Author: Sol Crafter
Genre: mm contemporary romance
Summary: Marty is one of the stars of a cheesy sci-fi show. Jim is a rock superstar. They’ve been friends forever, though now it’s turned to something more.
Sitting on a bench with a paperback spread open on his lap, the spine strained to breaking. He’d come to the park with the idea that he was finally going to finish reading his mystery novel. Except the sun was warm on his skin and he was distracted by the sounds of distant laughter and the elusive scent of barbecue.
Finally he gave up even the pretense and folded the book closed, shoving it into the pocket of his navy blue hoodie. Then he just sat with his head tipped back and enjoyed the light on his closed eyelids and the way fingers of breeze stroked through his hair.
It wasn’t very often that he was allowed to simply enjoy the day. Either work or his friends were always pulling him in opposite directions. There were some days when he didn’t feel as if his life was his own. He belonged to too many other people.
There was the sound of the Twilight Zone theme music and he sighed and pulled his phone out of his jeans pocket. He glanced down at the screen, but it was just a phone number with no name. It had to be someone he knew though, since he didn’t give his cell number out to just anyone, so he answered with a shrug.
“Hello?” he said, staring down at his green, blue, and gray sneakers sticking out in front of him.
There was a long moment of silence and he thought about hanging up, then, “Marty?”
“Yes,” he said. “Who’s this?”
There was a warm laugh from the other end of the phone and Marty couldn’t help a jolt of familiarity even though he still couldn’t name his caller. “It’s me, Jim.”
“Oh, hey man. I didn’t recognize the number. What’s up?” Marty asked. They hadn’t talked in several months, mostly due to conflicting schedules, though maybe helped along a bit by a lack of anything to say.
“I got a new phone, so this is gonna be my number from now on,” Jim said. “So you might want to save it.”
“Okay. Cool.” No matter what he did, Marty figured he sounded like some kind of clingy loser. Never mind that he’d known Jim forever and been friends with him for most of that time.
“So, hey, I know I haven’t said anything, but I kind of bought a place near where you are,” Jim said.
“What?” Marty sat up, his heels coming together. “Really? I mean, I never thought you’d leave the road. I thought the road was your life.”
“Yeah, well maybe my life is tired of being lived on a bus with four other dudes,” Jim said. “I just had the sudden need to settle down, and I’m sorry, but you’re the most settled dude I know.”
“Naw, naw, it’s cool. I’m just surprised.” Marty raked a hand through his dark brown hair. “So you like totally bought a house or something?”
“Yeah. It’s not like I don’t have the money for one. So even if I don’t want to live there in the future… well, I can rent it out or something. Hey, maybe you’ll want to get out of your awful condo or something. Then if I’m not in the house, you’ll have a place to live.”
“Thanks,” Marty drolled, earning himself a laugh.
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