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by Ryan Field
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: Jim Johnston has been trying to break into show business for seven years, and now he has a chance to audition for a new reality show called The Gay Bachelor. But he missed the Hollywood auditions, so he has to travel back home to the deep rural country of Southern New Jersey and audition in Philadelphia. Jim arrives at his parents' old brick plantation style house for the first time since he graduated high school. When he sees how much they've aged since he's been gone, it tugs at his heart and he tis determined to make things right again so it doesn't take another seven years for him to return. But this doesn't stop Jim from having a quick affair with his mother's maid's strapping nephew while his mother and father are at church. And it doesn't stop him from falling hopelessly in love with one of the producers of the new reality show, The Gay Bachelor, when he auditions in Philadelphia. With all the obstacles Jim faces before the audition, he discovers a few things about himself he didn't know. In spite of the disappointments...and a few awkward moments with a chocolate cupcake...he's determined to concentrate more on love than on casual sex. Even though he's not sure how it's all going to work out in the end, he's ready to take his chances for the sake of love.
eBook Publisher: Ravenous Romance/Ravenous Romance, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: September 2011
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [290 KB]
Reading time: 202-283 min.
Jim Johnston couldn't sing, dance, play a musical instrument, or act. He didn't know how to swallow a flaming sword, charm a snake, or pull a rabbit out of a hat. The only real writing ability he possessed was that he could text his best friend with one thumb while eating a bean burrito and driving down the Santa Monica freeway at the same time.
This lack of basic talent posed a problem, because the only thing he'd ever really wanted in life was to be rich and famous--a star. It was one reason why he'd left his small hometown in southern New Jersey and moved out to Los Angeles after high school. Though he'd be the first to admit his talents were limited, he knew he could depend on his body, his thick brown hair, and the dimples in his cheeks. He had a great ass, too. Even on his worst days, when his hair was covered with a baseball cap and he hadn't shaved in three days, he could make heads turn.
Jim had the kind of good looks that people said couldn't be compared to any other famous good-looking guys. He had his own look, his own style, and his own brand without even trying too hard to obtain it. There was nothing outrageous about him, yet he had something different going on. And though he wasn't always conscious of his unusual appeal, he did know how to give people what they wanted, especially straight people.
But Jim had been living in Los Angeles for seven years and the most he'd been able to accomplish was landing two fairly lucrative part-time jobs that kept him in designer knock-offs and a small rented home in Hollywood he shared with his best friend, Myra Lockwood. He'd met Myra on a casting call for a TV commercial the first year he'd moved out to L.A., back when she'd been hoping to become rich and famous, too. She'd just lost her mother to cancer and she was looking for someone to rent out the guest room in the modest home she'd inherited from her mother. At the time, Jim was still living in a low-rent hotel in East L.A. They started talking, discovered they were both fans of cheesy horror films with dumb college kids, and she wound up offering him the rental right there in the waiting room.
All that happened seven years earlier. Jim Johnston was now twenty-five years old and still trying to become rich and famous. Myra still went on the occasional casting call. But she had taken a full-time job as an associate talent agent in the same agency where her mother had once worked as a secretary. And Myra had been dating a guy who worked as a set director for the past two years. The two of them would often joke that if Jim needed an agent, Myra would be the first person he'd call.
Jim was determined to change his luck that summer. At this point in his career, he figured his best bet would be to get into reality television, on a popular show like Big Brother, Survivor Island, or a new show called The Gay Bachelor. In fact, he'd applied to every single reality show on television and he was always waiting to hear from one of them. He was hoping for something on Big Brother. He adored Julie Chen. The grand prize was a half-million dollars and all the contestants had to do was cut each others' throats and walk around bare-chested. But he would be open to any offers that came his way.
When he sent Myra a text on a Monday morning in early June to let her know he might be home later than usual that night, he'd just stepped out of the shower and he was drying his body in front of the sliding glass doors that led to a small concrete patio off the dining room. Myra's house was one of those small bungalows in an older Hollywood neighborhood that had been slipping down since the 1960s. The aluminum sliding glass doors had permanent water stains and the concrete patio had cracks and chips with weeds poking through. Jim was drying himself off in front of the doors on purpose because the young guy who did yard work in the house that backed up to Myra's house was outside trimming the hedges for the older woman who lived there. Jim wasn't interested in meeting anyone for emotional attachments at this point in his life, but he had noticed the guy trimming the hedges had been watching him sunbathe outside for weeks. Jim always sunbathed in the nude, with a white sock over his penis. He liked being tan all over.
The first text to Myra read, "b home late 2 nite. leaving 4 work. giving cute guy in backyard a little show right now by back doors. hehe." He knew how much Myra loved his sexy adventure stories. He made most of them up, but she loved them anyway. She also loved the guy who did yard work for the old woman behind them. Myra said the guy reminded her of a famous professional baseball player from Philadelphia, Chase Utley. She always sighed when she saw his thick brown hair, his large biceps, and his scratchy five o'clock shadow. The guy she was dating had a good, dependable job, but also had thinning hair and rounded shoulders. Jim suspected a little dick, too, but wouldn't say something like that aloud to his best friend.
While Jim waited for Myra's reply, he turned sideways, spread his naked legs, and arched his back. He'd just shaved his entire body and he was smooth and tan all over. Jim knew this was decadent, and he knew the guy trimming the bushes was watching; he could feel the guy's gaze on his naked buttocks. He wasn't actually going to invite the guy over at that moment. He didn't have time that morning; he was on his way to work. He was just showing off and giving the guy an image he'd remember until the next time he saw him.
Jim heard a signal and glanced down at his phone. The reply from Myra read, "hey, bb. u r so bad...lol. have a good day. c u 2 nite. luv u."
Jim replied with a final text. "don't 4 get about Fri. luv u 2."
With both of them working so much, they didn't actually see each other for days at a time. Jim was going back to New Jersey on Saturday morning for two whole weeks and they'd planned a quiet dinner at home with just the two of them on Friday night.
There were two reasons for going home: Jim hadn't seen his family in seven years and he'd lined up an audition for the new TV show The Gay Bachelor in Philadelphia. He'd missed the auditions in L.A. for The Gay Bachelor, and he figured it was worth the trip to Philadelphia for a chance to be on that show. Besides, he had a lot of unfinished business back home he'd been ignoring for a long time. There were things weighing on him he wanted to take care of before it was too late.
He set his phone down on the table in the dining area next to his car keys. When he turned to walk back to the bedroom, the guy who'd been trimming the old woman's bushes out back was now standing in front of the sliding glass doors, gaping through the faded glass. Jim hadn't expected him to walk right up to the doors. The guy had never been that aggressive before. Jim jumped back, dropped the towel, and pressed his palm to his chest.
The guy reached for the door and slid it open. He remained outside at a safe distance and said, "Hey, I'm Kevin." Then his hand went down between his legs. He pulled down his zipper, pulled out his erection right there in the doorway, waved it back and forth. "I was watching you."
Myra would have screamed and called the police. But Jim glanced down between Kevin's legs. Evidently he wasn't as shy as Jim thought he was. There had to be nine inches in length, and enough girth to fill a soda can. Jim hadn't been with anyone in almost six months. He'd been too busy working, trying to pay off the new six-hundred-dollar tires he'd needed for his ten-year-old Mercedes. He smiled and said, "I don't have much time, Kevin. I'm Jim." Now he was sorry he'd started all this.
Kevin smiled and shrugged. "It won't take much time, Jim."
Jim crossed to the sliding glass door and glanced at five o'clock shadow on Kevin's handsome face. He detected a hint of beer on his breath. Kevin had to be at least six feet five inches tall, and Jim was only five eleven. He had to look up to meet his eyes. "You're a big boy," Jim said.
Kevin flexed his biceps and said, "You have a nice tan."
This was the extent of their conversation. Jim reached up and grabbed his biceps and squeezed them a few times. He couldn't resist the urge. Then he went down on his knees, closed his eyes, and opened his mouth as wide as it would go.
His encounter with Kevin took longer than he'd expected it would. Jim had to dress quickly and drive like a maniac so he wouldn't be late for his job in the Valley. The good thing about his job was he didn't have to wear anything formal and it didn't really matter whether or not his hair was a little messy because a big guy trimming shrubs named Kevin had been tugging it that morning. The bad thing was Jim would have to use his mouth again and his jaw was already a little sore.
When Jim pulled up to the security gates of the condo complex where he worked, he waved to the guard and continued without stopping. Though the guard didn't know exactly what Jim did at this condo complex in the Valley, he knew him well enough to let him slide by with a wave and nod and without asking any questions. Jim had taken the job a year ago, hoping it was only temporary at the time. But it paid very well and he couldn't afford to be finicky about work, especially with his limited skills and education. The people with whom he worked treated him better than anyone had ever treated him on a job. It beat his other job as a bartender in West Hollywood, where he had to smile and pretend he liked the way the older gay men with a few extra bucks leered at him and groped him. The only hard part about this job in the Valley was the way he had to perform and the way he had to fake it all the time. His co-workers expected him to be the ultimate effeminate gay cliche, with a strong lisp, limp wrists, and submissive gestures. But it was a small sacrifice to pay for a good job that paid extremely well. Jim had learned a long time ago that when he played the game right and gave the straight people what they wanted, he had the last laugh in the end.
The way Jim behaved at work in the Valley wasn't that much different from what his friend Michael did in his line of work. In fact, it was Michael who had turned Jim onto this little secret. Michael was an interior designer at a trendy studio on Melrose. When Michael wasn't working, no one would ever have guessed he was gay. But when he was on the job at the design studio and the straight women with money came in looking for the right fabric or the right accent pillow, Michael transformed into a pronoun-changing, lip-gloss wearing, nellie queen. The women loved it--the more money they had, the more they loved it. He'd once told Jim, "The first month I worked there and I tried to be myself. You know, just a normal guy. But the women wanted nothing to do with me. They wouldn't even walk up to me. The minute I started referring to myself as 'she' and laying on the flamboyant, bitchy queen attitude you see on TV all the time, they flocked to me like bees to honey. If you're gay and you want to make a buck, you gotta give 'em what they want."
At first, Jim had frowned on this. He didn't want to be inauthentic; he didn't like being insincere. He'd been captain of his high school football team and one of the best wrestlers his small town had ever known. He'd never been bullied or harassed by so-called haters, and he'd never cared much about floral arrangements and cooking. His mother still had his trophies lined up on the mantel in the family room back home. In high school, he'd taken on an after school job as a part-time construction worker and even changed his own oil in the car. The last thing Jim had ever been interested in was lipstick, earrings, or anything associated with drag. He didn't know a fabric swatch from a paint chip. He knew nothing about dresses and fashion and women's shoes. He wasn't even fond of the gay pride events some of his friends loved so much. All he'd ever wanted was to be a man without any labels at all.
He parked his older navy blue Mercedes sedan next to a large white van. He knew the van belonged to technical crews. This was one of those condo complexes where the condos all resemble townhouses. He climbed out of the car and walked to the last white stucco unit on the left. It always made him smile when he heard of people living in units. He didn't have to knock. He had his own key. He knew he was a few minutes late, so he slipped into the condo and quietly walked to the back of the unit where the all the guys were usually hanging out. He was hoping that if the producer didn't see him, he might not notice he was late.
But as he rounded a corner near the kitchen entrance, a balding, overweight man in his mid-forties put his hand on his hip and said, "There you are, Miss Thing. We were all wondering when you were going to grace us with an appearance." This was Martin, Jim's boss and the producer. He spoke with a raspy lisp and he had both hands fastened to his wide hips most of the time. His stomach tumbled over his belt. His left leg was extended and he was tapping his small chubby foot. In Martin's case, the lisp wasn't a forced act. It came naturally.
Jim stopped near the center island in the kitchen. He set his car keys in a bowl on the dark granite counter and took a deep breath. "I'm sorry, honey," he said, switching to his girly voice. He waved his hands back and forth. "I had a hair appointment this morning, then I had to get my legs waxed." He turned to a group of fifteen handsome young straight guys with hard bodies and said, "I hope I didn't hold any of you boys up too long."
One of the straight condo guys walked over and put his arm around Jim. He was wearing jeans, but no shirt. He held a can of beer in one hand and spoke with a deep, throaty voice. "Don't pick on him, Martin. He's not that late. We aren't ready yet anyway." Then he pulled Jim into his side and the other guys started banging their fists on the tables and shouting at Martin.
Jim smiled at the rowdy group and placed his palm gently on the straight guy's naked abdomen. Jim didn't know this guy's real name, just his stage name: Dirk. Jim sent Martin an innocent glance and said, "I'm sorry. It won't happen again, sweetie." He liked the way Dirk was always around to stick up for him. But all the guys treated him well, and he had no complaints in this department. Although this was the most unusual job he'd ever had, it was also the friendliest job he'd ever had. There wasn't an attitude or a nasty personality in the entire condo. Even old Martin, though he could be snippy and bitchy at times, treated everyone with respect.
Martin frowned. He was still tapping his foot and his hands were still on his hips. "Well, let's get this show on the road, girl. We're going live in a few minutes and we have fans depending on us." When he said "girl," he was referring to Jim.
Jim smiled and sent Martin a double snap. "This girl is ready to work, sweetie." He turned and kissed Dirk's bare chest.
The other guys started bumping fists and making rowdy comments about the way Jim had kissed Dirk. Some were wearing jeans and no shirt like Dirk, and others were already in their underwear scratching their crotches. But Jim had a feeling it was going to be one of those difficult days where he'd go home at the end of the day aching. In order to perform, the straight guys usually had to have a few beers first. From what Jim could see, most of them had had a few more beers than usual that day. When that happened, they usually grew rowdier.
Dirk put his other arm around Jim and said, "You want to start with me first?" He'd always been the most protective with Jim.
Jim looked up at him and smiled. His voice softened and his eyelids even fluttered a little. He slid his palm slowly up and down Dirk's rugged torso. "I'd love to start with you first. Don't tell the other guys. But you're my favorite boy in the house."