EXCERPT FROM HOPE BY WILLIAM NEALE:
“Can I carry him?” Spencer whispered a few minutes later.
“Sure, go ahead. He’ll just be pissed tomorrow when he finds out he slept through it.”
Spencer carefully and gently lifted the sound-asleep boy from the daybed, cradling him in his arms. Like a lightning bolt from the sky he was struck with awe. It was a totally unexpected feeling of love and paternal protection he’d never imagined existed in him. In the flash of a second, he understood every reason why Hunter had adopted this boy. He wanted to hold Ethan in his arms like this and watch him sleep for the rest of the night. He looked so innocent and even angelic; it was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen.
“Uh—Spencer,” Hunter whispered with a knowing smile, “we need to go. The door’s this way,” he pointed as he pushed Ethan’s wheelchair in that direction. Whispering their goodbyes to Harvey and Marge, they quietly returned to the warm yellow light glowing from the cracked-open door of the stone cottage.
Just as Spencer began to ever-so-softly lower Ethan onto his bed, the boy opened his eyes and blinked twice in disbelief. “Oh, just wait till I tell Dad what I dreamed,” he murmured groggily. “My friend Spence tucked me in.”
As his head hit the pillow, Ethan’s eyes closed again but a smile remained on his sleeping face. Knowing there was always a chance that Ethan might never wake, Spencer could no longer contain tears in his eyes. He leaned down and kissed Ethan’s forehead and then looked up to see Hunter watching, standing close, smiling.
“My God, what just happened?” Spencer said a minute later, now returned to the living room sofa where they both sat. He brushed his eyes with the back of his hand.
“That, my friend, is why I get up every day.”
“I’ve never felt anything like that in my life. Never. For just a few minutes I felt like he was my son too. It was like an epiphany. Gosh, I hope that doesn’t offend you.”
“Do you know how many potential boyfriends have run away from here as fast as they could as soon as they found out about Ethan?” He paused, blushing. “Not that you’re a potential boyfriend, of course. I’m saying this badly, but know that I’m pleased and honored you like him so much.”
“Would you like me to be a potential boyfriend?”
“Well—uh—I can’t imagine why someone like you would be interested in just a plain looking, ordinary cello player with a sick kid.”
Spencer scooted closer to Hunter and looked him closely in the eye. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful and extraordinary man than the one I’m looking at right now.”
He gripped Hunter’s neck with one hand and pulled him closer so that their lips touched first tentatively and then with certainty in the emotions Spencer wanted to communicate. And with the connection of their tongues and the dulcet sounds of soft, small moans coming from both their throats, he wrapped his arms around Hunter and pulled him even closer.
Seconds, maybe minutes later, they parted, both breathing heavily. Spencer could feel his erection pressing urgently inside his jeans and he had to force himself to pull away and take a deep breath before things went any further. He felt an attraction for Hunt unlike any he had ever known.
“Wow. Oh wow—I wasn’t expecting that,” Hunter gasped.
“I’m sorry, Hunt. God—I’m so sorry. I don’t know what came over me. That was way out of line and I apologize. I’ll leave right now.”
“No—Jesus—don’t go. I didn’t say I didn’t like it. It’s just—damn—I haven’t been kissed like that in a very long time.”
“You mean you’re okay with it?”
Hunter smiled with a tease in his eye. “Well, maybe to be sure, we should try it again.”
Their second kiss melted into a third, fourth, and fifth until keeping count was entirely a meaningless exercise. Spencer was painfully erect and at some point, he realized Hunter’s hand was gripping his cock through the taut denim fabric of his pants.
“Maybe I really should be going,” he breathed into Hunter’s ear, “before things get out of control.” He couldn’t resist biting lightly on the soft, pink lobe before pulling away.
“Mmmm,” Hunter moaned. “No—please—don’t go.” He lifted up to meet Spencer’s eyes. “Listen—I haven’t asked a man this question in a very long time and that’s the God’s truth…” Hunter glanced away for a brief second to steel his courage. “But would you like to stay the night?”