LENGTH: 232 pages
Best Gay Romance 2013 has both heat and sweet. These stories of meet-cutes, first times and long time loves are tales well told with relatable characters you root for from beginning to end. Cream-of-the-crop editor Richard Labonté gathers the very best in gay romance each year for a collection that runs the gamut from hearts and flowers to down and dirty. In Best Gay Romance 2013, the chocolate you may give to your lover will likely be used in many other creative ways! What Labonté does best is represent gay men of every age and every walk of life experiencing every kind of love. These heady, head-over-heels, heart-pounding stories of gay romance make for inspiring bedtime reading!
Contains my story, Henry and Jim. Henry and Jim have spent a lifetime together. Old men now, Henry reminisces about the love they’ve shared as he learns to cope with Jim’s fading memory and his own fear of being forgotten.
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From Henry and Jim:
Two seats, a dime apiece, and Jim chose one of the last rows in the back of the theater, away from the shrieking kids that threw popcorn and candy at the screen. He waited until I sat down, then plopped into the seat beside mine, his arm draped casually over the armrest and half in my lap. "Do you bring Betty here?" I asked, shifting away from him. Better to bring my sister up like a shield between us in the drowsy heat and close darkness of the theater to remind me why I was there. Betty trusted me with her latest beau, even if I didn't trust myself.
Jim shrugged, uninterested. As the lights dimmed and the film began, he crossed his legs, then slid down a bit in the seat, let his legs spread apart until the ankle rested on his knee. His leg shook with nervous energy, jostling the seat in front of him and moving at the edges of my vision, an annoying habit, distracting, and when I couldn't stand it any longer, I put my hand on his knee to stop it. As if he had been waiting for me to make the first move, Jim snatched my hand in both of his, threaded his fingers through mine, and pulled my arm into his lap. "Jim," I whispered with a slight tug, but he didn't seem to hear me and didn't release my hand. I tried again -- he just held on tighter, refused to acknowledge that I wanted him to let go. Leaning closer so I wouldn't have to raise my voice, I tried again. "Jim --"
He turned and mashed his lips against mine in a damp, feverish kiss. I shouldn't -- my mind started, then I can't, then Betty. Then his tongue licked into me, softer than I had imagined and so much sweeter than a man had the right to be, and I stopped thinking altogether. I was a whirl of sensation and every touch, every breath, every part of my world was replaced with Jim. Betty isn't getting him back; that was my last coherent thought before I stopped fighting him and gave in.
Later that evening, my sister was waiting when I got home. "Well?" she wanted to know.
I shrugged to avoid meeting her steady gaze. "Do you really think he's right for you?"
"Me?" she asked with a laugh. "Not at all. But Henry, isn't he just perfect for you?"