They should have planned their partnership more carefully when they began Part Time Lovers. Every November, Jules thought the same thing, realizing that both he and Mercy were at their very worst in the dark days and even darker nights.
Oh, the sun shone occasionally—if by that you meant for a few hours a week. The rest of the time it was gray, and gloomy with it. The deciduous trees lining Hornby and Howe Streets had all dropped their leaves and looked like skeletons against the overcast sky and the grays and blues of the buildings around them.
The coniferous trees—and they were everywhere, towering over houses, leaning over pathways and lanes, dropping their cones over sidewalks and lawns—seemed to have turned color from light-infused to dark in a single moment. They weren’t just gloomy, they were scary.
Their taxi account grew exponentially in the winter months, both of them changing their regular walking routine to avoid the trek to work in the pitch black of the morning and the walk home in the early evening darkness.
Jules tried to laugh about this but it was impossible. Both of them were in foul moods. They missed their regular exercise, they missed the sun, and they weren’t the only ones.
The Web site was filled with posters obviously desperate to find some way to deal with the never-ending blackness around them. They wanted someone, anyone, to share the long nights with them; and they didn’t have any trouble finding that someone.
So they were frantically busy at a time when all they really wanted to do was to stay home and enjoy their respective fireplaces—Jules with Shea, who had practically moved in with him, and Mercy with Rafa and phone sex.
But even the changes in their lives didn’t make either of them easy to get along with in the gloom of November. They hated it. They cursed it. They ordered lunch and coffee from the restaurant downstairs so they didn’t have to go out. They wore scarves around their necks even though it wasn’t even the slightest bit cold thanks to the hum and the heat given off by the computers around them.
And they closed the heavy red velvet drapes, shutting out the cloud-covered sky, only opening them—if they were at work—to celebrate the few sunny hours.
This year, despite the weather, was better than the previous year. And all of the years before that. It was odd, he thought. If they’d both been women, he’d have figured that after all the years they’d known each other, all the years they’d worked together, that their schedules had synchronized. But it couldn’t be that.
What it came down to, though, was that neither Jules nor Mercy had slept with anyone else since they’d fallen for Shea and Rafa. Odd for sure, because both of them had been convinced they’d never be monogamous, had never wanted to be, had enjoyed—no, loved—the variety and excitement of the sexual games they’d played their whole grown-up lives.
Yet here they were, settled down.
And he loved every single thing about it. He still took a cab to work in the morning, often leaving Shea’s naked and well-fucked body in bed when he left, knowing he’d see him soon.
He still took a cab home, often with Shea sitting in the back seat with him, the heat between them making the ten-minute ride almost unbearably exciting. They’d rush up the elevator and race down the hall and into the condo, ripping their clothes off the minute they shut the door behind them.
It was perfect.
But right now Jules had to work and stop dreaming over the man he loved. If he concentrated, if his worry about Mercy didn’t completely distract him, he could be leaving right about the time Shea finished his shift, and he could have Shea’s cock in his mouth fifteen minutes later.
Get your mind off Shea’s cock and onto work. Jules grinned. He couldn’t do that, but he’d try and split his energy and get some work done.
By the time Mercy arrived four hours later—she always worked the late shift, preferring the evening hours—he had done everything on his list for the day. He’d ordered coffee and her favorite grilled cheese and fries to show up just before Mercy, and they sat down at their respective desks for lunch and an update.
“It’s busy,” Jules said around his mouthful of Cobb salad. “Busier even than last year. I checked the stats and we’re the busiest we’ve ever been.”
“No kidding. We’re getting twice as many new clients every week. I can hardly keep up.”
Jules pondered that and then laid out the plan he’d concocted over the past few weeks.
“We need at least one more person,” he said, “especially if you’re going to start spending time in Spain.”
Mercy’s smile cut through the gloom. “Jules.” She crossed the space between them and kissed him. “You’re absolutely right. Let’s have brunch on Monday and talk about it.”
She glanced down at the messages on her desktop and frowned. “I can’t do it now.”
Jules hummed to himself. He’d planted the seed, he had the plan, and Rafa and Spain were his carrot. He could hardly wait for Monday.
Due Out November 23rd from Cobblestone Press