Sense of Place

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BLURB:

Designing homes is easy. Finding home is something else entirely.

Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones finally have the support of their families, and their love grows stronger every day. Now living together, they think nothing can stand in their way.

But there are outside influences trying to pull them apart.

Cooper encounters a man, closer to his age and with connections high up the property development chain, who wants Cooper as his own. Tom encounters discrimination and a hidden agenda from a fellow senior partner who’s trying to take him down.

No matter what the world throws at them, Tom and Cooper are the real deal. Age differences aside, Tom has finally found his sense of place. His one true centre, his home.

 

EXCERPT:

I did up the last of the buttons on my shirt, and my doctor sat down in his chair behind his desk. “Well, Tom,” he said. “Your blood pressure is fine, and,” he said, looking down at the piece of paper in the file, “all test results came back clear. Cholesterol is good, blood glucose is fine, STDs all clear, PSA is good.”

I nodded and sat down across from him. “And everything else looks okay?”

He double-checked the papers in front of him. “I have to say, you’re the healthiest I’ve ever seen you. What’s your secret?”

“Um…”

The doctor smiled. “Who is he?”

I let out an embarrassed laugh. “He’s, um…he’s a lot younger than me.”

My doctor smiled and nodded, knowingly. “Well, whatever he’s doing is working. I know you’re concerned about your health, with the passing of your father, and that’s completely understandable. But, Tom,” he said, “I’d say you’re a picture of health. Diet and exercise looks good on you.”

“I need to work out, just to keep up with him,” I admitted.

The doctor laughed at that. Then his smile faded. “Do you practice safe sex with your partner?”

“Yes, of course.”

“How long have you been together?”

“About six months.”

“Are you exclusive?”

“Yes. We live together.” Then I added, “Well, that’s kind of new. He moved in with me two weeks ago.”

My doctor tilted his head. “Will you be looking to have unprotected sex with him?”

I hadn’t even considered the idea. “Um, no…” I started. “Well, maybe… I’m not sure. We’ve not discussed that.”

“When was he last tested?”

“Um…” Shit, I had to think about that. “He was tested just before he moved here. He’s only been with me since.”

“Anyway,” he said casually. “If you do decide it’s something you want to explore, then I’ll be more than happy to run the necessary tests for him too.”

I shook my head, a little daunted by the concept. “Okay.”

“Don’t feel you have to have unprotected sex, Tom,” he went on to say. “A lot of gay couples don’t, a lot do. It’s something you need to discuss with your partner.”

I left the doctor’s appointment probably more conflicted than when I’d arrived. It had been a late appointment and when I got home, Cooper was cooking dinner. Well, he was making a mess—dinner, not so much.

“Oh, hey,” he said with a smile, looking up from the stove. “Working late?”

“No,” I said, putting my satchel on the table. “Doctor’s appointment.”

Cooper looked up at me, alarmed. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah,” I said, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “Everything’s fine. Just got the test results from my full checkup.”

Cooper still looked concerned. “You sure you’re okay?”

I gave him a bit of a nod and a shrug. “It’s just with the way Dad died,” I said. “I think I need to keep an eye on my health.”

Cooper frowned and his eyebrows furrowed. He stopped stirring a pan of sauce, and put the spoon down. “Tom, please don’t talk like that.”

I cupped his face in my hands and kissed him. “Cooper, sweetheart, no one expected my dad to have a stroke. I’d be foolish not to take that on board.”

“I just can’t think about you like that,” he said quietly. “I can’t even begin…”

“Hey,” I said, kissing him again. “My doctor actually said I’m the fittest he’s seen me. I told him I can credit you for that.”

He smiled then. “He said you were okay?”

“A picture of health.”

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