Owen had assumed that their love would be forever. He was wrong about that. Newly single from his last relationship, Owen still has a lot of scars from his break up with Professor Magnus Bergman. He’s moved out on his own, established himself in a writing career.
But he is still broken.
However, Owen begins to mend when a sexy mystery man moves into the apartment across from his. Though he has never spoken to him, Owen is incredibly attracted to the mystery man.
When a chance encounter brings them together, will Owen let himself keep beauty when he finds it? Or will he choose to give it away?
He wasn’t looking for a father figure.
Owen just preferred older men.
There’s was something they had that younger men lacked. Call it what you will: maturity, wisdom, knowledge. Either way, older men were just sexier.
Owen didn’t want a father figure. He already had one and, thanks to his mother, he had four more. For Owen, it wasn’t an issue of age so much as the love that was there.
Sometimes, he thought, not even all the love in the world could keep two people together, especially if one of them wanted to remain apart.
Owen sighed and pulled a picture frame out of a box. He looked at the two men in it. He was looking at himself in the picture, but he hadn’t known this side of him for a while now. He was standing next to Magnus, his arm around him, a smile on both their faces.
It was what had been underneath the happiness that had ripped them apart.
Sighing again, Owen put the picture back in the box. He didn’t even know why he had brought it with him. He still felt a little bit of pain when he looked at that picture but not as much as before.
Not as much as when the break up had happened.
He knew it had been coming for a little while. Owen had been able to feel an anger growing in Magnus, a resentment. His gut had told him that something was coming. He just wished he had been better prepared. Owen wished that Magnus hadn’t broken up with him so close to Christmas.
It wasn’t really a break up, and October wasn’t really close to Christmas. Not really. He doubted it could be called a break up when he had come home to find Magnus with another man.
In the end, it came down to this: Owen had given Magnus Bergman his heart. And a short time later, his heart was handed back to him.
It happened all the time, Owen mused. You give them what they want until they don’t want it anymore. They only give it back to you when it’s broken.
Instead of unpacking, he found his cigarettes on the kitchen table he had picked up at Goodwill and located his lighter in his pocket. Fuck unpacking, he thought. I’m having a fucking cigarette. I hate unpacking anyway.
He grabbed a mug to use as an ash tray and went out onto his smaller than small balcony. There was only enough room for a chair and an even tinier side table. But Owen didn’t mind; at least he could be outside.
The inside was just as tiny. A room with a kitchen and a small alcove for a bedroom. He has to use his furniture to break up the space, to make it feel as if it were larger. He hadn’t really succeeded. But none of that mattered.
What mattered was that it was his.
He had already been in his new apartment for almost two months and had lots of unpacking to do. But he still spent as much time out on the balcony as possible, happily ignoring the boxes of his life. Owen just wasn’t ready to put everything in its place and put himself back together yet. Sitting outside helped. He was calmest when he could breathe. It revived him from spending too long in the musky hallways of his heart.
He could see Christmas lights twinkling like ice in the distance, could hear the sounds of people shopping and talking on the street below. The December air was crisp, and he should have worn a coat when he went out on his balcony.
The view from his apartment also gave him something to watch.
Even when he didn’t want to.