Title: What It Seems
Author: Sydney Blackburn
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: May 21, 2018
Heat Level: 1 – No Sex
Genre: Contemporary, ace, bisexual, romance, self-discovery
Michael’s straight and infatuated with a woman he worked with one day, over a year ago. But when he finally sees her again, he’s astounded that the woman of his dreams is a man in drag.
Darcy is ace and not interested in dating anyone, so he and Michael just hang out. A lot. When he needs to do an on-screen kissing scene, Michael is the best person to ask for help.
Michael soon discovers he isn’t as straight as he thought he was, and Darcy likes kissing him a little too much for someone certain he never would. Those are a lot of changes to accept, but they just might be worth it.
What It Seems
Sydney Blackburn © 2018
All Rights Reserved
Michael Eden did not believe in love at first sight—it was a completely ridiculous notion. First came attraction, or lust if one was to be blunt about it, then a discovery of shared interests and a passion for discussing opposite interests. And from that, an intimate history of shared experiences. There was a science to it, right down to the feeling. And that was cool; it was still a wonderful, magical thing, but it didn’t just happen instantly.
He believed that right up until the day he found himself on the closed set for a music video, dancing a complex choreography around the love of his life. She wasn’t the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen—she was slim to the point of being flat-chested, and her jaw was a little too square. But she had long dark-brown hair that hung in heavy waves around her shoulders, sexy legs, and her eyes, dear god, her eyes. Big and cinnamon brown, surrounded by long dark lashes. One look in those eyes and Michael Eden had lost his heart forever.
When filming ended, though, he couldn’t find her. All he knew was her first name. Darcy.
Over a year later, without ever finding her again, he still dreamed about her regularly. Dreamed of her eyes closing as her lips pressed to his, of her slender body against his. Dreamed her breasts barely apples in his hands, tiny, with perfect, rosy nipples. Sometimes his dreams were explicit enough to wake up covered in spunk, which was worse when he’d spent the night with a woman as much like his beloved Darcy as he’d been able to find.
They never satisfied him, not really, and he’d stopped picking up women for what was basically masturbation. Oh, he tried to make sure they got off, too, not because he wanted to please them so much as he felt guilty for pretending they were someone else. It wasn’t worth it.
His current gig was a production of Bite Me! at the Mermaid Theatre. He was assistant choreographer in addition to leading the chorus dancers, and while it wasn’t headline fame, it was satisfying. In fact, if he could just forget Darcy, his life would be close to perfect.
He shook his head briefly as he pedalled his bike home from the theatre. Maybe he should seek professional help. He grimaced, hating the very idea of a psychiatrist.
His phone chose that moment to chime. He knew it was Dave by the ringtone, and that it was a text by the vibration. Nothing he had to stop and answer.
He was sweating by the time he locked his bike into the sheltered rack behind his building and climbed the back stairs. It was a small three-story walk-up, built in the early fifties. His apartment still had a milk door outside the kitchen, although it had been long since blocked off and screwed shut. He couldn’t imagine someone carting crates of milk bottles up those stairs every morning to deliver to the apartments.
He flipped the air conditioner switch to suck out the July heat, put a pot of water on to boil for his mac and cheese, and took a quick shower before checking Dave’s text—it just read: Call me when u get a chance.
Michael finished his supper, supplementing the boxed meal with a small plastic clamshell of blackberries. His laptop was playing tunes in the background, and he left it on as he called Dave.
“Michael! Hey, listen I need a favour.”
“They’re going to be fumigating my place, so we all need to bug out for a couple of days. I was wondering if I could stay with you?”
Michael had a tiny one-bedroom apartment, and he knew he was lucky to be able to afford it. Most guys he knew had roommates or lived in apartments so small their kitchen was their bedroom. Dave could crash on his couch or sleep in his bed. Dave was gay and he was straight, but they’d been friends forever, and sleeping in the same bed was no big deal.
He and Dave had swapped hand jobs on occasion and once, while drunk, blowjobs. Dave had told Michael he was bisexual. Michael didn’t feel bisexual, though—more like an open-minded straight guy. Jerking another guy to relieve some horniness wasn’t the same as thinking guys were hot or wanting to date one.
“It’s not like we have sex,” he’d protested.
“Bro, even if your definition of sex is limited to dicks going into another person’s bodily orifice, blowjobs count.”
Michael had rolled his eyes and shook his head. “One time. It was one time. And alcohol was involved.”
“River in Egypt.”
He and Dave could sleep in the same bed with nothing remotely sexual too. They were friends, and once in a rare while, they shared special benefits and that was it.
Now he said, “How many days?”
“Two, three at the most. I guess ants are almost as hard to kill as roaches. That a problem? You finally got a real girlfriend?”
Michael laughed. “Nah. Still waiting to find the woman of my dreams.” He took a split second to think about it and said, “Of course you can stay.”
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Meet the Author
Sydney Blackburn is a binary star system. Always a voracious reader, she began to write when she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read. She likes candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach… Oh wait, wrong profile. She’s a snarky introvert and admits to having a past full of casual sex and dubious hookups, which she uses for her stories.
She likes word play and puns and science-y things. And green curry.
Her dislikes include talking on the phone, people trying to talk to her before she’s had coffee, and filling out the “about me” fields in social media.
Besides writing, she also designs book covers for poor people.