THAT YOU ARE HERE
by Meredith Allard
On the outside, handsome, successful attorney Andrew Whittaker has everything in life. On the
inside, he has everything too, only he doesn't know it. He hides the love of his life, Mark Bryce,
from his family and everyone else where he lives in Portland, Oregon. Soon the weight of the
secret becomes too much for Andrew. After wrestling with himself and his place in the world, he
must decide how he’s going to live—with or without Mark.
When Andrew truly looked at Mark for the first time he realized the boy was beautiful. Mark
stood as tall as Andrew at six feet, and he was slender-built though he had strong arms and a
strong back. He had golden-chestnut hair that fell in a wave over his forehead and eyes nearly
the same color, more gold than chestnut, though they were translucent and sometimes looked
dark and other times light depending on where he stood under the fluorescent beams. Then
there were those eyelashes that never ended. Andrew had heard the term doe-eyed too many
times, yet it applied to Mark, certainly.
“Thanks, Mark,” C.C. said. “From the bakery?”
Mark nodded. “I made them this afternoon. The cake is in the back. Let me know when you
want to bring it out.”
“Everything is perfect. How much do I owe you?”
“It’s my contribution to the party.”
C.C. gave Mark a friendly hug. “That’s very generous of you.”
A young man at the end of the bar flagged C.C. down. With C.C. out of the way, Andrew had a
better view of Mark. Mark looked to be three years younger than Andrew at 24, and when Mark
smiled at something someone close to him said, Andrew saw an open, kind smile, and he had
to know who this Mark was.
Andrew slid from his stool and walked the four steps to where Mark had his back turned while
he plated a few more pastries. Suddenly, Andrew realized he didn’t know what to say. He didn’t
have a pick-up line. He always thought pick-up lines were cheesy. And it’s not like he had
dated many people in his life. All these thoughts, and a hundred more, flashed through his mind
leaving him tongue-tied. When Mark turned around, he stopped cold, the pastries still sliding on
their plate, the only movement between them. Mark’s gold eyes were wide, as though Andrew
was the last person in the world he expected to see standing there.
About the Author
Meredith Allard is the author of The Loving Husband Trilogy, That You Are Here, Victory
Garden, Woman of Stones, and My Brother’s Battle (Copperfield Press). She received her
B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from California State University, Northridge. Her short fiction
and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, The Maxwell Digest,
Wild Mind, Muse Apprentice Guild, Writer’s Weekly, Moondance, CarbLite, and ViewsHound.
She has taught writing to students aged ten to sixty, and she has taught creative writing and
writing historical fiction seminars at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers
Conference. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
One randomly chosen Grand Prize winner will receive a $25 Amazon or BN GC and a runner up will receive a digital copy of the novel