Title: Buried Treasure
Author Name & Publisher: D.C. Juris (Torquere Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 23, 2016 – 14,300 Words
After his last long-term relationship ended because of his nightmares, Mark closed his heart to the possibility of finding love again. He’s certainly never considered Gabe, the orderly who works at Miller’s Retirement Home where his father lives. But there’s more to Gabe than meets the eye, and if Mark is willing to let Gabe in, he might just discover the most important buried treasure of all.
“Don’t you have work to do?” The words came out clipped and terse. Mark regretted sounding rude, but he wasn’t in the mood for company, at least not anymore.
“I’m on my lunch break.”
Mark frowned. No way in hell would he stay at his work when he didn’t need to. “You hang around this place on your lunch?”
Gabe shuffled his feet. “I like my job. And anyhow, I was actually hoping to catch up with you today.”
“Why?” The tiny hairs on the back of Mark’s neck stood up. “Something wrong with dad?”
“No.” Gabe shook his head quickly. “Nothing like that. I just wanted to ask you out for a cup of coffee.”
Mark cocked his head, studying Gabe’s appearance for the first time. Usually dressed in a drab navy blue shirt and matching slacks, Gabe was wearing a brightly colored, close fitting Hawaiian shirt with black pants that, if Mark didn’t miss his guess, were brand new. And Gabe had said he’d been hoping to catch up with Mark.
He’d known Gabe ever since he’d moved his dad into Miller’s, but he’d never considered Gabe date-material, though at the moment, he couldn’t say why. Over the course of hundreds of conversations, he’d learned they had a lot in common — from their love of the Pittsburgh Steelers, to their mutual admiration for mystery novels, to preferring pineapple and ham on their pizzas. “Are you asking me out on a date?”
“I’m trying to.” Gabe blushed and looked away. “Unless there’s someone. I haven’t seen you with anyone, since the last time Donald came.”
Mark shook his head. “There isn’t anyone.”
“You dumped Donald?”
Was that a trace of happiness Mark detected in Gabe’s tone? “He dumped me, said dad was too much stress for him.” He didn’t like lying, but the real reason for his broken relationship was far too embarrassing. He dumped me because I’m a mental case just didn’t have a positive ring.
“What the hell?” Gabe wrinkled his forehead. “He’s your dad, not Donald’s.”
“Yeah, well.” Donald had been a big mistake, and remained a subject Mark didn’t want to discuss. “How long’s your lunch break?”
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Romance author, sci-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we’re talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake-making, football-watching, rubber-duck-collecting, drag-show loving, full-of-fabulous-with-a-capital-F kinda gal. She’s also an ordained minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching Star Trek and Supernatural repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er…research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::