Monday, October 26, 2009

As You Are excerpt by Ethan Day

In As You Are by Ethan Day, all bartender and recent college graduate Julian Hallowell has had on his mind the past year is Operation Danny. Julian may have no idea what he wants to do with his life, but he definitely knows he‘s in love with the boy next door: the next door down the hall to be exact, housing his roommate and used textbook store owner Danny Wallace.

While Julian has done his level best to make Danny fall for him, all his hard work has been in vain. Danny doesn’t seem to view Julian as anything other than a roommate and friend. So when new guy in town Andy Baker asks him out on a date, Julian can’t think of a good reason to say no.

Instead, he institutes a Reverse Operation Danny plan, which he’s positive will purge all thoughts of love and lust for his roomie out of his head. He’s ready to move on and start looking for his next Mr. Right, and Andy just might fit the bill. But has he given up too soon?

As You Are
Loose ID (September 29, 2009)
ISBN: 978-1-60737-440-4


Feather duster in hand, I danced around the apartment shaking my groove thang. Annie Lennox was blaring from the speakers. I shimmied across the wood floors in my socks and yelled out over the music in my game-show-host voice, “With a CD titled Diva, this is the segment of the population to which Miss Lennox was trying to cater.” I shimmied back in the opposite direction. “Who are big nelly queers, Alex?”

Sliding across the wood floors like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, I stopped in front of the mirror, lifted the feather duster up to my face, and sang along with “Walking on Broken Glass.” I thrust my hips, doing my Elvis impersonation, and laughed at myself. My parents both loved Elvis. It wound up being one of the few things they had in common. I'd taught myself to do the wild hip-thrusting dance when I was about eight or nine. Not many things could put a smile on both of their faces simultaneously, but that was one of them.

I shook my hips and shoulders while admiring my ensemble as reflected back to me from the mirror. An old pair of cutoff jeans, an homage to the summer vacations spent at the lake as a kid. They was paired with one of the white wifebeaters I'd stolen from Danny. It had a spaghetti stain from the time Danny and I had waged a food war in the kitchen. Completing the picture: a red bandanna tied around my head like a biker boy.

I thrust my hands out into the air, letting my spirit fingers fly freely as I sang along with Annie about no longer caring for sugar.

“You need to lay off the sugar, anyway,” Danny said from behind me as he kicked the front door closed.

I jumped about a mile off the floor, placing the fisted feather duster over my rapidly beating heart. Danny burst out laughing and walked over to the kitchen counter to set down the canvas grocery bags.

“I'm such a heifer, I know.” I composed myself as I meandered over to the stereo and turning down the volume. “I had a double mochaccino and, like, twelve Hershey's Kisses for breakfast.”

“Great, candy is like crack to you. Now I'm going to have to survive another Julie sugar rush.”

“Don't knock it.” I pointed the feather duster at him. “My little fixes are what keep this apartment clean.” Danny was wearing an old pair of worn jeans that snuggly wrapped around his business, and an old Dave Matthews Band T-shirt.

“You just need another outlet to pour all that pent-up energy into.”


“No…like fucking.”

Pointing the feather duster toward his delectably denim-wrapped crotch, I asked, “Is there any decision that you don't make with that thing?”

“Which deodorant to use?” he mused, unpacking the bags. “No, wait, I'm pretty sure it was the muscular arm holding the hammer that made me choose Arm and Hammer deodorant.”

“You're hopeless… I sure hope you never suffer from erectile dysfunction. Your whole world would fall apart.”

“Hey!” He spun around with a serious expression. “That's not funny. I suppose you'd consider that some sort of cosmic justice.”

“You reap what you sow,” I said with a big cheesy grin.

“Julie, sex isn't a bad thing. As long as you have two consenting adults and everyone has a good time, who are you hurting? Besides, I've never heard any complaints.”

“How could you? You have 'em out the door before the sweat has time to dry.”

“That's not true.” Danny laughed. “God, you exaggerate.” He sighed and went back to emptying the grocery bags. “Do you want to grab a bite to eat before the reading?”

“Sure,” I said, “or we could just fix something here.”

“I don't think so.” Danny looked at me briefly before sauntering up to me and lightly rubbing his finger over the stain on my shirt. “This is what happened the last time we tried that.”

Goose bumps ran amok over my entire body as he stroked my stain. We stood looking at one another and smiling. He pulled the feather duster out of my hand and set it on the counter behind him, then he picked up the roll of paper towels and Windex, and shoved one into each of my hands. Placing his massive man-hands on my shoulders, he twirled me around, swatted me on the butt, and said, “Get back to work before I have to take you over my knee.”

I stood there for a few minutes mulling over that mental picture. Feeling my cock spring to attention, I thought, Good Christ, I do need to get laid. I nodded my head as I ogled the roll of paper towels in my hand. I decided to clean the bathroom first: kill two birds with one stone.
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