First, I want to say thank you to Mary Calmes for hosting me on her blog today! I've written a short little story to go along with my recent release, 6 Days To Valentine, now available from Wilde City Press. I hope you enjoy!
Why Nick Hates Valentine’s Day: Reason 32
Miss Carroll watched as her second grade class scurried around the room delivering Valentine’s Day cards to the other kids—all except little Nicholas, who stood at the side of the room clutching a single envelope in his hand, looking unsure of himself.
It wasn’t the first time since she started teaching eight years ago she’d managed a Valentine’s Day meltdown, and experience told her to nip it in the bud as fast as possible before it spread like an airborne plague, affecting the rest of her smiling, over-sugared brood. There was ten minutes to go in the school day, and the last thing she needed was a bunch of sniveling children crying to their parents.
She stepped over to the little boy, noticing his dark brown hair was shaggy and unkempt and needed another cut. She’d have to send a note home soon to remind his mother of their dress code. At least it was clean this week.
“Honey? Is everything okay?” She used her ‘motherly voice’—the one designed to encourage calm cooperation, though Nicholas seemed to ignore it most days. Now he just nodded his head, eyes to the ground.
“What’s that in your hand? Is that a Valentine for someone?” He nodded again still not looking up, and she bit her lip, vexed. A quick glance around told her she was within minutes of losing control. While most of the children had returned to their seats and were quietly opening up the little white envelopes filled with cartoon characters stamped on heart-shaped cardboard, a handful had started standing on chairs, waving cards around.
“Do you need me to deliver it for you?” She glanced at her watch. The bell would ring in five minutes…if they could just hold on… So focused on her escape, she almost missed him looking up at her with such gratitude, that she jumped in surprise.
“Oh, is this a special valentine for someone you care about?” It was always so cute when the shy ones had their first crushes. Nicholas smiled and held out the card.
She turned it over in her hand several times, looking for the name of the girl who’d managed to draw Nicholas out of his shell…but the only thing written on the envelope in firm black pencil was “Rick”.
“Oh, I see the problem—you wrote the wrong name on it!” She looked over to her desk to see if she had an eraser handy when the tugging on the sleeve became quite insistent.
“It is for Rick.” Nicholas looked up at her with shining green eyes, and her heart sank. Every few years this happened. She wished parents took a firmer stand and told their kids the facts of life before sending them off to school.
“I’m sorry, honey—but boys don’t give other boys special valentine cards like that.”
“They don’t?” The shine in the boy’s eyes seemed to be increasing so Miss Carroll hurried on.
“No, honey. You need to pick a girl to give your special card to. That’s the way it works. You don’t want Rick to feel bad, do you?”
“But he’s my friend. Why would he feel bad?”
Miss Carroll sighed. There was no doubt about it. Those were tears sitting on Nicholas’ thick, long lashes—another thing that only belonged on girls.
“Yes, he is Nicholas, and you don’t want him to stop being your friend do you? Come on. Lets get your things ready to go.”
She dropped the card in the wastebasket, satisfied of her good deed and dismissed the boy from her mind. Teaching was hard, and the twenty-nine wriggling bodies spread out across the classroom, some on chairs, some crawling under the tables playing floor tag, only made it worse. Thank God the school day was nearly over.
She never noticed Nicholas carefully picking his card out of her trash and smoothing it against his chest as the bell rang, thankful another Valentine’s Day was done for the year.
* * * *
In Nick’s perfect world, Valentine’s Day would be struck from the calendar.
Nick’s dreams of a Happily Ever After were shredded long ago and the last thing he and his customers need is a bunch of happy loving couples rubbing it in their faces.
Bouncer Fat Boy Newman is willing to bet he knows Nick’s heart better than he does. He has just six days to change Nick’s mind about romance and the holiday and the perfect man to do it.
Too bad it’s not him.
Too bad Nick’s not going down without a fight.
Too bad he cheats.
Buy Link: http://www.wildecity.com/books/gay-romance/6-days-to-valentines/
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LE Franks lives in the SF Bay Area, surrounded by inspiration everywhere. After years of ignoring the voices in her head, LE is finally taking off the filters and giving the stories free rein. These days, she can be found frequently writing about sexy men who desperately need a happily ever.
LE writes M/M Romance in a unique mix of humor and drama with enough suspense to produce fast paced stories filled with emotion and passion and featuring characters that are quirky and complicated. Don’t expect the typical rugged hero or sophisticated businessman with the world at their feet; LE’s men are living in the margins--they're in the middle of their journey, doing the best they can while searching for a connection to something bigger than themselves. With a little effort and a lot of luck they may actually find their happily-ever-afters.
When not writing, LE wrangles an odd assortment of jobs (six – at last count), houseguests (including pro baseball players), family, and friends. Manifesting an odd combination of contradictory talents and traits, LE is tragically honest and personally deceptive, and makes the best piecrust – ever.