June is PRIDE month in Toronto where I live. It culminates in the big parade at the end of the month. This year is particularly celebratory because it’s the tenth anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the province of Ontario. This week, the local newspaper had a lovely OpEd piece written by one of the men who was among the first to get married ten years ago. Check it out. It’s a short read but really captures the change in attitudes over the past decade. It’s one of those things that makes me proud to be a Canadian. I firmly believe that no matter what your personal opinion is on marriage–religious, civil or archaic institution–everyone deserves the right to have the option and ability to make that choice for themselves.
In the spirit of Pride, I am very happy to announce that Dreamspinner Press has picked up my first longer novella “When Adam Kissed Me” and will be publishing it in the November/ December time frame. I will, of course, post more details as I know them. From the title, you may have guessed that this is a continuation of “Inseparable” which was published last December and introduced best friends Adam and Joe. Inspired by the reception the first novella received, I was driven to write the rest of the story (or, well, at least the next phase), and spent January-March getting it down in print. The new novella is both a sequel and a prequel (how is that possible?? you’ll have to wait to see), but you don’t have to have read “Inseparable” in order to read “When Adam Kissed Me”. Below is a sneak peak. Enjoy and Happy Pride!
Nine weeks. That’s how long it had been since Adam kissed me on Christmas Eve and changed everything.
Nine and a half weeks, to be exact. Just like the movie—only without all the sex.
I blamed it all on my biological clock. Okay, so it’s usually only women you hear complaining about that sort of thing, but in the last few months, mine had kicked in and was ticking like a time bomb. The sad truth is, if I hadn’t been dwelling on my approaching thirtieth birthday, and starting the family I always wanted—difficult to do as long as I was still pining for my straight best friend Adam, and with no potential partner on the horizon—then I never would have made the decision to move out of the apartment we shared. And without that disastrous choice, Adam and I would never have fought for the first time in our lives, and Adam would never have been so upset that he stepped in front of that car. There would have been no agonizing wait in the hospital to find out if he would make it, no broken ribs, no concussion, and no temporary amnesia.
And Adam never would have kissed me. So yeah, it was a bit of a catch-22.
In a way it was like starting over. Not only for Adam, whose head injury meant he hadn’t remembered anything of his life at first, but for me as well. As the sheer terror of seeing Adam’s limp and bloodied body sprawled on the pavement slowly receded from my mind, and Adam’s memories returned, I understood that we’d been given a second chance to explore what we’d both wanted, but never had the courage to admit to each other.
I’d thought a lot about us in the days since Christmas. There was anger, sure, that he’d kept something so important secret for so long, but that was nothing compared to the giddy relief I experienced every time I looked at Adam. He’s alive, I’d think with a burst of joy, and that was all that mattered. The accident drove home the truth that I had been hiding from most of my life: I couldn’t live without him.
But moving from the safe realm of friendship to something more was difficult too, getting to know that side of Adam I had purposefully ignored for years. Adam, the man I wanted in my bed, versus Adam, the best friend and boy I grew up with. After nine weeks, I was still struggling to define our new relationship, so I found the comparison with Mickey Rourke’s eighties masterpiece ironic, since that movie was all about sex and so far I’d had none.
Nine long, glorious, torturous, frustrating weeks; every night I slept beside Adam, listening to the sound of his breathing, waking up every few hours to make sure he was still there. Sometimes I just watched him sleep. At first it hadn’t been so difficult keeping a hands-off policy. The man could barely walk without assistance—he certainly wasn’t up for anything more than some kissing and cuddling on the couch. I bought a small television and moved it into my room, and we spent the holidays lying in bed together watching movies. Except for the Adam nearly dying thing, it was the best Christmas I could remember.
I should have known that it couldn’t last.