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Dalton’s Awakening

Dalton's AwakeningPride Publishing
ISBN eBook: 978-0-85715-129-2
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Book Length: Short Story
Release Date: April 19, 2010

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Can a closeted executive find love with a handsome bartender?

After weathering a bitter divorce amongst rumours of his sexual preference, Dalton Montgomery finds solace at his favourite new restaurant Bella Lucina’s. His lunches spent talking to the restaurant’s bartender, Sal, get him through the lonely days and nights. When Dalton begins to feel attracted to the hunky bartender, his world spins out of control.

Had his ex-wife been right?

Reader Advisory: This story was released as part of the Naughty Nooners Anthology by Pride Publishing.

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ISBN-10: 1907010955 ♦ ISBN-13: 978-1907010958
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Note for Readers: You must be over eighteen to read this excerpt.

Checking the address against his secretary’s scrawl on the piece of paper, Dalton entered Bella Lucina’s. As soon as he stepped into the cavernous restaurant, he was impressed. Why haven’t I been here before? Oh yeah, because Cathy hadn’t liked Italian food.

The thought of his ex-wife doused any chance of a decent mood for the day. Walking up to the hostess stand, Dalton waited his turn in line.

“May I help you, Sir?” the lovely blonde asked.

“Yes. Dalton Montgomery. I have a reservation at twelve-thirty.”

The hostess checked her large leather-bound book. “Yes, Mr. Montgomery. Your party called to say he was running late. He asked that you please wait for him. Would you care to do that in the bar?”

Dalton gave a nod and strode across the marble tiled floor to the separate lounge. Looking around at the tables, he opted for a seat at the bar. He was impressed once again by the luxury and warmth of the décor.

“What’ll you have?” the bartender asked.

“Just an iced tea, please. I’m waiting for my lunch appointment to arrive.”

“Coming right up.”

The bartender grinned and turned to walk to the end of the bar. Dalton watched the man’s back as his muscles moved under the white tailored dress shirt. Wow, this was a fancy place. He didn’t know if he’d ever been to a restaurant where the hired help could afford tailored clothing.

He refused to acknowledge the way the overhead lights played off the man’s black curls, or the way the tendons in the bartender’s olive skinned forearms bunched and moved with his actions. Nope, he refused to acknowledge any of it. What Cathy had claimed in court was simply not true.

Memories of the humiliation he’d been served at the hands of his wife of thirteen years assaulted him. Dalton ran his fingers through his hair, the coarse texture reminding him of his hair colour. Cathy had tried in vain for years to get him to cover the grey, but he figured why bother. He wondered if he should give it some thought now that there was more grey than dark brown.

“Problems?” the bartender asked, setting down his glass.

Dalton smiled at the friendly face. He’d been lonely for conversation lately. When Cathy had started her campaign to discredit him, his friends had dropped off, one by one. “Life,” he finally answered. “I hear you.” The bartender stuck out his hand. “I’m Sal.”

Surprised by the friendly gesture, he shook the offered hand. “Dalton.”

“Nice to meet you, Dalton.”