William Wilkerson leads the life of the privileged rich. Head of his father’s shipping business, he indulges to his heart’s content in the pleasures of the flesh with Boston’s finest young men.
That is, until he reunites with Fredrick: his former tutor and the one man who captured his heart.
But William’s father has declared Fredrick off limits. And Fredrick, himself, believes he’s beneath the attention of the Wilkerson heir.
After having lost his current pupil to graduation, and with no prospects of a replacement, Frederick is homeless, hungry, and easy pickings for the men on the docks.
When Frederick is shanghaied into service on William’s own merchant ship, will William discover his plight in time to rescue him?
Title: Sweet William
Author: Dianne Hartsock
Genre: Gay Romance, Historical Romance
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Thank you, Two Chicks, for hosting me today. In my story, SWEET WILLIAM, William is the pampered eldest son of a shipping merchant and has come to Boston to check over the cargo arriving on one of their ships. This is how he might spend a typical Sunday morning.
William stifles a yawn and leans back on the church bench to catch the ray of sunlight filtering through the stained glass. The minister’s voice becomes a pleasant murmur in his ear, unintelligible, lulling him toward sleep and a dream of brown eyes in a serious face.
His head bobs, startling him awake, and he catches Tiggy’s amused glance from across the aisle and sits up. Good heavens! Had he been drooling? His dream had become heated rather quickly.
His neighbors on the bench don’t seem to see anything amiss with him, and his heartbeat evens out as the minister brings his sermon to a resounding close. Organ music fills the church and William files out behind the others to make small talk in the yard with the various families connected with his own, mostly friends of his father.
Finally he makes his escape and Tiggy catches up with him on the path running behind the church along the riverbank. The air has grown warm and he loosens his cravat, wishing he could remove his coat as well.
“The minister had an interesting sermon today,” Tiggy offers, voice full of laughter, and William flashes him a rueful grin.
“If someone hadn’t kept me up late at cards—”
Tiggy throws up his hands. “Don’t blame me for falling asleep! And by the look of bliss on your face, it wasn’t me you were dreaming of.”
William snorts, but couldn’t deny his words. They walk a moment in silence, William enjoying the flash of sunlight through the trees, sparkling on the swift moving water. The air smells of roses and dry grass. He wonders if Fredrick would enjoy a picnic in the park this afternoon.
It hardly registers when Tiggy takes his arm, but then he suddenly pulls William between two trees, into the graveyard attached to the church. They’re in an older section of the yard and large headstones surround them. Tiggy pushes him up against one and William willingly parts his lips when Tiggy’s familiar tongue seeks entrance. They pass a pleasant few minutes this way, then Tiggy pulls back with obvious reluctance.
He traces William’s lips with his thumb. “You’re thinking of him again.”
“I’m sorry, dear. I don’t mean to ignore you.”
“Never mind. I’m happy for you, in a way. I’ve never seen you this taken with anyone before.”
They part after one last lingering kiss, and William watches him depart with mixed feelings. They’ve been friends for years, intimate for most of them. He’ll miss Tiggy’s sweet flirtations. A robin flies passed him, chased into the trees by another. William’s lips curl into a smile. Maybe he’ll walk downtown and see if Freddie is free for lunch.
DIANNE HARTSOCK is the author of m/m erotic romance, both contemporary and fantasy, the psychological thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. Oh, and a floral designer. If she can’t be writing, at least she has the chance to create through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage to bring a smile to someone’s face.
Currently, Dianne lives in the Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play.