One Last Kiss Goodbye
Hidden Hearts 2
CONTENT ADVISORY: This is an extensively expanded and re-edited re-release title.
All his life, Jacen’s had a crush on his brother’s best friend. One night, they share a kiss, but Kayne isn’t his to love. Now, Jacen’s been beaten up, and he flees back to Queensland. Kayne’s no longer with his wife and is raising his son. Will lifelong love win out?
Jacen Ives was living a lie. Being in a relationship with a person he couldn’t fully love was only a small part of the problems in his life. The truth was, he was hiding away from the one man he always knew he was meant to love. Jacen left his home in Queensland to get away from Kayne Henderson and the family he was making for himself. Distance didn’t help because his heart could never forget.
Mistakes made as a teenager set Kayne’s future in place, so–with one last kiss goodbye–he lied, and let his heart walk away from him–his best friend’s younger brother. They say time heals all wounds; what a crock. Sometimes, all time does is just confuse the matter. Especially when Kayne has a soon-to-be ex-wife and a young son to raise.
Years later, after letting Jacen walk away, he finds Jacen has finally come home. Everything is not good; Jacen has been both physically and mentally abused by his ex-boyfriend. Kayne needs to help find out just who is trying to destroy Jacen’s life. Who’s to blame–the man responsible for beating Jacen up or Kayne’s very own ex, who has hated Jacen since they were all teenagers and she found out Jacen held Kayne’s heart? Or is there someone new on the playing field? If so, which one of them are they truly after?
For the past couple of days Micah had been in a foul mood. He was taking his anger out on whoever was handy, and seeing as they worked side by side, more often than not it was aimed Kayne’s way. Having had enough, Kayne finally asked, “What has your panties in a bunch?”
“Jacen. That’s what,” Micah snapped. “He was supposed to call me back three days ago and I haven’t heard a word from him.”
“What?” Kayne couldn’t imagine Jacen pissing Micah off like this.
“I was seeing when he was getting here for the wedding and if he was bringing George the wanker with him. He said he’d talk to George and get back to me. He never did.”
The mere mention of Micah’s younger brother had Kayne’s guts twisting into an iron knot. For so long, Jacen had managed to affect him. Even more now that his relationship with his wife was almost over.
“How is he?” He hoped his voice sounded normal.
Micah turned and glared at him. “How the hell would I know? The twit hasn’t gotten back to me yet. He won’t answer my calls. I left him a shitload of messages. It’s like he’s dropped off the face of the earth.”
“You didn’t fight with him, did you? You know the more you push, the more he’ll dig his feet in.” Kayne knew the two brothers were close, but he also remembered they could fight like cats and dogs when they wanted to. By the look on his friend’s face, he knew this wasn’t the first time he’d been asked.
When Micah next spoke, his suspicions were confirmed. “Have you already been talking to Sammy today?”
“No. I just know what you’re like. So spill it. What did you do?”
Micah snorted out a laugh before he answered. “I wanted Jacen to stay longer, so I may or may not have told him to send George home while he had a holiday with us.”
Somehow Kayne knew if Jacen was ignoring Micah, then there had to be more to the story. “And?”
“And I may have also told him to move back to Queensland because he could start his business anywhere,” Micah added a little sheepishly.
“You do realise you insulted his boyfriend and his profession in the same breath, right?”
“Well, his boyfriend’s a douche.” Micah snarled.
Kayne totally agreed with the statement, but more so because he didn’t think anyone except he himself would make a good partner for Jacen. Almost a decade had gone by and he still had intense feelings for the guy he could never really have. He had screwed his life up the day he’d let Teagan blackmail him. By the time he’d realised what was happening, it was too late. Jacen was gone and Teagan was pregnant. The only good thing to come out of the whole fucked up marriage was Macen.
His face must have showed some sort of emotion because Micah startled him when he spoke again. “Are you all right? Here I am ranting about my dumbarse brother when your life is in just as much turmoil as his. I still can’t believe Teagan walked out on you and Mace. Were there any signs to tell you what was happening?”
“There were signs, but to be honest, I didn’t care. I’m just pissed she’s wiped Mace from her life as well. He’s six. Hell, he’s still trying to figure out what he did wrong to make her leave.”
As they left work for the day, they sat on the tailgate of Kayne’s ute. “That’s some fucked up shit. I hope you told him he didn’t do anything.”
“You know I have. I’m just thankful when she told us to get out of the house that she gave us time to grab our things…and Squirt. Mace would be lost without his damn dog. We’re also lucky you and Sammy took us in on such short notice.”
“That’s what friends are for, plus Sammy loves having Macen around to dote on,” Micah said.
Forever thankful at the generosity of his friends, he knew it couldn’t stay as it was. Eventually he and Macen would have to find their own place, even if just to let Squirt have a yard to run around once more. “We’ll get our own place soon enough.”
“There’s no hurry,” Micah insisted.
“Come on. Let’s go home to give Sammy a break from babysitting duty. As much as Mace loves helping him plan your dad’s wedding, I get the feeling Mace is more of a hindrance than a help.”
NJ needs to write like she needs to breathe. It’s an addiction she never intends to find a cure for. When you don’t find NJ arguing with Vlad, her muse, or writing about the wonderful men in her stories, you’ll find her reading work by other authors she greatly admires. NJ lives on five acres situated in the SE of Qld, Australia with her family who all encourage her writing career (even if she does occasionally call them by her character’s names), and her variety of pets. NJ thinks anyone who takes the time to read her stuff is totally awesome, and wants to thank you all.
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