Read Phoenix Online

Authors: Joey James Hook

Tags: #erotic MM, #Romance MM


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College is a lot more complicated than anyone thought.

For Blake, it’s a test of wills and patience—who will accept

him, and who will cast him out? Every connection he makes

brings him further and further away from his own

ever-growing dark thoughts. Maybe someone can even

convince him he’s not just a freak.

Devon’s starting to realize how much it’s a growing up

experience. He’s away from his best friend in a whole new

world, and he’s got a lot to learn.

Riley, the unlikely friend and frat boy, finds himself

pulling away from his typical clique—including Dominic,

the bully and star quarterback, and gravitating elsewhere.

Work, fascination, friendships—needless to say, they’ll

never be the same.

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this

copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright

infringement, including infringement without monetary

gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to

5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and

do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of

copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights

is appreciated.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and

incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or

are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or

locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Copyright © 2012 Joey James Hook

ISBN: 978-1-77111-083-9

Cover art by Angela Waters

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the

reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part

in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means,

now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the

written permission of the publisher.

Published by eXtasy Books

Look for us online at:



Joey James Hook

This novel is dedicated first and foremost to the one who

sat beside me while I wrote most of this: my sweetheart.

She’s my partner, my inspiration and my strongest

supporter. I love you so much, baby. Thank you for

everything. Second, to Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, RIP

1981-2009. Third, to my best friends, and finally, to my

mother, who has been the most loving, understanding

godsend anyone could ask for. Love you.

Chapter One

evon was new to the university, but he’d been told that

D it was easier to socialize halfway through the year at

college than at high school. That being said, he was feeling

very awkward about everything as he moved his things into

the co-ed dorm he’d be living in for the year. He’d tried to

get into the boys-only one, but it’d filled up too fast.

He’d been told by a very professional-seeming RA that

his roommate was a girl named Jillian, and he’d felt odd

about that, but it didn’t matter. What he found strange was

when he walked into his room there wasn’t any girly stuff.

The bed was simple, black and dark brown bedding with a

bunch of rock music posters on the wall and a shit-ton of

books lining the walls, crammed in any empty space in that

side of the room. That didn’t mean much though, he

thought. His sister wasn’t super-girly, so maybe this girl

wasn’t either.

Devon started setting up his side of the room, idly

wondering when Jillian would be coming in so he could

introduce himself. Nerves tensed up his stomach and he

tried to breathe through it, but it didn’t help.

He settled down on his bed with a sigh and let himself fall

back on the hard mattress, staring up at the ceiling. He

grabbed his iPod and his headphones, pushing the buds in

his ears and shutting his eyes, letting the music take him


He heard the door open after about twenty minutes and


Joey James Hook

he sat up, looking at the door. The first thing he saw was

short, spiked, black hair with a pink stripe through

it—which was one of the defining characteristics that the RA

had told him—and so he assumed it was who he was

waiting for, but then the person turned.

He cocked his head and gave a confused smile. “Hi,” he

said. This couldn’t have been his roommate. It was definitely

a guy, a little taller than him in fact, with a soft but

masculine facial structure.

“Hey,” the other man said with a small, shy sort of smile

as he moved to let his messenger bag fall to the floor. “I’m

gonna assume you’re Devon?”

“Yeah, but, uh, who’re you?” Devon asked, sliding off his

bed and setting his iPod aside. The other man gave a

sheepish grin.

“All right, so they didn’t tell you obviously,” he said,

rolling his eyes up to the sky with a heavy sigh, rubbing at

his face. “My name’s Blake. Which is what they’re supposed

to use when they introduce me, but they don’t care.”

“What are you talking about?” Devon asked in confusion,

crossing his arms and taking in the other man’s stature. His

body was lean, a little on the curvy side, but it wasn’t any

different than he’d expected.

“I’m sorry, this has got to be confusing,” Blake said with

an empathetic smile.

“Yeah, I’m very confused. Who are you, and where’s my

roommate?” Devon asked, and his voice had been a little

harsher. He would have winced himself, and he saw that

Blake’s countenance changed just a little.

Blake shut his eyes and held his arms out in defeat.

“Wait, they told me that my roommate’s name is Jillian,”

Devon asked, getting more annoyed by the minute.

Blake gave another heavy sigh. “That’s my legal name,”

he said in a tone of such poisonous disgust that the anger



immediately disappeared from Devon’s body, leaving only

pure confusion.

“Wait…you’re…what?” Devon stuttered, and he watched

as Blake turned bright red and walked away from him,

crossing his arms over his chest.

Blake unfolded his arms and picked up a book off the

edge of the nightstand beside his bed. He walked back over

and held it out to Devon, who took it and looked down at

the title.
Transgender Nation
. He looked back up at Blake, but

he saw that he’d walked away and was sitting on his bed,

legs pulled to his chest.

“Wait, I’m still confused. Can’t you just explain this in

plain terms?” Devon asked, moving over to Blake and

standing beside his bed.

Blake looked up with a humorless smirk. “No, you can

read that book and you’ll figure it out on your own. You’re

smart, you got into this college after all,” he said in a tone of

false sweetness, standing and walking past Devon and back

out of the room, shutting the door firmly.

Devon sighed and flopped down on the bed that Blake

had just left, opening up the book still in his hands. He

furrowed his brows as the word
jumped out at

him, and he scratched at his head, continuing to read.

The confusion just deepened as he kept going, until he

reached the actual definition of the word that clobbered him.

person having a strong desire to assume the physical

characteristics and gender role of the opposite sex.

Everything seemed to suddenly make sense.

“Oh, shit,” he muttered, shutting the book and groaning

as he rubbed firmly at his face. His head was hurting from

the different thoughts rushing through his mind. He

couldn’t quite grasp onto it, really. It was just too much to

process. He’d never had any experience with people like



Joey James Hook

He supposed he’d just have to adjust, because Blake

already intrigued him. He felt like a fucking dick for reacting

the way he did though.

He’d apologize whenever Blake came back.

Devon’s phone rang and he had to scramble across the

room to get it, pulling it out of his bag with much effort and

by the time he got to it, he’d missed the call.

“Motherfucker!” he cursed loudly and ran one hand through

his hair agitatedly as he called Andy back.

“What the fuck, asshole? Ignoring my calls?” Andy’s

bantering voice hit him like a train, and Devon laughed a

little, collapsing back on his own bed.

“No, I was just across the room, douche. You know I’d

never ignore your calls,” he replied in a saccharine tone,

making Andy bark out a harsh laugh.

“So, how’s your first day been so far, college boy?” Andy

asked, a smirk evident in his tone. Devon scoffed and shook

his head.

“It’s been awkward as fuck. I already pissed off my

roommate,” Devon lamented, letting out a huffy sigh when

Andy started laughing at him. “Seriously, dude! It’s not


“Kinda funny,” Andy retorted, making Devon roll his

eyes playfully.

“Remind me why you’re my best friend again? I seem to

have forgotten,” Devon replied, laughing under his breath as

Andy started cackling.

“Because you can’t fucking live without me, fucker,”

Andy replied in a sure tone, but unfortunately it was true.

Andy was pretty much the only person who’d been able to

keep Devon sane over the years, even though the guy drove

him insane sometimes.

“Pfft, as if,” he said, but he knew Andy knew damn well

how he actually felt about the whole thing. They didn’t get



sappy very often, mostly when they were really drunk, but

they knew where they both stood.

“You’re a dick,” Andy told him, and Devon snickered.

“That’s part of the reason you love me, jackass,” he

replied, and it was Andy’s turn to laugh. Devon could just

imagine him shaking his head at him in pure mirthful


“Yeah, maybe,” Andy mused, and Devon exhaled deeply

as he relaxed, staring at the ceiling again as their talk

dissolved into what was going on at home, who got arrested

and why the local arcade burned down.

Andy somehow always made him feel better.

* * * *

Blake was so pissed off that he went straight over to his best

friend’s dorm, knocking on Ethan’s door firmly and leaning

against the doorframe as he waited. Anger and frustration

bubbled under the surface and he felt a sudden urge to run

down the hall, find the RA and punch him in the face.

He’d tried to talk to the guy at least six times about calling

him Blake, but he’d gotten his hands on legal records and

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