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|Contemporary gay romance - the Men of Marionville series
These stories can be read individually. They feature characters in the same community, all friends. They do
not need to be read in the order in which they were written to enjoy them fully, but they are numbered for
those who prefer to do so. For more about the Men of Marionville series, click here.
|Twice Removed from Yesterday
Chandler Beck is at a crossroads. To move forward, he
has to take a trip back to the biggest regret in his life.
He discovers a man happily settled down with a
partner, both of who are ready to call him friend. When
they offer him a place to rest, Chandler ends up in their
guest room and with a job at the best restaurant in
Once a rising star on the pro golf circuit, a back injury
forced August Howard to give up the game.
Swallowing his pride, he accepted a job waiting tables
and worked his way up to the manager of The Wharf,
the area’s premiere restaurant. He’s not happy when
the owner does a favor for a friend and hires the
seemingly inexperienced Chandler Beck as a
It doesn’t take Chandler long to win over the prickly
August, but August is a man with secrets. Their
friendship heats up and when August’s past comes
calling, Chandler pays the price. The only option open
is for August to confess all and hope those around
him, especially Chandler, will accept he’s a different
man from who he was in his yesterdays.
That got me a sharp look. “So, you’re just taking advantage of Dylan, are you?”
“No! What is wrong with you, man? You need to relax.” I set the cup of coffee in front of him. “You
really need to chill out. Stop pushing people away.”
He put his elbows on the bar and covered his face with his hands. His shoulders slumped. I
recognized a man at the end of his endurance when I saw one.
I grasped his wrist. “Hey. You’re exhausted, aren’t you? What can I do to help?”
August raised his head. Our gazes locked.
“First off, don’t presume you know anything about me beyond what I tell you. Secondly, I need a glass
of water, too.”
“Coming right up.”
I drew a glass of carbonated water from the soda tap and set it in front of him. He drew a small tin from
his pocket. “You didn’t see this.”
What I saw was him select a white pill from the tin, neatly crack it in half, and swallow one of the pieces.
Did he have a drug problem? Since he’d taken the pill in front of me, I didn’t consider it as being nosey
to ask what it was.
“Okay. What sort of medication did I not see you take?”
“I messed up my back so bad ten years ago I was forced to quit the tour. Whenever I’m on my feet for
hours on end, it becomes painful. Even with acetaminophen, I won’t take more than I absolutely need
to take the edge off.”
Tour? The pro golf tour. I gawked at him as the bits and pieces came together in my mind. “Oh, my God.
You’re August Howard. I saw you play at Augusta in the Open. You were really good and then you
He grimaced. “Two weeks after Augusta, I unloaded on a tee shot and hit the ground. Herniated disc.
Pinched nerves. Two surgeries. No…more…golf.” He pushed the empty water glass in my direction
and reached for his coffee. “I can’t even play a par three course now.”
The grief in his voice was palpable. I thought I understood. The guy had had the world by the ass.
Money, fame, recognition - and it vanished in a second. Not only had the talent he’d been given been
rendered useless, he now lived with physical pain. What did one say in the face of his loss?
“I’m so sorry, man.”
His angry gaze locked with mine. We stared at each other. I refused to blink. To my surprise, his
features softened and he took a deep breath as he searched my face.
“I think you mean that, don’t you?” he asked, his voice pitched low to almost a whisper.
“Yeah, August. I do. I can’t imagine losing a dream like that.”
He almost smiled. “Who said golf was my dream?”
I did smile. “You know what they say. Don’t kid a kidder.”
He rapped his knuckles on the bar and slid off the barstool. “We have work to do, kidder. We should
get to it so everyone can get out of here and go home for the night.”
I grabbed his arm, stopping him. “Hey. Did we just have a moment?”
August grinned and walked away.