Colin Hunt, a vivacious and outspoken art student, is a comic-reading, anime-loving, all-around geek. What he lacks in size, he most definitely makes up for in personality. But things have been tough for him lately. A heavy workload. A showcase to prepare for his final. A sick mother to take care of. Ever the optimist, he's more interested in finding someone to have some fun with rather than finding anyone serious.
For Dexter Erikson, life has been difficult ever since an accident left him in foster care and cost him part of his arm. After discovering music therapy, he found an outlet for his pain and the perfect way to express himself. Now, sporting tattoos and piercings, Dexter is the lead singer of a pretty kick-ass punk rock band and owns the stage like it's nobody's business. He’s also goofy and dorky, shy and bashful, with a bad habit of falling in love yet a horrible fear of commitment.
So what happens when vivacious geek meets shy punk rocker? The first answer is a lot of sex.
The second answer might bring both Colin and Dexter to places they never dreamed possible.
Dexter swung an arm over Colin’s shoulder and they started over the bridge. They were quiet, not filling the silence with their normal, playful banter. Which was fine, though. Colin had been frustrated for hours and just being with Dexter made him feel better. He rested his head on Dexter’s shoulder as they took the near two-mile trip to the city.
Cool arms of autumn stretched over them as they walked, tickling what skin of theirs remained exposed with windy fingers. Colin couldn’t claim it to be cold out, but soon enough it would be.
They went straight to a coffee shop, which, yeah, they could’ve just gone to on their side of the bridge, but the fresh air felt really nice, even if it ended up with Dexter giggling at Colin’s bright pink bunny nose, as he called it. Dexter got himself a poppy-seed bagel with cream cheese and a hot chocolate with whipped cream and ordered a strawberry and cheese Danish and sugar cookie Latte for Colin.
At the table, Dexter swiped his finger through some of the cream cheese of his bagel and sucked it off his finger.
He said, “So, are we avoiding talking about your work?”
“Completely,” Colin answered, taking a big bite of his Danish. “One hundred percent. No work discussions.”
“Duly noted.” He sipped his hot chocolate and then cleared his throat. “Listen, Colin, I, uh, I made a little mistake.”
“Uh-oh.” Colin leaned back in his chair and folded his arms. “If it’s bad enough do I get to punish you?”
Dexter pushed his bottom lip out. God, he looked so adorable when he did that. If there was any possibility of getting away with it, Colin would be climbing across the table and jumping his bones right now.
“I guess I’ll make that your call.” He winked before going on. “I sorta let it slip to my pesky sister that I’ve been sleeping with someone regularly and now she’s been bugging my ass to meet you.”
“Is that so?” Colin chuckled. “And you don’t want her to meet your geeky fuck buddy?”
“What? No, ass, that’s not it.” He rolled his eyes at Colin’s jesting. “It’s just, remember how I told you that she’s been with the same foster family for a while now?”
They’d taken her in, was what Dexter’s told him about the whole thing. Even at nineteen, she’d been welcome to stay like part of the family. Colin often wondered if Dexter ever got jealous. Not bitter. He loved his sister with all his heart and wanted the best for her. But the guy was only human and little jealousy, in Colin’s opinion, would be perfectly normal. From what he understood, the family that had them when he turned eighteen kicked him out just a week later. No check from the government, no need to give him a roof over his head. His sister left right after. Moved in with this family and had been there ever since.
“Yeah.” Colin nodded. “I remember.”
“Well, the Dugans.” He paused. “That’s ... that’s them. They’ll have Thanksgiving dinner Wednesday instead of on Thursday.”
“Cause they still have a bunch of foster kids, and some of their parents are trying to get better, like, legit trying, so they’ll actually spend holidays with their kids.” Dexter’s voice went sour for just a moment. An old pain Colin could never understand surfacing behind his carefully placed mask of normalcy. “The Dugans’ll throw a big dinner the day before so they can all spend it together. I told you, they’re good people. I, uh, I go every year. So, y’know, I was wondering, just to get Jadyn off my back and all ...”
“Aw, Dexter.” Colin placed his hand over his heart. “Are you inviting me to Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday?”
Dexter made a show of rolling his eyes and even added a dramatic sigh along with it.
“Ah, c’mon, punk, don’t make it weird.”
“Okay, okay.” Colin laughed. “Sure, Dex. I’d love to come to dinner.” He took off his hat for a second and ran his fingers through his hair before putting it back on. “Just so we’re clear, though, I mean, this is not ...” Colin bit his lip. “Right? We’re still ... seeing where it goes?”
“Oh yeah!” Dexter agreed. “Nothing’s changed. We’re still good.”
Colin readjusted his glasses and smiled into his cup before taking a sip from it. Neither of them would come out and say what they meant, but they both got it, and they were both still on the same page. Still simple. Still easy. Still very much not complicated.