Today, I’m honored to be sharing all the love for a fellow Evernight author, Jaycee Edward and her novella, Dragons. I think you’re going to love it!
Author: Jaycee Edward
Genre: M/M, Contemporary
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Category: Romance on the Go/Novella
Length: 10,900 words/42 pages
Release date: April 15, 2015
A chance encounter in a hospital waiting room between twenty-two year old Will Messina and sixteen year old Josiah Pinkerton ends with a gift of a stuffed dragon off the hospital gift cart and a memory neither of them can shake.
Five years later, when a lonely, buttoned-up Will ventures into a gay club, he spots a pale, leather-clad specter with violet eyes tracking his every move. Will realizes he’s being watched by the grown version of the boy who’s haunted his thoughts for years.
Joey recognizes Will, but he’s no longer the sweet, brown-eyed boy worthy of Will’s attention. He’s damaged and defective and lives in a different world than Will now. When his childhood crush makes his way across the bar, Joey doesn’t have time to decide whether to be enchanted or dismayed because, unless he turns and runs, those worlds are about to collide.
The teenage boy sitting in the ugly vinyl chairs against the far wall drew Will’s attention. He’d seen him here before. Same boy, same chair. The radiation department waiting room was always full on Saturday mornings – the only morning Will volunteered – but the boy seemed out of place, too young to be here. Will pushed the gift cart on his way to the elevators that would take him to the Palliative Care wing, which is where he
was supposed to be today. He’d started volunteering here when in he was in high school to fulfill their community service requirement, but liked it enough to stay on through four years of college. With graduation looming, Will made a mental note to talk to the hospital about adding a few more hours to his schedule. He’d have more free time now -at least until he found a full-time job. He punched the ‘up’ button and waited for the next car to arrive.
His gaze rested on the boy again. The kid looked old enough to drive. That must be it. He probably drew the short straw and got stuck driving Grandma or Grandpa to their radiation treatments. Will nodded to himself, pacified with his conclusion and determined to block out the alternate reason someone so young would be here week after week. He backed his cart into the elevator and hit the button for the fifth floor, smiling at the woman in teal green scrubs who shifted to make room for him and his cart. As the door began to close, the boy looked up and the fear on his young face shattered the happy ending Will had constructed for him.
“Wait!” His hand shot out to hold the door, but he couldn’t reach. The woman grabbed it for him and the door rolled back open. Will shot her an appreciative glance. “Thanks.” He pushed the cart back into the waiting room.
Once there, he stood, frozen in place. A few people looked at him expectantly. What was it he planned on doing, anyway? The boy looked his way and their eyes met. Something reached right into Will’s soul and squeezed until it hurt, but he gathered himself despite it and pushed the cart until he was standing in front of the dark-haired teenager.
“Hi.” Will smiled at him.
The boy practically cowered in his chair, looking at Will with suspicion. Okay, this is awkward. It probably did look kind of creepy from the kid’s point of view. Will had made a bee-line right for him.
“Uh, would you like something from the gift cart? Magazine? Deck of cards?” He grabbed a stuffed purple dragon and waggled it, grinning. “Dragon?”
The kid didn’t crack. With the same, sad expression, he shook his head. “No. Thanks.” He bent his head and diverted his entire focus to the invisible spot on the leg of his black jeans he picked and rubbed at with his finger.
Normally, Will would be feeling pretty stupid about now, but something about this kid…. He sat in the chair next to him. The kid cringed and leaned away, looking sideways at Will. Will held back a laugh. He probably had no idea his body language was screaming: “Dude! WTF?”
Or… maybe he did. Huh.
Will was undeterred.
“My name’s Will. I volunteer here. Just on Saturday, though, because I don’t have class on Saturday. What’s your name?”
“Wow. That’s… biblical.” Will chuckled and the kid just scowled more. “So, do people call you Joey?”
“No.” He shot a nervous glance at the registration desk. “My mom doesn’t like it. She hates nicknames.”
Will looked at the prim woman standing at the desk, chatting to the secretary.
Will studied the short, mousy, brown-haired woman but, other than the frail bone structure, he couldn’t see any resemblance to the beautiful boy sitting next to him. Josiah had ink-black hair and big, dark eyes set into the palest, most porcelain skin he’d ever seen. He was striking – more pretty than handsome. Even curled in on himself as he was, Will could tell Josiah was tall and lean.
The woman turned and headed their way. Josiah retracted even more, like one of those gray bugs that curl up the moment anything comes near.
“You’re next, sweetheart. They overbooked or something,” she said.
Will swallowed. Shit. He is the patient. Damn.
Josiah nodded but didn’t look up. His mom looked questioningly at Will. He leapt to his feet.
“Hi. I’m… I’m Will. A volunteer here. I, uh… I just came over to see if your son wanted something from the gift cart.” He grabbed the purple dragon and handed it to Josiah, tapping it against his arm to get his attention. Josiah took it, but shook his head and handed it back.
“But… but I don’t want…”
Will cut him off mid-sentence. “Compliments of the hospital.” Their eyes met and in that moment, Will wanted nothing more than to hit rewind, make Mom go away, and get to know this kid and his story, but real life had no such button. “You take care, Joey, okay?”
This time, as the elevator door closed, he saw Josiah look at the stupid stuffed dragon and smile.
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Jaycee Edward is no longer seventeen years old but don’t tell her that. She’s actually a tad older
and lives in northeast Ohio with her handsome husband and one, big gorgeous dog. She has two grown stepdaughters and is proud to be the ultra-cool Nana to two amazingly incredible grand-teens. Jaycee loves pistol shooting and is has earned her Bar 7 Sharpshooter status in the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program and hopes to someday reach the level of Expert Marksman. She is proud to be the token liberal at her gun range. Jaycee knows way too much about the inner workings of Walt Disney World and anything related to One Direction. She’d love to pull you into the rabbit hole with her. All you have to do is ask. Find her there or contact her through social media.