Like the Seasons

By: Tymber Dalton

Suncoast Society

Like the Seasons

Boyd’s determined to make his relationship with Caleb succeed, no matter what they must do to keep it a secret at work until they can transfer Caleb. The fact that Caleb isn’t freaked out over Boyd’s long-lost daughter, Ella, is more proof, to Boyd that they’re meant to be together.

Caleb never thought he’d find happiness—until a friend’s sneakiness brought him and Boyd together. But Caleb knows his family won’t be happy if they discover his secret. Between keeping the situation hidden at work, and avoiding his family, it’s stressful. Helping Boyd’s daughter is not only the right thing to do, it’s a great distraction.

When Ella’s nearly killed, Caleb steps forward to help the man he loves by taking over to care for her, adding yet another complication to their already shaky situation. But when Caleb’s family decides to meddle, Boyd refuses to back down and will do whatever it takes to fight for his boy…and their happiness.




Chapter One



Then



I hate my life.

Caleb stared at the drizzly, cold March day outside. It was easier to sit there in his old Toyota and eat his lunch with the heater running than to pretend to want to socialize with his coworkers.

Too many of them who knew one or more people in his immediate family.

I hate Virginia.

It didn’t matter that he’d been born and raised there. He wanted out. His mother was, once again, dragging him to church all day Sunday. When she’d asked if he had plans on Sunday and he’d stupidly said no without thinking, she’d assumed it meant she could make plans for him.

All he wanted to do on Sunday was sleep late and vegetate.

Nope. He would now be attending church with her, and then some sort of social after.

Where his mom wanted to introduce him to the daughter of a friend of hers.

Ugh.

Not going wasn’t an option, unfortunately. Especially since she’d finalized the plans with her friend and the friend’s daughter. If he tried to cancel, she’d guilt-trip him, or, worse, ask his dad to “talk with him” and convince him to go.

The last thing he wanted was that kind of “talk” with his father. In fact, he avoided contact with his father as much as possible, now that he no longer lived under the man’s roof. Too much risk in his secret being discovered, and Caleb had no illusions what the man would attempt if he figured it out.

His father was six-four compared to Caleb’s five-seven. Years spent working in coal mines meant he was still as strong as ever and quite capable of kicking Caleb’s ass.

If Caleb tried to ignore his mother pounding on his door Sunday morning, she’d just start calling him, and then would call his landlord—her best friend’s brother-in-law—to come outside, walk around the side of the garage, and unlock the door to the tiny efficiency apartment over the garage.

Living less than a mile from his parents’ house, he had zero privacy and didn’t have the funds to move somewhere else.

He already knew how Sunday’s disaster would play out. Worse, all the while, he’d have to pretend to be het when he talked with the woman. He’d end up having to agree to go out once or twice with her due to badgering from his mom and hers, and either letting her down nicely on the first date, or acting like a dick to her to make her go away because she couldn’t take a hint that he wasn’t interested in her.

Just like his mother and three sisters, all younger, couldn’t take a hint.

And his father…

Caleb shuddered.

Maybe it is better to play het for a while longer.

That would metaphorically be less painful than the physical pain he knew he’d experience admitting to his father he was gay.

At least his sisters had stopped trying to fix him up because their friends all complained to them after their dates about what a dick their brother was.

During college he’d recognized he was gay, and kinky, but terror that his family might discover his secret kept him firmly locked in the closet while there. He couldn’t date guys locally. He damn sure couldn’t risk trying to find a kink scene anywhere nearby. He had a PO Box at a UPS store in town where he received his mail and the occasional package he ordered from websites, packages that would curl his family’s hair and have them dragging him to church to repent his sins if they knew the contents.

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