Book Title: Finishing Last
Author: Rob Browatzke
Publisher: Sisyphus Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Trope. Friends to lovers
Themes: Found family
Heat Rating: 4
Length: 70 000 words/ 245
It is a standalone story within
Mitch Morris is a nice guy
– and you know what they say about them.
Mitch Morris is starting over in a new apartment when he
meets a handsome new neighbor. Dan Murphy is starting over in a new city when he meets
a handsome new neighbor.
They DON’T hook up.
Instead, they become friends, and slowly, more than
friends. But when they both start dating other people, it’s increasingly obvious there’s
something between them. Nice guys don’t cheat though, and besides, who would risk a
friendship on the chance of something more?
“It doesn’t matter,” he told Dan. “We are not running
Sunday —and I don’t care how many times you say Kyle McFall,” he added, sticking his
fingers in his ears. “Sunday is Halloween, and that means we will both be far too hungover
from Saturday’s Halloween parties to even think about running.”
“We could just not get drunk, you know. That’s a thing.
That people do.”
“Not my people!” Mitch said. “Halloween Saturday is my
literal favorite day of the year.”
“That’s what you said about Gay Day,” Dan said. “And about
Pride. And about the day Duncan had his
“You know, I get that we’re friends, but sometimes, I really
wish you didn’t pay so much attention to
everything I say. You’ve got this annoying habit of throwing my own words back in my face,
and it really is the most unattractive thing you do.”
Dan shrugged, grinning. “What’s so special about
“What’s so special about Halloween? What’s so special
about Halloween?” Mitch forced his voice to screech.
“I don’t know. That’s why I asked.”
“Oh, you little tiny gayby,” Mitch said. “What did they teach
you back in that backwater town of yours?”
“Isn’t your hometown like five hundred people?”
“Yes,” Mitch said, “and every single one of them celebrates
Halloween. But that doesn’t even
matter, because you see, Halloween is something more for
gay people. It’s like Christmas and your birthday and the best blowjob ever all rolled into
“Do you ever worry that your constant exaggerating ever
builds things up to a point where people are let down?”
“Did I let you down about Pride?” Mitch asked. Dan shook
his head. “Or about that two for one special?” Dan let out a laugh. “See? I never steer you
wrong. Now, what are you being?”
“Like, for my costume? I have no idea.” “Daniel! It is only
two weeks away.”
“Do you already know what you’re doing?”
“Since July,” Mitch said. “I have to say, I’m outdoing even
myself this year.”
“What are you doing then?”
“No! A magician never reveals his secrets.”
“But, you just asked me!”
Mitch chuckled. “Oh, Dan,” he said. “Poor little gayby Dan.
You are many things but you’re not a magician.”
It was a brave front that Mitch was putting on, because the
truth was, he had no idea what he was going to be.
He and Kent had normally done a pair of costumes, which hit a brilliant new level a few
years before when they’d actually gone as a pair of pears. But this year, Kent and Dylan were
doing a couples costumes, because of course they were that kind of couple, and it was
probably going to be something super lame, like Romeo and Julien or some shit. But Mitch
He was never idealess on Halloween. He had suggested to
Ellis that they do a couples costume, which he normally hated; best friends together was
fine, but boyfriends matching was just gay, and not in the good buttsex sense of the word.
But Ellis was going as Black Panther.
“Why don’t you tell me what to go as?” Dan asked
suddenly. “Since you’re the expert and all.”
Intrigued, Mitch gave that a ponder. Sometimes it was
easier to dress someone else, and maybe that would give Mitch the inspiration he needed
for himself. It had to be different. Most of the people at The Torch were just going to be
slutty superheroes or slutty animals or slutty somethings, anything for an excuse to be out
for a night in as little clothing as possible. This wasn’t something Mitch minded, overly. In
fact, he looked forward to the beautiful men, but when it came to his own, he usually
wanted a bit of commentary. After all, there was a thousand dollar grand prize on the line,
and who couldn’t use that?
About the Author
Rob Browatzke doesn’t
believe in writing what he knows – that’s why he delivers gay romance with happy endings!
Equal parts sarcasm and kindness, he has been writing as long as he can remember. When
not writing, he can be found actively involved in local queer nightlife, where he has made a
career since the late 1900s. He lives in Edmonton Alberta, but don’t hold that against him.
Feel free to stalk him on social media.