Bombora by Mal Peters Read Free Book Online

Book: Bombora by Mal Peters Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mal Peters
the week and on weekends, close enough to Mount Vernon that I could drive home at the end of the day, but far enough away that it wasn’t unheard of to stay a couple of nights when wining and dining prospective accounts. Although I didn’t mind Columbus as a city, it was a lot bigger and noisier than I was used to, having grown up in small-town Alabama and relocated to equally small-town Ohio. Mount Vernon was practically a hamlet by comparison, which suited my family just fine. I’d been living there with Emilia and our son, Liam, for the better part of a decade, but to be honest, I looked forward to my trips to Columbus.
    I know how that sounds. If nothing else, I want to say I never set out to hurt anyone. Not Emilia, not Liam. Certainly not Phel. While that doesn’t excuse my behavior or change the fact that people did get hurt, none of it was premeditated or malicious—just self-centered and careless. Instead of facing my issues like a man, trying to shoulder the burden myself and minimize the damage to others, I failed to think about the impact of my actions or anything beyond what I wanted in the here and now. No matter what the excuse, cheating ain’t anything but an act of selfishness, because in that moment when you’re supposed to choose between yourself and them, the people you love, you choose yourself.
    I chose myself, my wants. I chose what made my dick hard and my heart beat faster. Sure, Phel’s a million times more than that to me now, but if I’d walked away that first night he never would have risen above the station of “hot guy at a bar.” So now my family’s paying for my fuckup, and me, well… I’m paying too, except that I don’t have a right to complain. As far as I’m concerned, I got off easy. But that doesn’t change the fact that I was toiling away in a marriage that no longer made me happy like it once did, or like I thought it did. Going to Columbus was a breather, my uncomplicated means of escape. Until I met Phel, that’s all it was—an escape. I never went there to cheat on my wife.
    Like a lot of marriages with unhappy endings, mine and Emilia’s started with a surprise pregnancy. I was nineteen, she eighteen, and what was meant to be an uncomplicated weekend of athletic, no-strings-attached sex culminated in Liam nine months later. Thinking it was the right thing to do, I married her.
    She’s a nice girl, is Emilia, and Liam got his grabby little hands right in there around my heart within five seconds of meeting. Hasn’t let go since. Your perspective changes when you find yourself looking down at this small human who bears obvious parts of you, whether it’s your hair or your eyes or the beginnings of the famous Fessenden smile that will go on to break a few hearts. There wasn’t really another option; I would never have forgiven myself for walking away a second time, especially not when that family made a place for me with no questions asked. Emilia even suggested Hugh live with us for a year before he went to college. It’s not often you find people willing to do that—having all but raised Hugh myself, I know that better than most. Now my kid is about to turn ten, and where the fuck am I?
    I wish I could say I didn’t realize I batted for the other team until recently, but that’d be a lie. In a sense, I’ve always known my interests don’t align with those of the run-of-the-mill straight dude I project myself to be, but it took a lot of years of running before I started to come around to the idea. Admittedly, I still have a hard time not hiding it. By the time I started to accept my sexuality, I was already married, firmly entrenched in the lifestyle everyone expected of me. One I expected of myself. Despite having experimented a little before marrying Emilia—nothing more than a few blowjobs or random bar hookups—I really didn’t know who I was in that respect, who I wanted to be. I still had a healthy appreciation for a beautiful woman, but even if

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