Woo Hoo! I’m a teacher, so yes, this week’s theme speaks deeply to me. SUMMER! Best part about the summer–parties! Woot! Woot! Woot! Bring on the steamy sunshine and red hot excerpts!
Excerpt from Because of You:
“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this,” Jessie said as she walked up to the front porch of the huge ranch house. The party she’d been reluctantly dragged to was already in full swing if the blaring music and loud voices coming from inside were any indication.
“You need to get out, Jess. You can’t hide out in that tiny apartment of yours forever. You need to live a little,” Todd said, wrapping his arm around her shoulder and dragging her forward.
“I’m not ready for this. I told you that,” she said, repeating the argument that had begun several days ago when Todd, her best friend since childhood, had told her he was taking her out to a party.
“No,” Stephen said, walking on her other side. “I believe what you said was you weren’t ready to go out and meet other men. That’s not going to be a problem here.”
“Because?” she asked, waiting for Stephen to elaborate. He and Todd had been very closed-mouthed about where they were going.
Stephen laughed. “Our friend Jacob James lives here and throws this party every year. It’s an annual event he likes to call Gay Fest.”
Jessie rolled her eyes at Stephen’s joke. He and Todd had been a couple for nearly a decade and she adored them both. They’d rallied around her after her husband’s death. Although she lived over three hours away, in the city, they’d made the trek to Denver to spend many weekends with her in an attempt to help her through her grief. She was an only child, estranged from her mother and stepfather, and in her mind, Todd and Stephen were her family now.
“Very funny, Stephen. Really. Hysterical.” She replied deadpan as Todd laughed.
“It’s just a party, Jess. You used to love to go out. We’ll down a few shots, dance around Jake’s backyard, you can throw your bra on the bonfire, we’ll all sing karaoke and—”
“Oh Jesus, you never said anything about karaoke.” She groaned, stopping mid-step.
Stephen gripped her arm and started moving her toward the door. “Just ABBA songs,” he said.
“Shit,” she muttered. They made their way up the front porch and into the house. The place was packed with people and Jessie found herself instantly besieged by Todd and Stephen’s friends. Jacob was the first to greet them and Jessie instantly liked the man.
“Well, it’s about time you got the girl over here for me to meet,” he said, playfully chastising Todd. “I mean, you do live a whole mile away. I’ve heard all about you, Miss Jessie, and I’ve decided I’m going to steal you away from Todd and we’re going to be best friends.” As he spoke, he linked arms with her.
Todd grabbed her free hand and pulled back. “Get your own damn best friend. Jessie is mine,” he teased.
Jessie laughed and shoved them away. “I’ll be friends with both of you if you get me something to drink. I have a feeling I’m going to have to be very drunk to tolerate spending time with either of you tonight.”
“Way ahead of you,” Stephen said, fighting his way back through the crowd. He handed her and Todd each a cold bottle of beer. “Good turnout, Jake.”
“Tell me about it. My brothers are gonna go through the roof when they see how many people have shown up. Attendance seems to double every year. Going to have to start renting a banquet hall at this rate.”
Stephen laughed. “Well at least it’s not raining. I noticed you’ve got a good crowd hanging around out back.”
“Doc’s out there right now, working to start the bonfire, and we’ve cleared off the patio for dancing. My brother Matt’s band is setting up to play later.”
“You’re lucky to have such cool brothers,” Todd said and Jacob nodded.
“Tell me about it. They’re the best. Even Mark helped me set up a bunch of tents in the backyard and cleared away some of the living room furniture so people can crash on the floor or outside if they want. Of course, after that, he hit the road. He’s still not comfortable around this many gay men,” Jacob joked. “I told him I had lots of guys I’d like to set him up with. Man, you should have seen him spin tires in the driveway to escape.”
“You shouldn’t tease the poor guy,” Todd said. “At least your brothers tolerate the fact you’re gay. My parents are still convinced therapy and drugs can cure my homosexual affliction.”
“Hey, Jake. Where are the chips?” someone yelled from the kitchen.
“Ah, the duties of hosting never end. Why don’t you all head out to the backyard? Once everyone’s well on their way to wasted, we’ll start the ABBA singing contest.”
“Oh crap,” Jessie muttered so only Todd and Stephen could hear her. “I thought you were joking about that.”
Let’s keep the summer going–check out these red hot excerpts!