Today’s excerpt is the story I just started, My Sexual Superhero, which I intend to submit to the Satisfaction Guaranteed call–that is, if I can rein it in and keep it under the submission limit! Already I’m side-eyeing the outline and wondering if I can manage to fill it in less than 30k.
Without further ado! I have a summary I came up with just yesterday, followed by the first thousand words that I wrote just today.
“Jessan Pierce would rather spend the night with his Doctor Who collection having tea out of the Tardis than go dancing, but his best friend Maria knows what he really needs is to shake off the doldrums and get out of his well-worn groove. Felipe de la Rosa is just his type, short, well-built, and as ready with a smart-mouthed quip as he is to take his shirt off. The chemistry that works great between the sheets seems to fizzle outside the bedroom, though, and Jessan may prove too chicken to take the chance to put himself out there with Felipe, as well as the other big leap he’s facing in his life.”
“Oh my God, you are such a huge geek.”
Jessan leveled an irritated squint at his friend Marina and raised a hand, casually displaying his middle finger before using it to tuck a braid of cornrowed hair behind one ear. The Tardis-blue bead at the braid’s base clicked against its mates. “Which part of me? What was your first clue?” He covered the mouthpiece of his headset and frowned at Marina. “And why would you bust in making announcements when I’ve got my headset on? I could be taking a call.”
Marina flicked her pointer finger toward Jessan’s Bluetooth. “It’s not lit up.” She folded her arms and smirked at him. “And, another TeeFury shirt? Really? You know that no one gets those obscure jokes—”
“Except the people who are into that stuff; yeah, I know,” Jessan interrupted. “But I like it. And we don’t have a dress code in the cubicle farm, which is the one good thing about it, so I’m going to wear what I like, and you can wear your clown suits.” He gestured to her immaculate pinstriped pants.
“It’s not a pantsuit!” Marina exclaimed, tugging on the hem of her white blouse and shooting him a mock glare. “It’s dressing to impress, because I’m moving up in the world. And I barged in because it’s time for break.”
Jessan lifted his head to catch a glimpse of the clock. “So it is.” He scooted his chair forward far enough to look up and down the aisle, scanning a wary eye in all directions for their supervisor, Darnell. “He won’t like it if we go at the same time.”
“Balls to what he likes.” Marina waved a hand. “Let’s go. I’ll beg forgiveness—”
“And I’ll be the one who’s sorry,” Jessan muttered, but he pushed up from his chair and fell into step behind Marina with the feeling he was slinking out rather than taking his duly allowed break time.
Behind the call center building, there were two areas for employees to take their breaks: the sheltered haven beneath an awning, right beside the door, and the smokers’ pavilion further out, a mandated thirty feet from the building entrance. In colder weather, people could be seen huddled singly or in groups, shoulders hunched miserably against the elements as they got their nicotine fix. It was a muggy spring evening right then, and everyone outdoors either taking a walk or standing around chatting or checking their phones.
Jessan’s phone cleared his pocket the moment he was out the door. He almost bumped into Marina as she turned to give him an amused look.
“Anything good?” she asked. Her own phone was in her hand.
“Atelier Geek is having a sale,” Jessan said, half to her, half to himself as he considered the benefits of the BOGO against the relative weak performance of his bank account. He had rent, bills, and his stomach to consider, and wasn’t sure if he was up for another month of ramen and tuna fish.
“Jessan Pierce!” Marina exclaimed, and Jessan jerked his eyes up, mouth dropping open to object at her tone. “Why don’t you stow the phone and pay attention to the person beside you for five minutes out of fifteen?”
“What? You were checking your texts.” His tone was defensive, but Jessan slipped his phone into his back pocket.
“Yeah, because I was waiting to hear back from Blanca, but she’s out,” Marina said. She leveled a painted finger in his direction. “So you’re in.”
“In for what? No,” Jessan said. He didn’t need to hear an answer to be sure he wasn’t interested in Marina’s plans. They would involve going out, and he was a ‘staying in’ sort of guy.
“Come on, Jessan; wouldn’t you rather come out and have fun instead of staying in and playing Minecraft all night?” Marina clasped her hands together and aimed wide eyes at him.
Jessan returned the look with a skeptical expression. “I came out years ago, so that’s not an issue. Playing Minecraft is fun for me, even if it’s not for you, so trying to nerd-shame me, again, isn’t going to work.”
Marina stuck her tongue out. “Fine.” She abandoned that line of attack for another. “When’s the last time you got laid, Jessan?”
He slumped and looked out across the pavilion beside the building, not ignoring her so much as stalling for time. It was hard to explain to Marina, so pretty and outgoing, that it was more than introversion keeping him from a night out at a club, party, or whatever venue she had in mind. It was hard for a short, skinny, geeky half-Jamaican, half Persian kid to get a date on a good night, but any place where people were in it for looks and unable to hear witty repartee over the bass reverb, Jessan was out of luck. He would strike out before he got his hand stamped.
“A while,” Jessan replied. He folded his arms. “And it’ll probably be a while longer.”
“With that attitude, you’re damn right!” Marina swatted the back of his shoulder with a light touch. “Come out with me. I need a wing man.”
Jessan sighed, glanced Marina’s direction, and rolled his eyes. She had her lips pursed in what she probably thought was a cute pout, but looked more like a duck-lipped selfie.
“I’ll buy you drinks.” She hung off his shoulder, her tone wheedling. “Come on, I can’t go alone.”
That, at least, Jessan could not dispute. It was risky for any of his female friends to go alone, but twice as worse for Marina, who wasn’t white and was leery not only of overeager fratboys, but getting shaken down if the cops cruised by and were in a profiling mood.
“Ugh.” Jessan refused to make a verbal response that sounded like a concession. “You’ll buy me drinks until you go off with some hot hook-up and leave me at the bar.”
Marina huffed. “Would I do that?”
“If you knew the guy and wanted to get into his pants, yeah,” Jessan said.
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