Fridays at Ofelia’s | Just to Breathe


Hello everyone! Holly here 😀 I’m here today to tell you about a story of mine that’s released tomorrow. As some of you might know, I write stories to celebrate certain days – all days should be celebrated. We’ll see if I ever get to write 365 (or 366 I guess so leap day is included too). I’ll try. 

On Tuesday, 8th of June, it’s Best Friend Day, so I’m having a friends to lovers theme over at my blog this month, and Just to Breathe that’s released tomorrow is of course a friends to lovers story. 

This all started with a song. I was walking to work early one morning and I’d put on one of those Discover Weekly lists on Spotify. On came You Say with Dori Freeman. Some lines in that song stuck with me, and I spent the entire workday thinking up a story. It’s nothing like the song, but there are little snippets that fit pretty well. 

So we have Nico and Matt who have been best friends since kindergarten. Nico has been in love with Matt for years, but he can’t picture his life without him and has therefore promised himself he’ll never let Matt know in case it would ruin what they have as friends.  

On his way to meet up with Matt, he’s knocked on the head and thrown in a trunk of a car. He’s then roughed up some by a group of guys who tell him he has twenty-four hours to get them the item they want. The problem is that Nico has no idea what it is they want.  

As soon as he can, he calls Matt who is a cop. To keep Nico safe, Matt takes him to a cabin where the two of them spend the night while trying to figure out what to do next. 

It’s a fast-paced slightly insane story. I had a great time writing it LOL. 

Mona Lisa


What are you doing?”

Nico jumped as Matt appeared inside the front door.

I told you to lock the door.”

Like a locked door would have stopped anyone.” He should have locked the door, though. He’d been too busy pacing to remember.

Matt was balancing a small cake on the palm of his hand and held a grocery bag in the other. “Happy birthday.” He offered the cake to Nico.

Nico smiled. He’d forgotten it was his birthday. “We’re having cake?”

Not the dinner we’d planned but better than nothing, right?” Matt grimaced. “David called while I was in the car.”

They’ve found them?” Hope spread in Nico’s chest.

No. Someone broke into your apartment.”

Ice filled Nico’s veins. “What?”

I’m sorry, Nico. It’s trashed. David said it looks like they were searching for something.”

Searching? I don’t have anything.”

Matt dropped the bag and walked up to him. He plucked the cake from his hands and put it on the kitchen island before wrapping his arms around him. Nico couldn’t relax into the embrace. Someone had been in his apartment. He couldn’t go back there.

We’ll figure it out.”

What did they expect? That I had The Mona Lisa hanging on my wall? It’s a shitty apartment, Matt!” He took a step back, so he could gesture with his hands. He needed to gesture.

I know. And I don’t think they were looking for The Mona Lisa. I haven’t heard anything about it being stolen.”

What then? My dildo collection? They’re not made of gold.”

The corner of Matt’s mouth quirked. “I didn’t know you were a collector.”

Oh God, has David seen it? He already hates me.”

Matt crossed his arms over his chest, looking a lot like David as he did. “He doesn’t hate you.”

He does!” Nico threw his hands in the air. “He’s always growling when I’m around, always acting as if I’m… something.”

You are something.”

Nico glared. “He’s acting as if I’m… subpar.”

Matt shook his head. “He’s not. It’s…” He shrugged.


He doesn’t like the way we are.”

Nico blinked. “He’s a homophobe? Typical cops.”

Matt grinned and shook his head. “No, he’s not a homophobe. He thinks I, or you, should do something about this situation.” He pointed between them.

What situation?

Do you want me to go check your apartment? See how bad it is?”

Nico sighed. He didn’t want Matt to leave again. Being alone in the cabin drove him out of his mind. “Yeah. Could you hide my sex toys?”

Matt laughed. “Sure. Where do you keep them?”

Bedside drawer, where else?”

Considering both the burglars and Amber and David have been there, I doubt it’ll do any good, but I wouldn’t mind a peek at your collection.” He winked, grabbed the bag of groceries, and moved closer to the fridge.

Nico groaned and sank down on the ratty two-seat sofa. It wasn’t a big collection, but… “I’m gonna blush next time I see David.”

Matt barked a laugh. “I doubt it’s any worse than what he already had pictured.”

Once Matt had put away the groceries, he grabbed the car keys. “I’ll be back in a few hours then. Anything you want from your apartment?”

Clothes? I don’t know. How long are we staying here?”

Matt shrugged. “Since they’ve raided your place, they know it isn’t there. I fear they’ll come for you next.”


justtobreatheNico Allegretti has been best friends with Matt Barnes since kindergarten. There is no one more important to Nico than Matt, and while he’s known for years Matt is the one for him, he’ll never tell him. He won’t risk ruining their friendship.

On his way to meet Matt at the restaurant, a case of mistaken identity ends with Nico in the trunk of a car. When he’s released, his kidnappers give him twenty-four hours to give them what they want. The problem is, Nico has no idea what that could be.

Not knowing what else to do, he turns to Matt, who is a cop. Together they go into hiding while looking for clues. Being kidnapped doesn’t change Nico’s resolve to not let Matt know how he feels, but hiding in a small cabin together makes it hard to ignore. Matt’s small touches and compliments must mean nothing. Had Matt felt the same, he’d let him know by now … right?

Buy links:

Contemporary Gay Romance: 15,392 words

JMS Books :: Amazon ::

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