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You. Forever. Always.

The Underdogs

by K.A. Merikan

— YEARS OF LOVING IN SECRET. NOW THE SECRET’S OUT. —

Mage. Reasonable. Mature. In love with his best friend’s little brother.

Dawn. Painfully shy. Crazy talented. An anxious cinnamon roll in need of protection.

Mage has always been Dawn’s hero. He’s been there for him when Dawn was bullied, when Dawn came out, and when he joined The Underdogs. He’s also been Dawn’s first and only love—painfully unrequited, since Mage is straight. But that’s only for the better, because they’re bandmates, and Dawn’s brother is Mage’s best friend.

It would all be too intense, too complicated, too real.

But then one drunken kiss proves Mage might not be as straight as he seemed, and their whole world turns upside down. Even though Dawn craves Mage’s love so much his heart could burst, his shyness stands in the way of any future they could share.

While they have to keep their budding relationship under wraps and they prepare to sign a major record deal, Dawn’s anxiety gets out of control. Mage will have to choose between the success he’s always craved and the love of his life.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Themes: rock band, bandmates romance, older brother’s best friend, coming out, bisexuality, first love, anxiety, compromise, music, secret love

Genre: Contemporary M/M Rocker Romance

Heat level: sweet, explicit scenes

Length: ~50,000 words (Can be read as standalone, HEA)

This book is on:
  • 4 To Be Read lists
Published:
Publisher: Independently Published
Editors:
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: MM
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Best Friend’s Sibling, Big Character / Little Character, Bodyguard/Guardian Angel, Coming Out / Closeted, Everyone is Queer, Find Love and Come Out, First Time, Friends to Lovers, Interracial Relationship, Out for You, Passing as Straight, Queer Wedding, True Love, Wide-Eyed Innocence
Word Count: 50000
Setting: USA, Los Angeles, Aspen, Colorado, California, Tour
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Excerpt:

Mage would have latched on to anything coming out of Dawn’s lips at this point, but a direct question? It was like a large piece of chocolate found in a bowl of porridge. “Yeah?”

“It’s been a while since you’ve had a girlfriend. Don’t you get lonely? I don’t actually need a babysitter.” Dawn took a large swig of beer and looked up at Mage with big green eyes that demanded an honesty Mage couldn’t offer.

Mage’s insides shrunk under the direct gaze, and he grabbed his own drink, just so that he had something to do with his hands. The question had come unexpectedly, and he didn’t really have an answer prepared, so he told Dawn the same stupid lie he’d told his parents.

“Oh, you know, we’re so busy with the band. There isn’t really much time left in the day,” he said, even though he always had plenty of time for Dawn.

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“I just want you to know that if you meet a girl you like on tour, and you wanted to take her to the room or something, you can let me know and I’ll find someplace to be. I know I’m younger than you, but I’m not a kid anymore.”

He had such gentle features—tiny nose, a few freckles and round cheeks—but it was true that he wasn’t fourteen anymore, and his shoulders, while slender, had a masculine shape. When Dawn had started transforming from a child into a young man, Mage’s friendship slowly turned into attraction that had filled him with dread at the time, but he couldn’t exactly blame himself for finding Dawn attractive nowadays.

They could have hooked up without it being immoral or indecent, but that didn’t change the fact that Dawn was a very sensitive person who held Mage in high esteem. It wouldn’t feel right to make a move on him, even if the good of the band wasn’t in the way. Not when Mage had never even been with a guy, and couldn’t be certain if a relationship of that kind would work for him. Still, Dawn’s suggestion that he, of all people, was an obstacle in Mage’s life filled Mage’s chest with such weight he didn’t know what to do anymore.

“I-uh… I know. I know you’re an adult.” He sighed, glancing at Dawn, who lowered his head, so his fluffy black hair obscured his eyes. “I just don’t want that kind of thing. I want someone special.”

Dawn finished the beer and let the can float away in the fizzy water. He was usually more cautious about trash, so it made Mage wonder if he wasn’t drunker than he seemed. He didn’t drink often because his hangovers were pretty bad, and he wasn’t used to anything stronger than wine. Could the deep breaths evidenced by the rapid movement of his shoulders suggest he was about to be sick? No matter how much Mage loved Dawn, he was not about to bathe in vomit water.

Dawn looked up and before Mage realized what was going on, he arched up just enough to kiss Mage on the lips.

COLLAPSE

About the Author

K.A. Merikan are a team of writers who try not to suck at adulting, with some success. Always eager to explore the murky waters of the weird and wonderful, K.A. Merikan don’t follow fixed formulas and want each of their books to be a surprise for those who choose to hop on for the ride.

K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.


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