A Fairy in His Bed by Aundrea Singer and Corinna Silver — Another Excerpt

October 16, 2010

Here’s another excerpt from A Fairy in His Bed by Aundrea Singer (taste_is_sweet on Live Journal) and Corinna Silver, available in the Myths And Magic: Legends Of Love Anthology. Here, Daniel finally meets the fairy Quinn face-to-face.


Daniel didn’t remember falling asleep, but he knew he had to be dreaming.

There was someone else in the room. It was a man–very, very obviously a man. He was naked, tall and lanky with hair that fell in soft, messy curls around his forehead and neck. The effect made him look both cherubic and dangerous, like a seraphim recently thrown out of heaven. His smile was as innocent and sweet as it was a direct, unmistakable invitation.

“What are you doing here?” Daniel asked, curious but unconcerned because he was so obviously dreaming. He sat up, letting the coverlet slide down his chest to pool around his hips. He felt languid and slow, like a cat curled up by the fire. Whoever this stranger was, Daniel was certain he meant no harm.

“I’m here to thank you,” the man said, moving onto the bed. He had a British accent, which made Daniel smirk at himself, wondering idly what kind of Freudian significance there might be in this man sounding like his mother.

“Thank me?” Daniel asked vaguely. He was too distracted by the man to worry about the answer to his question. At first glance the man’s hair had just looked like a warm chestnut brown, but now that he was closer Daniel could see that it was actually a rainbow of browns and reds, like leaves in autumn. His eyes were a mixture of green and brown, flecked with gold. Daniel realized he shouldn’t have been able to see the other man so clearly with only the streetlight barely illuminating the room, but it was as if the man was surrounded with light.

“You’re gorgeous,” Daniel murmured, distantly pleased with himself that he had such a great imagination. “What’s your name?”

The stranger’s laugh sounded like cool water rushing over smooth stones. “Quinn,” he said with his lilting accent. He was pulling the coverlet back while he spoke, exposing Daniel’s legs. “And you’re gorgeous, too.”

“Thank you,” Daniel said, which made Quinn laugh. Quinn had dimples in his cheeks, which only emphasized his veneer of innocence. “My name is Daniel.”

“Hello, Daniel,” Quinn said. “I want to kiss you now.”

“Okay,” Daniel said faintly. He’d gone to bed without a shirt and Quinn’s warm hands on his shoulders made him shiver. Quinn straddled Daniel’s legs, nestling their groins together. He moved his hands to the sides of Daniel’s face, then leaned in and finally kissed him.

A Fairy in His Bed by Aundrea Singer and Corinna Silver

October 16, 2010

Hello! I’m Aundrea Singer. I posted here last about my short story Skunk, Bryan, Spoon (And A Badger) in the Necking Anthology, which you can read about here. Now I’m extremely happy to be able to tell you about A Fairy in His Bed, a short story in the new Myths and Magic: Legends Of Love Anthology, which I wrote with the lovely and talented Corinna Silver.

A Fairy in His Bed was actually written for the Brush Of Wings Anthology, when we saw the call for submissions late last year. We thought it would be fun to choose an otherworldly being that wasn’t an angel, and ended up with Quinn, a fairy as whimsical as he is beautiful, and Daniel Tibbits, the cynical, heartbroken writer who accidentally inherits him.

Inherits? Oh, yes….

A Fairy in His Bed was created in an eight day whirlwind of brainstorming, manic typing and a lot of laughing. I’ve rarely had so much fun writing a story, and a story has rarely come so quickly or easily as this one. Writing with my best friend made its own magic.

Equally magical was the warm reception our labor of love received at Dreamspinner. They asked if they could use A Fairy in His Bed for Myths And Magic: Legends Of Love. We were thrilled to have our story included with so many excellent authors.

Corinna and I fell quite in love with Daniel and Quinn, and we hope you do too. Here’s an excerpt of the first time Quinn and Daniel meet, though Daniel doesn’t know it….


It had been one of the worst days Daniel Tibbits had ever endured, and that was before his stupid cats tried to kill him.

“God damn it!” Daniel swore as he climbed to his feet. He brushed uselessly at the wet snow that had ground into the knees of his pant legs. He glared at the three black and white cats who were circling him unrepentantly, head-butting whatever parts they could reach and bawling at him as if Daniel had been away for months instead of barely an afternoon. Dewy sniffed at his pant leg, apparently none the worse for wear despite nearly being kicked as she tripped him. Daniel started petting her automatically, glowering the whole time. He hit the cold-stiffened cloth of his jeans a little too hard and winced, since he’d managed to scrape off what felt like sixty layers of skin off his palms when his hands had hit the icy pavement. “This is exactly what I need,” he snarled at the cats, squinting at his upturned hands in December’s early dark. They were stinging, but at least he didn’t see any blood. “With my luck, I’ll probably get gangrene,” Daniel muttered. At least his agent might get off his back if he didn’t have any fingers.

“All right, already! All right! You’re hungry, I get it!” he said to the yowling cats. “Can you at least let me get inside the house?” The cats naturally ignored him. “For Pete’s sake, it’s not like I never–ah, fuck.” Daniel took a deep breath, then closed his eyes as he let out a heavy sigh.

He’d dropped the teapot when Dewy had tripped him, and it had smashed on the walkway. Of course.

Daniel sighed again. He rubbed at his face and pushed his snow-damp hair off his forehead. It was a standard ‘Brown Betty’ teapot, the kind everyone sung about in kindergarten: short, stocky and dark red-brown. The shards were still gleaming cheerfully, scattered amongst the freshly-fallen snow.

“Fuck,” Daniel said again. He picked up one of the larger pieces and used it as a receptacle for two smaller fragments. He started searching for the other bits, but the teapot had practically exploded on the front walkway. To do the job properly he’d need a broom, and some daylight. The dark shards were nearly impossible to see in the quickly deepening twilight.

“Fuck!” Daniel threw down the pieces he’d been holding, watching them burst with vicious satisfaction against the concrete. “That’s my life, right there,” he said. “And because I’m such a fucking hack, that’s the best metaphor I can come up with.” His mouth twisted in a bitter smile.

Daniel shook his head. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” He trudged the rest of the distance from the sidewalk to the wooden steps of his front porch, fishing in his jacket pocket for his keys. The cats followed him eagerly, still giving the occasional mewl as if making sure he didn’t forget them.

The house had been built in the 1920s. The floors creaked and all the doors stuck and the stairs were treacherous, but the lights Daniel had left on that morning were shining brightly through the windows and he knew it would be cozy and warm after the freezing night outside. Right then it was all Daniel had to look forward to. He opened the door.

A short puff of warm air blew by his cheek.

***

You can read Aundrea Singer’s Live Journal Blog here, and I’d love to get your email at aundrea.singer@gmail.com

Home excerpt #3 (Adult)

September 13, 2010

Here’s the last excerpt of the evening.

Coming home to a quiet, mostly dark house, Alec knocked on Eli’s bedroom door. “Eli, we need to talk.” There was no sound from within the room, and he feared Eli had already gone to bed for the evening. He sighed, resting one palm against the door, and whispered, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Beginning to feel more of his soccer workout, he slowly made his way up the stairs to his room. With every few steps, he practiced what he would say to Eli tomorrow about his moving out—his reasons, his hopes, and his desires. He opened his door and flicked on the light.

“Holy shit!” he gasped, stumbling backward into the doorframe. “Eli! What the fuck?”

Eli chuckled. “Sorry I startled you.” He sat in the chair closest to the door but got up and quickly crossed to Alec. “I had gone to bed, but I couldn’t sleep, so when I heard Ilsa turning in for the night, I snuck up here to wait for you instead.”

Alec’s racing heart began to slow, recapturing a more steady rhythm. “Y-you… didn’t have to. I don’t like the idea of you coming up here on your own like that.”

“I was careful.” He stepped closer. “I took my time.” Eli pressed his hand to Alec’s heart. “You were gone so long.” He kissed Alec lightly and tucked a stray lock of hair behind his ear, “I began to worry.”

“I was at Mira’s—talking.”

“About—”

“About several things.” He reluctantly moved away from Eli. His proximity was making it difficult to think clearly.

Eli didn’t follow. He remained by the door as Alec sat on the bed and removed his shoes.

“Did it help?” he asked, and Alec looked up at him questioningly. Eli leaned on his cane and hugged himself with the other arm. “The talking, I mean?”

Alec dropped one shoe. “Yeah, I think it did.” He smiled, remembering his friend’s advice. “Mira has a way of cutting straight to the heart of things.” He dropped the other shoe. “I don’t agree with her view on everything,” he said, “but she made some good points.” He looked Eli up and down as he stood there, just out of reach. He could get it all out now or…. “Coming to bed?”

“You want me to?”

Puzzled, Alec paused in removing his T-shirt. “Of course I do.” He smiled and pulled the shirt off over his head.

Eli grinned broadly, quickly shedding his shirt and sweatpants and revealing nothing but a firm, ripped body—a slight body, lightly dusted with dark hair and marked by those oh-so-familiar scars, the scars that inevitably led back to Bennett.

“You know, I wasn’t snooping or anything, but I noticed your football togs in the floor from earlier.” Staring at Eli, Alec’s mouth had gone dry, and he was having trouble thinking. “Alec?”

“Huh? Oh, yes… football.”

Eli took a couple of steps closer. “They were fairly grimy for someone just watching training.” Alec didn’t say anything. He only licked his bottom lip and nodded. Eli smiled and came within touching distance. Alec’s hands automatically shot out, taking hold of Eli’s hips and pulling him closer, within the circle of his legs.

Eli was already half-erect, but as Alec kneaded his bottom and pressed his face against his chest, suckling each nipple, Eli quickly responded, and his rigid cock was soon bumping Alec’s chest. Alec moved to take Eli in his mouth, but Eli stopped him, grabbing his hair roughly and pulling his head back. “You played today, didn’t you?”

They searched each others’ eyes for several moments, and then Alec grinned. “Yeah, I did. What of it?”

Eli’s expression softened. “You must be exhausted,” he whispered, gently stroking Alec’s face. He tossed his cane against the wall by the headboard, and steadying himself with Alec’s help, he carefully got on his knees, pushing Alec’s legs farther apart. Alec shivered as Eli’s hands slowly traveled up his thighs. I know what you’re doing. Eli’s hands stopped when they reached his belt, undoing it. I know what you’re trying to do, and I don’t care.

Eli paused before unzipping his jeans, cupping Alec through the material and squeezing a delicious gasp out of him. Each held the other’s gaze as Eli opened the jeans, and Alec lifted himself off the bed a bit to shimmy them off to his ankles. Alec grinned drunkenly when Eli’s fingers closed around him, freeing his stiff cock from his shorts.

“How eager it is,” Eli said when it sprang into view.

Home excerpt #2 (PG)

September 13, 2010

Excerpt

Eli sat up on the bed, rubbed his eyes, and yawned. He held his mop of dark brown hair out of his eyes and glanced at the clock face. Bollocks! He was running behind everyone else, so he quickly scrounged up some sweatpants and a T-shirt, grabbed his cane, and then went into his bathroom to splash some water on his face.

Looking in the mirror, he tried to recall the dream he’d been having. He smiled, realizing it had been about his and Alec’s first time. But even as the edges of the dream began fading and blurring, he clung to the memory of that walk the two of them had taken in the freezing November air and the heat they’d generated in bed that night. Something had happened after, later that night, but it skirted away from him as he tried to catch the memory.

He went back into his bedroom to slip on some shoes and smiled at the sunshine and fresh April breeze pouring through his window. The sounds of activity outside reminded him that the others had been up for some time already. Tony and Lyle were moving out today, and he didn’t want to miss their send-off.

Reaching the front doorway of the house, Eli cringed as he watched Alec and Dray preparing to lift a bureau into the rented truck.

“Ready?”

“Lift with your legs.”

“One, two… lift!”

“This cannot be good for my back,” Dray said as he straightened up and walked backward, bearing his half of the weight. Alec remained on the ground, lifting the bureau above his head.

Convinced he could hear Alec’s muscles screaming, Eli bit his bottom lip, fearing permanent damage to his man. He smiled. My man. Alec’s shirt was wet at the pits and chest, with sprinkles of moisture on the back, and his dark hair hung stringy and dripping on his head. After the bureau’s four feet were firmly on the truck’s bed, Alec hopped aboard and helped Dray carry it deeper in and secure it for the trip to their friends’ new flat.

The two of them were out of sight for only a few moments, but it was long enough for Eli’s suspicions of what Dray might be trying with his boyfriend to nearly flare into action. He stopped himself. He trusted Alec, and they’d obviously been working together for hours without his supervision.

Still, he fidgeted uncomfortably as he waited. I forgot you were going to be here, Mr. Jenkins. Dray had been pursuing Alec relentlessly since meeting him at their annual Last Blast campout the year before.

The two men reappeared, Alec looking no worse for wear, and he hopped deftly to the ground and grabbed a bottled water, while Dray remained above, leaning against the inside of the truck and chatting amiably to him.

Panting from the exertion—or, as Eli suspected, for show—Dray stared down at Alec like a starving man looks at a cheeseburger with the works. Eli glanced at his boyfriend and knew he didn’t see it. Alec looked at Dray, at his casual body language, at his easy, relaxed demeanor, and saw only that. Eli’s eyes narrowed as he watched Dray. He doesn’t feel you watching him from the tall grass, you arrogant tosser.

“You stare any harder at Dray, and he’ll burst into flames,” Ilsa whispered in Eli’s ear, startling him.

“I’m… n-not.” Eli fought hard not to blush, but it didn’t work.

Ilsa eyed him skeptically. “Riiiight. And I’m not an ample, sexy sistah from Louisiana.” Eli smiled against his will. “Finish this for me,” she said, passing him a mug of hot coffee as she dug her keys out of her pocket. “There’s iced tea in the fridge, if anyone wants any. And there’s casserole left over from last night.” She kissed him on the cheek. “See you tonight.” She skipped down the front stairs and went to her car. “I hope they keep the party going until we get there, because I’ll be too tired to start it up again when I arrive.” She dropped behind the wheel and was gone before Eli remembered to wave.

He sipped the coffee and returned his attention to Alec and Alec’s stalker. Dray gripped the top of the truck with both hands, stretching, elongating his perfect torso and giving Alec an eyeful. A fine sheen of sweat coated his dark skin, most notably his shaved head, as he continued to smile down at Alec with that electric smile of his. His jeans were just tight enough to accentuate his package, while not hindering his activities.

He leaned down suddenly and snatched Alec’s water from his hand, then proceeded to gulp it down as Alec watched, apparently enraptured. Eli’s grip tightened on his cane. He swore he could see Dray’s throat working, even from this distance. Dray drained the bottle dry just as Alec glanced toward the house, catching Eli’s eye. They exchanged smiles. Dray followed Alec’s gaze and frowned slightly, tossing the empty bottle over his shoulder and into the back of the truck.

He gripped the red fabric handle of the sliding door and, after giving the contents one last look, leaped to the ground, pulling the door with him. It sounded like a gunshot and reverberated throughout their neighborhood, announcing that someone was leaving.

“I think that’s it,” Tony said. Eli turned to see him in the hallway, struggling with two canvases as he shoved two huge suitcases ahead of him with his knees.

“That’s it, huh?” Eli asked, laughing. “Are you certain?”

“Had a bit of a lie-in this morning, eh?” Tony asked as Eli joined him, draining his mug and setting it on the hall table before grabbing hold of one of the suitcases. “Don’t bother with that. You’ll hurt yourself.”

Eli’s expression darkened briefly, but he leaned on his cane before lifting the case effortlessly. “I’m a lot stronger than I was last year.” Eli turned away from his friend. “I’ve been working out regularly.” He carried the bag to the front door, but paused, momentarily befuddled by the stairs he couldn’t manage.

“I bet you have,” Tony said as he watched Alec running toward them.

“Hey, I got these,” Alec said, relieving Eli and Tony of their burdens and running back down the stairs with the bags toward Tony’s car.

“He seems to have an alarming amount of energy,” Tony said, peering at Alec’s rather fit, retreating form before pulling out his sunglasses.

Eli went a bit pink, but he had no intention of sharing any intimate details with the artist. And it was probably best that Tony not know that he and Alec had fucked in nearly every room in the house since getting together last November—a feat difficult to accomplish with three other housemates who followed hectic, unpredictable schedules.

“Are you listening to me?”

“Huh?” Eli asked as he unconsciously rubbed his hipbone and considered talking to Ilsa about getting carpet for the living room.

Home excerpt #1 (Adult)

September 13, 2010

Here’s an excerpt from Home. I hope you enjoy it.

“You’re shaking.” Alec, panting and painfully hard, pulled back from Eli so he could look into his eyes. “We don’t have to do this now.”

“Don’t stop,” Eli pleaded, equally breathless and pained. “I want this… want you.” He hooked his left leg around Alec’s waist to keep him close and reached out for him. His fingers played in Alec’s wavy black hair, traced his jaw, and brushed over his lips as he grinned up at him through heavy-lidded, passion-drunk eyes.

They had met in late summer and had been officially together for only a few weeks, but all the back-and-forth desire in the months before Eli decided to take a chance on the handsome, persistent American author—that was part of their relationship, too, a part of their history. Alec had gradually drawn Eli out of a darkness sparked by the murder of his partner, an attack he’d witnessed and that had nearly claimed his life as well.

But now they were facing another hurdle, another step forward, because all the kissing, breathless groping, and hand jobs just weren’t cutting it any longer. There was a lot of need for something more built up in both of them—a need to be even closer. With their housemates either out of town or spending the night elsewhere, Eli and Alec had separately come to the same decision: tonight they would make love for the first time.

After a romantic dinner out, a long conversation filled with nervous laughter and secret glances, and a short walk through the chilly air of their tiny neighborhood park, they had stumbled through the front door grabbing frantically for each other: kissing desperately, pulling at their clothes, knocking into the hall table, and upsetting the tchotchkes. But after dropping and almost tripping over Eli’s cane, they’d forced themselves to calm down and slowly, carefully ascended the stairs—choosing Alec’s attic room over Eli’s on the main floor. Up there the morning sounds of the house wouldn’t reach them, and they could pretend the rest of the world didn’t exist for that much longer.

They had begun with the familiar: Alec half on top of Eli, kissing him, rubbing him through his jeans, and Eli clinging to him, grinding upward against him, tangling his fingers in Alec’s hair. But then, seeking skin-to-skin contact, Alec had reached beneath Eli’s shirt and, as usual, when his fingers moved up Eli’s torso, Eli went rigid and gasped, involuntarily inching away from his touch. Alec had slowed his eager hands until Eli settled—until, grinning and ashamed, he scooted close again.

“I’m sorry,” Eli whispered.

“It’s okay. It’s okay,” Alec repeated softly as they slowly undressed each other. But now, stripped bare and embracing, panting, with condoms and lube at hand—Alec was the one who wasn’t okay. He had put on the brakes, worried that Eli wasn’t ready for this.

“I don’t want you doing this just because you know I want it. That’s not good enough, not reason enough.”

“Alec, look at me.” Their eyes traveled down to their duel erections. “Don’t I look ready?”

“I can take care of that without—”

“I want you inside me,” Eli growled, reaching down between them and gripping Alec’s cock possessively.

“Eh-Eli—” Alec’s eyes closed for a moment. “Uh-okay.”

“It’s been two years,” Eli said, his voice softening. “You’re the first man I’ve kissed since Bennett was killed.” His large blue eyes bored into Alec’s gray. “Can’t I want you and still be nervous?”

Second Excerpt, Unexpected Guest

July 30, 2010

Ethan looked carefully at Dan as he walked between the two flushed men. “I’ll be upstairs if you need me, Dan.”

Embarrassed, he waited until he heard Ethan’s footsteps on the stairs before saying, “Go home, Sean. This isn’t going to happen. Not while you’re married.”

Watching Sean leave, Dan sank to the floor, feeling boneless and drained. He replayed the fight, feeling the anger begin to gnaw at his chest. “Fucking asshole!” He kicked out at the tool belt that had been left next to the small table that held the coffeemaker, knocking the hammer out of its loop. He kicked again, sending the hammer skittering over the hardwood floor to bounce off the baseboard.
Dan grabbed the hammer and tried to jam it back into the leather loop on the tool belt and stopped, feeling the weight of the hammer, before stalking into the kitchen. He swung the hammer at the wall where the phone used to hang, swinging through his anger, his embarrassment, his frustration. He swung the hammer until the plaster fell to the floor, until it cracked through the brittle wood of the lath, until he felt the burn in his shoulder.

He stood in front of the hole in the wall, his anger still burning in his chest. Dan dropped the hammer and attacked the plaster and lath with his hands, pulling the chunks of plaster away, catching his hands on the nails in the lath.

“Danny?”

Even through the fog of his anger, he noticed that Ethan wore only jeans unbuttoned at the waist, his chest and feet bare. “Don’t fucking call me that.”

“Okay. Dan.” Ethan moved slowly toward his friend, keeping his voice quiet. “You doin’ okay?”
“Does it look like I’m doing okay?” Dan felt as if he was wilting; the anger that had kept him going was gone, leaving only weariness in its wake.

Gently brushing plaster dust from Dan’s hair, Ethan smiled. “No, Dan, you don’t look like you’re okay. Let’s get you cleaned up.” Continuing to brush plaster dust out of Dan’s hair and off his shoulders, Ethan’s voice was soft, barely above a whisper. “Think you’re gonna have to lose the shirt.”

Dan pulled his shirt off, dropped it on top of the pile of plaster and lath that he had pulled from the wall, and allowed Ethan to lead him into the bathroom.

Excerpt of Unexpected Guest

July 30, 2010

Welcome, everyone!

I’m posting the first excerpt from Unexpected Guest and will be posting a at least one more excerpt and a few contests in a little while. I’ll be popping in and out for the next six hours or so and will answer any questions if you have them and let you know the contest winners.

Excerpt:

LOGGING off the computer in preparation for the weekend, Dan picked up the phone in his office and called Ethan’s cell. “Hey, what’s up?” He put a few files in his briefcase and looked forward to getting away from work.

“You gonna be home at your regular time? The last contractor just left.” Dan felt a thrill hearing Ethan refer to it as home.

“Yeah, I’m just finishing up here and I should be home in about twenty minutes. What’d you want to do for dinner?” It was no longer a question of if they‟d have dinner together, but what they’d eat. Ethan had essentially moved in and hadn’t been back to his own apartment in almost two weeks. “I could stop and pick something up, and we could eat it while we go over the estimates, if you wouldn’t mind. It’ll help to have a second opinion. You hungry for anything special?”

Ethan’s drawl came through the phone. “You know what I like. See you in a few.”

Dan smiled. He did know what Ethan liked. Not only was he now an expert on every kind of fast food that Harrisonburg offered, but he knew what Dan liked at every place. It seemed intimate, somehow, the kind of thing that his parents had done when his father was alive. He hadn’t liked it when his father ordered for his mother when they went out to eat, seeing it as one more way of controlling his family. God knew, he had control issues. More than once, though, he remembered his mother flitting across the restaurant to visit with a friend or to use the lady’s room and instructing him to order. She never told him what to order, he just seemed to know. He thought about the irony that he and Ethan had reached that point after less than two months when he and Pam had been together for ten years and he had never ordered for her.

Ethan was filling his life in a way that nobody, with the possible exception of Sean, ever had. When he thought of Ethan, there was not only intense desire but warmth and comfort as well. It had become so important that he couldn’t imagine his life without Ethan in it, and revealing his feelings for him risked that connection that he had grown to love.

They were finishing the last of the fries when Ethan said, “Jaden and Brendan wanted to know if we could do dinner tomorrow night.” Their young neighbors, knowing that they were without a functioning kitchen, had invited them over every couple of days so they could have something other than fast food.

“As much as I’d love to eat a meal off of a real plate instead of a paper bag, I can’t tomorrow night. I was supposed to have drinks with Sean a few weeks ago, and he bailed on me when his kids got sick and we rescheduled for tomorrow.” He grinned. “Is Jaden still head-over-heels in love with his puppy?”

Brendan had gotten him a Golden Retriever puppy for his birthday the week before, and Jaden was completely smitten with the little blonde ball of fluff.

“Yeah, you know it.” Ethan grinned. “I think I’ll go over while you go out.”

Their fast food dinner cleaned up, they spread the estimates out over the dining room table. Even though they had moved enough furniture down from the attic to set up an office for Ethan, they ended up working together on the dining room table during most of their evenings. There was room enough to spread sets of plans out, and now that Dan had the wireless network up and running, they could each work on their laptops and access the internet. Although it was neat enough, Dan thought that his father would have had a fit if he could have seen the dining room turned into a makeshift office and kitchen. He had lived by rules and order, and he wouldn’t have allowed it.

“Mom’s given us the green light for the whole job, plaster removal, drywall, everything. Now we just have to pick the contractors and see what their schedules are like.” Dan realized that he had automatically included Ethan and had never asked him if he wanted to continue with the project now that he didn’t need to wait for the contractors for estimates. He didn’t want to think about Ethan going back to his apartment.