Kace and Lukas have been best friends for over thirty years, but the last couple of years they haven’t talked much. Lukas’ girlfriend doesn’t like Kace, he doesn’t know why that is, but he’s dreading the wedding invitation or news about a baby on the way he suspects will reach him any day now.
One afternoon there’s a knock on Kace’s door. Lukas is standing outside, not to deliver a wedding invitation, but to ask if he could stay with Kace for a bit.
He is separating.
When Lukas kisses him, Kace doesn’t know what to do. He wants to kiss Lukas, but Lukas is straight, isn’t he? And even if he wasn’t, Kace doesn’t know if he can risk ruining their friendship. Lukas is the most important person in his life. He can’t lose him.
Taking another sip, there was a bang on the door. Kace groaned. He only wore a pair of jeans, no shirt, and he hadn’t had a shower yet. When the door handle rattled, he hurried toward the tiny hallway.
“Yes?” The cold March air teased his bare skin. Outside stood Lukas Holland, his best friend since kindergarten. “Luke, what are you doing here?”
They hadn’t seen much of each other lately. Kace didn’t know what it was, but Stacy, Lukas’ girlfriend, disliked him—a lot. Could be because he was queer, or maybe because he worked at a gay club without being ashamed. She’d said something about it once. You tell people you work there? And then she’d widened her eyes and shaken her head, not at him, but at Lukas.
“Can I come in?” The slurred speech and the way he stumbled told Kace he was drunk before he smelled the fumes.
“What’s up, dude? You’re drunk on a Monday afternoon.”
Luke dropped a backpack on the floor right on the threshold and pushed Kace against the wall. Kace went willingly. He was a big guy, Lukas was not. Had he wanted to stand his ground, he could have.
Then Lukas cupped his neck with one hand and pulled him down, pressing his lips against Kace’s. He opened his mouth in surprise. Lukas took advantage, caressed his tongue with his, and moaned.
What is going on? Kace tentatively raised his hands—to push him away or pull him closer, he didn’t know.
When Lukas pushed closer, Kace noted the hard length pressing against his thigh, and heat exploded in his mind.
“Luke.” He grabbed his shoulders and gently pushed him away from him. “What are you doing?”
“I’ve wanted to do that for a long time.” Lukas didn’t meet his gaze. His eyes were locked on Kace’s lips.
“Luke, you’re drunk.” And straight. And Kace’s best friend. They might do manly hugs, but they didn’t kiss. Sometimes Lukas snuggled up next to him on a sofa when they watched a movie or something, but it was nothing sexual. This was…
“Why are you drunk?”
“Can I stay with you?”
Kace stared. His apartment slash row house wasn’t big. It was enough for him, but his bedroom didn’t leave room for more than a bed. His living room was about the smallest he’d ever seen, and he only had a three-seat sofa, a coffee table, and a TV. His bathroom had a corner shower where he banged his elbows on the wall every time he washed his hair. And his kitchen was more like a kitchenette than a real kitchen. In the corner, he’d set up a shelf he’d placed his computer on. It didn’t leave room for any office supplies, but it worked for him.
Having another person living there would mean they’d trip over each other.
“Why do you want to stay here? Hang on. I’ll call Stacy.” He turned to get his phone in the kitchen.
“No.” Lukas grabbed his arm. His blue eyes were unfocused, his dark hair a mess, and there was stubble on his cheeks. Lukas shaved every morning.
“Why? Are you having a fight?”
Lukas sighed. “Kind of.”
Kace Channing has been best friends with Luke Holland for thirty-five years. He can’t imagine his world without him. But, over the last twelve months, they’ve hardly seen one another. And life without Luke seems empty.
When Luke shows up on Kace’s doorstep, asking for a place to stay, Kace is happy to say yes. But he isn’t prepared for the kiss that follows, or ready to admit that he could kiss Luke forever. What they already have is too important.
And when Luke, the least outdoorsy person Kace knows, tells him he’s buying a cabin in the woods, he tries to talk him out of it. But Luke’s made up his mind. He says they need it, the two of them.
But won’t kisses and cabins ruin their friendship?
Contemporary Gay Romance: 12,836 words