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Desire and Social Distance

Book One of the Distance Duet

A girl like a graven image and a boy like a righteous fire.

Elena di Marco’s life was in shambles. Still reeling from an unexpected divorce from her husband of ten years, Elena struggled daily with an entry-level job she despised, in a small apartment in the city of Buffalo where she suffered in isolation as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe. Her outlook was bleak and her depression was worsening as financial problems mounted and the futility of existence began to plague her–that is until she ran across her former American literature professor from undergrad twenty years ago on Facebook–Greyson Jameson. She was mesmerized by his coal-black eyes, the way he smoldered in his profile photo, and couldn’t resist sending him a friend request, setting into motion a friendship that quickly escalated into mutual infatuation despite their living half a country apart.

Greyson Jameson had married his high school sweetheart twenty-six years prior, and they had created two wonderful children together as he taught literature at the University of Tennessee. But under the surface of their ostensible happiness lurked a darkness that had invaded his home life and leveled his marriage. Greyson had adjusted to life without his wife, taking the responsibility of parenting solo in stride, all while effortlessly pivoting to remote instruction at the outbreak of the virus. He was a man of rules and order, and it seemed nothing could arise that Greyson could not masterfully handle. Until he got a friend request one day from his former star student Elena di Marco and her profile picture stopped him in his tracks. Ordinarily Greyson was a master of restraint and control, but from their first interaction he found himself powerless against her beauty and wit, unable to resist their daily flirtations on Facebook Messenger.

But when disaster strikes, threatening the future they both fantasized about, Greyson and Elena learn that distance is not always a matter of proximity, and there are ways to touch someone without necessity of physical contact. As Greyson and Elena’s involvement continues to escalate, so does what hangs in the balance–and neither of them will emerge from this unchanged.