Hard to Hold | Jaclyn Quinn
Haven’s Cove #2
RELEASE DATE: 24.07.18
Perfect, happy, “Jonah the Savior”, that’s how most people see Jonah Taylor. What they don’t always see is how incredibly overwhelmed he is with his new business or how lonely he is. When a painfully shy man enters his wellness center, all Jonah wants to do is help break him out of his shell. The problem is, the attraction he feels to the nervous, timid man is undeniable.
Cameron Vaughn has let most of his life be decided for him. A traumatic event from his past has caused him to doubt every decision he makes. When he’s forced into a new, anxiety-ridden situation, his first instinct is to run. So, what is it about the owner of the wellness center that has him questioning everything he’s ever been told?
Can one man convince the other he’s worth saving? Can the other realize he’s strong enough to save himself? Together, can they prove that what they’ve found is worth holding on to?
It was still pretty light outside, but Cameron was standing in mostly darkness, the only light now coming from the stairs. Taking a deep breath, he once again reminded himself of the promise he’d made to Dr. Sampson and to himself to face things head on. Time to find out what the hell I did wrong.
He took the stairs slowly, steadily breathing in and out as he got to the landing in front of Jonah’s door. He glanced down the stairs to the exit, then took one last chest filled breath, lifted his hand, and knocked on the door.
“Come in,” Jonah called out and with a shaking hand, Cameron opened the door.
Hesitantly, Cameron walked in, scanning the small space for Jonah who was standing across the room by a table with his back to the door.
“Don’t tell me the lock is sticking again. I’ll have to complain to my land…” Jonah turned around, and the smile left his face, “lord. Cameron… Sorry, thought you were Gabe, who also happens to be my landlord.” Jonah gripped the back of his neck and gave a small laugh. Was he nervous?
Panic flooded Cam. What the hell he was thinking? The uneasy look on Jonah’s face reminded him, though. He cleared his throat, rubbed his palms on his jeans and said in a shaky voice, “Didn’t mean to bother you so late. I just… Well, I have a question.”
Jonah plastered the fake smile on his face that Cameron was starting to hate. “What’s up?”
Cameron looked back toward the door, his need to find the exit in any situation like a thorn in his side and a comfort at the same time. He opened and closed his trembling hands, took a deep breath, and finally asked, “What did I do?”
Jonah was clearly confused. “I’m sorry?”
Balling his hands into fists, Cameron drew strength from the tightness and asked again. “What did I do wrong?” He looked down at his fists, slowly uncurling his fingers, and began fidgeting with his hands. “I mean, I obviously did something wrong because you’ve been really weird with me for days. In fact, you’ve been pretty quiet, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out what I did.”
Holy shit. Did all of that really just come out of his mouth? It suddenly hit Cameron that Jonah treating him differently was bothering him more than he realized. Enough to actually speak up for once in his goddamn life and ask why.
Jonah’s look of shock confirmed that…yes, he really had just said all that. He ran the hand that had been gripping the back of his neck up through his blond hair then back down to his neck. Jonah walked over to the couch and sat down. Slowly, he leaned over, resting his elbows on his thighs then looked back up at Cameron. The desperate sadness in Jonah’s gaze definitely threw Cameron off.
“Shit, Cam, I’m sorry. I was trying to not make you feel uncomfortable, and instead, I went completely to the other end of the spectrum.”
“Huh?” Jonah had used his nickname, the same one Ali had used only days before. He hadn’t liked when Ali called him Cam, but when Jonah said it, it made him feel warm. It felt…intimate. Jonah patted the cushion next to him, and Cameron found himself walking over and sitting down without a second thought. “Why would you think you were making me uncomfortable?” he asked, still completely confused.
“Because you’re always so nervous around me. You… Do you know you barely look at me? I thought― Ah, it’s so stupid when I think about it now. Just ignore me. You’ve done absolutely nothing wrong…a bit of a distraction…but nothing wrong.”
About The Artist
I have been an artist from a very young age. From drawing cartoon characters and evolving into portraits, making jewelry, photography, and now writing. I have an amazing support system in my family and friends and couldn’t be more grateful.
I live in central New Jersey, love summers at the Jersey Shore, rock music, wine, sexy men, and laughing a lot with my amazing friends and family. Sunday dinners at my parents’ house are crazy, hysterical and you can count on a movie quote…or ten…being thrown out. Insults between siblings is how we show our love for each other!
When I’m not creating, you can find me reading books from my favorite authors. I’m a hopeless romantic, starving for passionate characters and always craving that happy ending, whether in reading or in writing my own books.