Coming Full Circle
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by Liz Andrews
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance
Description: They've waited ten years. Will they finally gain everything they ever desired?and more? There's only one bright spot Jasmine Hayes can see when she's suckered into helping plan her high school reunion. At least she'll be able to reconnect with old friends Chase Randolph and Alex Landry. There's nothing she regrets more than losing touch with those two handsome guys. Chase and Alex hadn't planned to attend the reunion, but the chance to see Jasmine again has Chase intrigued. Alex is his best friend and love of his life, but Jasmine will always be the girl who got away. One instant message is all it takes to center Alex's thoughts on a lusty reunion with Jasmine. He's extremely happy with Chase, but she's always been the girl of his dreams. He can't help but wonder if the chemistry the three of them had in high school is still there. Renewing old ties, however, puts triple the strain on some old ones. The choice they face is which ones to risk severing--and which ones are worth keeping. Warning: This title contains men loving men, and men loving a woman--anywhere and everywhere they can.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2009 2009
eBookwise Release Date: September 2009
141 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [247 KB]
Reading time: 157-220 min.
The ding of Chase Randolph's computer announced an email, but what caught his attention was the name of the sender. Jasmine Hayes. It was a name he hadn't seen in almost ten years and seeing it had him smiling as he thought of her. Jasmine was a former friend from high school, yet they'd lost touch over time.
He'd heard she had married Howie Markum, a guy they went to high school with, but here was an email from her with her maiden name. Intrigued, Chase clicked on the message and began to read.
Hello Mr. Randolph.
I was wondering if you attended Middlebrook High School. I was friends with a man of the same name. I am chairman of the reunion committee and we are looking for lost classmates.
P.S. If you are the Chase I know, I am also looking for Alex Landry and was wondering if you had his contact information.
Interesting. Very interesting.
The email from Jasmine came from left field but he couldn't help but wonder what had happened in her life over the last ten years. They had been close once and he still missed her friendship. Thinking back to that time made him nostalgic and, succumbing to an impulse, he decided to share the news. He picked up the phone and dialed home, tapping his pencil on his desk as he waited for an answer.
"You better not be calling to tell me you have to work late." Alex's voice boomed across the line.
"Nice way to answer the phone."
"Sorry." He sounded weary. "It was a bad day at work. I was looking forward to dinner, drinks and a relaxing evening at home."
"I won't be late. In fact, I was only calling to tell you about an interesting email I received."
"You couldn't have waited until you were home?" Alex sighed heavily. "Okay, tell me about the email."
"No, no, it'll wait."
"Damn it, you called. Tell me already."
"It was from Jasmine."
There was silence on the other end of the line for a long moment, before Alex asked, "Jasmine? Jasmine Hayes from high school, Jasmine?"
"None other. She's the chairperson of the reunion committee and is looking for lost classmates. Guess who's lost?"
"That's it? That's all she said? Nothing about 'Hey, how the hell are you?'"
Chase knew exactly how Alex was feeling. They had been like the three musketeers, friends for four years after meeting in freshman American History class. And then they went their separate ways when Alex and he went away to college while Jasmine stayed home to go to the local community college. She married the guy she started dating her senior year, someone both he and Alex couldn't stand. Chase always believed Howie was the reason she cut off contact.
"Sorry, baby, that was pretty much it. I'll forward you the message so you can read it though."
"Alright. Well get your ass home."
"See you soon." Chase severed the connection and forwarded the email before shutting down his computer.
On the drive home, Chase couldn't keep the thought of Jasmine from his mind. He could still remember the first time he saw her. She was a bit shy, with soft brown hair and a generous smile. He wondered how the last ten years might have changed the girl he once knew.
He and Alex had certainly changed since high school. He had been the Student Class President, while Alex was the big football hero. Best friends since the moment they were assigned to sit next to each other in home room, they'd included Jasmine in their circle as soon as they met her.
When it came time to apply to colleges, both men ended up receiving scholarships to the same state university. It only seemed natural that they became roommates. And it was in college when they discovered they were bi-sexual. Although if he were honest with himself, Chase had known he was attracted to both men and women years earlier.
Alex had fought his attraction to men for much longer, until the two of them had a sexual encounter which left no doubts as to where their desires lay. It was an eye-opening weekend for both of them and they finally admitted their feelings for one another. They'd been a couple ever since.
Their relationship wasn't perfect, especially when Alex's family pretty much disowned him. Thankfully Chase's family was more accepting. They had dated for a few years before making a commitment to each other. The decision to buy a house together soon followed.
After twenty minutes of bumper to bumper traffic, Chase turned onto his street and into the driveway. He gathered his briefcase and coat and exited the car, hitting the alarm button on his key fob as he entered the house. Without bothering to put his stuff down, he went in search of Alex. It didn't take long to find him in the office, looking through their old yearbooks. They were prominently displayed throughout the annual, because of their many activities as well as the fact Jasmine was part of the yearbook staff.
Alex looked up when Chase entered the room. "You know, there are hardly any pictures of Jasmine in here, even though she could have put herself on every page."
"I don't think she liked to be in the limelight." In some ways she'd blended in to the background. Once they'd become acquainted with her, they'd realized she liked to sit back and observe her surroundings.
"Did you answer her email?" Alex stood and stretched his arms over his head before he returned the yearbook to its place on the shelf. Although he no longer played football he was still muscular and wide shouldered.
"No, not yet. I thought we could compose a reply together."
"I still vote no on going to the reunion, even with the personal invite from Jasmine. There was a reason we decided not to return to Middlebrook to live. The town and its population wouldn't be too receptive to us."
"I know and I agree with you." Together they walked out of the room and headed toward the kitchen. "Still, I wouldn't mind seeing her again."
"Me too." Alex grabbed a bottle of wine from the fridge. He took two glasses from the cupboard and poured a glass for each of them. "Did you see the email had her maiden name?"
"Yeah. I wondered about that." Chase accepted the glass Alex handed him and took a drink. "She could have an old email address from before her marriage."
"Or she could be divorced now."
"Or she could still be married and be using her maiden name."
Alex wrinkled his nose. "Spoilsport."
"Start the steaks and I'll make the salad." They began to work companionably to prepare dinner, both silent in their thoughts. The one thing Chase had never shared with Alex was the fact that back in high school he'd asked Jasmine to Homecoming their senior year. She had turned him down, professing she wanted to remain friends. It was his one major disappointment in high school that they hadn't explored the possibility of being more.
"I had a thought." Alex interrupted Chase's musings.
"Just the one?"
"Stop being a smart ass." Alex crossed his arms over his chest. "What do you think about inviting her to come visit us, if she is single again, that is? I really don't want to have Howie as a houseguest."
Chase snorted in agreement. "He always was a sanctimonious bastard."
"It's been ten years. What if we start talking to her and it's not the same?"
"Okay, fine. I thought you'd want to see her, maybe get to know her again."
"I do." Chase put down the knife he was using to cut a tomato. "I wonder why she never kept in touch. I always wondered if she heard through the proverbial grapevine about us."
"And what, didn't want to associate with the gay guys?"
"Bi-sexual," Chase felt the need to point out. "But yeah."
Alex shook his head, causing a tawny lock to droop over his eyes before he reached up to push it back. "No, Jasmine didn't have a prejudiced bone in her body. I don't think our relationship had anything to do with it. I always figured she became wrapped up in Howie. We didn't live in the same town anymore and maintaining a friendship with us wasn't convenient."
"So what makes you think she'd want to come and visit now?"
"I don't know, it was an instinctive feeling."
Chase had to laugh at the typical Alex answer. He often had an idea about something, but when pushed on why, he wouldn't have a specific reason. "Let's eat and then we'll email her back and see what happens, okay?"
"Sounds like a plan."
Chase set the table while Alex finished the steaks and allowed his mind to wander again. Alex was always very protective of Jasmine and disliked Howie immensely. He had been disappointed when their engagement was announced and even more upset when neither of them were invited to the wedding.
By that time they hadn't talked to her in more than three years, so Chase really wasn't surprised by the non-invite. He hoped Alex wasn't setting himself up for further disappointment.
"Steaks are done."
"Great, let's eat."
Instead of talking more about Jasmine, Chase asked Alex about his day and allowed the other man to vent about the stupid physicians he worked with. Alex was a physical therapist, but worked with a number of orthopedic surgeons who thought they understood physical therapy better than he did. By the time dinner was done they were both relaxed. They cleared the table and then, by silent mutual agreement, headed into the office. Chase opened the original email Jasmine had sent and hit reply.
"Okay, what do you want to say?"
"Tell her you're the Chase she's looking for." Alex leaned back in his chair, his fingers laced behind his head. "And then tell her yes, you have my contact information."
"That's it, those two things?"
Alex nodded. "Yeah, I thought about it and you're right. We should wait and see before inviting her to visit."
"Okay, here's what I have." Chase read the message to Alex.
Yes, I'm the Chase Randolph who attended Middlebrook High. Neither Alex nor I were planning to attend the reunion, but I do have Alex's contact information if you still want it. Just let me know, Chase.
"I see you decided to add a few things."
"I wanted to lay it on the line. If she only wanted to talk to us as the chairperson of the reunion committee, she has her answer and she can move on. If she wants to talk to us, her two old friends, she knows she can email me back." Chase knew he was being pragmatic. If he had no expectations of a reply, then he wouldn't be disappointed.
Chase was glad Alex agreed. He hit the send button and then closed the email program, figuring it would be the last they heard from Jasmine.