Dark Roast Press has released a new anthology entitled “My Dark Roasted Valentine” and I’m one of four DRP writers to contribute to this anthology. My m/m romantic short “With Love, Casanova” is featured in the new anthology alongside Angelia Sparrow, new-comer Kyle Jordan, and my beloved editor Helgaleena.
Love is eternal, so the poets say. Joss Carson knows better though. After losing his lover to the ravages of AIDS, he refuses to see a future for himself. Two years later, pushed by his sister, he attends a fundraiser for the very disease that destroyed his heart and meets a stranger who shows him that even in death love survives.
“This is ridiculous.” Rina Carson rolled her eyes as she dropped into one of the two cream and burgundy ribbon stripped chairs, longneck of imported German beer dangling from her fingers. Across the room, a man sat behind a Baroque ebony grand piano, and as her gaze focused on him her eyes narrowed in annoyance. “You’ve been holed up here for nearly two years, Joss. It’s just a fundraiser. It’s not as if I’m setting you up on a date.”
Without looking up, Joss’ slender fingers danced across ivory keys, the mournful, exquisite notes of Mozart’s Requiem filling the air. “One year, three hundred sixty days, seventeen hours…”
“Jesus.” She released a frustrated sigh, fingers slipping through the thick, blunt cut strands of her hair. The man she considered her brother-in-law had often compared it to the polished ebony of piano keys, but she’d always laughed him off. Right now, she wished he were here, because she was at a loss with how to deal with her brother. Nearly two years had passed since Nicholas Cantrell had breathed his last yet Joss refused to move on. His heart had ceased to feel the precise moment Nicholas’ heart had given in to death. Just that fact broke her heart.
“Nicholas wouldn’t have wanted this.”
With a sour twang, the music shattered, Joss’ hands slamming down on the keys. His head lifted, sea-green eyes focused on her with bitter anger. “Don’t presume to speak about what he would have wanted,” he hissed through clenched teeth, each word slick with ice.
Rina had been here before—numerous times—and she was beginning to tire of it. She tipped her beer to her lips, emptying the bottle as she stood and moved across the room, eyes never losing their focus on his infuriated expression. “You will be there, Joseph.” Her eyes narrowed as she dropped the empty bottle on the piano. “No arguments, no excuses; not this time.”
Not waiting for an answer, she turned on her heels and headed for the front door, yanking her coat from the elaborate cast iron rack on the wall and pulling it on roughly. When she reached for the doorknob, fingertips grazing the crystal knob, all her anger at Joss seemed to evaporate. The anger faded beneath a wave of grief, her shoulders slumping beneath the worn leather. She loved her brother deeply, but she couldn’t do this anymore. She couldn’t sit by and watch him waste away in the wake of his loss—their loss. Taking a rough emotional breath, her fingers closed around the knob and she pulled the door open, and then glanced over her shoulder to where he sat, eyes shadowed and empty of life.
“You’re not the only one who lost Nic,” she whispered as she slipped out, the door closing behind her with a resounding thud.
Joss flinched at the sound, a single tear trailing down his gaunt, pale face.
Also, my novella “Le Jardin de la Lumiere” has earned a 4.25 out of 5 rating at Night Owl Romance!! Check it out here: