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Hue, Tint and Shade cover

Verdant by Jordan Castillo Price

Series: standalone
Length: Short Story- 3,750 words - 13 page PDF
Cover artist: Jordan Castillo Price - see larger cover
ISBN 978-1-9355400-7-6

Find Verdant at the following places:

Amazon - Smashwords (many file types) - iTunes


Watercooler gossip reveals that everyone in Colin's office gets lucky before they embark on yet another day of files, faxes, and covert games of solitaire. Everyone but Colin, that is.

Colin's live-in boyfriend Rand is creative, gorgeous, and entirely too self-sufficient. Colin can hardly remember the last time they did anything fun together, let alone got down and dirty before his daily commute.

Colin is sure he's about to face another morning brag session when he gets to the office, but instead he finds the building eerily deserted. The radio has been taken over by the Emergency Broadcast System, and Colin must rush back to make sure nothing's happened to Rand.

Luckily, Rand is okay. Even better than okay. And he's been dying for Colin to get home.


I suspect that I worked at one of the few offices where people actually did congregate around the water cooler. Maybe because the coffee was so bad that most of us suspected the janitor peed in the water reservoir late at night when he was done buffing the floor.

Yesterday’s water cooler conversation was all about morning wood. Being the only gay guy there, I’d been surprised that the subject had even come up, no pun intended, while I was trapped there between the microwave, the wall, and Heather Markowitz. Then again, I was surprised the subject came up around Heather Markowitz, either. If she’d gotten it in her head to bring a sexual harassment suit down on Bernie, the chairman of sales, she’d have an actual chance of winning.

Here was the gist of the conversation: Bernie claimed that he regularly got laid in the morning before coming to work. So did the purchaser, Bill Conlan. It even happened to Eddie Ramirez from personnel on occasion.

I’d replayed that conversation in my mind as I went to bed, and there it was when I woke up. Everyone in my office walked out their front door happy but me.

I looked at Rand. Or, more specifically, the back of his head. Rand faced the window, not me, when he slept. There was a scar on his scalp about two inches long, pale and smooth against his dark brown hair. It was like a strangely placed part, just beneath the crown. I’d first noticed that scar when I realized that Rand always slept with his back to me. I never mentioned it to Rand. Like I didn’t mention that all of my co-workers were doing the nasty before they rolled into work. Even Heather Markowitz.

I pressed against Rand’s back and slipped my arm around his waist. Even through the rumpled sheets and pajama bottoms, I fit him perfectly, curve for curve. He’s lean and beautifully proportioned. He’s got plenty of time to keep in shape, since he works at home and doesn’t have to deal with a ninety minute commute.

I found the top edge of the sheet and eased my hand in through a gap. His skin felt so warm under the covers. I ran my palm down his side, spread my fingers over his flat stomach. I toyed with the waistband of his pajama bottoms.

“Colin,” he said. Just that. His voice was soft and groggy, and I couldn’t quite catch the inflection, if there’d been any at all.



Joyfully Reviewed Rainbow Reviews


A sweet, sad story of hope

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