One Pulse Anthology Collection
To benefit the victims and families of the Orlando shooting
It’s Paul’s thirty-fifth birthday and he finds himself alone, and with no plans outside of staying in and ordering a pizza. All of that changes when he receives an email from his best friend from college, Mac. They’d spent one drunken night together in college but it hadn’t been enough to get Mac out of Paul’s system.
Mac has his own agenda. He hasn’t forgotten that night either, or the pact they made about what would happen if they both ended up thirty-five and alone. They’re both thirty-five, they’re both alone, and Mac is done waiting to attempt to claim what he wants. And what he wants, is Paul.
Paul kicked off his shoes and sank onto the couch. Thirty-frickin’-five and still alone. He’d had his share of lovers through the years, but it was rare that one lasted more than a couple of months. No matter how hard he tried, there was always something missing. His longest relationship had lasted a year, and then he’d thrown in the towel and admitted it wasn’t working out. Again.
If spending his birthday alone wasn’t bad enough, the advertising agency he worked at had lost one of their biggest clients. The second one in two months. When their contracts were up, they weren’t renewing. There were rumors of layoffs, and some of his coworkers were going into panic mode. Damn, he needed a drink. Should have fixed one before he sat down.
He grabbed his laptop, started it, and set it aside. Good thing he kept a bottle of whiskey on hand. He levered himself up off the couch and headed for the kitchen. Paul grabbed a glass, filled it half full of ice, poured some whiskey in, and topped it off with a can of Coke. He carried the much-needed drink back to the living room and sat down on the couch.
The computer had booted up, and for once it wasn’t being slow and had even finished connecting to the Internet. He took a swallow of his drink and set it on the end table, then pulled the computer onto his lap and signed in to his e-mail. Among the junk usually filling his inbox, there was a name he recognized. He grinned and clicked on the e-mail from Mac.
Happy Birthday, Pauly!! It’s the big 35, ain’t it? I’m going to be in town soon, want to grab a beer? Give me a call. You got my number. At least you’d better still have it!
Only Mac could get away with calling him Pauly. Paul sighed and sipped at his drink. Trust Mac to remember when his damn birthday was, despite the fact Paul had been very careful to avoid any mention of his birthday to anyone. Mac had turned thirty-five only a few months earlier, and Paul had made sure to call him. Rather than respond to the e-mail or call, Paul grabbed his cell phone and sent a text to his best friend since college.
When and where?