Title: Is This Desire?
Series: Only If Series #2
Author: R. Paone
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Released: February 29, 2016
He said, "Never stop."
I said, "Never will."
Devastated by the realization of Mitch’s misgivings, Robert has cast himself aside unable to process his current reality. Exposed to a love that is debilitating but also rewarding, he must now face the consequences of secrets, addiction, and desire if he is to continue forward with his heart and disregard his doubts.
Sooner or later, Mitch reappears in Robert’s life unable to break away from what he feels deep within as he questions the bond between them both. It is a domineering bond that could break at any moment by the forces meaning to keep them apart no matter what.
“Is This Desire?” documents the continuing story of a flourishing love as it grows at an increasing speed. As Robert faces Mitch’s demons, Mitch himself must reclaim his independence and sanity if they are ever to be together.
Where did the love go?
Where did my common sense go?
I wasn’t too sure, remember it was just a few months ago that everything fucked up. Sometimes things fuck up and you roll with the punches. I’m sure someone said that somewhere.
I didn’t know where my mind was headed right now at the particular moment. It was distracted by all this stimuli hitting me at every direction. I was paying attention because it took me a solid second to realize my phone had been buzzing for the last several. At first I thought it was one of those phantom texts you find yourself reaching for throughout the day finding that no one actually texted you. On this occasion I was wrong as I reached deep into my pocket feeling another text buzz. I thought it could have been anyone, wishing that these last few hours were not just a few random occurrences. One after another. I wanted the text to be from anyone else besides Mitch.
Except this time I was not right. It was in fact from Mitch. His text message was only two lines:
I need to see you.
Come over now, please.
Even though it was only a text message, I began to imagine the words coming out of his mouth, the tone of his voice. Almost like he was a couple inches in front of me or something, holding my hands and pleading with me to come to him. Grace him with my presence. It wasn’t only just the text that distracted me and upsetter my stomach only more, it was the way he wrote the message. The simplicity of the text, the punctuation for some reason drove me crazy like there was desperation looming. He wasn’t asking me to just come over, he was stating that I come. It was punctuated with a period. Full sentence, stop.
There was no room for interpreting, no more time to read into these things.
Was he in trouble? Was he going to hurt himself, I thought.
Even though I only had begun to experience a small amount of his faults, it didn’t take a genius to figure out that Mitch probably had a drinking problem. I knew that he liked going out and drinking at a party or whatever it may be as long as there was some booze around. It could just be some sort of self-medicating and that part scared me to death. I knew bad decisions could be made but there was no way I would question the severity of something like that. There would be no taking chances because my paranoia made me worried, seeing his texts messages as a cry for help that something was wrong. I began to imagine him sitting there alone in his apartment, a shell of his former self. There was a part of hime in my memory that delivered moments of closeness and warmth. These only drove the knife of worry deeper into my heart that made it ache and long for him. I closed my eyes again seeing him grabbing one of my hands, squeezing them hard to the point where all of the veins would pulse forcing the blood to rush to all of my digits. I opened back up my phone and decided to text him back.
Are you home?
He responded almost immediately. Yes.
I wrote back even faster than before. I’m on my way. Don’t go anywhere.
I locked the phone screen and saw my life flash before my eyes ad if there was an oracle speaking to me about my future. Was my conscience already well aware of what was going to take place? I was in a position as usual that I didn’t want to force back into hiding nor fight. I wanted to see Mitch as much as I wanted to see why he requested that I come over “now.” Nothing frightened me more than the previous thoughts of him alone overcome with desperation. Ignoring what has been blooming between us didn’t do me any justice, the ideal of the love between us changed me. I saw a semblance of a new day in the future even though I pictured a hard road of recovery ahead. There was the Robert of yesterday, someone totally different and a little jaded before meeting Mitch. All past preconceived notions about me were out the window, I did want love. I wanted it here in this very room. Now my level of concern was heightened for Mitch in these precise moments. I needed to get out of here. He needed me now.
My feet took flight.
Anguish has seized me.
Fear flooded my thoughts. Irrational thoughts I couldn’t control out of fear of my love for him.
A longing took hold. I looked to my heart for all the answers.I looked out in front of the me, the sidewalks and streets were empty. The wind moved in loud gushes as it pasted my ears threatening to sweep me up. I wasn’t sure how long I had been running but I was flying through the side streets trying to avoid the red lights that would slow me down. Slowing me down and keeping me from him. I held onto my phone for dear life as my heaving breath became jagged as the speed of my moving picked up. The hunger for food I felt was gone, I did not want to eat. I only wanted to be given the chance to comfort. In my haste I had dropped the small plastic bag of snacks I had picked up at the corner store. I didn’t give a shit thinking that maybe someone who was drunk enough would see inside and realize the food was untouched and still good to eat.
There was a frost in the air that made my skin on my arms tighten and prickle underneath my hoodie. It was still too cold to be wearing what I had on but again there were other intentions to tend it. The subtle urge of thinking the worst was momentary picturing my lover in the most delicate but dangerous of positions. Was I prepared to deal with Mitch again if he was shit faced all over again? What sort of state of mind would he be in? Was this something that could be controlled and defeated? I would have to be able to endure all of it. I would suffer this bullshit in order to warm what shivers of dread that was hanging over me lately. Dread that created and harbored loneliness. Mitch stoked this feeling of adulation and devotion in me that was addictive. There it was between us. He took the right steps in contacting me, pulling me towards the inevitable reunion of one another. We had become more than just friends for he was not what I first thought of him. Now he is calling out to me again in light of the betrayal of my sudden devotion to him in the beginning.
“I’m coming, Mitch. I’ll be there before you know it.” I spoke to myself. No one else heard me for I was the only one listening.
R. Paone is the author of LGBT fiction, coming of age, and contemporary romance including the ongoing “ONLY IF…” Series. Writing is his passion as his stories stem from real life experiences and real moments of love. A writer for the last fifteen years, he started working on his first full length novel in June, 2014. That novel slowly transformed into “Love is Found,” Part One in the “ONLY IF…” Series. He currently resides in New York City. When he isn’t writing, you can find him getting lost in bookstores, a movie theater, or jamming out to music of the 90’s.