Escape from the Holidays
Release Date: November 28, 2018
Word Count: 5,500
Editor: Jaymi E
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
The holidays are usually a whirlwind of busy activity for Anson—decorating, baking for friends—but this year, his heart isn't in it. He'd hoped coming out to Daly as asexual would be the right thing to do. Since then, he hasn't heard a word from the handsome photographer.
Now Daly's suddenly shown up at his front door, asking Anson to trust him, to come with him. He doesn't dare hope in case this is just another build up to a bigger heartbreak.
Part of the 2018 "Escape from the Holidays" Series
Stay Awhile by Kassandra Lea
Burning Down the House by Gregory Norris
The Holiday Spirit by Carole Cummings
Slow Thaw by J. Scott Coatsworth
Celebrations in the Season of Long Nights by Mere Rain
The Holiday Home Hotel by Lou Sylvre
Something to Celebrate by Evelyn Benvie
Holiday Hijinks by Toni Griffin
Yule Planet by Angel Martinez
Waiting on the Rain by Freddy Mackay
His gaze strayed to the street, his house at the end of the cul-de-sac. No one traversed the slickening blacktop, no headlights shone as they headed in his direction. A crack spread slowly across his heart, tears burning the backs of his eyes.
Anson sipped his cocoa.
The hour sat somewhere between noon and dusk, the day growing older with each ticking second. The rate of the snowflakes increased, a gentle breeze rustling leaves far too stubborn to admit their time had come, still holding fast to branches in the hopes of sunny spring days. The tip of his nose began to grow numb, his cheeks stung by the caress of winter's touch. With a reluctant sigh, Anson stood, turning his back on the street and wandering into the familiar embrace of his house.
Almost instantly he was assaulted by his purring four-legged companion. Noodles rubbed against his ankle, tail twitching, amber eyes staring up at him.
"Hey cutie," he said, softly smiling. Anson bent to give the cat a quick scratch between the ears.
She pursued him to the kitchen where he rinsed out the remnants of his cocoa before leaving the mug in the sink. Perhaps it was time to start thinking of dinner, but even as the thought crossed his mind Anson knew he would most likely retire without a single morsel passing his lips. He'd been struggling with his appetite for a number of days now, chalking it up to feeling heartsick.
The holidays were supposed to be a cheery time, weren't they?