Seeing as how I renewed my contract to keep My Summer of Wes selling with Loose Id, I thought I’d dig out the chapter my editor and I decided to delete from the original manuscript. It falls between Chapter Six — where Mal fixes Wes’s computer — and Seven — where Mal goes over for dinner with Wes’s family — and contains a lot of thinking on Mal’s part about whether he might actually be gay and attracted to Wes.
If you’re familiar with the story, Mal later mentions having gone bowling with Wes and been slightly bothered by what he thought was Wes flirting with another guy, as well as an erotic dream he had about Wes. My editor and I determined that these scenes were repetitive and didn’t add to the story enough to keep them. Initially, I worried that Mal’s realization would appear to have happened too fast, but most of the readers I’ve heard from have said they’ve thought Mal’s process from “am not” to “so am” was realistic.
Just for a little fun, here’s that missing chapter…
“I am a complete klutz.”
Wes laughed and gave my shoulder a pat as I passed him, flexing my hand. I don’t know how, but I’d somehow managed to throw another gutter ball and whack the back of my throwing hand with the bowling ball at the same time.
“Poor Mal,” he said, fluffing my curls as I slumped beside him.
“And you won’t even get me a beer,” I grumbled.
“Ask me again in a few years, kiddo.”
“Ha-ha.” I got up again. “I’m going to go get another Coke.”
“Make it caffeine-free so you don’t ruin your bedtime.”
I knocked his head forward as I walked by. He was quick with the one-liners tonight.
And he had really soft hair.
“Stop it already,” I mumbled to myself as I wandered over toward the concession area in the center of the bowling alley. I’d had weird thoughts like that a lot tonight. Noticing things about Wes that were… Well, inappropriate, I guess. How well his jeans fit him, the way his arm muscles flexed when he bowled, and the sparkle in his eyes when I made him laugh. And now I wanted to touch his damn hair again.
I sighed as I waited in line, my eyes straying back to Wes. He was standing now, holding his beer and talking to a guy with military-short dark hair and a sleeveless shirt that showed off his muscles. Wes looked small compared to him. The guy laughed at something Wes said, then reached out and cupped Wes’s elbow in his palm as he rocked toward him.
I felt myself frown and blush. No, not blush. Flush. With anger. With…jealousy?
What the hell?
Wes looked at me then and his smile faded. He stepped back, away from the guy, and I wondered nervously if I was giving off some vibe that he could see. Then the guy followed Wes’s gaze, and I looked away because I was blushing in embarrassment now.
Goddamn, what was wrong with me? If Wes wanted to hook up with someone here, so what? Good for him. But I didn’t want him to. Why? He was my friend, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t make more friends or get himself a boyfriend. I wanted Wes to be happy.
Just not with someone else.
“Help you?” someone asked, making me realize I was at the head of the line.
“A Coke, please,” I managed to say to the disgruntled looking woman.
I handed over the ridiculous amount and accepted my drink all while hoping I hadn’t just screwed something up for Wes. My weirdness shouldn’t get in the way of his social life. I looked back cautiously and saw that the guy was gone and Wes was selecting his ball from the line. Yeah, I’d messed it up. If any of my freaky emotions had been on my face, the guy had probably thought we were together and backed off. Nice of him, but he was wrong. Would Wes be upset?
I set my Coke down and watched him get into position and swing. God, he made everything look effortless. Graceful. And he got yet another strike, making the lane light up and our little scoring area flash colored lights. I blushed and ducked my head, figuring the whole place was looking our way. I loved that he was so good at this — it gave me something to aspire to — but I hated the attention it drew. And, fuck, now I was shaking with nerves again.
“Hey,” he said, walking over and putting his hand on my shoulder. “You okay?”
At least he wasn’t upset that I’d made that guy go away.
I shook my head, not able to lie to him and say I was fine.
He looped his arm around my shoulders, drawing me close to his hard body. God, just his body. Not his hard body. Knock it off!
“No one’s paying attention, Mal,” he said, zeroing in on the problem since it wasn’t the first time I’d wigged out like this tonight. “They’re all getting ready to watch the band.”
I sighed, trying to reign myself in again. Why did having him touch me make that so much easier to do?
“This is your last one,” he said. “You want me to take it?”
“You don’t mind?” I asked, feeling like a child.
“Nope.” He gave my shoulder a squeeze and went to get my bowling ball.
Then the big dork walked right up to the line, held the ball in both hands, bent over and threw it from between his knees.
I laughed so hard I nearly cried. The ball promptly went into the gutter, my streak of not hitting a single pin the entire game still unbroken.
“You dick! You couldn’t have let me go out with a strike?”
“And ruin your game? I wouldn’t dream of it, Malcolm.”
I rolled my eyes and picked up our drinks as our final scores flashed on the screen. You would’ve thought he’d been playing against a blind Basset hound. He laughed at the scores too.
“Want to stay for the band or get going?” he asked, taking his beer from me.
I looked at the crowd and saw a few empty tables that would give us a nice view of the band. I wanted to stay. I wanted to be able to sit over there with people all around me and actually ignore them to enjoy the music. I looked back at Wes, seeing his patient smile, and said, “Let’s stay. If you want to.”
He smiled brighter. “You know I love hanging out with you.”
I smiled too, stupidly glad he felt that way.
“Now let’s turn in these God-awful shoes and find a table.” He rested his hand on the back of my neck and guided me toward the rental area.
We stood in line, sipping our drinks and waiting, and I found myself watching him again. I knew I was doing it, but I couldn’t seem to stop. Was it envy that made me stare, that made me notice all his attributes? Like the multitude of shades of green and gold in his eyes, or the strong cut of his jaw and the fullness of his lips. He was really handsome. Did anyone think I was? Did he? I watched his mouth move, those lips so pink and were they as soft as they looked?
“What?” I asked, realizing he’d said something while I’d been staring at his mouth and wondering stupid wonderings.
He blinked and cleared his throat, blushing a bit. Then he held up the receipt and said, “They gave us half-off for–”
“Sucking so monumentally?”
He closed his eyes and chuckled too, his blush deepening, before he looped his arm around me again and turned us toward the little stage.
We found a table near the front and settled in. The guy Wes had talked to was in my line of sight, looking at me with an odd expression. Did he think Wes and I were together? And if he did, how many others did too? Wes was leaning back in his chair, bobbing his head to the beat as the band started rocking, and his arm rested along the back of my chair. And I let him do it. I let him look possessive of me to anyone who saw us. Let him maybe feel that way about me.
Let him because, damn it, I wanted it that way.
* * *
I awoke with a start, gasping for air, frustrated and confused. My bedroom was still dark, the street lights through the closed blinds making the room a soft orange color. I lay there blinking for a few seconds, my heart racing and breathing fast. I had been dreaming, vividly, but what the hell had that last part been about?
I was frustrated because what had been a memory from today had morphed into a fantasy of such intensity I was laying here now with a hard-on the likes of which I hadn’t had in a long time. The kind that wouldn’t go away on its own any time soon. But I didn’t reach down to take care of myself. I was too confused to move.
Confused because the memory had been of Wes and I playing around in his backyard pool. We had been goofing off, finding out who could hold his breath the longest — me — and who could create the biggest splash from a cannonball dive — him. We’d talked about the movie stars he’d seen in L.A. and the rapper he’d fooled around with in a club one night, though he’d refused to name him. But then the memory had shifted into something else.
A sexual fantasy staring Wes and I.
I knew it was just a dream because Wes had definitely not kissed me or held me close or slid his hands down my trunks at any time during our swim. And I definitely hadn’t kissed him back or pulled him to me or begged him to make me come. But, in the dream, he had and so had I. Now here I was with my aching cock straining my sleep pants, shaking with the need to come, and scared to death about what that meant.
What did having a sex dream about Wes mean? Was it just because he was the first and only person to pay attention to me since puberty? He wasn’t adverse to touching me, but it was always pretty plantonic. An arm around my shoulders or a hand on the back of my neck, both usually to get me moving. Sometimes for comfort. I didn’t mind any of that. Welcomed it, really, because it did calm me down and make me feel more confident.
But after the way he made my heart trip inside me when I fixed his computer and the insanity at the bowling alley, well… What if this was more than reacting to someone who was nice to me? Could I actually be gay after all?
I groaned with the thought, covering my face with my hands. Maybe it didn’t mean that at all. My dick didn’t care who touched it so long as someone did. It was reacting like it was supposed to. Perfectly normal. Maybe my little fantasy was some crossed wire in my brain dredging up what was available for some nocturnal wanking. It wasn’t like I had a lot to choose from.
I took a deep breath and let it out, reaching down to finish this. I fisted my cock and tried to remember that redheaded girl from the ice cream shop. Nope, not working. All I could remember was the red hair, like I hadn’t actually seen her. Not a good sign.
Then the memory of Wes’s tongue swiping those sprinkles off his ice cream cone smacked into my brain.
“Oh God,” I gasped, pumping faster because that was doing it for me. Seeing Wes in my head was pushing me over the edge. “Damn it,” I sobbed, but didn’t stop, and then a truly surprising question ran screaming through my mind.
What would it be like if Wes ran that tongue of his around my cock?
I grunted and shook, coming hard all over my hand and stomach.
“Jesus,” I muttered, gasping and vibrating, holding onto myself and realizing things were changing. This was it. I’d just come while fantasizing about a guy. About a gay guy. That had to mean something and I was terrified because I bet I knew exactly what it meant.
I got up, heading into my bathroom on shaky legs to clean up and get a fresh pair of pants. My hands shook as I washed them. My stupid dick was still sensitive and wanting more as I cleaned myself up. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror.
God, how was I going to face Wes? I’d blush, he’d ask, and I’d say what? Oh you know, I had a sex dream about you and then jerked off to the idea of you sucking my cock. No biggie.
I dropped back onto my bed, my arm over my eyes. Was this seriously who I was? Gay? After all my denials, had I actually been wrong? Buy why?
And then I realized I’d never really had a chance.
A gawky, little tween had walked into that high school with wide, innocent eyes, just starting to wonder about kissing and touching. I hadn’t had the chance to consider who it was I wanted to kiss and touch because Rick Lockhart had found me staring at him and accused me of being gay that very first day. He’d labeled me before I could figure out my label. Fear had made me deny it and fear had made others stay away, so I’d never had a chance to find out if I was gay before I’d had to fight not to be just to try and fit in. What I should’ve done, might’ve done had I had someone to guide me, was embrace my sexuality and stand up to them.
I shook my head. No, that probably wouldn’t have helped me. I hadn’t been strong or tall or any of the things Wes was. I wouldn’t have stood a chance of intimidating Rick and the others into walking away. If I had admitted to being gay that first day, I still would’ve gotten the shit kicked out of me. No one could know if it would’ve kept on like it had or been different. I sighed.
I did know a few things now, though. I was attracted to Wes. I had been mentally before now, seeking him out because I was happy when I was around him. Now, I knew I was attracted to him physically too. My subconscious had obviously been giving it a lot of thought because I hadn’t just pulled out of thin air that vivid scene of us making out in his pool. I’d wondered about his mouth, been in his arms, and my subconscious had wrapped it all together into my own personal midnight revelation.
Could you really know without knowing?
I rolled over, burying my face in my pillow. Yeah, I think you could.
“My Summer of Wes: The Missing Chapter” Copyright © 2012 Missy Welsh.