Sequel to Nights in Sandbridge
In the midst of the best year of Andy Howard’s life, he gets an unexpected letter. His father is dying, and he needs to come home and be with his family.
But home is a beachside diner and the warm acceptance he’s never found anywhere else. Family is Dockside’s staff, especially Andy’s boyfriend, a southern gentleman who still clings to secrets and past loss. Neither have anything to do with New York City, or Howard Industries, or the boy Andy used to be.
Scooter Stahl’s life has been like the waves, one tumble after another, until he finally found solid ground in Andy. But he’s never been able to shake the thought that Andy was meant for better things.
When Andy is called home to a life and place where Scooter is utterly lost, Scooter wonders if he has anything at all offer this remarkable man. Will he lose Andy forever to cold corporate politics and the bride Andy’s parents chose decades ago?
Scooter sighed, pondered the idea of death by asphyxiation (he thought he'd read somewhere that you couldn't actually kill yourself by holding your breath) and then tried to figure out how to extricate himself. God, his head hurt. How the fuck many shots had he done last night?
Counting was hard math. One. One ... what went after one? More than one. A lot more than one. He vaguely remembered Andy urging several drinks on him that had cherries in them, just so Scooter could show off his knot-tying skills. And then Jack had ordered a round and they'd done body-shots. He definitely remembered drinking a (dear God, had he really?) Slippery Nipple out of Roni's bosom, about half of which had ended up spilled down his shirt.
Yeah, whole lot more than one.
"Andy," Scooter said, hearing his voice spiral up into a plaintive whine. "Love of my life, sun of my existence?"
"I need you to get off my legs," he said. "Seriously, have got to piss, like super-big time."
"Get out of my bed," Roni said, yawning, "before you pee. Not ... not acceptable."
Andy groaned, laboriously rearranged his limbs, and pushed himself off Scooter's legs. His startled "Fuck!" coincided with a loud thump as he hit the floor. "Owwww," he whined.
Roni whimpered and then shoved a blanket off the bed in Andy's direction. "Jus' bury him, e's useless."
"You're mean," Andy grumbled, but he dragged the blanket over his head and rolled into it like a human burrito.
"That's adorable," Scooter commented, then worked his way into a semi-upright position. "Which one's the bathroom?"
"That one," Roni said, pointing, which would have been useful if Scooter hadn't been trying to pick his way over the minefield of discarded clothing and boxes of makeup and empty pizza boxes that covered the floor. Jesus, she was on par with Jeff as far as slobbery went. Fortunately for her, the bathroom was the first door he opened. He shut the door behind him and then locked it, because Roni showed absolutely no concern whatsoever for personal space.
Scooter used the toilet, washed his hands, drank what felt like a gallon of water right out of the tap, and then peered in the mirror. Ugh. Too much hair goo, and his normal bedhead looked like he'd need a comb, a brush, and a firehose to get his hair back into anything remotely reasonable. Aaaand the whole side of his neck was covered in hickeys, pretty much from his ear all the way down.
He scrubbed at his face for a moment. There was lipstick on his cheek and chin, too. Great. On the plus side, Roni had a huge, economy-sized jar of Advil next to the sink. He dry swallowed three of them.
"Where are my pants?"
Jesus. What the utter hell had he done last night? He vaguely remembered crawling into a cab with Roni and Andy and ... a red-headed girl? He grabbed the Advil and filled a cup with water.
Finally, Scooter staggered out of the bathroom. Andy had practically burrowed under Roni's bed. "Come on, baby," he said, slowly getting down on one knee. "You oughtta drink something."
"Nooooo," Andy said, muffled by what had to be at least three layers of blanket. "No more drinking." But after a little more coaxing, he clawed his way out of the top of the blanket roll and let Scooter give him Advil and water, which he sipped gingerly and then gulped down thirstily. "Oh God," he croaked, "you're the best. Wedding is back on. If it was off. I don't remember."
"Good to know," Scooter said. "Come on, let's at least get you back in the bed, yeah? That cannot be hygienic down there. I don't think Roni's cleaned in here since the last time the two of you went out and partied."