NOBODY’S PRINCE CHARMING
AIMEE NICOLE WALKER
RELEASE DATE: 03.23.18
COVER DESIGN: JAY AHEER/ Simply Defined Art
COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: WANDER AGUIAR
We didn’t say anything on our way up to Dare’s room because neither of us wanted to risk waking Ralph. We were lucky that we didn’t get caught when we pulled that stunt in the laundry room. Okay, the stunt that I pulled. I knew that Ralph liked me, and I even suspected he knew that his grandson had become very important to me, but that didn’t give me the right to be disrespectful in his home. It wasn’t because we were gay either. I would’ve felt the same if we were a straight couple sneaking up to… Couple? I rolled the word around in my head a few times, expecting a negative thought to refute its validity but none came. I discovered I liked the way the word felt, sounded, and even tasted on my tongue. Just because I didn’t speak it out loud didn’t mean it was less true.
When we got to Dare’s room, we silently undressed each other in between soft kisses in the muted light from the lamp on the bedside table. The mood between us was different like we both had realized something important that day: what we shared was poignant and real. There was a confidence in Dare’s hands when he touched me and in his eyes when he looked at me. Did he see and feel the same changes in me?
Even my arousal was different. Rather than the all-consuming fire, it was a slow-burning flame that never seemed to diminish or burn out. It vibrated through me like normal, but new emotions joined the passion: tenderness and a desire for something I didn’t deserve and shouldn’t want. I’d been stingy with my heart for my entire life, giving it only to my mom who had died and a boy who was nearly rejected by his family for loving me. My mom didn’t choose to willingly leave me, but the boy did. I didn’t blame him, but it still hurt, especially when our breakup was only a few months after my mom’s death. I had no one in the world I could count on until I met Jimmy and Danny. I sure as hell couldn’t count on Falcon. Just thinking about him brought on a fresh wave of exhaustion, which killed my arousal.
Dare didn’t seem to mind. He pulled back the sheets and blankets then gestured for me to climb inside. He joined me after I got situated then turned off the light before he rolled over and lay his head on my chest. In the dark, it was easier to find the words that I couldn’t speak to anyone else. Hell, Jimmy and Danny didn’t even know that Falcon was my sperm donor, yet here I was about to tell Dare everything.
“Wren,” he said softly in the darkness. “You don’t have to tell me anything if you don’t want to, okay? If you do want to talk, I promise you that nothing you say will leave this room.”
“I know, Sparkles.” I trailed my hands up and down his back, finding comfort in the rhythm and already familiar feel of my fingers bumping along his spine. “You’d never betray my trust.” I knew it as certain as the sun would rise in the east. No matter what happened between us, Dare would keep my confidence. “Once upon a time,” I began to lighten the mood. I expected Dare to snort, but he giggled. “What?”
“That’s a phrase I use frequently in my head. I tend to work everyday events into fairy tales.”
“Yeah? Who am I?” I asked.
“Prince Charming, duh. Only with longer hair, biker boots, and a beefier body. My prince rides a Harley instead of a horse.”
“Sparkles, I’m nobody’s Prince Charming.”
“You don’t get to decide that,” he said in a singsong voice. “I decide who my Prince Charming is and no one else.”
I ignored the fluttering in my stomach and dug deep for a gruff response. “Fine, but don’t say that I didn’t warn you.”
“Once upon a time…” Dare prompted.
I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees. I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever- after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.
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