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Authors: Taylor Lewis

Tags: #Gay & Lesbian, #Literature & Fiction, #Fiction, #Gay, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Gay Romance, #Genre Fiction, #Romantic Comedy

A Memory Away

BOOK: A Memory Away
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A Memory Away

Taylor Lewis

Copyright 2014 Taylor Lewis

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Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far in my writing. You are appreciated more than you can imagine.

A Memory Away



Taylor Lewis

Chapter 1.
Gerritsen’s morning was already pretty crappy and it didn’t look like it was going to improve any further when his best friend and assistant manager burst into the office they shared, slammed the door shut and plastered her back up against it to hiss, “Quick, out the bathroom window!”
He lifted
the cold cloth from his eyes from where he was trying to alleviate the tension headache that had been crippling him since he had arrived at his boutique to find the front window smashed in and the front half of the shop covered in glittering shards of glass. Kyle looked at Megan and said, “Excuse me?”
“The cops are here!”
Megan, her mocha skinned face flushed to an unhealthy hue, gestured wildly for Kyle to get up and get the hell out. “I’ll hold them off. Get out of here, Gerritsen.”
stared. “Megan, I’m the victim here. Traditionally that means I actually
to see the cops. We called them, remember?” He dropped the cloth onto his desk and stood with a weary sigh. He lifted a hand to make sure his artfully tousled auburn hair was still looking wonderful – mindless vandalism and horrendous crimes against defenceless fashion was no excuse for being badly presented after all – and said, “Take a load off, sweetie, I think the pressure’s getting to you.”

Kyle, you ass,” Megan shoved away from the door and crossed the small space dividing them. “Trust me, you do not want to see this particular cop. Ever! You need to get the hell out of here while you still can and...crap!” Her eyes fell on a large photo frame sitting prominently on the desk top by the discarded face cloth. “And you need to take that with you!”
picked up the photo frame containing a picture of his little son and Kyle yelped when it was slammed against his slender chest. He barely had time to fumble his hand up to secure it before Megan was spinning him in place and shoving him in the direction of the staff bathroom and the small window therein that led out into the back alley running behind the shop.
“Have you completely lost your mind?” He dug in his heels in protest when
Megan ignored him and continued to shove him relentlessly forwards. “Megan, stop, what’s going on? You’re being ridi....”
They both froze when a sharp knock sounded at the office door and a deep, masculine voice said, “Miss
Jones, is everything alright?” There was a pause and then a slightly more impatient knock sounded. “Miss Jones? You in there?”
“Out in a minute!”
Megan’s voice wobbled with nerves and sounded ridiculously loud in her agitation. “Just, uh, powdering my nose!”
Kyle hissed into the silence following this pronouncement. “Megan, what’s going on? I don’t understand. You’re acting crazy.”
“Trust me,”
Megan muttered grimly as she commenced trying to shove Kyle into the bathroom once more. “You think this is crazy, you just ain’t seen what’s on the other side of that door yet. That’s a whole lotta freak out, hold the sanity, just waiting to happen. You’re gonna thank me for this later.”
, rebounding painfully off the side of the tall filing cabinet standing to the side of the bathroom door, profoundly doubted it and tried to slip out of Megan’s maniacal grip, “Megan, I swear....”
They both jumped and loo
ked round when the office door opened and a tall, well-built man stepped inside. “Sorry,” said the man, not looking it in the slightest. “I heard voices. You’re Gerritsen, right?”
frowned, at a loss as to why Megan’s hands had suddenly tightened to claws on his shoulders, and said cautiously, “Yes?” He flinched when the hands tightened ever more and twisted out of Megan’s hold, frowning when she muffled a moan in her throat and shot him a stricken look. “I’m Kyle Gerritsen.”
The man nodded, flicking
Megan a disgruntled glance before crossing the office with his hand outstretched. “Detective Jonah Goldman. I’ll be heading up the investigation. You okay to answer a couple of questions?”
gave Megan an even more wary look when she widened her eyes at him and mouthed ‘
No, no, no
!’ urgently before turning and shooting Detective Goldman a blinding smile. “Coffee? I hear you guys practically run on that stuff. Follow me back out to the shop and....”
“I’m good.”
Goldman nodded at her and then turned his face into profile to yell out the open door. “Lopez, in here. Move your ass!”
And then
got it
, God bless her heart, caught him as he stumbled back and stared in horror at the man before him. Recognition flooded over him in waves and the hands gripping his son’s picture went damp with clammy sweat. “Keep it together.” Her voice whispered in his ear, low and tight with tension. “I will kick your ass if you punk out on me now, Kyle.”
stared in stunned recognition at the line of strong jaw and the familiar curve of full lips and managed to nod his head shakily. He flinched back when Goldman turned to face him again and raised an eyebrow curiously. “You okay?”
Meeting the eyes that were the mirror image of his son’s
, Kyle nodded wordlessly and wished desperately that he’d followed Megan’s advice when she had burst into the office.
eyed him narrowly. “You don’t look it.” His eyes skated over Kyle’s pale face and took in the rigid line of his body and the way his arms were folded defensively over the frame clasped to his chest. “You in shock?”
You have no idea
, thought Kyle wildly.
Why the hell is this happening to me
Megan said loudly, making a valiant attempt to distract Jonah’s upsettingly piercing stare from Kyle. “Shock. That’s it! He’s in shock. Very, very....”
Jonah interrupted, his full lips quirking. Kyle made a noise low in his throat at seeing his baby’s familiar mannerism on the man who had unknowingly helped create him. “Yeah, getting that.” He looked searchingly at Kyle’s face again and, not unkindly, said, “Sit down. You’ll feel better if you take a load off.”
“What’s going on?” The husky voice from the doorway had all three looking over and a confident looking Latino woman looked back. “You scaring the natives again,
Jonah?” Her mouth twisted into a cool smirk and she pushed past her partner with an outstretched hand. “Mr Gerritsen? I’m Detective Lopez, Goldman’s partner.” Shooting her partner an irritated look she continued, “It’s okay, he may look like a wild animal but he’s pretty tame really. If you’d just take a seat we can run through the questions we have and then we’ll get out of your hair and let you get on with cleaning up. That okay?”
stared at her, still mute, and nodded jerkily.
Both detectives eyed him and then ex
changed unreadable glances. Lopez nodded and stepped back, gesturing with a hand for Kyle to precede her. “Let’s get to it.”
stopped short when Jonah clapped a heavy hand on her shoulder and said without room for argument, “We’ll take that coffee now.” Without a hint of friendliness or warmth, Jonah smirked at her. “Please.”
Her eyes turned
towards Kyle who had just seated himself behind his desk and was still clutching his photo frame to his chest like a lifeline. Megan thought fast. “I don’t think....”
“Great. I take it black, Lopez white with sweetener.” Ignoring her futile attempts to dig her heels in – and
Kyle’s stricken expression as he watched his best friend all but strong armed from the room – Jonah escorted Megan to the door and then firmly shut it in her face. “Thanks.”
blinked at the wooden panel and swore under her breath. “
“So,” said Gina Lopez as she climbed into their car and buckled her seatbelt. “That was weird.”
grunted as he jammed the keys into the ignition and threw a cursory glance over his shoulder to check for traffic. “The guy’s a
and was wearing a pink silk shirt tied shut with ribbon. Weird was pretty much a given.”
snorted and re-checked her seatbelt was securely fastened because she had ridden extensively with Jonah for years and she wasn’t stupid. She gripped the dash as they shot out into the mid-morning traffic and looked one more time at the ruined shop front before it fell away behind them. “You know what I mean. Gerritsen looked like he was expecting you to jump across the desk and rip his fucking throat out.” She smirked. “Or like he just expected you to jump him across the desk.”
’s jaw tensed and he tried to forget the wide blue eyes that had stared at him with horrified dismay for the whole forty minute interview he and his partner had conducted. “He wishes.” He scowled fiercely and swung the car around a corner, ignoring Gina’s annoyed protest at the manoeuvre and tried to squash down the irrational anger in his gut at Kyle Gerritsen’s stricken manner in his presence. “Not my type.”
“Got a pulse and he’s breathing.”
Gina smirked at him. “That makes him your type.”
Jonah grunted and swung hard around another corner in retaliation. “Seriously, you’re hysterical.” He frowned to himself, recalling the death grip the guy had on the frame clasped in his arms and belatedly wished he had asked to see it. Must have been important from the way Gerritsen looked like he’d rather die than let it go and maybe it could have given them something to go on with that morning’s attack. “I like more butch to my lays, Lopez, you remember.” He took his eyes off the street for a moment and smirked back at her. “There’s a reason I kept fucking you for all those months, right?”
scowled and smacked her closed fist off his nearest shoulder. “You know when I said I’d shoot you if you ever brought that up again? I wasn’t kidding.” She grinned when he glowered and added sweetly, “Just keep pushing me, Goldman.” Satisfied she had sufficiently quelled him, Gina settled back into her seat and said, “Still, Gerritsen’s real pretty though. And you definitely had an effect on him.”
Jonah frowned and thought again of the terrified blue eyes that hadn’t left his face the whole time he was in the office and muttered under his breath, “Don’t think it’s the one I wanted.”
Chapter 2.
Jonah woke gasping and with his heart racing. He sat up in bed, feeling clammy sweat turn his naked torso chilled in the already cool room and cursed when he couldn’t control a shiver of reaction that almost immediately turned into a full body tremor. Shoving his covers aside he rolled out of bed to the bathroom adjoining his small bedroom and without bothering to slap on the overhead light turned on the shower. He stripped his jockey shorts from his body and fell into the warming spray with only the dim light from the street from his bedroom window to guide him. He stood braced for long minutes with his hands splayed on the wall and the water pounding directly onto his shaved head, fighting to control his breathing and calm his thudding heart.
It had been the usual confused j
umble of sounds and feelings. The thud of his skin being struck and pain exploding in his body as he tried, and failed, to fight back – but that Jonah could have coped with.
His life had never been free of what he might call drama and he was used to nursing split knuckles and bruised skin and shrugging it off with nothing more than a beer an
d a causal hook-up to help him through. What he really hated about this particular memory was that he couldn’t be sure it
a memory thanks to its habit of only surfacing in his dreams when he was defenceless and unaware. He inevitably woke drenched in sweat and unable to stop his body trembling in reaction until he had stumbled into the shower and stood alone in the dark and let the water pound away the cold deep inside and stench of fear and pain.
He took a shuddering breath and then another, forcing himself past the visceral reaction to the hated dream and instead trying to make himself focus on the details. He still lived in hope – some two years after the attack that robbed him of a week’s worth of memories – that he would be able to regain his memories of that n
ight and the days preceding it. He at least had the small consolation of knowing that his attack was the last and they had managed to finally catch the perps responsible for the reign of terror he had been charged with investigating.
He knew
that he had been undercover at the time. He’d spent nearly two months working on the case after all and he remembered that he had been part of a taskforce targeting a gang that were hitting the gay clubs in their area of New York and the patrons and cutting a bloody swathe through the men and women who frequented them. He remembered the initial briefing on the case and moments here and there of bars and clubs he had frequented whilst working the case. His next clear memory was waking in the hospital with Lopez sitting drawn and pale faced by the side of his bed, every bone in his body hurting, and it taking him nearly three days to ask for a drink without it coming out garbled nonsense.
It had taken
six months of intensive therapy before he had been cleared to go back to work to even ride a desk and almost as long again before he had finally been allowed back out on the streets. His doctors assured him that just having to contend with a brief period of memory loss and the occasional blinding headaches when he got overtired or stressed was a small price to pay when the overall medical opinion at the time was that he was either waking up a vegetable or he wasn’t waking up at all.
had known he was officially back to normal when Lopez had curled her lip and commented that him waking up a vegetable was on a par with his normal mental capacity pre-beating anyway and she wasn’t sure she would have noticed the difference. He had never told anyone about the recurring dreams, knowing that he would have spent a lot more time with the department shrink than either of them would have been happy with outside of the mandatory back-to-work assessments.
The shaking in his body finally ebbed away under the almost painful heat of the shower and
Jonah raised his head, sighing heavily as he pushed his face directly into the spray and the last of his sleep sweat was washed away. Knowing it was unlikely he would be able to get any more quality rest that night he showered and shaved in preparation for his working day and shut off the shower to stumble out into his bedroom and pull on cotton sweats and a long sleeved t-shirt after haphazardly towelling himself off.
He made his way out into his small living room, slapping on the overhead light as he went and glance
d at the clock on the wall as he passed – fuck, not even four AM yet. He stomped into the kitchen, switched on his coffee maker and then stood staring menacingly at it for fifteen minutes before it beeped to show it was ready to give up the good stuff. He poured himself a cup of coffee so strong it was very nearly capable of eating the mug from the inside. Going back out to the sitting room he turned off the light and then took himself to the window and stood staring out into the darkened street below to sip his coffee distractedly. He watched when Joe from the apartment below left a few minutes later to start his shift at the baker’s down the street and then grinned to himself when thirty seconds later Joe’s wife Stella chased him down the street with his bagged lunch and stole a raunchy kiss that, by rights, should have had him charging them both with breaching public decency laws.
He waited till Stella reached the steps of their shared building before rapping on the window pa
ne and leering down at her. He laughed outright when she flipped him the bird and mouthed ‘Fucking pervert!’ before stomping inside. He looked back to where Joe still stood, watching as his wife got safely back inside, and grinned when his buddy saluted him making a pantomime of adjusting himself inside his loose fitting jeans and then continued on his way to work.
continued to grin as he swallowed the last of his coffee and tried to ignore the stab of jealousy in his gut at the love and passion his neighbours shared. Before his accident he had been perfectly content to spread himself around as much as possible and with his dark good looks and well developed body there had been many takers. However, ever since his release from the hospital and subsequent resuming of normal life he had felt something lacking. He wouldn’t call himself lonely exactly, just...restless.
Where once upon a time he would have been content with having his work and sports buddies filling up his hospital room, interspersed with his mother and sister on a regular basis, he had also been aware that when they left and he was on his own there was no one there to let him lean on them for a little while instead of accepting the crooked smiles and smart ass remarks that everyone else let him get away with.
There were days he could have really just used a hug.
Snorting at himself he turned away from the window and went back to the kitchen to refill his mug. That was also the trouble with having the recurring dream – he turned into a fucking pussy
afterwards.  With his mug freshened he settled himself on his overstuffed couch and pulled the throw off the back to toss over his legs when he propped his feet up on his coffee table. Tilting his head back with a tired sigh he let his mind drift back over the previous day and idly started to see if he could figure out a link between the brick through Gerritsen’s boutique window and the other victims of the vandalism he was trying to stop.
Shifting himself into a more comfortable position he curled an arm back around his head and sipped automatically at his coffee as his mind skipped away from work matters and instead concentrated on the pretty hot – and very nervous –
Kyle Gerritsen.
’s lips curved in an unconscious smile against his mug. He recalled the huge, rounded eyes in the other man’s face as he had stared at him almost unblinkingly throughout the entire interview and the paleness of his skin and slim body accentuated by the – still very girly – silk shirt and close fitting pants that he wore.
Not that
Jonah had noticed that, even in passing.
He sunk a little lower in the cushions, wondering idly what it would be like to have those big eyes fixed on him in lust and want rather than apprehension and worry. A slight frown creased his brow as he wondered again what had caused the other man to go from politely curious when he introduced himself to almost rigid with terror when he had turned back around after yelling for Lopez to join them.
The frown deepened when he remembered that Gerritsen’s business partner had pulled the exact same stunt on the shop floor when he had started his preliminary interview with her. She’d started off okay – angry as all hell about the shop window and talking a mile a minute about what she was going to do to the perps when she caught up with them – and he had nodded absently along. He’d established his initial timeline of events, glancing up every now and then, and all of a sudden she had stopped short in the middle of her diatribe, gone bug eyed for a moment and then spluttered something about needing the bathroom before practically fleeing from the room.
wasn’t discounting the theory that both Gerritsen and his employee were recreational drug users tipping the scales heavily towards the scarily dependant end.
He chugged the last of his coffee and balanced the mug carelessly on the arm of the sofa before lacing both hands behind his head and staring reflectively up at the still darkened ceiling. He hadn’t been lying when he said to Lopez that
Gerritsen wasn’t his type. On the occasions that his eye got caught on the less feminine side of the equation he tended to go for men like himself – big, buff, cocky as all hell and guaranteed to be a challenge between the sheets.
, on the other hand, looked like he’d snap in a strong breeze and was possibly suffering from severe anaemia – both factors contributing strongly to the undeniable fact that he didn’t look a day over seventeen and Jonah
didn’t do jailbait.
He closed his eyes and wondered what those pretty lips would feel like parted under his and what those slender white hands would feel like clutching at his biceps as he bent over that wiry body and fu....his eyes opened and he stared accusingly down at his lap when his cock gave an enthusiastic twitch under his sweats and the concealing blanket.
Well, fuck.
Goldman most definitely did not do jailbait. His cock gave another twitch, Except, apparently, when he did.
The morning after the attack on his beloved store,
Kyle stood side by side with Megan behind the counter and watched as their new window was fitted. After he had gotten over the shock of seeing what he had come to call his son’s sperm donor make a sudden, and wholly unwelcome reappearance, Kyle had rallied admirably in the face of his extreme trauma. He was dealing with it by pretending it had never happened and embracing denial so fervently he was in danger of turning it into a new religion.
, on the other hand, remained frustratingly grounded in reality and refused to be side tracked from what she deemed to be the most pressing concern at hand. “You have to leave. You have to pack up your little white butts and hit the road to home and your daddy.”
rolled his eyes. “As much as I applaud your sense of dramatic flair, Megan, I refuse to turn my life into a movie of the week special. Just because you have a sudden yearning to play spunky, stubborn sidekick to my helpless, yet outrageously attractive, single parent does not mean I need to be quite so melodramatic. He didn’t even recognise me,” And hadn’t that
in the darkness of his lonely bedroom. “So I highly doubt he’s suddenly going to put two and two together and come up with back-alley-screw-that-he-knocked-up-two-years-ago. Possible, but extremely unlikely. I doubt we’ll even see him again, you know what the police are like. They came, they saw, they took our statements and they left. It’s over.”
popped the gum in her mouth – just because she knew it irritated the hell out of Kyle – and snapped back, “Hey, we didn’t recognise him at first either, but my point is that we did. What if
remembers? What if he comes back here looking for another hook up? What if he comes back here looking for another hook up and finds out about Shea and goes postal and sues you for custody? What if he
? He’s gonna take Shea away and you’ll only see him on alternate Sundays and this could all have been avoided if you’d have just taken my advice and hit the damn road.”
“Yes,” snapped
Kyle irritably, trying to ignore almost unbearable pounding in his chest at the thought of losing his baby boy, “That won’t look at all suspicious.” He folded his arms over his chest and tilted his nose into the air. “I think I’ll stick with the infinitely superior plan of knowing I’m lost in what is no doubt an absolute sea of one-night stands and brief hook-ups and go back to thanking my lucky stars that the only thing I took away from our encounter was Shea and not an absolute alphabet soup of STD’s.” He shuddered. “That is the absolute last time I rely on using condoms obtained in public restrooms.”
Being the good friend she was
Megan held up a hand and waited for Kyle to slap it with his own. “Amen to that, my brother.” Then she spoiled everything by dropping her hand and fixing him with a pointed glare. “Kyle, it was one thing when you didn’t know who he was and had no way of letting him know he’s got a kid, but lying to him and not telling him now he’s shown up....” She whistled quietly through her teeth and said, “Man, that’s cold.”
BOOK: A Memory Away
8.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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