Harvest Moon

an excerpt



Chapter One

Can't wait to come home and fuck you sideways

Ah, bloody hell, Matt Green liked hot texts from his boyfriend, Reed Jordan. He smothered a smile behind his hand and swiped the screen to send a return text. He glanced over at his sister, then typed his message.

Can't wait for you to be home...@3?

"What are you reading? More text porn from Reed?" Emily sipped her coffee. "You know that's terrible. You're not letting me see the naked wangs."

"True, but I'm pretty sure you don't want to be in the middle of sexting between me and Reed." Matt grinned. He swiped his thumb across the screen to retrieve the new message.

See u @ 3

Perfect. Matt sighed. God, he loved his boyfriend. He turned his phone over and focused on his sister. "The reason I asked you and Nattie to come over is this." He pulled the flocked box from his pocket. "I'm going to ask Reed to marry me."

"Oh cool!" She clapped her hands together. Although Emily had been married and now divorced, she seemed to hold no ill will against the institution of marriage, but she seemed to not be in a huge hurry to march down the aisle a second time. She touched the thick band of platinum in the black satin. "Reed will love this."

"I'm hoping so."

"You're really going to do it?" Her blue eyes twinkled. "When are you asking him?"

"Well, we just had the harvest moon, so it's the time for rebirth and renewal. On that note, I've got a plan and I'll need your help." His hands shook as he closed the box. "I want to have a big family Thanksgiving. I want all of my family here to witness what I want to say to him. Reed and I met on Thanksgiving when I went into his bookstore. Since I begged him to close the store this year, I'm hoping he doesn't freak out and will let me have a big party here."

"Whatever you want me to do, say the word and I'll do it. Mind if I bring Andy?" Emily asked. She'd been seeing her boyfriend, the father of her little boy, for two years.

"Of course I want Andy to be here." Matt shoved the box back into his pants' pocket. "I called Reed's sister, Kate. She's the only one Reed still talks to, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping she'll still come."

"Why wouldn't she?"

"I'm not sure, honestly. Reed doesn't talk about his family. Like ever. He never wants to see them and I'm not even sure what his folks' names are." Matt held back a cringe. He loved his partner, but he'd never met most of Reed's family. He'd wanted to ask why they never talked, but instead, he'd respected Reed's privacy.

"Well, I hope when you talk to Kate she tells you whatever it is you want to know...and yes, I can see it in your eyes, you want to ask her everything." Emily finished her coffee. "I've got to go. I need to get Nattie to the sitter, then I'm due at the hospital. I'll see you Thursday. Lunch?"

"Yeah. See you." He stood and hugged his sister, then kissed his nephew. At seven months, the kid wasn't old enough to understand what the hell was going on, but he smiled. Probably gas. Every time Matt turned around, Nattie had gas.

He watched his sister back down the driveway. In less than half an hour, his boyfriend would be home. He hated sneaking around, but how the hell was he going to pull off the surprise? For the first time in almost a month, he didn't have any jobs lined up for either his landscaping service, or his handyman business. The freedom gave him the chance to pick up the ring and plan out the party.

He sat back down at the table and tapped his phone screen. He dialed Kate's number. After three rings, she answered.

"Hello?"

"Hi, Kate. It's Matt-Reed's boyfriend." Crud. He shouldn't have to say he was Reed's partner. She knew who he was, but better to be safe than sorry.

"Hey, bud. I'm glad you called. I forgot to add your number to my list. I got your message and yeah, it's time to get a few things said."

Crap. Get a few things said? "I'm listening."

"I know. That sounded terrible. I'm not going to rip your head off. Far from it." She sighed. "I've only got ten minutes before the kids get home from school."

"Sorry."

"Don't be. So, we all know Reed's gay and he bagged a great guy. Yeah, I like you. I'm glad you two hooked up. The baby brother I remember is back and happy."

"But?" There had to be more to the story.

She sighed again. "But, I'm the only one in the family who has accepted him. Mom and Dad are still expecting him to wake up one morning and realize he's actually straight."

No shit... Matt sagged in his seat. "That's not how the whole thing works."

"I know that. You know that. They're living in the past. Like I said, I'm thrilled and think you're awesome together." She paused. "I've also thought about what you said. I want to do it, but I'm not sure your plan is going to work."

"Why?"

"I know where Reed's coming from. He's very closed off."

"Is he afraid of big crowds?"

"No."

"Then what? He won't open up to me about this, and I'm worried."

"This is the part where I have to step away and you've got to talk to him. Ask him if he'd like to have a big holiday. I'd be willing to bet I know the answer verbatim, but it's something he's got to tell you."

"Kate, you're supposed to be giving me suggestions. I want this to be perfect."

"I know. Just-ask him about the night he came out. Ask him about why he hates family holidays, but keep in mind you might not get the answers you want."

"You won't make this even a little bit easier?"

"Nope. You love him enough that you want to marry him. If you truly care about him and you're willing to link your names forever, then you should have the balls to ask him about his past. Nothing is too hard if you really love him."

"Are you going to tell me love means never having to say I'm sorry, too?"

She snorted. "No. We all end up saying we're sorry at some point, but you get what I'm saying. Show him you're on his side all the way and it'll be clear."

"Okay, then will you and Roger come to dinner?"

"You bet. I want to see my baby brother. Do you mind if I bring the brats? I'm sure the kids will want to meet their new uncle."

"I hoped they'd want to come along."

"Good. We'll see you Thursday."

"Perfect. Bye." He ended the call and placed the phone on the table. The conversation hadn't gone quite the way he'd expected. As much as he wanted Kate to help him in the way he wanted, he understood why she kept quiet. This was something he needed to have explained to him face-to-face, by Reed.

The day he'd met Reed was the best of day of his life. He hadn't thought the tall guy at the bookstore would even look his way. Christ. Reed reminded him of a fashion model-all long legs, blond hair with a hint of curl. And those eyes...such a deep brown a man could get lost in them and never want to surface. The first time he and Reed kissed, Matt could've sworn he'd melted. He couldn't wait to make Reed his permanent partner.

He patted his pocket, then left the table. He'd better put the box away before Reed came home and found the secret. He glanced at the clock. Only fifteen more minutes left until his man walked in the door. Less than two days until the big surprise that wasn't a surprise any longer. He knew down to his soul he'd made the right decision when he'd bought the ring, but he sure hoped Reed would meet him halfway.