“All Is Well” by Dale Cameron Lowry (in Simmer: A Dreamspinner Anthology). Available from Dreamsprinner Press here.
So, I’ve not read the whole anthology yet, but I’ve been skip-hop reading (a delight different from deep reading, but still a delight), and stopped to read the entirety of Dale Cameron Lowry’s short story “All Is Well,” because I like stories that confront limitations (like repression, here, and how beliefs can tangle with desires). “All Is Well” is about a young Mormon missionary man who gets paired with another Mormon missionary man during their service and, well, all could be well if things didn’t get in the way of them being in love, but they do.
One of the men is a brilliant cook and a somewhat seasoned (pardon the pun) missionary; the other is newer in the game and just beginning to confront his attractions to other men. Aside from the forbidden aspect of two men loving each other, there’s the general prohibition against sexual exercise at all that he’s got to deal with. What’s lovely is that the story sticks to its guns about the relevance of the attraction between the two men without ever devolving into an “Eff you, Mormons!” sensibility. These men find a way to make their faith work with their love, in a manner that’s slow, respectful, and real.