#1 New York is too far away
INFO [chapter 1 starts right after the info]
The Sweet Caroline series consists of many books. All books can be read as stand-alones, but they work best as a series. At the start of each book, I always tell my readers which book would be wise to read first to understand the past of the characters.
The series can be split into two separate series: the first generation & the next generation. The next generation is about character that were kids in the books about the first generation.
FIRST GENERATION: 1. Sweet Caroline // 2. Slutty Shaughna // 3. Eager Annabel // 4. Feisty Francesca // 5. Twisted Thomas // 6. Chef Quiroz // 7. Caring Christopher
NEXT GENERATION: 1. Blooming Rose // 2. Jealous Jagger // 3. Needy Nia // 4. Guarded Marcus // 5. Charming Creed // 6. Thompson Twins
You can read this as a stand-alone story, but if you’re going to read my other stories as well, you might want to start with “Sweet Caroline”.
We meet Manny and Tommy for the first time in “Sweet Caroline” as Rose’s classmates and Caroline’s students. Later, we meet them at age 19 in “Blooming Rose” during Spring Break. They’re also in “Jealous Jagger”, “Needy Nia”, “Guarded Marcus”, and a few small scenes in “Charming Creed”.
I would recommend reading at the very least “Jealous Jagger” and “Guarded Marcus” before reading “Thompson Twins”, but it’s up to you! I try to write it as a stand-alone, but some stuff might get confusing if you don’t know anything about the other books.
Tommy and Manny Thompson may be twins, but they are far from identical. A bisexual nurse and an alcoholic physical therapist, with vastly different personalities and lives. No matter how different they are, they always have each other’s backs. Together, the twin brothers navigate life, love, and their challenging family dynamics.
Tommy has been with his boyfriend Yoah for seven years already, and he is preparing to propose. They move to Yoah’s hometown to be closer to family, work at the same hospital, and are still happy together. Yeah, okay, maybe they are in a bit of a rut, but seven years is a long time. Things can’t be spicy every day of your relationship, right? Tommy loves Yoah, and he wants to marry him more than anything. What worries him a little is that Yoah is acting weird. Could their relationship be ending before Tommy can even pop the question?
Manny stays in New York when Tommy and Yoah move away, but he doesn’t deal well with being on his own for the first time since getting clean years ago. As a recovering addict, he can’t help but worry about falling off the wagon. When all hell rains down on him through no fault of his own, things become too much. He moves into the guesthouse at the Davis’ property to sort out his shit, putting him dangerously close to a whole lot of girls that confuse the hell out of him. Will one of them capture his heart, or will they only tempt him to go back to his addict ways?
#1 New York is too far away
For the first time ever, I’m living on my own. I’m 27 years old, and today is the first night I’m spending in an apartment I don’t share with someone else. After high school, I moved to New York with my brother Tommy. We didn’t live together at first, but he was always around, and we both had roommates. When I finally acknowledged I had an addiction and went to rehab to get sorted out, Tommy and I moved into an off-campus apartment together so I wouldn’t be tempted to go back to my old life. Tommy’s boyfriend Yoah moved in with us soon after, and it’s been the three of us for years.
Now it’s just me here in New York. Tommy and Yoah moved out, back to Yoah’s hometown. They’ve both always wanted to moved back eventually, and when Yoah’s father tipped them off that Tommy might be able to get a job in the ER at the hospital he already works at, Yoah looked into transferring from NYU to the college our friend Rose is in the medical program as well. Two months later, everything was already set, and they moved out.
They asked me to go with them, but I said no. I have a job here as a physical therapist at an old people’s home, and my girlfriend Karina lives here. Besides, it’s about time I stopped leaning on Tommy so much. He’s spent his whole life looking after me. It’s ridiculous for a 27-year-old man to move just because his brother is moving away. I can do things on my own.
Only… I’m afraid I can’t. My track record isn’t great. I got addicted to alcohol long before I was legally allowed to drink, all the way back in high school. Having an addict for a father, bottles of booze everywhere in the house, and no parental supervision over at his place… Yeah, that’s not a good environment for someone with an addictive personality. Even as little kids, I was always the wild one and Tommy the sweet one, so it’s no surprise I take after Dad and he doesn’t.
In college, things truly got out of hand, when my mom and stepdad were all the way across the country, and I had only Tommy to look after me. I hurt him so many times. He was at my bedside in the hospital each and every time, no matter how badly I treated him. Thank God he ran into our high school friend Rose Storm one faithful Spring Break. They fell madly in love, and she gave him the push he needed to confront me and involve my parents. Rose and Tommy didn’t last, but they’re still friends, and I’ll forever be grateful for her help. Dad was clean at the time, wonder of all wonder. Mom and stepdaddy Victor were able to be in the same room with Dad without murdering him, and they all drove me to rehab together. I had a fallback, but I was truly trying, and got clean within a few months. Completely clean – no alcohol, drugs or even cigarettes.
Of course, that wasn’t the end of my journey with addiction. I substituted illegal substances for porn and sex. Got myself a few nasty STDs, carper tunnel syndrome, and a really unhealthy relationship with women.
So. Many. Women.
When I realized what I was doing, I immediately got myself a therapist, started going to a support group and came clean to Tommy and Yoah about what had been going on. I got a handle on that particular addiction pretty fast, looking back at it now. It wasn’t as hard as saying no to alcohol and drugs. I think I was mostly looking for something else to focus on, and… I was lonely. All my friends thought I was boring now that I no longer partied like a crazy person. They didn’t care that I was feeling better, that I was happier. They lost their drinking buddy, and they made it clear that my newfound sobriety was a buzzkill. Losing myself in all the women I could get was easier than admitting I didn’t have anyone to talk to aside from my twin brother and his boyfriend.
For a while, things were good. Until I discovered gambling, that is. I still don’t get how I didn’t realize that it was a bad idea for me to start playing poker. That’s just stupid. Why tempt myself to get into yet another self-destructive habit? It started out innocently, just me and some colleagues meeting up on Friday nights. They drank beer, I had a glass of water, and we talked shit all night. They were supportive of my sobriety, and I felt accepted. Then the nights turned into us watching sports and placing bets on who would win. Small bets, five dollars max. A few weeks later, we started playing poker. Fast-forward a couple of months and I’m playing online poker every single night, hardly sleep anymore, and in so much dept I have no idea how I’m ever going to pay it off.
My stepdad paid it all off for me when I came clean to him, and he didn’t even tell my mom and dad. His only conditions were for me to tell Tommy, and to find myself help yet again. I did, and I haven’t gambled since. I just got wrapped up in yet another thing, and got clean. Again.
So… there I was again. No friends, no money, no self-esteem left. I’m pretty sure the only reason Tommy and Yoah didn’t move away sooner was because they didn’t think I’d manage without them. They were absolutely right.
I’m better now, though. I haven’t had any alcohol or drugs since I got clean seven years ago. My sex addiction has been under control for years as well. I don’t have casual sex anymore, which means I basically only sleep with someone once we’re serious about each other. Boring, and it means I don’t get laid much, but so be it. I can cope with that. Gambling isn’t a part of my life either. The hardest addicted to beat was definitely the alcohol. Everything else was just me trying to fill the gaping gap in my chest I started feeling once I stopped drinking. I’m an alcoholic first and foremost.
I know I’m not going to fall off the wagon tonight, but I have to admit I wish I could have a beer. I always do when I feel lonely, and my brother and Yoah moving out sure makes me feel that way. Luckily, I have people I can call when I feel like shit. I’ve got a girlfriend now – six months already, still going strong. She’s sweet and beautiful. A nerdy bookish girl like her who doesn’t like to party and loves staying in and snuggling up to me with a cup of tea won’t tempt me to do anything I shouldn’t, so she is absolutely perfect for me.
With a smile, I call Karina. She picks up right away. “Hey honey,” she says in that kind voice of hers. “How are you holding up?”
“A little lonely in this big empty apartment.” I learned a long time ago that honesty truly is the best policy. Lying about what was going with me has never served me well. “Wanna come over and watch a movie or something?”
“Sure, I’ll be there in fifteen.” She makes a kissy noise into the phone. “Want me to stay over?”
I love how she always seems to sense when I don’t want to be alone. It’s sort of how we met. She was visiting her grandmother in the retirement home I work at, and I was sitting on a bench, trying very hard to resist the temptation to ask a coworker for a smoke. She sat down next to me and told me that she too would kill for a cigarette, but her mother died from cancer and ruined smoking for her forever. I told her that I stopped smoking when I got clean years ago, and she didn’t freak about sitting next to an addict. She just kept chatting to me, somehow sensing that having her there helped me fight the temptation. I asked for her number, she gave it to me, and I called her that same night to ask her out. The rest is, as they say, history.
I make a pot of tea, take out her favorite cookies, and grab the white fluffy blanket she likes from the bedroom. There, all set. She’s an easy girl to please.
She arrives exactly fifteen minutes after we ended our call, looking all cute in her long green dress, her dark hair up in a messy bun and her glasses perched on her nose, slowly sliding off. She pushes them up and smiles at me. I love that shy, sweet smile. Even after six months, she still seems nervous around me sometimes, which I find adorable.
“Come here,” I say, pulling her into my arms.
“Hmm,” she murmurs, pressing her face into my shirt. “You smell nice.”
“It’s called basic hygiene.” I grab her ass, squeezing hard. “You look like a smokeshow, Karina.”
She giggles and looks up at me with flushed cheeks. “I’m glad you called.”
We kiss softly before walking into the living room. She sighs happily when she sees I already made her something to drink, she kicks off her heels, and she settles onto the comfy couch with her cup of tea. I open the cookie tin and put it down between us, knowing she will finish them off in a matter of minutes.
“You need to stop feeding me so much sugary treats,” she complains, already stuffing her face.
I laugh and turn on the TV, settling on a romcom we’ve seen a million times already. She loves it, and I enjoy watching her get all swept up by the romance of it. “You’re a skinny bitch, Kari, you could use some meat on your bones.” I poke her side and kiss her neck, enjoying the way she squirms and giggles in response.
“What did you do today?” I ask, putting my arm over the back of the couch and watching her eat cookies like her life depends on it.
“Just a normal day at work.” She takes a sip of her tea and snuggles against me, almost knocking over the cookie tin.
“You’ve got that book club tomorrow night, right?”
She nods, still enjoying her tea. She works in a bookstore five days a week and takes care of planning activities like book clubs, meet-and-greets with authors, singing sessions, stuff like that. She studied English lit in college and has been working in the bookstore ever since she graduated. She’s two years younger than I am, but a hell of a lot more mature than me for sure.
“Can I come?”
She looks away from the TV to meet my gaze. “To the book club? Did you read the book?”
“Of course I did.” She gets me a new book every month, trying to get me to get excited about reading. This was the first time I actually liked the book, though. Might be because it was a smutty romance novel full of hot sex. “In fact… I was thinking we could act out the scene on page 52 tonight. You know, to prepare for the book club.”
She turns bright red instantly. Ah, so she knows what scene I’m talking about.
“What do you say?” I ask, giving her my sexiest smolder.
“B-b-but people might see,” she whispers like we’re not completely alone in the apartment.
“Isn’t that part of the fun?” I take her mug out of her hand and put it on the table along with the cookie bin. She squeals when I lift her onto my lap so she’s straddling me, and her eyes glaze over when I grind up into her, showing her just how much I want her right now.
“Okay,” she breathes, looking nervous. “Page 52.”
I honestly didn’t expect her to say yes. Last time I proposed something racier than missionary in bed, she turned into a flustered mess and got too nervous to agree to anything. Before she can change her mind, I stand up from the couch with her wrapped around me.
“Well, Miss Anakova,” I grunt, using the main character’s last name. “Let’s see if you were worth the million dollars I spent on this date with you.”
Yeah, the novel was cheesy as fuck, about a billionaire paying for a date with a woman at a charity auction, who turns out to be his estranged brother’s ex-fiancée. Cue the drama. The sex was hot as fuck, though, and if acting out a scene will finally get Karina to agree to spice up our sex life, I’m going to buy all the smutty romance novels in the whole damn bookstore first thing tomorrow morning.
“Oh,” Karina breathes as I carry her through the living room and fumble to open the doors to the balcony. “We’re really doing this.”
“Yeah we are, babe,” I grunt, putting her down on the balcony and lifting her dress over her head, dropping it onto the chair in the corner. “Now bend over the railing and let me see that tight ass of yours.”
Trembling, Karina does as she’s told, leaning over in her red lingerie. She’s wearing a thong, and I pull at it teasingly before spreading her legs so I can get better access.
“So wet already,” I grunt, moving my fingers over the moist fabric. “You like this, don’t you? You act all innocent, but you’re a little minx, aren’t you, Karina?”
“Yes,” she moans, sounding breathless.
“Do you want me to fuck you out here?” I ask, moving her thong aside and slowly circling her clit. “Where someone could see us? See me fuck you from behind on the balcony?”
Karina freezes, and I pull my hand back right away. Fuck. I shouldn’t have said that. She got all up in her head again.
“I can’t,” she whimpers, straightening up and grabbing her dress from the chair. “I’m sorry.” Tears pool in her eyes. “I know I’m boring, I know you need more, I know you want-”
“-you,” I finish, refusing to let her slip into her spiral of self-doubt. “Nothing but you, Karina.” I pick her up before she can put her dress back on, and carry her inside, kicking the door shut behind us before taking her to the bedroom.
She slips under the blankets while I close the blinds. I undress swiftly, keeping my boxershorts on for now. I know her, and she won’t be in the mood right away. This is the fifth time something like this has happened, and it’ll be only a few seconds before…
Yeah, there they are. The tears.
“Come here,” I murmur, getting in and pulling her against me, rubbing her back. “I’m sorry. I thought you were into it. You know you can say no when I want to do something you don’t, right?”
“I was into it,” she whispers, too shy to look me in the eye. “I just… I got scared. Again. I’m not like you, Manny.”
No, she’s not, and that is exactly why I want her. She grounds me, is always there when I need her, and is such a safe, steady person that I never feel tempted to drink or do anything else I shouldn’t when we’re together. So, she’s not kinky. Who cares?
“I love you,” I tell her, kissing her forehead. “Don’t worry about it, babe. We’re good.”
“Love you too.” she finally meets my eye. “I really do.”
“Then why are you crying?” I ask, wiping away her tears. “It’s all good, Kari. Stop overthinking.”
“Hmm,” she moans when I unhook her bra and start massaging her breasts. “That feels good.”
“I know, baby,” I grunt, pulling off her thong as well and touching her slick folds. “I know how to make you feel good.”
Just like always, she comes about fifteen minutes later, moaning quietly, like she’s afraid to make noise. I take off my shorts and move on top of her, pushing in slowly. She wraps her legs around my waist, kissing me hard while I start to move.
Fuck yeah, I so needed this.
I fill her up with a loud grunt, roll off her, and then get up to grab a towel. I wipe both of us off, and get back in bed while I wait for her to return from a quick bathroom visit. She comes back wearing one of my shirts, which is like a dress on her, and she snuggles up to me with a content sigh, her head on my chest.
“Love you,” she mumbles, already half asleep.
“Love you too, baby,” I reply, staring up at the ceiling, not tired yet.
As she drifts off, I feel strangely… lonely, I guess. Hmm. Weird. I’ve never felt like that with her in my arms. Must be because Tommy and Yoah moved out. It’ll get better. I’ve got Karina to keep me company. I’ll be fine.