Give Me One Night
Brody O’Connor joins the revelry of the yearly St. Patrick's Day pub crawl, hunting a like-minded man for a night of fun and frolic with no strings attached. When a mystery man in an emerald green shirt engages Brody’s interest, it doesn’t take long for the hunter to become the prey.
Well-matched with his mystery man, Brody regrets his "no strings" approach to a night of shared passion that leaves him hungry for more. The morning after, Evan is gone, as agreed. Brody knows it was a mistake to let him go, and vows to find him.
Evan also never expected to meet someone like Brody. Now Brody wants to change the rules, and Evan decides he’ll give Brody one more night to convince him to stay.
By nine o’clock, I wasn’t sure if I was worried or angry, but I was jittery. Caught up in that first flush of a new relationship, I missed him on a visceral level. I longed for his presence, for his smell, his heat. His laughter.
I resisted the urge to call his cell phone, mainly because I didn’t want him to think I was checking up on him. A family visit could last a lot longer than anticipated. A lot.
What had begun between Evan and me was not imaginary. It was remarkable and real, powerful and potent. Yes, we had a lot to learn about each other still, but I wanted to take my time, peel back the layers of him slowly, savoring each new revelation.
I’d reached my mid-thirties and had learned a few things. I could read people pretty well. Evan was as serious about me as I was about him. The only games he would play were those like the night of the pub crawl, open and for all to see. If he planned to see someone else on his way back to me, he would have said so.
Midnight came, draping a heavy cloak of worry over my shoulders. I knew, beyond any doubt, he’d not purposefully stood me up. I paced the floor, trapped by the four walls and a sense of impending disaster.
When the doorbell rang, I was unprepared for the adrenaline rush of fear that paralyzed me. I shook it off, bolted to the door, and flung it open. Darren and Cole stood there, grim-faced. A cold finger of unease traced the length of my spine.
“Do you two know what time it is?”
Cole, another of the Rumours partners, and an old friend, grasped my elbow. “Brody, we need to sit down.”
I pulled away from him. “Why? What’s wrong?”
“Brody, just how is it between you and Evan Delapontes?”
My stomach roiled, churning up acid. “Serious. What’s wrong?”
Darren moved to my side, close. “Listen, Brody. We don’t know much. Cole was on call this afternoon.”
My knees threatened to give out. Cole was a paramedic.
“What call?” I grabbed him by the front of his jacket. He didn’t try to shake me off, just covered my hands with his.
“About five o’clock, someone ran a red light and broad-sided Evan Delapontes’ Jaguar. I recognized him ’cause he works in the same building with Nate. When I got to the club just a bit ago, Darren said you and he had a thing going…”
Seven hours ago. I should not have worried about pissing him off and gone looking for him.
The world took on an unreal, distant quality. The air in my lungs felt heavy, liquid. Surely I hadn’t heard Cole correctly. Darren’s voice came to me through a tunnel.
Cold fear, so icy it burned in my chest, kept me from asking the question, the answer to which could end all the hopes I’d built during the day.
Darren saw and spared me. “He’s in intensive care at County General.”