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|Your Whisper in the Dark
contemporay gay romance, book four of the Men of Marionville series
Kenzie Zahn is starting over as a single man. Left with few
immediate options, he accepts a friend’s invitation to visit and
house sit. It’s the perfect opportunity for Kenzie to put a little space
between the past and present while figuring out the best path for
Mason Hall enjoys the carefree single life. He works hard, plays a
little harder, and doesn’t think much about settling down. The right
man will come along – or not – and he’s content to wait. A night out
to enjoy a little dancing leads to a hook-up with Kenzie, the kind of
man Mason has only ever fantasized about. Mason can’t let him get
Kenzie’s smitten. Mason is irresistible, but home is a thousand
miles away and a long-distance romance isn’t workable. A strange
twist of identity brings a linked past to light. Kenzie and Mason are
brought to the realization that even when Fate arranges a man’s
destiny, he still has to take a leap of faith, or lose out on love.
I scampered off to the parlor like a love struck teenager, snatched the receiver off the hook, and fell
breathlessly onto the sofa.
“Hey. I had this number on the service ticket from last fall. Um, is it okay I called?”
I heard the ‘click’ as Tyler hung the phone upstairs. “Yeah, sure. I guess I should give you my cell phone
“Yeah. Do it tonight.”
My stomach plunged. The weather wasn’t conducive to going out. I appreciated Tyler’s offer of his truck, but
it would be foolish to go out on unfamiliar icy roads when I didn’t really need to.
“It’s snowing, Mason.”
There was a clattering crash in my ear.
“Fuck. Dropped my screwdriver. Dropped my wrench. Hold on.”
I grinned as I listened to more noise and additional foul language. Was he nervous over calling me? His
smooth voice flowed back into my ear. “Sorry about that. I know it’s snowing, damn it. So you’re not coming
“I’d better not. I don’t know the roads around here that well.” I held my breath, dreading his next words.
What if he hung up and we never connected again?
But wouldn’t that be best? My head and my heart weren’t in agreement.
“I guess you’re right.” He cleared his throat. I heard him take a deep breath. “Kenzie, will you have dinner
with me tomorrow night?”
I failed to remember I was thirty-six, and a mature man. I ignored how bad of an idea it was to get involved
with anyone a thousand miles away from home.
We’d already had each other in the most physically intimate ways possible, and now he wanted to take me
dinner. I pumped my fist in the air in a gesture of victory.
“I would love to have dinner with you, Mason.”
“Kenzie, please. We need to go someplace private so I can tell you everything.”
I couldn’t think about anything except getting the hell away from him. “I’m leaving, and neither one of us is
going to make a scene. Goodbye, Mason.”
I stood, turned on my heel, and left him sitting there. I needed fresh air, to somehow manage to breathe
again. If I could get out the door, I could quiet the pounding ‘why, why, why’ beating inside my skull. Was this
what people meant by a surreal experience? I fumbled my car keys, dropping them. I bent over to retrieve
them without paying attention to how close to the car I was and whacked my head on the car door.
“Fucking hell!” I plopped down on the frozen tundra of blacktop and grabbed the right side of my head to
make sure my brains weren’t spilling out.
Just fucking great. I’d sport a bruise for sure come morning, not to mention the fucking headache already
eating through bone.
Every time I went queen-out, something nasty happened and it was usually my own fucking fault. Like now. I
welcomed Mason’s body heat as he knelt beside me.
“Kenzie? Are you okay?”
I kept my right palm pressed to my forehead and glared at him.
“What the fuck to you think?” I moved my hand. “Just tell me if I’m bleeding.”
Mason hesitated, then stroked my face with cold fingertips. “The skin isn’t broken, but I think
you’re going to have a bump.” He eased down beside me and I hoped his balls would freeze fast to the
macadam through his jeans and stick when he got up. “Please talk to me, Kenzie.”
I suspected there was no way to avoid a conversation with him. Self-induced concussion aside, I seemed to
have regained some composure. Maybe. I had one burning question for him.
“Mason, why the fuck even tell me? Why not let me live in blissful ignorance?”
He reached for my hand but stopped short of taking it. I sighed and held it out to him. His chilly fingers
closed around my equally cold ones. My gloves were in the car instead of my pocket. Score another point for
the home team.
“I had to tell you, Kenzie. It was the only right thing to do once I realized who you were.” He started to put his
arm around me but I froze him with a look.
Yes, it was. I had to agree with him on that point. He could have kept it from me. How would I ever learn of
it? Dennis and I weren’t in touch, and as far as I was concerned, we never would be. It was all in the past, his
and mine, and it couldn’t be changed. Generally, I held with the belief that if there was one thing gay men
had no right to judge, it was another gay man’s past sexual history – casting the first stone and all that crap.
My immediate thought was he’d blown that out of the water, but maybe not. He’d taken a big risk by telling
me about knowing my ex-partner. Lord, my head hurt.
“So you told me. Now you can fuck me guilt free.”
Mason blew out a short, tired breath. “Kenzie.”
“Sorry. I’m not at my best when my head is splitting and my balls are freezing.”
This time, I didn’t stop him when he moved to put his arm around my shoulders. “I told you because you
deserved to know my side of it, okay? If I could take back that day, I would.”
That day? One day? Had Dennis wrecked our life together over one lousy fuck? I certainly saw why he’d be
attracted to Mason. The man was smoking hot and, heaven help us all, principled.
“I’m going home, Mason. I need to think about a few things.”
“Will you come to my place so we can talk? And I mean talk. No sex unless you say so.”
The man’s sincerity rang clear and true in his low voice. I hated to turn him down, but I had to.
|Contemporary gay romance - the Men of Marionville series
These stories can be read individually. They feature characters in the same community, all friends. They do
not need to be read in the order in which they were written to enjoy them fully, but they are numbered for
those who prefer to do so. For more about the Men of Marionville series, click here.