Clarity of Lines (Thomas Elkin #2) by N.R. Walker
Age Group: Adult
Release Date: December 13, 2013
Sometimes it’s not the two people in a relationship who fight falling in love, sometimes it’s those who love us that fight against it the most.
Finally together, forty-four year old Tom, and twenty-two year old Cooper, are ready to show the world they’re together. They’ve established their relationship is worth it, and want to share it with their families.
Both men thought accepting the age difference was their adversity to overcome, and theirs alone.
Their loved ones, however, will prove them wrong.
For their families, lines are drawn and start blur. Through a series of events, life shakes Tom’s foundations, the lines for him have never been clearer.
“You nervous?” I asked him.
He looked surprised by my question. “No. Should I be?”
I smiled at his confidence. “I just don’t think Sofia will be very understanding. No matter what she says, just remember, I’m on your side.”
“Ryan’s mom always liked me,” he said.
“She likes you as Ryan’s friend, yes,” I told him. “But as my boyfriend…”
He shrugged. “And all the guys who’ll be here this weekend?” he asked. “All Ryan’s friends, some of my friends, they’ll all be here too. We’re meeting them as a couple too.”
Shit. I hadn’t given that a thought.
Then Cooper took his hand off my thigh and looked out of the window as he spoke. “If you don’t want to…”
I pulled the car off to the side of the road, right near the driveway to the Casa. I think I startled him. He looked at me, wide-eyed. “Cooper, listen to me,” I said seriously. “I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I know some people will have a hard time with us being together, because we’re gay men, and because of the age difference. But I don’t care. I’m proud to call you my boyfriend. For the life of me I can’t figure out why you’d want to be with me, but you do, and I’m more than happy to walk in there, holding your hand. But I don’t want you to feel pressured.”
“I don’t feel pressured,” he said. “And I can’t figure out why you’d want to be with me either, but you do.”
I nodded. “Yes, I do.”
He smiled, and leaned over the console and kissed me. “Thank you.”
I sighed and looked out of the windshield. “Well, this is it.”
Cooper followed my gaze, to the stone gate posts, to the chiselled sandstone sign on the post that read Casa de Elkin.
“It’s named after you?”
I nodded. “I designed this house,” I told him. “We named it Casa de Elkin, but have called it the Casa for years.” Cooper gave me a weak smile. “Well then,” he said, trying to sound upbeat. “Let’s do this.”
I slipped the car into first gear and pulled into the drive. I parked the car near the closed garage doors and by the time I’d popped the trunk, Ryan was walking out to meet us. He gave me a bit of a hug, then bumped fists with Cooper. “Hey,” he said.
“Most of the guys will get here in the morning. Mom said it might be better if they all crash in the pool room, or wherever they pass out,” he said with a knowing smile. “But you guys have a guest room in the house.”
A guest room.
Ryan looked at me a little apologetically. “Sorry.”
“Don’t you apologize,” I told him. “It’s not my house anymore.”
We grabbed our bags and the gift box from the trunk and walked towards the front door. Cooper asked me quietly, “Have you been back here in the last five years?”
“I spent two weeks here right after we separated,” I told him. “But not since then.”
“Come on,” Ryan said, opening the door. He turned to us and whispered, “Mom’s in the kitchen.”
I took a deep breath and followed Ryan through the front living room and into the large open kitchen, where Sofia was dicing fruit.
She looked well. She was wearing a white dress and her trademark gold jewellery and her brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She looked at me, then at Ryan and finally at Cooper. She recognised him immediately. “Oh my, Cooper? Is that you?”
“Mrs Elkin,” he said politely.
She gave me a tight smile, but then leaned in and kissed Cooper’s cheek. “It’s so good to see you. Ryan never mentioned you were coming.” Then she looked at me. “Did you bring Cooper with you? I thought you were bringing your friend.”
There was a beat of absolute silence then I said, “I did.” Sofia looked at me then at Ryan and Cooper, then back to me. “I brought Cooper…my boyfriend.”
Sofia laughed, but when I took Cooper’s hand, her smile died a slow, painful death. She looked kind of horrified. “Is this some kind of joke?”
I am many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. I have pretty, pretty boys who live in my head, who don’t let me sleep at night unless I give them life with words.
I like it when they do dirty, dirty things…but I like it even more when they fall in love.
I used to think having people in my head talking to me was weird, until one day I happened across other writers who told me it was normal.
I’ve been writing ever since… Where can you find me?