This week, I’m giving a snippet from a short holiday story that’s coming out on October 20th: Leland’s Final Gift.
Bang! Thane jumped at the sound, glancing around as he stepped out of the elevator on the top floor of his apartment building. A thump rang through the air and his eyes settled on a set of boxes seated outside of the apartment door across from his own. Ah, new neighbor moving in. Not wanting to meet or talk to the individual—not at this time of year—he scurried to his door, his key out and into the lock. He almost had it turned when a voice spoke.
“Well, hello. You must be my neighbor.”
Damn. Not fast enough. Slowly Thane turned around, a blank expression on his face. Bent over the pile of boxes was a man in a loose tank top and jeans. An unruly mop of black hair curled around his head and as he picked up one of the boxes and stood up, Thane got a good look at his face. Holy shit. The man had classically Roman features with the straight nose and high cheekbones. The perfection of his face was slightly marred by his lips. The top lip was straight, but the lower curved down on the left, as though it just didn’t have the strength to stay up. “Uh, hi,” he said slowly, his hand turning the key until it clicked. “Moving in?”
Kinder Thane lost his life partner three years ago and ever since, has folded into himself. He doesn’t speak to friends and only sees his family once a year. Every year on the anniversary of Leland’s death, he spends his time with the ghost of his dead boyfriend.
When Jessie Riley moves in across the hall, it sends his entire existence into a flurry. Suddenly there’s life out there, happiness, the joy of the holidays, and it’s so shocking he almost doesn’t know what to do with it. It gets to be too much but before he can pull back inside and go back to the way he was, Leland has a final gift for him, one that changes everything.
Now check out the other participants in this week’s hop