Kinder Thane lost his life partner three years ago and ever since, has folded into himself. He doesn’t speak to friends and only sees his family once a year. Every year on the anniversary of Leland’s death, he spends his time with the ghost of his dead boyfriend.
When Jessie Riley moves in across the hall, it sends his entire existence into a flurry. Suddenly there’s life out there, happiness, the joy of the holidays, and it’s so shocking he almost doesn’t know what to do with it. It gets to be too much but before he can pull back inside and go back to the way he was, Leland has a final gift for him, one that changes everything.
“You’re an idiot, Kinder.”
He trembled as his lover’s voice wafted over him. “I knew you’d come.”
“Only because you expect me to. It’s been three years, my love. Why haven’t you moved on?”
“Why haven’t I—?” Thane whipped around and glared into the darkness. “Maybe because the love of my life died.”
“Okay, you’ve got me there,” Leland said in wry amusement. “But this was always your favorite time of year. You were always like a little child.” His chuckle filled Thane’s ears, making his eyes prick with tears. “No matter how I tried, you always found a way to unwrap your presents before Christmas day. And now….” His voice saddened. “You don’t even have a tree.”
Stumbling over to his sofa, Thane collapsed onto it. This was not what he expected. The last couple of years Leland had kept him company through the two days he suffered the worst, talking like they usually did. He’d never scolded him before. “I can’t celebrate the day you died,” he whispered in a husky voice.
“I’m not asking you to. But I am asking you to live.”
His partner sighed. “Then maybe I need to give you a kick in the ass.”
Thane glared into the darkness. “I’m fine.”
“Right.” The wry amusement in Leland’s tone made him smile, even though he tried to stop it. He could see the curve of Leland’s lips, the expression that would be on his face in that moment. If he weren’t dead. Instantly the smile was gone.
“Kinder, am I going to have to encourage you along?”
There was no way for Thane to respond to that. He wanted more than anything for Leland to encourage him for the rest of his life, but that wasn’t possible. Besides, why would he want his deceased lover to encourage him to leave Leland behind?
“So be it, my love.”
Before Thane could ask him what he was up to, someone hollered. “Ahhh!”
Thane jumped at the yell from the hallway. It was quickly followed by a huge thump and several smaller ones.
“Shit.” Leaping off the sofa, he ran to the door and opened it, spotting his new neighbor lying on his back with one box on top of him and the others scattered.
Thianna Durston is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?
She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.
Thianna’s Website – http://mm.thiannad.com/
Thianna’s Blog – http://blog.thiannad.com/
Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/ThiannaDurstonAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ThiannaDurston
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ThiannaDurston
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13536433.Thianna_Durston