After his boss at the hospital suggests he take a sabbatical for a much-needed rest, neurologist Geoff Spencer ends up at his friend’s cabin in Big Bear, California. But to Geoff’s surprise, his former lover is also there -- his friend’s brother, the beautiful Adrian Michels, a brooding artist and a “commitment-phobe” who broke Geoff’s heart years earlier before leaving unexpectedly for Europe.
Now, Adrian suggests a no-strings affair while Geoff is with him in Big Bear. Although torn, Geoff eventually agrees. But what he really wants is for Adrian to be his -- Just His -- for eternity ...
Geoff had to admit this was a great room. It had a queen-sized sleigh bed made out of dark cherry wood, with a matching dresser and end tables. A couple of chairs sat in front of the fireplace. The attached bathroom had only a shower, but it was one of those big glass standing showers with ornate tile.
Definitely not your ordinary winter cabin. Jez had told him that her parents had planned to live there full-time in their retirement, but then disaster had struck and they'd been killed in their Winnebago on their way through Canada. Now, Jez, Adrian, and their brother Johan shared ownership of this magnificent mountain home. Johan. Definitely weird names in that family. Who the hell would name their daughter Jezebel anyway?
He got the gas log going in his room, set a cup of hot tea on a table next to one of the two plush chairs in the sitting area, and then sank in the chair to make a call to Jez.
It wouldn't make a huge difference to his situation no matter what she had to say for herself. With the snow now coming down outside there was no way he was driving back down the mountain anytime soon. He didn't even really want to. He'd been looking forward to spending time here.
"Are you there?" she asked without preamble after the second ring.
"Yep, safe and sound and cozy. I'm currently sitting in a chair by the gas fireplace in the second bedroom on the right. With some of the orange spiced tea you gave me at Christmas."
"Why are you sitting in the room instead of downstairs by the big wood fireplace?"
Geoff picked up his tea and took a sip. "Well, now we get to heart of the issue."
There was a long pause on the other end, but he could hear Jez breathing so he knew he hadn't lost the connection.
He snorted. "There's something far too innocent in the way you said that. Damn it, Jez."
"Still playing dumb? Adrian. Is. Here. As if you didn't know."
"Oh, that. I forgot to mention he was there, huh?"
"So, you did know all along?"
"Well, no. Johan told me a couple of days ago. By then I had already talked you into going there and I thought maybe this was fate."
Geoff closed his eyes. "Fate."
"You haven't had the best luck with guys lately. You haven't had the best luck period lately."
"News flash, Jez, that boat sailed with Adrian a long time ago."
"You still like him. I know you do."
"Even if I did, which I'm not saying I do, so what? Adrian broke up with me, remember?"
Geoff could never forget it. The first, and really only, time he'd had his heart broken. One minute he'd been blissfully happy, and the next Adrian had been giving him the It's not you, it's me speech.
"He's changed," Jez said. "He's not the same as he was then."
"Who is? Everyone changes. Doesn't mean we're going to suddenly hookup all over again. I should just go home."
"And what would that accomplish? You'd be back right where you were. Even forgetting hooking up with my brother, you were friends. It could be good for you to be there."
They hadn't really been friends. Not like real, normal friends. There had always been much more to them.
"You need friends, Geoff."
He barked a laugh. "God, you make me sound pathetic."
"It's snowing. I don't have much of a choice."
"Give it a week. If you want to come home after a week, I won't fight it."
"A week," he repeated.
"Yeah. You can do that, can't you?"
He ran his fingers through his hair. "All right. A week."