Sometimes the dark feels safer than the light.
Being a gay teen is hard enough, but when Christian’s strict father is transferred to a different city and Christian has to go to a new school, he discovers how much worse things can get. Fortunately, before he sinks into depression, Christian finds a new group of friends, who are also gay. Christian soon learns that his friends have their own problems, from desperately seeking attention to abusive family members.
This is the first book in an exciting new series that follows the high and lows of Christian and his friends through their senior year as they seek acceptance and love while dealing with hostility and homophobia. Will all of them survive to see graduation…or will they lose somebody along the way?
Devlin drained the rest of his coffee and looked out the window. “It’s a really nice day out there.”
Giving a knowing smile, Andy agreed, “Yeah, it would be a shame to spend it in here all cooped up.”
Taylor sighed. “I’ll go put the top down.”
“Is blondie going with us?” Devlin waggled his eyebrows.
“Will you knock it off with the nicknames?” Christian grumbled, still not knowing if he hated Devlin or was just annoyed with his remarks.
“I should probably just go home,” James said.
Devlin gave him a friendly punch on the shoulder. “If anybody sees us, you can just say that my mom was making you tag along with me again to make sure I was being a good boy. Plus, even if they did spot you, I seriously doubt that any of your buddies would fess up to hanging out in this part of town.”
Christian silently had to agree with Devlin’s statement. Going by the number of rainbow flags and gay clubs that were lining the streets, it was definitely the LGBT friendly district.
“Fine, I’ll go,” James sighed.
That settled it for Christian. He’d do anything to spend more time with the sexy jock. “I’m coming, too.”
Devlin gave him a probing stare. “How did I know that was going to be your response?”
“What exactly are we going to do?” Christian asked.
He realized that should have been his first question. While they all seemed like okay guys, he’d just met them. For all he knew they could be serial killers or something. Although, he didn’t see Taylor as the ax-wielding type. Devlin, on the other hand, was a whole different story.
“We’re just going to drive up and down the street,” Taylor said.
“I know it sounds boring, but it’s actually kind of fun to people watch and stuff,” James added, his warm voice seeming to dance over Christian’s skin.
Taylor put his cup in a nearby tub and ran outside to put the top down. As they were all walking out, Devlin leaned down and whispered in Christian’s ear, “I wouldn’t waste my time with him. He’s never going to come out.”
Christian stiffened, watching as the rest of the group left the building. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Devlin gave a rich chuckle. “You’re a really crappy liar. Look, you seem like a nice enough guy, in a Mary Sue kind of way. I’m just trying to save you some heartbreak.”
Angry, both because Devlin had seen right through him and at the Mary Sue reference, Christian glared at Devlin. “I don’t need you to save me from anything.”
Devlin reached out and gently ran his knuckles down Christian’s cheek. “You have no idea how innocent you look, with those pretty blue eyes and blond hair of yours.”
Too shocked by Devlin’s action, Christian froze, unable to say anything.
“I’ll bet you haven’t even been kissed yet?” Devlin continued.
What in the hell? Was the jerk a mind reader or something? A fresh surge of anger went through Christian and he batted Devlin’s hand away. “You don’t know anything about me, so you can stop the act.”
He expected Devlin to come back with another scathing comment, but when Devlin just turned and walked outside, Christian was once again frozen with shock. The only thing he could really feel was the burning sensation left by Devlin’s fingers. It was all Christian could do not to reach up and touch the affected skin.
Letting out a growl of frustration, he made a mental note not to let anything Devlin said affect him anymore. The guy was a jerk pure and simple.
Charlie isn’t sure if he wants to strangle Dakota, or kiss him. One thing is certain, though, the medic has gotten under Charlie’s skin, and there’s no turning back.
Newbie paramedic Dakota knows that the other EMS workers like to call him by his nickname, Status Dramaticus. But, it’s not his fault, honestly. Okay, so maybe he got into a huge, overblown breakup with one of his boyfriends while they were on the job. And maybe he’d crashed the rig once or twice or…so, but that could have happened to anybody. The exploding oxygen tank incident was another innocent mistake, too, so why do his co-workers keep hassling him? All Dakota wants to do is make a living and a new life for himself in Flint.
When Charlie is transferred to the Flint Police Department, he’s ready for a change of scenery. While he liked his old city, he was ready to leave all the drama from his family and exes behind. So when he finds himself strangely fascinated by the most dramatic guy in all of Flint, Charlie is both annoyed and at a loss.
Then, Dakota finds himself in trouble and Charlie knows he has no choice but to help. Will they survive long enough to find true love, or will the drama meet a sad, sudden end?
Charlie let out a sigh as he pinched the bridge of his nose. “Have you been drinking or something?”
“Of course not. It’s much too early for that.”
“Then why were you swerving all over the road?”
“The Jonas Brothers made me do it.”
Charlie slowly lowered his hand and glared. “Did you just accuse a boy band of making you hit a deer?”
Dakota let out a gasp. “Shoot! I forgot about the deer!”
He ran off to the woods that were on the opposite side of the car.
“What in the hell are you doing?” Charlie asked.
“I have to find the deer. I may be able to still save it.”
“Seeing as how there is a piece of it embedded in your front bumper I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Dakota glanced back, wincing when he saw the bloody, hunk of flesh hanging from his car. Well, that was a bit gross.
“I can still save it,” Dakota insisted.
He spotted the deer and ran up to it. Kneeling down, he put his head to the animal’s chest, his heart sinking when he detected no signs of life. He still didn’t allow that to deter him, though. Running back to his car, he opened the door and began to rummage around his glove box.
“What are you doing now?” Charlie demanded.
“I’m looking for my CPR mask,” Dakota replied, not looking up from his task.
“Why do you need that?”
Dakota paused long enough to shoot off a duh look. “Because there is no way I’m going to do mouth-to-mouth with a deer without some kind of barrier.”
“You’re going to try to resuscitate the deer?”
“Of course I am. It’s my fault he’s dead.”
Dakota accidently pulled out a bottle of lube, his face burning with embarrassment. He gave a tiny smile and an oopsie before tossing it into the back seat.
“I thought you said it was The Jonas Brothers fault,” Charlie said. “Are you sure you haven’t been drinking?”
Having found the mask, Dakota straightened. “No, I already told you, it’s much too early. It’s not like I’m my Aunt Clair or something. Because, I don’t care what she says, a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa still has alcohol in them, so they don’t belong on the breakfast table.”
Charlie walked up to the deer and held its head. “You broke its neck, so, no amount of CPR is going to bring it back.”
For some reason, that announcement was the icing on his sucky day cake, and Dakota’s heart sank. Leaning against the car, he let out a sigh. “Well, shit.”