Henry's been in love with his sister's best friend for years, but he never could seem to get the timing right. Jake has sworn off falling in love, after losing his partner to cancer, and Henry knows better than to compete with a ghost. But just as he's about to lose hope, a fateful tumble into a closet is all it takes to spark his inspiration -- if he can't give Jake his heart, maybe he'll accept Henry's body instead.
Two years after the death of his partner, and Jake still feels the loss most keenly during the holidays. So when his long-time friend, Henry, proposes they be friends-with-benefits, he can't immediately turn it down. It's a perfect solution to his loneliness without risking his heart. Besides, who wouldn't want a little company for the holidays?
Of course, Jake never considered the idea that he may have already fallen. A long time ago.
“I get it,” Henry replied. “No one expects—what I mean is, you don’t get over a love you lose like that. I’m not asking you to ...” He broke off with a frown, raking a hand through his hair before leaning across the table to speak under his breath as he said, “But what we did felt good, right? I mean, fuck Jake, the sounds you make alone ...”
Jake nearly choked on his coffee.
Henry patted him on the back, continuing as if Jake weren’t fighting for more air. “I’m not asking you to marry me. Hell, you know what my job is like.”
Jake nodded. He did in fact know that Eaton flew Henry out of state several times a year. Though, he thought that hadn’t been the case for a while now. It was hard to think about anything though, as Henry explained further.
“My point is, we’re both bachelors and you can’t deny that it gets old sometimes. Lonely. Especially around the holidays.”
“Are you ... what?” Jake quirked his head, unable to finish the thought. His cheeks burned at the implication.
“Come on, Jake. Quit pretending to be such a virgin,” Henry said teasingly. “Yes, okay? I’m asking if you want to be friends with benefits.”
Jake opened his mouth to protest, but Henry cut him off before he could. “Nothing would have to change.
Except the part where you’ve been avoiding me for six months.”
“I feel justified in rounding up.”
“You’re actually serious.”
“What?” Now Henry was the one gesturing wildly. “Before July, we were hanging out at least three times a week. You went to the Tigers games with me every weekend I wasn’t out of town for work, we hung out at Eastern Market ... hell, at this point, fucking is just another thing we can do while we wait for pizza rolls to bake.”
“As friends,” Jake added, disbelievingly. “Henry, people don’t fuck as friends.”
“Jake, plenty of friends fuck all the time.”