Authors: A. D. Ellis
Katie hugged him close. “Sawyer, I’m so sorry. I’d never say, ‘I told you so.’ I’m just glad you’re away from that jerk. He wasn’t good for you; he used you for his own selfish needs. I don’t mean to be harsh, but he was never going to come out or accept the fact that he liked fucking you. The only thing that would have been worse than what he did today is if he’d told others you were hitting on him and trying to get him to fuck you. If you don’t want this secret out, you definitely need to be leery of being with guys who aren’t ready to come out or aren’t willing to keep your secret if you keep theirs.” She rubbed her hands up and down his strong, muscular back and felt him shudder under her touch.
He brought his tear-stained face up to gaze into her beautiful eyes. Rubbing a soft finger along her bottom lip, he leaned in. His eyes clouded as his lips grazed hers, “I could do this, we could make this work. I love you, Katie, it wouldn’t be a hardship to be with you.” She allowed him to capture her lips in his, sighing into his touch. Gently pushing him away, she smiled sadly at him.
“Yes, we could make it work. We love each other dearly, and we’d have a nice life. But, I’d always know what you long for, and you’d always know I was missing the passion, the spark, the heat. We’re too good for that, Sawyer. I won’t let you hide; one day, you’re going to find a man who challenges you, makes your heart beat faster, and wants you for you. Until then, I’ll stand by you as you work your way through the ass hats.” She kissed him gently and held him quietly for a long time. “And, I want it noted, your parents and brother would stand by your side as well.” She felt him take a deep breath and knew it was a subject he wasn’t ready to tackle.
When her belly growled, they both laughed.
“Come on, Katie-girl, I think it’s time to get you some tacos.” Sawyer held her hand as they made their way to Grandma Cindy’s infamous Taco Night.
College was good. Sawyer loved being out on his own, living with his brother and cousins. Classes were mostly fun and interesting; school had never been difficult for him. He and the guys were getting closer to their goal of graduating and returning to Torey Hope to expand The Center where many of his family worked or gave of their time, efforts, talents.
Sawyer never lacked for friends; he always had Decker, Zach, and Kendrick. He and Katie kept in touch, but he missed seeing her on a daily basis; he was sad to know that she wasn’t planning to return to Torey Hope. He had male friends and female friends; he “dated” some women, but it never went further than recreational sex. Usually, Sawyer and the woman would hook up, and then she’d figure out he was gay. Some of the women stormed off, some of them stayed in the friend zone. Sawyer felt shame that he used women as substitutes; he wanted men, but having sex with women was expected and more accepted. He had slept with a few men since coming to college; none of those men were ones Sawyer was all that attracted to, but they provided him the connection and release he was longing for, even if just for a night.
Surrounded by his brother, cousins, friends, and lovers, Sawyer had never felt more alone.
Meeting Adam in his summer dance class opened Sawyer up to a completely new world. Adam was as obviously gay as a man could get; he was the epitome of the stereotype. He wasn’t Sawyer’s type and Sawyer wasn’t his type, but they clicked as friends.
Kendrick had dubbed them “the odd couple.” Adam was short and thin in stature, dark skinned, dark haired, and an absolute trope, which Sawyer had learned was slang for a stereotypical gay. He wore bright nail polish, tied most of his shirts at his waist, and walked around in shorter shorts than many women on campus wore. He was the exact opposite of Sawyer’s tall, fit build. Sawyer was mostly comfortable in jeans, sweats, basketball shorts. But, Adam was a lifeline for him; through Adam he found a world of gay men he’d known
to exist, but he had no clue how to go about discovering it.
“So let me get this
.” Adam put a hand to his lips to suppress a smile about his little joke. “You’ve just been searching with no guidance? Sawyer, sugar, finding a gay in the wild is
Sometimes I wish we had a hand sign or signal to alert gay men to other gay men, but until that happens, you’ve got to be careful. Oh, honey, I’m so glad you’ve found Adam. Adam is going to show you the way.”
The first thing Adam did was set Sawyer up with gay dating apps on his phone. He used these to find anything from a random hook-up to dates to more serious relationships.
Adam introduced him to the best gay nightclubs. Sawyer didn’t spend all of his time in these establishments, but it gave him somewhere to escape to when needed and a place to find people like him. Adam gave Sawyer the tools to find the freedom to be himself.
He didn’t change who he was with his family and friends, but being able to act on the other side of himself was liberating.
“Sawyer, sugar, when are you going to let the gay side of yourself meet up and mingle with the other side of yourself?”
“I don’t know, Adam; I’m not sure the two sides would like each other very much.”
He battled daily with being true to himself and protecting his secret and his family. But, with Adam guiding him, Sawyer enjoyed the last year of school more than he had the first three. He had random hook ups, dates, and some more serious relationships which lasted weeks into a couple months.
Sawyer spoke to Adam after a weekend hook up gone awry. Again.
“Dude, do you ever feel like a complete whore? Because sometimes I feel like a total whore.”
a whore and proud of it. But, Sawyer,
are not a whore. You average one to two hook ups a month; Kendrick averages one or two a weekend. Sweetie, I want you to continue with your random guys, being careful of course, and dating because you need the experience. But, if there’s one thing Adam knows, it’s that you are
a whore. You enjoy the sex because, well, you’re human and we all enjoy the sex. But, your heart is looking for love. Right now it may be looking in all the wrong places, but these experiences are preparing you for what comes next. You don’t have it in you to be a lifetime player; I see it in your eyes every time you get ready for a new fling or a new date. You’re always hoping this next guy will be the love of your life. I’ve met your cousins. I’ve heard all about your family. I know you come from a very happy and loving group of people; I understand what you’re looking for and why. But sugar, sometimes we have to pick through a lot of garbage before we find that one special treasure.” Adam paused in putting on his eyeliner.
“You’re right, man, I
looking for love, but I’m
not having much luck with the guys I’ve been seeing. Some of those I blame on you; some were just pure bad luck.” Sawyer had to laugh when he thought of the long list of failed matches. It’s not that he hadn’t enjoyed some hot sex with several of them, most of them just weren’t guys he’d be interested in introducing to his family.
“What? Who could you blame me for?” Adam feigned shock as a grin played on his lips.
“You know exactly the ones I’m talking about. First, there was Gregg, with 2 g’s on the end. It’s a good thing he had 2 g’s on the end of his name because he was missing one testicle. I don’t judge things like that, but the dude never stopped talking about it; he brought up his ‘one nut’ in every conversation with every person he talked to.” Sawyer shook his head at the memory. Gregg had given a decent blow job, but they’d never made it to anything more because the man never stopped talking about his missing testicle.
“Okay, in my defense, I had heard rumors about it him being half nuts, but I didn’t realize it was meant in the literal sense.” Adam’s laughter filled the room as he skillfully applied a bright turquoise hue along each finger nail.
“Man, that was so bad.” Sawyer tried not to laugh, but couldn’t help the snort that escaped his throat.
“Okay, so Half Nuts was my fault. But who else can you pin on me?” Adam challenged.
“How about William?” Sawyer raised his eyebrows in question. “Don’t act like you don’t remember him. William? He wanted me to call him Bubby and kept calling me Daddy?” When Adam busted out laughing, wiping away his mascara, Sawyer had to chuckle as well. “Damn, man, I couldn’t even get it up around him.
‘Oh, does Daddy like what Bubby has in his pants?’
I seriously wanted to puke. That was the longest two-hour date of my life. I’d owe you one for saving me from it if it wasn’t your fault I was with him in the first place.” Shaking his head and rolling his eyes at the memory, Sawyer stood from his perch on Adam’s bed to stretch.
“Okay, so two were my fault. Surely you can’t blame me for any more of them.” Adam stood with his hands on his hips, waiting.
“How about the guy who wanted to collar me? What was his name? Dom N. Atrix? Where the hell did you even find that guy? You introduced him to me as Dom; leave it to you to conveniently forget the rest of his moniker. A freakin’ collar, Ad! He wanted to walk me around like a damn dog.”
“Now, wait just a darn minute, sweet cheeks. That one wasn’t totally my fault. I hadn’t known you long at that point; I’d heard Kendrick call you and your brother BDSM so I thought it meant you were into that kinky stuff.” Adam had the decency to blush over setting him up with that catastrophe.
“Maybe next time you should ask first. BDSM is Kendrick’s little joke with our names; Brothers Decker and Sawyer Morgan; neither Decker nor I are in to that type of stuff. Seriously, man, can you see me with a dog collar on?” Sawyer pretended to growl and bark, making Adam laugh out loud.
“Okay, so asking about the nickname would have helped in that situation. And, actually, I
picture your sexy-as-sin ass with a dog collar on, but it’s more in a grungy, black eyeliner, rock star type of way. Mmmmm, yeah, the image in my head is niiiice.” Adam batted his lashes at Sawyer, making him smile and strike out with a teasing fist.
“Oww, careful Morgan, you know I’m sensitive and bruise easily.” Rubbing his arm where Sawyer had landed the lightest of punches, Adam continued, “Okay, those three were my fault. No way you can saddle any more guilt on me.”
“I’m sure I could think of some if you give me time. But, no, the rest are pretty much just bad luck all around. Simon who was really a Simone, Alex who spent most of the night with his tongue stuck in my ear while breathing heavily, Kit the vegetarian who cried and had a public meltdown when I ordered a steak at dinner, Blake who was super-hot but spent the entire night watching himself in anything shiny he happened to find, and invited at least three girls and two guys to ‘join the Blakenator later for a little fun.’ And Conspiracy Theory Colin who was convinced I’d been sent on the date to spy on him for the Russians.” Rubbing his hands through his short dark hair, Sawyer sighed. “Yeah, definitely no true love happening there.”
“Now, now, now, sugar, let’s not forget about the dates that have gone well. If we’re going to rehash the bad, we should pepper it with some good as well.”
Leave it to Adam to always find the good in everything.
“Remember Brad? He was hot and sweet, and you said the sex was better than most. And what about Doug? You talked about that guy’s cock for weeks; I almost started thinking he was King of Cocks. And, let’s not forget Alejandro. You’re usually all about topping, but you gladly bottomed for him so he must have had
worthwhile.” Adam waggled his eyebrows at Sawyer, trying his best to pull him from his funk.
“Yeah, the sex with those guys was out-of-this-world, but where are they now? Not here, not with me. Why? Sex was the only connection we had. We couldn’t stay up late talking about art or music. We didn’t go dancing together. None of them wanted to take the time to
me, they just wanted to fuck me or let me fuck them.” Laying down heavily on Adam’s bed, Sawyer sighed audibly. “I don’t know man, I guess I’m just tired of it all. Tired of the random hook ups, tired of first dates leading nowhere other than the bedroom. Tired of having to go out of my way to keep all of this secret. The lack of connections and the living a double life so Decker, Zach, and Kendrick don’t find out, those two things are exhausting me, man. I’m just done, over it. I’m out.”
Adam looked at him sadly and shook his head, “That’s the problem, darling boy. You’re not
; you’re still very much
. I know you have to come to this decision on your own, but I think coming out to your brother and cousins would open some doors for you. You could meet guys here on campus, you wouldn’t have to hide and sneak around.” Sawyer knew Adam only gave this lecture for his own good, but he got tired of hearing it. “At least consider, once you’re home, living as a real-live adult, putting down roots, that you’ll come clean to your family so you have their support and you can start living like the real you instead of this façade.”
“No promises, man. I hear what you’re saying, I do. I just don’t know if I can bring all of that down on my family and open up that can of worms in Small Town, USA.”
“Okay, then, what about this promise? Since you won’t have me around to talk to; if you’re not going to open up to at least Decker, would you promise me you’ll start seeing a therapist once you’re back in Torey Hope?” Adam spoke hopefully.
“Yeah, man, that part I
promise because I know I’ll be lost without you to talk to.” Sawyer stood and hugged his crazy friend to his chest. “Thanks, man, I know you’re always just trying to help.”