Hi everyone, happy Friday to you all. This week, I’ve had my nose buried in my current WIP, because I have a deadline looming not far on the horizon (next week – gaaah!). This means I haven’t had time to write Alan and Jon. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I know they’re popular, but to compensate I have a really fun thing planned for them next week. So tune in next Friday when Alan will make a little cameo somewhere else…other than here. 😉
But to not deprive you of my excellent writing (heh!), I thought I’d post the beginning of my WIP. It still hasn’t got a name. I got stuck on something that doesn’t really work (it’s on the clunky side) so I have to unstick my mind and solve the name problem this weekend.
Anyway, this excerpt is told from Beckett’s POV and it’s unedited. I hope you enjoy.
Chapter 1 – Beckett
“Hi Becks. What’s so funny?”
I looked up from my phone and was met by my best friend’s smiling face. “Matt. You’re late.” I gave him a mock frown to remind him about my opinion on people not being on time, but my smile lingered and made it difficult.
“I know. Sorry. But I had to rescue him—” Matt pointed his thumb over his shoulder, “from the Hell Sisters and it took a while.”
I peeked over his shoulder to see who he was referring to just as the ‘he’ in question lightly punched Matt’s upper arm with a scowl.
“Sorry, sorry,” Matt said and threw himself down on the chair across from me. To me he said, “I’m not allowed to call them Hell Sisters even though they’d make Lucifer seem well behaved.”
Matt’s company joined us at the table and I swallowed. Hard.
Levi Byrne. Matt’s little brother. Or one of them at least; the Byrne family consisted of eleven kids, Matt being the eldest.
And Levi…Levi was three years younger than us and the spitting image of his brother. Except that Levi was cute. Very cute. His nose was maybe a little too long for his face and his hairline showed signs of receding at the tender age of twenty-three. But none of that mattered. When I looked into his eyes, every blemish disappeared and all I could see was kindness. He had the gentlest eyes I’d ever seen, in a deep caramel brown as if the caramel was made from dark muscovado sugar. Sometimes I thought I could detect a twinkle of mischief in them, but it could be my imagination. Levi was the quiet sibling. When all the other Byrne-kids spoke louder to make their voices heard in a sea of children, Levi did the complete opposite. He grew silent.
I’d had a crush on him for years, but he was Matt’s little brother, and besides…what would he see in someone like me?
I pulled in my stomach and sat a little straighter. Not that it helped. My belly couldn’t be hidden.
“Becks! Where’d you go?”
“Huh?” I blinked and turned my attention to Matt. “Sorry.”
“Whatever. You gonna tell me what was so funny just now?”
We were interrupted by the waitress before I had time to answer. For a second, I considered ordering something healthy, like one of those fancy avocado sourdough sandwiches that were so popular. But Matt would have a million questions if I did, and I’d always been a terrible liar and would never be able to fool him. So, I ordered my usual: a stack of pancakes with half a pig’s worth of bacon on the side, and their biggest mug of hot chocolate to top it off.
After taking our orders, the waitress brought us our drinks and Matt asked again what I’d been laughing about when they arrived.
“What’s your sign?” I asked.
Matt gulped down some of his coffee, grimaced, and started fanning his mouth. Levi smiled at me and shook his head. Matt never learned.
“Your birthday is in July. So, you’re…what? Cancer?” I asked when he’d calmed down.
“Oh! Yeah, I guess.”
I woke up the screen on my phone, cleared my throat and started reading out loud. “Until the end of the year, Jupiter continues to bring fullness to your life in the areas of creativity and romance, and this influence is extra strong tonight. So maybe take what your boyfriend offers this evening and leave the extra-large dildo in the drawer for once. You’ll be stuffed enough tonight without it.”
Matt’s eyes grew wider and wider as I read, and when I finished, he was staring at me as if I had emerged from the depths of Hell. “Dude! What the eff?” he choked out.
I glanced at Levi. His face flamed bright red and he bit his lip, looking everywhere except me or Matt.
“What the heck are you reading?” Matt asked and rubbed his ears as if he was trying to erase what he just had heard.
I held up my phone so he could see.
QX – your guide to all things LGBTQ+
Matt squinted, and then turned to Levi. “You programmed that site, didn’t you?”
Levi nodded. He was a computer wizard and had started programming almost before he could read and write. He’d designed his first webpage professionally in his freshman year in high school and if his parents hadn’t been adamant he had to graduate, he would have dropped out and started his business before his junior year.
“Why are you reading…that?” Matt hissed out the last word.
The waitress took this moment to arrive with our food. As she placed pancakes and bacon in front of all of us, I stared at him. “What do you mean?” I asked.
“It’s a site for gay people.”
I crossed my arms over my chest. “It’s for everyone within the LGBTQ+ spectrum,” I said, unable to keep an annoyed edge from my voice.
“Yeah, yeah.” Matt stuffed his face full of pancakes. “But you’re not…that.”
That? I rolled my eyes. Matt could be such an idiot sometimes. “No, but I am bi.”
“But I thought…” He shoved a piece of bacon into his mouth, luckily stopping himself from saying anything even more stupid.
“You thought that because my last partner was a girl, I’m straight. Is that about it?” I was so fucking tired of this topic. If it wasn’t Matt, it was someone else. Like Mom.
“Yeah,” Matt muttered with his gaze downcast. His reply earned him a sharp elbow in the side from Levi. “Hey, don’t you start, too,” he said to his brother.
“Get off your brother’s case, Matt. Don’t be an ass.”
He looked at me as if to say ‘what’?
“We’ve had this conversation a million times. Don’t be a bigot. Your own brother is gay, for fuck’s sake. And when your mom found out, what did she do?”
“Switched churches.” Matt’s reply was barely audible.
“That’s right. Your very religious parents accepted Levi’s identity and moved heaven and earth to make him comfortable. But you…” I threw my hands up in the air. “Stop. Just stop, okay?”
Matt rubbed his ears again. “Yeah, okay. Sorry.” He nudged his shoulder against his brother’s. Levi nudged back and then gave me a wide, grateful smile, making the tip of his nose turn down slightly. Swoon.
Beckett is my first bisexual character, but he won’t be the last. March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month, and I’m sad that bi erasure is still a thing in 2018. We, the B, is right there in the acronym. Click the image to learn how to be an ally.