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Sex & Sourdough

By:A.J. Thomas

“And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“See!” Kevin pointed an accusing finger at Anders. “Like that. The defensive reactions. The way you’re always wondering how someone’s trying to fuck you over. At first I thought you were just really good at reading people, and then I worried that maybe your last relationship was so fucked up you were always trying to anticipate what your ex would do, always staying one step ahead of him to keep yourself safe.”

“You don’t have to rub it in.”

“But then I met your family…. You do know that most families don’t play games like that, right? In most families, family dinners aren’t about trying to figure out who’s on whose side, and who manipulated them into forming alliances, and why the hell they’d bother, right?”

“I know.” Anders tried to shrug and ended up wincing. “It’s just the way my folks are. I know it wasn’t fair to drop you right into the middle of it like that, but—”

“It’s fine. Like I said, they really do love you. I do too. So, if you say it has to be someone else….” Kevin shrugged. “We’ll hire someone else.”

“Thank you,” Anders whispered.

Kevin stood up and leaned over the head of the bed, so he could tangle his fingers in Anders’s curls. “I’m not going to run away when I get scared, Anders. I already got scared,” he whispered. “Watching you get shot scared the shit out of me. It scared me, thinking about just how little time we could have together. I don’t want to waste any of it, Anders. If that means you have to smack some sense into me when I freak out, then I want you to do it. For my part, I think I’m done running.”

Anders grinned at him. “I still want that cat. And I want a kitten, to keep Buddha company.”

“A kitten?”

“That’s right. Pets don’t do well if they’re left alone all the time. I think she’s neurotic because she’s lonely.”

Kevin swallowed nervously. “After we’re both healed, okay? You can’t drive with your arm in a cast, and I never bothered renewing my license when it expired. Plus, I think we’re just going to end up with two psychotic cats.”

“Still nervous about seeing your family.”

Kevin relaxed, glad he didn’t have to explain.

“It’s not like making things right comes with a deadline attached,” Anders muttered, his eyes drooping shut. “I can’t manage sex or sourdough right now, so I’m at a loss about how to be supportive through this. If we put things off for a few weeks, I’ll be able to manage both again.”

Kevin leaned over and touched his lips to Anders’s. “Sex and sourdough are nice,” Kevin whispered, “but I just need you.”

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