Authors: TJ Klune
Bear, Otter, and the Kid
Who We Are
Tell Me It’s Real
5032 Capital Circle SW
Ste 2, PMB# 279
Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886
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.
Tell Me It’s Real
Copyright © 2013 by TJ Klune
Cover Art by Reese Dante
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, 5032 Capital Circle SW, Ste 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886, USA.
Digital ISBN: 978-1-62380-354-4
Printed in the United States of America
If you have ever been told that you’re not skinny enough, smart enough, straight enough, beautiful enough, strong enough, masculine enough, or any other “enough” that made you feel less than you actually are, then, man, do I have something to tell you: this one is for you because you are perfect just the way you are.
Way Too Much Information About My Anatomy
so you know, I don’t have a gargantuan penis.
Shocking, I know, right? Most of the time when you hear stories like the one you’re about to, the narrator is this perfect specimen of man, whether he knows it or not. If he doesn’t know it, it’s because he’s most likely damaged and needs some hot piece of ass to bring him out of his shell and to help him realize his outer beauty dwarfs his inner beauty. Or he
he’s attractive and uses it as a weapon until the object of his lust-fueled heart breaks down that narcissistic wall with spooge and flowery words. Then they frolic off into the sunset and go live in Everything’s Perfect Land where everyone has a ten-inch cock and big balls that can create semen by the bucketful every hour, on the hour.
But if we’re going to be honest, I’m not small either. I was fourteen when I first noticed other boys in the locker rooms at school (and when I say “first noticed,” I actually mean when I first allowed myself to look to see if they would give me a stiffie—which they did), and I realized penises were like snowflakes—no two were exactly the same. Some were big, some were small. Some had hair around them and others were smooth. Jacob Sides had one that curved wickedly to the left, and every time I saw him in the hall, I couldn’t help but think,
There goes Captain Hook
, and would blush furiously, sure he would know that I was thinking about his frank and beans.
So the point is, I don’t have a Coke can for a dong, but I don’t have a Mike and Ike either. I’m somewhere in the middle. Average, if you will. Regular. Normal. Ordinary.
But then that describes the rest of me too.
I guess you should know what you’re getting into before we go any further. If you leave before the story is finished, I wouldn’t blame you. Too much. Okay, okay, I’ll probably call you a bitch behind your back. But hey, it’s
behind your back
, so you won’t even know about it. So feel free to walk away. Bitch.
Anyway, here’s the rest of me. Sorry for the info dump I’m about to take all over you.
I don’t have huge pecs, nor do I have stone-hard abs that you could attempt to grate cheese on. Those two things are so stereotypical amongst gay men that it’s almost offensive. I watched a porno once where this little twinkie dude went to some haunted house in the middle of nowhere (which really looked like a set from an all-white elementary school production of
—if you get the reference, you’ll know it’s not racist). The little twinkie had little pecs and abs and a huge penis that could have posed as a third arm if he tried hard enough. Anyway, the little twinkie dude then got gang-banged by fourteen ghosts (guys that started out wearing sheets with holes cut out for eyes and ended up wearing nothing but spunk), and I swear to God, every single one of them had pecs and abs that went on and on. For
. So after I finished watching said porno (which, by the way, wasn’t scary at all, especially since it was supposed to be about ghosts. Where was the
?), I decided that I could easily get pecs and abs, so I went to a gym not far from my house, intending to sign up with a personal trainer who would let my outer beauty shine through.
On the way there, I got distracted by the fact that a Dunkin’ Donuts had opened up right down the road from my house and they were giving away
. It was as if God himself saw that my intention was to make my outer self match my inner fabulosity and didn’t think the world could handle such an explosion of amazingness. So instead of letting me get to the gym where I would have transformed myself into a walking sex god, he created a Dunkin’ Donuts out of nothing and then
gave them away for free
. I didn’t make it to the gym. I had a bear claw instead. And a maple bar. And some donut holes. And then some more donut holes.
So, I don’t have pecs or abs. Not even close. As a matter of fact, I probably have a bit more around the middle than I should. I’m not
or anything. I’m more… husky. My doctor told me I could stand to lose ten pounds (okay, okay, he said fifteen) and that it would make me a healthier person. I thought he was a cute older thing, maybe forty, forty-five, and I flirted with him until I realized he was calling me morbidly obese.
“That’s not what I said,” Dr. Suddenly Getting Less Attractive said with a knowing smirk. “I said you could lose fifteen pounds and then you’d break all the boys’ hearts.”
I glared at him. “How do you know I don’t break their hearts now?”
Kind of like how I want to break your stupid face.
“Do you?” he asked.
“All the time,” I lied. “I’m really a way hot bear. Bears need to have a little extra junk in the trunk and a bump in the front in order to maintain the bear lifestyle.”
Dr. I Don’t Know When To Shut My Mouth almost rolled his eyes. “You? A
? You have, like, three chest hairs,” he said, reaching out to pull on one. It came off my bare chest almost immediately. “And this one’s a cat hair!” Which was weird because I don’t have a cat.
“It’s a new thing,” I said, insulted. “No-hair bears. We have monthly meetings and talk about how smooth our skin is and how our leathers start to chafe because of it. We’re thinking about switching to denim chaps and vests. Sort of an old-school look. I suggested we also get denim gloves, but it was agreed upon that was too much denim.”
“Paul.” Dr. Not As Gullible As He Looks rolled his eyes and said, “My partner is very active in the bear community. There’s no such thing as no-hair bears. Trust me. I would know.”
“You’re a homosexual?” I screeched at him, trying to put my shirt back on as quickly as I could. “I demand a straight doctor so he won’t judge me!”
“Can you even grow a beard?” he asked me, obviously judging me.
“It takes a few weeks,” I admitted. “I thought puberty would be the end of all my miseries, but it just gave me zits on my butt.”
He looked like he could have done without that information.
Story of my life. I tend to say things without thinking them through. It is my gift. It is my curse.
“Not anymore,” I told him hastily. “I’m almost thirty. I don’t get butt zits anymore. Or zits anywhere else.” That was a lie. I’d gotten a zit the other day in the middle of my forehead that I glared at in the mirror until it went away. You don’t need Proactiv when you have the sheer force of will. Justin Bieber is a liar and a fat mouth.
“Uh-huh. Paul, I just want you to be healthy. It won’t hurt you to get some exercise.”
if I punched your face off,” I grumbled.
He stared at me. “What?”
“What?” I asked innocently, batting my eyelashes at him.
So, seriously. I’m not fat. I could stand to lose a few pounds. There’s just a bit more of me to love.
Wow. That sounds way lame.
All right. So you know I have an average penis and I’m not a ripped Adonis, nor am I hairy bear man. That’s a good start, I think. What else is there?
Well, I have black hair that I keep short because it starts to curl when it gets longer and looks like a homeless poodle died on my head. Sometimes, when I’m feeling really adventurous, I spike it up with gel, but usually, I don’t do a whole lot with it. I don’t have dandruff, which is good. And my hairline is not receding (yet), which is even better.
I have blue eyes and I could tell you that they’re the color of ice that covers a frozen lake in the Himalayas, but that wouldn’t be exactly true. I bought contacts to give myself ice-blue eyes one time, but they made it look like I had big cataracts in my eyes, so I took them out. Nothing says “Hey, would you sleep with me?” like milky cataracts. But mine are just a plain old blue, like most everyone else in the world.
Um, what else. Oh, I’m five foot ten, though I like to tell people I’m actually six feet tall because it sounds so much bigger. I don’t wear my glasses like I’m supposed to because I think they make my face look too wide, so I tend to squint a lot. I can be shy around people I don’t know, unless I’m drunk and then I can’t seem to shut up at all. I like video games and loud action movies that pretend to have plots but really are about blowing shit up (oh, and just between us, I’ve probably seen every romantic comedy ever made—hello, I’m gay. It’s a requirement that we pretend to like Jennifer Lopez when she’s playing a maid in New York who still happens to look like Jennifer Lopez. J-Lo, no one believes you when you try to play working class, so knock it off). I tend to have a bit of a swish when I walk, and sometimes I wave my hands too much when I talk. I’m a homo, but sometimes I can be a
homo. I’m not effeminate. I’m just… animated. But I can be totally butch if I wanted to. Like, way butch. Like “going outside and taking off my shirt to chop some firewood for winter” butch.
As you heard earlier, my name is Paul and I’m almost thirty years old. My last name is Auster. Family legend says that our last name was Austerlitz, but it was changed after World War II because my dad’s parents didn’t want anyone to think they were Nazis when they fled Hamburg to come to America. I suppose I should thank them for that. I don’t need people asking me if I’m related to Hitler.
That would not be a good start to a friendship.
But my grandparents are dead and I never met them, so I can’t thank them unless I was into psychics and mediums. I’m not. Well, not anymore. Not since I dated a guy who told me my house was haunted with the spirit of a woman who had her period over and over again and moaned continuously about menstrual cramps while she wandered between my bedroom and the bathroom.
George lasted six dates before I couldn’t take it anymore (“There’s just so much
!” he’d moaned to me, huddled in the corner of my couch). I kicked him to the curb and went on the Internet to find out how to get rid of menstruating ghosts. Funny, no one could really tell me. So I just bought a box of heavy flow tampons and made a big deal about putting them under the bathroom sink, telling my ghost Flow that she could use them whenever she wanted. Needless to say, two weeks later all tampons were still accounted for and I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t really have a ghost haunting me, even if she was on the rag all the time.