Release Day! | Quinny, Focus!

balloons It’s release day!!!

Quinny, Focus! was an impulse story. I was nearing the end of one tale, and I was gonna write a story for JMS-Books that’ll be part of a series published in 2021 when J.M. sent an email with an in-house call for stories featuring dating during social distancing.

I figured I could use a short story between the longer ones, so I replied to the email, saying I’d write one. And I did.

It was my husband giving me the idea. I asked him what he thought I should write about, and he said a guy who is flirting with his neighbour, gesturing through the window. It got the wheels spinning. There is no gesturing thought the windows, but Quincy is convinced his neighbour William Johnson is the man of his dreams. He’s also convinced the William Johnson he’s talking to online is the William Johnson he spends his days stalking through the window.

Ty’s name flashed on the screen, and Quincy hit reply with a sigh.

“Hi, Ty.”


Quincy winced. “Are you drunk?” There was music in the background, though not too loud.

“Nah, had a couple of beers. I’m so fucking bored, I could die.”

Quincy rolled his eyes. “Mhm.”

“Do you think it would be so bad to break the six-feet-apart rule just once?”

Quincy took a deep breath. “Well, I guess it depends, but if everyone breaks the six-feet-apart rule just once, there will be a lot of breaks. And people are idiots, if they break it once, they’ll break it again.”

“Yes, but I’m horny. Aren’t you horny?”

Quincy looked across the yard to Will’s now dark apartment. “Yeah, I’m horny.”

“So you want to hook up?”

Quincy spluttered. “What? No!” Ty and he had never hooked up, would never hook up. Quincy loved him like you loved an annoying little brother—meaning he most often wanted to strangle him.

“Oh, come on, would it be so bad? We’d get off, and we know each other so it’s not like we’re endangering strangers.”


“I know… I’m bored… And horny.” The sigh was deep, and Quincy suspected he’d had more than a couple of beers.

“You should do what I do and find someone online to talk to.” Quincy looked across the yard. The kitchen light had come back on. He hurried over to the laptop and opened it again.

Will wasn’t online.

Maybe he needed a glass of water.

“You’re still talking to the stranger?” Ty yawned.

“He’s not a stranger! He’s my neighbor and future boyfriend.”

Ty groaned. “Dude, you don’t know if it’s him you’re talking to.”

Quincy huffed. “Of course, it is. Everything he says fits, and—”

“Have you seen a picture?”

“No, he doesn’t have any pictures of himself on his profile, but it’s him. I went over there to read the name on his apartment door, and it’s him.”


“Stop calling me that! It’s not my fault I got a weird name, don’t make it worse by turning it into a girl name.”

“Nothing wrong with girls.”

“What in that sentence gave you the impression I think there is something wrong with girls?”

“Hey, now, calm down.”

“I am calm!”

“Sweetheart—” Quincy removed the phone from his ear, glared at it for several seconds before holding it to his ear again. “—doesn’t mean it’s him.”

“It is him. He just wrote he was tired and was going to bed, and seconds later, the lights went off in the apartment. And when I went to read the name on his apartment door—”

“Please don’t tell me you went there.”

“We’re allowed to go outside! I wasn’t licking anyone, I was going for a walk.”

“Up the stairs in the apartment building across from yours?”

Quincy growled. “He spells his name exactly the same, he moved to Whiteport in February, he doesn’t know anyone here, and he’s home all day because the job he was supposed to start didn’t pan out with the pandemic and all—it all fits!”

“How many ways can you spell William Johnson?”

Quinny, Focus! in the JMS shop (30% until Monday, then 20% off till Friday)


Quincy Dean is one lucky guy. After months of virtual flirting, he’s convinced the man of his dreams is living next door. True, they’ve never spoken face-to-face, and William Johnson has never posted a picture of himself, but how many William Johnson’s could there be?

Quincy is positive the two of them would be great together. But if he’s ever going to get the chance to convince Will of that fact, he’s going to need to do it before his perfect man figures out he’s too good for Quincy’s little corner of Whiteport and disappears from his real life forever.

But how do you woo someone when you have to stay six feet apart? Direct messages are great, but they aren’t very romantic. And when Quincy begins to notice that Will’s messages don’t always match up with what he’s seeing through his blinds, he worries that even online he and his dream guy are drifting apart. Six feet or not, it might be time to ask Will out on a date.


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