Aspiring writer Brent Granger has good friends and a great job at an arts magazine in DC, but he’s batting zero in the arena of love. Brent begins to get a clue why things aren’t working with women from his strong attraction to his gorgeous, gay, and already attached boss, Graham Stoneford. When he sees a personal ad from a man that quotes his favorite poet, Brent decides to do something wild and answer.
Enter Cody Bellstrom, easygoing bisexual musician, who is happy to initiate Brent in the ways of gay sex. Brent now has a new problem: he realizes he’s gay and no one in his life knows it. Cody tires of hiding their relationship, but Brent finds it challenging to come out to family, friends, and especially to Graham. In the end, Brent must confront the truth of where – and with whom – his heart lies.
~ Pride Promotions
“If only my dates could be like this,” Brent said, after another bout of laughter between them, then widened his eyes. “Oh, wow, man, that sounded dumb.”
Graham didn’t seem fazed. “They’re not? But why? You’re so fun to talk to. Any woman would be nuts not to appreciate you.”
“Uh, well, tell them that. But I guess I don’t really appreciate them either. I don’t know, it’s like, awkward and boring most of the time. Whatever. Ari keeps trying to set me up, but…. Anyway, how did this get into talking about my love life, or lack thereof?”
Graham regarded him, warmth in his eyes, and said softly, “You’ll find it, Brent. Everyone deserves to have love in their life. You’re young. You’ll find it.”
Graham’s words touched Brent, but the intensity of the moment made him uncomfortable. Even worse, he noticed he was getting aroused.
He shifted on his pillow with a weak laugh. “Hey, no more of this ‘young’ crap, okay? You’re not that much older than I am.”
Bette Johnson stood at his side, arms folded, considering. “I don’t know… I think that one should be a few inches higher.”
He scowled at her. “You would.”
She grinned and pushed up on her toes to kiss him on the cheek. “Thanks, sugarpie. Now, where’s my other half? She should’ve walked her skinny white ass in the door by now.”
As if on cue, Aurora Lane came in, carrying a carton with three coffee cups and a white bakery bag. Bette brightened and glided over to take it off her hands, kissing her as she did so.
Cody watched for a moment, smiling at the contrast between Aurora, who was tall, thin, and blonde, and Bette, who was short, curvy, and African American. Then he turned and started to re-measure the wall.
Aurora walked over, her eyes narrowed. “So, what’s this I hear about you wanting to do a little ex-per-i-men-ta-tion?” she asked, drawing out the last word mockingly.
“Hush up, sugah,” said Bette. “If Mr. Cody wants to fly his freak flag, I say more power to him.”
Cody tried to ignore them, now marking the wall with a pencil, but Aurora made it difficult by sidling over and leaning against him. “What’s wrong, lover?” she breathed. “Women don’t do it for you anymore?”
He wrapped his arm around her waist and kissed her, then smiled down at her. “Not if they’re not you, babe. But I don’t think Bette would approve.”
“Damn straight. Now get your hands off my woman, ho, and tell us what this is all about.” Bette laid out the pastries and handed them each a cup.
Cody straddled a chair and took a bite from his cheese Danish. After washing it down with some coffee, he said, “It’s not that big a deal. You know I’m bisexual. I like it all. I’ve been playing more on the hetero team lately, but, I don’t know, I think I’m ready for a change.”
Bette snorted. “Well, that’s bound to upset your three different girlfriends, seeing as how they all think they’re your one true love.”
Unconcerned, Cody kept chewing. “They all know we aren’t committed or exclusive, or at least they should.”
“Um hmm,” Bette said in her Southern drawl. “Tell them that when they show up here weepin’ and carryin’ on.”
“Such a heartbreaker,” Aurora agreed.
“Come on, guys. Help me out here. I don’t really know where to start, since I never got into the gay scene when I moved here. I mean, I was with Eliza, and that was gonna be it for me, so that wouldn’t have been cool.”
“What’re you looking at us for?” Aurora asked. “We’re lesbians, we’ve been together for five years. We’re the most boring people you know.”
Bette laughed. “I wouldn’t go that far, babe. Come on, we can think of someone for Cody. Hmm… whatever happened to Terry? Wasn’t he single last time we saw him?”
“Moved to Cleveland. I told you, we’re hopeless. How about a gay bar?”
Cody rolled his eyes. “Do I have to?”
“Grindr?” Bette suggested.
“God, no,” Cody said, affecting a shudder.
Aurora frowned. “Okay, what about a dating website? Match.com has a section for same-sex dating.”
“Okay. I mean, why not? Can you guys help me write an ad?” Cody stretched with a lazy smile, watching Bette and Aurora run around, arguing with each other about what his ad should say. As with all new endeavors, once he’d decided, Cody was ready to throw himself in with enthusiasm. But if others wanted to do the work for him, all the better.
Bette, being the practical one, got out pad and pen and started filling out the basics, while Aurora paced, then said, “Aha! We’ve got to make this classy.” She went over to a small bookshelf crammed with books left by the previous owner.
“Classy? You’re not gonna find anything classy in that old pile of crap,” started Bette, but Aurora shushed her, pulling out a slim volume with a triumphant look.
“Here we go! Poetry! Mary Oliver, love her.” She started turning the pages. “Oh, yeah, now, this is good.”
“Poetry?” said Cody doubtfully. “I don’t know….”
“No, no, this is good. You put some poetry in there, and you get someone who can read, and all. Okay, let me find something.” Aurora resumed pacing while she peered at the book.
“Watch you don’t run into the wall, sugah.” Bette tapped her pen on the desk as she reviewed her writing. “All right, so you say you’re looking for ‘friends and lovers.’ SWM, of course, or should it be GWM, or BiWM? We’ll have to check the site.”
“Friends?” Cody asked.
“Well, some of these dudes may be shy, especially these literary types.”
“Or bi-curious!” Aurora said.
“Jeez. Okay, if you say so.” Abandoning his chair, Cody picked up his hammer and returned to the wall. “Keep up the good work and let me know—”
“Found it!” yelled Aurora. “Come look at this! It’s called ‘The Summer Day.’” Joining her, Bette and Cody leaned over the book as Aurora read the poem aloud. “Oh, and this last line is killer. All about your wild and precious life. That’s deep.”
Bette clapped her hands. “Perfect! The whole poem is too long, so we’ll just stick that last line in.” She pointed at Cody. “Sounds like something you’d say. Grab your laptop, honey, we’re gonna get on that website and get you going.”
About the Author & Links:
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of gay equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.
In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.