August 29, 2016
Allison Cassatta joins us today to share a bit about Three Little Words with us.
It’s likely at some point in your life you’ve been the victim of a break-up. If nothing else, you’ve probably broken up with someone else. In Three Little Words, Matt comes home to an empty house and his dog locked up in the backyard. Both had been well taken care of, but left alone nonetheless. Brandon, Matt’s longtime live-in boyfriend, the man Matt planned on marrying, had left him. To make matters worse, Brandon broke up with him in a letter–as you’ll read in the excerpt. Of course, Matt’s heart was utterly destroyed, but like all good love stories, a white knight will come charging in to make things better, but you’ll have to read about that on your own. <insert cheesy grin here.>
Now, I’ve had my fair share of inappropriate break-ups, both getting and giving, but they’ve never involved a letter. In some cases, I think a letter might’ve been easier than looking someone in the eye and saying, “I’m sorry, but this isn’t working anymore.” It would’ve been easier not to have to witness the hurt there, but for me, I think I would’ve felt like a coward. My ex-boyfriend could’ve given me a letter and saved me from a lot of rage, I think. All of those breakups led to a much better future, but at the time, they really hurt.
Do you think leaving a letter is an inappropriate way to breakup with someone? How would you have handled it. Have you ever been part of an inappropriate breakup? How would you have done it differently? Tell me about it. Or tell me how you would’ve done better than a Dear John letter.
Taking a deep breath, Matt reached for the yellow page. He closed his eyes and exhaled slowly as he silently encouraged himself to man up and read the damn letter. In his heart, he already knew what it said. Right before he’d left for work three weeks ago, they’d gotten into a huge fight about all of his traveling. Matt tried like hell to convince Brandon that he wouldn’t go if he could make as much money staying home. Unfortunately, he couldn’t. Unfortunately, he wanted to give Brandon everything he wanted or needed, and Brandon didn’t have cheap tastes.
He flipped the page over, opened his eyes, and stared down at the writing. At first, he couldn’t focus on the words, like his brain refused to comprehend Brandon’s messy scribble. He blinked a few times, then brought the page closer to his face.
I love you, but this isn’t working anymore. I want someone who is going to be there when I need them. I know you have to work, and maybe I’m being selfish, but this is what I need. I love you. I’ll always love you, but I need more.
The page fell from Matt’s hand and flittered to the floor. It landed at the tips of his black steel-toed boots. He couldn’t sit down and couldn’t move from that spot despite his suddenly quivering legs. His chest ached, and his eyes burned, but he didn’t cry. Matt wouldn’t cry, and that was yet another item on the list of imperfections Brandon had so eloquently pointed out during their last screaming match.
How dare Brandon break up with him on a piece of legal paper?
Who the hell did that?
Who did Brandon think he was?
Did Matt not deserve better?
Suddenly, the backs of his knees hit the edge of the bed the two of them had been sharing for the last five years. Matt wasn’t even aware of stumbling back toward it. He just found himself sitting without making a conscious choice to do so.
He rubbed his sweaty palms over his tattered, faded jeans and hung his head. As much as he’d been looking forward to being in his own bed again, there was no way in hell he could sleep without Brandon beside him. Brandon’s light snoring in his ear had become a lullaby over the years, and Brandon’s warmth against his chest as Matt spooned his lover’s back was better than any blanket.
Now it was gone.
Scrubbing his meaty, work-calloused hands against his face, he sighed and fell back on the bed. His bags were still at the front door, and Zeus was still locked up in the backyard, but Matt didn’t have the wherewithal to deal with any of it right now. Frankly, he wished he could rewind time and go back to the moment he began losing Brandon, the moment they stopped being best friends and started feeling more like acquaintances.
“Shit, I knew this was coming,” Matt muttered in realization.
Yes, he had been aware of their problems, their disconnection. He’d seen something extraordinarily different in Brandon’s otherwise light, shimmering hazel eyes during that last explosive fight. There was a foreboding darkness, and before Matt had left for his three-week stint in New Orleans, he’d felt Brandon’s distance.
The phone in his pocket started to ring, and Matt debated ignoring it. There wasn’t really anyone he needed or wanted to talk to right now—Brandon included. But the longer he lay there and let it ring, the more pissed off he became, so angry in fact, he thought he might grind his teeth down to nothing. The whole time, he hadn’t realized he was clenching his jaw so tightly.
He dipped his hand into his denim pocket and wrapped his fingers around the phone, lifted it to his face, and stared blankly at the screen. It was his mother, more than likely calling to make sure he’d made it home safely.
Now wasn’t a good time to talk to her. He could try to hide behind carefully chosen words and a flat tone of voice, but his mother was too intuitive for her own good. She could read him better than anyone. But if he didn’t answer, she would worry, maybe even come looking for him.
Time to face the music.
“Hello?” he answered with a sigh.
“You sound exhausted,” she said, voice dainty and demure. She always sounded so soft and elegant… until someone pissed her off. “Was your flight that bad, honey?”
“No, ma’am,” he softly responded. “I sat in the airport for two hours waiting for Brandon before finally calling a cab. When I got home, no one was here and Zeus was locked up in the backyard.”
“That doesn’t sound like Brandon. Is everything okay?”
Matt sat up on the bed and looked down at the curling yellow paper lying on the floor, at the angry scribbles and the way Brandon had claimed he still loved him. He pressed his elbow to his knee and rested his forehead on his palm. Closing his eyes, he exhaled slowly.
“Matty?” his mom said. The inquisitive tone of her voice, the I-know-something’s-up lilt, triggered that sensation all sons got when their mothers knew they were hiding something. “What happened, Matty?”
“He’s gone, Mom,” he said, voice low.
“I don’t know. Gone.”
“He left me a letter that said he needed to go.” Matt shrugged, even though his mom couldn’t see him. “Said things weren’t working and he needed more, but he still loves me.”
“Baloney!” And there was her angry voice. “How is he going to break up with you on a damn letter and tell you he loves you?”
“I don’t know, Mom.”
“That’s just not right.”
“Well, what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
“I found the letter ten minutes before you called. I haven’t brought Zeus in. I haven’t unpacked my bags. Honestly, I haven’t thought about anything except for the fact that I’m alone now.” Matt took another deep breath. He could feel his temper flaring, and God help him, if he got snippy with his momma over this mess, she wouldn’t let him forget it.
“Sorry,” he finally said. “I’m just tired, and I can’t deal with this crap right now.”
“Why don’t you rest, then call me when you’re feeling up to it? We’ll figure all this mess out.”
“Thanks. I love you, Mom.”
“I love you too, son. Now, get some sleep.”
Standing from the bed, he ended the call and tossed the phone onto his dresser, then headed out of his room, back down the hall, and into the kitchen. Zeus already sat on his haunches at the back door, staring up at the window as if he felt his master’s presence before Matt had ever entered the room. He opened the door, and the fifty-pound pit bull puppy all but leapt into his arms. At least someone was happy to see him. At least someone greeted him with kisses. Zeus wagged his tail with excitement as he licked at Matt’s face. Matt hugged the puppy tight against him, and in that moment, he finally broke down.
Check out Three Little Words today!
Is it better to keep some secrets locked away?
Matt thought his life was perfect, but he learns there’s no such thing when the man he planned to marry breaks his heart and leaves him holding the pieces. Needing to escape and lick his wounds, Matt heads to New England to spend time on his brother’s lobster boat. A one-night-stand proves to him that empty sex does nothing to mend old hurt, and neither does running away.
So when Matt’s best friend, Luke, a firefighter, is seriously injured, Matt steps up, even if it means facing bigotry and ignorance. Luke has been hiding his feelings from Matt all their lives, and revealing them after so many years won’t make life easier for either of them. But nothing worth having ever comes easily….
LINKS TO THE BOOK:
AMAZON – http://amzn.to/2azgDfH
DREAMSPINNER – https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/three-little-words-by-allison-cassatta-7378-b
BARNES & NOBLE – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/three-little-words-allison-cassatta/1115091878?ean=2940157063047
ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-threelittlewords-2085030-149.html
LINKS TO ALLISON:
WEBSITE – http://www.allisoncassatta.com/
FACEBOOK – http://www.facebook.com/pages/author-allison-cassatta/158938557051
TWITTER – http://twitter.com/#!/allisoncassatta
PINTREST – http://pinterest.com/allisoncassatta
GOOGLE+ – http://pinterest.com/allisoncassatta
TUMBLR – http://allisoncassatta.tumblr.com/
BLOG – http://allisoncassatta.blogspot.com/