Sunlight streams through an open bedroom window, illuminating two young men. One, seated on the floor with his back against the side of the bed, sports short brown hair and a trimmed beard. The other, lying horizontally across the top of the bed, has short black hair and a smooth face. The back of his neck and head rest against his partner’s shoulder and chest, respectively. Eyes closed, they both look perfectly content.
I think I might be in love. No. I am in love with that man beside me. And I’m pretty sure he’s in love with me. Don’t think he’d have moved across country with me, if he wasn’t. So, we’re in love. And it’s great. Really.
Except the sex…
Don’t get me wrong, the sex is damn awesome. The things that man can do with his tongue… But I can’t help but feel that he misses it, that whole shoving his cock into some dude’s ass, thing. And we― I― tried. God knows I tried. I thought maybe it would get better… that I would get better. So we switched positions, we tried toys, watched more porn than was probably healthy… but it never stopped feeling wrong. I hated feeling that wrong when he was looking at me like I was everything.
So I told him the truth. And we stopped.
He still looked at me like I was everything― except I didn’t feel like I was lying when I looked back.
But there’s some part of me that wonders if he still wants it. Or, gods, if he needs it. ’Cause I can’t be that for him, and that kills me. What do I do if the man I love needs something I can never give him?
Requirements: no BDSM, and the lack of anal sex isn’t because of a trauma. They have a good sexual relationship, they just don’t engage in anal sex.
Genre: contemporary, new adult
Tags: professional snowboarder/skateboarder, artist, college years, friends to lovers, slow burn/UST
Word Count: 143,773
I am fortunate enough to have an incredible amount of people to thank for helping me make this story what it is today.
Carissa, whose unique prompt immediately grabbed my attention and sparked my imagination. The accompanying photograph was great, but the prompt itself was what really sealed the deal for me. It was then, and remains now, my favorite prompt of the entire event, and I’m so glad I was able to claim it as my own before anyone else could. Carissa, thank you for introducing me to these two young men, and for giving me the opportunity to tell their story.
Gillian, who generously sponsored the contest that gave this book its fantastic cover, and Bree, the talent behind said cover. Thank you both for the wonderful gift.
My Beta readers, Armi and Yrisa, who each provided helpful feedback while never getting too upset with me for sending them just a bit of the story at a time, then making them wait weeks for another taste. Thanks for being okay with a rather unconventional Beta process.
Those who offered support along the way in the prompt thread: Breann, Gabi, Verity, Viv, Lisa, Jay, Tully, Kathleen, Samantha, Calila, and Jessa. Thanks for taking the journey with me! Thanks, also, to everyone who kept the Support Group thread lively throughout the event, giving me something to read every time I needed a quick break. And a special thanks to A.L. Boyd, who got in touch with me when I was looking for someone to answer questions about Breckenridge and Denver. I never actually got around to asking any of those questions, mainly because I didn’t know what to ask, but nevertheless, A.L., I appreciate your willingness to help out.
E, who was always happy to do research for me when I didn’t have time to do it myself. Thanks for your support and friendship, and for scouring the Internet when I needed to know obscure things, like which films were available on Netflix on specific dates.
Raevyn, whose patience I tested throughout this process. Thank you for giving me the time (so much time!) to write the story that needed to be written, and for not finding a way to reach through your screen and throttle me every time I said, “It’s not done yet, but soon!”
Barb, the proofreaders, the QA team, and the formatters, who collectively made the editing process a painless experience. Thanks for your support as well as your suggestions— especially the ones I chose not to take, because they gave me things to think about.
While I have tried to keep this story grounded in reality, liberties have been taken in choosing the snowboarding tricks described within. The progression of the sport occurs a bit more rapidly in Shane’s world than it does in our own, but none of the tricks mentioned in the story are impossible to do. It just took real snowboarders a bit longer to get around to doing them.
EVENT: Love is an Open Road