Wednesday, 1 February 2012



Sequel to The Night Porter

The first time Max laid eyes on Robert Armitage, he knew exactly what he wanted to happen. But Max was just a night porter and Robert a guest at the hotel before his wedding, and Max knew even as they slept together that in the morning he’d have to send the groom on his way. Max’s heart was broken when Robert left, and so he ran home to Texas. When Robert’s marriage failed, Max waited for Robert to come looking for him, and waited….

A year later, Max’s dreams come true and Robert finds him, but there’s a catch, and Max has to decide if he wants Robert enough to be satisfied with hiding their relationship.


The Dream

MAX was convinced his shift would never end. By the time he finally got out of The Crescent Hotel, the London evening weather matched his mood. It was raining hard again, water seeping down the back of his neck. As Max trudged home, his mind wasn’t on the weather but the sight of Robert’s large frame walking out of the hotel room toward his future. A future that didn’t include Max. 

He stopped as he reached the top floor of his building. Robert was slumped on the floor, his back against the front door of the studio apartment. He was the last person Max expected to see, wet and shivering, on his doorstep. The man should be at his reception, celebrating his wedding to his beautiful bride, Evie. Robert’s eyes were closed and he didn’t seem to notice who was beside him until Max knelt down.

“Hey.” Max laid a hand on his arm, squeezing lightly.

Opening his eyes, Robert gave a wan smile when he saw Max kneeling beside him. “Hey.” He had aged five years since their confrontation that morning, his eyes bloodshot and swollen and his skin pale under his summer tan.

“Robert….” Max started to speak, wanting to know if Robert was here for him or here because he had nowhere else to go.

“Not now, Max, please? I’ve just dumped my fiancĂ©e at the altar with no real explanation. It’s been just about the shittiest day of my life. I need to sleep and I’d like to sleep with you, if you’ll let me?” He sounded so weary, his Texan accent deeper, and because Max was weak and stupid, he opened the door and let Robert back into his life.

They stripped off their clothes and climbed into the small bed, Max pulling Robert’s head down onto his chest, ignoring the fact that his long and straggly hair was still damp. Robert burrowed into him like he was trying to hide. Max stroked the long line of Robert’s back and kissed the top of his head.

Rain pattered down against the skylight, but Max felt warm and happy in his bed, even as quiet tears soaked into his skin. He tightened his hold on Robert and waited for the storm to pass.

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