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Excerpt Thursday! The One That Counts/PG

Here's a snip from my upcoming release The One That Counts. Part of the Dreamspinner Press First Time for Everything 2011 Daily Dose. Available for individual sale on June 1st.

Buy Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=55_128&products_id=2319

Summary: When Rob Gentner’s father dies, his partner David sees an opportunity to shed some light on a past Rob rarely talks about. Standing in front of the family-owned Laundromat that was a major part of his upbringing, Rob finally shares the story of the summer of his first year of college, the beginning of his self-acceptance and life as a gay man. Finally David can understand the circumstances that made Rob the man he loves today—and they both decide that while first times will always be remembered, the last times are the ones that count.


“What are we doing here again?”

The ‘For Sale’ sign had faded over the long months of exposure, the laminated rectangle as forlorn and neglected as the small strip of un-kept landscaping underneath. Tall clumps of overgrown grass and even taller weeds hid the realtor’s telephone number and pushed the thin metal supports anchoring the sign out of the ground. Rob Gentner fumbled at one side of the bracing in an absent-minded attempt to straighten the twisted frame.

“I wanted to visit the old place,” Rob said over the rush of traffic on the busy street behind him, but he didn’t glance away from the abandoned building, once such a huge part of his life. “One last time.”

Rob listened as his partner, David Morris crossed the broken asphalt of the empty parking lot, gravel and square chunks of pavement kicked out of his way. David’s forearm snaked around his waist, pulling him flush against David’s chest and offering the same, unflinching support Rob had depended on so thoroughly this difficult weekend.

“Don’t expect to receive any proceeds from the sale…”

Rob choked back laughter; surprised at David’s uncanny mimicry of his sister’s shrill voice, but not the way he zeroed in on what had Rob so unsettled. For the first time since leaving their home in Saugatuck two days before he relaxed, his weight resting on David’s cushioning belly. Rob tried to associate the image of his sister he carried in his mind, the childhood smiles and shared memories with the stiff figure in the lawyer’s office. But the woman with the tight, pursed lips, and angry, disdainful glare as David held his hand through the reading of his father’s will remained a stranger.

“It’s funny, you know,” Rob murmured. “She hated this place when we were kids. Thought her friends at school looked down on us because our parents owned a laundromat. No matter what my dad said, she always refused to help out.” Rob traced his fingers along the smooth bone of David’s wrist. “Guess she still has no problem spending the money.”

The two men surveyed the squat, brick building. The reddish-brown paint picked out by Rob’s mother and now faded and peeling off in huge patches, reminded Rob of days spent helping his dad apply the color to the exterior blocks. The hottest weekend of the year his dad repeated to anyone who would listen.

Plywood replaced the three broken out windows on the side facing the road. Some of the stickers had peeled away, but the speckled glass of the front door still proclaimed the hours of operation. Despite the changes, reflections of the time passed since his last visit, Rob relished the comfortable pull of his memories.

“How about you?” David asked. He rested his cheek on Rob’s back, his breath warm and reassuring through the soft cotton of Rob’s dress shirt. Sometimes David’s fondness for PDA’s irritated Rob, he preferred the initial ‘P’ stood for private. He wondered what it said about him that this weekend he welcomed every one of them.

The One That Counts by Chrissy Munder. Part of the Dreamspinner Press First Time for Everything 2011 Daily Dose. Available for individual sale on June 1st.