Teaser Tuesday: Sand-Man’s Family
Happy Tuesday! I’m on the third round of edits for Sand-Man’s Family, Book 3 in the Wild and Precious Series. I thought I’d share with you the scene when Sandy comes out as bisexual to his brother Connor and his best friend Josh on his trip home for Thanksgiving.
First, here’s the blurb:
When Sandy Nixon’s conservative Catholic parents discover he’s had sex before marriage, they are furious. But when he blurts out he’s bisexual, they go ballistic. After they threaten him with conversion therapy, Sandy does what many queer kids long to do—leaves his homophobic parents in the dust. He moves in with his Uncle Phineas and Phineas’s partner Cody in Portland, Oregon, and is finally safe to be himself. Sandy misses his siblings, though, and decides to visit his former home in Rockford for Thanksgiving. On the train, he runs into Jade Byrne.
As the only out gay kid in their Catholic high school, Jade had stared down homophobes while being fabulous in the school musicals. He’s crushed on Sandy for years. But he’s made sure never to show it, even after they had a one-time hookup, because Sandy’s the good Catholic kid, the altar boy, and the apparently straight athlete—all the things Jade isn’t. Traveling back to Rockford together sees the start of a month of adventures, a blossoming attraction, and a chance for Sandy to learn what it means to have a family that hurts and to choose a family that heals.
He, Connor, and Josh would have stayed up half the night talking if it hadn’t been for Mom coming in and shushing them. They’d wanted to know every detail of Sandy’s time in the Pacific Northwest, and before being shut down, he’d told them a few of the cool adventures he’d had with Dare, leaving out the detail about them being lovers.
Sandy thought about that now as he contemplated a crack in the ceiling. Back when he’d split, he hadn’t told Connor and Josh that the final showdown with Mom and Dad had actually been about him coming out as bi. The parents taking away U of C had been enough of a reason for them. Once Sandy had plunged into life in Portland, he didn’t think about coming out to his Rockford friends and family. Rockford was out of sight and practically out of mind. But here he was, and it was past time to let them know.
Lord, this coming out thing never stopped. He was struck that he’d told Jade on the train without a second thought. Well, that was because Jade was queer too. And everyone knew about Jade being gay. Jade was brave. He didn’t give a fuck. So why should Sandy?
“Hey. Dudes!” Sandy stuck his foot out from the bed and jiggled Josh, who grumbled and tried to twist away from him. “Wake up. Josh! Connor!”
“Wha…?” Connor, always easy to rouse, sat bolt upright. “What’s going on?”
“I wanna tell you guys something.” Sandy gave Josh another firm shove with his foot.
“Screw you!” Josh sat up slowly, passing a hand over bleary eyes. “What?”
“You know when Dad socked me right before I left?”
“Yeah,” they both replied.
“It was because they found out I’m—”
“You’re not a virgin. Dude, we already knew that.” Josh yawned.
“No. I mean, yes, that was the first thing they found out. But then they found out about the gay thing.”
“What?” Connor’s eyes got wide.
“Um, not exactly gay, but bi. I like it with both guys and girls. I was sick of Mom and Dad and wanted to piss ’em off, so I left a gay magazine out for them to find.”
“Bi?” Josh yawned again. “There you are, having sex with both girls and guys, and I can’t get no one interested. Lucky you. So how’d you find out you like guys?”
“Well… Jade Byrne helped me figure it out.”
Josh laughed. “He would.”
Sandy couldn’t get over how underwhelmed Josh was acting. He turned his gaze to Connor, who still looked thunderstruck. “Cons? You okay with this?”
Connor swallowed visibly, then nodded. “Yeah. Sure. I can’t believe you told the ’rents, though. Jesus Christ, Sands.”
“Yeah. That was why the big blowup. Then they took away U of C, and they were going to send me to a ‘pray away the gay’ camp.”
“I knew about U of C, which sucked, but ‘pray away the gay’? That’s a bunch of bullcrap,” Josh proclaimed, then burped. “’Scuse me.”
“Totally. But it’s cool. It gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get out of here.”
“Are… are you really happy out there?” Connor huddled under his covers with a wistful expression.
“I really am.”
“Maybe I can come out after I graduate.”
Sandy grinned. “Absolutely! Cons, it’s so awesome.”
Josh grinned. “Dude, is it really like that show Portlandia? And everyone’s a vegan?”
As he answered their eager questions and told them more, Sandy realized where his home really was—Portland, with Uncle Phinney, Cody, and all the rest. All he had to do was survive the next two days, and he’d be headed home where he belonged.
Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in the first two books in the series, here are the covers and links:
Wild and Precious Audiobook