eBook Details


More Than Everything

Series: Family Collection
By: Cardeno C. | Other books by Cardeno C.
Published By: The Romance Authors, LLC
Published: Oct 13, 2015
ISBN # 9781942184126
Word Count: 70,625
Heat Index     
Eligible Price: $4.99

Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Epub, Mobipocket (.mobi)
Click here for the print version

Categories: Romance>LGBTQ>Gay Romance>Contemporary Romance>Erotic Romance


More Than Everything (Family Collection) by Cardeno C. - Romance>Contemporary eBook

NOTE: This is a previously published work. The title, author, and/or publisher may have changed.

Time might not heal all wounds, but with two motivated and strong-willed men on a campaign to win him back, Charlie will get more than he ever thought possible.

As a teenager, Charlie "Chase" Rhodes meets Scott Boone and falls head over heels in love with the popular, athletic boy next door. Charlie thinks he's living the dream when Scott says he feels the same way. But his dreams are dashed when Scott unexpectedly moves away.

Years later, Charlie meets brash and confident Adan Navarro, who claims all he wants is a round between the sheets. After eight months together, Charlie is convinced Adan returns his love. But when the opportunity comes to be open about their relationship, Adan walks away.

Time passes and life moves on, but when Charlie learns the only two men he's ever loved are now in love with each other, his heart breaks all over again. Scott and Adan tell Charlie they want him back, but Charlie doesn't know if he can trust two people who have hurt him so deeply. Time might not heal all wounds, but with two motivated and strong-willed men on a campaign to win him back, Charlie will get more than he ever thought possible.
Reader Rating:   3.0 starstarstar (1 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   lipliplip

Charlie ("Chase") Rhodes

IT'S funny how when you're a kid you think you have it all figured out. You think you know who you're going to be when you grow up, what you're going to do. And yet, you can't actually see yourself as a grown-up. I mean, grown-ups are old. And they're constantly saying shit we think we'll never say and doing shit we think we'll never do.

When I think back to how many times I said I'd never do this and I'd never say that, I want to cringe. Because you know what? I do all of it now.

Just this morning, when I was getting the kids off to school and they were fighting with each other over who got to hold a spatula - yeah, I know - I told them to stop talking to each other. No, really, I did. This was me: "Bobby, Stephi! You put down that spatula right now and go wait for me in the car. And I don't want to hear you say a word to each other! Do you understand me?" Um, yeah, excellent life lesson: don't talk to your sibling.

It was only a step above my useful "Because I said so" conversations. "Why do I have to eat the peas? I hate peas." And I'm thinking, I fucking hated peas when I was your age too, kid. Still don't love them. I'm just waiting for you to go to bed so I can eat ice cream straight from the carton. But what I say is, "Because I said so, Bobby. Now eat your peas."

So, yeah, I'm doing all the things I never thought I'd do, saying all the things I never thought I'd say. But you know the really crazy part about it? I'm happy. I mean, like deliriously fucking happy. And I figure happiness like this needs to be documented.

Thankfully, the PTA was selling these scrapbooks as a fundraiser last fall. Because when I decided to become a suburban housewife, I was told there were two requirements: learning to scrapbook and having a vagina. I was fucked on the second one, obviously. I mean, I can rock a pink sweater and low-slung white jeans better than some trophy wives with the most expensive racks money can buy, but a vagina? Thanks, but no thanks. I'm pretty attached to my dick. But I've always been creative; hell, I was a dancer and choreographer for years, so I was sure I could zigzag scissor and star-stamp just about anybody under the table.

So here I am. Eight thirty on a Friday morning - a time when, in my old life, I would have been sleeping off the bender from the postshow party the night before, and instead, I'm sitting in my bright-yellow kitchen, at the round wooden table I got at this amazing antique store that opens only one weekend a month and I'm always there when the doors open, like clockwork. Anyway, I'm sitting at my table, drinking my nonfat, sugar-free, extra-caffeine (okay, I'm making up the last one, but don't you wish it was an option) latte, and I'm putting together an album of the life I never saw coming. The life I never knew I always wanted.

Confused? Well, hopefully I can help clear it up for you. Oh, and don't freak out about flashbacks, okay? Think of it more like you're hearing a story from beginning to end, with a little bit of narration in the middle. It'll be okay; I promise. Just follow along.

Chapter One


Charlie ("Chase") Rhodes

THE first time I saw Scott Boone, I knew the bisexual label I'd been trying on for size in my head was bullshit. I was gay. It wasn't a total shocker or anything. I'd asked my parents for an Easy-Bake Oven for my eighth birthday. By the time I turned twelve, I knew asking for the Barbie Styling Head I actually wanted was a straight shot to strange looks and "Shh, he's walking up" conversations, so I asked for money instead. Then I bought the hairstyling Barbie toy I actually wanted and hid it in my closet. Someone should put that story on Urban Dictionary as an example of irony. But I digress.

Scott Boone was everything I wasn't. He was tall, broad-chested, athletic, ├╝berbutch, right-handed. Again with the digression.

Anywho, I was a scrawny fifteen-year-old, sitting in my bedroom in my mother's second-story Brooklyn apartment - my father had moved out by then - and I was not teaching myself how to do a new french twist on the Barbie Styling Head, which I'd dyed an amazing shade of auburn, when I saw a truck piled high with furniture pull up out front and the most gorgeous guy I'd ever seen hop out.

I can't say for sure, but I think I might have started drooling. I definitely sprung a boner. Because, here's the deal: it was summer in the city, so it was hot as a motherfucker and Mr. All-American was wearing cutoff jeans, Pumas without socks, and nothing else. I almost broke my neck running to get my camera so I could snap a picture of the wet-dream-come-to-life who was moving into my apartment building.

Since starting at the beginning seems like as good a place as any, that's the first picture I'm putting into the album: Scott Boone at age sixteen, blond hair cut jock short, no shirt, shiny with sweat, and the fodder for almost all of my masturbatory fantasies for years to come.

Chapter One

Charlie ("Chase") Rhodes

"HI, UH, hey, uh, hello," I smoothly said to Scott as I came running down the stairs. "Do you want some he - "

And that's when I really kicked the seduction strategy up a notch by managing to slip on thin air and then land ass-first at the bottom of the stairs, knocking over some of Scott's stacked boxes in the process. I sort of froze then, just did the slow pan up to him to check whether he'd noticed my snafu. Because, you know, it was totally possible he'd somehow missed someone yelling out to him, then screeching while falling down the stairs, and finally banging around boxes loud enough for deaf Mrs. Winters in 3E to hear.

He was staring at me, mouth gaping, hazel eyes wide. Yes, hazel. Death-defying accidents and unbeforeknown humiliation weren't enough to prevent me from inventorying everything I could about his appearance. In case you're interested, his nipples were tiny and pink, and I had this strange urge to feel their texture. With my tongue. And my eyes are blue. Just thought you might want to know.

I assume there were other noises around us. Probably cars driving and honking, people shouting, a kid playing hopscotch, birds chirping, a mugging; whatever, you get the idea. There were noises. But the thing was, I couldn't hear any of them. It might have been head trauma from my fall, I'm willing to remain open-minded about that possibility, but as I sat there and locked gazes with Scott, everything went quiet, everyone around me disappeared, and he was all I saw.

"Are you okay?" he asked me once he finally closed his mouth.

His lips were really nice. Not too thin, not too plump, and a great shade of red. I wanted to kiss him. I'd never kissed anyone. I wondered if I'd be crap at it.

Was I supposed to stick my tongue in his mouth and twirl it around his tongue, or what? I thought about asking Loose Linda on the fourth floor, but there was a higher than likely chance she would have wanted to take a hands-on, or in this case lips-on, teaching approach and I wasn't up for it. Let's take a moment to think of all the double entendre jokes we can make about that last comment. Okay, moving on.

"Hey, can you hear me?" Scott asked, sounding worried.

I could hear him just fine but I decided against mentioning it because he was rushing over to me and, as I might have mentioned, he wasn't wearing a shirt. He squatted in front of me, brow furrowed, chewing on his bottom lip.

"Should I call an ambulance?" he asked. "Do you need anything?"

And just like that, he'd handed me the perfect opening.

I pushed my brown hair out of my eyes and said, "CPR."

He raised both eyebrows. "What?"

I did that fake cough thing that never sounds convincing because it's all dry.

"CPR," I repeated. "I think maybe I need CPR."

"CPR is for people who aren't conscious or breathing," he patiently explained.

I doubled up on the fake cough and added a dramatically hoarse voice to complete the picture. "Are you sure?" I asked as I rubbed my throat. "Shouldn't we go ahead and do it just to, you know, be safe?"

Scott shook his head. "I took a babysitting class from the Red Cross when I was thirteen," he said, sounding very earnest. "And I have to do annual refreshers to keep up my certification. I know what I'm talking about. You're breathing on your own and conscious. That means CPR is not indicated."

Damn Red Cross, cockblocking me. I dropped my hand from my neck and let out a sharp sigh of disappointment. "Yeah, okay." I looked down and tugged at a loose thread in my jeans.

"I'm Scott Boone," he said.

That was the point in the conversation where a light gust of wind should have made my hair blow just so, a guy on the corner should have started playing a violin, and those chirping birds should have flown around us and landed on a shoulder, or, at the very least, a dinged-up box. Alas, none of that happened. Instead, I dragged my gaze up to meet his and proceeded to ramble like an idiot.

"Hi, Scott. I'm Charles Rhodes but everyone calls me Charlie. Well, not everyone. In third grade Maxwell Jacobs used to call me Chase. Chase Rhodes, get it? 'Cause people get chased on the road. Not that anybody chases me, but I never complained because it could have been worse. The girl who used to sit next to me? Her name was Sandra Butts. She used to beg people to call her Sandra but it was third grade, so even the teacher called her Sandy and - "

Thankfully, Scott's father saved me from the certifiable-worthy ramble. Well, technically he shouted in frustration, but the result was the same.

"Scott! Quit chit-chatting with your friend. We have four more truckloads to bring over, and I'd like to get this done before sunset."

Friend was good. I was happy to start with friend. I'd be even happier if Scott could become the kind of friend who liked to spend time naked in my bed when my mom and my sister were out. Excellent. Now I had something to work toward.

"Sorry, Dad," Scott said without moving his gaze away from me. "Be right there."

But he didn't move. He just kept staring at me. I swallowed hard and tried to think of something interesting to say, but couldn't come up with a single thing that wouldn't risk a black eye. Then a loud crash sounded from the truck and Scott's father started cussing up a storm, so I figured it was time to get up off the sidewalk and lend a hand.

"I'll, uh, help with these boxes," I said as I climbed to my feet.

"Yeah?" Scott asked, smiling brightly. "If you're sure you feel okay, that'd be great."

"Great," I said as I rubbed the toe of my shoe back and forth across the concrete.

"Great," he said as he stuffed his hands in his pockets and dragged his waistband dangerously low.

"Great," I said as I looked up at him from underneath my lashes and chewed on my bottom lip.

"Scott! Dammit, come on," his father yelled.

That broke our great standoff. Scott hustled over to his father, I scrambled to pick up one of the displaced boxes, and, together, the three of us moved a truckload of stuff into the apartment directly next door to mine.

When we were done unloading, Mr. Boone rushed Scott out of the apartment.

"Let's go. We have to load the truck and do this all again," he said.

We both followed him out the door and stood in the hallway as he locked up.

"Will you be around later?" Scott asked.

My nonexistent social life was finally panning out to be a good thing. "Yeah," I said. Then it dawned on me that instead of sitting around thinking about my new friend, I could actually be with him. "I can go with you guys and help load if you want," I volunteered.

Scott's whole face lit up. "Did you hear that, Dad?" he said. "Charlie said he'd help us."

Mr. Boone started booking it down the stairs, and Scott and I followed.

"Your parents are okay with that, uh...."

"Charlie," I reminded him.

"Right, sorry. Your parents okay with you coming along, Charlie?"

My father was long gone - I hadn't received so much as a postcard in more than a year. And my mom was picking up a bunch of overtime at the hospital, so she'd be at work until close to eight. Lord knew where my sister Rachel was. Probably spending the night with her latest future ex-boyfriend.

"Yeah, no problem," I told Mr. Boone.

He nodded and grunted, and then all three of us squeezed together into the cab of the truck.

"DO YOU want me to help you unpack?" I asked Scott once we were done dragging all the boxes into his bedroom.

I was exhausted, my arms were so overworked my muscles were twitching, and I was putting odds at sixty-forty that my legs were going to collapse at any second. But I focused hard on mind over matter and told my body to buck the fuck up because being helpful-friend guy meant I could look at Scott.

Scott, whose cheeks were flushed from hours of lifting boxes and walking up and down stairs. Scott, who was so tall I had to tilt my head all the way back to see his face. Scott, whose arms were bulging with thick muscles I didn't normally see on boys our age. Scott, whose legs were covered in downy hair I wanted to caress. Scott, said in a dreamy, wistful voice, and followed by a long sigh. Okay, so maybe the last one was overkill, but you get the idea: I wanted to be with Scott, and if manual labor was the price of admission, well, I was willing to pay for my ticket.

"Nah, that can wait until tomorrow." He flopped down on the extra-long twin mattress we'd dropped in the corner of the room. "I'm beat."

Seeing him lying down almost made my knees buckle and, that time, it wasn't from arousal. I figured my body was just envious.

"C'mere," he said as he patted the spot next to him. The mattress was pretty narrow and he was very broad, but he scooted all the way to one side and I was but a wee lad... no? Okay, I was a skinny little runt, so there was plenty of room for both of us on the mattress. Better?

"You sure?" I asked as I moved forward.

He grunted his assent and tapped his hand again. I plummeted onto the mattress face-first, making us both bounce.

"Sorry," I mumbled into the fabric under my mouth.

He raised his arm, dropped it on me, and landed a few halfhearted pats on my back.

"'S okay," he slurred. Then he tossed his other forearm over his eyes and sighed.

We lay in silence for a while. I might even have dozed off for a little bit. Once my body had a chance to rest and recuperate, though, my brain kicked on and I remembered some questions I'd filed away throughout the day, intending to ask Scott for answers when we were alone. There were lots of voices and noises coming from the next room, but technically it was just the two of us in the tiny space. That counted as alone. I flipped onto my side, propped my elbow on the bed, and rested my head on my hand.



"What's the deal with your parents?"

"My parents?"


He moved his arm off his face, rolled onto this side, and then mimicked my pose. "What do you mean?" he asked.

I chewed on the side of my lip, feeling uncomfortable all of a sudden, like I was prying or overstepping or generally clueless. But he didn't seem upset, so I decided, what the fuck, and charged on ahead. "Well, your dad was helping us load the truck and stuff, right?"

"Uh-huh." He bobbed his head.

"So then who was the other guy? The one, uh - " I tried to figure out the right words to ask about the man I'd seen groping his mom's ass in the kitchen. She had been packing boxes. He had been feeling her up. I had been mortified as hell. I finally settled on, " - with your mother."

"Oh!" Scott said. "That was Dave."

Right. Okay, not helpful at all, then.


"Yeah." He nodded. "My stepfather."

"Your parents are divorced?"

"No, not divorced. Just not married to each other. Never have been."

"Huh," I said. "And that woman who was at your old apartment? The one packing up the bathroom?" And having a conversation about feminine products with Scott's mother that made me wish I could plug my ears with supersize... damn it. Still thinking about those products. Horror.

"That was my stepmom, Julia."

Since my parents split, I'd had maybe a couple of phone calls from my father. No way was my mother going to start dating one of his buddies or exchanging recipes... or other things... with whoever my dad was banging.

"It's cool," Scott said, making me realize I must have looked as confused as I felt. "My dad and Dave are, like, best friends or something. They all went to high school together: my mom, my dad, Dave, and Julia."

"Oh, that's, uh, nice." Weird. Totally weird. But lying as close to Scott as I was at that moment, his scent seemed more important than his family dynamic. He smelled good. Seriously good.

"What're you doing?" Scott asked.

I snapped my head up. I'd somehow managed to get my face oddly close to Scott's chest. And by oddly close, I mean I was a tongue-length away from making contact with his skin. I hoped he couldn't hear my heart beating louder than a conga drum and tried to come up with a viable excuse for almost licking the guy. My initial thought was to go with seizure, but Lord knew what they taught him in that Red Cross class, and I didn't think a hard-on was a believable side effect of that particular condition.

So instead I rolled onto my stomach, propped my chin up on my hands, and said, "Nothing." Then I chewed on my bottom lip and looked up at him from underneath my lashes, hoping against all hope that he wouldn't call me out on the obvious lie or shove me off his bed.

Thankfully, he did neither. He rolled onto his stomach, mimicking my position once again, and continued our conversation from what seemed like hours earlier, even though it couldn't have been more than a minute or two.

"So are your parents married to each other?"

I had never been more grateful for a distraction, even if it meant talking about my parents' ugly divorce. Scott met my gaze the entire time I spoke. He looked sympathetic, nodded at all the right times, and asked follow-up questions. And suddenly, I realized he was listening, really listening, which was when I knew I was in big trouble.

Super-hot neighbor guy was enough to make my dick hard in close quarters. Add in nice and compassionate and an entirely different organ was on the line. After witnessing the pain that resulted from a crushed heart firsthand, I didn't think that was a good thing. So I answered his questions and told him about my fucked-up family, but instead of thinking about how good it'd feel to have him wrap me in his strong arms and hold me tight, I thought about how good it'd feel to wrap my hand around his dick and stroke him hard.

Having sex fantasies about the jock next door struck me as much safer than hoping to find something the grown-ups in my life didn't seem capable of achieving. So much so, that I wouldn't even let myself think the word. I had a hot new friend. End of story.
Reader Reviews (1)
Submitted By: Jazyq on Jan 22, 2016
I really enjoyed this until the last part with the ending; it felt rushed and not very realistic.

More Than Everything

By: Cardeno C.