Story Excerpt: As You Wish
Jason and I wrote a tearjerker single dad steamy romance as our fourth collaboration.
This is a story about Jeremy, a single dad struggling to keep things together for his son, Ethan, who has been battling cancer, and Noreen, the burnt-out Wish Granter from a local charity struggling to find herself amongst tragedy. Surrounded by hardship, tragedy, and grief, can Noreen and Jeremy find what they need when it comes time to start again?
If you've followed either of us for a while, you'll know we've also written No Strings Attached and Unseen Love, as well as The Masks We Wear (available on Literotica). As You Wish is the longest and probably the most emotionally intense story we've written together.
It will be coming soon to Literotica and will be available as an ebook as well, but for now, I hope you enjoy this story preview!
“Gramma, you’ll never guess what!” he shouted as the door swung closed and the scent of slow-cooked beef curled around us.
“What!” she shouted back, wiping her hands on a towel as she rounded the corner from the kitchen. “There, I guessed it.”
Ethan laughed like it was the first time he’d heard it, which it absolutely wasn’t, and kicked his shoes off haphazardly.
“Put them on the mat, bud,” I said.
“Oh, psh,” Mom said. “Leave them be. Tell me ‘what’ I’m supposed to guess, Ethan.”
He took a big, deep breath, then spoke in a voice that was far too serious to be taken seriously.
“I’m gonna ride a horse from Spain.”
“Ah,” Mom said, doing everything she could to hide her confusion and failing miserably as she looked at me. “A… a horse?”
“Uh-huh!” He thrust Spike, who was clutched in Ethan’s fist like he always was, towards her. “Because Spike’s from Spain!”
Mom knew damn well where Spike was actually from, but didn’t question it. “Right. And Spike is… is getting you a horse?”
“No, Gramma.” He shoved Spike into her hand and started digging in his backpack. “The wish lady is taking me to the horses because we can’t go to Spain yet and she gave me this too, he’s a pirate just like Spike is, but he’s also a superhero and his name is Matt but I’m calling him First Mate Muuur-doch.”
He withdrew the Daredevil toy Noreen had given him and brandished it like a rapier.
“Of course,” Mom said as if it all made perfect sense. “And the wish lady is…?”
“I dunno. I think her name’s Lauren.”
“Noreen,” I said.
Ethan frowned at me. “I thought Noreen was the one at the front who you thought was pretty.”
Oh, for fuck’s sake.
Mom’s eyebrows were practically in her hair as she looked at me meaningfully, then put her hand on Ethan’s shoulder. “Pumpkin, why don’t you go show Gramps your new pirate toy and see if he needs help with the leaves?”
“I guess,” Ethan said, sounding disappointed. “You don’t need help with dessert?”
“Dessert is already made,” she said, but smiled conspiratorially. “But if someone were to go into the kitchen before going to the backyard to find Gramps, and that someone were to look at the counter next to the sink, they might find a silver bowl with a wooden spoon in it that has some leftover icing and sprinkles.”
She barely got a hug and a kiss out of him before he bolted into the kitchen.
“So,” she said once he was thoroughly distracted by sugar.
“It’s not what it sounds like,” I said.
I shrugged. “I dunno, actually. What does it sound like?”
She leaned against the wall, arms folded. “Well, it sounds like Ethan is…”
“Excited,” she finished. “About… horses. And a lady.”
I groaned. “It’s not—”
“—what it sounds like, you’ve said that already.” She gave me another one of those meaningful looks. “But the part where he mentioned she was the ‘wish’ lady…”
I couldn’t bring myself to look at her. “She’s from the Wish Mission.”
“Jeremy!” Mom’s voice had the volume of a whisper but the tone of a yell. “When did you—”
“A couple of weeks ago.”
“And he…” She glanced towards the kitchen and fell silent. A moment later, the back door closed with a thud, and Mom looked back at me with eyes full of fear. “You were very insistent that the Wish Mission was only for kids who were, um…”
“He’s fine,” I said as evenly as I could. “Nothing’s changed. He just… he deserves to be spoiled a little. This treatment cycle’s been the most aggressive yet and it’s almost done and he… he, he just wants to…”
“Jere,” she said softly. “You promise he’s okay?”
She let out a breath, then unfolded her arms and opened them. “I know how hard that must have been to apply for. But you did the right thing.”
I dunno if there’s a guy out there who can honestly say that a hug from his mom doesn’t make everything just a little better. I couldn’t.
“So,” she said after letting go. “Can you translate everything about the wish from seven-year-old to English?”
“Barely.” I followed her into the kitchen, rolling up the sleeves of my shirt as I went to the sink to start on the dishes. “It’s a fucking shitshow.”
“Watch your mouth, asshole,” she teased. “The window’s open.”
I couldn’t quite stop myself from smiling. “Sorry. It’s just, they screwed his paperwork up. So we went in to meet his Wish Granter and they got him all this Wish Mission stuff and a few toys or whatever. And then they started talking about wishes and he said he wanted to go to Spain because I was telling him a story about pirates and—well, okay, I was telling him The Princess Bride but in my version, Spike was Westley—and I told him Spike was from Spain. But whoever did his file didn’t write that down so they’re going through all this red tape because of insurance or whatever.”
“Hmm. And the horses come in because…?”
I started scrubbing the icing bowl that Ethan had practically licked clean. “They’re setting up a thing for him to go horseback riding once a week. So we went back today because I had to sign off on some stuff and get it all set up with Noreen.”
“Noreen, the pretty lady from the front?”
I rolled my eyes and didn’t say anything.
“I’m teasing, Jere,” she said. “But back up a second. So he’s going horseback riding instead of going to Spain?”
“No, he’s doing both. The horseback riding is just until the trip is sorted out. Noreen said it might be a little while so she wanted to make sure he had something special going on in the meantime.”
She frowned, leaning against the counter. “You’re sure he’s still… you know. Okay? You’re not… nothing’s changed?”
The bowl slipped out of my hand, landing against the metal sink with a loud thunk. I turned and glared at her. “He’s fine! And I’d… Jesus, you really think I’d keep that from you? If he was… if things got bad?”
She held her hands up defensively. “No, of course not… I’m sorry. It’s just, the Wish Mission doesn’t usually grant more than one wish. So it’s strange that he’d get… you know. Two wishes. Especially since one of them is such a big wish.”
I shrugged and picked up the icing bowl, inspecting it closely to make sure I hadn’t broken it. It was a good point, and one I hadn’t thought of. In fact, I hadn’t even questioned it at all when Noreen called to tell me what her plan was.
“Someone from the foundation will be there each week as well,” she’d said. “Just to help support and make sure everything is going well for you both.”
“Not you?” I had asked. “Is it usually the same person or…?”
She hesitated. “Yes, usually it’s the same person each time. I… I’ll be there.”
It seemed weird, but I didn’t question it. “Okay. And Spain?”
“We will keep you updated regularly. It will still happen, Jeremy. It’s just going to take a little bit of time to sort out. But I swear to you, he’s going to see Spain. Anything else would be inconceivable.”
I laughed at that, shaking my head. “You don’t have to make The Princess Bride jokes when Ethan’s not around, you know.”
“As you wish,” she replied, and I swear I heard her laughing over my groan.
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Cheryl Terra began writing because she's greedy. She wanted to see stories that combined all her favourite things: love, drama, sex, comedy, and the empowering values she shares, plus a little Canadian pride for good measure. One of the things she is most proud of with her writing is hearing about people who enjoy the recurring themes she includes, such as the sexiness of consent, discussions of birth control, and the natural inclusion of diversity in her stories.
Get more information at cherylterra.com