Lane stared at the paper in front of him. He had no idea what to write. His lover slept in the next room, oblivious to the fact that when he woke Lane would be gone. He’d tried so many times to tell Gabe the truth, but words had failed him. Now it was too late. He scribbled the words I’m sorry just before his time ran out.
Three years later
Gabe hated Valentine’s Day with a passion. Loved up couples were the last thing he wanted to see on the anniversary of the day Lane had left him with nothing more than a two word note.
He glared at his neighbour as she flirted with the guy across the hall. He resisted the temptation to bark at them to get a bloody room. Just a few more steps and he would be home.
Juggling with his briefcase and shopping, he finally managed to open his door. He kicked it shut behind him with more force than necessary.
“Trying to leave a dent in the woodwork?” a familiar voice called from the kitchen.
Gabe froze and his bags dropped to the floor. “Lane?” he whispered, even as he wondered if he had lost his mind.
His hallucination apparently included visuals because Lane stood in the doorway, a sheepish smile on his face and a single red rose in his hand.
“Get the fuck out of here,” Gabe snarled as he picked up his bags.
Lane stepped forward to help him. “Can you at least let me explain?”
“Explain what?” Gabe asked. “I think your actions said enough.”
Gabe didn’t want to hear the plaintive note in Lane’s voice, because he knew he’d agree to anything when he heard it. Unfortunately, Lane knew it too.
“I didn’t want to leave,” Lane said. “I didn’t have a choice.”
“It’s not the leaving,” Gabe snapped. “It’s the whole fucking off in the middle of the night without bothering to explain.”
“I did try, but I didn’t think you’d believe me. I still don’t, but it’s not often I get a second chance like this and I’ve spent the last five years regretting my actions.”
Gabe was almost convinced except for one thing. “Three years,” he snapped. “You left me three years ago, not five.”
“Three for you,” Lane said. “But five for me.”
“I’m a time traveller,” Lane said. He held up his hand before Gabe could dismiss the idea. “I’ve been jumping from one time to another ever since I my twentieth birthday, which happens to fall on Valentine’s Day.”
“I know when your birthday is,” Gabe pointed out. “I had plans for your birthday, as you might recall. Plans you didn’t think it was worth sticking around for.”
“I’d have stayed if I could, but I can’t control this. On each anniversary of my birth, for the last ten years I have been jumping from one time to another without any say in the matter. I get to stay in each time for only a year and then I disappear to the next one.”
Gabe couldn’t keep the scepticism from his face or voice. “And yet here you are now. Out of all of time past and future, you’re back here again. It’s a little unlikely don’t you think?”
“I know you don’t believe me, but I can prove it, if you let me.”
“And how do you plan on doing that?”
Lane smiled. “I let you watch me vanish next time I have to go.”
Gabe shook his head. “So what you’re saying is you’re only back for a year and then you’ll be leaving me again.”
Lane sighed. “Kind of selfish of me, right?”
Gabe sat on the floor and stared at Lane for several minutes. “You know I don’t believe you, right?”
“And that you sound like a lunatic?”
“And that even if you’re telling the truth, it would be pretty stupid of me to get involved with you again since, by your own admission, you’ll be leaving me again in a year.”
“I should leave now, shouldn’t I?” Lane didn’t get up, instead he sat beside Gabe.
Gabe leaned across and kissed Lane hard on the lips. “You’re going to break my fucking heart again, aren’t you?”
Lane’s reply was to pull him into his arms and tear at his clothes. “I’ve missed you so much. You’ve no idea what it’s like to know you’ve lost the other half of your soul and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
“But if what you’re saying is true, we’re going to lose each other again.”
“I’ll come back to you,” Lane said. “I’ll find a way. I’ll always come back to you.”
“You said you had no control over it.”
“Then don’t make promises you can’t keep.”
Lane kissed him again, and it was just like Gabe remembered. The delicious combination of passion and tenderness always made him weak at the knees. It was a good job he was already on the floor.
This was a mistake. Either Lane was crazy or they were on borrowed time. He slipped his hand into Lane’s trousers, caressing his arse and pulling him closer. Gabe swallowed Lane’s moan of pleasure as they rolled around on the hard floor, discarding the rest of their clothes.
Gabe opened his heart once more to the lover he’d never been able to forget.
“I’ll always come back to you,” Lane whispered into his ear as he entered him.
Gabe didn’t know whether to believe him or not, but he didn’t want to let him go again. If they only had a year, he intended to make the most of it.
One year later
“I won’t lose you,” Gabe insisted. Locked together intimately, Lane was worried he’d jump through time naked, but Gabe had no intention of losing him. Lane had convinced Gabe he told the truth long ago. “This time I’m coming with you.”
Also flashing this week
And don’t forget to visit A T Weaver, my guest blogger today by clicking here before you leave. Her post will be going live just a couple of minutes after this one. 🙂