Two unclothed men stand side-by-side at the railing to a ship, their backs to us, facing the ocean. The man on the left has his arm around the waist of the other and their heads are tipped together affectionately. Both men are similar looking: wide shoulders, shaved heads, shapely butts, and golden skin. The one major difference is their tattoos. The man on the left has two tribal bands across his right bicep and shoulder. The other man has a swirling tribal design that covers most of his back, with smaller designs on his lower back and upper right thigh.
We’ve been friends forever. Best friends in school. Roommates and best friends in college. Partners and best friends in business. He was the first person I told when I realized I was gay. He just said, “Me, too.” Yet somehow, in all those years, through all the ups and downs, we never even thought of being lovers. We were always best friends.
Then one day, something changed. What happened? How did we end up here?
Please, no BDSM
Tags: culinary, friends to lovers, beach life, slow burn, travel, hurt/comfort, tattoos, angst
Word Count: 34,058
My thanks to Silvia and Lisa for being such thoughtful beta readers— you both helped me to improve the story and kept me feeling positive. Thanks also to the entire Don’t Read in the Closet team for making the event run so smoothly. Without all of you working so hard in the background, my story would probably not have been finished. Finally, a huge thank you to my husband and children for making it possible for me to create this story. You put up with my absence, a messy house, and fewer meals than you probably would have liked. It means the world that you pull together to support me while I follow my dreams.
EVENT: Love is an Open Road