Calm is available for pre-order today at Pride – yay! https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/calm
Calm by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn
Pride Publishing, early download August 15, general release September 12
Here’s a teaser for you on this fine Tuesday under the cut:
“I’m really sorry, Ri,” Carter blurted. Riley pressed his lips tightly together. “I’m sorrier than you can imagine for the way I disappeared after you came out. I didn’t know what else to do…how else to keep everything together. But I should have been a better friend to you.”
The tips of Riley’s ears turned red as he stared at Carter. A server approached then and Riley changed gears instantly, smiling as he ordered a large macchiato.
Carter ordered the same, aware of Riley’s gaze, and cursed himself for becoming so flustered.
“I’ve never been here before,” he began when they were alone again, striving to keep his voice light. “Come here often?”
Riley nodded. “Often enough to know what’s good without really needing to think about it. I have friends in the neighborhood and this is one place everyone agrees on when we’re craving different kinds of food.”
Carter dropped his gaze to the tabletop while Riley spoke. He imagined the man from the photographs to be one of the friends Riley had mentioned. Riley looked relaxed tonight, impossibly handsome and put together in his beautiful blue suit. Whatever difficulties he’d experienced since coming out, he was clearly flourishing now. And wasn’t Carter a god-awful mess in comparison?
“Carter?” Riley’s gaze had thawed slightly when Carter looked up. “I was asking how you’ve been.”
“I’m…still trying to figure stuff out.” Carter gave him a weak smile. “I wasn’t lying earlier when I said that I was coping. I still have my job, though, see the kids and sometimes get together with friends. I do okay.”
Riley gave him a knowing glance. “But nothing’s the same. Everything in your life—”
“Is different,” Carter finished. “Pretty much everything outside of my job is radically different. And figuring it all out is fucking tiring.”
“I understand,” Riley replied.
“I know you do.” Carter clasped his hands together in his lap. “Dan’s been pushing me to talk to you…told me if anyone would understand how I’m feeling, it would be you.”