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Author: J.P. Grider
Title: Naked and Far from Home
Published On: October 16th 2015
Pages: 293
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Tia Mercury was a freshman in high school and had her first serious crush – on a senior who wouldn’t touch her. At least not until she turned eighteen.

Clinton Daniels was not your everyday teenage boy, and because his tougher-than-nails father wouldn’t let him forget it, Clinton became a loner. And learned to distrust everyone.

Until he met Tia.

She was sweet, she was funny, and she knew nothing about good music. It was the nineteen-eighties for goodness sake – time to turn off that AM radio crap. So, while Tia drooled over Clinton, he was busy making her mix-tapes.

She was falling in love. He was ignoring his heart.

See, Clinton had a secret. But sharing it could cost him their friendship, and he was not willing to risk losing the only person he ever loved.

Naked and Far from Home is a serious story that spans a decade. A tale about unconditional love and what two people are willing to look past to prove that love.

Part of me cringed, but the other part couldn’t care less. I was reuniting with my best friend. The love of my life. Like the love of my father’s life, Clinton may not reciprocate the feelings, but I wasn’t living the rest of my life, whatever was left of it, without him. I’d take him in any capacity he wanted me. Because I knew he loved me with all his heart, even if it wasn’t romantically.

I heard the footsteps galloping down the stairs before the door flung open and Clinton gathered me up in his arms, lifting me so my legs wrapped around his waist, and he hugged me tighter than I’d ever been hugged. At least, in his large arms, it felt that way.

Not sure how long we stayed like that, but when Clinton lowered me to the ground, my father was gone. As was my car.

My veins fired when Clinton took my hand and led me upstairs. It was quiet on his floor. Everyone must have been downstairs.

The memory of my last visit with Clinton came rushing back. Then the words I wrote in his letter entered my mind. “Clinton, I am so sorry about what I said. I could never hate you. Ever.” The words tumbled out non-stop. “You’re the most important thing in my life… You’re too important to not be in my life. I was so wrong to treat you like that when…”

“Whoa. Tia. Stop.” He hugged me again. “I never for a minute thought you hated me. When I read your letter, I knew you were just angry and upset.” He pulled back so he could see my face. “I knew you wouldn’t stop loving me, just as I could never stop loving you. It’s an impossibility. Like the sun never shining again. Or the Earth never again rotating. We, my darling, will always be. No matter how our relationship unfolds.”

Always be.

I didn’t want to ruin this moment with the truth. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.

Brushing my fingers down his arms, I asked, “If you knew I didn’t hate you, why’d you leave?”

He grabbed my ass cheeks with both his hands and lifted me onto his waist. Then he brought me into his room, shut his bedroom door and sat at the top of his bed, me, still straddling his lap. He swept my hair off my face and cupped my head in his hands. “Oh how I’ve missed you.”