Darwin is someone that I really felt sorry for, he had found the love of his life, only to lose him. However, rather than go on with his life, it was like he was just existing, doing what needed to be done for his company, but really nothing for himself. This was until he went into his favorite restaurant to sit and look at the waiter, only to find him gone too!
Ricky is working at the restaurant so he can keep a roof over his head, plus try and pay off his student loans. Darwin comes across as quite a prickly person, but Ricky soon manages to find the nice Darwin underneath.
Darwin is strangely drawn to Ricky, although this all seems foreign to him, I think as it has been years since he had these feelings. He then goes back to the restaurant, just so he can see Ricky again, and ends up spending quite a while with him. The two of them seem to be getting on well, but Darwin has one huge secret that he is keeping from Ricky, one that will rock Rickys world.
I am not adding spoilers, but suffice to say things do not go well once Ricky knows the secret Darwin is keeping..... but is it as bad as that Ricky seems to think?? I could understand the reaction of Ricky, for being misled, but on the other hand I can totally understand why Darwin did what he did too. Is there any way for things to work out for the two men? Will Ricky understand why Darwin had to keep the big secret?
He frowned when the young man who approached the table looked nothing like the raven-haired beauty Darwin had grown accustomed to seeing twice a week for the last six months. He tried to school his features to hide his disappointment, not wanting to hurt the slender blond with the wide smile who drew near.
“Good evening, Mr. Kincade. My name is Richard, and I'll be your server for this evening. Would you like to start with a drink?”
“Where's Roy?” Darwin growled.
His cheeks heated when Richard stepped back, looking every bit the kicked puppy. Darwin winced. He knew better than to snap at people. He scratched his cheek before he glanced up. “I’m sorry. It's been a long day. Please forgive me. I assume Roy isn't working tonight?”
“Roy quit a couple days ago,” came the hesitant answer.
Darwin's gut clenched. He'd been coming to Asiago simply for Roy. Truthfully, the merely palatable food hadn’t been a drawing point. Seeing Roy had become the highlight of his week, and now he was gone.
“Did he say where he was going?” A hint of whine escaped, but goddamn it, he'd been in lust with Roy.
“He and his wife moved to be closer to her parents.”
Nausea rolled through Darwin. He hadn't even considered Roy might not have been gay. Such a fool he was.
“Would you like that drink?” Richard asked hesitantly.
Darwin knew Asiago was one of the few places in the United States that had the drink he loved most. “Yes, please. A shot of Macallan M. Neat.”
Richard gasped and then covered his mouth. “Sir, that costs—”
“I damn well know the cost,” he snapped. “Bring me my drink.”
Once more Darwin's anger had gotten the better of him. Green eyes shimmered in the dim lighting, and Darwin worried the young man might break into tears.
“Again, please accept my apologies. It’s been a rough day, and I should probably just go home.” He reached over and grabbed his briefcase, ready to stand, when Richard held out a hand and graced Darwin with a genuine and disarming smile.
“No, please. Stay. Let me get you that drink, okay? I'll let you know the dinner special when I come back. My grandma always said any day can be made better with a good meal.” Richard hurried off in the direction of the bar without waiting for a reply.
Darwin fumed at his lack of self-control. Not only had he made a fool of himself tonight, but he'd also hurt the feelings of someone he didn't know. Though Richard would be right to refuse service to Darwin, he’d run to get a drink. As much as he wanted to believe the attentive attitude came down to getting a decent tip, Richard seemed too genuine for that. Darwin sighed and put his briefcase back on the leather seat. His mother would be so disappointed in him.
A crystal glass thunked against the table, startling Darwin. The amber liquid rippled gently. Darwin picked it up and gazed into the glass. He'd thought about downing it in one go, relishing the burn that would inevitably follow, but he hated losing control. He took a deep, steadying breath.
“Most people call me Ricky. You can, if you want.”
Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his husband of nearly 26 years, Parker continues to believe and writes stories where there is (almost) always a happy ending.
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