Coming of age story featuring two main characters (late teen boys) living in a small town near Joshua Tree Nat'l Park.
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Mark Ian Kendrick, Novelist
Scott Faraday is sixteen, is in a small-town rock band, is fun-loving, and out to only a select few. Ryan St. Charles is seventeen, hot-tempered, brash, has already been in a long relationship, yet is barely out to himself. Behind his carefully fashioned façade is an emotionally scarred little boy with a past he’s never reconciled. As a result, he’s attempted suicide several times. When Ryan comes to live with his uncle in Yucca Valley, he meets Scott. An unlikely pair, they form a tentative friendship. When Scott suspects that Ryan might be gay, he plans his coming out to him. The result is that he transforms their friendship into his first real relationship. Then Ryan’s hidden past comes into view. Scott is not at all prepared for what he discovers. Despite their vast differences, Scott sticks with Ryan and learns more about himself and relationships than he ever thought possible. And with the threat of death stalking Ryan the whole way, they’re plunged headlong into a summer that will forever change them both.
A busboy cleared the table, and with a wide smile, Beth escorted the couple out the door. She spotted a teenager who was stuffing a windbreaker into a bag in Howard’s car trunk. He shut the trunk and came toward her. Passing the leaving patrons, he eyed her briefly and said hello as he came through the door.
“Hello?” she asked a bit puzzled.
Howard turned around as he heard Ryan’s voice. “There you are. I thought you got lost.” He turned to Elaine. “This is my nephew Ryan. Ryan, these are some of the friends I told you about.”
“Hi,” he said cheerfully.
Whoa, who is this, Scott wondered. The previously unannounced nephew immediately took him. He sized Ryan up. His jet-black hair seemed to be perfectly sculpted to his head, except for a patch along his forehead, which was cut almost to the scalp. He squinted to look more closely. Was that a scar? Must run in the family, he thought. His deep-set dark eyes, accented with long black lashes, made him look mysterious and incredibly cute. His dark hair contrasted with his pale, yet dark complexion. Is that the remains of a black eye, he wondered. He must have been in a fight. He then noted the shorts, the curve of his rear and the bulge in front that invited him to stare. Just slightly beefier in build and a little taller than he, Scott figured Ryan was about his age.
Ryan knew about Scott only from the brief sketch Howard gave him of the people he was going to meet. Now he was standing in front of that very same guy. Ryan checked Scott out as well, mentally making detailed notes. Scott was stocky and muscular, and just a little shorter than himself. He wore his dark rusty colored hair short and had a totally in-style cut. His full pouty lips and fleshy cheeks, with a touch of white peach fuzz, were as cute as he could remember on anyone. He could see that Scott’s eyes sparkled green. God was that hot. And that body! He must be a jock, he decided. His firm thighs and calves as well as his curved hard butt were noticeable even in his formal attire.
As he stole a look at Scott’s crotch, his heart pounded. He wondered what Scott looked like in shorts, or better yet, in nothing. As quickly as he looked, he quelled his thoughts. This was how he ended up being with Crawford. Not again. Never, he thought!