#FlashFictionFriday – Cultivating Love Alternate Universe 1 Part 5

Flash Fiction Friday

Today’s Flash Fiction Friday scene uses the words left in last week’s post: Ireallylikeyoubutnowprettypleasewithsugarontopwritemorelongerallthewords 😁

This is a continuation of Alternate Universe #1. You can find the first four installments here (1) and here (2) and here (3) and here (4).

NOTE: The action in this scene takes place prior to the published story.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The action in this scene is NOT consistent with the published story, and CANNOT be considered a true prequel. If this scene had happened, the book would be entirely different. The action in this scene is also unrelated to that other “What if?” scene I posted on June 30 (alternate universe #2).

Told from Fred’s 3rd-person POV:

Fred didn’t answer Ed’s question about the letter. He stared into Ed’s eyes for a few moments then opened his arms and said, “I would really like to give you a hug now before you get ticked off about what I’m going to say.”

Ed blinked a couple times and cast a glance that could only be described as “perplexed” at his boyfriend, Joe. Joe simply shrugged, and Ed brought his gaze back to Fred. His eyebrows came together, but whatever it was that he saw in Fred’s eyes kept his expression more in the confused range rather than troubled.

Fred’s stomach flip-flopped as he alternated between confidence that all would work out, and a sneaking doubt that Ed could ever forgive him for not realizing what his ex-wife had done. But, despite swirling thoughts and emotions at war with each other, he held steady as Ed stepped into his personal space and returned the hug, even adding a firm triple-pat with one hand. Hopefully, that touch wouldn’t need to last a lifetime. With any luck, it would be the first of many.

Stepping back, Fred gestured toward the table. “This is Bill Golden.” Sadly, he didn’t have his son’s confidence to announce their relationship as glibly as Ed had done with Joe. Pretty darned pathetic, actually, because the longer he put it off, the more difficult it would likely become. “Please join us.”

The younger men shared another glance. Silent, but laced with the non-verbal communication of people used to each other’s characters and inclinations. A raised brow here, a shoulder lift there, and mutual slight nods.

Bill swiped a hand over the top of the table, shoving sugar packets out of the way, and moved Fred’s plate to his side as he shifted over, making room. Fred sat, then Joe slid across the bench opposite, and Ed dropped into place across from Fred.

Fred’s hands rested on his thighs with his fingers restlessly drumming a wild beat as he struggled to find the right words to say what he needed to tell Ed. Bill placed a hand atop the nearer one, stilling it. None of that went unnoticed, although the two across from them remained subtle in the body language they shared.

Taking a deep breath, Fred opened his mouth to speak, but Ed beat him to it. “So, this letter I didn’t write. What’s that all about?”

I used all 18 (count ’em…18!!) prompts, although I’m not sure I followed the instructions implicit in the words. Nonetheless, I’m out of prompt words (and time), so looks like I’m going to have to continue this story next week.

Leave as many prompt words as you like in the comments, but I’ll only promise to use one from each contributor in next week’s post (although I’ll try to use them all).



A man of few words, Joe is a hard-working farmhand who likes his simple, uncomplicated life. Ed is satisfied with his existence as an auto mechanic, but thrilled when an unexpected development in his life allows him to help Joe realize a dream.

It forces them, however, to reevaluate the casual, undefined nature of their relationship. They’re too macho to speak of love, and neither would acknowledge he doesn’t really mind when it’s his turn to bottom. When life throws them a curve ball, and the rules of their game get old, Ed tries to take every aspect of their relationship up a notch. Can Joe adapt to the open sentimentality Ed’s injecting into their relationship, let alone the new spice in their bedroom activities?

This is a previously published story that has been rewritten, expanded, and re-edited.

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As with all my books at JMS Books, LLC, Cultivating Love is available for #FREE download with your #KindleUnlimited subscription (as well as available in other formats at all the usual distributors).

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Flash Fiction Friday

4 thoughts on “#FlashFictionFriday – Cultivating Love Alternate Universe 1 Part 5

  1. LOL! (And I literally laughed out loud, not only wrote it on the internet!!) And that was such a good job getting all the words in there, I’m not even gonna complain that you left me hanging again! 😀

    You’re awesome, do you know that? 🙂

    For next week’s words, I’m borrowing a line from Darth Vader and Star Wars: “I am your father.” And if you think that looks a lot like a thrown gauntlet, you’re right 😁😁

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