Hi guys :) We have an "official" excerpt ready for Absolutely Eric! I'm really excited about sharing this story with the world. It'll probably always remain my favorite simply for Eric himself.
I browse through the aisles and aisles of shelves at the bookshop. I could spend the whole day browsing because I love stationery and read just about any genre. When I’m running my finger along a shelf in the classical section, enjoying the musty smell of books, I bump into someone who drops a whole lot of something at the impact. I fill my lungs and get ready to gush out apologies when I see who it is.
Black shoes, black pants, black woolen coat, sexy smile, cute nose, caramel skin, and deep brown eyes. My heart hurls into overdrive.
“Hey there, Eric. I didn’t expect to see you here. That looks so great on you,” he says, gesturing at my outfit.
“Cute, right?” is all I can think of saying.
“Yeah,” he says with one corner of his lips twisted into a smile. “Adorable.”
I get all tingly when he says stuff like that. Neither of us seems to know what to say next, so we dive down to gather his mountain of books. A shop assistant comes rushing with a hand basket for Alex.
I grab a number of romance novels and a few non-fics. “You sure are buying a lot of books. Is Terry that boring?”
Alex laughs and dumps some of the books into the basket. “No, I’m just scouting authors. We get a lot of queries, but sometimes you want to go on a spying mission to see if there’s anyone with great potential.”
“Ooh, spying mission? Hence the black outfit, right? I can’t wait to become an editor.”
Alex exhales a laugh. “What are you buying?”
“Gay romance,” I answer with a grin, thrusting a few covers in his face. “I like the humorous ones with a good plot. I hear these are excellent. Wanna borrow them after I’m done?”
Alex stuffs the rest his books in the basket and reads the cover of one of my novels while we stand up. “Yeah, I’d like that.”
“You know, your publishing house doesn’t have a real focus on anything specific. Maybe you should be focusing on a few genres, like GLBT?”
He glances up from the book. “The sales are too low. It would be better to start a subsidiary and maybe go electronic only if I went into something like that.”
“Oh, yeah.” I take back the book and hand him the next. “You could specialize in high quality stories only. I hate it when I buy a romance that turns out to be about nothing. Then you could transfer the magazine over to the GLBT company and use it to advertise the books. Only you seriously need to change the name of the magazine. Gay Guys Magazine? Did you come up with that?”
“Yeah, I spent two months coming up with a name, and that’s the best I could do. Macy and the others weren’t much help either.”
I grab a pack of cute figure pencils on our way to the cashier.
“Honestly, anything would’ve been better.”
“Like, Glitter Guys Magazine,” I say, spreading my hands out in an arch while I visualize the name.
Alex bites his lower lip to suppress a laugh. “Glitter Guys?”
“Yeah, and you could pep it up a little. More free, fun, and fashion, less negative boring stuff. People would definitely buy that.”
“But the ‘negative boring stuff’ is important, too. It’s about serious issues facing our kind, you know?”
“Well yeah, but you could still pep it up. Less newspaper-y and more glitzy-magazine-y.”
“Maybe I should make you the chief editor of Glitter Guys Magazine, and if it goes well I could consider adding a GLBT department.”
“I’d turn the magazine’s sales around before you could say ‘bend me over and call me Kevin.’”
Alex laughs and takes his bag from the flush-faced cashier and thanks her with a nod.
“But seriously, the magazine is turning out to be too much work for me because I want to expand the company. Do you want to give it a go before I decide if I’m going to cancel it?”
“Really? Would I get better salary?” I stuff my hat on and fix my shades.
“Of course. Chief editors always get a better salary, but I wouldn’t expect you to start until after your finals.”
“That would be great!”
I can’t stop grinning. I’m feeling all gleeful about the prospects of being a real editor. And a chief editor at that.
“Want to talk specifics over coffee?” Alex asks.
Study for a test or have coffee with Alex? Why did I even hesitate?
We stroll through the park by the mall. The weather is surprisingly good for this time of year, and I even zip down my coat when the heat is too much. My body sways a little with the good beat of dance music playing somewhere close by, which has Alex smiling whenever he looks at me. Especially when I start humming along with it.
“So, that ex of yours. He’s totally different from Terry. I mean, he’s even shorter than I am, and that’s saying a lot at only five-six.”
Alex shrugs. “What can I say? Small guys usually catch my eye.”
I kick a loose rock ahead of me as we walk. “But why? Do you have a Tom Cruise fetish or something?”
“No,” Alex chuckles. “I guess I just find them more attractive, and they’re the perfect cuddle size.”
I smile. “But Terry isn’t short or a cuddler. I know that for a fact.”
Alex ducks a low tree branch while I sail right under.
“He makes up for that by being nice, thoughtful, and considerate. And very, very understanding,” says Alex.
I guess that means Terry forgave Alex for the make out incident at Clash last Friday.
“Plus he’s got a hot body,” I say with a tight smile.
Alex nods. “Yes, he does.”
I skip up on one of the many benches along the path and jump back down at the end of it.
“But I really prefer short and sweet over tall and buff,” he continues. “It’s always been like that.”
I get ready to jump onto the next bench.
“Plus, when I’m with someone as tall as Terry I can’t do this.” He yanks the fluffy hat off my head and holds it high in the air.
“Hey!” I protest, trying to look indignant while suppressing the giggles. “I may be small, but I make up for it in other ways.”
“Yeah? Like how?”
He dangles the hat just above my head, trying to bait me into making a grab for it.
“Like this!” I jump onto the bench and fling myself at Alex spider-monkey style. He instinctively drops the hat and catches me. As I sit in his arms with my legs on either side of his waist, I manage to grab the hat as it falls through the air. My shades hang askew so I remove them and stuff ’em into my pocket.
“See? I have a sixth sense for people’s weaknesses, and I don’t hesitate to use it against them.”
“You think you’re my weakness?” he asks, his face so close to mine. I can see that he’s freshly shaven and his usual smell of cologne and soap has my nostrils flaring as I inhale.
“Mmn,” I mumble, wracking my brain for something clever to say. “My sixth sense tells me that you would drop anything to help a person in need.”
Alex just looks at me for a moment without speaking and then smiles. “Looks like you’ve got me all figured out.”
I climb from his arms onto his back and wrap my arms around his neck. His arms automatically loop around my knees to support me.
“Yup, and because I got my hat back so easily you have to carry me over to that ice cream shop over there and buy me a triple-flavor.”
I rest my head on his shoulder and feel the vibration in his body as he speaks.
“Are you kidding? It’s too cold for ice cream.”
“Let’s see…” I say, ignoring his comment. “I’m in the mood for a mint chocolate chip, butter pecan, and pistachio almond with hot fudge.”
My hair sways back and forth when Alex starts walking towards the shop with me leeched on his back.
“That has to be the weirdest combo ever,” he says with a chuckle.
“Jeez, don’t trash it before you taste it. I bet you’re a lame-ass vanilla guy.”
“Mm, nope. I like strawberries.”
I smile against his shoulder while I inhale his scent again mixed with my strawberry-scented hair. Was that a double meaning there?
“FYI,” I say while he walks, “that’s a monstrous banana in my pocket that’s sticking into your back.”
“Didn’t think it was anything else.”
I grin and tighten my hold on him with both arms and knees.
The music gets louder the closer we get to the ice cream shop. I spot four black and two white girls showing each other dance moves by an old-fashioned boom box.
“Hey, that’s Brianna and Taylor from school.” I point at two of the black girls with long brown braids wearing identical clothes.
“Want to go and say, ‘Hi’?” Alex asks, already heading in their direction.
They jog over to us when they see me.
“So why aren’t you two studying for the surprise test tomorrow?” I ask when they’re close enough.
Brianna’s eyes grow large. “There’s a surprise test tomorrow?”
“Well, yeah,” I say, as if everyone should know by now. “History class.”
“How can it be a surprise test if you already know about it?” Alex asks, tightening his hold on my knees when I try to get down.
“A good student never reveals his sources,” I say.
Taylor pulls her long braid over her mouth when she giggles.
“And you’re not studying because…?” Alex asks.
Brianna puts a hand on her hip. “Because he’s a smart ass who always gets A+ in everything. He’s probably already memorized the book.”
“So not true,” I protest. “I still have a chapter to go.”
“Is this your boyfriend?” Taylor asks, glancing up at Alex while her sister bluntly checks him out.
“Yeah,” I say in my girl-chat voice, “isn’t he cute?” I reach forward and smooch Alex’s cheek.
Alex twitches and loosens his grip on my knees. I use the opportunity to slide down.
“Then you must be Rafael,” says Taylor and reaches out a hand for Alex to shake.
“I’m Alexander,” he says as he shakes it.
He only ever uses that name when he’s introducing himself to business colleagues, and hearing him say it now sends hot goose bumps crawling all over my skin.
Taylor’s eyes widen. “Eric, are you two-timing Rafael?”
“Now, why would you automatically jump to that conclusion? Maybe Rafael and I broke up?”
“Did you?” she asks.
I roll my eyes with a dramatic sigh. “No, we didn’t, and no, I’m not two-timing him. I’m not a sorority skank like you, Taylor.”
Taylor covers her mouth again and giggles.
“Well, maybe you would be if you’d followed through with that gayrority idea of yours,” says Brianna.
We stroll over to the other girls who are watching us.
“They wouldn’t give me a house big enough to found one.”
“Why the hell would you need a big house? Aren’t there, like, five gay guys in our school?”
I purposefully snort. “That you know of. I, for one, know of loads and loads of closet cases who are just waiting for the right opportunity to come out. A gayrority would be a perfect place for them to learn and grow until they’re comfortable enough to go man hunting on their own.”
“Uh huh,” says Brianna. “And I bet you’d be the one to give them that personal guidance yourself?”
“Of course, I’d have to get some kinda repayment, but seriously, Henry from law took over the whole thing; he’s working on it.”
I grab Taylor and place my arm around her shoulders. “So, Taylor. Are you still seeing that gorgeous what’s-his-name with the big biceps?”
Brianna snorts. “She dumped his sorry ass. He asked if he could do Taylor and me at the same time, which is just gross.”
“But you’re identical twins. Wouldn’t it be like having sex with yourself?”
Brianna rolls her eyes. “Guys…”
“Oh, I know,” I say sympathetically as we stop by the quiet boom box. “We’re such bastards. One lover is never enough.”
“Girls, this is Eric; Eric this is the girls,” Brianna introduces. “Oh, and that’s probably one of Eric’s fuck buddies, Alexander.”
I glance up at Alex and snicker when I see his perplexed face. He meets my eyes, and I try to play it cool with a shrug.
“That’s Eric? Will you show us some of your dance moves?” one of the girl asks, walking along with the rest to surround us.
“I see my reputation precedes me, but I don’t wanna put you girls to shame.”
Brianna puts both her hands on her hips. “You’re so full of yourself, Gayman. Come on.”
Alex nudges my shoulder with his fist. “Yeah, come on, Gayman.”
I turn to him and stick my finger in his face. “I’ll have you know that if I were the superhero Gayman, I’d go home with Spiderman every night just to get to have sex on the ceiling. I’d be the awesome-est, sexiest hero and stun the villains with my wicked moves.”
“More like with what comes out of your mouth,” says Alex, shoulders shrugging with chuckles.
I give Alex my best Hugh Laurie glare before I turn to Brianna. “Fine, you evil twin from hell.” I shrug off my coat and dispose of my mittens, scarf, and hat. “But you girls have to dance too.”
“Fine,” Brianna says with a triumphant gleam in her ever scheming eyes. “What’ll it be?” Her baggy pants rumple as she squats down by the boom box.
I take my position on the square area of tiles that currently acts as a dance floor. “Anything with a good beat in it.”
“This one’s perfect for you,” Brianna mumbles and volumes up a remix version of Black Eyed Peas’ “Pump It.”
Locks of hair fly out of my hair tie as I shake my hips and do my thing. The girls try to copy me, and there’s a lot of laughing, a bit of falling, and a whole lot of body bumping.
“How about you, old man?” I ask Alex, who’s watching with a sexy smile on his face. “Know any moves?”
“Of course I do,” he calls back over the music. “I’m gay, aren’t I?”
I roll my eyes while he slides off his coat, revealing one of the pink shirts I made him buy. So damn sexy.