The First Breath of Spring (MM)


Heat Rating: Sizzling
Word Count: 33,615
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Grocery owner Griffin Reed is a little hesitant about renting the apartment next to his to a nineteen-year-old young man with a two-year-old son. But from the moment he sees this blue-eyed, blond-haired angel standing outside his screened-door, Griffin feels maybe he should put his doubt aside and give Charles Martin and his equally angelic son Charlie a chance at a stable home.

Charles Martin never knew his parents and grew up in foster care. So when he accidently gets a young woman pregnant, Charles makes a promise to himself to not let his son share his fate of getting passed from one foster family to another because Charlie’s mother thinks they’re too young to be parents. With the help of a social service worker, his best friend’s family, and a kindly landlord, Charles gets the chance to prove he is a responsible human-being.

A few months after Charles settles into his new apartment, a devastating epidemic hits the world, forcing Charles and Charlie to hunker down with his landlord, a man he barely knows who has gone out of his way to prove love can conquer all.

The First Breath of Spring (MM)
0 Ratings (0.0)

The First Breath of Spring (MM)


Heat Rating: Sizzling
Word Count: 33,615
0 Ratings (0.0)
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Cover Art by Written Ink Designs

“Well, how did it go?” Charles’s friend Steven King asked when Charles returned from apartment hunting. They met in middle school and had been friends since then.

“It’s a nice place, half a double. The landlord lives on the other side. And it’s furnished.”

“Good, then you won’t have to buy any furniture,” Steven said.

Steven’s parents had been letting him and Charlie stay with them until he found a place. “Just a crib. The place has two bedrooms, so Charlie will have his own room.”

“How far is it from here?” Steven asked.

“Just about four bus stops away.”

“You could have asked one of us to drive you,” Steven said.

“You know me. I don’t like to impose.”

“You’re family,” Steven said.

Charles wished that was true. He had been orphaned at a young age and had lived from one foster family to another over the next eighteen years. There was no information on his parents. That’s why he’d fought so hard to keep Charlie. He didn’t want his son to go through that. He left the kitchen to lay Charlie on the bed. It had safety rails, so he would be safe. Besides, the room that they shared was just off the kitchen, so Charles would hear him if he cried. “What’s for dinner?”

“It’s Monday and you live in New Orleans,” Steven said.

That meant red beans and rice, and probably fried chicken or pork chops. He washed and dried his hands while Steven dished up their food.

“Do you want a beer?”

“No, water will be fine.” He hadn’t drunk a beer since he got custody of Charlie.

“Mom made cornbread,” Steven said.

“My favorite,” Charles said.

They sat down. Steven said grace.

They both sprinkled hot sauce on their food and began eating.

“What’s the landlord like?”

“Not what I expected,” Charles answered. “He’s tall, muscular and around forty. And he has great hair.”

“Is he handsome?” Steven asked.

Charles shrugged.

Steven chuckled wickedly. “Then why are you blushing?”

Charles bit into the chicken. It was still crispy. He shrugged again. It was no secret that he was gay. He’d only been with one woman in his life and that had turned out disastrous. The only good things that came from that encounter was that he’d lost his virginity, and he’d gotten Charlie. “Did you miss the part when I said he was forty? And as far as I know the man might have a wife.” He didn’t remember seeing a ring on his finger, but that could mean he just didn’t like to wear rings.

“So, what’s wrong with dating an older man?” Steven asked.

If he wanted to be in a relationship right now, he wanted to be in one with someone like Steven. He was tall, about six feet one, slender, with a handsome face. He had ebony hair and brown eyes. But Steven already had a boyfriend, one of his college professors. Plus, Steven only saw him as a brother or friend material. “What’s right with dating an older man?” Charles asked.

“For one, he’s mature. Then he’s probably experienced in the love-making department. He’s probably has money, or established in his career. And in this past relationship he might have had some kids, so he and Charlie might get along splendidly.”

Except for the Kings, Charlie feared strangers. “There’s a fifty-fifty chance that he is not gay,” Charles said.

“But there’s a fifty-fifty chance that he is,” Steven said. “When are you going to find out if you get the apartment?”

“In a couple of days. He wants to check my references.”

“I can’t say I blame him. You are a teenager with a child. And if he knows how old you are he can figure out that you don’t have a long work history. So, you can’t be pulling in a six-digit pay check.”

“I can be a trust-fund baby,” Charles said.

“Would a rich person be looking to rent a small place in New Orleans?” Steven asked.

“No, I guess not, unless he’s hiding from someone,” Charles answered.

Steven chuckled. “Don’t let a good thing pass you by just because he was born a few years before you were.”

“I won’t.”

“Do you want to go shopping for a crib tomorrow?”

“Let’s not put the cart before the horse,” Charles said, finishing his food. He took his and Steven’s plate to the trash can, emptied out the chicken bones, then washed and dried the plates and silverware. He heard Charlie when he woke up.


“You want me to get him?” Steven asked.

“No, I’ll get him. He’s probably wet.”

“I do know how to change a diaper, thanks to you,” Steven said, rising.

“Thanks, anyway. I’m going to give him a warm, bath, dress him in his jammies, and play with him for a while.”

Steven left the room. He already told him that he had a date with the professor later, so playing with Charlie made Charles feel less lonely. Charles headed for the bedroom.

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