Welcome Birthday Guest J. Scott Coatsworth!

Happy birthday, Amber! To celebrate, I’ve brought back two of my favorite characters to date, Alex and Gio from “Flames” in the “A More Perfect Union” Anthology.
Hope you have a wonderful celebration!
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Giveaway:
I’ll give away a $10 Amazon gift certificate.
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Blurb:

Alex and Gio had a big fight, and Alex ran away. Then a fire at home destroyed the life they had built together, and threatened to take Gio away from him. Alex had always thought love was enough to keep them together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma, his mother has banished Alex from his side.

What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back from the brink? Their memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to just let go is getting stronger.

Still, nothing can keep Alex from Gio’s side. If it’s against the rules, he’ll break them. In stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to bring him back, one memory at a time.

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cover
Excerpt from Original Story:

Monday, September 27

There was only this moment. This place. Alex holding Gio’s hand, gently because of the burns on the back of Gio’s arm and hand. The sounds of the breathing machine came in regular soft sighs.

The little green box held in Alex’s other hand–and all it symbolized between them.

All their life together had shrunk down to this moment, this place, this plea. “Please wake up, Gio. Amore mio, svegliati.”

Sunday, September 12. Two weeks earlier

Alex was late getting home, and he was in a foul mood from the long, difficult day at work. One of the properties he’d made a bid on had fallen through, and another client had all but called him a bald-faced liar.

He was looking forward to getting home, taking a long hot shower, then crawling into bed.

Alex was startled to find a whole meal, complete with wine and candles, laid out on their dining room table. Gio must have spent the whole day cooking.

Alex was late. He’d been delayed with his angry client, and to make matters worse, his phone had up and died halfway through the afternoon and he’d been without his car charger.”

“He was already annoyed when he walked in the door.

“Welcome home, amore,” Gio called from the kitchen.

“I had a hell of a day….” He caught a whiff of whatever Gio was cooking.

“Come sit down. I’ve got everything ready.”

The dining room looked like a Martha Stewart production of a telenovella Thanksgiving. “I’m sorry. I’m not really hungry. Things were the shits at work today.”

“Sorry to hear that. Have a seat.” Gio grabbed his elbow and urged him toward his chair. “Food makes everything better.”

Alex was starting to get annoyed. “Look, I’m sorry, but I’m not hungry. I just want to wash up–”

“That’s just the job talking.” Gio took his arm again.

“Knock it off! I’m not in the mood tonight.”

Gio looked hurt, but Alex plowed on, too incensed to stop.

“This isn’t some kind of June and Ward Cleaver relationship.”

“I just–”

“You have to let go of your stupid, unrealistic expectations of me and this relationship.”

Gio frowned. “That’s bullshit, and you know it. Just because you had a bad day at work, there’s no reason to take it out on me.”

He was right. But Alex couldn’t admit it. “Just leave me the fuck alone,” he said, grabbing his phone charger and storming out. He’d find somewhere else to sleep tonight.”

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New Short Scene:
Alex whistled all the way home.
It was Gio’s birthday, and he had everything planned out. Dinner at La Reve. Tickets to the new play at the Red Stage. And a romantic night together at Tucson’s nicest resort, the Westin La Paloma.
They’d just moved back into their house together after ten months of reconstruction. The flames had wiped out everything they owned—well, almost everything—but now things were finally back on track.
He pulled into the driveway, and jumped out of the car with an armful of red roses. “Gio, I’m home!” he said as he swept open the door.
“Honey, look who’s here for my birthday!” Gio said with a half smile.
“Ciao, bello!” It was Gio’s mother, who lived half a world away, in Italy.
“Cinzia. What a pleasure.” A thousand dollars out the window, unless he could get the hotel to refund his money. He kissed Gio’s mother on both cheeks. “Yes, what a pleasure, and what a BIG surprise.” He gave Gio a “what the hell?” look.
Gio shrugged.
“So… what do you all want to do to celebrate? Pizza? Pasta?” Alex had been so excited to finally have the chance to take Gio out for the night. Now it was ruined.
“Nonsense.” Cinzia crossed her arms and tapped her immaculately prada-ed foot.
“What? Did you want something else instead?” She was Italian. “Did you want to cook?”
She shook her head. “It’s my figlio’s birthday. You have something planned already, sì?”
“Well…”
“Then go. I have seen my son on his birthday. You have a good time. I will still be here tomorrow.”
Gio grinned at him. “The mamma has spoken.”
Alex laughed. “Yes, yes she has.” He kissed her again on the cheek. “Thank you, mamma.” Then he put down the roses and swept Gio off of his feet. “Happy Birthday, my love.”
“See you tonight, mamma…”
“Tomorrow,” Alex said, and whispered into Gio’s ears a few of the things he planned to do to his husband when they were alone later. Starting with a bottle of champagne and progressing to an evening Gio wouldn’t soon forget.
His husband’s grin spread from ear to ear. “See you tomorrow, mamma!” he said as the door slammed behind them.

62 thoughts on “Welcome Birthday Guest J. Scott Coatsworth!

  1. Oh wow! Thank you so much for the short. I love the sound of this book, I’m adding it to my wishlist and TBR. Thank you for sharing and for the giveaway.

  2. I did not know about this story, but it sounds really good. An interesting addition to my TBR list. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Cute scene! What a great mother Gio has (now at least, sounds as if perhaps she wasn’t before. Guess I’ll have to read the story to find out).

  4. Thanks for the sweet coda for Alex and Gio–it’s great to catch up with the guys. What could’ve tanked a romantic evening, a surprise visit from mamma, turned out okay. That’s one savvy mother-in-law.

  5. I’ve been looking for some new books to read & this short has put Alex & Gios’ story on the list. ☺

  6. This book is definitely been put on my buy list, I need to meet these guys. Thank you for the introduction

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