Up North | Quinny, Focus!

quinnyfocusQuinny, Focus! wasn’t a story I planned on writing. I was wrapping up one project when an email appeared in my inbox, saying JMS-Books was looking for short stories featuring dating during social distancing.

2020 is the year we’ve had to learn to do just about everything we took for granted differently from how we used to, and dating is no longer what it used to be.

I figured if the pandemic hit the world, it would also have an impact on how life is lived Up North…at least in this story LOL.

Quincy Dean has the hots for his neighbour, or he thinks he has at least. For months he’s been chatting with William Johnson, and Will has been his lifeline during lockdown. William Johnson lives across the yard, and Quincy keeps an eye on everything he does.

It all fits, when Will says it’s time for bed, the lights go out across the yard. When they’re having coffee, Quincy can see Will fetching a cup from the kitchen. It all fits! Until it doesn’t.


Grabbing his phone, he called Ty.



“Don’t call me that!”

“Right. How are—”

“I need help!”

Ty sighed. “I know, sweetie. We’ve been over this. There are several therapists—

“Sexting, how do you do it?”

Ty spluttered, then he chuckled. “Oh… This will be interesting.”

“No, I’m panicking!”

The chuckle continued. “Really? I couldn’t tell.”

“Don’t be an ass.” Quincy plugged in his hands-free and started the car. “I told Will I would give him instructions later, and he asked if it meant he was getting naked. I wrote maybe.”

“Well, you’re already sexting, aren’t you?”

“No, we’re not. That’s flirting. But what if he wants me to…you know…tell him what to do. I can’t.”

“Hey, asking you to tell him what to do over the phone doesn’t mean he wants you to be his dom.”

Quincy’s knuckles whitened as he grabbed the steering wheel harder. “But what if he does? You know how successful people sometimes want to let go and have someone else call the shots when they’re off the clock.”

Ty sighed. “Where did you read that?”

Quincy focused on the traffic. “I…eh… It’s commonly known.”

“Commonly known?”

“You know what I mean. Someone who takes a lot of responsibility and makes a lot of important decisions during their workhours wants to hand over control at the end of the day.”

“Honey…” Ty sighed. “While I’m sure it might be correct in some cases, I don’t think you can generalize, and what do you know about his job? Didn’t you say he’d moved here for a job that didn’t pan out? Or was it the bad breakup with the ex?”

Quincy frowned. “Eh…work, he said he moved here for work, but it didn’t work out due to the pandemic. He’s never mentioned an ex, it was my assumption.”

But if he didn’t have a job, what was he doing on his computer all day? Quincy had learned his schedule. Who followed a strict schedule when they weren’t working? “Oh no, he’s OCD.”

Ty groaned. “Stop it.”

“What?” His voice bounced around the car making him wince.

“You’re making up things. You don’t know if he’s into D/s relationships, you don’t know if he’s OCD, you don’t know if the person you’re talking to is your neighbor, you don’t even know if you’re talking to a guy.”

Quincy spluttered. “Of course he is!” But what if he wasn’t talking to his neighbor? What was Will doing on the computer every day? His heart beat fast enough to hurt.

“Quincy, take a deep breath for me.”

Quincy didn’t want to, but he did anyway.

“Good, now tell me, calmly, what was said in the conversation with Will.”

“Well…” Quincy signaled a turn off the freeway and onto Clover Street. “He wanted to know where to meet me, and I told him I’d give him instructions later, and he asked if those instructions would include getting naked.” He turned off Clover Street and onto Dandelion Road. There was a spot right next to Will’s car, so Quincy parked there. Frowning, he compared his rusty, dirty Toyota to Will’s shiny BMW. It wasn’t a match made in heaven.

“So he was flirting?”

Quincy jumped as Ty’s voice reminded him that he was in a conversation. “I guess. But we haven’t talked about getting naked before.”

Ty was quiet for a few seconds. “You haven’t talked… What have you been talking about?”

Quincy grabbed the grocery bag from the trunk and shrugged. “All kinds of things, you know, normal things.”

“Normal things?”

Quincy frowned again, what had they been talking about? There were a lot of gifs and memes, some discussions about the news, what they planned to do once this whole pandemic was over. “Well, you know how the day was and such.”

“So you’re talking as if you’re in a relationship, but you haven’t discussed sex?”

“Not everything is about sex, Ty.”

“Clearly not, but now he opened the bag, didn’t he?”

Quincy’s heart beat faster again.

“Do you want him to get naked?”

“Of course, I do! But it’s weird over messages. I want to see him, touch him, taste him. But it’s not going to happen any time soon.”

“No, so this is the closest you’ll get.”

Quinny, Focus! in the JMS shop


quinnyfocusQuincy 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.