Didrik would do anything for his best friend, Filip, including taking pictures of Filip’s dad, Johan, for a charity calendar. Naked pictures, of beautiful, irresistible, wonderful Johan, who was single-handedly responsible for Didrik’s gay awakening. He was also happily married and unavailable ... until he wasn’t.
After losing his husband five years ago, Johan finally seems ready to move on, and as they start the charity project, everything changes. With every meeting, every conversation, every pose for the camera, the attraction between them swells and grows, until it burns hot and threatens to consume them.
Their interactions, their relationship is surprisingly easy, but it’s not without its challenges. The age difference for one thing. Telling Filip for another. Is their connection enough to last? Can they overcome the hurdles to get the happily ever after they deserve?
I arrive at seven am on the dot, and Johan opens the door with a wide smile, wearing a thin, washed-out T-shirt that clings to his body like a second skin, and a pair of loose shorts that show off his sculptured legs, and I want to fall on my knees and run my hands all over him. Instead, I offer him a smile and work hard to not let my gaze stray below his shoulder level, not even peeking at his ass as I follow him through the house.
Nope. Definitely not peeking.
“I thought we could eat on the porch,” he says when we reach the kitchen. “It’s such a lovely morning.”
He steps outside and gestures to one of the chairs. I sit as I take in the lovely spread he’s prepared; there’s tea and coffee, boiled and scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, apple slices, and a pitcher of what looks to be freshly squeezed orange juice. “Wow. Are we expecting more company?” I ask, smiling.
He shakes his head and shoots me a crooked smile. “I like to feed people. Maybe I went a bit overboard.”
“Nah. It’s perfect. And I’m starving.”
The slight uncertainty in his voice is startling. Why is this successful man, this handsome, kind, generous man, insecure about the opinions of his son’s best friend? I want to wrap my arms around him and assure him that he’s got nothing to be unsure about, that the food is perfect, that he is perfect, but instead I just nod and say, “Yeah.”
“Then eat, please.” He gestures at the table and we both dig in with healthy appetites -- I opt for tea instead of coffee, not needing any more nervous energy -- and eat in silence, only accompanied by chirping birds, leaves rustling in the slight breeze, and the odd barking of a neighborhood dog. It’s peaceful and lovely, and the complete opposite of my restless soul, but I wrap my fingers around the steaming cup of tea and inhale the scent of bergamot, forcing myself to slow down and enjoy the moment.
“I haven’t had an unhurried morning like this in ages,” I say when the worst of my hunger is sated.
“Nope. I usually just grab a granola bar and rush off. I need to start eating proper breakfasts. At least on weekends.”
Johan hums. “Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I loved it when Filip still lived at home, and I could join him for second breakfast.”
I grin. “I didn’t know you were secretly a hobbit.”
“Guilty as charged.”
“You could still do that, you know. Have second breakfasts.”
He takes a sip from his coffee, leans back in his chair, and stretches out his long legs, his shin bumping mine in the process. “Sorry,” he says, but doesn’t pull back. I throb and pulse where our legs touch, and shit why didn’t I wear shorts today? I would’ve felt his naked skin against mine finally, and his legs are so fucking fine.
“I guess I could,” he says, “but it’s not the same to do it all by myself.”
It takes a while before I catch up with what he’s saying before I remember what we were talking about before his leg touched mine. “You’re right. Hence granola bar.”
“You don’t have anyone to share your breakfasts with?”
“Why not? Because you haven’t found the right person? Or because you’re not interested in a heteronormative twosomeness?”
I bark out a laugh. “Heteronormative twosomeness?”
“Well, you know what I mean. Not everyone dreams of a partner, two-point-five kids, and a dog.”
“True. Being a dad has never been a part of my dreams.”
“I used to feel the same way. Then Filip happened, and I’m so damned happy because my life would’ve been poorer without him. But I know the feeling.”
I hum. “I’m not against twosomeness, though, no matter how heteronormative. I wouldn’t mind someone I could both talk to and fuck. I’ve had Filip for the talking part my entire life and I’ve found other outlets for ... the other stuff.” My cheeks heat. Again with the blushing like a Victorian maiden. I clear my throat and finish my thought. “I guess I wouldn’t mind someone who could be both.”
“A best friend and a lover?”
I sigh out another yes, and he presses his leg against mine, rubbing a little. I can almost feel his hair through the fabric of my pants, at least I imagine I can. He shuffles his foot a little but never breaks contact between our limbs. I hide my fluster by taking a sip of my cooling tea.
“How about you?” I ask when I trust my voice to work again. “Are you ready to find someone to share second breakfasts with?”