Book Three in the Seasonal Love series
Called home to Russia to attend his sister’s wedding, Demitri impulsively invites his best friend, Sander, to come along and see the sites of Moscow the week before the wedding. It’s an impulse he almost immediately regrets, because spending time together with Sander, just the two of them, will make it harder than ever to pretend that he doesn’t see Sander as anything more…
August, 2010, Oslo, Norway
“You are hereby invited to—” Demitri scanned the invitation, written in Russian, then cursed loudly and slapped the piece of paper against his thigh.
“What’s the matter?” Sander poked his head out of the kitchen doorway, looking at him curiously.
“My oldest sister’s getting married.” Demitri switched over to Norwegian so Sander would understand him. He was fluent in it now after having lived in Norway since high school. He would’ve sounded completely Norwegian if it hadn’t been for his Russian accent giving him away, the accent he never seemed to be able to get rid of no matter how hard he tried.
“Yeah?” Sander’s face practically lit up. He was a sworn romantic, Demitri thought fondly. “When?”
“In two weeks.” That had been the part he’d been cursing about. Well, that and the fact that the bloke she was marrying had been his best mate through primary school, until he’d decided to move to Norway to take his secondary schooling.
Sander came out of the kitchen, studying him. “Are you going to go?”
“Well, of course, she’s my sister.” Demitri looked back down on the invitation.
He was still in contact with his family, and he visited them often, but they weren’t as close as they had been when he’d lived in Moscow. But that wasn’t their fault; it was all Demitri’s, because he kept them at an arm’s length, and there was the fact that he lived in another country. He’d never told them he was gay, and he didn’t exactly have any plans of telling them either.
Russia wasn’t exactly a liberal country like Norway, where even gay marriage was allowed. One could still get killed in Russia if one flaunted ones sexuality, so most people kept quiet about their sexual preferences. Even straight people did. Plus, he had no idea how his family would react if he came out to them, and he didn’t want to alienate them completely.
“Hey, why don’t you come with me?” he blurted out, looking up at Sander. Sander blinked at him with wide brown eyes.
“What? Go with you? To your sister’s wedding?”
“Well, not to the wedding—that would be suspicious—but to Moscow.” Demitri liked the sound of Sander coming with him back to his hometown. He could show him around at all the places he used to hang out before he’d moved away.
“Oh.” Sander’s face fell a bit, and Demitri frowned. But then Sander smiled again, and Demitri wondered if he’d imagined what he’d seen. “I’d like to see Moscow.”
Demitri leaned forward excitedly. “Could you get time off from work?”
“Yeah, sure, that’s no problem.” Sander shrugged and smiled that small, askew smile that always got to Demitri. Well, Sander himself always got to Demitri, but that smile … wow, that got his libido going like nothing else ever could. “I’ve got so many days saved up. They owe me.”
“Great! How about leaving next week, that possible for you? There’s a lot to see in Moscow, and it’s better to do it before the wedding, when the family is busy with preparations.”
Sander nodded, his wavy locks falling into his face. He was so beautiful. Demitri just wanted to grab a hold of him and never let go. Keep him with him at all times so that no one else could get to him. He wanted Sander to be his, but at the same time he was scared to death by his feelings.
Sander was his best friend and everyone knew that sex fucked up a friendship. Literally. And he didn’t want to ruin the good friendship they had; he treasured that friendship like nothing else. He didn’t want to make a move on Sander and have him turn him down, or for them to get together but not work out. Demitri could almost guarantee that their friendship would never be the same again if that happened.
Having Sander as his best friend was better than not having him at all, as the saying went. And it was true, after all.