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Because Love Sees No Gender.™

Free Fiction Friday: Chances, Part 1

Morning all! I’ve officially joined the Free Friday Fiction gang. 🙂 Each week I’ll be posting a little more of “Chances”.

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Tucker Vance stood in front of the large dark wood desk in the home he’d shared with Carl, his partn- ex-partner, for the last twelve years, staring at the stack of papers in front of him. With one more signature, their life would be dissolved and he would be free. Until recently that idea would have terrified him, but since he learned the truth of the man he’d loved, had thought loved him, he’d spent more time than not trying to come to terms with being alone again.

“Just sign the damn papers, Tuck.” Carl nudged the cheap Bic pen closer to the papers and scowled. “There’s no point to dragging this out and you know it. It’s over.”

Oh, he knew it was over. Coming home to find his long-term lover in bed with another man was not something he was likely to ever forgive, especially not with Carl yelling at him for interrupting them with his “hysterics”. “It’s been over, Carl. It’s just hard to sign away my home like this,” Tucker said, gesturing to the papers and the only other person in the room, a notary.

“You can get a new one, now sign the fuckin’ papers and get out.” The sneer was more pronounced than before, not that Tucker cared. He still didn’t understand why Carl had done this, especially this way.

With a sigh and a deliberate eye rollhe knew how much Carl hated “juvenile” behaviorTucker sat down again and lifted the pen. His lawyer and brother Zane had already looked it over. It was exactly as they’d agreed upon, but not only was he losing his home, his life, and most of his friends, but the bastard had insisted they do the signing at the home they’d shared, the one he was currently signing awaythough for half the profits from the pending sale. “I always have such a pleasant time around you, bunny,” he singsonged as he finally put pen to paper and signed and initialed the papers.

“Don’t you dare call me that!” Carl’s voice rose enough that the sweet little girl acting as witness and notary cringed and shifted away slightly on her chair. 

“Carl, I can call you anything I damn well like, but for now, why don’t you try not to terrify those in your employ, even temporarily.” Tucker turned to face the young woman. “Katy, hon, you okay? He won’t really hurt you.”

“I-I know that, sir. Are you done?” she asked, her voice soft as her gaze flitted from the papers to Carl and back.

“Yeah, all done. Why don’t you sign and stamp everything and then I’ll walk you out. Okay?”

She nodded and smiled. A few minutes later, they exited the large two-story Victorian he’d not only lived in, but had designed the remodel of when he and Carl’d first bought the home nearly a decade ago. He hated to see it sold, but knew it was for the best. Carl didn’t want the house any longer, his new boy-toy didn’t like “weird old places,” and Tucker didn’t think he could live there, not with the constant reminders all around him of the life and love he’d lost on that horrid afternoon.

Refusing to be dragged back into the pain and memories, Tucker again thanked Katy before walking further to his Lunar Blue Metallic Mercedes SUV. The drive back to his office wasn’t long, but it still allowed for far too much time thinking, second-guessing himself and his entire life with Carl.

Tucker was thankful when his cell rang shortly before he pulled into the parking garage connected to the large office complex where Grimes, Tucker, and Bones LLC existed. Clicking his Bluetooth button, he said, “Hello, this is Tucker Vance.”

“Hello, Mr. Vance. This is Cheryl from Ramsey Library at UNC at Asheville. You requested a couple of books. I’m just letting you know they came in and are waiting for you to pick them up.”

“Thanks, Cheryl! How late are you open tonight?”

“Being it’s Friday, only until six p.m. But we’re open tomorrow too if you can’t make it in tonight.”

Tucker looked at the time, almost five now. “No, it’s fine. Thanks for the call. I’ll be in shortly.”

“Great, Mr. Vance. See you later.”

Instead of getting out of his SUV and heading inside like planned, he clicked the Bluetooth again as he backed back out of his reserved spot. “Call office.”

After verifying his request, he heard ringing before the main office secretary picked up. “Grimes, Tucker, and Bones Designs, How may I direct your call?”

“Tammi, it’s Tucker. Can you let Jon know I won’t be back and to make sure everything’s locked up?”

“Mr. Vance? Uh, sure. You want me to put you through to him?”

He chuckled. Tammi was always nervous when talking with any of the partners, but especially with him, not that he knew why. She was sweet, smart, and married so he didn’t think it was anything inappropriate on her part, but… “No, Tammi. If I talk to Jon, he’ll grill me on why and think he needs to cheer me up or something. Just let him know what I said, then make sure he actually goes home at a decent hour. Thanks.”

Jon Turmel had been his assistant for going on three years and was both fiercely loyal and protective. He also knew full well where Tucker had been and would think he was ditching the end of the day due to depression or something. He’d been annoyingly nosey since learning of his and Carl’s split. And while he appreciated the loyalty, especially now, the overbearing coddling from an employee was not amusing in the least.

“No worries, Mr. Vance. See you Monday then.”

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Make sure to check out the rest of the stories from Free Fiction Friday!