Going the Distance
Drive Into Love Book 2
Digital Editions: Amber Allure
Ben has a conference to attend in New York and it only makes sense that he asks Jess to come along. After all, they are… well, something. It stings when Jess says no, even if Ben was expecting it, and leaves him wondering if he’s making a mistake investing himself in the relationship. Worse, being in New York means he has to fend off Andrew—his ex—for days. Seems no one but Ben thinks he’s serious about Jess.
Jess thinks he’s fine until Ben is gone and he’s left with an empty spot in his life where Ben belongs. It’s convenient to have Ben around, and just as convenient when Ben fades back into his own world, but Ben being gone is something else altogether. Jess’s friends and family notice too and push Jess to face up to how he’s been treating Ben as a temporary lover instead of the partner Ben could be.
In New York, Jess has his first moment of real peace in years. In his small home town, everyone knows his business from the way the mother of his kids ran off to the fact that he’s queer. Here he’s just Jess, someone who just might be good enough to be at Ben’s side even in a room full of professors and scholars.
Ben is thrilled that Jess made the trip, but he’s got to face the fact that he’s as much to blame for the uncertainty as Jess—in his attempt to be the perfect fit for Jess’s life, he missed the fact that Jess’s life is due for an overhaul. Ben has to get up the nerve to rock the boat or risk his relationship with Jess ending up like the Titanic. Getting to New York and back is easy; it’s the distance between their lives that’s keeping them apart.
Length: Novella | Rating: Erotic | Publisher: Amber Allure
Themes: Interracial Relationship; Working Class Hero; Interclass Relationship; Hero with Children; Contemporary Romance; Small Town Life; The City Life
“I’ve got to go to a conference for work next week. In New York.” Ben looked dire for a guy who was talking about going to New York. “With Andrew.”
With Andrew. Well, no wonder Ben looked like he was about to visit the executioner. Wasn’t a damn thing Jess could do about it, though. “Next week, huh? That the conference he was talking about that day in your office?”
That day. So simple. Like it hadn’t been just about the end of their relationship, a couple times over.
“The same one.” Ben looked properly uncomfortable and probably not just on account of sitting on Jess’s coffee table. “If you could spare the time, I’d like it if you came with me.”
“I— What?” Jess hadn’t been expecting that, not a bit. Go with him? The whole idea sent confusion racing through Jess’s brain and he couldn’t quite settle on what to say.
“I thought we could stay an extra day, if you had the time.” Ben reached out and stroked Jess’s thigh through the blankets. “If you’re feeling up to it. I’ll have a lot of time to spend with you when I’m not in panels. I don’t have to attend them all. And…” He trailed off and shrugged. “You know. Room to ourselves and all.”
A room to themselves… Jess glanced at the door to Lily’s room, where she and Jamie were still quietly reading together. The trip sounded great, but there was no way Jess could pull it off.
“I can’t,” he said, turning his gaze back on Ben. “I got half a dozen cars to fix this week, and I can’t just up and leave the kids. Not like I’ve got any money for trips to New York City anyhow.”
The idea of Ben going off with Andrew burned him up bad, but there wasn’t nothing he could do about it. He sure couldn’t drop everything and run off just ’cause Ben was gonna have some free time. He didn’t let himself think about how that’s exactly what Ben did every time Jess had any time to spare. That was different.
“Okay.” Ben said it so easy, like he took so much else in stride, then leaned over and kissed Jess on the forehead again. “Wasn’t holding my breath. Just didn’t want you thinking you weren’t welcome. Because you are.” He pushed himself to his feet. “I’ll get the kids’ lunches packed for tomorrow, that kind of thing.”
And didn’t that make Jess feel like a shit? He closed his eyes and nodded just a tad so it wouldn’t make his head explode. “Thanks.”
“Don’t thank me, baby,” Ben said, his voice fading out as he disappeared into the kitchen. “You go and get better before I have to leave you.”
“Somebody bring me some water, these two sizzle on the pages together.” — Nerine Petros, Queer Magazine Online
“As electrifying as ever.” — Scandalous Minx, Literary Nymphs
Going the Distance—For Good Reason — Amber Allure Blog