After a vicious gay bashing, Morgan has spent the last three years working hard to survive and thrive. His latest plan? Using Madame Evangelineâ€™s high-end dating service, 1NightStand, to take the anniversary of the worst night of his life and replace it with a goodâ€”and maybe even sexyâ€”memory.
Zach, a police officer with the Hate & Bias Crime Unit, is still coming to terms with his divorce and struggling to move on with his life. Using a matchmaking service is so very not his style, but sometimes a guy has to trust his friendsâ€”even if they don’t know everything about him, and he’s not sure they ever will.
Face-to-face, however, it becomes clear that despite an attraction, there’s a problem. Morgan and Zach have already metâ€”three years ago. But with some courage, a couple of pairs of skates, and a leap of faith? Morgan and Zach have a shot at saving more than one day. Together? They might just make a future.
For more from ‘Nathan Burgoine please visitÂ https://apostrophen.wordpress.com/published-works/
+ Read Excerpt
- Read Excerpt
â€œSorry, youâ€™re not Morgan, are you?â€
â€œAre you Zach?â€
The big guy nodded. â€œYeah.â€ HeÂ swallowed,Â as if the word caught in his throat. â€œIâ€™m Zach.â€
Okay, the important thing here is not to drool on the table.
â€œSorry,â€ he said, fumbling for words of his own. He had to crane his neck to talk to the guy.
Had there been a checkbox for â€œbig, Teutonic warrior heritageâ€? Because it seemed heâ€™d checked it off. â€œI, uh. Wow. You are tall.â€
The big guyâ€”his date, Morgan corrected himselfâ€”cracked a wan smile.
â€œSit down.â€ Morgan gestured to the empty chair. â€œPlease.â€
Zach hesitated for another secondâ€”Morgan tried to convince himself the blond wasnâ€™t looking for a reasonable escape planâ€”then pulled out the chair and sat down. No amount of padding could account for the width of the manâ€™s shoulders.
Morgan exhaled. â€œSo. On a scale of one to a billion, how awkward is this?â€
Zach seemed to surprise himself with a laugh. â€œYou have no idea. Iâ€™m sorry Iâ€™m late. Traffic. And, uh ….Â Thereâ€™s something….â€ He frowned. The intensity of his gaze unnerved him.
â€œDo I have something on my face?â€ Heâ€™d not ordered hot chocolate to avoid whipped cream accidents.
Zach blinked. â€œSorry. No. Iâ€™m….â€ He shook his head. â€œWould you believe you look familiar?â€
â€œLike your dead girlfriend?â€ Morgan grinned, singing the words.
â€œExcuse me?â€ Zach leaned back, frowning.
â€œOh. Not a Rent fan, eh?â€ Morgan held up his hands. â€œSorry. When Iâ€™m nervous, I become a font of inappropriateÂ humorÂ . Iâ€™m told itâ€™s endearing. Yâ€™know, by, like, my misfit friends.â€ Morgan bit his lip. â€œWhich probably means itâ€™s not endearing, come to think of it.â€
Zach stared at him.
â€œItâ€™s a line from a musical,â€ Morgan said. â€œAnd Iâ€™ll stop now.â€ He clenched his jaw shut before he could say anything else.
Zach took a deep breath. â€œWere you expecting…? Uh. I mean, did…?â€ He didnâ€™t meet Morganâ€™s gaze, and he rubbed his thumb up and down his coffee cup. He had a little scar through his eyebrow, andâ€”
â€œWait,â€ Morgan said. When Zach raised his eyebrows, the familiarity faded, but it had been there. â€œMaybe I do know you. Do you ever shop at Urbane Myth? Itâ€™s a consignment shop in the Village. Youâ€™d never forget Phoebe, the owner. Sheâ€™s a glamazon. Iâ€™m less memorable.â€
Zach shook his head. â€œNo. I donâ€™t know it.â€
Morgan frowned. â€œOkay. What about you? Where do you work?â€
Zach cleared his throat, shifting in his seat. No way could the big guy be comfortable in the little chair. â€œIâ€™m a cop.â€
Oh no. Oh for the love ofÂ ….
Zach nodded, then added, â€œWith the Hate andâ€”â€
â€œBias Crimes Unit.â€
They stared at each other.
â€œOn a scale of one to a billion?â€ Zach said. â€œWe just hit a billion.â€