Old wounds, new directions, and a forever worth chasing.
Chasing Forever by Kelly Jensen
Series: This Time Forever #3
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date (Print & Ebook): 12/10/18
Ebook: Word Count: 88,163
Print: Page Count: 333
Subgenre: Queer contemporary romance
Reading Warnings: References to child abandonment, neglect and abuse. Depression. Physical disability. All other warnings and tags can be found at:
About Chasing Forever:
Old wounds, new directions, and a forever worth chasing.
Malcolm Montgomery was a history teacher and track coach until an accident left him with two broken legs. He’ll recover, but life has knocked his feet out twice now. He’s not sure if he’s ready to try again, especially when it comes to love—and slick guys like Brian Kenway. Still, he needs help mentoring the school’s LGBTQ society, so he asks Brian to take some responsibility.
Brian has been hiding behind his reputation as a liar and a cheat for so long that he actually believes he’s that guy—until his nephew, Josh, turns up on his couch, tossed out for being gay. Brian has never considered being a father, but he knows all about being rejected by loved ones. Now Brian wants to be more: a partner for Mal and a role model for Josh.
But when Mal’s recovery is set back and the sad truth of Brian’s past is revealed, the forever they’ve been chasing seems even further from their grasps. It’ll take a rescue effort to revive their sense of worth and make Brian, Mal, and Josh into a family of their own.
Kelly Jensen talks Chasing Forever: This story is all about new directions. Brian and Mal will both be confronted with challenges that will encourage them to channel their energy into something worthwhile. For Brian, it’s stepping out from behind his substantial wallet to make a difference. For Mal, it’s about learning to live out loud. For both of them, it’s about forming a family of their own, and chasing a forever neither thought they might find.
Brian limped toward his nephew. “What the actual fuck, Josh? I’ve been all over Morristown looking for you. Why are you here? You could have left anytime this week. Why tonight?”
Because he’d gone out?
He’d been out nearly every night this week.
“I couldn’t pay my tab.” Brian’s hands flailed upward, following some weird urge to get all explain-y. “I actually thought you might have burned the house down. I was worried. You don’t get to worry me, okay? Or take my stuff. Just what the fuck?”
Josh answered with a deep, hollow cough.
“Did you even pack the medicine I bought you?”
Josh shook his head, but coughed again, and damn, he was pale. And shivering. And sweaty.
“Shit.” Brian got down on one knee, hissing as his sore toes protested, and put a palm to Josh’s damp forehead. “How long have you been here?”
“I was going to catch the ten thirty train.”
“Well, you missed it.”
Josh coughed and shivered.
“Goddamn it. You were nearly better, Josh. How could you do this?”
“C’mon, you need another hot shower and bed.”
“I want to go home.”
Fuck. Half-standing, Brian swung his ass sideways and slid onto the bench next to Josh. “I can . . .” He shook his head, pushed his hands through his hair, and glanced at his nephew. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“I can’t stay here.”
Josh managed an eye roll before he had to lean forward and cough again. “You made it pretty clear you don’t want me around.”
Not having a wall close enough to hit his head against, Brian mentally slapped himself. “Listen, I’ve been checking out options for you, but it’s hard over the holidays . . .”
“Then I’ll go home.”
Brian winced. “And live in the shed?”
“Maybe she’ll let me in if I’m sick.”
A burn crept up the back of Brian’s sinuses. “I . . .” Should he lie? Would it be kinder to lie? He pulled out his phone. “I don’t think so.”
Josh stared at him, eyes still wide and a lot red. He wasn’t well enough to be out in the cold.
“Maybe we should wait until we get back to my place.”
The kid didn’t move.
Brian accessed his call log. He showed the screen to Josh, scrolling through the twenty-some calls he’d made to Ellen since Christmas Eve. “That’s how many times I’ve called your mom. I got a text back tonight. One. To tell me you weren’t there.”
“You called her?”
“I was worried when I couldn’t find you.” Irritated, angry, seriously pissed off. “I needed to know you were somewhere safe.”
“Like you care.”
“Josh, I’m forty-eight. I’ve never been with someone who was interested in having kids and never figured it was something I wanted for myself. I’m not warm and fuzzy. I’m sometimes not very nice. I told you I was an asshole. But that doesn’t mean I don’t care.” He paused to let that sink in for a second before delivering the bad news. “I really don’t think your mom does. I don’t know what her deal is.” Yes, you do. “But I do think going back there is a bad idea.”
Coughing, Josh frowned down at his hands.
“Come home with me.”
Josh shook his head, but Brian could see his resistance was crumbling.
“You can stay as long as you want. I’ll stop looking for another place. You can stay either until we work something out with your mom or . . . until whenever.” Brian drew in a not-so-deep and somewhat shaky breath. “You’re family, okay? Probably the only family that wants anything to do with me. So, let’s stick together. See how it goes.”
“You sure?” The hope in Josh’s eyes was painful.
Brian nodded. “But there’ll be rules.”
“No stealing my stuff. You need something, you ask for it.”
“And school. You need to go to school.”
Not a suggestion met with excitement. Then again, who would be excited about school? Professors might be.
Warmth briefly tickled Brian’s cheeks. He felt the touch of an all-too-brief kiss against his lips. Reluctantly, he shoved the memory aside.
“And I need to know where you are. I’m not going to put you under house arrest, but if you disappear on me again, shit will come down, okay?”
That apparently warranted a cough. A deep, dragging sound that rocked Josh’s thin frame. But he didn’t say no.
Brian stood and held out a hand. “C’mon. Let’s get you home and warmed up.”
Josh hesitated before standing, and the hand he slid inside Brian’s was too warm and too cold at the same time. Brian nearly pulled him into a hug. Instead, he picked up Josh’s bag and slung it over his shoulder. “How long did it take you to find the station?”
Josh shot him a quizzical frown. “It’s at the end of your street.”
Brian’s smile felt weak. “See, you’re settling in already.”
About Kelly Jensen:
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.
Connect with Kelly:
Facebook (Profile): https://www.facebook.com/kelly.jensen.7315
Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/kellyjensenwrites/
Giveaway: Any ebook from Kelly Jensen’s back catalog!