Matthew Dalton hasn’t been back home in longer than he cares to admit, but a letter brings him news and soon he’s stepping back in time. Going home, to a place he doesn’t visit nearly often enough.
Daniel Ellis, on the other hand, has never left. He’s always stuck around, waiting for the man who stole his heart to return. When tragedy brings Matthew home, Daniel sees this as his opportunity.
The only problem? Daniel can’t bring himself to voice the feelings he’s kept buried deep inside all these years. So he gives Matthew all the letters he’s written over the years and never mailed. Will a box of love notes be enough to make Matthew stay?
Twilight, it was always Daniel’s favorite time of day, when the sun slowly sank below the horizon, stars winking into sight. There was, in his mind, something romantic about those hours. The funeral was over and done, Jimmy gone, the turnout large, and throughout it all Daniel stayed by Matthew’s side. There were plenty of tears shed. Daniel fought the urge to draw Matthew close and confess the truth he kept buried in his heart.
It’s nearly impossible. The way he looks, even in grief he takes my breath away. I want to kiss his lips, brush away his tears, find some way to ease the pain he feels.
“Do you know where Roscoe is?” Matthew was asking.
They were strolling through a park, geese and ducks making a fuss Inn the pond as they crossed a bridge. Matthew stopped, leaning on the railing and casting his gaze out over the water. He had loosened his tie and the wind tousled his black-going-gray hair. He’d put on a few extra pounds since his last stop by, yet still remained physical fit, cutting quite the swoon worthy image in his black suit.
Traveling always did agree with him.
“Roscoe, Jimmy’s dog. Do you know where he is?”
“I have him,” he replied, standing beside Matthew, hands in his pockets. “Heidi and I talked it over, agreed it was best he stay with someone he know, and since her condo is pet-free ... He can stay with me, you know, if you’re heading back out soon. Are ... are you?” He asked, finding it hard to get the question out, clearing his throat immediately afterward.
Roscoe will be like always having a piece of you with me.
“Honestly, I’m not sure. I’ve had other things on my mind.”
“Understandable. Do you want me to bring him by tomorrow?”
“Please? I want to see him.”
“I’ll being lunch. We can catch up properly.”
Surprisingly, Matthew chuckled, the sound more hoarse than amused. “You sound like Heidi. I talk to you guys when I’m traveling.”
“You’re always hard to reach.”
Which is why you came home too late. We sent emails, we tried to call. Why did you come back too late? Why are you always running? That was the one question he always wanted to ask, finding he choked on the words every time he tried. One of these days he might muster up the nerve to say what he needed, to lay it all out. Just scream it, Daniel, from the bottom of your lungs for the whole world to hear. I love you, Matthew, always have, always will. Please stay.
Daniel licked his lips. And promptly chickened out.
“I think it’s time to head home,” Matthew said. Daniel frowned, picking up the strange infliction behind the way he said home, almost like Matthew wasn’t sure what that meant.
“Whatever you want, Matt. Should we stop for dinner on the way?”
They started out of the park.
Matthew shook his head. “I just want peace and quiet, time to think.”
To plan your next escape?