Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, the home of Australian Rules football and mecca for serious fans. There, players are treated like gods—until they do something to fall out of public favour. This year, the public is taking Declan to task for suffering injuries outside his control, so Simon's support is a bright spot.
But as Simon and Declan fumble toward a relationship, keeping Declan's homosexuality a secret from well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media becomes difficult. Nothing can stay hidden forever. Soon Declan will have to choose between the career he loves and the man he wants, and Simon has never been known to make things easy—for himself or for others.
Documentary producer Simon and ex-footballer Declan are taking some big steps toward a lasting life together. They’ve bought a house, and they’ll need it for the family they plan to start. Their friend, Nyssa, has made the generous offer to be their surrogate, and Declan couldn’t be more excited about the idea of a baby.
Simon knows fatherhood is a huge commitment, and though it’s daunting, he sees how much Dec wants it, and he’s sure that together, they can succeed in anything—despite the worries nagging at him.
But just as their new life is taking shape, a health scare disrupts their plans at the worst possible moment. With time running short, Simon and Dec will have to bare their fears and doubts to each other so they can face them before their world changes forever.
It might mean a literal leap of faith.
After an eventful and sometimes uncomfortably public courtship, Simon Murray and Declan Tyler settled into a comfortable life together. Now retired from the AFL, Declan works as a football commentator; Simon develops programs with queer content for a community television station.
Despite their public professional lives, Simon and Declan manage to keep their private life out of the spotlight. Their major concerns revolve around supporting their friends through infertility and relationship problems—until Greg Heyward, Declan’s ex-partner, outs himself in a transparent bid for attention.
Though Simon and Declan are furious with Greg and his media antics, they can’t agree on what to do about it. Declan insists they should maintain a dignified silence, but both he and Simon keep getting drawn into Heyward’s games. Simon and Declan will once again have to ride out the media storm before they can return their attention to what really matters: each other.
Young Australian Micah Johnson is the first AFL player to be out at the beginning of his career. Retired professional football player Declan Tyler mentors Micah, but he finds it difficult, as Micah is prone to making poor life choices that land him in trouble. Nothing Dec can’t handle. He’s been there, done that, more times than he’d like to admit. Being Simon Murray’s partner all these years has Dec quite experienced in long-suffering and mishaps.
As usual, Simon thinks everything is going along just fine until his assistant, Coby, tells him a secret involving an old nemesis. Simon and Dec’s problems mash together, and to solve them, they must undertake a thousand-kilometer round trip in which issues will have to be sorted out, apologies are finally given, and a runaway kid is retrieved and returned to his worried parents.
Micah Johnson is out of options.
Following a stint as a runaway after the cruel revelation of his sexual orientation, Micah vows to get his life back on the right track. But there are roadblocks between him and his goal of making the national draft and having a shot at becoming an AFL player, including struggles with other students both on and off the football field. Hiding behind sarcasm will only protect him from so much, and Micah knows just making it to graduation will be an epic battle. If only Micah could find a fraction of the faith that his mentor, Declan Tyler, has in him, but he can’t seem to see what Declan does.
Micah is trying to reform, but the end of the road is a long way off, and it’s clear the process is ongoing.
Micah Johnson is living two separate lives. On the field he’s making a name for himself as a rookie with the AFL football team the Fremantle Dockers—at just eighteen. But when he steps off the field, Micah is a mess: confused, away from home for the first time, and feeling isolated from family and friends three thousand kilometres away. The foster family he’s staying with is nice, but Micah isn’t ready to open up to them about what he’s going through. Distracting himself with hookups and partying seems like a good idea until a friend’s life is changed by misfortune and Micah’s own health is threatened by his behavior. Micah knows he has to make a change, that he can’t do it alone, and that maybe there’s no shame in reaching out to others.
Micah Johnson is coming back to Melbourne, and the story of him and his friends is coming to an end.
Or will it be a new beginning?
Will Deanes and Micah Johnson have a past, one that ranges from bitter enemies to best friends. There might be an undercurrent of something else, but Micah remains oblivious, and all Will can do is try to move on.
Except now Micah’s returning to Melbourne full-time, and that means they can’t avoid each other or the tensions that arise. Will is still dealing with an injury that ended his football career, while Micah’s continues to thrive. As they face highs, lows, and family tragedies, they’ll have to get to know each other all over again. Will Micah see that Will means much more to him than a friend?
A part of the Dreamspinner Press 2010 Daily Dose Set, Midsummer's Nightmare, which includes 30 M/M stories of supernatural romance that may feature an edge of suspense and heart-pounding fear; a taste of the paranormal worlds of ghosts, vampires, and werewolves; and even the stuff of nightmares and dreamscapes.
The complexities of cricket are laid bare, and I was never any good at the game. But I was a world record holder as part of the crowd of more than ninety thousand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1961 when Australia played the West Indies.
Finally, there are some whimsical verses drawn on topics like the ocean, home life, psychology, and the Arctic.
A part of the 2009 Daily Dose Set, To Have and to Hold, which includes 30 M/M romance stories providing a glimpse of the many forms of love: love at first sight or a love for the ages, wedding bells or engagements, or that inexplicable something that makes you think "I do," the men in these stories are all touched by its spell.
Comme toute sa famille, Simon se réjouit de vivre à Melbourne, berceau du football australien et temple des ultra-fans. Là, les joueurs sont traités comme des dieux – jusqu’à ce qu’ils fassent quelque chose qui provoque la perte des faveurs du public. Cette année, le public s’en prend à Declan à cause de ses blessures à répétition, aussi le soutien de Simon lui donne-t-il du baume au cœur.
Mais tandis que Simon et Declan pataugent pour démarrer une relation, garder secrète l’homosexualité de Declan face à des amis bien intentionnés et des medias de plus en plus soupçonneux devient difficile. Rien ne peut rester caché éternellement. Rapidement, Declan devra choisir entre la carrière qu’il aime et l’homme qu’il désire, et Simon n’est pas connu pour rendre les choses faciles – pour lui ou pour les autres.
Come al resto della sua famiglia, anche a Simon piace vivere a Melbourne, la città dell’Australian Rules football e mecca dei fan più sfegatati. Qui i giocatori sono trattati come degli dèi, a meno che non facciano qualcosa che deluda il pubblico. Quest’anno i tifosi ce l’hanno con Declan per una serie infelice d’infortuni, quindi il sostegno di Simon è l’unica nota positiva della sua stagione.
Mentre la relazione di Simon e Declan procede a tentativi, diventa sempre più difficile tenere nascosta l’omosessualità di quest’ultimo, sia agli amici in buona fede che ai media sempre più sospettosi. Nulla può rimanere nascosto per sempre. Presto Declan dovrà scegliere tra la carriera che ama e l’uomo che vuole, e Simon non è il tipo da rendere le cose semplici, né agli altri né a se stesso.
Le jeune Australien Micah Johnson est le premier joueur de l’AFL à débuter sa carrière en étant ouvertement gay. Declan Tyler, joueur professionnel de football à la retraite, est son mentor, mais il trouve la tâche ardue, car Micah a tendance à faire de mauvais choix de vie qui le mettent souvent dans les ennuis. Rien que Dec ne puisse gérer. Il a fait des choses et d’autres, plus souvent qu’il n’aimerait l’admettre. Être le compagnon de Simon Murray durant toutes ces années lui a apporté son lot de souffrances et de mésaventures.
Comme à son habitude, Simon s’imagine que tout se passe bien jusqu’à ce que son assistant, Coby, lui révèle un secret impliquant un vieil ennemi. Les soucis de Simon et Declan s’entrechoquent, et pour les résoudre, ils doivent entreprendre un aller-retour d’un millier de kilomètres durant lequel les problèmes devront être résolus, des excuses enfin faites et un jeune fugueur récupéré et rendu à ses parents inquiets.
Après une cour riche en événements et parfois désagréablement publique, Simon Murray et Declan Tyler mènent une vie confortable l’un avec l’autre. Retraité de l’AFL, Declan est devenu commentateur sportif ; Simon développe des programmes aux contenus gays pour une chaîne de télévision locale.
Malgré leurs vies professionnelles publiques, ils réussissent tous deux à garder leur vie privée à l’abri des projecteurs. Leurs principaux soucis sont d’aider leurs amis à surmonter leurs problèmes de stérilité et de relation de couple – jusqu’à ce que Greg Heyward, l’ex-partenaire de Declan, fasse son coming-out, motivé par une évidente envie d’attirer l’attention.
Même si Simon et Declan sont furieux contre Greg et ses bouffonneries médiatiques, ils s’opposent sur la façon dont ils doivent réagir. Declan insiste pour qu’ils gardent un silence digne, mais le couple ne cesse d’être entraîné dans le jeu de Heyward. Les deux hommes devront une fois de plus surmonter la tempête médiatique avant de pouvoir reporter leur attention sur ce qui compte vraiment : eux-mêmes.