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Nevermore, Dude

By L.J. Hamlin


Published by JMS Books LLC at Smashwords

Visit jms-books.com for more information.


Copyright 2018 L.J. Hamlin

ISBN 9781634866125

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Cover Design: Written Ink Designs | written-ink.com

Image(s) used under a Standard Royalty-Free License.

All rights reserved.


WARNING: This book is not transferable. It is for your own personal use. If it is sold, shared, or given away, it is an infringement of the copyright of this work and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

No portion of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher, with the exception of brief excerpts used for the purposes of review.

This book is for ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY. It may contain sexually explicit scenes and graphic language which might be considered offensive by some readers. Please store your files where they cannot be accessed by minors.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Published in the United States of America.

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To those reading this who’ve stuck with me, it means the world.

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Nevermore, Dude

By L.J. Hamlin

Chapter 1

Last family vacation ever: that was Jamie’s parents’ promise and the reason why just a day after gay pride with his friends, he’s pulling his stuff off a bus outside of Camp Hope. All the families who work at the law firm his parents work at were invited to come spend the summer. This year his folks decided to take a month off and to drag Jamie and his sister with them. She’s fifteen so couldn’t find a way out of it. At twenty Jamie thought he would, but when your parents offer to pay for you to go travelling next summer, well, Jamie decided it couldn’t be that terrible.

His sister Cassy is waiting for him with some older guy who keeps trying to look down her top. Jamie knows his sister can handle herself, but it doesn’t mean he won’t help if he gets a chance.

“Jamie.” Cassy hugs him as soon as he gets close with his bags. He’s been away at college, and it’s been a month since he saw her. He swears she’s grown an inch and got a piercing.

Jamie chuckles. “They let you get your nose pierced?”

“Cool, right?” The piercing glitters in the sun.

The guy in a camp counselor shirt clears his throat. “I don’t get a hug?”

He says it like it’s a joke, but Jamie can tell he’d hug her if he could.

“No, you just need to tell Jamie who he’s rooming with.” Cassy’s tone gives away that the guy annoys her, but she’s trying to be polite, as their parents always want them on their best behavior at work events. Luckily it’s been four years since Jamie faced this hell.

“Fine. You’re lucky it’s just the two of you. You’ll be sharing with Chris Fox.”

Jamie’s stomach plunges down to his feet and stays there. He’s met Chris before. They’d been friendly as little kids, but Jamie’s mom had shown him Chris in the Facebook group the company keeps for family stuff. He was a football player, a total jock with accomplishments listed all over the group.

“Ohh, foxy Fox! You want to trade?” Cassy waggles her eyebrows, which is another thing. Everyone is always saying how handsome Chris is, which he is, tall, blonde, blue eyes, probably has a collection of sorority girls’ panties on his dorm room floor.

“He’s, like, twenty-one. Get a crush your own age. Come on let’s go.”

Chris is the opposite of Jamie, who doesn’t play on any teams, is in drama club, has the left side of his head shaved bald and the rest long and blue. Jamie is a skinny, geeky, drama nerd and proud of it. He’s also gay and spent high school picked on by jocks for who he was before he was even out. Now he refuses to hide. College is more accepting than most places, though not the sports department, and he’s dreading having some bro type giving him shit for up to a month.

“Let me take you?” No-name the creep asks.

“Actually I’d like to talk to my brother in private. I can show him.” Cassy smiles.

“You know the way?”

“Yeah.” Cassy rolls her eyes, but the creep drops it and lets them head off alone.

“Why do you know the way?” Jamie asks as they walk away.

“Relax. I met his sister there the other day. Kelly, she’s cool, my age, hates Gary the loser, too,” Cassy explains.

“Gary, that dude who was looking at your chest? Can I have a talk with him?” Jamie is still pissed at the way Gary was around Cassy. He’s also now annoyed, realizing he’ll have to play nice with Chris if their sisters are friends. He doesn’t want to be an ass and lose Cassy a friend.

“No. If he gets worse maybe, but right now, I don’t want to make waves. He does it to all the girls,” Cassy says as she leads the way past campers and cabins.

“That doesn’t make it okay,” Jamie grumbles. He knows his sister is smarter than he was at that age, but he also knows women are under pressure to do exactly as she said and not make waves over this kind of thing.

“Dude, I know. If he touches me, I’ll kick him in the balls. I promise.” Cassy grins.

Jamie smiles. “That’s my girl.”

They’ve always been close despite the five year age gap. Cassy was the first one he came out to, before his friends or parents, and she’d got it, even promised to run away with him if their parents kicked him out, but they’d been great, accepting, supportive.

“Sap. Come on, slowpoke. I need to drop you off so I can go rowing with Kelly.”

“Brat.” Jamie laughs. He loves her so much. He’s glad she’s having a good time here, even if he’s dreading every moment of it.

They make it to a row of cabins near the lake, and Cassy leads him to the third one and knocks on the red-painted door.

A young girl opens it and instantly hugs Cassy, jumping up and down, and her excitement seems catchy as Cassy smiles and cheers.

“Oh my God. I thought you’d never get here. Chris is so boring,” Kelly complains, letting go of Cassy.

Cassy turns to him. “Kelly, meet my big brother.”

“Cool. Heard a lot about you. Come on in. It’s your place, not mine.” Kelly steps back, and Jamie carries his bags inside, followed by the girls. He puts them down next to an empty, made, single bed and then turns to the other half of the room, which is much more of a mess. Chris Fox is laid out on his bed, cell phone in hand. He dwarfs the bed. He’s also gorgeous, like movie star handsome.

“Chris, roommate is here,” Kelly says, hitting Chris’ foot. He finally looks up and away from the screen, and Jamie gets hit with the full gaze of those blue eyes. They’re intense, and Jamie can tell they’re assessing him.

“Welcome to cabin six two three, Bro,” Chris greets him and goes back to his phone. It takes everything Jamie has not to say something about being called bro. He has a name. He’s not really the bro type, either.

“We have to get going. You’ll be okay, right?” Cassy actually sounds concerned.

Jamie nods. “Yeah. Gonna unpack and then nap. Didn’t sleep much last night,”

“You do have to tell me about yesterday. But at dinner, maybe. See you later.” Cassy smiles brightly. Kelly kicks Chris, and then both girls leave giggling.

“Partying?” Chris asks once they’re alone and Jamie is unzipping his first bag.

“Yeah.”

“You got to skip first day of camp for a party? Your parents sound cool,” Chris says, glancing up from his phone.

“It was more than a party, but yeah, cool of them.” Jamie opens the dresser drawers beside his bed and starts neatly unpacking.

“I missed the last football team party of the season to get here. Dad was part of the welcoming show, so he said we had to be here. You on any teams?” Chris asks it casually, but Jamie still feels interrogated.

He’d known a sports question would come, and while the answer is more complicated than he wants to let on, he just says, “No, not into sports.”

“Oh, good party?” Chris asks, like maybe he’s trying to be nice, which is more than the guys who look like him usually do when faced with Jamie.

Jamie thinks what to say. “Yeah, it was a blast.”

He places his clothes in drawers, thinking back to yesterday. He’d felt so free, no worrying about hiding who he was or what he liked. Pride had been a judgment free zone, and it had been so refreshing. Jamie tries his best to live life like nothing anyone else thinks matters, but he cares a lot more than he lets on.

Jamie keeps putting away his stuff and Chris goes back to his phone which is better than hostility but doesn’t scream to Jamie that he’s not going to dread every moment alone with his new roommate. He plans to spend as much time away from his room as possible, even if it means joining in camp activities.

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Chapter 2

For the last two days Chris has hardly seen his roommate, whom he has taken to thinking of as like a cat, because the only times Chris has seen him is for meals in the dining hall and in their room at night to sleep, where his nose is always buried in a book.

Kelly had told him that Cassy told her that Jamie was a friendly guy, but Chris has seen no evidence of that. He’s been dealing with his own shit, being away from Cherry, his best friend who has just broke off her engagement from the guy she’s been dating since middle school, her first and only boyfriend. It was her choice, but she’s hurting. Chris has been texting with her as much as he can and phoning her when they both have privacy.

Today, though, he’s actually spotted his roommate during the day because Kelly and Cassy have both dragged them down to the lake with a bunch of other teenagers. Chris is on a towel in his board shorts, people watching between texts to Cherry. Gary the creep is hanging around, offering to put suntan lotion on girls. Chris really doubts his motive is protecting them from the risk of skin cancer. If the guy even breaths too hard on Kelly, Chris will be looking for somewhere to hide a body, probably because Kelly killed Gary herself and asked him to dig the grave.

Jamie is on the other side of Cassy, wearing shorts past his knees and a long-sleeved T-shirt and dark glasses. He has a book with him, no slip jacket, so Chris can’t even make conversation about it. But then Kelly said Jamie was a drama geek, and they always treat Chris like a dumb jock. They act shocked that he can even read the title and make jokes about blows to the head on the football field.

It’s a shame that Jamie seems to have the same snobby thing going on, because Cassy had made him sound like a cool guy who might have made this place more fun. She’s a great girl, bubbly and fun, kind, good to Kelly. It’s a letdown that her brother might be a tool, from the near silent treatment he’s been giving Chris.

Chris is brooding when he spots a young guy tug a girl’s bikini string. From the shocked look on his face, he didn’t expect the whole thing to come off, but his friends start laughing, Chris is about to get up, but Jamie beats him to it. He rushes over with a towel and wraps it around the girl, then he turns to the boy.

“Apologize,” Jamie demands.

The boy looks startled. The girl is crying. “I didn’t mean to.”

“Doesn’t make it better for her. You never should have done that.” Jamie lets the girl slip under his arm. Her cheeks are red, and she looks both upset and embarrassed.

“I’m—I’m sorry. I was just teasing.” The boy looks like he’s going to pee his pants as Jamie towers over him, and Chris hadn’t noticed how tall the goth was.

Jamie shakes his head. “Use your damn head next time,”

He says something in a low voice to the girl and leads her away, bringing her over to Cassy and Kelly.

“Can you guys take her to go get cleaned up?” Jamie asks.

“Of course. It’s Sarah, right? Come with us,” Kelly says and puts an arm around Sarah. Cassy does the same on her other side, and the three girls head off towards the bathrooms, Sarah clutching her bikini top in her hands.

Chris looks over as Jamie sits down. “That was decent of you.”

“Thanks. Used to stupid shit like that at college. Usually jock assholes…Sorry, no offense.” Jamie looks sheepish.

“None taken. I know what football players can be like. Some of my teammates would do the same thing, and they’d mean for the girls top to come off,” Chris admits.

“You’ve never done anything like that?” Jamie asks, opening his book again.

Chris tries not to be annoyed. He knows the reputation football guys have. “No. My mom taught me to respect women.”

“Mine did, too.”

Chris gets a text so switches his attention back to his phone, but he finds himself sneaking looks at Jamie. He can’t figure the guy out. He seems shy, but he wasn’t afraid to confront a group of guys or to ask Chris a question that could start a fight.

Kelly, Cassy, and Sarah come back all smiling and sit down together between Chris and Jamie.


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