Jason and Brian Sutter were happily married. They thought their relationship was perfect, but something was missing. After a few years, the dynamics of their relationship changes when Brian’s friend, David Sifuentes, moves in. Feelings develop as flirting becomes love. The duo quickly turns into a trio. But, their happily ever after isn’t meant to be.
Brian and David are both Marines and are sent to Afghanistan, leaving Jason at home. While on a mission, Brian is killed. When David comes home with the casket, he realizes that his relationship with Jason is over. Unable to deal with the hurt and heartbreak of losing both of his lovers, he joins a new unit, and gets shipped off to Iraq. His new goals – avenge Brian’s senseless death and make Jason proud of him. Unfortunately, things don’t end up as he plans.
With so much love and loss, can these two men last without their third?
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Jason Sutter sat on the hard, wooden church pew, half-listening as the pastor spoke to the congregation. His attention strayed from the man standing in front of the pulpit to the shiny casket only a few feet away. Pain ripped through his chest, stealing his breath and breaking Jason’s heart into a million little pieces. He was frozen by shock, unable to accept the truth. Taking short gasps of breath through his mouth, Jason tried to wrap his mind around what was happening, but it was impossible.
His life would never be the same again.
Jason’s eyes filled with moisture, blurring his vision. It didn’t take long before silent tears dripped down his cheeks. He wanted to let go of the tight rein he had on his emotions. He wanted to sob hysterically. He wanted to get up and yell at the injustice of having his husband ripped violently from his life. But he didn’t. Instead, Jason stayed sitting on the pew, his hands folded tightly on his lap. There was a good chance that if he let go now, he’d never be able to stop.
As he stared at the casket, Jason’s mind wandered.
How could Brian be inside there? He hated tight places. He was claustrophobic although nobody else knew that. Brian couldn’t even step inside an elevator without sweating bullets and gripping the metal railing until his knuckles turned white. Was he okay? Was he comfortable? Was he scared?
Most of what Brian did was top secret and since Jason wasn’t in the military, he wasn’t given the details of his husband’s death. From the small bits and pieces of information he gathered, Brian had been traveling with a convoy when a bomb went off, killing part of the squadron and injuring others. He would never know exactly what happened, and maybe that was a good thing. He didn’t need to know all the specifics.
Jason hadn’t spoken to Brian in weeks. Their last conversation played through his mind, shaming him. Brian had been in Afghanistan, serving his country and fighting for freedom, and Jason had been upset. He hated being separated from his husband for months at a time. This was Brian’s third tour and the separation was wearing on their relationship.
Shaking his head, he thought back to their last conversation wishing he could take back his words.
“Hey, baby, how’s life in the real world?” Brian’s voice shouted out through the static.
“I’m just working. You know…same old, same old. I miss you,” he admitted. He hated going to sleep and waking up all alone.
“I miss you, too, honey. Being so far away from you is worse than death.”
“Don’t say that.” Jason chastised, shaking his head. “Don’t talk about death, not when you’re so far away from home. If anything happened to you…”
“Nothing is going to happen,” Brian said with confidence.
“It better not. I’m expecting your sexy ass home in less than a month.”
“Uh…” He stopped.
“What?” Jason asked, already knowing the answer.
“I’m staying here another three months, baby.”
“No!” Jason shook his head. “This is your third tour. You’ve been gone more than you’ve been home. Damn it, Brian! I need you here. Why the hell do they keep extending the date?”
“Why the hell would you do that?”
“I’m sorry, baby.”
“No! Bullshit.” He rejected the apology. He was sick of all the apologies. He wanted actions, not meaningless words. “You better get your ass home, Brian. While you’re off playing G.I. Joe with David, I’m here alone. I can’t do this without you anymore. I won’t.”
The phone went dead before he could say anything else.
Their stupid argument meant nothing now and his harsh words ate at his heart, injuring him further. Jason would give anything to have Brian back, even for a moment. If only he could hug, kiss, and apologize for allowing his frustration to get the better of him. If only it was possible for Brian to forgive him.
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