A mixed-blood Catholic seminarian struggles to discern his true calling: the priesthood or his ex-lover, a proud but damaged Ojibway man.
It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man. In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.
Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered: the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon, and he intends on using his new-found power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and the church.
Hoping to save the church, Emery races home. But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life: please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.
Emery lowered his head. He’d promised to speak aloud. “When you moved back, I avoided coming home.”
“Guess we both did.” Darryl’s voice crackled. “I was pretty mad. When I left, I swore I’d never come back.”
“I’m sorry.” Emery glanced up. Thick clouds were rolling in. A bad sign? Please don’t let what I say upset him.
“What happened between us is my fault. I never should have… given in to my…”
Darryl’s eyes narrowed.
Emery gulped. “… my desire for you because I knew I’d hurt you.”
He lowered his head. There, he’d finally admitted what had haunted him for the past ten years and why he’d come home.
“I see.” Darryl’s tone could cut rocks. The bleachers squeaked. Footsteps. His running shoes appeared in Emery’s line of sight. “Look at me.”
The sharp order bit Emery’s earlobes. He met Darryl’s tight-set jaw.
“You’re saying you regret what we did?” He slapped his thigh. “I knew it. I fucking knew it. I was your fucking experiment.”
“Experiment?” Emery gasped. “How can you say that? See. You’re twisting my words around. You’re making assumptions.”
“Then what the hell do you mean?” Darryl growled under his breath.
“I-I…” Emery rubbed his arms. “I-I wanted you so bad—”
“I wanted you, too.” Darryl’s growls morphed into cotton. He plunked down on the bench.
Their thighs brushed.
Emery shivered. Was he fifteen years old and in the hotel room where they’d first kissed after looking at the gay pornographic magazines? What about the camping trip? Alone in the tent, they’d torn off their clothes and did what Emery had dreamed about.
Darryl leaned in. “You’re thinking again.” His warm words brushed Emery’s ear.
“I’m just…” He licked his lips. “I don’t want you to hate me again.”
“I never hated you. I was pissed. We didn’t do anything wrong. Do you finally understand?”
Understand? Everything they’d done had gone against Emery’s beliefs. Yes, he embraced his sexual orientation now. Still, God asked him to use his newfound awareness to help others, not shout from the rooftops he’d engaged in a taboo relationship. To tell Darryl, though… Oh boy, that was asking for trouble.