Please read the synopsis before you purchase this book. If you are easily offended, do not buy it.
The winter of 1987 AIDS was epidemic. Bryan Tyler had lost so many close friends, he was falling apart at the seams. Handsome, rich, intelligent, Bryan had accomplished more in his twenty-four years than he had ever dreamed. But he had no one to share his life with. Having remained celibate since he was sixteen, Bryan’s fear had created a vacuum of loneliness in him he found draining to live with day in and day out. Until one afternoon while reading the Seattle Times weekend paper, Bryan noticed an ad for a youth in need of a foster home. Julian O’Connor had lived his entire life in an overcrowded state run facility in Everett, Washington. Nearly sixteen, Julian never imagined having a host family, let alone someone to love him. When he was emancipated, he assumed he’d live on the streets. Unloved, and feeling helpless, Julian had lost hope for any type of successful future. He lived one day at a time, and it was all he could do. Then two lost souls met. Bryan imagined raising Julian, giving Julian a strong home life and an education. In return, Bryan hoped Julian would fill his empty life with devotion. What they didn’t expect was a love that grew to obsession and the forces that were trying to tear them apart. During a time in US history when the AIDS quilt continued to add names at a terrifying rate, life bloomed from the nightmare. And for Bryan, it was all about one person. Julian.
In honor of writing my 50th book this year, each new novel of 2010 will feature an unpublished author’s short story. Introducing Edward Kendrick’s erotic tale; BETWEEN A STONE AND A HARD PLACE I hope you enjoy it.
Please read the synopsis before you purchase this book- If you are easily offended, don't buy it.
It was a whole new universe for him. His modern world experience consisted of an old console television that constantly needed assistance with its vertical hold, that, and an AM/FM radio.
Bryan left the room for a moment. When he came back Julian was staring out of the window at the expansive view. Bryan stood behind him. “There’s Mount Rainier. You can see it from your own room too. Look, that’s the Olympic Mountain range, and that’s the Puget Sound.” Bryan pointed out all the landmarks to him.
Julian nodded almost imperceptibly. It was the most amazing sight he’d ever seen.
Bryan took off his leather jacket and tossed it on a chair. “You hungry? You want a pizza?” He picked up the phone.
When Julian spun to face him, his mood brightened at the prospect of a pizza pie, cloudy mistrust followed. “Why are you doing this for me? What are you getting out of it? Are they paying you a lot?”
Bryan placed the cordless phone back on the counter. He sat on the leather sofa and gestured for Julian to do the same.
When Julian had settled down beside him, he gave Bryan his undivided attention.
Bryan said, “Look, I’ve always wanted a son. I can’t conceive one of my own. I thought about adopting an infant, but to tell you the truth, a screaming crying blob that does nothing but shit into a diaper isn’t the least bit appealing. I wanted someone older. Someone to share the things I love with. I also want to help you. It will be mutually beneficial. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.”
“Where’s your partner?” Julian looked around the room. He still had not removed his old brown fleece jacket.
Bryan’s smile faded. “Uh, she’s at her mother’s. You see, her mom wasn’t feeling too well and she decided to spend a few days with her to help her out.”
Julian nodded dully, losing himself in the room once more.
Bryan popped up to his feet and grabbed the phone. “What do you like on your pizza?”
Julian shrugged, his hands still in his jacket pockets, the one with the broken zipper.
As he dialed Bryan stared at him. “Yes, hello…I’d like to order two cheese pizzas to be delivered…”
Julian was drawn back to the window. A world was out there. Huge, moving, pulsating and completely out of control. He shivered. How would he find his way?
When Bryan set the phone back down, he leaned on the doorway between the kitchen and living room and smiled.
Julian tried not to be uncomfortable from Bryan’s stare. It made the hairs rise on the back of his neck. Julian was petrified Bryan would find out his secret.
“Go. Go explore your own room.”
Julian nodded obediently, walking down the hall.
“First left,” Bryan said.
Julian stopped short at the instruction. He entered a room with the large bed, a wall of French louvered closets, an antique mahogany dresser, his very own colored TV, a CD player, a desk with a swivel chair and a computer, and a bookcase lined with encyclopedias and books.
It overwhelmed him. Was this what every kid in the outside world was entitled to? If he wasn’t placed in foster care, would this be how he would live? He never knew his real parents. The rumor was that they were dope addicts, or in jail. Some nasty story. He never asked twice.
What had he left behind? A cavernous room made of painted brick and mortar, lined with cots, all his clothing was second hand, all his meals tasted the same.
That tiny kit bag appeared grossly out of place in the sterility of the room. He tugged it open and stared at the grayness of the contents. Removing a stuffed rabbit he was embarrassed by but couldn’t part with, he shoved it under his pillows quickly. Checking over his shoulder to the door, Julian wanted to be sure he wasn’t spied. When his cuddly toy was well out of sight, he again approached a window.
Mount Rainier was fading into the dusk. A string of white and red striped head and taillights ran down that busy I-5 corridor. When he leaned on the sill his breath fogged up the glass. He wiped it with his sleeve and realized he still wore his jacket. He took it off and threw it on the bed, raising his head. Bryan was standing at the doorway.
“Tomorrow we go shopping.”
Julian nodded. No trace of a smile yet on his lips. He was sure this was a trick. They would come and take him away from all this. There was no way he deserved a man like Bryan.
“Come on, the pizza should be here soon.” Bryan reached out his hand, beckoning.
Julian moved passed him to the living room, feeling Bryan’s stare like a warm caress on his back.