Mike's brother Zach has always been a little weird. He spends most of his nights sneaking out to hunt for ghosts, then reading fan fiction for his favorite TV show Paranormal whenever he can. But when Zach comes out as gay and is subsequently bullied at school, Mike realizes his brother needs an ally more than anything. Though Mike knows he's also pretty strange, they form a pack with other outcasts to make high school a little better.
Everything changes when new student Ray shows up at school. Mike breaks away from his brother and soon falls for Ray -- while at the same time unearthing a mystery about their small town. As teachers disappear and dead bodies pile up, Mike and Ray are left alone fighting evil, when all Mike wanted to do was fall in love.
“Why did you talk to me that first day?” I asked. “Were you ... trying to prove something to Chad? To anyone?”
“No,” he said quickly. “Why wouldn’t I talk to you?”
I gave him a kind of wide-eyed stare. “For all the same reasons other kids didn’t.”
Ray shrugged. “You seemed like a nice guy and I was the new kid, halfway through a semester and in the first year. That was doomed from the start.”
“I think I was in one of the worst moods humanly possible. How did I seem friendly?”
“You were doomed, too, Mike. I liked you because of it.”
When he raised his eyes to me again, I realized just how close we had gotten. Inside his eyes, I could see my refection --and I could swear I saw the same type of marked stars that he had drawn Romeo and Juliet together; stars that represented fate, not necessarily death and destruction. Just inevitability. We were doomed, as Ray saw it. But that also meant we were linked, connected.
Ray looked down. He looked at my lips, I was sure of it. I pulled away slightly, unsure how to move forward.
I wasn’t gay, I knew I wasn’t gay. And Ray was an alpha. No way he could be gay. Only in fan fiction did guys like me get my way, because we could write in some repressed timeline. Only in fan fiction was sexuality some utopian ideal. In the real world, it happened between walls and no one talked about it. In the real world, it was announced at dinner tables and then people were shunned. There was no way Ray was gay. There was no way I was gay. And getting this close, over homework, was not helping the situation.
But we still lingered. Ray still looked at me and I still looked at him. I began to feel like being doomed wasn’t so bad at all.
Ray raised his eyes. We got closer, and closer, until I almost thought we would kiss, and all my doubts would be release.
“Mike ...” Ray started.
“Is this what you want, Mike?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “But it’s my birthday.”
Ray laughed a bit. He seemed to understand what we were both implying with actions. And he began to lean forward, just as knock sounded on my door.
I backed away first -- practically flinging myself against the frame of the bed and closing the bio text book so fast I thought I broke my finger. Carter burst into the room only a second after knocking.
“Hey,” Carter yelped, his green eyes wide with excitement. But his gaze soon fell when he saw how much turmoil he had just caused. Ray coughed and I hissed at my sudden movements.
Carter smirked. “Oh, was I disturbing something?”
“No,” I said. I sat up straighter, avoiding eye contact from Ray.
Zach walked in, his eyebrow arched. “Hey, did you tell them?”
“No, not yet, your majesty.”
“So what do you want?” I said, cutting in before Carter and Zach went full on domestic dispute.
Carter smirked, rubbing his hands together eerily. “Do you want to see a dead body?”