Parker Williams

Exclusive Information! The prizes for Someone to Keep Me’s Blog Tour!




The blog tour for Someone to Keep Me begins on January 10th (also the release day).

The prizes for the blog tour have been shrouded in mystery; known only to a very few. Until today.

Ladies and Gentlemen: What follows is a partial list of a prize so enormous we can only call it The Grand Prize!




A 16 gigabyte Kindle Fire. 

Our most affordable Kindle Fire—now with a stunning HD display, faster processor, and longer battery life

  • Experience movies, TV, and games, and more on a stunning HD display (216 ppi / 1280×800)
  • Fast 1.5GHz dual-core processor—apps launch quickly, games and videos play smoothly
  • Create profiles and set time limits for children with Kindle FreeTime. Easy-to-use parental controls let everyone enjoy, worry-free
  • Ultra-fast web browsing over built-in Wi-Fi, plus updated e-mail and calendar support for Gmail, Outlook, and more
  • Instant access to over 100,000 apps and games in the Amazon Appstore, including a new paid app for free every day







Copies of  KC Wells’s backlist of books

Copies of Parker Williams backlist of books (including Pitch by Will Parkinson)

And thanks to some amazing friends….copies of their favorite books!


     SafeSafe by Cody Kennedy

They met at ten, they kissed at twelve, and were madly in love by eighteen.

Caleb Deering is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. He comes from a loving home with a kind father and a caring, but strict, mother who is battling breast cancer. Nico Caro is small and beautiful, and has a father who rules with an iron fist–literally.

One morning Caleb forgets himself, and he pecks Nico on the lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the Headmaster. The accidental outing at school might be the least of their problems, because the

ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents could get Nico killed. In the face of that very real danger, Caleb knows he has only one mission in life: to keep Nico safe.




MadeInChinaThe Great Wall by Zallora

Jun “Styx” Wong’s heart and mind battle to determine his destiny. His mind tells him to be a good Chinese son and marry the girl his parents chose, but his heart longs for his best friend, Jin, and life with their new band. “Jun” means honesty, but he’s not even honest with himself. A quest to eradicate his feelings for Jin nearly ends his life. Styx’s near death serves as a wake-up call for Jin, whose blond hair–legacy of his German father–marks him as different. Jin harbors secrets of his own. His experiences prepare him to take the drastic measures needed to help Jun overcome the walls surrounding them.

Because there is no gay in China…




LifeInterruptedA Life Interrupted by Lynley Wayne:

Dan and Travis met in college, the unlikeliest of pairs, and then became friends and lovers.  For the past twenty-two years Dan’s lived his own version of happily-ever-after, with Travis by his side. Then tragedy strikes and life as they know it ceases to exist. Will they be strong enough to find their way back from a life interrupted?

While Travis fights for his life, Dan can’ t help but relive all those little moments that made up their life. All those things that he took for granted at the time. Those very same events may end up being all he has left of the man who is his entire world.




SilverTiesSilver Ties by Patricia Logan

A serial killer is preying upon gay men in Los Angeles. Detective Cassidy Ryan of the LAPD is out to stop the monster before more mutilated corpses turn up. The victims have one thing in common and it leads back to an infamous online club called The website owner, Zachary Teak, is stunningly gorgeous and infuriatingly uncooperative. Having spent years in vice, investigating crimes fueled by pornography, Cassidy hates the Dom on sight.

Zack Teak is a wealthy man and a popular Dom with a long waiting list of subs who beg to lick his boots. The moment he meets the detective, a former Navy SEAL, he is determined to help the handsome, blond hunk explore his own submissive nature but Cassidy is having none of it.

As Cassidy closes in on the killer, he succumbs to Teak’s charms, finding that it’s okay to give up control and let Zack take charge. Join the men as they flush out a killer while trying not to become victims themselves.


LupineMy Lupine Lover by Stormy Glenn

Vadim Miroslav always dreamed of finding his mate. He just never expected his mate to find him. He is captivated by the sweet and giving nature of Sasha, and Sasha is stunned by the way Vadim seems to respect his omega status. Little did Vadim realize that by claiming Sasha, his entire life would be changed forever.

Vadim never wanted to be the alpha of his own pack. He avoided it at all costs, even if it meant appearing inadequate to his own pack. But, in a bid to save his newly claimed mate, Vadim does the one thing he has always tried to avoid. He takes on Sasha’s abusive alpha and wins, becoming the new alpha of Sasha’s pack. Can he take the control of an isolated pack of werewolves and still keep his mate safe?



TalesTales From Foster High by John Goode

Kyle Stilleno is the invisible student, toiling through high school in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Brad Greymark is the baseball star of Foster High. When they bond over their mutual damage during a night of history tutoring, Kyle thinks maybe his life has changed for good. But the promise of fairy-tale love is a lie when you’re gay and falling for the most popular boy in school. A coming of age story in the same vein of John Hughes, Tales from Foster High shows an unflinching vision of the ups and downs of teenage love and what it is like to grow up gay.




CarlyleCarlyle’s Crossing by Chris Quinton

Jubal is the last Carlyle, and lives near Seattle, far away from his Abenaki ancestors. A letter from a lawyer draws him and his best friend, Sal, to Vermont and the town of Whitewater. Soon they are right in the middle of the old conflict that drove Jubal’s parents away just before his birth.

Whitewater is suffering and not just from the economic downturn. Unleashed by one man’s obsession to call back the spirit of his dead wife, and by the well-meaning but flawed actions of another, dark forces are bringing depression and hopelessness.

Jubal’s father had neither the talent nor the wish to attempt the task of driving back the incursion, but Jubal knows he has to try. He must find a way to reverse the process before the malaise spreads. But he has no knowledge, no training, just instinct – and Sal. Always Sal, who is rapidly becoming far more than a friend with benefits. The dangers they face are insidious, and more than their lives and sanity are at risk.



BIABrothers-In-Arms by Kendall McKenna

Jonah Carver is a Marine Staff Sergeant and veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. After one scorching night with his former Platoon Commander, Kellan Reynolds, Jonah lost touch with him and has regretted it ever since. When an investigation into government corruption and the murder of U.S. troops ends in the killing of a V.I.P. on Jonah’s watch, the FBI arrive to take over and see the investigation through. With them, is Kellan Reynolds. Once more in each other’s company, the sparks fly, just like they did before. Jonah begins to believe in second chances.

Nothing is very quite that easy, though. The subjects of the investigation will stop at nothing to bring it to an end. Jonah must keep everyone in his charge alive while he helps the FBI and Kellan find the proof they need to put a stop to the corruption.

When Kellan is kidnapped by the subjects of the investigation, Jonah has to find him and rescue him. If he doesn’t, not only might the investigation unravel, but he’ll lose Kellan for a second time…this time, for good.




Nothing Serious by Jay Northcote

Mark O’Brien is finally being honest with himself. His relationship with Rachel is over and he’s moving out of the home they’ve shared for six years. They get along, but he can’t fix a relationship when the person he’s with is the wrong gender.

Jamie Robertson, one of the removal men, is huge and ridiculously gorgeous, and Mark is smitten at first sight. When a cardboard box splits, revealing items of a personal nature that Mark never wanted anybody to see, he’s mortified. But it sparks the start of a beautiful friendship with benefits.

As Jamie initiates Mark into the joys of gay sex, the two men get increasingly close and “nothing serious” turns into something rather important to both of them. But communication isn’t their strong point. Will either man ever find the courage to be honest about his feelings?



Reaching the Edge by LM Somerton

Joe Dexter leads a complicated life. In one world he is a consultant criminal psychologist—in another he runs The Edge, a successful corporate training company. He’s also an active Dom in the London BDSM scene.

A social call to The Underground, a club owned by an old friend, turns into much more when Joe is introduced to a prospective sub. Falling hard for the boy’s tumbling blonde curls, huge blue eyes and desperate need for protection, Joe carefully coaxes him out of his shell. By the end of an intense weekend, unbreakable bonds have been forged and Joe is well on the way to becoming Olly’s Master.

Joe knows that there is trauma in Olly’s past, but it is not until his professional and private lives collide that Joe discovers the truth. He knows he shouldn’t have let Olly out of his sight but it’s too late—Olly’s old Master is back on the scene and he’s not in the mood to forgive and forget.

With Olly’s life on the line, Joe risks everything to save him. Has Joe found his perfect submissive only to lose him in a horrible twist of fate, or will love win the day? They’ve reached the edge and there’s no avoiding a leap of faith.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of D/s, including chastity play, and references to past rape and current PTSD. There are also non-consensual plot elements with an aggressive former Master which include kidnapping, bondage and the forcible insertion of a butt plug.



Foxe Tail by Haley Walsh

Gay teacher Skyler Foxe thought teaching English Lit was murder. Wait till he falls into the real thing.

Skyler Foxe is a brand new English teacher in his hometown of Redlands, CA. He loves literature, loves his students, loves his friends, especially his best friend Detective Sidney Feldman. But he doesn’t love keeping his orientation a secret, afraid of the backlash in this conservative county. But will murder thrust him into unwanted limelight? Who killed his principal’s son outside a gay dance club? And what’s the connection to James Polk High? Is the macho football coach or his mysterious and gorgeous new assistant coach involved? Can Skyler trust anyone at the high school when there seems to be conspiracies around every corner?



Second Chance at Love by Diana DeRicci

The hole in Tony Teagan’s heart is slowly shrinking. Since losing the love of his life, he’s buried himself in running West TonDe Press, but now he can remember the good times. Still, that doesn’t mean he’s ready for a new man in his life. Then he meets nighttime delivery guy Brandon, who appears on his doorstep with Thai food. Tony’s interest is piqued despite their ten-year age difference, and Brandon is all for a new relationship. Relinquishing his hold on his deceased lover is the hardest challenge Tony will face, but if his future is combined with Brandon’s, he may have a second chance at love after all.



Transgression by Theo Fenraven

Zachary Fox can’t sleep.

His acting career is taking off. Public recognition is picking up. Now more than ever, he understands how key reputation is to his success. But his relationship with his co-star, Kris—arranged around publicity rather than genuine feelings—is suffocating him. She once understood his needs, but her demands are beginning to grate with every shrill order she gives.

Zach has a secret. The breakout star of a new medical series, he’s been hiding his orientation from co-stars, friends and family, the studio, and his fans.

On the recommendation of a friend, Zach seeks out Sky Kelly, a well-connected herbalist whose concoctions are natural magic, as is her stunning beauty. On the surface, she has it all: her own house, a thriving business, and good friends, but the things she had to do to get there are a time bomb ticking away, and when it goes off, she’ll be teetering on the edge of a chasm that can put her right back where she started.

Sky has secrets. Like, she’s got a Y chromosome and the original equipment to go with it. Like being a highly paid escort. Like, if Zach is seen with her in public, it could ruin his career. Like someone becoming so obsessed with Sky, that obsession threatens them both.

Secrets… everyone is hiding something, and instead of finding The One, it could be The End.





Colorado Fire by Sara York

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Marshal has it bad, but can he figure it out before he ruins his relationship with his best friend, or will he mess up the one good thing in his life.

Zander doesn’t know if he’s coming or going. Life at Wild Bluff has been easy up until now. His head is spinning and his heart is aching. Can he figure out Marshal’s mess before it puts them both in hot water?

Grant Stovall is in too deep. Should he turn to or away from Roger Burk? If only the answers were easy, and he could be sure. Craig is back in town, ready to serve a burn notice, destroying everything the men of Wild Bluff hold dear.

Colorado Fire is the second book of the Colorado Heart series.






Convergence by Ally Blue

 No one survives unchanged.

Mother Earth, Book 3

When the Carwin Tribe Pack lost Rabbit, a little bit of Lynx died along with his Brother. Their feelings went far beyond the Pack bond. The ensuing years have never erased his sorrow, only dulled the edges.

Kidnapped during a desperate mission to save Carwin, Lynx awakens to a completely foreign civilization where slaves and masters exist in a unique symbiotic relationship. And to a face he never expected to see again–Rabbit. Yet Lynx’s shock and joy are tempered by the changes in his lover.

The Pack’s strength lies in love, sex and a brotherhood forged from a lifetime of living and fighting side by side. Rabbit’s seeming acceptance of his lot as a slave makes Lynx wonder if he’s lost his soul mate forever…and if he can trust Rabbit with knowledge of his plan to escape.

As Lynx learns to navigate the complex hierarchies of Queen City, he begins to realize all is not as it seems. He finds he can’t simply take Rabbit and run, leaving an entire city to a grisly fate. Even if it costs him the one bond closest to his heart–the love he and Rabbit still share.

Warning: This book contains Lynx-napping, futuristic farming, eavesdropping (minus the eaves), daring escapes, bloody battles, and Pack sex.




Willow Bend by Ally Blue

Can two men from different worlds cut the ties binding them to heartaches past and present, and make a life together? For Paul Gordon, the little town of Willow Bend, South Carolina is the perfect place to start over. A place where he can move on after his lover’s death, alone and anonymous. Cory Saunders is just trying to survive. Between working two jobs and caring for his ailing mother, it’s all he can do to keep his head above water. When Paul and Cory meet, their mutual attraction is undeniable. When the intense physical attraction starts to blossom into something deeper, neither wants to admit to what’s happening. Cory doesn’t have time for a relationship, and Paul isn’t sure he’s ready for one. But sometimes, what you thought you couldn’t have turns out to be exactly what you need.







SlideMarkedSlide by Garrett Leigh

Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…

Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.

Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength—things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.

Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.

Marked by Garrett Leigh

Missing Moment from Slide

It’s been six months since Ash shuffled into Pete’s life and turned his world upside down, and six months since they sat in an all-night diner plotting Ash’s theoretical solution for Pete’s faded, botched tattoo. Pete has just about given up hope of Ash ever fulfilling his promise when one day the end of a long shift finds Ash waiting for him.

Tonight is the night.

Ash is ready, and it seems the time has come for him to leave his mark on Pete in more ways than he ever imagined.





Sparks & Drops by Susan Laine

The Wheel Mysteries: Book One

Magic is in the air when Gus Goodwin, a pagan shopkeeper and owner of the Four Corners’ occult shop, meets a Niall Valentine, a mysterious PI investigating the disappearance of a local witch named Joy. What starts out as harmless flirting and information gathering soon turns into a partnership, with both men determined to solve the case.

Then bodies begin to pile up. Someone is using fire and water to kill witches associated with Joy, and it is up to Niall and Gus to find out what’s going on. But when their friendship blossoms into something else, the unknown dangers looming ahead become even more frightening. If they can’t solve the murders soon, they’re going to get themselves killed.


UnexpectedUnexpected Mate by Toni Griffin

Brian Townsend was having one hell of a week. Rejected by his parents, kicked out of his pack and now his car breaks down on his way south. What else could go wrong? He soon finds out when the police rock up, and the sexy cop turns out to be his mate. What he didn’t expect was his mate to walk away from him, without so much as a backward glance.

Marcus Holland was having one hell of a week. Breaking up with his girlfriend, and then copping an earful from his mother about settling down and having kids. All he wanted was to go home and relax. Little did he know one last call-out on his way home would change his life for ever.

Can Marcus come to terms with the fact his mate is a man or will he risk losing Brian forever. However, not everyone in the pack is entirely happy with this mating.





The Boy Who Came In From The Cold by B.G. Thomas

Todd Burton has had enough of small-town Buckman. His abusive stepfather calls him a fag; his friend Austin makes him realize he may be gay, but Todd doesn’t want to admit his stepfather is right; and he dreams of being a chef. Three good reasons to flee his hometown and pursue greener pastures. But when Todd reaches the big city, his luck runs dry. Soon he can’t pay his rent and gets evicted. In the middle of a snowstorm.

Gabe Richards is a wealthy businessman with enough wounds of his own to make him afraid of ever being intimate again. But when he sees Todd outside his building, freezing to death, he takes pity on him and takes him in from the cold.

To their mutual surprise, Todd and Gabe find themselves drawn to each other. “One night” turns into a week. Maybe letting a man in from the cold can melt the ice around Gabe’s heart—and maybe getting evicted will turn Todd’s luck around.




Frog by Mary Calmes

Weber Yates’s dreams of stardom are about to be reduced to a ranch hand’s job in Texas, and his one relationship is with a guy so far out of his league he might as well be on the moon. Or at least in San Francisco, where Weber stops to see him one last time before settling down to the humble, lonely life he figures a frog like him has coming. Cyrus Benning is a successful neurosurgeon, so details are never lost on him. He spotted the prince in a broken-down bull rider’s clothing from day one. But watching Weber walk out on him keeps getting harder, and he’s not sure how much more his heart can take. Now Cyrus has one last chance to prove to Weber that it’s not Weber’s job that makes him Cyrus’s perfect man, it’s Weber himself. With the help of his sister’s newly broken family, he’s ready to show Weber that the home the man’s been searching for has always been right there, with him. Cyrus might have laid down an ultimatum once, but now it’s turned into a vow-he’s never going to let Weber out of his life again.

11 Days until Someone to Keep Me comes out!

On the first part of the journey…

We’re almost to the New Year! 2014 marks a huge change in my life and I’m going to bore you with all the details! (Well, most of them anyway…)

I’ve worked at my current job for the last 27 years. I started out as a busman in one of the restaurants and went to Room Service a year later. About 24 of those years I spent on 3rd shift as the graveyard server. I loved my job. It was fast-paced, sometimes exciting. I’ve met many famous people during my tenure and made some really great friends of fellow associates. After an incident I had no control over, I was unable to continue doing the job I enjoyed. The hotel allowed me to move into the position I’m currently in and I’m not happy. I’ve lost my direct contact with the guests, and instead only talk to them on the phones. This was a big difference from what I was used to and even though I held out hope that I’d be able to go go back to my job, two years later and nothing has changed.

I’ve adapted as best as I could, but my thrill at showing up to work each day has shined less.

During this time, I started writing more. I became a published author. I also got to co-write a book with Kc Wells which comes out on January 10th.  As time went on, and I got more into my writing, I started to realize that this was what I wanted. To put out stories that I could only hope that people would enjoy. With the encouragement of some amazing people (Becky Condit, KC Wells, Laura Harner, Havan Fellows, SJD Peterson, Tom Webb, and some amazing FB friends) I decided to drop two days a week at work and focus on my writing.

Beginning January 1, 2014 that’s what I’m going to do. The first book of 2014, Someone to Keep Me, comes out January 10th and Kc and I are SO excited about it.

My future plans for the year include Wet Paint (as Will Parkinson), the follow-up to Pitch. The story is Benny & Addy’s, two of the characters from Pitch. Where I was nervous and hesitant when I wrote Pitch, I like to think I’ve found some footing. Nessa Warin from Harmony Ink (the Young Adult division of Dreamspinner) has given me some awesome advice. Those who read Pitch are aware of Addy’s history. It was glossed over in Pitch because I didn’t want to be too graphic about it. In Wet Paint it comes to the forefront and there isn’t any way to sugarcoat it. Wet Paint will be harsher than Pitch was as it deals with darker subject matter.

There is also a shifter story I’ve been working on that will likely be my first self-published story (as Parker Williams).

Then Kc and I will be working on Damian’s Discipline. It features two characters you’ll meet in Someone to Keep Me and will be something totally different than what we’ve done before. We’re not going to say too much about it until the first book comes out, but we’re very excited about it. If you haven’t pre-ordered Someone to Keep Me, you can do so here: for the e-book, or for the paperback. (The first 20 paperbacks were signed by KC and Parker at GRL in Atlanta!)

I’ve got several other projects in varying stages of preparedness and I’m hoping that you’ll join me as I start the new journey in 2014!

So this happened…

Readers Choice Hurt-Comfort Readers Choice Friends-Lovers

“What are you wasting your time on that shit for? It’s never going to amount to anything.”

It was a lifetime ago. I was a different person. One who wanted someone to be proud of him for being able to accomplish…something. I wasn’t my father. I didn’t want to hunt, a fact that disappointed him greatly. I didn’t want to build things. I hated the idea of being alone with him. There had been enough times that I already knew where it would lead. So yeah, I wanted to do something that was uniquely me, but still something he’d be able to look at and say, “My kid did this!” I didn’t think it was asking too much.

I wrote a story. About 138 pages handwritten (because we didn’t have computers in the stone age) about a monster that devoured a lot of kids in my school (don’t ask, long story). I was so freaking proud of it. It wasn’t the first thing I wrote, but it was definitely the first thing I could show someone else. I handed him my story, waiting with bated breath for him to say something. His words cut me because they told me I failed again. I would never amount to anything in his eyes. At fourteen years old, I knew that I’d never be someone he could be proud of.

So flash forward a few decades. I got a story published. 500 Miles was written for MLR Press. I never expected it to go anywhere because I had zero confidence in my ability to write. I would see the big names: Laura Harner, Tom Webb, K.C. Wells, SJD Peterson, Eden Winters, and many others and tell myself I didn’t belong in that group. Because I was wasting my time on that shit and it was never going to amount to anything. I expected the rejection letter for it and wasn’t kidding myself that it would come.

Then Kris Jacen messaged me and told me that she was sending me a contract. My very first. And I hesitantly signed on the dotted e-line. 500 Miles was really going to be published.

At the end of this year, I got an e-mail from Goodreads telling me that my story had been nominated for TWO awards. Win, lose, or draw, I was nominated. SOMEONE was pleased with my work. Suddenly I realized. It didn’t matter if my father would ever be proud of what I do.  My friends are proud of it. The reviews have shown I don’t totally suck at what I’ve wanted to do since I was a scared fourteen year old boy who just needed someone to be proud of him.

So Dad? See those awards up there? I earned them. And I’m fucking proud of it.

Someone to Keep Me – Coming Soon!

UnlockedHeart About a year ago, I met this delightful woman from England. Her name was K.C. Wells and she was writing a book called ‘An Unlocked Heart’. The story of Leo and Alex quickly caught my interest as we discussed the story, the characters, the nuances. I gave some thoughts that she incorporated into the the story and fell in love with the tale of a Dom who finds new love after his first is lost to him in an accident. K.C. then told me she was going to write a sequel, Trusting Thomas, and that she’d like to discuss it with me. I immediately said yes, because I was so enchanted with the characters.




 In TTrustingThomasrusting Thomas we meet Peter, a submissive who has been betrayed by the man he called Master. Peter had been horribly abused, mentally and physically, but has never known anything else. When he’s rescued, he is turned over to Thomas, part owner of Collars & Cuffs. Thomas trains Doms and subs.  He helps them to unlock their potential. Peter provides a challenge because of the emotional baggage he carries, as well as the secret he possesses. In this book, we meet Ben, a barman at the club. He is to become the focal point in the first book of an off-shoot series by KC Wells and Parker Williams.




It is with great pride and pleasure that we announce the release date for our first collaborative effort, Someone to Keep Me. It’s the tale of Ben, who has longed to have a submissive of his own, but personal problems may keep that dream far out of his reach. When he meets a young man on the run from the United States, his protective instincts kick in and he decides he’ll do what he has to to keep Scott safe.

Scott has never known respect at home. He’s been kept out of the public eye as an embarrassment to his family. His life has been planned for him, but it’s not the one he wants. When an escape route opens up, he takes it. And that leads him to England, and trouble that he never thought about. Soon he’s taken with the country, the people, and the lives that his friends Alex and Peter have, and he wants the same.

The story is going to be released on January 10, 2014 from Dreamspinner Press. You can pre-order the paperback here: PAPERBACK <Ordering the paperback also gives you access to the digital copy if you’re in the US, as well as the first twenty will find an autograph inside from the authors.>

You can pre-order the e-book here: E-BOOK


It was a true honor to work with K.C., and we’ve already got other stories in the planning stages! We hope you’ll enjoy meeting Scott and Ben as much as we loved introducing them.

Much love,

K.C. & Parker

Going the Extra Mile – Eric’s Story

In June, 2013 MLR Press released my very first story, 500 Miles. Becky Condit of did a special event for the release and set up donations to the Wounded Warrior Project for every comment received. In total, we donated $117 to the project and thank everyone for their support. That special event included “Going the Extra Mile – Eric’s Story”. Eric was a secondary character in 500 Miles. Mark’s brother and Jase’s best friend, he garnered a few people who really liked him and wanted something from his viewpoint.


I paced the length of the room, anxious to receive any news about Shannon. I scrubbed my fingers through my hair for the umpteenth time, feeling the sweat that was matting it down coating my shaking digits.
“Eric, will you please sit down? You’re making me nervous. And believe me, you do not want me to start pacing.”

I turned to face Jase, my best friend since we were little kids. He gave me a wicked smile. I felt a grin tugging at the corner of my mouth.

“It’s going to be fine, bro. Shannon’s only been in there six hours. They said it could be quite a bit longer. Come over here and sit down.”

My brother, Mark, patted the couch. I trudged over and sat next to him. Jase joined us a few moments later. I was sandwiched between the two men who meant the most to me in my life.

“I don’t think I’m ready for this,” I moaned.

Both of the traitors laughed, but silenced quickly when I shot them a look.

“Maybe you should have thought about that before you went and got her pregnant.”

That made me laugh out loud. I turned to Mark and could see how tired he was. I had woken him up at three in the morning after all. Jase had come after his shift ended, and we all set up camp in the waiting room.

“I’m not sure I can do this. I don’t know anything about being a father,” I told my brother. “I might be okay with one, but twins?”

“You’ll be great. You’re both going to be the most amazing parents any kid ever had. Mom and Dad are so proud of you.”

I felt my face warm. “Mom always said that when I had kids she was going to spoil them rotten, just for a little payback from the trouble we caused her.”

Mark sucked in a breath. “I never caused her problems. You and Jase always seemed to be the ones who got into messes. Remember the time that the two of you went sledding down Peak’s Hill? You said anyone could do it forward and swore you guys could do it backward. She was so pissed when you broke your arm.”

“Yeah, did you ever bother to tell her that you dared us? No, pretty sure that didn’t happen.”

Jase chuckled. “If you remember, I was the one who talked you out of telling her.”

I hugged my brother and then turned to Jase. “Thank you both for being here. I don’t think I could have handled this on my own. Both of you have been lifesavers.”
God knows the therapy was helping, but I still woke up some nights disoriented and crying. Shannon had held me enough times to know what she was getting into, but I still hated her seeing me being so weak. She didn’t want me in the delivery room with her because she was worried I might not be able to handle it. Mom told me she would be there and hold my wife’s hand.

“I’m glad that Mom came in early,” Mark said. “She had to go buy out the toy store before she left. Dad said he rolled his eyes at her, but told me he put a few things in the basket himself. It’s nice having her here. Dad’s going to be along later today.”

My family was amazing. Growing up, I knew people who had parents split up. Most of them were bitter teens, wondering if they were worthy of love. My folks were very tight and loving. They always had our backs, but both of us know never to step out of line.

I faced my brother. “Mark? Do you think Shannon and I will really be as good as Mom and Dad?”

I don’t think I had ever seen such a serious expression on his face before. “You will be. We have great role models. I’ve seen you and Shannon. Jase and I know how badly you wanted the baby. I can say without a doubt that you two will have a baby that knows nothing but love their whole life.”

I don’t think Mark could know how badly I needed to hear those words. “So what about you, Jase? When do you plan on having a baby?”

Jase’s eyes lit up. “Well, I’m not sure how that would work out. I guess there’s always Hasti.” As soon as he said it, his eyes went wide and I knew he regretted it.

Mark growled and pulled away. Hasti was one thing we never talked about. Ever.

“Sorry, Mark. I didn’t mean to hurt—”

Mark cut him off. “It’s fine,” he spat. He stalked to the door and pushed his way through it.

I turned back to Jase. “Yeah, that was bright.”

Jase had the decency to blush. “It slipped out. I didn’t mean to upset him. I’ll go talk with him.”

I put my hand on his shoulder. “It’s fine. I think he needs me more right now.”

I found Mark standing by a soda machine, kicking it when it wouldn’t give him the bottle of water he wanted.

“He didn’t mean it, you know.”

He gave a slight shrug. “I know. I just don’t like hearing about her. He knows what she did to my life.”

“Mark, you need to let it go. Seriously.”

“You don’t think I haven’t tried? When Jase came home I thought things would go back to normal, but she’s always there. Every time I look at him she’s there.”

I shook my head. “Mark, you know she—”

“I know!” he shouted. “That’s what makes it all the worse. In my head I know it’s not right to be angry about it, but it hurts.”

I pulled him into a hug. “Let it out, Mark. Tell him that you’re angry. Stop holding it in. It’s not going to get any better if he doesn’t know why you’re upset.”
He pulled back and wiped his sleeve across his runny nose.

“Yeah, this. See? This is why you’re going to make a great dad. You’ve got a great head on your shoulders and you care.”

I pulled him to my chest again. “I love you. You and Jase mean everything to me. I may not always say it, but it’s true.”

I heard the soft, uneven footsteps coming from behind me. I turned to find Jase standing behind us.

“I’m sorry, Mark. That was stupid of me. I really didn’t mean to hurt you.”

Mark smiled. “I know. We’ll talk about it later, okay?”

Jase shook his head. “No, I need to say this. What I said? It was wrong. I never should have brought up a painful memory. I was a dick and I hope you can forgive me.”

Mark’s eyes brightened a bit. I gave him a shove in Jase’s direction.

“Hug it out, guys,” I told them. I got a warm feeling throughout my body when they did. I knew that no matter what else, we would all move beyond that difficult period in our lives.

We went back to the waiting room and …well… waited. And waited. Dad came in, gifts in hand, asking if we’d gotten any news. Mark shook his head and he took Dad for some coffee. Finally, after eighteen hours a slender, way too perky nurse came in. “Mr. James? Your wife is asking for you. You can bring your family if you’d like.”

The four of us went to Shannon’s room. She looked exhausted, weak, and oh my God, she had never looked lovelier than when she was holding our baby. She gave us a watery smile when we circled the bed. Mom was holding my other son, looking so proud of her new grandchildren. Dad walked over to Mom’s side and pulled her in close.

“Hey babe,” I said quietly, rubbing my fingers over her cheek, “how you doing?”

She crooked her finger, beckoning me closer. “Hi,” she said weakly. “I just wanted to let you know, after this? Yeah, you’re never getting sex again.”

Mark and Jase started laughing so hard that the nurse had to tell them to be quiet. They were sheepish and offered their apologies several times. Shannon handed me the baby.

“It’s twin boys,” she told me sleepily.

I looked into the sweet, red faces of my newborn sons and I knew peace. Even when they started squalling in unison.

“Have you guys decided on names yet?” Jase asked.

I looked to Shannon who gave a sleepy nod.

I turned back to my brother and my best friend and happily announced, “I’d like to introduce you to Mark Fletcher and Jason Daniel James.”

Both of them looked at me, their eyes watering.

“Why?” Mark finally asked.

“Because my family saved me,” I told them. “Without having the two of you in my life, this little guy might never have been born. The babies will have your first names and Dad and Shannon’s father’s names as their middle names.”

“It was my idea,” Shannon said, stifling a yawn. “You gave me a gift I can never repay. This is my way of saying thank you.”

I placed the baby back in Shannon’s arms before Mark and Jase drew me into a group hug. Looking at the faces of my family, the most important people in my life, I was grateful for the chance at life that Jase had given me and the lease on life Mark renewed.

“I love you all,” I said. “I’m glad you could be here for this.”

Shannon reached out and put her hand on my arm. “We have an awesome family,” she informed me.

I gazed around the room and smiled. My past was here, as was my present, and my wife held our future in her hands. If I could go back and talk to myself when I was a kid, gung-ho about joining the Army, seeing the world, keeping it safe, I realized that despite what happened to Jase, how it affected my family? I would tell myself not to change a thing.

Because our lives were going to be perfect.