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“It doesn’t matter what it costs,” he said, smiling broadly. “You deserve it.”

He returned the smile but the feelings of warmth couldn’t keep his brain from cringing. He couldn’t quite place why he felt that way. This gorgeous man wanted to spoil him. Why was he so averse to it? He deserved happiness, did he not?

“I’m tempted to ask you what’s wrong, but I know you won’t tell me the truth,” he said, peering at the menu.

“How did you know?” he asked.

“Bill, I could cut the waves of tension coming from you with a lightsaber.”

“I’m so sorry, I’m such an idiot.”

He laid the menu down and stretched his hand across the table. “You’re not. I really wish you would quit bullying yourself.”

Bill sighed. “I shouldn’t be here, Roland.”

Roland looked at him. His gentle eyes looked stern but trusting. “Why is that, Bill?”

“You know why,” Bill said, digging his fingers into the linen tablecloth.

“You deserve all the love in the world if you would let me be the one to give it.”

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This tiny — but mighty — podcast celebrates the oral delivery of the written word. My goal is to showcase and chat with emerging & established writers at all stages of their careers and probe the minds of unshakable industry folks to show us how to become published poets and authors.

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