Danny Friedman knows all about loss. His father left to start a new family and now that his mother passed away, he’s even more certain love is only temporary. People always disappoint him in the end, a lesson he learned years ago when his summer camp best friend and secret crush disappeared without a trace, never to be heard from again. Until now.
Fifteen years ago, Paul Merola left everything behind when he ran away with his mother to escape his abusive father. He lived life on the run for years, but never forgot his best friend, Danny. When his job transfers him to the New York City office, the past collides with the present, as Paul finds himself face to face with Danny, who works there as well. To Paul’s dismay, a reluctant Danny makes it clear he has little desire to rekindle their friendship.
Despite Danny’s desire to learn what happened all those years ago, he refuses to fall victim to Paul’s charm, fearing he’s being used to get ahead. Paul, finally secure enough to stay and put down roots, must convince Danny that there is more to them than a broken promise. Not only does he want to be friends again, he wants love. He wants forever. And he wants it all with Danny.
This story first appeared in the It Was Always You Anthology. It has been re-edited and expanded by approximately 5,000 words.