Some of our authors were asked to write a story based on one of their characters from their stories and with a chosen prompt word. Check out Andrea Speed today!
Roan knew it would take a long time to thin out his book collection, but he’d underestimated it by a long shot.
His “library” was out of control. Long ago he’d given up on trying to shelve the books, and took to stacking them up on available surfaces, including the floor. Now it was almost impossible to move in the room. He was a book hoarder, and it was all kinds of sad. So Roan promised himself, before he ever bought another book, he would clear out some space in his library. He intended to donate the books he cleared out, always aware, in the back of his mind, that there was a chance he could go back to the used bookstore and buy them again. He’d kick himself if he did, but he liked the idea of a safety net on the off chance he parted with a book he missed more than he expected. It was a crutch for his addiction.
Roan had been at it for hours, and yet he only had one tote bag full of books. He’d built several stacks into one large pile, balanced precariously against the far bookshelf. Roan knew he should have had more to show for all his effort than one paltry bag, but he was so sentimental about books. It was probably the only place where sentimentality got him, or at least where he would admit it.
He found a pile of Ken Bruen paperbacks, and there was no way in hell he was giving these away. Well, maybe keeping more than one copy was excessive, unless he found a reason to keep them. So he started flipping through them, looking for annotations or first printing mentions, when a small, sealed envelope fell out of a paperback of The Guards.
At first, he assumed it was some random object he used as a bookmark, but his name was written on the front of the envelope, in a very familiar, ornate script. Roan’s heart skipped a beat as he opened it, and he took a deep breath before he unfolded the note.
Stop with your goddamn books and pay attention to your loving, wonderful boyfriend. Kisses, P
This wasn’t the first surprise note Paris had left him, but it was the first he had found in almost two years. How old was this? When did he write it and hide it? Roan had hoped it smelled like him, but it didn’t. It just had the smell of old books.
Roan let himself pretend, for a moment, that his eyes were watery due to all the dust. He wasn’t sure what to blame for the hollow ache in his chest.
He sniffed and folded the note back up before putting it carefully back in the envelope, and then put the envelope back in the book. He wanted to find this note again. Just seeing Paris’s handwriting had made Roan feel choked up.
He gave himself a couple of minutes to pull himself together, and put the paperback on a high shelf, one of the “keeper” shelves. He then opened the door of the library, and called, “Hey, Dyl.”
It took a moment for Dylan to respond. It sounded like he was in the basement, throwing in a load of laundry. “Yeah?”
“Wanna go hit that new vegan place tonight?”
There was a pause, and Roan waited as he heard Dyl’s footsteps pounding up the basement steps, and when Dylan did appear in his view, he was looking up at him with concerned curiosity. “You hate vegan food.”
“I know. But Rhett said it was better than most, right? I’m in the mood to give it a shot.”
Dylan’s raised eyebrows signaled his continued skepticism, but finally he said, “Okay. I’ll go get changed.”
Roan was pretty sure when Paris wrote the note, he was referring to himself. But actually, knowing how crafty Paris was, he wasn’t one hundred percent sure.
He could sort books another day. Right now, Roan thought it was best to pay attention to his loving, wonderful boyfriend. It was exactly what Paris would want.