The secret desires of five young men intertwine their dreams in surprising and life changing ways.
Two college students are about to have their dreams turned into a reality they could not have dared imagine, as their lusts transform lives and destroy relationships.
A teacher living his happy ever after finds his life in a precarious position as a dangerous attraction opens old wounds, causing him to question if his secret dream is a fantasy or is finally achievable.
A scene addict living his dream of a new man every night meets a newcomer who captures his attention like nobody has before. As this stranger’s secret comes to light while they fall for one another, both find their dreams changing as they struggle to understand what it is they truly want.
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 5
Character Identities: Gay
Tropes: Coming of Age, Coming Out / Closeted, Enemies to Lovers, Find Love and Come Out, First Time, Forbidden Love, Student-Teacher, True Love
Word Count: 126000
Languages Available: English
With one hand in his finger length, dusty brown hair, Marcus Bowham-Grant was making sure he felt each and every moment as he pulled and pulled with his other hand deep under the cool, white cotton sheet of his bed. > Marcus exhaled and began pounding away, faster now. A flock of images flickered across his fantasy sight in step with his wrist movements.
His eyes rolled around beneath closed lids, his mind’s vision caught on the image of the Swimmer standing under the shower, his abs exposed and flat, as Marcus did what all seventeen year olds did first thing in the morning; or the afternoon, or the evening.
Or at any other time he felt like just ignoring the world and tugging himself into a private ecstasy.
Marcus’ carefully contained groans were low and deep as he pulled back slowly and held himself there for a few seconds, letting his body go taut. Blood rushed in and expanded both of his heads.
Kristan’s face looking at him across the desk.
Marcus flung the sheet off himself, exposing his slender and defined body. The muscles of his stomach slid around beneath his darkly tanned skin, hairless all the way down to the wisps of his crotch.
Marcus saw them all, looking from one to the other faster and faster, his hand moving up and down over and over again.
He was quietly panting now, licking at his drying lips.
Kristan, Swimmer, Kristan, Actor, Kristan, Athlete.
Marcus arched his back in one final triumphant motion.
He tensed and allowed his relief to splay across his stomach in two substantial silky white lines.
“Kristan”,he breathed out heavily.
Marcus relaxed back down onto his bed, laying both hands out to his sides as though he had fallen from a great height and landed there.
He took a few minutes to catch his breath and revel in the release he felt, before reality screeched at him from his alarm clock.
BEE-BEE-BEE-BEEP, BEE-BEE-BEE-BEEP it wailed, like a shrill cockerel directly down his ear lobe.
> Marcus exhaled and began pounding away, faster now. A flock of images flickered across his fantasy sight in step with his wrist movements.
With an aimless slap from the palm of his hand, Marcus reached out and turned the thing off, then opened his eyes.
Eight a.m. sunlight was creeping in through the two large windows that his double bed sat in between, drenching the cookie dough coloured room in a flurry of summer-morning sun.
To say that Marcus’ bedroom was huge would be an understatement his mother would be offended to hear. Off to the right of his bed was the door, beside which sat his wardrobe and a chest of drawers. On the far wall opposite the bed hung the 40-inch LED television Dad got him for his seventeenth last August, hooked up to the blu ray home cinema system below it with the speakers distributed around his room.
Marcus climbed off the end of his bed and onto the beige coloured oval rug that dominated the floor of his bedroom; the red swirling pattern adorned on it often a little disorientating first thing in the morning.
He stumbled into his en-suite shower room and splashed warm water over his face, stirring him from the last remains of his slumber and fantasy.
He grabbed a small towel and wiped his chest, then smiled to himself proudly as he had to wipe his left shoulder clean too, before tossing the towel into the linen basket.
Stepping back into his bedroom, Marcus went to the smaller chest of drawers just inside and took out the top pair of black boxers and some socks. He pulled them up over his slim legs with their willowy golden hair barely visible and then turned to the part of his room he most adored.
On the left side of Marcus’ bedroom, next door to the shower room, was his Media Room.
Installed by his Dad after Marcus expressed a desire to get into television and film production at university, the Media Room was impressively adorned with a fully equipped editing bank, and the digital camcorder his sister Olivia had bought him for Christmas last year.
The walls were lined with shelves full of movies, books about movies and television and editing and all aspects of production along with USBs Marcus had stored various images and movies he had created.
In front of the desk was his black leather chair and on which sat the black, leather bound notebook Dad had given him in the spring after he’d found him crying on his bed for no apparent reason. Marcus had been in tears for an hour with him just holding him in his arms, waiting for him to speak only Marcus couldn’t find the words. The next day when he arrived home from school Marcus found the notebook sat on his bed with a note that said, “If you’re not ready to talk to me, try to find someone you cantalk to. I love you Marcus, Dad x”.
Marcus picked it up and took a purple USB stick from under it where he’d placed it last night after finally finishing the source of many hours of hard work.
“Kristan will love this”, he said as he went back into his bedroom and put the stick into his bag.
He zipped up the bag and then threw on a plain dark blue T-shirt followed by his tightest fitting pale blue jeans.
Marcus was determined to get Kristan’s attention today.
He lit the end of the cigarette and placed the lighter back in his pocket. He took a long, deep drag and let the nicotine surge around his body. He repeated the action several times whilst thinking about the upcoming day at College, until it was exhausted and he stubbed the cigarette out in his empty mug, the embers mixing with the last dregs of tea.
He finished ironing the red t-shirt he’d spread over his desk on a towel then slipped it on over his wiry frame, taking care not to dislodge his glasses as it slipped down over his head.
Sean looked around for his bag and realised he’d left it downstairs after he’d gotten home last night, having chosen to dive straight onto the internet rather than do any unnecessary homework.
It had been mostly a waste of time. Sure his ageing laptop showed him there were a few day-early messages of congratulations from guys he had never met and probably never would (CIAs as he had come to think of them – Casual Internet Acquaintances), but none of them from the person he wanted. Mind you, that person didn’t even have Sean’s email address so he shouldn’t have been that surprised and all of Sean’s attempts to add him on every type of social media he found an account for, all had yet to be accepted or acknowledged.
He switched off his laptop, taking one last glance around his room in case he’d forgotten something.
His single bed was pressed up against the wall behind his door with a small chest of drawers on the left hand side between it and the door. The TV/DVD combo was off in the opposite corner on a stand that was stacked full of DVDs. On the right hand wall were his cupboard and shelves full of books and more DVDs and computer games.
A geek’s paradise his mum had called it the last time she’d staggered in by mistake.
A lonely boy’s sanctuary was the reality Sean cherished.
Sean Dawson knew he was an awkward looking boy, his not really-styled mousy brown hair was advancing over his ears and he had a pair of black framed glasses that his father had brought him during the last tug-of-war between him and Sean’s mother. On anyone else they would have looked fashionable. On Sean they frustratingly made him seem to stand out even more.
The deep blue jeans he’d put on this morning did nothing to accentuate his thin legs, sagging down at the rear when a belt would have given them a sorely needed lift.
He wasn’t concerned about how he looked because it didn’t matter, he knew that the abuse would come at College whether he made an effort or not. He had never been able to satisfy people’s thirst to bring him down.
He looked over at his desk at the base of the bed where his laptop lay, and realised he’d left his folder there from last lesson.
‘Sean Dawson – Media’ it beamed at him as he scooped it up and left the room. Dealing with the other student’s insults was the norm, but he didn’t want to aggravate Mr Burke by leaving his work behind.
Sean tiptoed down the straight narrow staircase, counting each of the fourteen steps as he went. Throughout the house curtains were all still closed, keeping away any hurtful sunlight from the only other person in the house.
He cast a hopeful glance at the doormat, wondering if anything had landed there after passing through the letterbox.
He wasn’t shocked to see nothing there.
As he peeked inside the shadowy living room, Sean saw his bag in the doorway and picked it up. An ankle and half a leg waved precariously at him from the end of the sofa, the silver stiletto barely hanging on to the heel.
“Seany J, help Mum”, came a pleading, slurred voice from inside the room.
Sean couldn’t suppress his sigh. He’d hoped his mother would still be sleeping off last night but she seemed to have other plans.
“I gotta go”, he mumbled to her.
“Don’t leave me here”, she begged. “I think I’m blind”.
“Your head is face down on the sofa”. Sean deadpanned.
“Huh?” Her muffled voice returned.
Resigned that he was not going to be on time, Sean placed his bag back on the floor and moved to his mother’s position spread-eagled face down on the sofa. He picked up one of her arms and knelt down, bracing himself before lifting her up and off the couch.
“Ooh”, she began. “I need to be sick”.
“No you don’t, just breathe slowly and walk upstairs with me”.
Kate Dawson stayed silent, her left shoe having fallen off her foot and the remaining one causing an uneven limp as Sean led her towards the staircase. Her black dress was crumpled and had a red wine stain down one side. Her strawberry hair was mottled against her face and the make up was smeared across her cheek from where she’d been lying.
Sean practically dragged her up the final few stairs, her legs having decided to be of no use rather than try to deal with the incline.
Kate’s bedroom was opposite Sean’s and he threw her down onto her double bed.
She sprawled out on her front again, one arm caught beneath her, the other extended off to the side.
Sean knew there would be no thanks, let alone congratulations; she had all but passed out on the way up. He closed the bedroom door and found himself wishing for an external lock with an optional key.
He looked at his watch that told him he was unlikely to be able to make it for the bus on time. He ran down the stairs, grabbed his bag again and bolted out of the front door, starting off in a run, his legs flailing around, hoping nobody would see.
Longthorne College was set a small distance back from one of the city’s main roads and an access route cut a swath straight through the middle of the campus, separating it into two distinct halves.
On one side were the two primary buildings, both uniformly boxed shaped and originally white painted, though the effect of being close to traffic had caused them to fade into a dull near-grey. Come the summer break in just a few weeks time they would have their annual repaint and be returned to pristine condition in time for the new term.
The first building was seven floors high and housed the bulk of the College’s classrooms and study areas, as well as the library. Along the rim of the roof sat large lettering proudly spelling out the College’s name like ‘a lighthouse of education to the city’ – at least according to last year’s publicity.
Below, students were already pouring inside the reception area through the glass revolving doors and cascading off for the start of the final day of their working week.
The second building was smaller, only four floors high and was committed to the classes for Media and Social Sciences. It also held the Common Room and canteen/restaurant.
Over on the other side of the road sat the swimming pool complex, not quite Olympic size but an impressive sight nonetheless. The brickwork went only a third of the way up the walls and then huge glass plates supported by steel framework took over. It gave the pool a striking, imposing look and when the sunlight hit it on a bright day like today, the whole area around glowed in the reflection.
Attached on one side was a gym, half owned by the College, half by a private fitness firm since the equipment had proven too expensive for the College’s budget.
Then there were the Grasslands, an expansive oasis of turf, bushes, trees and walkways that led all the way into the city streets and shops, keeping the students away from the main population but also allowing them access during lunch or study leave.
Marcus was walking towards the four floored media building, christened the Dante Block in honour of a sponsor, his sunglasses shielding his searching eyes.
He spied Lily and her crowd of girlfriends ahead of him going inside and held back.
There was no sign of Kristan, Marcus had dawdled his way through the campus hoping to see him and get to innocently walk into class together, but it seemed he was either already inside or not yet here.
Marcus pondered whether to wait a little longer or go in. He didn’t want to be late, that would look bad, it was just that catching Kristan before was usually the best way to try and engage him in conversation.
They didn’t sit close enough to each other in class to talk without attracting attention, plus Marcus preferred to chat to him with nobody around, not that they had really spoken much beyond routine pleasantries and discussing coursework.
That had been enough for Marcus, especially when there was that flash of energy between them, a smile Kristan would give that lasted that little moment longer than you would give to just a friend, and Marcus was certain Kristan had seen him looking over at him enough times to get the message.
With term coming to a close and with it Marcus’ time at Longthorne, the chances to bond with Kristan were fast running out. He was determined to make something happen, he just needed to get the timing right.
Passing through the doors he filed along the corridors and stairs up to the third floor where his class was in room 304.
The teacher’s desk at the front left side was empty, along with about five other tables. They were set out in four twin rows of three with a division down the centre.
Marcus went to his place on the third row along, over to the far left where he sat beside the window, his view of the sports area and Grasslands beyond.
On a clear day he could see the lines of swimmers going up and down the pool through the glass walls. He had his gear with him today as he was competing in the intra-college final after lunch and couldn’t wait to feel the water on his skin.
He sat down next to Lily, her straight blond hair arranged in a low cut fringe that touched the top of her eyebrows.
“Hey”, he offered.
“Hiya”, she returned, twisting her body slightly to push her open topped baby blue shirt in his direction.
Marcus continued fishing his books and pad out of his bag, all the while scanning the doorway for signs of Kristan.
“That your presentation?” Lily asked as Marcus put the USB case on the desk.
“Yeah, how’s yours going?”
“Well, it’s kinda finished”, she began before teasing. “Not that I expect Mr Burke to make me show it like yours”.
“He hasn’t said it will be used yet”, Marcus corrected, knowing that it was only a question of when he was asked to have his work shown, not if.
They had all been working exclusively on their final project for the last month since it was going to contribute thirty per cent of their final mark, the remainder coming from the two exams they had in six weeks time.
Their brief was ‘to produce a visual project in whichever format you choose on a socially relevant topic’.
Marcus was putting together a short film on the modern world’s corruption of the natural environment. He’d spent weeks filming various natural habitats and juxtaposing those images with ones taken in the city of office blocks and developments in progress.
He was planning on doing either some kind of musical background or voiceover once the pieces were set out in the final way.
Marcus sidestepped Lily’s compliment; whilst he, and his mother, knew he excelled in all his classes, he at least never put his success in front of anyone else’s.
As Lily started scrolling away on her phone, Marcus felt a pang of guilt - he knew lately he had been neglecting friendships that had brought him through secondary school and college because of the growing distance between them.
It wasn’t’ like being gay was unique in the College, but the others he’d spotted all seemed so much older than him, so much more self assured and experienced, that the usually confident Marcus had felt too intimidated to approach them.
He told himself that College was his cocoon and once he left for university – that would be his time to be free of expectations.
Hurried echoing footsteps outside in the corridor roused Marcus’ attention back to the doorway via a quick glance at the clock indicating only a few minutes before nine o’clock.
Kristan walked into the classroom.
Marcus tried not to look too pleased but was unable to suppress a smile as he took in Kristan in his form fitting dark jeans with brown belt and the long sleeve chequered shirt with the top button undone, clinging to the strong curves of his chest.
He had a chiselled face with the hint of soft golden stubble and his wavy chestnut hair was newly cut, Marcus thought it must have been done last night.
Marcus’ gaze followed Kristan as he walked through the room and put his satchel down on his desk.
“Good morning everyone, ready for another fun day of me tearing your hard work to pieces”.
Kristan always had some smart comment he used to start each day. The class laughed gently as they responded to their teacher in mocking unison.
“Yes, Mr Burke”.