Today I am so pleased to welcome Hope Ryan to Joyfully Jay. Hope has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, The Geek and His Artist. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
JIMMY LEANED back against the wall near the front entrance of the school, eyes glued to the main doors. He was probably being silly—had probably missed his artist, anyway—but he couldn’t help it. He’d barely slept the night before because he was worried about Simon and what might have happened after he and his mother had left. And because he’d gotten to spend two amazing hours with his artist.
He knew Simon’s name. He’d touched Simon. And he was finally ready to admit it was likely that Simon was at least bi, if not gay. And possibly even interested in him.
Half the night had been spent trying to ignore his dick, which had been singularly uncooperative. He’d been trying to put it off, more worried than horny, but finally gave in around 2:00 a.m. with a new set of fantasies, all of which involved being able to call Simon’s name at the right time.
“Dude, give it up. Let’s go. Fuck’s sake, you’ll see him at lunch.”
Jimmy tried to ignore Ronnie’s irritated grumblings. He checked his watch instead and saw he had a good ten minutes before the first bell rang. “Go. No one’s making you stay here.” Jimmy tore his gaze away from the door to look at Ronnie.
Ronnie snickered. “As if. And miss the chance to see your crush? Talk to him?”
Jimmy glowered, ignoring the “crush” comment. “I swear, if you say anything other than, ‘My name is Ronnie, it’s nice to meet you,’ I will shove your head so far up your ass, you’ll never see the light of day again.”
“He’d enjoy that,” Sean quipped, and Jimmy, despite himself, laughed.
“Fuck you, man,” Ronnie said, without heat.
“We’ve had this discussion.” Jimmy turned back to watch the door, and just as he looked up, the unmistakable blond hair and blue flannel appeared. He couldn’t have kept the smile off his face for all the money in the world. He straightened, leaving Ronnie and Sean to follow or not, as they wished.
He stopped in front of Simon and looked at his artist’s face critically. Simon had obviously not slept much better than he had. Jimmy shoved his hands in his pockets to keep from touching Simon. He didn’t know how that would be taken. “Hi.”
Simon smiled, though it seemed a bit weak. “Hi. Uh… I didn’t expect to see you this morning.”
Jimmy shrugged a shoulder, knowing his cheeks were coloring. “I….” He cleared his throat and decided to go for it. If Simon didn’t want it, well, he’d try not to die of embarrassment and humiliation. “I didn’t want to wait to see you.” He did keep his voice down. He was not interested in giving Ronnie more fuel than necessary.
Simon’s smile strengthened and widened. “I… that’s… thanks.” His cheeks turned a bit red, and Jimmy’s smile got bigger.
He threw a glare at his friends and decided to get that part over with. “Simon, this is my asshole best friend, Ronnie, and my other best friend who isn’t quite as much of an asshole, Sean.”
Sean laughed and Ronnie scowled, though Jimmy knew he wasn’t really pissed.
“I’m Ronnie, it’s nice to meet you.” He threw a cheesy grin at Jimmy, who laughed.
Sean waved. “He’s not allowed to say any more or he’ll be cosplaying as a donut.”
Simon blinked, but Jimmy just shook his head. “Ignore them. They’re full of shit. Most of the time, anyway.”
“Mine are too. I get it.” Simon chuckled.
“Come on, Ronnie, we can give him shit later. Let’s go.”
Jimmy threw Ronnie a glare, and Ronnie put up his hands. “Fine! I’m not interested in a bowel examination the hard way. Later, Simon.” And he and Sean took off.
Simon Williams spends his lunch periods drawing his geek and trying not to think about the terrors waiting for him at home. He needs to get away from his abusive father before he suffers the same grisly fate as his mother. Because he’s learned the hard way running away doesn’t work, he’s counting the days until his eighteenth birthday.
Jimmy Bennet should be spending his lunch studying so his senior GPA is good enough to get him into college, but he can’t seem to focus thanks to his distracting artist. When he’s given the opportunity to tutor Simon in Trig and discovers Simon’s home-life nightmare, he wants nothing more than to get Simon out of danger. This need becomes more urgent when Simon comes to school the Monday after their first date with bruises, but it takes a broken leg before Jimmy can convince his boyfriend the Bennets really want him.
But the danger Simon thought was past shows up at the most unexpected time, and he must stand up to the fears he’s held so long to protect not only himself, but the man he wants to spend his life with.
HOPE RYAN is an out and proud bisexual, wife of a loving guy, and mother to three, including an amazingly brave gender-fluid son. She loves to write about the tough stuff, but also wants to see her characters happy in the end. She feels strongly about showing there is hope for everyone, no matter where you come from, how you identify your gender, or who you love.
Hope likes to play board and card games and can often be found playing God with her Sims or running around, fighting monsters in a virtual version of Middle Earth. Her TV and movie preferences lean towards anime, sci-fi, and fantasy, though she’ll never turn down a good happily ever after love story, either. As long as there are explosions or action, she’s happy. She loves to read books of all kinds, though prefers stories about love in its many forms.