Lovers Stacy James and Levi Wright keep their relationship hot and spicy by enjoying the little things in life. Levi welcomes Stacy home from a business trip but an offhand comment by a stranger cools Stacy’s ardor, and sets in motion a chain reaction that rocks the very foundation of Levi’s world. He’s never cheated on Stacy, but Stacy has sudden doubts.
On his own, Levi is tested in his discoveries – about Stacy, their relationship, and about the kind of man he wants to be. One thing he knows for certain. He’s not losing Stacy over a careless whisper that isn’t true, but will the only man he’ll ever love forgive his angry words?
Stacy made the worst mistake of his life telling his lover to find another place to sleep. Levi might be younger, but he’s a man, with a man’s pride. Stacy draws on all his experience to walk a road full of detours and pitfalls to meet Levi halfway, and bring him home. Because for Stacy, there’s no one but Levi.
* * *
A fine trembling seized my body. This conversation was out of control, the potential for disaster increasing by the second. My stomach clenched in on itself until I fought back the dry heaves. The world spiraled around me, going black at the edges. I broke free of his hands.
"I love you. I never cheat on you. And yet you sit there and ask me if it's possible I could have given you the clap - or something worse? Maybe I should be the one worrying! And you have to do it here? I have to go in there and work!" I choked, unable to breathe. "I never…"
Stacy's arms came around me. I shoved him away, holding him at bay. The words came as I managed a deep breath. Horrible words that I couldn’t stop from pouring out of me in my anger and pain that he didn’t know me well enough to believe how much I loved him.
“Why don’t you go get a blood test since you can’t trust me! Now you listen to me. You decide whether or not you love me enough to have me hang around because if I’ve gotten a little old for you, you should tell me. I’ll step aside so you can go find yourself another sixteen year old!”
He drew back like I’d struck him, which I had. I’d lashed out, hitting him with the most damaging words I owned. He’d been falsely accused of having sex with a sixteen-year-old boy when he was twenty. The boy had lied – Stacy hadn’t touched him – but the accusation had almost ruined Stacy’s life. The pain lingered, and I, who loved him so much, knew the wound lingered in him, unhealed at its deepest point.
And I used it against him.
I reached for him and this time he batted my hands away.
“I’m sorry, Stace. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean that.”
“You said it, so you did mean it. Now get out of the car. I can’t be with you right now.”
My stomach roiled. “Stacy, please. We need to go back home and talk this out.”
He refused to look at me. The cold rage in his voice didn’t completely disguise the hurt.
“No, we don’t. Going home won’t fix this, Levi. I need some time alone. Do us both a favor and find someplace else to sleep...”