Title: Earning His Trust
Author: Alicia Nordwell
Release Date: September 6th 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Evin lost the only two men he ever loved. But he might get a second chance with one of them—if he’s willing to take the risk.
Following the death of his husband, Evin is living in Portland and raising the infant son they had through a surrogate. Six-month-old Micah is his life, and if it means no time for activities or friendships beyond his minuscule support network, that’s a sacrifice Evin is willing to make. When he suffers a burn baking teething biscuits, the last person Evin expects to encounter in the ER is Ben, his lover from college—and the man who left him without a word of explanation.
Ben knows it won’t be easy to earn Evin’s trust and prove he’s not the same man Evin once knew, but he can’t bear to watch Evin struggle to care for Micah, hurting and alone. He wants back in Evin’s life, as a friend and hopefully more, but Evin’s heart is fragile, and the years have changed him too.
“Okay?” Ben looked up.
“Yeah. It doesn’t really hurt if I don’t try to move my fingers, but it doesn’t feel good either. Sort of sends a twist up my spine.” Evin had to fight not to pull his hand away. “You have good hands. Um. I mean, doctor’s hands.” What a stupid thing to say.
Ben hesitated, but he didn’t comment. “Sorry. I need to cover it all with the cream, though. The skin on these blisters on your palm is thin, and I don’t want it to break and be exposed to any fecal bacteria.”
Evin nodded. He bit his lip and kept his mouth shut as Ben covered his palm and then turned his hand over. The blisters there weren’t as bad as the one on his palm but still looked puffy and ugly. “This won’t scar, right?”
Ben spoke without looking up. “You’ll have some redness for a while, but no, it shouldn’t leave permanent scars.” His long fingers gently held the gauze pads over the cream on the top and bottom of Evin’s hand, and then he began wrapping the brown stretchy stuff over everything. “There.” He smoothed the edge down. “I know it looks like I used a lot, but if you can keep it dry, this bandage can stay on for twenty-four hours. Remember to use about the same amount of cream when you redo the bandages.”
“Thanks.” Evin didn’t know what else to say. He reached for the paper wrappers from the pads.
“I got it.” Crumpling them up in his hand, Ben got up. “Garbage under the sink?” he asked.
“No, in the cleaning pantry. The door on that wall.” Evin pointed to the alcove next to the refrigerator.
“You know, you need to babyproof your oven door and knobs. I see you’ve locked the cupboards, but that’s not enough once Micah starts pulling himself up.”
Now he was going to tell Evin how to take care of his own child? “I know that, Ben. I even have the locks here; I just haven’t put them on. Micah’s not even pulling himself up to his feet yet, so I have some time. I’m not stupid.”
Ben shook his head. “I didn’t say you were.”
“That’s what it sounded like.” Evin glared at him. “I would never let Micah get hurt.”
“Accidents happen.” Ben looked pointedly at Evin’s hand resting on the table.
Enough was enough. “Yes, they do. And sometimes people let bad things happen that aren’t accidents. I think it’s time for you to go. I appreciate the bandages, and thank you again for the teething biscuits.” Evin walked toward the front door.
Evin pulled open the door, shivering as a cool blast of air swirled in the entry. “What, Ben? What other condescending, arrogant remark do you have to say now?”
Ben’s shoulders slumped. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound like—”
“An ass? Cause you are.”
“Yeah.” Ben didn’t say anything else, even though Evin expected him to try to justify his comments. Ben paused facing Evin, standing just a foot away. “I meant it when I said I wished we’d kept in touch. Is there any way I could, I mean, that we could try again?”
“I’m not dating.” Evin closed his eyes. He wasn’t ready to even think about seeing someone else, even casually, no matter how lonely he was.
“No, I know that ship’s sailed. Can we try to be friends, though? We were really good friends once.”
“I don’t know.” Evin waffled. Ben had really hurt him, and if he told Gianna he was opening himself up to Ben again, even as friends, she’d probably flip out on him. But in two days she’d be gone, and Evin would be alone again.
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About the Author
The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she’s a MM romance author: “Why gay fiction? Why write men when you’re a woman?” and her answer is: “Why the hell not!” Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started… Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing.
Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she’s a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.