Story Excerpt
His Gentle Touch

flame div

“You want to talk about it?”

            Micah shook his head as he stared down at the cup of coffee in his hand. “Not really.”

            “Come on, Micah, something is obviously on your mind. You’ve been down for a couple of months but tonight you’re really in the dumps. What’s wrong?” Seth asked as he leaned forward in his seat.

            Reaching into his jacket pocket, Micah pulled out a thick envelope and slapped it down on the table. He could barely stand to look at it, turning his gaze back to his cup of coffee. “The annulment papers came today.”

            “Oh,” Seth said sympathetically. “Sorry, man. I know you were hoping he would change his mind.”

            “Yeah, it was stupid. I guess until they showed up today I kept thinking that maybe he would come back. How funny was that? Gideon Wulfe coming back for me. I’m surprised he married me in the first place.”

            “Why? You’re a great guy. Anyone would be proud to be married to you.”

            “Apparently not that great or these wouldn’t have been delivered today,” Micah said bitterly as he gestured towards the envelope.

            “Have you signed them?” Seth asked a few minutes later.

            “I haven’t even opened them yet. I—I just can’t.”

            “Then how do you know that they’re annulment papers? Maybe it’s a letter from him or something. Plane tickets and an invitation to join him.”

            “No, they’re annulment papers.”

            “How do you know if you haven’t even opened them?” Seth asked as he reached for the envelope. He carefully ripped the end off, pulling a large stack of papers out. He grabbed them with both hands and began reading.

            Micah raised his eyes and watched Seth reading the papers Gideon had sent. It had come as no surprise to him that a deliveryman had dropped them off at his apartment. Gideon certainly wouldn’t deliver them himself. Micah might make a fool of himself again.

            Still, until the papers were actually in his hand, Micah had held out hope that Gideon would change his mind and come for him. He realized that such a thought was silly. Gideon Wulfe was the sexiest man he had ever met in his life. He could have anyone he wanted. He just didn’t want Micah.

            “Well?” Micah asked hesitantly. The last bit of hope he had died a slow death as Seth raised his eyes, shaking his head sadly.

            “Sorry, man. They’re annulment papers. But he’s giving you a nice settlement package. That has to mean he must have cared about you.”

            Micah reached for the papers with trembling hands, pressing them down against the table as he began to read them. Seth was right, Gideon had given him a nice settlement, especially considering that they had been together all of twenty-four hours. He probably did it so that Micah would just sign the papers and not put up a fight.

            Three million dollars to forget that they had been married. It wouldn’t even be considered a divorce but an annulment. Once Micah signed the papers, it would be like their marriage had never happened.

            The only problem was that he didn’t want it even if it meant he could stop working two jobs just to keep a roof over his head and food in his stomach. He just wanted Gideon. If he couldn’t have Gideon, he didn’t want anything from him.

            Folding the papers back up, Micah pushed them back into the envelope and put it back in his jacket. He took another sip of his coffee before deciding that the only thing he really wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed.

“I’ll see you later, Seth. I think I’m going to go home and go to bed,” he said as he grabbed his jacket and stood to his feet.

            “Sure you don’t want to stick around for a little while? You don’t seem to get out much anymore,” Seth said as he looked up at him.

            “No, I’m just not in the mood to hang out right now. I’m not very good company anyway. I think I’d be better off all by myself tonight. Maybe after I sign the papers and return them things will be better,” Micah smirked.

            He waved and walked away, heading back to his tiny apartment, alone once again. It seemed like he was always alone lately. Ever since Gideon had left, he couldn’t even stomach the idea of another man touching him much less having sex with one. Which meant he never brought anyone home anymore.

            It wouldn’t be fair to anyone if he did. He couldn’t stop thinking about Gideon. In the two months, three week, and five days since Gideon had walked out, he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him.