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Authors: Amy Lane

Tags: #erotic MM, #Romance MM

Clear Water

BOOK: Clear Water
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Copyright

Published by

Dreamspinner Press

382 NE 191st Street #88329

Miami, FL 33179-3899, USA

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are 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.

 

Clear Water

Copyright © 2011 by Amy Lane

 

Cover Art by Dan Skinner/Cerberus Inc.   
[email protected]

Cover Design by Anne Cain

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law. To request permission and all other inquiries, contact Dreamspinner Press, 382 NE 191st Street #88329, Miami, FL 33179-3899, USA

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/

 

ISBN: 978-1-61372-191-9

 

Printed in the United States of America

First Edition

September 2011

 

eBook edition available

eBook ISBN: 978-1-61372-192-6

Dedication

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To My Odd Little Duck

Author’s Note

 

S
O
THERE
I was, sitting with my husband in a class for parents with children with ADHD. I had my knitting with me—because I can
never
sit still without it—and I was checking out the
other
people with their knitting and then starting to put together backstories on the people who were sitting in the room. Were they grandparents? Parents? Aunts? Uncles? Were their children seven, like ours? Teenagers? Was this for themselves?

I was well on my way on both the sock I was working on and several promising stories in my head when the instructor said, “Attention deficit problems are usually passed down through the genes. So if you are here for someone in your family, odds are, an adult you know deals with these problems all the time.”

The irony was not lost on me. I tugged my husband’s sleeve (because he doesn’t have trouble paying attention at lectures) and said, “So, hon, which one of us do you think our odd little duck got this from?”

My husband looked at me with patient eyes. “Your father,” he said with a perfectly straight face.

God, I love that man.

So in addition to learning
that
about ourselves, I also learned that ADHD is usually not as much of a problem for adults as it is for kids. Once an adult can control his/her environment, he/she tends to avoid situations in which that frog-jumping attention gets them into trouble. But not all adults. Some adults still need the medication, and some of them still need a little bit of prompting, and of course,
all
of us need reminding that the things that make us different may be anomalies, but they are
not
abnormal.

And that’s where the idea for Patrick was born. Here’s hoping my own odd little duck has as much luck in finding a mate as his mother—or the odd little frog in his mother’s book.

 

Amy

 

Trix
One Sip

 


D
AD
, I’m gay.”

Patrick Cleary stood at the breakfast table of their obscenely large home in the rich people’s suburb in Orangevale and ripped one thumbnail off with another. It was six in the morning at the end of May, which meant the light was strong enough for his father to squint at him when he looked up from his Cheerios with Splenda and the laptop with the morning financial report.

“Since when?”

Shawn Cleary was not originally a businessman. Originally, he’d been a trade worker in a computer factory in West Sacramento. Before Patrick had been born, Hewlett-Packard and Intel had pulled away all of the small firm’s business, but Shawn Cleary—smarter than the average bear, as he liked to say—had taken out a loan to
recycle
the old computers as opposed to making new ones, and it had made him rich. Dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking rich.

Or at least that was what Shawn liked to say.

Patrick
liked
the money. He didn’t see anything dirty, rotten, filthy, or stinking about it. The money had kept him in trendy clothes and first-rate sunglasses all through high school and up to his ass in ass afterward. But it was one thing to tell your dad you were going out to a friend’s when you were really going out to a
boy
friend’s to get laid, and it was another to look at him, day after day, when you were fiddle-fucking around with your life and confess to the reason why.

Fact was, he didn’t feel like starting a real life unless he could start a
real
life, like maybe the type of real life where he could tell Dad that he was going to his boyfriend’s house, and maybe invite Cal over to dinner, and basically be kind of a family, since Mom had left with her personal trainer and it had just been the two of them for so long. So he was ready. He was ready to go back to college and get a degree in science, and ready to stop fiddle-fucking around at parties, and ready to be a stand-up guy and be up front with his old man.

But first he had to look him in the eye and tell him the gawdshonesttruth.

“Since forever,” he rasped, looking at Shawn anxiously.

Shawn’s ginger hair had gotten grizzled as he’d aged, and although his freckled skin was almost perpetually light tan, the freckles were still there, along with the bright blue eyes. The lines around his eyes and mouth had deepened in the last eight years since Mom had left, but mostly, he was still vital, strong, and terrifying. Oh, sure, Shawn loved him—Patrick hoped he did, anyway. But he’d always been a member of the “To love me is to fear me a little” school of parenting, and Patrick had been a very good student.

“Bullshit,” Shawn snorted, and went back to his laptop.

Patrick blinked. Bullshit? Bullshit?!
Bullshit?

“Bullshit?”

“Yeah, bullshit. You’re no more gay than you were an artist, or a scientist, or a firefighter, or whatever the hell you wanted to be last week—”

“A yoga instructor.” The health club had actually offered him a job. He’d been excited about it, too, right up until Shawn had snorted in his face and said, “Yeah, right!”

“Yeah, well, you weren’t serious about
that
,
were you?”

“I thought it would pay for my books when I went back to school,” Patrick said numbly. He had—it had been his plan, and it had looked
glorious
in his head, right up until that snorted “yeah, right!” Little did he know, Patrick thought. He’d had no idea, none at all, that “yeah, right!” was apparently one or two steps above “Bullshit!” on the parental fuck-you-o-meter.

“What the hell are you going back to school for?” Shawn snorted, and Patrick flushed.

“A degree in science,” he said softly, “and a law degree after that.”

Shawn put down his spoon. “What in the hell would you want a law degree for?”

“To be an environmental defense lawyer—you know, save the planet, like you?” Patrick hated himself for that last part—true or not, he hated himself for it.

Shawn’s jaw tightened like he was touched—or had indigestion—and he grunted and looked down at his cereal. “Not trying to change the world, dumbass. Just trying to make a buck.”

Patrick mashed his teeth together so hard it hurt. “Look, Dad—I’m not saying this to piss you off or whatever. I’ve just… you keep giving me shit about being a virgin because I haven’t had any girlfriends. It’s just that I’m
not
a virgin, but I
still
haven’t had any girlfriends!”

Shawn Cleary spit out his Cheerios and Splenda. “What in the fuck?” He glowered up at his son, and Patrick stood his ground.

“Please tell me this doesn’t change the way you feel about me?”

It was the question at the end that did it, Patrick decided later, after way too much self-pity and the roofie Cal had slipped him because it turned out he wasn’t Patrick’s dream boy after all, just some cocksucker out for easy money and a piece of ass. It had been the question at the end. Shawn Cleary appreciated people who knew their own mind. Owning up to something, sticking by your guns. That pathetic baby whimper at the end of the sentence was
really
what spun Shawn’s wheels, not the gay. At least that was what Patrick told people after Shawn stood up and started shouting.

“Feel about you? You want to know what I feel about you? I’ll tell you what I feel about you! You’re a fuckup, Patrick! Your biggest accomplishment is graduating high school and leeching off my money! What in the hell do you want me to say? ‘You’re gay! Hur-fucking-ray!’ Go ahead—fuck every guy that moves! I don’t give a shit—just don’t expect me to gravy-train your little homo-express because you can’t decide what else to do with your life, okay?”

Patrick had spent a lot of time in his life pretending it was all okay. The day after his mom had run away, he came downstairs to find Shawn at the breakfast table, eating Cheerios and sugar, and looking at the financial report. Patrick had sat across from his father, fixed himself some toast and some orange juice, and then left for school.

“Bye, Dad.”

“Have a good day.”

Patrick always figured it was a good thing his mom left after he got his driver’s license, because if he’d had to interrupt Patrick’s work schedule, then they might have had to talk.

As he stood now and fought his quivering chin, he realized that maybe talking was overrated. Maybe talking sowed the seeds of destruction. Maybe talking was… oh, hell. He had to get the fuck out of there.

“I’m sorry I’m a disappointment,” he said quietly, and then turned around and left.

He didn’t stop to see the look on his father’s face, and he was glad, because his worst fear was maybe Shawn Cleary wouldn’t be sorry, not even a little bit sorry at all.

 

 

C
AL
had a job—not that Patrick knew what he did—but he got off at six and met Patrick at their favorite bar, the one down off of Del Paso Heights in Sacramento where men were allowed to dance with men. Patrick had gone back to the house after his father left, and packed an overnight bag and met Cal with a hope to stay in Cal’s little one-bedroom apartment until he could see if that yoga instructor’s position was still waiting for him, or maybe he could wait tables. It would be okay—they didn’t
need
Shawn Cleary’s money, right? They had each other, right? And Patrick’s plan hadn’t changed. Kids put themselves through school all the time. Patrick had gotten good grades—he had sixty units from community college; he wasn’t a complete fuck up, right? They could do this. They were in love.

Cal had a thin face with dark hair and a widow’s peak that was starting to pronounce, even at twenty-five. His best assets were his stunning blue eyes with their thick dark lashes, and Patrick had always seen them laughing or planning or bright with sex and passion.

He didn’t know then that contempt would make them narrow at the corners and bring out the bags under them or the sallowness that came from tweaking a little too often. He didn’t realize that Cal’s disgust would practically have color, taste and
smell.
He only knew that he felt those blows through his body like whiplash, and he felt like one big limpid puddle of hurt.

“Cal?”

Cal shook his head and for a minute, that horrible look of revulsion faded away. “Yeah. Look. I’m sorry. I… you really think we’re going to live without your dad’s money? You didn’t say anything unforgivable, did you?”

BOOK: Clear Water
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