Patrick Donovan has spent the last three anniversaries of his lover's suicide getting drunk at Josh Stevens' bar. It's at the bar he feels closest to his lover and to the man he has loved since high school, Josh, his dead lover's cousin.
The summer after he graduated high school, Patrick spent one hot night with Josh. When it was over, Josh maintained it was a casual one night-stand, breaking Patrick's heart.
Troubled by Patrick's annual visits to the bar, Josh encourages Patrick to move on from his grief.
After a disastrous near-encounter, Patrick decides maybe he should move on and forget his love for Josh. But Josh changes his mind when Patrick decides to date other men.
After nights of scorching sex, Patrick wonders where he stands once more, but Josh pulls back as he did the summer after high school. Josh doesn't want to be a substitute for the man he believes Patrick still loves.
The next morning Patrick thought the sex had meant more than Josh did. Josh was the first to admit he'd been young, stupid, and a bit of an ass at the time. But they'd had a huge fight about it and the next thing he knew, Andrew was Patrick's new boyfriend.
The silence in the truck became thick and nearly unbearable.
"My point is, I doubt Andrew would want you to do this every time this day comes around."
"Andrew didn't give a fuck about me either," Patrick said, his voice hollow. He rested his head on the cracked window once more, closing his eyes. "Am I so unlovable?"
Josh swallowed heavily. "Andrew was sick. What happened was not your fault in any way. You know that, right?"
He turned down the street where Patrick's condo was located.
"You can just drop me here at the corner. I can walk the rest of the way."
"No way. I'm going to see you inside. Don't even bother arguing." He pulled into the driveway and drove to the back of the condo complex. "If you give me a call in the morning I'll pick you up and take you back to your car." He found a visitor spot not too far from Patrick's front door and parked.
When he got to the passenger side, Patrick had already got out of the truck and he yanked his arm away when Josh reached for it.
"I can walk," he grumbled.
"Give me your keys."
Patrick glared. "Get 'em yourself." He glanced pointedly at the left front pocket of his jeans.
Josh didn't even hesitate and slipped his hand into Patrick's pocket, fishing for the keys. Patrick pressed closer, taking a step until not even an inch separated them. Josh's hand closed over the keys and he extracted them. He gently pushed Patrick toward the front door.
Patrick leaned against the door, closing his eyes, his lips pursed.
Josh put a steadying hand on Patrick before turning the key in the lock. He helped him into the front hallway and shut the door. Before he could do anything else, Patrick launched himself at Josh.
Josh's arms came around Patrick, anchoring them both. He was about to give Patrick a gentle, but firm nudge away when Patrick rose a little and pressed his lips to Josh's. His mouth opened against the assault and Patrick's warm, alcohol-infused tongue slipped inside. His head swam as though he'd been the one who drank too much.
He felt the wall against his back and realized Patrick had pushed him there. Cooler heads should prevail. His brain told him that, but his cock rose in protest.
"Josh," Patrick moaned. "Please."
The plea seared through him, tingling from his toes all the way to make him light-headed. He closed his eyes, trying to resist Patrick's pull, but knowing it would be a losing battle. He wanted this.
"Your bedroom." He panted.
Patrick broke the kiss and gazed at him intently, his blue-green eyes surprisingly clear. He laced his fingers through Josh's and tugged him toward the stairs leading to the bedrooms on the second floor. They took the stairs almost in slow motion, as if God were giving him the chance to change his mind. Damn, he should.
Patrick yanked him into the bedroom, flicked on the overhead light, and pulled him toward the bed.
He opened his mouth to declare they shouldn't do this. Patrick was way too vulnerable. "Lube and a condom?"
Patrick nodded. "Bathroom. Be right back."
Fuck, what was he saying? He watched the other man disappear into the bathroom, his gaze on Patrick's cute ass.
Patrick came back in mere seconds and tossed him the lube and the condom. Then he once more launched himself at Josh, pushing him onto the bed. "Want you."
Patrick's index finger touched his lips. "Don't say a word. Just touch me all over."