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FORGIVENESS IS A VIRTUE – PROLOGUE

Thornton Marsh

I whistled as I walked down the hallway to the small, one-bedroom apartment I shared with the love of my life, Kennedy Catrelle. I loved coming home to him, especially today, because everything was shaping up to be wonderful.

I’d met Kennedy the first day of freshman year when as we shared an elevator loaded with boxes. We were moving into he same dorm, and we became excited when we found out we were on the same floor.

After freshman year, we’d decided to get out of the dorms and had moved into an apartment together, having embarked on a relationship we didn’t want to share with others. My freshman roommate, poor guy, had seen a lot more of our naked bodies than he’d ever wanted when we’d forgotten to tie the sock on the doorknob.

It had been a bit intimidating in the beginning to think about people knowing I was sleeping with a guy, but Kennedy had been down-right petrified his family would find out about us, so we were best friends during the day and lovers at night. I’d decided I could live with the arrangement because I’d just been so happy to have him in my life and finally to myself.

Meeting Kennedy had been a fantastic experience for me. From the very beginning, it had been as if we’d known each other from birth. Conversations had flowed between us much in the way they’d done between lifelong friends. It had been easy.

Hell, everything about Kennedy had always been easy. That was what I’d found so appealing about him in the first place.  He’d been someone who’d felt at home in his skin, and it had rubbed off on everyone around him.

That feeling had been foreign to me when I’d been around other people, being the bashful boy that my mother had always called me. She’d always maintained I’d grow out of my shyness, though I’d doubted her back then. As my friendship with Kennedy had grown, I’d remembered her words and had finally believed them. I’d always wish she and my dad could have been around to witness my blossoming.

I heard music from inside our apartment, and I laughed because Kennedy was notorious for leaving his phone in the docking station with the music blaring when he was running late for class.

That morning, Kennedy had been running late because we’d fucked in the shower instead of getting our asses ready for class. I’d been chewed out by my Statistics professor for being late for my final, but I didn’t care. He let me take it anyway, and I was sure I’d done well. I just wanted to find my guy and celebrate the end of classes… save the one I had in an hour.

I unlocked the door and headed to the kitchen to grab myself a soda because I had one last final that afternoon and was in dire need of the caffeine boost. I heard a commotion from the direction of our bedroom which jarred me, so I froze.

My gut told me someone had broken in, and for a moment I was paralyzed with fear.  We had a lot of computer equipment at our place because Kennedy was a computer science major, and if anyone dared to steal any of his components or compromised his babies in any way, I knew he’d have a fit and never forgive me if I let it happen.

I went to the hallway closet and found the baseball bat we kept there, slipping off my sneakers so as not to be heard. I’d never been in a fight before in all my life, but I was prepared to beat the fuck out of anyone who had the balls to violate the sanctity of our home.

“God, yesss,” was hissed from the direction of our bedroom, which had me worried.

That was a bit odd unless the thief had stumbled upon of Kennedy’s vintage Atari video games that might fill out someone’s collection. I wasn’t a fan of gaming systems, but my boyfriend loved vintage games, and I humored him as much as possible because I loved him.

“Almost… I’m almost there.” I certainly recognized that voice, so I lowered the bat and stepped into the open doorway of our bedroom, unsure of what to expect. What I saw was absolutely nothing I was prepared to see that day, and it took away my breath.

There he was—Kennedy, the man I loved more than anyone—with his jeans and boxers around his ankles, still wearing my late father’s old, Bob Marley t-shirt he’d grabbed from the laundry basket that morning on his way out the door, late for his first class just like me.

His head was tilted back, and his eyes closed as he pounded into someone. I took a step further into the room, trying to keep from screaming. When I saw who he was pounding, I became unhinged.

You motherfucking son of a bitch!” I shrieked like a banshee from hell.

Kennedy’s head quickly whipped around, and he stopped moving. “Thornton, wait!” He hadn’t even bothered to pull his dick out of the… woman. The woman he was fucking on our bed… on the quilt that had been a wedding gift to my parents many years ago… on the spot where we’d made love nearly every night.

My heart was shattered.


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