Today is a special anniversary for me. Five years ago, my very first MM novel, Better Than Good, was published. That may not seem like a long time but in the MM publishing world, it’s eons. LOL. This story, featuring Matt and Aaron, a law school student who finds himself unexpectedly attracted to a fiercely proud beautiful gay man, was the first step in what has turned out to be an amazing journey for me as an author. I didn’t have any huge expectations of the story. It was a way for me to process my own son’s coming out story and perhaps write a love letter of sorts encouraging him to accept himself. But Matt and Aaron opened a while new world for me too though. I’ve met some wonderful people over the past few years online and in person who love these characters and feel personally touched by their story. That is a kind of magic that is humbling and gratifying at the same time. Thank you for your encouragement, readers. You make more of a difference than you’ll ever know. I truly appreciate you.
And to show you my appreciation… here’s a brief short with Matt and Aaron. This takes place six months after their wedding. Happy Reading! Lane xoBetter Than an Average Day by Lane Hayes
A light knock tore my attention from my computer screen. I sat back in my chair and glanced up just as my office door swung open. My secretary peeked her head inside a moment later.
“Hey Matt, Aaron is—” Colleen paused with a laugh then glanced behind her before turning back to me. “Sorry. Your husband is here to see you. Shall I send him in?”
I pushed away from my desk and grinned. “My husband, eh? Sure.”
Aaron walked into the room on cue with his arms open and a bright smile on his beautiful face. I heard the door click shut just as he launched himself at me. He pulled my neck and stood on his toes to adjust to my height then fastened his lips over mine and licked my lips. I took the hint and pushed my tongue inside his mouth. He tasted like mint and he smelled freaking amazing, I mused as I lowered my hands down his back and cupped his ass. Aaron tilted his hips suggestively before pushing out of my arms with a sigh.
“We can’t, Matty. I mean… husband. That never gets old, does it?”
“Nope. How long have we been married? Five years?” I joked.
“Ha. Ha. Six months. You’re not tired of me yet, are you? I hope not. You’re stuck with me for at least another fifty years.”
“At least.” I cradled his chin then kissed him softly and perched on the corner of my desk. “What are you doing here? I thought you had a photo shoot today.”
“I did, but we switched locations and I ended up downtown with ten minutes to spare. So figured I’d come see my favorite person. I called Colleen first to make sure you were in and not too busy and—”
“I’m never too busy for you, baby.”
“Thanks. I also had one teensy thing to show you.” Aaron flashed a megawatt grin at me then pulled his long wool coat off and spun in a circle a few feet from my desk. “How do you like it?”
“Nice,” I said decisively.
“Oh. So that’s a no?”
“I just said I liked it.”
“No, you said ‘nice’. You know how I feel about that word, Matty. It’s an antithesis compliment. Or a lazy one. I happen to be married to a lawyer so I think the proper terminology is ‘it negates truth in a lackadaisical form’.”
“Do I sound like that?” I asked with a laugh.
“No, but seriously… what do you think?” he prodded, spreading his arms.
I gave him a thorough once over, admiring the deep blue-checkered suit coat and his perfectly tailored khaki pants. They were rolled at the hem to show off a pair of shiny loafers. Not a look I could pull off but he looked incredible… as usual.
“You look amazing. What’s new? The coat?”
Aaron nodded. “Yes. The designer offered it to me for a nice price and—”
“You just ‘nice price’,” I intercepted, raising my hand. “That means the opposite, doesn’t it?”
He winced slightly and twitched his nose. “Not great but it’s still a deal for designer duds.”
“Aar.” I fixed him with a blank stare and shook my head ruefully.
He burst into laughter then stepped between my legs and hooked his arms over my shoulders. “I’m kidding. You’re fun to tease, husband. It’s not for sale. I have to give it back. And even if it was, I couldn’t in good conscience drop six grand on a—”
“Six grand? Are you fucking kidding me?” I pulled back slightly and narrowed my gaze.
“Yep. Isn’t that insane?”
“Very insane.” I nipped his chin and smacked his ass playfully. “So you basically came by to torture me, huh?”
Aaron chuckled. “Just a little. Like I said, I was in the neighborhood so why not tease my husband and ask what he wants for dinner. Salmon, chicken or veggie lasagna?”
I yanked his belt loop and nuzzled his neck as I wrapped my arms around his trim waist. “I don’t care. Whatever you want is fine by me. Thank you.”
“Coming by, making me laugh, looking at me like that… I love you, Aar.”
Aaron bit his bottom lip and smiled. “I love you too, Matty.”