Forever Yours, page 1
M/M Gay Romance
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.
This book is intended for Adults (ages 18+) only. The contents may be offensive to some readers. It may contain graphic language, explicit sexual content, and adult situations. May contain scenes of unprotected sex. Please do not read this book if you are offended by content as mentioned above or if you are under the age of 18.
Please educate yourself on safe sex practices before making potentially life-changing decisions about sex in real life. If you’re not sure where to start, see here: http://www.jerrycoleauthor.com/safe-sex-resources/ (courtesy of Jerry Cole).
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Products or brand names mentioned are trademarks of their respective holders or companies. The cover uses licensed images and are shown for illustrative purposes only. Any person(s) that may be depicted on the cover are simply models.
Edition v1.00 (2019.10.21)
Special thanks to the following volunteer readers who helped with proofreading: David C., RB, JayBee, Jennie, Naomi and those who assisted but wished to be anonymous. Thank you so much for your support.
Table of Contents
Free Book “Princes of Westlake”
The smile faded off Dylan’s face as his joke fell off his lips into an empty room.
Even now, months later, it was easy to forget how Evan had packed his bags and dropped a parting kiss onto Dylan’s cheeks; cheeks that were flushed and wet with tears. It felt like he was still there, still taking up a huge space in Dylan’s tiny apartment, standing just over Dylan’s shoulder, an amused smile on his face as he told Dylan off for his shitty puns.
It had been a good joke, the one Dylan had been about to tell, but even now it was slipping from his mind, the thought of Evan swelling and expanding, forcing the small, insignificant joke into a corner, never to be heard.
Dylan had been through breakups before. There was that pretty blond boy in high school, the ones with whom he’d stolen kisses beneath bleachers and in stairwells, the one who had given him his very first blowjob on his eighteenth birthday in late June in the second-floor bathroom next to his chemistry class. Then, there was the other blond who had fucked him for the very first time the summer after they graduated in the back of Dylan’s mom’s minivan at the far end of an empty mall parking lot. Then, there was the redheaded kid who worked as a barista on the campus of Dylan’s university. He was sweet and nice and had a cute smile, and he had choked Dylan and pressed him into the mattress and bitten his shoulder painfully, just the way Dylan had asked.
Evan was different. Evan was ever-present, he knew Dylan like the back of his hand. He knew the origin story of every one of Dylan’s scars, had even been there for (or caused) some of the earliest ones.
It had been early September. The wind was warm, and the children were rowdy as they lined up crowded at the back of a large, red building. Dylan’s hand had gripped tightly at his mother’s as she led him to a group of kids that looked his own age. There were big, white sheets with names taped to the bricks.
Just as the bell had rung, Dylan’s mother had stopped them at the second-to-last sheet, knelt down, planted a big, wet kiss on his forehead, then sent him off, calling for him to be good. And Dylan, with shaky knees and trembling hands, had gripped the straps of his backpack and, trying not to cry, had disappeared inside.
Inside his new classroom, Dylan had sat on the floor in a circle with the other kids. The teacher had sat in a large wooden rocking chair and had called out their names. Shakily, Dylan had answered “here.” Then had commenced the icebreaker games, and Evan, chubby and with hair like caramel, had strode up to him on his short little legs and said, “I’m Evan, and my dad says that we’re the last gen-gen-hm.”
Dylan had laughed, not understanding Evan but liking him all the same, and thus began a longtime friendship.
Years later, Dylan would learn that Evan was trying to say, “I’m Evan, and dad says that we’re the last generation of students starting school before the turn of the century.” It was, as Dylan had expressed to Evan upon finding this out, a rather complicated sentence for a kindergartener. But as they say greatness from small beginnings or, as Evan would say, you ain’t shit ‘til you go through shit, and while Dylan wasn’t sure that particular interpretation of the adage applied, it still brought a smile to his face.
Evan had been the one to rub Dylan’s back and offer him ice cream when blowjob-blond had told him he wasn’t really looking for a relationship. Evan had been the one to give him chocolate and haul him to a carnival when backseat-blond had broken up with him to go to university across the country. He had also been the one to pass him a beer or two and make disparaging remarks about the redheaded barista who had turned out to be a cheat. Evan had been the one to support Dylan through every romantic endeavor. Through every heartbreak and every failed attempt at asking someone out, Evan had been there, an encouraging hand on the shoulder, or himself a shoulder to cry on.
In middle school, Dylan had begun to see Evan in a light that wasn’t entirely platonic. Sure, Evan had always been pretty. His eyes were an icy blue, almost gray, and his hair was always in messy, brown ringlets halfway between brown and blond. His skin was pale as milk in the winter, and the cold always made his nose and cheeks flush a pretty red. The same red would spread over his face and neck and the tips of his ears when he was embarrassed or happy or crying, or when Dylan was pinning him to the bed. In the summer, Evan’s skin was golden and glowing, a pretty tan. There would be an eruption of sunspots over his nose and cheekbones, over his chin and forehead, his shoulders and his arms. His eyelashes were long and dark, and his eyes sparkled and danced in the bright sunlight.
Pretty as Evan had always been, Dylan had been blind to it until the ripe age of fourteen. Perhaps it had been due to the sudden increase in sex education, or perhaps it had been the sight of Evan’s grin as he beat him for the umpteenth time in a first-person shooter. Perhaps it had been the sight of Evan after soccer practice, kind of gross but proud of himself for a good day’s work, or maybe it was the feeling of disappointment that rivaled Evan’s own as Evan was handed back a particularly poor math test. Whatever it was, Dylan was most definitely developing a crush.
Evan was quite a charmer, back in the day (not that he wasn’t still). He went through girls like girls went through clothes. Dylan watched from a distance, envying them because he wasn’t them. He never would be, because he would never have boobs and a vagina, things that Evan seemed to prefer over the alternative.
It wasn’t until Dylan walked unannounced into their shared dorm room in their third year that he realized that Evan had broader preferences than just women. One half-naked boy scrambling out of their dorm, still half-hard, and a
That chance had presented itself on a fine spring evening the week after Evan’s twenty-first birthday. The weather had been cool and crisp, and the wind whistled and rustled the leaves of the tree beneath which Dylan and Evan sat, cross-legged. Their food had long since been put away, and the sun had been sinking, sinking, sinking, its beautiful orange light making Evan look ridiculously beautiful.
Evan had been talking but Dylan hadn’t been listening, too preoccupied with the shapes Evan’s lips made around his words, the way Evan’s skin glowed, and the way his eyes seemed to change color during golden hour. His hair was shiny, his lips were pink and his skin was smooth, and Dylan was feeling brave so he did the only thing he could think of—he leaned forward, seized Evan by his cotton t-shirt, and kissed him clumsily on the lips.
It was a little bit shitty; their noses bumped, and their teeth scraped awkwardly. Evan’s hands were flailing a little bit, and it honestly wouldn’t have made Dylan’s top ten kisses if it weren’t for the fact that it was his very first one with Evan.
When they parted, Evan had grinned and made some stupid comment about wondering when Dylan was going to make a move. Despite having half a mind to flick Evan across the forehead, he crawled over on his knees, straddled Evan’s thighs, and kissed him again.
The thought of it now brought both a smile to Dylan’s face and a sharp pain in his chest. After mere months since the start of their relationship, the first good thing in a long time was ripped away, and Evan was gone.
But not gone enough.
Now, Dylan was no expert, but through observation and experience, he had determined that there were rules to a breakup. Space, for one. Lots of space. Time away from the other person was essential. It allowed for room to heal, room to grow, room to learn to live without the other, and it was something Evan seemed incapable of giving. He seemed hell-bent on remaining friends with Dylan, filling every corner of his life, and making it extremely difficult for Dylan to stop loving him so damn much. And Dylan couldn’t even find himself a backbone, find any strength in him to tell Evan, no, I won’t be accompanying you to the movies, good day, or no, I would not like to go on a walk in the park, or no, I don’t want you over at my apartment because I’m madly in love with you and I’m trying to learn how not to be and in order to do that, I need to not see you every day.
And then there was the fact that they, somehow, kept having sex. Dylan was almost completely sure that that was against the breakup rules. He wasn’t even sure how it kept happening. One minute, Dylan would be at home, at work, at a coffee shop, and the next, Evan would be calling him up, telling him to come over. Then, they’d fall onto his couch or his mattress, or someone would slam someone against a door, or lift them onto the kitchen counter, and…well, Dylan didn’t know how to make it stop.
On the day Evan broke up with Dylan, this was Evan’s parting remark: “We were better off as friends.” But as far as Dylan knew, friends didn’t go on dates and didn’t have sex at least twice a week. It was completely contradictory to what Evan had told him. Who says we’re better off as friends, and then proceeds to have a semi-weekly sex session with their ex?
It wasn’t doing anything for Dylan. For all of his efforts to emotionally detach himself, Dylan simply couldn’t. For every small step made in the right direction, he went two steps back every time Evan turned up with his charming smile. It was so damn hard to fall out of love with someone who liked cuddling in post-coital bliss, whose skin was smooth and slick with sweat but still smelled stupidly enticing, whose eyes were so expressive both in the bedroom and out of it.
It was quite possibly tearing Dylan to shreds. He didn’t understand. He couldn’t wrap his head around how Evan had dropped the label off of their relationship but kept everything else. It made him feel like nothing, like he was something to be ashamed of, something that Evan didn’t want to be tied to.
Yet, Dylan couldn’t bring himself to let Evan go.
By the time his lecture let out, Dylan already felt bone tired. He’d had a sleepless night, and his fingers felt sore and cramped from the amount of writing he’d done. Unfortunately, his day wasn’t even close to over.
In the bathroom, Dylan splashed water over his face. He looked as awful as he felt; his dark hair was mussed and looking a bit greasy. His skin was gaunt, and the bags and dark circles beneath his brown eyes looked all the more pronounced.
Dylan’s coworker, Carly, had no qualms about noting how crappy he looked. “You look like a vampire,” she told him as he clocked in at the little convenience store.
“Thanks,” he said flatly.
Dylan used to enjoy his job. The store was tucked away and received little attention. The lack of customers often left Dylan to his thoughts. If his hand wasn’t so sore, he’d be doing homework between helping people check things out. But since his fingers were out of commission for the foreseeable future, Dylan pulled up a chair and propped his feet up on the counter.
He watched, bored, as Carly lugged out the mop and bucket from the back room. She glared at him as she struggled. “You could help,” she suggested.
Dylan raised his eyebrows and crossed his arms over his chest. He leaned back in complete asshole manner. “Not really my department,” he shot back.
“Yeah?” Carly raised her own eyebrow as she dunked the mop into the bucket. “And what is your department. Just sitting there and looking pretty?”
“I suppose so.”
Carly cracked a small smile before slapping the mop onto the dirty floor.
As much as Dylan would’ve loved to watch Carly slave away, doing manual labor so Dylan didn’t have to, it was rather tiresome to observe her repeatedly stoking back and forth, wetting and rewetting the tiles.
So, Dylan turned his mind to other things. Namely, Evan.
There were two things that bothered Dylan to no end on the subject of their relationship. The first was that it had ended so amicably. Dylan had seen exes who couldn’t bear to be in the same room together, alone or not. He’d seen exes who couldn’t restrain from shouting the second they saw each other. In fact, he hadn’t just seen it, he’d been it. And that led him to the second thing: that Evan didn’t seem all that heartbroken.
The last thing he wanted for Evan was heartache and pain, but the fact that he seemed entirely unaffected? All that told Dylan was that Evan didn’t really care all that much—about him, about their relationship, about anything.
Perhaps Dylan had been kidding himself in thinking Evan had actually wanted him. Perhaps Evan, good friend as he was, was only humoring him, at least until it got too much for even him to keep up the charade.
We were better off as friends was a nice way to tell Dylan that he wasn’t really boyfriend material.
Dylan was so distracted and consumed by his thoughts that he didn’t notice Carly pulling up a chair beside him and falling heavily into it. Only when she bumped him hard with her shoulder did he finally look at her.
Carly went to the same university as Dylan, though while he was studying engineering, she was majoring in psychology. Dylan had met her first on campus and later when he’d applied for a job at the convenience store. They’d become fast friends, and if Dylan wasn’t completely bent, he supposed he wouldn’t be opposed to going out with her.
Carly’s hair was bright red and parted down the middle because she’d decided to shave her sides and regretted it. Her skin was fair and a little pink, and in classic ginger fashion, quite literally covered in freckles. Her lips were a little thin, but they were always stretched into a wide grin that showed off straight, white teeth. Her eyes were green like Granny Smiths, and her eyelashes were coated in clumpy, black mascara. Her eyebrows were thin and the color of her hair, and right now, they were quirked up, questioni
“Okay,” Dylan said, raising an eyebrow of his own. “What?”
“Where’s your head?” Carly asked. She never beat around the bush.
“Where’s your brain?” Dylan retorted, and Carly grinned her famous Carly O’Connor grin, all gums and teeth and twinkling eyes. Dylan looked away and observed the shop, the aisles of candy and chips, the slushie machines churning in the back. “I’m just thinking.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Carly’s mouth fall into a sympathetic smile, and he prayed for her not to say what he knew she was thinking. “About Evan?” Oh, dammit.
Dylan’s jaw tightened. “No.”
Carly snorted, effectively calling his bluff. The bell at the door jangled, and Carly slapped her knees and rose, greeting a kid who looked a little over fifteen with a smile and a hello.
That used to be Dylan. It used to be him who was so happy to greet customers, who grinned at them, who was excited to come into work despite it being a completely dead-end job. Now, his face was sober and tight with sorrow, eyes dull where they once were dynamic, mouth flat where once rested a perpetual smile.
Dylan had never thought he’d be so thoroughly affected by a broken heart.
With Evan had gone Dylan’s enthusiasm, his eagerness to greet each day and treat it like it wasn’t exactly like the last day. All that he was now was bitter and sad. And a little pathetic, he thought, and Carly was probably thinking it, too. Perhaps this was the one thing she could refrain from saying.
In the next few hours, only a handful of people came in. Dylan helped a pair of them while Carly was taking her break. Another customer came in while Carly was mopping the floor under the slushie machine after some kid had overturned his entire cup.
During his own break, Dylan made himself a coffee and guzzled down a pack of beef jerky and a couple of pepperoni sticks. His mind wandered back over to Evan. Honestly, it was getting annoying to not have anything else to think about.
Other author's books:
- All I Want Is YouThe Sweet LifeHidden DesireBulletproof HeartDetoured by LoveForever YoursThe Love We FoundThe Secrets We Keep
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