Because of a deathbed promise to his father, Elijah Peck reluctantly left his friends and successful career in Bridgeport to return to Willowby, Connecticut, the small town of his upbringing, in order to run the antique shop that had been in his family for generations. Now, in just the span of two years, Eli has morphed into a social recluse, isolated in what he believes is a stuffy, suffocating nowheresville. With no thriving gay community at his disposal, and with his entire existence wrapped around the store he never really wanted, Eli's devoted little time to his personal needs. As a result, instead of acting like a man in his mid-thirties, living out his own dreams, maybe even finding love with the right guy, he often feels like just another item in his shop -- a dusty, moldy antique that has seen better days.
But all that starts to change when a stranger moves to Willowby.
One night outside his shop, Eli has a chance encounter with Neville "Gray" Grayson, a wickedly handsome musician who's purposely left the bustle of New York City in favor of quiet country living. Eli is instantly drawn to Gray, and the flirtatious jazzman stirs dormant feelings inside Eli, reinvigorating his hopes for a brighter future. Not only does Gray make Eli feel attractive for the first time in years, but also makes him appreciate small-town life in a way he never has before. And Eli can't help but wonder if Gray's presence also offers the promise of finding much-needed companionship, sexual fulfillment, and perhaps even love ...
I stopped in front of my door. Before I could clear my thoughts and say a word, however, Gray stepped forward. He placed one of his hands against my chest, then leaned in and kissed me. I nearly melted at the contact. His lips, so warm, so moist, so damned pliable, seemed to mold to mine in a perfect fit. I couldn’t stop my tongue from entering his mouth and tasting his. But I didn’t want to stop it; I just wanted to give it free rein to do as it pleased to satisfy its fevered curiosity.
So consumed with the kiss, I barely heard the jingle and clank when my keys slipped from my fingers and hit the sidewalk. I wrapped my arms around Gray’s muscular torso and held him closer, while he used his hands to grab my scruffy cheeks and plunge his own tongue toward my throat. When our groins touched, and my boner detected its counterpart forming behind Gray’s zipper, I could barely harness the craving to push him up against the window of my storefront, tear off his clothing, and go to town on him right there on the deserted sidewalk. And as the kiss continued to escalate to unfathomable heights, I knew my will to resist would shatter under the pressure.
But Gray made the decision for us, harvesting the restraint that I did not possess. He broke the kiss and gasped, while leaning his forehead against mine. “I’ve wanted to do that since laying eyes on you, Eli.”
“You? You have no idea how many times during dinner I wanted to delve under the table and shock the shit out of the other customers.”
“A part of me might have enjoyed that, but the other part of me is glad you stopped yourself. The last thing I need, being a newbie to this town, is to create a firestorm of controversy and damnation in my first week of living here.”
“Picturing Aunt Bee and Opie leading a hoard of torch-wielding villagers with pitchforks down the streets of Mayberry to run off the faggots?”
He laughed. “Yeah, something like that.” Nevertheless, he kissed me again, this time his mouth acting as a salve to my burning lips. “But I must say goodnight now or I’ll never be able to leave.”
Then stay, damn it! Stay and give me the pounding I want so damned badly! A fucking I haven’t had in too damned long! Stay! Stay! St --
Another quick kiss, then he pulled out of my arms and ran one of his palms over my cheek. “God, that beard is so damned sexy, but I must leave now before another part of my anatomy takes over. Yet I’ll see you soon, okay? Very soon.”
With that, he spun away from me and headed toward the east, the direction from where he’d appeared when I’d first laid eyes on him. After he turned the corner, heading north on Apple Blossom Road, I continued to stand before the door to my stairway, hearing only the pounding of my heart in my ears and the distant clip-clop of his snakeskin boots echoing through the empty streets.
How long I stood there, I couldn’t be certain, but when I finally bent down to retrieve my keys, my still-full erection made the chore difficult.