The Last Beginning by Abrianna Denae

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Last Beginning

Author and Publisher: Abrianna Denae

Cover Artist: Designs by Morningstar

Release Date: April 5, 2022

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance 

Trope/s: Friends to lovers, hurt/comfort

Heat Rating: 3 flames     

Length: 61 000 words/210 pages

It is a standalone story in a new series and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Universal Amazon link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Blurb

“Nobody tells you how one moment, one decision, can change the course of your entire life.” 

Kit Briar is starting over. At thirty-three, he thought he had his life planned out, but a devastating revelation sends him back to his hometown, desperate to make a life for himself and his son. 

“Sometimes, a single kiss can lead a person down a road they never expected.”

Lawson Craig never meant to fall in love with his hot new neighbor, his life’s complicated enough. Except Kit and his young son fulfill a void he did know he had. The more he tries to fight against the mutual attraction, the harder it is to stay away. 

“If it came down to it, I’d let him go. I’d let him go because he deserves someone so much better than me.” 

Lawson and Kit find themselves in a whirlwind romance. They fall hard and fast, but every choice comes with consequences and neither of them are prepared for what happens when their blissful bubble pops. They’ll have to learn to trust in each other and what they’re trying to build in order to get the happy ending they’ve both always wanted. When every road seems to lead to heartbreak, how will they ever find forever? 

Excerpt

We lean back against the counter and talk about random things for a while. It’s nice. I have some friends but no one I hang out with regularly. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, this could be just a one time thing, but I like the vibe Kit has, I’m hoping he likes mine too.

“You said you’re from the area?” I ask after a lapse in conversation.

Kit nods, “Yeah, my family all still live close. My siblings helped me move in today.”

“How many siblings do you have?”

He smiles a little, “Two sisters and two brothers. I’m the baby of the family and they all treat me that way. Never mind that I’m a grown ass man.”

“I think siblings are supposed to do that. I’m one of two. I have an older brother, we’re close since neither of us talk to our parents anymore. What about you?”

“I’m pretty close to all my siblings. It’s just my dad. Mom passed away when I was eight.”

“Wow. Five kids for one person, did he ever remarry?”

“No. He dated someone for a long time, but they broke up about five years ago. He’s gone on dates since but says he’s too old for anything serious.”

I scoff. “I don’t think love cares how old you are.”

Kit smiles at me and I ignore the way my heart trips over itself. “That’s what my sisters say, but I think he’s content. He has us and his grandkids. He’s enjoying his life.”

“Can’t say I blame him. I’d probably be the same.”

Kit looks at me, his dark brown eyes assessing, “Yeah? Believe in love for everyone but yourself?”

“Ehh,” I make a seesaw motion with my hand. “Yes and no. Would I like to have that one person I spend the rest of my life with, knowing that they’re it for me? Yes, I think most people want that. Do I think it’ll happen?” I shrug, “It’s complicated.”

“Trust me,” Kit sighs, “I know all about complications.”

Is it me or are we closer than before? My arm brushes his and I try not to react like a fucking teenager with their first crush. It’s ridiculous really, the things I feel for this man that I’ve known an hour.

“Tell me about the neighborhood?” He asks, breaking into my thoughts. “You said the neighbor on your other side hates you?”

I sigh and ignore how fucking close his mouth suddenly is to mine. We’re almost the same height, it would be nothing to lean forward and kiss him.

“Uh yeah, she’s a total bitch. I mean, maybe. I think it’s just me. She’s older, in her fifties I’d say. I try to be nice and do things like mow her yard and take her garbage cans out, things like that. She glares at me and never shows any appreciation. I can’t tell if she really hates me or if she is just a really sour person, you know?

“When I first moved in I made cookies, brownies, and muffins for her, the previous owners of this house, and the people across the street from me. She’s the only one who refused to take anything from me. Which, I get, it was kinda weird to have this stranger show up with a bunch of baked goods, but you’d have thought I offered up straight poison the way she acted.”

“She doesn’t know what she’s missing. More for me.” Kit smiles and I can’t help but smile as well.

“You’ll have to come into the bakery some time, I’ll give you a discount.”

Kit pouts, “Oh so I only get free stuff at home.”

“Yep. Gotta make that money.”

He huffs out a laugh, “I’d happily pay for anything made by you.”

It’s not my imagination this time. He definitely leaned forward.

“You flatter me,” I hope that didn’t come out as breathless as I think. “What if the only thing I can make are cookies?”

“I like cookies.” He whispers.

We’re so fucking close. 

“Good.”

I don’t know who moves first. One second we’re a breath apart, the next, our lips are touching in an impossibly soft kiss.

Neither of us move for a moment, and then Kit slowly moves his mouth over mine. I follow his lead, keeping the kiss soft and slow.

A hand grabs my hip and I groan as our bodies come together. Kit takes that opportunity to deepen the kiss. His tongue sweeps against my lip and I allow him in my mouth.

Gasping, I fight him for dominance. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt anything this good. He lets me take control of the kiss and I push him against the counter. Our lower bodies are flush and I can feel his arousal brushing against mine. Shivering, I press my lips harder to his. Tangling one hand in his hair, I pull back enough to bite at his lip, making him moan.

“Shit,” he gasps before kissing me hard.

I press my hips into his and groan at the sensation. Kit’s hands grip my ass tightly and it feels so fucking good. I almost beg him to fuck me, but that’d be reckless. Kissing him is enough for now.

We pull apart for breath, both of us panting softly. “Just so you know,” I tell him, “I don’t go around kissing all the neighbors.”

He laughs breathlessly, “That one neighbor might like you if you did.”

I snort and shake my head. “You’re prettier.”

I kiss him again, softer now. Our tongues meet and it’s perfect. Best kiss I’ve ever had. I could spend hours just kissing this man. Crazy? Absolutely, but it’s not the craziest thing I’ve done, not by a long shot.

About the Author 

Abrianna Denae is a twenty-five-year-old author living in Northern California. An English major, they have always had a passion for writing.

Deciding to sit down and write one of the many stories that had plagued their mind for years was the easy part—finding the time to do it was a different story.

Caffeine is their best friend, and sleep is her worst enemy.

A lover of books that make the reader feel something, Abrianna tries to incorporate as much of their real-world views and feelings into their stories as they can.

Social Media Links

Facebook  |  Facebook Group  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

BookBub  |  Goodreads Author Page  |  Amazon Author Page  

You can also email her at authorabridenae@gmail.com

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Cover Reveal – The Last Beginning by Abrianna Denae

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: The Last Beginning

Author: Abrianna Denae

Publisher: Self-published 

Cover Artist: Designs by Morningstar

Release Date: April 5, 2022

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance 

Trope/s: Friends to lovers, hurt/comfort

Heat Rating: 3 flames     

Length: 61 000 words/210 pages

It is a standalone story in a new series and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Pre-Order Link

Universal Amazon link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Blurb

“Nobody tells you how one moment, one decision, can change the course of your entire life.” 

Kit Briar is starting over. At thirty-three, he thought he had his life planned out, but a devastating revelation sends him back to his hometown, desperate to make a life for himself and his son. 

“Sometimes, a single kiss can lead a person down a road they never expected.”

Lawson Craig never meant to fall in love with his hot new neighbor, his life’s complicated enough. Except Kit and his young son fulfill a void he did know he had. The more he tries to fight against the mutual attraction, the harder it is to stay away. 

“If it came down to it, I’d let him go. I’d let him go because he deserves someone so much better than me.” 

Lawson and Kit find themselves in a whirlwind romance. They fall hard and fast, but every choice comes with consequences and neither of them are prepared for what happens when their blissful bubble pops. They’ll have to learn to trust in each other and what they’re trying to build in order to get the happy ending they’ve both always wanted. When every road seems to lead to heartbreak, how will they ever find forever? 

Excerpt

We lean back against the counter and talk about random things for a while. It’s nice. I have some friends but no one I hang out with regularly. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, this could be just a one time thing, but I like the vibe Kit has, I’m hoping he likes mine too.

“You said you’re from the area?” I ask after a lapse in conversation.

Kit nods, “Yeah, my family all still live close. My siblings helped me move in today.”

“How many siblings do you have?”

He smiles a little, “Two sisters and two brothers. I’m the baby of the family and they all treat me that way. Never mind that I’m a grown ass man.”

“I think siblings are supposed to do that. I’m one of two. I have an older brother, we’re close since neither of us talk to our parents anymore. What about you?”

“I’m pretty close to all my siblings. It’s just my dad. Mom passed away when I was eight.”

“Wow. Five kids for one person, did he ever remarry?”

“No. He dated someone for a long time, but they broke up about five years ago. He’s gone on dates since but says he’s too old for anything serious.”

I scoff. “I don’t think love cares how old you are.”

Kit smiles at me and I ignore the way my heart trips over itself. “That’s what my sisters say, but I think he’s content. He has us and his grandkids. He’s enjoying his life.”

“Can’t say I blame him. I’d probably be the same.”

Kit looks at me, his dark brown eyes assessing, “Yeah? Believe in love for everyone but yourself?”

“Ehh,” I make a seesaw motion with my hand. “Yes and no. Would I like to have that one person I spend the rest of my life with, knowing that they’re it for me? Yes, I think most people want that. Do I think it’ll happen?” I shrug, “It’s complicated.”

“Trust me,” Kit sighs, “I know all about complications.”

Is it me or are we closer than before? My arm brushes his and I try not to react like a fucking teenager with their first crush. It’s ridiculous really, the things I feel for this man that I’ve known an hour.

“Tell me about the neighborhood?” He asks, breaking into my thoughts. “You said the neighbor on your other side hates you?”

I sigh and ignore how fucking close his mouth suddenly is to mine. We’re almost the same height, it would be nothing to lean forward and kiss him.

“Uh yeah, she’s a total bitch. I mean, maybe. I think it’s just me. She’s older, in her fifties I’d say. I try to be nice and do things like mow her yard and take her garbage cans out, things like that. She glares at me and never shows any appreciation. I can’t tell if she really hates me or if she is just a really sour person, you know?

“When I first moved in I made cookies, brownies, and muffins for her, the previous owners of this house, and the people across the street from me. She’s the only one who refused to take anything from me. Which, I get, it was kinda weird to have this stranger show up with a bunch of baked goods, but you’d have thought I offered up straight poison the way she acted.”

“She doesn’t know what she’s missing. More for me.” Kit smiles and I can’t help but smile as well.

“You’ll have to come into the bakery some time, I’ll give you a discount.”

Kit pouts, “Oh so I only get free stuff at home.”

“Yep. Gotta make that money.”

He huffs out a laugh, “I’d happily pay for anything made by you.”

It’s not my imagination this time. He definitely leaned forward.

“You flatter me,” I hope that didn’t come out as breathless as I think. “What if the only thing I can make are cookies?”

“I like cookies.” He whispers.

We’re so fucking close. 

“Good.”

I don’t know who moves first. One second we’re a breath apart, the next, our lips are touching in an impossibly soft kiss.

Neither of us move for a moment, and then Kit slowly moves his mouth over mine. I follow his lead, keeping the kiss soft and slow.

A hand grabs my hip and I groan as our bodies come together. Kit takes that opportunity to deepen the kiss. His tongue sweeps against my lip and I allow him in my mouth.

Gasping, I fight him for dominance. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt anything this good. He lets me take control of the kiss and I push him against the counter. Our lower bodies are flush and I can feel his arousal brushing against mine. Shivering, I press my lips harder to his. Tangling one hand in his hair, I pull back enough to bite at his lip, making him moan.

“Shit,” he gasps before kissing me hard.

I press my hips into his and groan at the sensation. Kit’s hands grip my ass tightly and it feels so fucking good. I almost beg him to fuck me, but that’d be reckless. Kissing him is enough for now.

We pull apart for breath, both of us panting softly. “Just so you know,” I tell him, “I don’t go around kissing all the neighbors.”

He laughs breathlessly, “That one neighbor might like you if you did.”

I snort and shake my head. “You’re prettier.”

I kiss him again, softer now. Our tongues meet and it’s perfect. Best kiss I’ve ever had. I could spend hours just kissing this man. Crazy? Absolutely, but it’s not the craziest thing I’ve done, not by a long shot.

About the Author 

Abrianna Denae is a twenty-five-year-old author living in Northern California. An English major, they have always had a passion for writing.

Deciding to sit down and write one of the many stories that had plagued their mind for years was the easy part—finding the time to do it was a different story.

Caffeine is their best friend, and sleep is her worst enemy.

A lover of books that make the reader feel something, Abrianna tries to incorporate as much of their real-world views and feelings into their stories as they can.

Social Media Links

Facebook  |  Facebook Group  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

BookBub  |  Goodreads Author Page  |  Amazon Author Page  

You can also email her at authorabridenae@gmail.com

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Black Ice Heart (Unveiled Magic, book 1) by Abrianna Denae #kindleunlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Black Ice Heart (Unveiled Magic, book 1) 

Author: Abrianna Denae

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Sleepy Fox Studio

Release Date: October 19, 2021

Genre: Urban Fantasy 

Tropes: Soul mates, hurt/comfort 

Themes: Slavery, fate

Trigger Warning: Mild torture, suicidal intention & ideation

Heat Rating:  3 flames     

Length:  77 000 words/ 265 pages

It is the first in a new series

The story does not end on a cliffhanger, but there is an overreaching story arc.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Blurb

Born into a wealthy and historically infamous family, all Ryson Melford wants is to live a simple life. 

A twist of fate leads him to a man named Jack, changing everything. One touch and Ryson  knows he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Jack in his life, despite the warnings from his brothers.

But Jack is not what he seems. Harboring dark and deadly secrets, he’s a mystery that is inexplicably tied to the Melford family. The closer Ryson and Jack get, the more dangerous things become as the present begins to reflect the past, threatening to destroy what is left of Ryson and his brothers. 

Ryson finds himself trapped between doing what is right for his family and the man he is unexpectedly connected to. When truths come out and past mistakes are repeated, blood will be spilled…and a magic that was all but forgotten is unleashed in a battle that may spell the end for all of them. 

Excerpt 

Fire. Sun-warmed earth, fragrant grass. Summer doesn’t bother with words. She wraps her magic around him, so tight he’s barely able to stand.

She yanks on the invisible chains, half dragging him along. The bright throne room is almost blinding. He doesn’t know how long they have kept him in the dark for this time, but he knows it’s been the longest length of time so far.

“Sit,” Mother says.

Summer pushes him down and he falls unceremoniously to the floor.

“Do you know what day it is, amor?” Mother asks.

“N-no, Mother.” His words are stilted. When was the last time he spoke?

“Why, it’s the fiftieth anniversary of your mistake, of course.”

His breath catches in his lungs.

Fifty years he’s been in chains…fifty years since they started torturing him whenever it pleases them.

Since he got Sara killed.

Mother smiles a cruel smile.

“My poor pet. I know it’s been a trying time for you.” She steps up to him.

Her scent envelopes him. Earthy and familiar. When he was younger—before he knew better—that scent meant home and comfort. Now, it’s nothing but a trigger for his nightmares.

“Since it’s such a special day, I have allowed Summer’s request to spend some time with her dear twin.”

His eyes flicker to where Summer stands just off to the side. Her smile is sweet, deceptive. Of all his sisters, she’s the one who hates him the most.

“Well,” Mother says, “enjoy your day, amor.” She leans down and presses a kiss on his cheek. He wants nothing more than to scrub her touch from his skin.

Summer doesn’t even bother telling him to stand. She drags him from the throne room.

His tender, abused flesh aches as it rubs on the marble floors.

Summer tosses him into an empty room.

“I’ve waited a long time for this.”

He stares into his twin’s honey eyes. There’s no warmth in them, not for him. Throughout their long lives, she has been his worst tormentor.

Summer and winter.

Opposites in every way.

One ice-cold, with a warm, generous heart.

The other, hotter than the sun, but stone cold on the inside.

Cherished daughter.

Good for nothing slave.

He always knew this day would come. He resigned himself to its inevitability long ago.

For the last fifty years, he’s endured their punishments, he’s served as their plaything. He cannot remember a time where they didn’t torment him. It has always been this way.

Except Mother had never before allowed Summer to be alone with him. She knew the contempt her youngest daughter held for her unwanted twin. Mother Nature never minded if her pet got damaged, a little magic could heal his injuries. But she knew that if given the chance, Summer would make sure there would be nothing left of him to save.

As he stares into his sister’s eyes, he knows that death has come for him at long last.

About the Author 

Abrianna Denae is a twenty-four-year-old author living in Northern California. An English major, she has always had a passion for writing.

Deciding to sit down and write one of the many stories that had plagued her mind for years was the easy part—finding the time to do it was a different story.

Caffeine is her best friend, and sleep is her worst enemy.

A lover of books that make the reader feel something, she tries to incorporate as much of her real-world views and feelings into her stories as she can.

Social Media Links

Facebook  |  Facebook Group  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

BookBub  |  Goodreads Author Page  |  Amazon Author Page  

You can also email her at authorabridenae@gmail.com

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win 

a choice of e-book from the author’s backlist and a $10 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

New Release – The Art of Living by Abrianna Denae @AbriDenae #giveaway #KindleUnlimited

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: The Art of Living 

Author: Abrianna Denae

Cover Artist: Pretty in Ink Creations

Release Date: June 10, 2021

Genre: Contemporary gay romance

Tropes: Single dad, hurt/comfort, office romance, slow burn

Themes: Trust, meddling family

Heat Rating: 3 flames     

Length: 35 000 words/ 90 pages

It is a standalone book, though the reader may be interested in The Gift of Believing, a companion book featuring the MC’s son: mybook.to/GoB

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal pre-order link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Letting go is the hardest thing a person can do…

Blurb 

Robert Harper has spent the past seventeen years living for his son. He doesn’t know who he is if he’s not being a caregiver and protector all rolled into one.

Niall Ross is finally ready to make a life of his own. After years spent making sure his younger brother had everything he needed, it’s time for Niall to discover who he is.

All it takes is one glance across a crowded meeting room for the men to feel a connection, but Robert is terrified his life is too complicated for the other man. Luckily, Niall has patience in abundance. With a little help from Robert’s meddling family, the two begin a tentative relationship.

Just as they’re finding their footing, all of Robert’s worst fears come to life and he falters under the pressure. Niall takes the challenge to show Robert that he’s a safe place to lean on, but when his own life begins to unravel, he places his heart in Robert’s hands. When two independent men are forced to trust each other will the love win out, or will vulnerability and fear cause them to lose the best thing they didn’t even know they had.

Excerpt 

“You really want me to date?”

Garrett nods. “I want you to live your life. I know you’re going to argue and say that you have everything you need with me, and Uncle Jared, and Sam. Maybe that’s true, but I also can’t help but feel guilty because if I wasn’t me then maybe you’d have found someone else by now.”

“Garrett, no, you know that’s not true,” I say gently. “Those other people I dated when you were younger, they didn’t last because they weren’t right for our family. If anyone can’t handle me and everything I come with, then they’re not worth my time.”

He studies me with those dark, wise eyes of his. “Does this mean you’ll give Niall a chance then? Because he’s different, I can feel it.”

Shit. I walked right into that one.

“Yeah,” I sigh. “I’d be open to trying.”

Garrett smiles and whips out his phone. I don’t bother asking who he’s texting, since the pieces are starting to slowly fall into place. I look at Presley, “They planned this, didn’t they?”

Pres smiles and nods. “Jared thought you both needed a little intervention.”

I shake my head and laugh a bit because my family is insane.

Garrett is still texting away while Presley and I clean up the kitchen. I try to tell Pres that he doesn’t need to help since he and Gare cooked, but he waves me off.

I just get the dishwasher started when my phone rings.  The display reads Niall and my mouth suddenly goes dry while my stomach begins to tie itself into knots.

Both boys stare at me as I accept the call. “Hello?”

“Hi,” pause, and then Niall laughs, “This is more awkward than I thought it’d be.”

I smile and turn away from the teenage busybodies. “I seriously doubt whatever you have to say is more awkward than the dinner I just had.”

He laughs again. “They tried to butter you up with food, huh?”

I groan. “Yes. When’d they get to you?”

“Sam talked to me this afternoon. Then they added me to a group chat a few hours ago and promptly blew up my phone with texts about twenty minutes or so ago.”

I sigh. “I’m sorry about them.”

“It’s fine,” Niall assures. “They’re just looking out for you.”

“They’re nosy and need to learn how to mind their own business.” I look over my shoulder to find Garrett and Presley sitting at the table, hanging onto my every word. Shaking my head, I stride from the room in search of some privacy.

“So if I were to ask you to dinner, you’d say no?”

“I guess you should ask and find out.”

Niall chuckles a bit. “Will you have dinner with me, Robert?”

My heart stutters in my chest and it takes a moment for me to get my mouth working. “Yes,” I finally manage to say.

“Great. Tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow is perfect.”

“I’ll text you the details unless someone else does it for me.”

I snort. “That’s a high possibility. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow,” he repeats. “Have a good night, Robert.”

“You too.”

The line goes dead and a part of me mourns the loss of his voice. Taking a steadying breath, I let the giddy feeling of a first date wash over me. I’ll never tell my family this, but I’m glad they decided to interfere with my life. I never would have had the guts to do this myself.

Tomorrow can’t come fast enough.

About the Author 

Abrianna Denae is a twenty-four-year-old author living in Northern California. An English major, she has always had a passion for writing.

Deciding to sit down and write one of the many stories that had plagued her mind for years was the easy part—finding the time to do it was a different story.

Caffeine is her best friend, and sleep is her worst enemy.

A lover of books that make the reader feel something, she tries to incorporate as much of her real-world views and feelings into her stories as she can.

Social Media Links

Facebook  |  Facebook Group  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

BookBub  |  Goodreads Author Page  |  Amazon Author Page  

You can also email her at authorabridenae@gmail.com

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

either a $20 Amazon gift card or one of two ebooks from the author’s backlist.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Cover Reveal – The Art of Living by Abrianna Denae 

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: The Art of Living 

Author: Abrianna Denae

Cover Artist: Pretty in Ink Creations

Release Date: June 10, 2021

Genre: Contemporary gay romance

Tropes: Single dad, hurt/comfort, office romance, slow burn

Themes: Trust, meddling family

Heat Rating: 3 flames     

Length: 35 000 words/ 90 pages

It is a standalone book, though the reader may be interested in The Gift of Believing, a companion book featuring the MC’s son: mybook.to/GoB

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available for Pre-Order 

Universal pre-order link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Letting go is the hardest thing a person can do…

Blurb 

Robert Harper has spent the past seventeen years living for his son. He doesn’t know who he is if he’s not being a caregiver and protector all rolled into one.

Niall Ross is finally ready to make a life of his own. After years spent making sure his younger brother had everything he needed, it’s time for Niall to discover who he is.

All it takes is one glance across a crowded meeting room for the men to feel a connection, but Robert is terrified his life is too complicated for the other man. Luckily, Niall has patience in abundance. With a little help from Robert’s meddling family, the two begin a tentative relationship.

Just as they’re finding their footing, all of Robert’s worst fears come to life and he falters under the pressure. Niall takes the challenge to show Robert that he’s a safe place to lean on, but when his own life begins to unravel, he places his heart in Robert’s hands. When two independent men are forced to trust each other will the love win out, or will vulnerability and fear cause them to lose the best thing they didn’t even know they had.

Excerpt 

Ice cream for dinner is the best grown-up way to celebrate all the good changes in my life. I find a cute little old-fashioned ice cream parlor in a shopping center about fifteen minutes from my house.

I probably don’t need the sugar, but after weeks of interviews, packing, moving, and general life shit, I deserve it.

I order two scoops of cherries jubilee and as I turn to find somewhere to sit, I crash into someone. “Shit,” I exclaim as my lovely, hard-earned ice cream drops to the floor.

“Oh my God,” the person I ran into says. “I am so sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was going and I can buy you another one. I’m so sorry, I really am, I swear I didn’t see you there-”

“Breathe, Pres,” someone else says.

I look up from the mess at my feet to the two kids in front of me. One of them looks like he’s about ready to cry, his blue eyes are shiny with what must be tears. The other is speaking to him in soft, gentle tones and holding his hands, trying to soothe him.

“It’s okay,” I tell them. “Accidents happen. A little mess can get cleaned up, nobody got hurt and that’s the important thing.”

“I really am sorry,” he says again. “Let us buy you more?”

I want to protest, but if it’ll make the kid feel better, I’ll let him. “You don’t have to, but the thought is appreciated.”

“Go sit down,” his friend says, “I’ll get everything taken care of.”

By this point, one of the employees has come over to clean up the mess and the few people sitting at tables are back to minding their own business.

“We really are sorry,” the other boy says after his friend walks off to sit down.

“No harm done.” We step up to the counter and I let the boy order theirs first. “Is he going to be okay?”

He gives me a small smile, “Yeah, he will, he’s just a bit shaken up. He gets…anxious easily, I guess.”

When we get to the cash register I hand over my card.

“You were supposed to let us pay!”

“It’s fine, my treat, please.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. You can pay it forward in some other way.”

“We will.” He gives me a smile and heads over to his friend.

I find my own table and watch them interact. The dark-haired kid I was talking to in line grabs the other one’s hand and the way they smile and lean toward each other tells me there’s more to their relationship.

It makes me happy to see them so comfortable in their own skin. I would have loved to have what they do when I was their age.

Turning away from them, I focus on my own ice cream. The flavor bursts across my tongue and I have to hold back a moan. To some, having ice cream for dinner, alone to boot, might seem like the loneliest mini-celebration ever, but for me, it’s perfect.

I spent so long trying to make sure my brother was taken care of, and that he understood how much I cared and valued his accomplishments, teaching him that it’s the little things that matter just as much as the big ones. Now I’m on my own, and I’m okay with making my own celebrations memorable in the little ways that I enjoy. As long as they bring me happiness, who cares how small it is?

The two teens leave before I do. I watch as the blond, the one who ran into me, takes his boyfriend’s backpack. The smile that lights up on the brunet’s face makes my heart ache with a longing I haven’t felt in a very long time.

Maybe it’s because the dark hair and eyes remind me of Robert, maybe it’s because they have what I would have killed for at that age, or maybe it’s something else entirely.

About the Author 

Abrianna Denae is a twenty-four-year-old author living in Northern California. An English major, she has always had a passion for writing.

Deciding to sit down and write one of the many stories that had plagued her mind for years was the easy part—finding the time to do it was a different story.

Caffeine is her best friend, and sleep is her worst enemy.

A lover of books that make the reader feel something, she tries to incorporate as much of her real-world views and feelings into her stories as she can.

Social Media Links

Facebook  |  Facebook Group  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

BookBub  |  Goodreads Author Page  |  Amazon Author Page  

You can also email her at authorabridenae@gmail.com

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions