Chapter 4 - 2017 Top Ten Gay Romance

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Michelle wending her way back to our table, Chase’s tea in hand, so I hastily returned my attention to the menu. It didn’t take me long to decide. As good as Chase had made the meatloaf sound, I wasn’t big on red meat, and the open-faced turkey sandwich on Texas toast with a side of fries sounded the most appealing.

Michelle assured us it wouldn’t be long before our food was ready. Chase thanked her and I echoed it. I turned my attention back to my date, and lifted my glass to my lips without taking my eyes off him. He leaned back in his seat, stretched out his legs, and slid his foot between mine. I pressed my ankle against his so he would know I was aware of what he was doing. Chase just smiled.

“So, can I ask about the money?” he began conversationally. “I mean, tell me to shut up if it’s none of my business. But inheriting that kind of cash? There’s gotta be a story there.”

Normally, I would have shut down at the question. Either done exactly as he suggested and told him it was none of his business, or given the same vague answer I’d repeated to the press for years. I didn’t talk about my personal life with strangers. And I certainly never spoke about Josef Adler.

But as I stared at Chase, the sincerity poured off him. I didn’t know him, yet I found myself wanting to share. To let him in and let him see. My gut told me I could trust him and it wasn’t usually wrong. I sucked in a deep breath and made the decision to take the risk.

“It goes all the way back to high school.” I took a sip of water and let my mind wander back to that time for a moment before refocusing on Chase. “I needed volunteer hours for this program I was in. The Food Bank was full up, and the thought of working with snot-nosed, bratty children made me want to punch something. So I ended up volunteering for the Adopt-a-Grandparent program.”

d time with old people

as lived so much history? I was on board. And the moment I met my adopted ‘grandfather,’ we hit it off. Josef Adler was full of stories, and he loved to talk. I loved to listen. Pretty soon, I was spending more than the

couldn’t help but laugh. I carefully cut off a bit of my sandwich, then lifted it to my mouth. Flavors exploded on my tongue,

hase nudged my foot with his, and when I looked up, he

away seven years ago. He was ninety-four. And it broke my heart. Because for thirteen year

couldn’t get around on his own, or do some things for himself. But he lived modestly. I had no idea that when he said he’d owned a successful invest

efore he waved me down. He coughed some more, then took several careful sips of

a lot of money. An

erest with occasional splurges. But that was Josef. He was so down to earth, and not ostentatious in the least.

attention. It made me uncomfortable, and I couldn’t work out if it was because having