The Good Life
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by Diana DeRicci
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Gay Fiction
Description: Chad Rarig and Sonny Phillips have been friends since skinned knees and after school homework. Life is pretty normal, if a bit bland for Chad, until he recieves a phone call that changes the rest of his entire life. With Sonny's strong shoulder in friendship and his mother's support, he cautiously embraces his fate, one that includes binkies and an utter loss of sleep. Sonny offers a chance to let Chad settle into this new wilderness of parenthood, sharing his home with his best friend. Only he definitely hadn't anticipated having to deal with an attraction that left him panting and hungry as a starving man for his best friend. His gay best friend who thinks Sonny is straight, because he's never told him the full truth to preserve their friendship above all else. Can Chad come to terms with all the challenges of fatherhood and still keep Sonny's friendship? Will either be willing to take the risk to cross that line from friendship to something more?
eBook Publisher: MLR Press, LLC/MLR Press, LLC,
eBookwise Release Date: July 2012
12 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [166 KB]
Reading time: 100-141 min.
"Sonny, I'm in trouble." Chad Rarig gazed at the carrier at his feet and felt his stomach threaten to upend. It was a good thing he was already sitting down. His knees felt like water. The hand holding the phone trembled, and he wiped the other on his jeans. His throat constricted from trying to catch his breath.
Dyson "Sonny" Phillips, his best friend with the soothing voice that Chad had known his entire life, asked one question. "What did you do now?" Because there was always an explanation for any trouble Chad had found himself in, and it was always a forgone conclusion that Sonny would save the day. Only this time...
Chad barked a laugh that teetered on hysterical. The baby in the carrier didn't even flinch. Holy hell, do they all sleep like this? "I didn't... I mean, apparently I did, but shit, Sonny, I don't know what to do."
"Slow down." Chad's phone rumbled a little next to his ear. Sonny must be outdoors. There. Some of the background noise vanished. "Okay. I'm in my truck. Talk."
Chad sobbed, or tried not to bawl, and it came out in a choked sob. He was falling apart. "Do you remember Elizabeth?"
Chad knew he was going to Hell for this one. "The friend's daughter? Tall blonde?" It wasn't like he dated so many women his best friend wouldn't remember. It was the fact that he didn't date women. Going out with Elizabeth had been a favor for his mom. A friend whose daughter was coming home to visit from college, and his mother asked him to show her a good night out. He'd been twenty-two, seven years ago now when they'd first met. It felt like a lifetime.
"That blonde? She was ages ago."
"Yeah, well, we became friends, and she asked a favor of me." The favor was currently making smacking sounds at his feet.
"What kind of a favor?" Sonny asked, unconcerned. It wasn't like Chad typically lost it, but very little ruffled Sonny, which was why they were the best of friends. Sonny kept Chad sane.
Usually. He was desperate for that blessed calmness to overtake him.
Chad held his head in a wavering hand. "I just came home from the hospital, and it was a mess. I just don't know what to do. I mean... I'm sinking, Sonny. This isn't what I had planned. She left her to me, and I never thought it would happen. I mean, this wasn't part of the deal--"
"Okay, back up. Slow down, and start from the beginning. You have diarrhea of the mouth again." Now Chad had Sonny's attention.
Chad clenched his eyes shut and drew a very slow, dry breath. "Right. Okay." He blew it all out in a pained rush. "Elizabeth asked me to be a sperm donor."
"Chad," Sonny growled.
"Don't. Wait. It gets worse." His bottom lip quivered, and he bit it to make it behave.
"She dumped the baby on you?" Sonny retorted scathingly.
Chad slouched over his knees and felt the hot pressure of tears. He'd managed to keep the shock at bay, but his control was wearing thin. An unpredicted phone call at work had changed everything for him for the rest of his life. It had taken more than an hour of paperwork to have her released to him at the hospital: status and identity verifications, birth certificates. He closed his eyes to stop the swaying dizziness before it took over. "She died last night, Sonny." God, Elizabeth.
"The baby?" Sonny asked, unsure.
"No! Elizabeth." He sobbed again, sucking air to force the words through a burning throat. "She was struck in her car. She bled...bled..." Chad choked, stumbling over that fact. He couldn't make his mouth say the words. She hadn't died on impact, and that somehow made it so much worse, because he knew she'd died in pain, alone. At least the baby--he hadn't even used her name yet--had been at daycare. Elizabeth had died on the way from work to pick up the infant still soundly passed out at his feet.
"Shh. Okay. I think I get it." Sonny's voice had done a one-eighty. "And the baby?"
"She's safe. I...I'm lost Sonny. I don't know what to do with a baby," he whispered, his throat constricting. It was like trying to talk with sandpaper shoved down his pipe.
"Can you hold out for a little while? I'm across town on a job."
A life preserver had just appeared in front of Chad, and he grasped it with a death grip. The feeling of going under lessened. "How long?"
"Give me an hour to settle this afternoon's work and get there."
"Okay. She's been asleep for a while." Chad prayed she stayed that way.