Let's see... I've been busy. Working my fingers to the bone as they say in order to bring you another emotional read. THIS ONE is not like The Cost of Loving. It is not as deep and is not written with the intention of ripping your heart out. Name Can Never Hurt Me is about labels. It is about bullying and abuse, but as with most of my writing I hope to take you on a little twist and make you see the topics differently. I was in the process of writing and editing and restructuring my manuscript (MS), and I needed a break. So when I take a break from writing, I write a blog. LOL HAHAHA! A short time ago I had 79,813 words all in one MS. Then I brilliantly decided to redo it and restructure it so it was easier to follow. Some of that included rewriting some chapters and cutting others. I cut 1642 words, I am in the middle of rewriting a chapter that was originally 3727 words. Between yesterday and today I added 5998 words of new material. (Mostly at the end of the book.) Now, NCNHM stands at 84,324 words. It is almost finished. I have the basic story in my head. In a nut shell, it is about overcoming stigmas attached to labels. I am not worried about the word count anymore. It is novel length and as I fill in the holes (plot-wise) the word count will go up. It is meant to be a break from the deeply emotional reads that When Love Is Not Enough, and The Cost of Loving are. Soon enough, I will continue writing Love, Trust, and Learning to Live Again. That book will be hard. It is Darian's story, of course it will be hard. I have a cover for it, which is absolutely amazing! But I am still working on the blurb.
Right now, I am pushing to finish NCNHM. Have you read the blurb for that? What do you think?
What if sexuality wasn’t a definable thing, and labels merely got in the way?
Nick Jones couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t popular, when he wasn’t the best looking guy in the room, nor could he recall ever having to coax a woman into bed with him. And recently, Nick even added guys to the list of “been there—done that” when kissing Corey on a dare led to much more and on several occasions. His reputation to “screw anything” was well known, and he didn’t care. Constant sex had never been a problem. So why was the attention of someone new causing such consternation?
RC was a mystery from the moment they met. A frequent customer where Nick worked, getting to know RC was interesting, yet incremental due to the fact that he wasn’t in the “in crowd.” RC was overweight, always sweaty, and lived up to the nickname “scruffy dude”. Still, Nick could not let go of his deep longing for friendship, even if that friendship was with a loser—and a gay loser at that.
When friendship with RC stirs longings deep within his heart, Nick is faced with a need to look past the superficial and take hold of a connection deeper than he’s ever known before. External pressures of social conformity threaten to snuff out the fire before it ignites his soul, but the deeper question for Nick is why one relationship should define his future as he navigates the waters of self-discovery and sexual identity.
Do you want an excerpt? I'll give you one. I have released a snippet of this prologue before. (A couple times.) Here it is in full. The prologue to Names Can Never Hurt Me:
(NOTE: I apologize if you are reading this on Goodreads and the format is all screwed up from how the feed pulls it over from Blogspot. I will link my blog on the end)
It was last year’s party at Mary-Louise’s house that got me thinking all the wrong thoughts. She threw a kegger on Saint Patrick’s Day and I guess I should have known better than to tempt fate by overindulging and letting my eyes wander. I would have been better off numbing my brain and sticking to what everyone else did and what everyone else thought, but I’m me so of course I couldn’t conform. And fantasizing about Corey Parrish, more precisely his luscious mouth, was not what everyone else did! (At least not the people I knew.) The guys I hung around with normally ignored him, while the girls flocked to his side for advice on outfits or hair. Whatever. I didn’t care about any of that. But I also shouldn’t have cared—or wondered—so much about the flavor of his lip-gloss. Damn!
So, like I said, it was last year and I was drinking green beer. At the beginning of the night nothing else mattered except the booze and contemplating which girl might take me home that night. I scanned the packed living room of Mary Louise’s house and I couldn’t help but chuckle. It’s always the same. No matter how many “frat” parties I go to, the girls stand around giggling while the guys get slammed.
“Says the guy who’s out of Budweiser.” I tipped back my plastic cup and swallowed my last drop of beer as I mumbled about the irony before meandering through the house to find the keg in the kitchen.
Mary-Louise was a pastor’s kid determined to sow some wild oats. She was nice enough to throw parties practically every weekend, but not nice enough to spread her legs for me—yet. That was fine, I didn’t care. Someone else would. At least she didn’t slap me for trying to get her into bed—four times. I met her at the local community college when we were in the registrar’s line for new students. Since then, I’d taken classes on and off at the same place for four years, while Mary-Louise transferred to a four-year college. By now—were I attending a regular college like my friend—I’d have a degree. Instead, I had loads of casual friends who liked to throw parties, and lots of time to get drunk instead of figure out my future.
I just didn’t know what I wanted to do.
Life after high school pretty much sucked. I wasn’t expecting that. I was popular back then, and I guess I still am, but life’s more difficult now. I’ve got bills to pay, and I don’t know what career path to choose. Luckily, I still live with my folks and they don’t ask for rent. They made a deal with me, that as long as I paid my car insurance and maintained a 3.75 GPA (when I was actually taking classes that is,) I’m free to stay at home. But how many years will they tolerate a slacker son? I don’t know. And really, the list of “I don’t knows” is longer than the list of shit I was sure of. It’s depressing if I think about it.
So I don’t think—I drink!
I filled my cup with beer and watched the crowd chant as one guy stuck his head under the keg nozzle and another guy opened it full blast. “Idiots,” I mused. Not that I was all that different from them, I knew I was an idiot.
I turned toward that oh-so-familiar voice behind me. “Hey Dawn,” I said with a slight lift of my chin. “What’s up?”
Dawn grinned and looked at her perky little friend before answering. Her long brown curls bounced around her face and reminded me of the time I watched her go down on me, and all I could see was that lovely hair spread like a blanket over my pelvis. That was sexy as hell. “Well,” Dawn said, “Chrissy and I were wondering if you’d take on a little dare of ours?”
I leaned on the doorframe next to me. I was curious enough to listen because they were a precocious pair. I took a swig of my newly filled cup and asked, “Oh yeah? What kind of dare?” Not that it mattered. If I did them a favor, maybe they’d be willing to do me a little favor later—possibly together. Besides, I liked a challenge every now and again; it kept life interesting.
They giggled and—yes—I rolled my eyes. Girls.
I surmised it was Chissy’s turn to talk for the two of them because she smiled my way and got a devilish look in her eyes. “You see Nick, Dawn and I dared Corey Parrish to kiss a straight guy. He said he would if we could find someone up to the task who was sober enough to remember it happened, yet cute enough not to be desperate.” Chrissy blushed wide and ducked her head against Dawn’s shoulder. She acted embarrassed, but I didn’t buy it for a second. She was a hussy if ever I knew one. She held Dawn’s hand and nibbled her bare shoulder playfully, but I knew for a fact they both liked dick.
Corey? My stomach quivered. I was just thinking about Corey.
Corey Parrish was hot as fucking fuck, and the thought of his mouth did things to me I was trying to not dwell on. Something in the way he talked made me picture kissing him and biting that lower lip until it bled. Shit. To make matters worse, Corey was openly gay. Did I really need to get mixed up in Dawn and Chrissy’s little dare with a gay guy?
I sipped my beer and casually tucked my fingers into the front pocket of my jeans. If I could remain calm, they’d never know I was about to puke. (From nervousness, not excessive drinking.) “What’s in this for Corey? Don’t you think it’s a cruel joke allowing him to kiss me and get nothing in return?”
“He wants my brother’s cell number. I said I’d give it to him if he did something for me,” Dawn replied, simply enough.
Blackmail? Yeah, that was Dawn’s MO. Still, I played dumb. “How is my kissing Corey something for you?” I took another swallow of beer.
Dawn smiled wickedly. “I think it’s hot.”
“Hot?” I lifted one eyebrow.
Chrissy agreed, “Oh yeah! Two guys kissing is so hot.”
Two guys kissing is hot? Fuck yeah! I totally agreed. Only last week I was browsing online, clicking different shared-links on Facebook, when before I knew it I was pulling one off over a picture of two guys kissing—extending their tongues into each other’s mouths. It was a black and white photograph; one guy had facial hair and the other didn’t. As I stared at it, I began fantasizing about Corey right there in my bedroom. That was a first for me—thinking about another guy like that. I wanted to kiss Corey from the first time he saw him at Mary-Louise’s New Year’s Eve party, but jerking off over it hadn’t happen until last week. It shocked the shit out of me mostly because, as I said before, Corey’s gay. I’m not. I date girls all the time. I have sex with girls all the time. Just because I felt attracted to Corey recently didn’t make me gay. Bisexual maybe, but not gay.
Suddenly, my mouth was answering, “So, all I gotta do is kiss him?” Shit, I’d just agreed to it! That’ll teach me to daydream in the middle of a conversation.
Dawn’s eyes went wide. “You’ll do it?” she cried in delight. (in red because I considered changing it)
Calm down, Nick, it’s only a kiss. “Yeah, it’s just a kiss, right? No big.” I tried passing off nervous exhilaration as nonchalance.
“Seriously? You are so cool, Nick!” Chrissy said. “I knew you wouldn’t care. You’re so open-minded.”
And apparently they bought it.
“Yeah, anything to make the two of you hot and juicy.” I grinned and lifted my eyebrows twice. They didn’t need to know I was into it because their pawn was Corey.
I followed them into the other room to where Corey sat on the couch chitchatting with some girl I didn’t know. Corey talked to every girl, and although I tended to be overly verbose myself, I wasn’t surprised there were a few ladies I hadn’t seen before. Mary-Louise invited everyone to her parties. I was in no way jealous of Corey’s congeniality or charm. I had plenty of my own.
He was wearing a tight green T-shirt with a v-neck, which allowed his chest hair to curl over the edge of the fabric. The word “alluring” came to mind and I questioned my agreement to do this. I’d have to be extra careful kissing him, because if I started fingering the hairs on his chest like I was itching to do, then these girls might start rumors. I didn’t need “gay” rumors squelching my frequent, no-strings-attached sex life. No way, José!
“So Corey, we found someone,” Chrissy announced proudly, bouncing on the balls of her feet. Chrissy tended to have more energy than a seven-year-old after a two-pound bag of skittles. She always bounced.
Corey looked up and smiled. Fuck me. I felt a quiver in my stomach. “Wow,” he replied. “I’ll say you did!” He licked his top teeth with the tip of his tongue and batted his eyes—showing off his green-glitter eye make-up—which did not help my apprehension over kissing him. He was fucking adorable and my body knew it. Corey asked flirtatiously, “I recognize you. Nick, right? I saw you at the New Year’s Eve party making out with Shawna. Why do you want to kiss me?”
Knowing he noticed me back on New Year’s did not help my trepidation. Plus—want? He thinks I want to kiss him? “I thought it was a game,” I interjected, making sure I kept my voice low and casual. “They want to play with you, and you want Andrew’s number.”
Corey’s pleased expression disappeared, but I wasn’t going to change my orientation to coax it back. “True,” he relented. “Okay, it’s a game, but you’re conceding to it. Why? What do you get?”
Now was the test. Could I portray arrogance and not over do it to the point of absurdity? I hoped so; I surely had experience. I slid my palm over the T-shirt clinging to my muscular chest, (oh yeah, I was cut,) and replied, “I get to kiss a hot guy and add another name to the list of those who want me.”
“God knows I want you,” Chrissy said from the side. Perfect timing.
I tilted my head in her direction and grinned. “Thanks babe.” I winked for emphasis. “You’ll get your turn.”
“Oh, someone is sure of himself.” Corey shooed the girl next to him away and patted the cushion. “Come here, honey. Let me see what you got.”
“Here, hold this.” I handed my beer to Dawn and sat next to Corey. The prospect of kissing this guy ignited tendrils of tingling electricity all over, but I had to play it cool. No way was I getting hard and giving the girls the wrong impression. This was a game. I’m not gay.
I questioned Chrissy with a look. “Am I kissing him or is he kissing me?”
Before she could answer, I felt Corey take a hold of my chin and turn my head to face him. He planted his lips firmly on mine and lingered before pulling back with a sigh. “Nice. You willing to take it further?” Corey asked, teasing my lips with a swift flick of his tongue. His eyes were intense.
Helplessly, I nodded and leaned in. All my nervous energy from before transformed into a surge of adrenaline. I had to have more of that mouth!
The girls squealed in delight, but I ignored them as Corey’s hot mouth connected with mine again. Corey curled his fingers into my neck and pulled me closer. He parted his lips and I slipped my tongue inside his mouth, taking control of the kiss and causing Corey to moan into my mouth. This was so fucking good! As our tongues clashed, I felt a deep need to fuck like I’d never felt before.
This was way different than kissing girls, I thought. It was seriously intense, for one thing, and for another—when I kissed girls—I often felt it in my toes, but this was the first time I ever felt like my groin was on fire. Not that that meant my body would react the same with any guy I kissed, but Corey surely did a number on my sex.
I turned his body on the couch and leaned into him, pushing him against the back of the couch. I heard him whimper and felt him move his hand down my neck and onto my chest. His warm palm rested over my pectoral muscle and it made me want to flex for him, but I didn’t. As soon as I thought about it, he pinched my nipple and those tingles I felt intensified. My body was humming in ways I didn’t expect, and my mind conjured up thoughts of doing things I didn’t expect. Instinctively, I moved my leg over Corey’s knee and angled my hips a smidgeon. Oh God, I need friction. I gripped his shoulder with one hand as I held the side of his neck with the other, but man-oh-man did I want to touch myself, or even rub myself against his leg a little. Anything.
Corey felt unbelievable against me.
As if it was the most natural thing in the world to do, I slid my fingers into the short hair behind Corey’s ear and that was when I heard someone comment, “Geez, you were right. Nick’ll fuck anything.” The sound of an unfamiliar female voice behind me whispering such a toxic comment squelched my unexpected hunger, but I controlled my resentment. It was far better to ignore the comment and pretend it didn’t happen, than to cause a scene and draw unwanted attention to the fact that I was hard as hell and I was seconds from dry-humping his leg. If I was cool about it, maybe Corey and I could slip off somewhere.
I slowed my pace, kissing him gently, and pulled back as if nothing were amiss. The heady look in Corey’s eyes stroked my ego, so I winked at him before facing the gathering throng of horny women.
Three eager girls sat side-by-side on the coffee table in front of the couch—Dawn, Chrissy, and a blond girl I didn’t know—while another few stood behind them. It seemed as though a lot of girls liked watching two guys kiss. Hmm. “Well? Hot enough for you?” I asked, knowing exactly what they’d say.
“Oh yeah,” Dawn replied as she placed her hand on Chrissy’s thigh, caressing her skin and running her fingers up the inside of Chrissy’s leg.
Chrissy moaned quietly, and spread her legs further apart. “Yes… hot.” She swallowed hard and closed her eyes. Her reaction kind of made me think of reaching up her dress, but Dawn beat me to it. I watched Dawn’s hand disappear under the fabric as she kissed her friend—her girl friend—and feel her up.
Hypocrite, I sneered. It was okay to judge me and by saying I’d “fuck anything,” but Dawn was doing the exact same thing. I knew personally just how she liked to fuck, and how often.
My attention was drawn back to Corey when I heard him sigh. (He was still recovering from my kiss.) I shook my head and scoffed, “Women! I’m outta here.”
I had to leave. Watching the two of them kiss after I’d just made-out with Corey made my need to come stronger than ever. I dashed upstairs to find the bathroom. No sooner did I lock the door and unzip my jeans, than I heard a quiet knock. “Shit!” I hissed. “It’s occupied,” I called to the person on the other side.
“Nick?” Corey whispered.
I opened the door a few inches. “Corey, now’s not the time to—”
Corey interrupted me by pushing his way inside the bathroom. He closed the door behind him and said, “I’m sorry, but I wanted to catch you before you finished.”
“Save it,” Corey insisted, holding up a hand. “There’s a garage out back. Meet me behind it in fifteen minutes and I’ll take care of your little… problem.” He made his insinuation clear by boldly palming my erection. “Unless you think allowing me to suck you off is a little too open-minded.”
I couldn’t answer. In fact, if he touched me a second longer I was going to come in my pants. Having someone else rub my dick felt so amazing. Sure, girls did it, but rarely without my insistence. Corey, however, seemed to know what I needed without prompt. All I could do was close my eyes and groan.
Corey took his hand away and snickered. “Meet you out back.” And he was gone.
I regrouped and contemplated his proposal. He said he’d suck me off. Would Corey want me to reciprocate? I’d never sucked a dick before. Corey was the first boy I ever kissed. Or ever wanted to kiss. Did it matter? Would people think I was gay? Did that matter? It was just sex, right? I wasn’t dating Corey. I wasn’t getting emotional about it. It was just sex. Two guys getting off. No big.
I once heard a saying that over-analyzation leads to paralyzation. (I don’t even know if those are real words.) Needless to say, I left the bathroom in a hurry.
Finding Corey behind the garage wasn’t a problem. I slipped out of the house without too much hassle. I got stopped a couple times, but by now, most people at the party were drunk and they weren’t paying attention where others were going and who they were with. I walked out the front door and headed around the side of the house after pretending to puke on the lawn. (That was a classic excuse to leave a party.)
Corey grabbed me as soon as I drew near and pushed me up against the side of the building. His kiss was urgent and his hands were greedy. He was a little rough and I liked it. It was nice not having to take charge for once. It felt liberating. Corey kissed me a minute or two before he sank to his knees. I felt a warm rush surge through my extremities as I looked down at him, his eyes glinting in the faint light. Corey unzipped my jeans and freed my rigid cock. Oh fuck, that’s hot!
Corey’s tongue made me shiver. Corey’s hands made me weak. But it was the suction of Corey’s throat that made me tremble like never before. I rested my hand on Corey’s head and gently encouraged his bobbing motion. I even felt daring enough to thrust my hips forward and force myself down Corey’s throat. And Corey didn’t mind! Girls hated to be forced to take more of me in. Not that I’m a porn-star material, but I’m not small by any means. Being with a guy was a refreshing change of pace. Corey sucked wildly and it didn’t take me long to feel close.
“Corey,” I whispered, leaning my head back on the brick wall. His wet friction was astonishing. “Corey,” I whispered again more urgently. “I’m gonna… come.” I tugged on Corey’s hair, but he didn’t let up. Seconds later I felt my release empty into his throat and Corey didn’t pull back. He kept licking and swallowing until I was finished, and only then did he get off his knees and kiss me.
The taste was strong, salty… different.
Corey tasted like… me, and to my surprise I liked it.
Tentatively, I reached down between us and touched Corey. I felt the same hardness in his pants that I’d recently had in mine. I knew what Corey wanted—what he needed, but suddenly there was a sound of voices close by and I shoved Corey away and did up my zipper before anyone had a chance to see what was going on.
“Let’s go back inside,” Corey suggested.
I thought about it. “Nah, I think I’m going home. My parents told me not to be out too late.”
“Okay. Can I give you my number? Maybe we can hook up sometime?”
We exchanged phone numbers and I said good-bye without another glace.
At home, before I found sleep, I thought about his kiss and what we did by the shed. Corey was really hot and the things we’d done tonight felt so fucking good, but what would people think? Was it worth a good lay to be labeled “gay”? I didn’t really care about Corey, even if he was hot. It was about sex. And if it was just sex, then going out with girls and hooking up with girls was much less complicated.
I grabbed my phone and texted Chrissy: Hey. Go to the movies with me next Friday?
A few minutes later she texted back: Of course!!!
I grinned in the quiet of my room and placed my phone on the nightstand. Chrissy was hot, and easy. I knew I’d end up fucking her next Friday night.
Nah, I’m not gay.
Comment. What do you think? Would you read it?
(Blogspot LINK for those reading this elsewhere: http://writerwadekelly.blogspot.com/2013/09/status-of-names-can-never-hurt-me.html)