Today is the release of the third birthday story from the Second Chances anthology: Better Togetherby DaNay Smith.
Greyson Welles followed Dominic Nash to
Baltimore for his dream job, putting his own on hold. Dominic can see that
Greyson's unhappy, but never expects him to turn down his proposal and return
to New York. Will Greyson be gone forever or will he decide they're better
IT HAD BEEN a long
day, and all Dominic wanted to do was eat and go to sleep, but when he walked
into his house those plans vanished without a trace. He stopped dead when he
saw his partner, Greyson, sitting at the dining table, looking down at what
appeared to be plane tickets. Dominic could feel Greyson’s piercing, pale-blue
eyes on his face, but he just couldn’t seem to meet them. He was too busy
trying to keep his breathing regulated, too busy trying not to let the fear,
anger, and despair inside cause him to implode.
“We haven’t come to a decision yet,”
Dominic finally said, still not meeting Greyson’s eyes and hating the whimper
in his tone.
“No. You haven’t come to a decision,
Dom. I’m going back to New York,” Greyson replied frankly.
Dominic shook his head and turned his back
on the plane tickets and Greyson. None of this made sense. Greyson wasn’t this
selfish . . . this cold . . . this uncaring. This whole going back to New York
business had only been brought up last week. A long conversation had ensued in
which lots of things were addressed but nothing was decided. Dominic’s mind
raced through everything they’d talked about, but he couldn’t think of anything
that would constitute this rush. Greyson had admitted to his unhappiness and
regret over leaving New York, following Dominic to Baltimore so that Dominic
could study at John Hopkins.
Greyson was an artist and he’d just started
to get noticed before they left New York four years ago. The art scene in
Baltimore wasn’t as big, and Greyson had put aside his abstract painting and
started doing portraits of debutantes and old money families to make money.
Dominic knew that Greyson hated doing the portraits. New York wasn’t going
anywhere though, and once Dominic finished his residency he could be a doctor
at whatever hospital he wanted. It was a long time to wait, but Greyson had
been fine with that arrangement all this time . . . or so he thought. Dominic
was beginning to think there was more to the story than Greyson was telling
“Greyson, just be honest with me. Are you
unhappy because you’re not doing the art you want to do, or is this because
you’re unhappy being with me?”
Dominic heard the scraping of Greyson’s
chair on the hardwood floor, but he was still surprised when the man was
suddenly behind him, enveloping Dom in his arms and resting his chin on his
“I love you, Dom. I always have and I
always will. Don’t ever doubt that. The distance won’t mean anything,” Greyson
said, his tone gentle and soothing. The words still piqued something inside
Dominic, and he was breaking out of Greyson’s hold before he’d even consciously
made the decision to do so.
“Are you out of your fucking mind? The
distance will mean everything! With me working eighty hours a week, it’s
already a struggle to spend time together. You think that moving to another
state is going to make that better?” Dominic exclaimed.
Greyson’s arms had fallen to his sides when
Dominic stepped out of them, but at his angry words they lifted and wrapped
around himself, holding tight. This time it was Greyson who avoided meeting his
“Of course I don’t think that. I just don’t
think that staying here will make it better either.” Greyson sighed.
don’t want to resent you.”
“That means you’ve already started to,”
Dominic murmured. The hair on Dominic’s arms and on the back of his neck stood
up. He could feel something coming, and like an animal sensing a terrible storm
he wanted to flee. Dominic took a step back toward the door, and Greyson
knowingly glanced at the door behind him before taking a step forward.
“Stay,” Greyson said, and Dominic couldn’t
decide whether the statement was a demand or a plea. Whatever it was, Dominic
made himself abide. Walking away at a time like this would be stupid, and he
wasn’t giving Greyson up without a fight.
“I will if you will,” Dominic countered. It
probably wasn’t the best or most mature reply but he was still reeling from
this turn of events.
“Dom,” Greyson groaned before scrubbing his
hands over his face. “I don’t have anything here. Not the career I want. No
friends. No family. New York is where I belong. I understand you need to be
here in Baltimore right now. It’s been your dream to study at John Hopkins all
your life, but my career is back in New York waiting for me. I have to go