Something About Loren - M.A. Innes

Chapter 1


“I think Gordon is trying to hint that he wants kids.” I was serious, but Dean laughed so hard he nearly fell off his couch. “I’m not kidding.”

He kept shaking his head as he tried to catch his breath. “Then you must be drunk.”

I held up the single beer I’d been playing with for the last hour. “Nope.”

We’d been binge-watching the old Star Wars movies all afternoon and I might have had a buzz at one point, but it hadn’t lasted.

“Don’t get me wrong. He seems to be a great boyfriend, but you’ve both always been adamant about not wanting kids.” Dean cocked his head. “You guys didn’t even want a dog when Kathy’s beagle had puppies.”

I wanted to be the attention-whore in the relationship, and Gordon seemed to agree with our respective roles. “I know. That’s one of the things I loved about him from day one.”

I’d been called selfish by more dates than I could count, but I didn’t care because Gordon loved me. I liked knowing I got all his attention and he normally loved giving me attention. But lately, he’d been acting strange. “He’s been leaving weird things all over the apartment. It has to be some kind of hint. What kind of guy randomly buys the big pack of crayons?”

That had Dean giggling again. “Okay, let me clarify something real quick. Didn’t you say a few weeks ago that those were the only packs worth buying?”

I snorted, waving my hand. “We were talking about your niece. Having an opinion on crayons is not weird.”

Smirking, he gave me a skeptical look. “Really, Loren? You made me take back the generic brand and buy the name-brand ones.”

“Because they’re better.” I rolled my eyes. “Everyone knows that.”

“And what about those ridiculous stuffed animals?” He grinned when I stretched one leg out and kicked his foot.

“Don’t talk about my stuffies like that. Most of them are from work. And once in a while I need inspiration.” Sometimes I had to get in the right frame of mind to work.

It wasn’t always easy figuring out what a kid would like in a video game, especially educational ones. It helped to have things around that reminded me of being a kid again.

He snorted. “What about the one you made him buy you from the fair last summer?”

“It was the state fair. He had to buy me one. That’s just what you do at the fair.” Now he was just being ridiculous.

Dean rolled his eyes. “And you wonder why Gordon’s leaving weird stuff around the house. He’s probably trying to do nice things for you.”


I thought about it for a minute. “But he brought home dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets yesterday. He went to the grocery store for a few things and came back with all kinds of kid food.”

If all Dean was going to do was laugh, I was going to get another beer.

Turning back to the movie, I sighed when he started a terribly unbelievable apology.

“I’m sorry. I won’t laugh.” He proved that to be a lie very quickly. “But come on, you have to see this from his perspective. You’re not the most grown-up adult he’s ever met.”

Flipping him off made me feel better even though he started grinning again. “I’ve got a good job and make good money. I travel and read and I’m very grown-up, thank you very much.”

“You play with kids’ games for a living and your favorite cereals have more food dye and sugar than nutrition. You refuse to get a gym membership because you think it’s no fun there. And you only read space books and those stories based on anime. Should I go on?” His smirk said he thought he was being funny.

I disagreed.

“Cereal has a lot of nutrition these days and most brands have taken out the bad dyes. And really, the gym is boring and the only reason anyone goes is to people-watch or hunt for a date. I don’t like either of those things.” That didn’t make me some kind of overgrown five-year-old, especially when I read science fiction, not space stories.

And shit, everyone liked anime; that didn’t make me a kid.

Dean’s smile faded a bit. “No one is saying any of this is a bad thing. Gordon seems to like that you’re a kid at heart. He’s probably just trying to surprise you with things he thinks you’ll like. I seriously doubt he wants to change anything about your relationship.”


“But why is he leaving stuff around now? We’ve been living together