Words of advice: Never fall in love with your best friend, especially if he’s one of the most popular kids at school, the best high school quarterback in the state, or if he happens to be your next-door neighbor.
Series: Gilcrest University Guys – book #1) Publisher: Self-Published Release Date: March 17, 2019 Length: Novel / 55,000 words / 175 pages Heat Rating: 4 flames Pairing / Genre(s) / Keyword(s): M/M, Contemporary, Romance, Friends to Lovers, Coming Out, First-time Gay
There are moments in your life that become part of you. They become so ingrained in your memory that you can’t let them go, no matter how hard you try. Some may seem small and insignificant when they happen. Others are so big and important that you know, even while you’re in the moment, that your life will be forever changed. For me, almost all those moments—both the small and insignificant as well as the big and important—were moments I shared with Chance Wyrick.
If I were in a support group for hopelessly pathetic gays, I’d have to introduce myself by saying, “Hi, I’m Andy Michaelson and I can’t stop myself from thinking about Chance Wyrick.”
From the time we met, when we were only six years old, and for the next twelve years, he was my best friend. I fell in love with him along the way. I couldn’t say exactly when it happened, only that it happened.
Words of advice:
Never fall in love with your best friend, especially if he’s one of the most popular kids at school, the best high school quarterback in the state, or if he happens to be your next-door neighbor.
But most of all…
Never, I repeat never, fall in love with your best friend if he’s straight. Nothing good can come of it. Trust me.
Our friendship was over before we finished our last year of high school. My best friend became my ex-best friend. I hoped to forget about him when I went off to college. But Chance followed me there. So did all the memories.
I tried to forget him. I did. But he was more beautiful than ever. He was the starting quarterback for Gilcrest University. He was larger than life. He was impossible to ignore. We hadn’t spoken in years, but the memories still hit me out of nowhere, and they still hurt.
By the time I started my third year at Gilcrest, I was beginning to think I’d never be over him.
As it turns out, I was right…
Chasing Chance is the first book in the Gilcrest University Guys series. It’s a full-length, “friends to lovers” romance novel. It has “coming out” and “first-time gay” themes, is stocked full of STEAM, heartache, and laughter, and it has a guaranteed happy ending. The series will follow the love stories of four college friends. Chasing Chance is the first of two books that will tell Andy and Chance’s love story. Look for book two, Catching Chance, to come out soon!
As we sat next to one another on the rocky river bank in silence, I watched his wild dark hair ripple in the wind. He looked so much older than me. His shoulders were broad, and he was at least two inches taller than I was. I couldn’t help but notice the curves of his biceps through his fleece pullover. He was the hottest guy I’d ever seen. He was the guy I imagined kissing when I jerked off. Well, it went back and forth between him and the High School Musical version of Zac Efron, but mostly it was Chance.
The truth was, we didn’t have much in common. We both loved riding bikes, running through the woods, and playing video games. But that’s where our similarities ended. I figured out pretty early on that I’d rather be in the kitchen with my mom helping her bake something or working on a craft project, or reading a book, rather than being out in the front yard throwing a football with my dad. I was all about reading and science and Chance Wyrick was all about sports… any sport, really. He was always the best one on the team, and it didn’t matter what kind of team it was.
Our differences didn’t seem to matter for a long time. We were pretty much inseparable until the previous year. It was inevitable that we would eventually separate. He started hanging out with the jocks and I started hanging out with the nerds. But after school on most days, it was like nothing had changed. He would just walk through my front door, go straight up to my bedroom, and we’d start playing video games. We still knew everything about each other’s life, we just stopped acknowledging each other at school.
Chance had his knees pulled up in front of him and was tracing some inconceivable pattern on the massive rock we were sitting on with a stick. I liked to think of it as our rock. It was the first place we came to every year as soon as we were done setting up camp. I wondered what he’d think if he knew how obsessed I was with him. I hadn’t told anyone I was gay. But I knew I was. There wasn’t a chance in hell I’d ever tell him. In fact, he was the last person I’d ever tell. He shook his head and tossed his stick in the water and looked over at me. His cheeks were red from the cold air and his big caramel eyes sparkled with golden flecks in them when he looked at me. I could feel my face turn red and I immediately looked down and started throwing pebbles in the river, hoping he couldn’t read my thoughts.
“You really going to homecoming with Marci Jenkins?” he asked.
I rolled my eyes. It wasn’t something I was excited about, but she made a big deal out of asking me and I felt bad saying no. “Yeah. I guess. Are you going with anyone?”
He cleared his throat. “I asked that new girl, Kara Watkins?”
“Yeah. I know who she is. Blonde, big tits, dance team.”
He laughed. “Yeah, she’s fucking hot, dude.”
I rolled my eyes again and felt a pang of red-hot jealousy hit me in the chest. It was our freshman year of high school and, so far, neither of us had much experience with girls. Chance had been too busy playing every sport known to man and, well, I was just me. I shouldn’t hate a girl I never talked to or met, but I did. That’s why I did my best in that moment to slut-shame her. “Yeah. I heard she made out with two different guys at Jake Holloway’s party. I also heard her parents caught her doing it with some older kid from Wilsonville and that’s why she had to come to school here.” Everything I said to him was pretty much a big lie, except the part about her making out with two guys at Jake’s party (I heard that part from Marci’s friend Shelly, a completely unreliable source). I felt a little sick to my stomach after I said it. It wasn’t like me to do something like that.
I looked over at him. His face was red. He shrugged. “I don’t think that’s true. I was at Jake’s party and she did make out with Matt Hoffner, but that’s it. She told Kerri Sidner that she didn’t like him. Supposedly, she likes me. I don’t know.”
I cleared my throat and kept chucking rocks in the river. “Well, I guess she does or she wouldn’t have said she’d go to the dance with you.”
“Yeah, I guess so. I’m pretty sure she’s gonna want to make out.”
A sarcastic snicker escaped my lips. “Most likely. So what?” I was trying not to be an asshole, but the whole idea of Chance making out with someone else pissed me off. I knew I was being completely irrational, but I couldn’t help it.
“So, I’ve never done it. Have you?”
I rolled my eyes. “What? Made out with someone?”
“Chance—this is me we’re talking about. No.”
“Well, do you think Marci will want to?”
I shrugged because I hadn’t really thought about it. “I don’t know. Maybe. Are you really worried about it?”
I looked over at him and his face was still red. “Fuck no.” He ran his fingers through his wild dark hair and sighed. “I don’t know. Maybe. Aren’t you? What if I fuck it up or I don’t know what I’m doin’ or something and she tells people?”
My eyes were completely focused on Chance’s lips and I don’t know what came over me but before I could stop myself I blurted out, “We could practice.”
His face was bright red and mine felt hot. I was sure I was redder than he was. Why did I just say that? He looked at me like I’d lost my mind. “With each other?” The way he said it sounded less like a legitimate question and more like a “Are you fucking kidding me?” rhetorical question.
But at that point I’d said it and I couldn’t take it back. “Yeah. I mean, who else could we practice with? If we did it first, it wouldn’t be as weird with the girls. It’s just an idea. You don’t have to get all freaked out about it.”
All of the sudden, I felt a stinging punch to my left arm. It hurt like a son-of-a-bitch, but I wasn’t gonna tell Chance that. “Okay. Shit! Chill out. It was just an idea.”
Chance was quiet, and I was busy praying I could invent a time machine and go back to five minutes ago until he spoke again. “If we do this, dude, you can’t tell anybody.”
“Who the fuck am I gonna tell? It’s not exactly something I would want to go around broadcasting.”
The next thing I knew, he had scooted closer to me. “You be the girl. What should I do first?”
My heart was pounding. I kept wondering if the whole thing was really happening. I took a deep breath and took off my glasses and put them down on the rock beside me. “It’s not like I’m an expert or anything, but I think girls like it if you start with a regular kiss first—like soft and gentle.” Chance grabbed the back of my head and pressed his soft lips against mine for a few seconds and then pulled back.
I swallowed hard. That was the first time I understood what it meant to have butterflies in your stomach. I rasped, “Yeah. Like that.”
His face was still red when he leaned in and kissed me again the same way. That time my lips parted and he slid his tongue inside my mouth. It was slow at first as our tongues explored, and then the kiss grew more urgent. It was the best thing I’d ever felt. At some point, I wrapped my hand around his neck and pulled him closer to me. I don’t know how long we were kissing. It could have been hours. It could have been minutes. All I knew was that I didn’t want to stop. It was better than I had ever imagined. By the time he pulled away, I was out of breath and he was too. I could feel my dick straining against my jeans and I pulled my knees up to my chest, hoping he couldn’t tell I had a boner.
He wiped his hand over his face. “Do you think we did it right?”
I couldn’t help but grin. “Yeah. I think. I mean, it felt good, right?”
He ran his hands through his incredible dark hair. “Yeah. I mean… yeah, I think it was right.” He backhanded me across the chest. “Remember, nobody hears about this.”
I rolled my eyes and said, “Duh.” I really wanted to ask him to practice again, but I didn’t want to press my luck.
I knew I made the right call as soon as he jumped up. “Race you back to camp!” I watched him take off running and I put my glasses back on, got up, and jogged after him. There was no reason to try. Even if he gave me a thirty-second head start, I never would have beat him.
Mary Esther Parker, a former attorney, is an up-and-coming new author who lives in Tennessee with her teenage daughter and a grumpy white-haired cat. She loves to read just about anything. When she is not reading, she is writing, painting, making home improvements, or drinking wine with her best friends. She has a B.A. in Political Science and a J.D. from the University of Tennessee. She likes writing sweet love stories that combine a lot of laughs, sometimes a few tears, ooey-gooey romance at its best, and a whole lot of steamy sex, and she believes that when you put those things all together in the right way, you get the perfect feel-good read, guaranteed to leave you smiling in the end. She believes love is love, romance is romance, and gender is irrelevant.