RELEASE DATE: 01.19.19
Cover Design: Cate Ashwood
When Caleb Chance walked out in Detroit five years ago, leaving his band, millions of his fans and his lover behind, Leo knew he could never forgive.
Some things, no matter what the cause, are unforgivable.
But Leo never expected Caleb to show up again, clean and sober and wanting to get their band, Star Shadow, back together. He definitely never expected to agree to Caleb’s plan.
He never expected to confront the love of his life again—or the disaster of his past, the hopelessness of his future, and every terrible thing he’s been carrying inside him.
But maybe some things aren’t so terrible after all.
“Are you sure you’re going to be okay setting up without help?” Caleb asked.
Leo rolled his eyes, trying to return to normal interaction. Caleb didn’t need to know about all the little, unbearably painful, things that still caught him unawares. It turned out that grief wasn’t only that yawning chasm of missing someone so much your teeth ached; sometimes it was the tiny, most insignificant bits of a destroyed, disintegrated life.
“I’m perfectly capable, you know,” Leo insisted. “I can have people over without making a mess of it.”
“Of course you can. I just want to help,” Caleb said, sounding flustered. “That’s why I offered to cook.”
“You shouldn’t be cooking for your own celebration,” Leo said.
“You used to like it when I cooked.”
Leo couldn’t help the laugh that bubbled out of him at this understatement. “I fucking loved it when you cooked.”
Caleb looked pleased. “That’s good. Really good. I mean, I want to make you feel that way. Again. Um.” He hesitated, mouth twitching. “All the time, actually.”
It was good to hear. Leo had missed someone taking care of him.
But again, that wasn’t exactly accurate. For Christmas two years ago, Benji had given him the services of a housekeeper for six months. At the time, Leo had been over the moon, thinking it was the perfect gift. But it turned out that he hadn’t liked someone in his business all the time. He didn’t like the way she’d look down her nose at him for leaving dirty dishes overflowing on the coffee table or the way he’d track mud in after a run or that sometimes he wouldn’t leave his warm, comfy bed until two in the afternoon.
In the end, he’d written her a big check, buying both her absence and her silence.
So, specifically, what Leo missed was Caleb taking care of him.
“Maybe that’s something we could do again. Dinner sometime.” At first Leo couldn’t believe he was suggesting it—hadn’t he just thought that Caleb back in the kitchen was too much to handle? But he also told himself that they were trying to be friends again. And friends could share a friendly meal.
“Really?” Caleb sounded incredulous, but he was looking at Leo like he’d just hung the moon and the sun and the stars in the sky.
“Of course,” Leo said, like it wasn’t a big deal. “I know we’ll be off on the tour soon, but maybe when we get back.”
“That would be so great.” He paused. “Like maybe even . . . maybe even a date?”
Leo was twenty-six years old but he honest-to-god blushed when Caleb said the magical d word.
“Sure,” Leo said. He couldn’t believe he’d said yes. He also couldn’t believe Caleb had asked after last night’s conversation.
“I know it seems sudden,” Caleb added.
Leo shrugged. “It isn’t like we set a date and time. Just . . . sometime in the future.”
“Nice and vague,” Caleb agreed. “Vague is good.”
Leo was aware they were both grinning at each other like idiots. This was confirmed when Max wandered over and did a double take.
“You two,” he said with a short, barking laugh. “Stop flirting and get going. You’ll see each other soon, I promise.”
Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published eight novels and two novellas, with Catch Me, the next novel in the Kitchen Gods series, releasing in May 2018.