…And All Shall Fade to Black Blurb
Moving into his new apartment, Jax never expected to have to break up a fight between his new neighbors, resulting in a physical altercation and a visit from the cops. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that it would lead to him meeting Danny, the cute theater manager and playwright that lived next door. Unfortunately, his first impression of Danny and the way he’d cowered away in the fight with his ex, wasn’t exactly a favorable one.
Jax already has his own issues to deal with, between his past problems with his mother and the chain of men who’ve floated in and out of her life, his new job as a piercer in his sister’s tattoo shop and his struggles with an eating disorder; the last thing he plans to add to it is a relationship. Yet Danny isn’t so easy to ignore and when they find themselves bonding after Danny shows him around town, and more when Jax offers to help with sets for his latest play, it becomes harder and harder for him to ignore the connection forming between them.
As Jax’s insecurities and food issues grow more and more out of control, he find himself turning to Danny for help, rather than his longtime friends Callum and Max who lives just downstairs. Danny’s mix of patience, stubbornness and tough love make it harder and harder for Jax to keep his distance, and somewhere in the course of their daily lives, they find themselves moving from being friends, to being more.
All of Jax’s restless shuffling was starting to make Danny a little nervous, especially when he noticed Jax’s eyes dart around the hall. “Hey, what’s going on? Do you want to come in?”
Jax sighed heavily and shook his head. “No thanks, just wanted to say I was sorry. I saw the sticky notes you left on my door, I just, I’m sorry I didn’t respond.”
“No problem, I figured you were busy at the shop and stuff, it’s no big deal. I had free time and thought you might want to hang out if you didn’t have anything else to do.”
That just seemed to make Jax shuffle more.
“I um, didn’t have anything going on. I just didn’t want to hang out is all.”
“Like I said, I’m sorry. It was really cool of you to come down to the shop and pick me up the other night, you didn’t have to do that. You deserve better than me ignoring you.”
“Yeah,” Danny said. “I do, and I deserve better than an apology too. I deserve to know why you’ve been ignoring me, did I do something wrong? If it was about the way I kissed you in the alley, I’m not sorry. I’d wanted to do that since you kissed me in the hall and to be honest, you sent out some pretty mixed singles with how into it you got kissing me back, ‘cause I sure ended that night thinking you were interested in…something. If you’re worried that I’m looking for something intensely serious between us, don’t be. I just got out of a shitty relationship I went into way too fast. I’m not about to make the same mistake again.”
“Yeah, I-I wasn’t trying to assume anything.”
“Weren’t you? Isn’t that exactly why you ignored me? Look, you made it pretty clear you had relationship issues and so did I. Figured as long as we were being honest with one another, we could see where things might go.”
“No, we can’t, because I’ve been down this road one too many times and it always seems to be the guys who at heart, come across as being really nice, nothing like the jerks I actually end up dating. No, you guys blow into someone’s life full of fun and hope and laughter, only to blow right back out again, and the thing that sucks is, I’ve never been able to figure out exactly what it is I’m doing so wrong to make it happen. Maybe you can tell me.”
“I don’t…it’s nothing you did.”
“Oh please, spare me the ‘it isn’t you it’s me’ speech, I’ve about had my fill of that one. What I don’t get though, is why you asked to hang out with me if you were going to turn around and ignore me afterwards? Did I bore you? I did try to warn you that hanging out in a playhouse watching a rehearsal wasn’t going to be very exciting.”
“I enjoyed the rehearsal.”
“I did!” Jax snapped, “Whatever other kind of asshole I might be, I don’t lie.”
That gave Danny pause, and he stared up at Jax’s stormy expression, which for the first time was actually fully focused on him.
“Well that’s something at least. But it doesn’t change the fact that I’m just done. I’m tired of getting my hopes up. I’m tired of putting myself out there only to get stomped on. I’m tired of feeling like I’m somehow lacking or undeserving of good things because so many guys have shown me over and over again that I am not even friend material. Forgettable, that’s what I am. ‘Oh I’ll call you, we’ll go out sometime, have a coffee, see a movie, hang out.’ But the phone never rings and I get it, I do, I’m just not that interesting. But I’m also not in the mood for another person who wants to play games so thanks for the apology, I think it’s best if we go back to just being neighbors.”
I research the author must have done for this story astounds me. The detail that goes into each character in this story is wonderful.
I loved the journey we take with Jax and Danny. All the backstory that is slowly revealed and the whys of why Jax is how he is. How Danny helps him to see his future doesn’t have to be dictated by how his family was.
I highly recommend this read, but be warned you will need a large supply of tissues.
US Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072Q41YGQ
UK Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B072Q41YGQ
JP Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B072Q41YGQ
CA Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B072Q41YGQ
About the Author
LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.
Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.
Layla Dorine can be found at:
Author Website: layladorine13.wix.com/layladorineauthor
Author on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814124.Layla_Dorine