Chapter 0 - 2020 Top Ten Gay Romance

I loved weddings. Had ever since I was four years old and my Aunt Cherise got married. I was the ring bearer, and I’d taken my duty very seriously. Aunt Cherise had been the most gorgeous woman I’d ever seen, the flowers made everything seem magical, and I knew, right then and there, that I’d wanted to be in her place

Not wearing a dress—I wasn’t the sort of man who could rock a ball gown—but holding pretty flowers and marrying the man of my dreams. My mother, God rest her, had told me later that I’d gushed about the wedding for weeks afterward, and that I told her I was going to make weddings happen when I grew up. And she didn’t even bat an eye when I told her I wanted to marry a man.

“I’ll be honored to walk you down the aisle someday, West.” She kissed my forehead and handed me my favorite stuffy, a purple dragon. “As long as he’s good enough for you.”

The memory made me smile, even if the emotions now tied to it were bittersweet. She hadn’t been able to walk me down the aisle. Coronary artery disease had stolen her life at the ripe age of fifty-six, when a heart attack from multiple blockages snuck up on her. We didn’t even know she had problems until it was too late. Silent killer, indeed.

She’d been after me to chase my dreams, and when she passed, I went after it with a vengeance. Partly because it was a stark reminder that life was too short, and I needed to live mine to the fullest for as long as I could. But also because Jenny Walker was not one to sit back and watch life pass her by, and I was doing her a disservice as her son if I didn’t follow in those footsteps.

I always inevitably thought of my mom when I was in the back room, working on wedding arrangements. And of Regina Thompson, the woman who owned the shop before me, and rescued me from the horrid wedding planner I’d worked for.

“West Walker, why are you still working for that monster?” Regina kept her voice low, but her face was set, and even though it had been three years since my mother had passed, I knew a “mom look” when I saw one.

ic truth. I was able to put up with the occasional snide c

flowers and get to be there to set up. Which is the best part anyway. Sometimes I even stay, hiding in the back, just to watch.” She ga

hard my face

fice” was really an entire back room and work space. I’d set up my desk at one end so I had somewhere to sit and do th

out to the main showroom, and stopped dead

g nose and chin. He had that rugged handsomeness about him that could have been on the cover of a romance novel about cowboys or soldiers or something, and he just oozed


ly girded my loins, smiled brightly, and

e and Floral. I

shook my hand. “Love that name.” And I

g about the shop,

e ruffled the hair of the

t contain any heat. Monroe’s grin grew even wider, and he wag