Storm Moon Press - Apples and Regret and Wasted Time Untitled Page

Apples and Regret and Wasted Time

Cornelia Grey

Out of Print

He lives in the shadows of the law. Now, wounded and stranded in the city after a job only he could do, he has no qualms about climbing through the window his old lover left open—or stealing his shampoo, at that. He has, however, not taken into account the possibility of being surprised in the shower.

Three years is a long time to go between visits, especially if you've left so much anger and hurt and desire unresolved. They try to negotiate a truce for one night—over Chinese takeaway leftovers and apples, and between the sheets.

The city is damp tonight.

I move quietly through the side streets, keeping out of sight. I lean against the brick walls and brace my hand on sticky metal bins when I feel my balance falter. My temple hurts where someone landed a punch. Blood is slowly spreading through the fabric of my shirt on my left side. Too slowly to be dangerous, I think.

I was too careless tonight. Distracted. I shouldn't have accepted this job.

Being back in the city is messing with my head.

I remember the road clearly, and it doesn't take long to reach the building. The house seems to be waiting for me—red tiles and dirty once-white plaster—squatting low and quiet in the night. I approach it from the back, where the drain pipes are, where there's no lamplights. It's easy, hauling myself up the wall and climbing in through the window. I pause, crouched on the windowsill, listening. He's not at home. I wonder if he leaves it half-open for the same reason he did years ago. I wonder if he still expects me to come back one night. I would have called him a fool for it, the usual soft-hearted wimp. Except... here I am. The soft-hearted wimp has a point.

I tiptoe through the cold living room, barely sparing a glance. Still a mess. Still no pictures.

I slip out of my ruined clothes and let them fall in a heavy, soggy heap on the bathroom floor. Mud and blood stain the white tiles, begin to seep in the stupid blue rug. I don't wonder whether he will mind. I'm quite sure he will.

5 - Cryselle's Bookshelf
"This story is a blend of hope and history, of regret, longing and the brief happiness that can be found.... The writing is beautifully atmospheric, both very immediate in the first person present tense and evocative of their past. Things as small as a red apple and an open window shout of how deeply these two love each other, have hurt each other just for being what each one is. They know each other well and still crash against the reality, because they are something wondrous together."

5 - Lisa at Top 2 Bottom Reviews
"Cornelia Grey got it just right with Apples and Regret and Wasted Time.... There are no happy endings to this tale but the author, in just thirteen pages, lured me in completely and made me wish for one. It was a temptation to want more for these two men, even though I understood they couldn’t give me what I wanted. Sometimes temptation is just impossible to resist."

5 - Well Read
"I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the prose and the absolute yearning that filters through the narrator and his lost relationship with his ex-lover. At first there is only happiness and joy at being reunited, plus an almost desperate passion that arises between them. It's not long though before we discover that there's much more below the surface."

5 - Elisa Rolle
"[I]t's true that this is only a short story, but I had the feeling this is only a glimpse of something bigger.... In only 10 pages, Cornelia Grey brushes everything, like in those surrealist painting were every details is part of something bigger you need to put together to understand the final meaning."

5 - Feliz at JesseWave Reviews
"[W]ith a few well-chosen words, the author transported me right into the forbidding and hostile city.... There was a dark mood to the setting that only added to the overall dreamlike feeling of this story. The writing is beautiful, sparse and unelaborated and right to the point.... Impressive, poignant and highly recommended."

5 - Juliana at Fiction Vixen
"What a delightful read. This extremely short erotic novella by Cornelia Grey is surreal, bittersweet, and sensual.... Grey is... able to draw us in from beginning to end. We don't know anything about these two men, but right from the moment they're together again, you can feel the history and tension between them.... When I enjoy a novella, I always wish that it were longer, [but] for once I am also able to be completely satisfied with it as it is."

5 - Fire Pages
"Two men. No names. Just emotions.... The story unfolded so effortlessly. Each scene was described in just enough detail to make me feel as if I was present in the same house, watching these men reunite.... I simply loved this short. It explores life's complications when two lovers reunite – a memory I'm sure anyone who has ever been in love has had."

5 - Janna at Rarely Dusty Books
"I think I'll reread this story many times in the future, to enjoy the skillful way it's written and narrated. There's a world of information behind each sentence.... I hadn't heard of this author before, but this story has impressed me enough to keep my eye open for other titles by her. I definitely want to read more of her work."

5 - Tj at Review Roses
"This is a VERY short book. It is more a single scene or chapter. The writing is superb. The author is excellent with creating a scene. The descriptive nature is amazing for a short. Even though there isn’t much detail of the characters (not even their names) and most of their story is inferred, the author gets you feeling for them. I’m a sucker for dark characters and the main character is dark. I almost wish the author would make this a longer story because it so took me."

5 - Vanessa at V.C. Erotica
"On top of the exquisite writing, the steamy sex scenes, and this adorable and bittersweet apples theme, I mean, this is as close to perfection as any short story can get. Apples and Regret and Wasted Time is not a story to ignore or take for granted just because it's short. I can't recommend this gorgeous piece highly enough, it's a real treat. "

4.5 - Seriously Reviewed
"It's intimate and it's sexy in a dark foreboding way.... There are parts that left me a little confused, but the part that mattered... the encounter between the two characters was intimate and personal and I enjoyed reading this short story."

4.5 - M/M Good Book Reviews
"I don't believe that I have ever been as enthralled with a book as I was with this one.... Incredibly written, so full of detail, so full of emotion, so poignant, this is a masterpiece just waiting to be read. I have to recommend that you don't miss this book, it is a 'must be read' and enjoyed."

4.5 - Kassa
"This short story is definitely one of my favorites. It hits all the high notes and great details that I personally adore while being short enough to leave me wanting more; the setting, writing, characters, and bittersweet but hopeful ending just do it all for me."

4 - Alex at Between the Covers
"A touching bittersweet story that both satisfies and leaves the reader wanting more.... In the short space Grey worked in powerful emotions by being almost muted with them in the story.... The narrator's voice is contemplative and straight forward, giving the entire story a bleak ambience that is only forgotten in brief moments when the two men are being lovers, not themselves."

4 - Jane at Coffee Time Romance
"If I had to describe this story in one word, it would be intense. This story is well written, and from the first page to the last, it held my attention and kept me wanting more. Ms. Grey does an excellent job expressing her characters' feelings without giving away too much information.... I recommend you grab this book; and move it to the top of your reading pile."

4 - Katinka at Boys In Our Books
"I hadn’t realized how short this story actually is; only about 15 pages! It’s therefore probably all the more impressive that the author managed to create an atmosphere that’s heavy with bittersweet regret, nostalgic pleasures and a touch of indignation. I’m a sucker for being given the opportunity to piece a story together myself. And Grey grants you permission to the world of the two MCs by offering enough tiny details and glimpses to do just that. What she refuses to do, is position you into the story by drowning you in info dumps. I’m so pleased with this I could purr!"

4 - Yvonne at Hearts on Fire Reviews
"This is a story about an intense moment in time between two men. The author manages to portray a large variety of emotions, from anger & weariness to love & caring in just a few scenes. The passion explodes between the two men and they take what they can from each other. But the conflict remains unresolved and the atmosphere is bittersweet. I found this story interesting because it left lots of room for interpretation. I really liked reading this and it left me wanting to learn more about these two men. I kept wishing it was longer. But there’s something to be said about conveying a well told story using the minimum amount of words."


6,100 words
13 pages

Release Date

Book Type

Short Story





Cover Art

Nathie Block


M/M, dark themes