It’s released day! Or re-release day. The Egg Hunt was once Once in a Forest. It was once a Nortown story, but now it’s an Up North story. It’ll all work out in the end, I’m sure 😀
Happy Easter! It’s Easter in Nortown too. Jason is there to visit his friend, Aiden, only he never told them he’d bring his dog. There is some tumult and then Biscuit, the dog, runs off into the woods.
In the woods, Tom is working on felling some trees. He doesn’t see the dog, but when Jason comes by, he takes him to the village. Tom doesn’t really understand how he ended up in the situation, but Jason is spending Easter in his house.
Jason is a bit of an arse, but he likes Tom, and Nortown has a calming effect on him. When Tom isn’t threatening him with a doctor’s visit, that is.
With Jason out of the kitchen, Tom took a deep breath and tried to relax. It shouldn’t be so hard. Sure, Jason was gorgeous in a city-pretty kind of way, but Tom could control himself. And all the teasing was just teasing. Jason didn’t know he was gay. Unclenching his fists, Tom opened another beer and started clearing the table.
He’d go to bed soon; once he was sure Jason was all right, he’d retreat into his room. Tomorrow, he’d go to Aiden, say he only wanted a short massage, and then he’d swing by John’s and drop the leash in his letterbox. Then he’d come back home and not see a soul until Easter was over and Jason had gone home.
With a sigh, he remembered he had to help Jen with the egg hunt. He actually liked helping, it was fun. The tiredness wanting to drag him under would pass, and Easter Sunday would be great. He wondered how much money had been donated this year, and how many eggs Jen had bought. The jar in the café filled up fast, because everyone in town was keen on keeping the tradition alive. The only downside was how long it took if Jen bought eggs with the full amount. Tom feared it would take hours.
Now what? If he was naked in there, Tom would throw him out and he could sleep in his car. He strode towards the bathroom, not even hesitating to yank the door open. “What?”
The growl died on his tongue as he realised Jason was already in the tub. He was naked, all right. The water was clear, and Tom fought to keep his eyes averted from the fine hair sprinkled over Jason’s chest, his clearly defined top abs… He snapped his gaze up to Jason’s face before the temptation to follow the string of hairs on his belly downwards became too great. The colour had drained from Jason’s face, and his eyes were once again wide. Tom forgot all about defined chests and bare bits.
“I…erm…” Jason held up his right hand for Tom to see. The bandage was soaked in deep-red blood.
“Shit. We need to get you to a doctor.” Tom reach for a towel, ready to help Jason out of the water.
“No.” He shook his head in short, almost frantic movements.
“Come on, Jason. If we can’t stop the bleeding, we need to let a doctor see it.”
“No, I’m not going.”
“Don’t be a baby. This is dangerous shit.” Tom hadn’t thought it possible, but Jason paled further.
“I can’t.” The whisper was hardly audible, and something began to ache inside of Tom.
“What are you afraid of?”
“I’m not afraid!” The short puffs of air and the white-knuckled grip Jason had on the bathtub’s lip told him otherwise.
“Is it blood?”
“No one likes blood.”
Tom shrugged. There were probably quite a few who did, but it was hardly a discussion he was getting into now. “Doctors?”
“I’m not afraid of doctors!”
“Great. Let’s go, then. I see an evening filled with blood and doctors, but since you aren’t afraid of either of those, we’ll be fine.”
Jason still didn’t move.
“Jason, I’m serious. We need to go see someone.”
“I can’t.” Jason wouldn’t meet his eyes, and he didn’t move from the bathtub.
“I just can’t, okay? No hospitals or health centres.”
Tom tugged a little on his beard. He had to get Jason to a doctor. The wound had been bleeding for hours now. It needed stitching, or glueing, or whatever they did with wounds in the middle of the hand.
“You’re on the run from someone?”
“Then you have to give me a good reason for not carrying your naked arse out to the car right now.”
“I…I…it’s the needles.”
“We don’t even know if there will be any.” Though Tom was pretty certain there would be. “Maybe they’ll glue it.”
The Egg Hunt in the JMS shop (20% off)
Jason has one rule when it comes to holidays — work his shift behind the bar and then find a willing body to distract himself with. One night is long enough to satisfy his needs and still walk away with his heart intact. It has worked out fine for most of his adult life, but this Easter, he’s trying something new. He’s leaving the city to visit his friend Aiden, who recently moved in with his boyfriend in the middle of nowhere, but one unfortunate incident leaves Jason without a place to sleep.
Tom doesn’t just not do relationships, he rarely does hook-ups, either, and never too close to home. Living on his own without attachments is easier than having the whole town knowing about him. As the holiday approaches, his lonely house grows even quieter than normal — at least until his friend Tristan dumps an arrogant bartender in his lap.
As soon as Jason lays eyes on the gruff lumberjack whose home he’ll be sharing, he knows who’ll warm his bed for the weekend and help chase away any pending holiday gloom. Too bad Tom doesn’t want to get with the program. As much as he wants to let Jason close, he won’t risk outing himself for a weekend fling. Will Jason trust Tom not to break his heart if he stays longer than a couple of days? Will Tom value their relationship higher than the town gossip?