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Life In Union
Summit City Book 3
Over the past eight months, aspiring author Boone Daniels has seen his entire life turned upside down and inside out. Having survived a recent auto-accident and an impromptu proposal of marriage from his one-night-stand-turned-boyfriend, Wade Walker, Boone has finally moved to Summit City to begin a whole new chapter.
Having adapted to several big life-changes within a relatively short window of time, Boone has embraced the idea of spending the rest of his ‘forever’ with the man he loves. However, he quickly recognizes that it takes more than finding true love and relocating to make a house feel like a home.
As Boone and Wade merge their separate lives into a life in union, they’ll struggle to strike a balance between ‘the me’ and ‘the we’. With patience and perseverance, they’ll eventually say their I Do’s and get that happily-ever-after…after all.
Title: Life In Union: Summit City Book 3
Author: Ethan Day
ISBN#: 978-0-9990782-1-(ebook) $4.99
ISBN#: 978-0-9990782-2-8 (print) $14.99
Release Date: October 2, 2018
“Once upon a time, in fairy land far, far away…lived a newly relocated, smokin’ hot boy-toy and his big, hairless Yeti.” I yawned, all my senses currently buzzing in anticipation watching the steaming hot stream of freshly brewed coffee filling the glass carafe. It was officially day four since I’d quite possibly lost all of my marbles by permanently relocating to Summit City, or more appropriately, uprooting my entire life to be with said Yeti—aka Wade Walker.
Lord knows nothing else could’ve persuaded me to move to a tiny-ass mountain resort town like this.
I glanced through the window above the kitchen sink which looked out across the deck and down into the valley. It was late August, and the morning sun was casting its rays upon the blanketed green canopy of trees that covered every inch of the valley floor below. Only the rooftops of the town itself broke through the treetops, appearing slightly more artificial in juxtaposition with the surroundings—as if mother nature was constantly threatening to reclaim what man had snatched away from her several hundred years before.
As a cloud passed over the sun outside, the light changed, and my own reflection in the glass became noticeable. I could feel the scowl taking over my face, still not used to the shorter hair thanks to my idiotic auto incident back before I moved from Albuquerque.
I didn’t look bad, just different.
I decided to remove any opportunity for further unwanted distraction altogether and reached over the sink to open the window. There was a cool dampness in the air, though it was supposed to climb up into the seventies today.
“Practically a heat wave,” I muttered to myself, less than enthused. It was selfish of me, but I couldn’t seem to prevent myself from wishing some of that global warming might make its way to Summit City sooner rather than later.
I took in a deep breath of air, noting the subtle hint of wet pine needles from the early morning dew quickly permeating the room. While I couldn’t claim to not enjoy the scent, my brain was still struggling to make the necessary connections required to permit acceptance that this was indeed my new home. Somewhere inside, my brain was holding on to the way my old house smelled—refusing to let go of that in order to make room for the realities of now.
I turned my attention to the coffee maker, leaning over the countertop, elbows propping me up as I stared intently, watching the level of black liquid gold slowly continuing to rise. The smell of coffee was almost as good as the taste, which ran a very close second place finish to the immediate effect it had on my caffeine-addicted brain synapses. Add in the flavored syrups, creamers and sweetener which provided the bonus sugar rush and we had nature’s most brilliantly-perfect, legal mood enhancer.
“I find that longing stare you share with the coffee maker each morning extremely unnerving, baby,” Wade said, walking into the kitchen. “Doesn’t seem like a very healthy relationship if you ask me.”
I frowned over the accusation but made the inevitable call to not rip said ‘longing gaze’ away from my morning liquid messiah in order to share that disdain with this impertinent interloper.
In all honesty, I’d been so completely focused on my brew that I hadn’t even heard Wade come upstairs from the small gym that was set up on the lower level of the house—a fact I decided never to share with him as it would only serve to potentially add weight to his claim that coffee and I had an unnaturally co-dependent relationship.
Wade’s real issue was likely that I was staring longingly at anything other than him.
“Didn’t anyone ever teach you that sharing negative and judgey personal insights this early in the a.m. is exceedingly rude and in reality, does the exact opposite of the intended, by revealing the deliverer’s own insecurities and negative personal flaws?” Finally tearing my gaze away from my dark mistress, my heart skipped a few beats as I stared at my seriously hot, busy-bodied boyfriend.
Wade was currently sucking down the contents of a large bottle of water he’d liberated from the fridge. The already impressive array of muscles which made up the terrain of Wade’s devastatingly massive body were glistening with sweat, and appeared slightly more engorged than normal coming right off his work out. The form fitting shorts hugged his ass and upper thighs in all the right ways and the heather grey tank had a long, wet, sweat-soaked streak leading down from his chest, like an arrowhead pointing toward the man’s other impressive package.
“Your mouth is hanging open, baby.” Wade was grinning confidently, using the hand towel he’d retrieved from his shoulder to wipe the moisture from his face. “You’ll let the flies in if you’re not careful.”
I smirked, letting him know I wasn’t impressed, though I wasn’t able to stop leering either, which likely undercut the believability of my attempted display of disdain. I was experiencing a gut-wrenching, Sophie’s Choice dilemma, attempting to decide exactly where my attention should be placed in that moment—my heart torn between caffeine and my sweat-soaked, beefcake boyfriend.
Biting down on my lip, I turned back to the coffee pot which hissed, announcing it had finally completed its task. I quickly went about making that vital first cup of the day, tossing in all the accoutrements I’d already had sitting there ready to go. “Once I’ve had my coffee I’m totally going to molest you.”
Wade let out one of his stock-in-trade deep rumbly laughs. “Something to look forward to.” He placed his water bottle on the counter before pulling off his tank altogether, then proceeded to use it to wipe down his upper torso and underarms.
I watched the man intently while taking several sips from my cup. “Didn’t anyone ever teach you it’s not polite to tease the animals?”
“Hmm, that doesn’t sound familiar, no.” Wade said, doing a horrible job at appearing perplexed by this supposedly new information. “Besides, I happen to know this particular animal…” He pointed his finger in my direction. “Enjoys a good tease.”
I lifted my cup back to my mouth in an attempt to mask the grin I couldn’t manage to stifle. It was a blessing and a curse, being so attracted to another person that even when I found myself legitimately pissed off at the man, I still wanted to fornicate the hell out of him.
Closing the distance between us and not waiting for any sort of response from me, Wade planted a heated kiss on my lips. The scent of sweat and spices from his deodorant had an immediate effect on my libido. Wade’s thick fingers sliding over my hips combined with his tongue slowly taunting my own had me ready to place caffeine on the back burner.
He pulled away, grinning sheepishly as his gaze perused my shirtless upper body. “Unfortunately, I have someplace to be this morning, so you won’t be able to have your way with me after all, sweet cheeks.” Wade’s cell phoned chirped as he palmed my ass, giving it a quick squeeze before letting go of me to check out the text he’d just received.
I frowned, turning my attention back to my cup of Joe since my other main squeeze was jumping ship. “Responsibilities suck.”
“I know, and for the record, I enjoy your sucking a great deal more.”
“I should certainly hope so,” I muttered, stumbling up to the kitchen island which created a visual barrier, separating the eating/dining areas from the masculine cabinesque design of the living room.
Wade pulled a carton of eggs, milk, chopped vegetables and fresh spinach from the refrigerator and went about the task of making one of his huge-ass omelets. The amount of food the man could eat in a single sitting never ceased to amaze me. In theory, all it took was one look at the size of him to understand that it required a ton of fuel to keep Wade upright and functional. But it was still a sight to behold.
“Want me to make some extra for you?” he asked, already grinning.
“Fine,” I sighed, “I can pick the veggies out.”
Wade shook his head disapprovingly but didn’t offer any further recriminations. I assumed he had already come to the conclusion it would be a waste of his breath. Plus, he was aware that in spite of the fact I would indeed pick out some of the veggies, he’d caught on to the fact that if he chopped them up small enough, I’d get bored with trying to remove them all and inevitably eat some of them anyway.
I’d managed to keep my food-related laziness and lack of attention span a fairly well-kept secret until the stupid motor vehicle accident debacle. With Wade waiting on me hand and foot for several weeks following the wreck—which included making all my meals for me—he’d managed to figure me out. Had it not been for my besties sneaking in a steady supply of snack-cake-contraband, we may not have survived as a couple.
Taking another sip of coffee, I sighed, watching my boyfriend expertly navigating the gourmet kitchen with its smoky, caramel-stained cabinets and professional grade stainless steel appliances. I was slightly irritated by the fact I was more than a little horny and now aware there wasn’t going to be any sort of release headed my way in the immediate future.
“Where’s Gabe?” Wade asked, whisking the bowl of eggs.
“Gabe didn’t make it back again last night.” I smiled, liking that fact, even though it meant he wasn’t here, keeping me company.
Wade’s cell phone dinged again.
“You are certainly popular this morning.”
Wade nodded, letting out a long sigh as he dumped the contents of the bowl into a skillet. “A lot going on today, babe.”
“Mmm, that’s right, you’re supposed to go unpack and inventory this season’s new line of Wade Walker Olympic-gold-medal snow gear at the lodge.” I frowned, acutely aware that meant I was being left behind to work on unpacking the remainder of my boxes which had all been crammed into the office.
“That’s right.” Wade smiled at me, no hint of orneriness as he added, “And you need to finish unpacking so you can get your office set up.”
“Thought it was our office?” I asked sheepishly.
Wade was not buying the innocent smile I’d plastered across my face.
“I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve told you I’ve barely set foot in that room since I set it up as a home office over three years ago.”
“I assumed you were just being nice.”
“Liar,” Wade said, laughing under his breath. “You just want my help unpacking the rest of your junk.”
I gasped, doing my best to appear shocked by the accusation.
“And I’m not doing it,” Wade declared. “That room is all yours. You need a quiet place where you can close yourself off from the outside world and write.”
“I don’t see why that means you can’t help with the heavy lifting.” I went about making myself a second cup of coffee. “Should you really be spending your valuable gold-medal time unpacking boxes at the lodge when you could be doing that here with me?”
“I already explained how important is for me to personally inspect all the clothing and gear myself.” Wade flipped the eggs and sprinkled on what could only be described as a conservative amount of cheese. “Every piece of that inventory has my name on it and I damn well intend to make sure my quality standards have been met, down to the very last stitch, zipper and button hole.”
I chuckled under my breath and Wade smirked in response.
“Hole is not a dirty word.”
I wiggled my eyebrows at him. “It certainly is in my head when I hear you say it.”
He laughed, his face turning slightly pink as he plated up the massive omelet, cutting off a chunk from one end for me before sliding the plate across the counter top. “Eat your breakfast, lover, you’re gonna need your strength in order to finish up the office by day’s end.”
My eyes nearly bugged out of my head. “Yeah, no, this will be a multi-day process, buddy.”
Wade forked in a mouthful of eggs. “You need to start back writing tomorrow, honey. Those stories in your head aren’t going to finish themselves and between the accident, your physical therapy and the move, you’ve fallen completely out of any sort of routine.”
I scowled. “What are you, my manager?”
“Yep, I’m here to manage you, baby. In every sense of the word.”
I laughed, shaking my head at him. “And visions of self-importance danced through his head.”
He smiled in that sexy, devilish way that always managed to get me weak-kneed. “There might be something special in it for you—assuming you finish unpacking today.”
He cocked his head to the side as if pondering the possibilities and damn it all to hell if I wasn’t keenly interested in what the man had to say.
“Come to think of it, we’ve yet to make use of those handcuffs I unpacked a few days back.”
I shoveled some omelet into my mouth in an attempt to mask any interest in where the conversation was now headed.
“And I’m aware that you do seem to occasionally enjoy it when things get a bit…mmm…rough?”
My eye’s popped wide open, suddenly fully awake and alert.
Wade continued scarfing down his breakfast pretending to be completely unaffected, even though I knew he was revealing some sort of secret fantasy of his own as well as one of mine.
“If you were to get that office completed today, I’d be really grateful, so grateful that I’d probably lose control over my own faculties and end up getting carried away.”
I cleared my throat. “Like…how carried away?”
“Hmm, I dunno, maybe handcuffing you to the headboard and riding that ass of yours so hard and for so long that you won’t be able to sit down properly for the next few days.”
I sat there staring, holding a fork-full of eggs suspended in mid-air, lost in my own imagination.
“Your mouth is hanging open again, baby,” Wade finally said, grinning confidently as he got up from the stool and headed toward the sink to rinse his plate. “Again with the flies.”
What is this, Amityville? What’s with all these flies I keep hearing about?
“You don’t know me,” I finally said, my voice cracking slightly like I’d just suffered a puberty flashback.
“Time will tell, I suppose.” He winked at me before pointing toward the sink. “You mind cleaning up? I don’t want to be late and have everyone waiting on me.”
I nodded, though I wasn’t buying that in the least based solely upon his word choice. “Don’t you mean waiting for you?” I asked, feeling fairly confident in thinking the man loved being waited on.
“Whatever you say, baby,” Wade added, heading toward the stairs that led up to our bedroom loft. “You know best, I’m sure.”
“Since I don’t have anything else I have to get done today I’d be happy to clean up!” I yelled out after him, doing my best to sound defiant. I could hear the fucker laughing as he climbed the stairs and frowned over the disappointment I harbored toward my inner slut, who’d had me by the balls from the time I’d hit puberty many, many, moons ago.
I sighed, finishing up my breakfast while accepting the realization that I’d be getting that damn office unpacked and set up by day’s end come hell or high water.
We’d certainly had sex since the accident, but even after completing physical therapy, Wade had continued operating on the cautious side when it came to getting physical with me. Not that I was complaining, mind you, there hadn’t ever been a time that I’d not enjoyed making love with him. The sex was always incredible, but I’d started to feel like he might never fully trust that I was going to be okay and that bothered me a bit.
I loved that he cared, but I certainly didn’t want our relationship to turn into some weird co-dependent scenario where Wade did nothing but try and take care of me all the time. It’s not that I hated having him do nice things for me, but I didn’t want him feeling like he had to.
Aside from the occasional crick in my neck or shoulder cramping up, which was typically a result of the way I’d slept, I was completely back to normal, minus the buzzed hair cut which still bugged me every time I caught a glimpse of my reflection. I reached up and rubbed the top of my head, praying it would grow back out quickly.
I’d certainly tried instigating a more vigorous response from him in the sack, but thus far, Wade hadn’t taken the bait. That fact made this current proposition feel as if perhaps things were finally getting back to normal between us.
“And not a moment too soon.”