Excerpt from The Thirteenth Halloween


Night had fallen by the time Thomas finally extricated himself from his memories. He exited the car, grabbed the stack of smaller moving boxes from the backseat, and climbed the three steps to the front door. Old newspapers littered the stoop. Clearly no one had thought to warn the delivery boy that Jim had passed away.

The key to the front door had remained on Thomas’ key ring all these years. He’d thought of sending it back with one of his yearly cards, but had held on to the bit of metal like he had his memories.In those memories, the door opened smoothly to a brightly lit foyer. Tonight, Thomas had to set the boxes down, put his shoulder to the wood and push hard to get the door to budge. It felt as though someone had been behind the door, holding it in place with all their weight. It finally yielded with a protest of creaking wood. Thomas walked in, automatically reaching for the switch to the right of the door. When the lights didn’t come on, Thomas called himself an idiot. He’d had the water, gas, and electricity shut off the previous week.

It didn’t matter. All he had to do was whisper a word imbued with power, and a ball of pure white light appeared a foot over his right shoulder. It had been one of the very first spells he’d learned, a century and half earlier: light to banish the shadows that scared a child so far from home.

Thomas closed the door, ready to push hard again, but it swung shut easily. Before he could puzzle that out, he noticed the raincoat hanging from the metal hook to the left of the door. The familiarity of the sight sent a pang of nostalgia through him, like the deep, mournful sound of a metal gong, and another memory resurfaced.

***

“I’m home.”

Thomas shrugged out of his jacket and hung it next to Jim’s raincoat. Next he pulled off his shoes, wriggling his toes as he freed them from hard leather. He was nothing if not a creature of habit.

He followed his nose to the delicious smell wafting from the kitchen and stopped dead on the threshold, his blood rushing down to his dick.

Jim was leaning over a large pot on the stove, stirring the contents with a wooden spoon. Thick volutes of steam were rising from the pot, and with the wet heat, Jim’s auburn hair was even curlier than usual. Whatever was in the pot was boiling, but Jim had slipped on an apron to protect himself from splatters.

He wasn’t wearing anything but the apron.

“Dinner’s almost ready,” he said, throwing a sideways grin at Thomas.

Thomas’ mouth dried up while his eyes roamed over the long expanse of Jim’s back to the lovely curve of his lover’s toned ass. He had to struggle to push words out. “Dinner? But it’s not even three.”

Dinner was at seven. Dinner was always at seven. After a dozen years of living together, Thomas didn’t think he needed to point out how attached he was to his schedule.

With a flourish, Jim turned off the burner and set the spoon down. “I know that.” Amusement glittered like gold in his brown eyes when he approached Thomas. His apron, emblazoned with the words ‘Kiss the cook’s ass,’ was already tenting in front of him. “It gives us plenty of time to work up an appetite.”

 

… continued in The Thirteenth Halloween

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