Unconditionally by Nell Iris by Nell Iris - Read Online



Flamboyant book café owner Luca Moretti and geeky doctor Gus Hansen have been together for six years when the Supreme Court ruling makes same-sex marriage legal in all states. On June 26, 2015, Gus gets down on one knee and Luca screams yes.

On their wedding day, shortly before the ceremony, Luca’s mother explodes in anger, calling him a freak. The reason? He’s wearing a white veil, sprinkled with crystals.

Their relationship has been strained for a long time, and her words trigger traumatic memories. Instead of walking down the aisle, Luca runs.

Away from his mother. Away from Gus.

Gus counts down the minutes when Luca’s mother comes knocking. He realizes something’s wrong, but when he goes to talk to Luca, his husband-to-be is nowhere to be found.

Can Gus find Luca in time and manage to convince him to come back and get married?
Published: JMS Books LLC on
ISBN: 9781634863230
List price: $2.99
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Unconditionally - Nell Iris

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Chapter 1: When Gus Met Luca


Oh, no, not again.

Gus Hanson groaned when the first notes of last year’s most irritating song started playing. The Big Gay Handbook probably dictated every gay man should love Britney, but Gus just couldn’t. He cringed at her infantile moaning and wanted to forever scrub the image of her in the Lolita schoolgirl uniform from his retinas.

He sipped his beer and wished he’d stayed home and binge-watched the Discovery Channel documentaries he’d DVRed, indulging in a big mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream like he’d planned all along. But when his friend Fred had asked if he wanted to go out for a drink, yesterday’s phone call from his mom had been fresh in his memory. She’d ranted on and on about how it was time for him to meet someone and he’d never do that if he spent all his time working.

"Unless there is some male nurse you think is cute and haven’t told me about, of course."

His mom knew how important his work was to him, how he’d wanted to be a doctor as long as he could remember. She’d encouraged his dreams, and, for his sixth birthday, she’d bought him an old stethoscope in a thrift store, something he still considered his best present ever. He’d spent every moment possible making up diagnoses for his pretend-sick mother, and she’d been patient and asked thoughtful questions, stimulating his imagination.

But his mom also knew how lonely he felt sometimes. Ever since he’d confided in her, she’d urged him to put himself out there, to try to meet someone. Since there weren’t any cute nurses, or other doctors, for that matter, here he was.

As usual, Fred had spotted some hot guy as soon as they’d gotten inside and taken off with him. He was most likely in a bathroom somewhere, getting his dick sucked right this second while Gus hung out by the bar. Alone. Trying his damnedest not to hum along to the terrible music.

Live long and prosper, sir. But aren’t you a little short to be Mr. Spock?

The low, breathy voice in Gus’s ear startled him. What?

He furrowed his eyebrows and turned to look at the speaker. How was it possible he’d been so deep in thought he’d missed a guy coming up to him, standing so close, he could practically whisper in Gus’s ear?

But Gus took a closer look and forgot about everything else. The guy was thin and tall and had to hunch over to get his mouth next to Gus’s ear. He wore a figure-hugging pink sweater, so short it left a strip of skin visible over the waistband of his jeans. His dark brown hair reached his chin and had the slightest curl at the ends. Long bangs covered one of his eyes, leaving only one dark, glittering eye visible and trained on Gus. But his lips stole all Gus’s attention. Full, pouty lips, curved up in an amused smile. Lips that glistened in the dim light at the bar like he’d just licked them or put something on them.

Um…what? Gus asked again. He tried to stop staring—he really did—but it was hard. He’d never seen lips like that, lips that begged to be kissed.

I said: aren’t you too short to be Mr. Spock?

Gus had no idea what they were talking about. Too short? Don’t you mean too young? The actor playing Spock had to be pushing eighty by now. Gus worked long hours at the hospital and could use a decent night’s sleep—but he didn’t think he looked more than twice his own age.

No, no, honey. The guy shook his head with an exaggerated movement. Not the old guy. The new one. Zachary Quinto. He’s sooo hot. He rolled his eyes as if he couldn’t believe Gus wasn’t up to speed on pop culture. He fanned himself; rapid movements with a pale hand and the long, slim fingers spread wide.

A giggle bubbled up in Gus, and he slapped a hand over his mouth, trying to stop the undignified sound.

No. The guy grabbed Gus’s hand and pulled it away from his mouth. That was a wonderful sound. Let it out.

Okay, Gus mumbled. Heat crept up his cheeks under the guy’s intense scrutiny, and Gus squirmed. The guy didn’t let go of his hand, and Gus didn’t try to get loose. He enjoyed the feeling of soft fingers on his skin. What do you mean by the Mr. Spock comment? he asked, unable to keep his eyes off the guy’s lips. He longed to see them quirk up in a smile, and he wanted to know what made them look so shiny. Had the guy put on gloss or something?

You look exactly like the new Mr. Spock. The guy smiled, and Gus almost swooned at the sight of the corners of his lush mouth curling up. I think it’s the eyebrows, the guy continued and traced his finger along Gus’s right eyebrow. Or the nose. The finger changed direction and continued down the bridge of his nose.

Gus shivered. When he registered the words, he sighed