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Authors: Ethan Day

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As You Are

BOOK: As You Are
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As You Are

Ethan Day

As You Are

Copyright © September 2009 by Ethan Day

All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the purchaser of this e-book ONLY. No part of this e-book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without prior written permission from Loose Id LLC. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

ISBN 978-1-60737-440-4

Available in PDF, HTML, Microsoft Reader, and Mobi

Editor: Judith David

Cover Artist: Croco Designs

Printed in the United States of America

Published by

Loose Id LLC

870 Market St, Suite 1201

San Francisco CA 94102-2907

www.loose-id.com

This e-book is a work of fiction. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Warning

This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language and may be considered offensive to some readers. Loose Id LLC’s e-books are for sale to adults ONLY, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

* * * * *

DISCLAIMER: Please do not try any new sexual practice, especially those that might be found in our BDSM/fetish titles without the guidance of an experienced practitioner. Neither Loose Id LLC nor its authors will be responsible for any loss, harm, injury or death resulting from use of the information contained in any of its titles.

About this Title

Genre:
LGBT Erotic Contemporary

Operation Danny… that’s all bartender and recent college graduate Julian Hallowell has had on his mind over the past year. Julian may have no idea what he wants to do with his life, but he definitely knows he‘s in love with the boy next door: The one in next room to be exact: his roommate Danny Wallace.

Danny owns a used text book store just off campus, and while Julian has done his level best to make Danny fall for him, all his hard work appears to have been in vain. Danny doesn’t seem to view Julian as anything other than that…a roommate and friend. So when new-guy-in-town Andy Baker asks him out on a date, Julian can’t seem to think of a good reason to say no.

Julian has already instituted a Reverse Operation Danny plan, which he’s positive will purge all thoughts of love and lust for his roomie out of his head. He’s ready to move on and start looking for his next Mr. Right, and Andy just might fit the bill.

Publisher's Note:
This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices.

Chapter One

Since I'd come out of the closet as a teen, there was only one thing that I had truly ever wanted: to fall in love and live happily ever after.

I'm sure there's a smart-ass out there somewhere saying,
That's two things.
My secret's out; I'm greedy. Besides, what's one without the other? That would be like a sandwich without the tangy zip of Miracle Whip.

The fact remains, I was totally ready to meet the love of my life, settle down, and spend forever in wedded bliss. I believed with all my heart that love was waiting just around the corner.

A little over a decade had come and gone, and I still hadn't found
The One
. It was starting to feel like a silly fantasy, especially after more than ten years, but I continued to believe he was out there somewhere. One would think that after that length of time I'd become bitter or cynical about love. Alas, no. True to my Piscean fate, I still walked around blinded by the prospect of true love.

I loved to sit at outdoor cafés and restaurants and watch as men walked by. In the fifteen to twenty seconds each was in my sight, I'd imagine who he was and what our life would be like together. I pictured it in little vignettes in my head.

As each Tall, Dark, and Man-some passed by, I imagined…maybe he was a furniture designer from Vermont. We'd live in some rustic lakeside home with two yellow Labradors. I'd make pitchers of fresh lemonade and take a glass to him out in his workshop. He'd be all shirtless and sweaty…and grateful for the refreshment.

Then that furniture designer would vanish from my sight, and I'd latch on to the next guy. He was, perhaps, a tough district attorney who spent all day putting rapists and gay bashers in prison. After a rough day fighting crime, he'd come home to our artfully decorated penthouse, where we'd throw fabulous parties attended by famous people. He'd spend the entire evening next to me…
so
devoted.

My best friend, Gabrielle—Gabby—liked to refer to me as sick, tagging me as one of those disgustingly hopeless romantics she was always going on about. I preferred the line Kathleen Turner used in
Romancing the Stone
: “Hopeful—hopeful romantic.”

That's me, Julian Hallowell, rapidly approaching thirty years of age and still waiting for the existential crisis to kick in, causing the midlife homo crisis, which would in turn light a fire under my ass to discover what it is I was meant to do with my life.

At five feet nine inches and one hundred seventy pounds, I wasn't going to win any prizefights. Built a little more like a thatch hut than a brick wall, I knew I was perhaps on the scrawny side. Look, I can't help it. I'm constitutionally incapable of sticking to any kind of workout regimen. I'm not weak-willed—just complacent. I could've been one of those big, beef-factory type of guys if I wanted to, but the truth is, I never seemed to have any trouble getting dates, so I didn't see the point in killing myself. I did what I needed to do to keep myself thin, and left the muscles to the guys who knew how to use them.

I'd decided to take a sabbatical from dating when I met Danny, my roommate, a little over a year ago. At the time, I'd convinced myself that Danny was
The One
. But eventually, I stopped kidding myself and swallowed the hard truth. In actuality he was what I not so affectionately referred to as a walking hard-on, always on the prowl for some boy-band wannabe to bed down for the night. What he liked to call
chicken
. Why older gay men refer to younger gay men as chicken, I do not know. Do they see them as food? Do they think they're afraid? Personally, I don't see the appeal. If I wanted to train something, I'd go buy a puppy.

I asked Danny once what a thirty-year-old talks about with a twenty-year-old. He said, “
Julie
”—he liked to call me Julie, for reasons unknown to me—“
we don't do much talking
.” I, of course, found this comment particularly offensive.

Danny Wallace was, unfortunately for me, just plain fucking hot…at least in my opinion. He kept his light brown hair buzzed very short, military-style, and he had bright green eyes that I swore I could physically feel whenever they landed on me. I figured him to be three to four inches taller than I was, but his body seemed like one long, thick, tightly wound muscle. Despite his sexy jawline, complete with cleft chin, the hottest thing about Danny was his aura; he just had this ease about him.

From garbage men to governors, everyone got on with Danny. I couldn't really blame them; the second I laid eyes on him I wanted to get on. Whatever the reason, and probably because he wouldn't want anything to do with me—since I was twenty-eight-plus and well past the “chicken” stage—I fell completely in love with him. I launched Operation Danny, trying everything I could think of to make him fall in love with me.

I always made sure he had my undivided attention when he was talking, as if he were the only person in the world. I gave him neck and scalp massages, my specialty, when he got home from work. The his and his towels for Christmas. I'd regularly get up before he did in the mornings and make coffee and breakfast for us on the weekends.

I joined his gym so we could work out together, but Danny was like a damn Swiss watch—up and out the door at five thirty in the morning to hit the gym before work. While I did view the gym as something of a necessary evil, there was only one thing I'd consider being up for at five thirty in the morning…and it didn't involve barbells.

Hell, I even went so far—I'm embarrassed to admit—as to eat phallic foods like celery, carrots, and bananas as often as possible. The number of lollipops I'd had in my mouth the last year alone… Let's just say that if I hadn't had an oral fixation before, I definitely developed one since. The upside was I probably could
literally
suck a golf ball through a garden hose. See…there really
is
always a silver lining.

Of course, none of my schemes, oral or otherwise, worked, and eventually, as often happens when you love someone who doesn't return those feelings, I finally stopped beating the long-dead and rapidly decomposing horse. Instead, I shifted gears, did a one-eighty, and became bitchy to him—a natural instinct to try to force myself out of love with him. I picked out his flaws and inflated them to unheard-of proportions. I avoided him with same vigor and determination I'd avoid being caught
still
doing the Macarena or the Electric Slide. While I was still working on Reverse Operation Danny, I hoped that getting back into the dating game would offer a much needed diversion.

* * * * *

I smiled as I pulled on a pair of jeans, a T-shirt, and a navy blazer, and checked myself out in the mirror. Not too shabby for a skinny kid from St. Louis, I thought, running fingers through my short brown hair. I seemed brown all over: brown eyes, brown hair, nutty brown, well-tanned skin. I could only shrug. Mom always said to work with what you got. What I got was a nice, round butt. I laughed, licking my finger and placing it on my ass.
Ssssssssizzzzzle.

A quick wink at my reflection in the mirror, and I was walking from my bedroom, humming as I made my way into the living room, to begin the ritual of finding my keys—the ever-elusive keys. They were almost as hard to find as the right man. Gabby and I met for lunch every weekday. We'd probably meet on weekends too, but her whiny boyfriend claimed she spent more time with me as it was. Shocker! He was about as exciting as a Hootie and the Blowfish concert. He was very Hootie.

I lived in a two-bedroom loft above an old hardware store downtown. It had an open floor plan with hardwood floors and a bistro-style kitchen. There was a small dining area. An island with stools separated the kitchen from the living room, which was filled with overstuffed furniture and a massive entertainment armoire. Overall, the design was simple, somewhat modern yet possessing warmth in the tone of the mocha paint color and fabric choices. The place pretty much screamed modern-bachelor-butch.

“Good morning, Julie.” Danny walked out of the bathroom scratching his stomach. He took almost every Friday off, something he could manage because he owned his own business. “I hope all of the screaming last night didn't keep you…
up
.”

“Danny”—I fumbled through the bowl on the kitchen island meant for fruit but filled with bills—“why should I be surprised? I'm the only man who's ever set foot in this apartment that hasn't run out of it screaming.”

“Rowr,” he said in his best Austin Powers voice, holding up a hand like a claw. “I wouldn't worry, sweetie. Someday you'll be able to lure a man up here…maybe if you offered him some cookies.”

“You have it all wrong.” I walked over to the coffee table, continuing my search. “They should be moaning, not screaming.” Turning and lifting the couch cushions, I added, “Of course, I'd probably scream too, once I realized Satan was lying on top of me.”

“Uh-oh.” Danny went into the kitchen and took a bottle of water from the fridge. “Does Julie need a Midol?”

“More like a pistol,” I mumbled to myself, standing in front of the couch perusing the room for the next place to look. I did my best to keep my eyes off Danny standing there with a sexy smile, wearing nothing but his Calvin's.

“No need to be so bitter.” He laughed as he leaned against the bar between the kitchen and living room. “I told you I'd give you a go. That's what roommates are for.”

“Ew!” I looked him up and down with a scowl while secretly wishing he'd bend me over the couch. “A lifetime of masturbation sounds more pleasurable, and no, you freak, that's not what roommates are for. People have roommates to cut their living expenses.”

“Well, in that case, I guess I shouldn't give you these.” He held up my leather keychain, jingling it around as if to taunt me.

The way Danny was looking at me made feel like the Millennium Falcon being pulled into the Death Star by the force of his animal, tractor-beam magnetism.
What?
I like
Star Wars
, people. A little homosexuality and you folks have me clutching pearls as I watch reruns of the
Golden Girls
. Shame on you!

“How long have you had…? Oh never mind.” I walked up to him and snatched the keys out of his hand. “If Gabby calls, will you please tell her I'm on my way?”

“You're welcome,” he said with his I'm-too-sexy smirk. “Just what time do you plan on being home? You know how I get when I have to wait for you to get dinner on the table.”

“I told you to stop watching
Streetcar
.” I headed for the door. “Gay men are supposed to relate with Blanche, not Stanley. And take a shower, for Christ's sake. You smell like stale sex.”

Closing the door, stifling his opportunity to continue the delightful banter, I took a deep breath, unable to believe I'd been in love with
that
man for the greater part of the past year. Okay, so maybe I was perfect, but my judgment wasn't?

I climbed into my new Mini Cooper, a graduation present from my father, Jacob. He and my mother, Delilah, divorced when I was in high school, which had initiated this long tradition of insane competition between the two of them to outdo one another with expensive gifts. The car was his way of getting back at her for the three-week trip to Europe she'd given me for my birthday. I tell you what, people: being an only child…priceless. I cranked up the stereo volume, and the thumping club music enveloped me. I pulled out of the parking lot to head for Paoli's, the restaurant where Gabby and I religiously met for lunch.

At twenty-eight and a half, and only recently a college graduate, I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I'd never been very goal-oriented. I sort of just went with it and allowed myself to be blown around like litter on the side of the highway. I was a true symbol of my “do nothing” generation. I'd gone through three majors, dropped out of school, and worked in restaurants for several years.

Finally, ten months ago, I went back to school and finished a degree in major number four: communications. Just after I moved in with Danny, he helped me get a job tending bar at the Downspout, one of the gay clubs downtown. For once I'd planned ahead and gotten a job before the student-loan bills started coming in.

My parents had paid for university during the first three majors I'd gone through. When I'd gone back, I told them that I wanted to pay for it myself. I felt like I'd wasted their money the first time—or times, as the case may be. I didn't want to take the chance that I'd drop out again and still have no degree. They did, of course, pay all my living expenses, so it wasn't as if I'd completely struck out on my own. I was still dependent on them. I know, some of you hate me already, well piss off… What am I supposed to do, say no when they offer?

It was always a little surprising to me that my parents coddling me wasn't one of the things Danny ever seemed to make fun of. It was perhaps the only thing about me that seemed off-limits to his wickedly acute sense of what was and wasn't right for me. My parents, in return, both seemed to love Danny. It was as if they were afraid I might accidently hack off a limb with a butter knife should I be left alone without some type of supervision. It was very annoying but also nice knowing they loved me so much.

BOOK: As You Are
6.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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