Each Friday night, a mysterious man enters Blackjack’s Bar, orders the same drink, and sits in the same seat in the furthest corner. His presence is a welcome sight for Isaac Anderson, a regular bartender at Blackjack’s. There’s just something mysterious and intriguing about Caleb Miller that Isaac can’t ignore. Perhaps it’s his pale and sickly appearance, or the smart way in which he dresses. Isaac just can’t put his finger on what makes this man so different. Another thing he can’t do is stop staring at this fascinating, special person. Encouraged to take a gamble and to get to know this quiet stranger, Isaac invites Caleb to watch a rock band with him. All seems to be well, until Caleb suddenly makes a mad dash for the door.
Caleb doesn’t know what to think when Isaac Anderson pursues him that night. A lifetime of rejection has taught him to expect the worst, but the attractive and warm bartender’s response to him confuses him. Isaac sees him at his worst, and Caleb is prepared to protect himself from judgment and heartache. He is shocked when he is instead given kindness and compassion. As Isaac continues to reach out to him, Caleb struggles with the choice to trust the new man in his life. Even if Isaac wants to build a relationship with Caleb, there are other people in their lives who would be happier if they stayed apart. And even if he allows Isaac into his heart, it still may not be enough for Caleb to learn to accept himself.
Anger, judgment, distrust, and violence all threaten Isaac and Caleb’s newfound love. Their relationship faces too many challenges for either man to overcome on his own. Will taking a gamble pay off, or do they both stand to lose everything?
N. Wood is a budding young author living in Cornwall, United Kingdom. She developed an interest in writing when her poetry was first published at the age of nine. Since then, she has moved onto writing both short stories and novels focusing on gay romantic themes. Also by N. Wood: “Woodshed Wishes,” Fall Fires Anthology