problem," Demitri replied. "I'm never going to understand this."
"Then drop the class. You still can, you know."
"And face the wrath of my father? Umm, no."
"Damn it, Mitri, you're twenty-three. It's time you got out from under his thumb."
"He's footing the bill."
"Do you really want to be an engineer?"
Demitri shot him a disgusted look. "What do you think?"
know you don't, so drop the class. Hell, drop out of school completely.
You're too talented to spend your life slaving away for him." Jack
pointed to the photos, which lined one wall of their living room. "Any
one of those, sold to a gallery, could pay half the rent and then some
and you know it."
Demitri scrubbed a hand through his dark, curly hair. "You keep saying that but…" He shook his head.
"But nothing. So help me if you don't do it, I will. Lacey knows several gallery owners, she can steer us to the right one."
glance at the book he'd been studying made Demitri wonder if Jack had a
point. "All right, I guess I can at least try. Find out from her which
one would be the best and I'll see what happens."
Jack grinned. "They'll love them, you'll become rich and famous, and I'll be able to say 'I knew him when'."
or 'Yeah, he's the fool who thought he could make it' as you and your
friends pass by me while I'm panhandling on a street corner," Demitri
replied with a laugh.
"Not going to happen, Mitri. So, when do you want to do this?"