For today’s edition of WIP Wednesday, I am featuring an excerpt from my young adult, m/m, interracial, contemporary romance After the Snow Melts, a short story for Devine Destinies‘ Noted Collection, set in the decadent 1980s.
Currently, I finished my edits with the publisher, and I’m waiting on proofs. I have no release date yet, but once I do, you’ll be the first to know.
Read on for the blurb and excerpt!
He’s got to find a way to tell his best friend that he wants him—or lose him forever.
Blurb: Rich, popular, and gorgeous Bryan DeChambeau pines from afar for his best friend. He loathes the idea of helping Elliot score a date for the snow dance. With his time running out, Bryan must find a way to capture his buddy’s attention—and that means boldly leaving an anonymous card in his main man’s locker.
Grateful for Bryan’s friendship ever since he moved from his Ojibway community to Thunder Bay to attend high school, Elliot Wasacase can’t disclose his true feelings, or he’ll lose the one true friend he has. Upon discovering an unsigned card in his locker from an admiring dude, he’s terrified someone knows his secret but suspects the person might be Bryan.
When Bryan’s car breaks down, stranding them on top of the mountain during a snowstorm, the two must either take a leap of faith or let fear and clashing beliefs cost them what they truly desire.
When Elliot bumped his hip on one of the double doors to throw one of them open, March’s chill nipped at his exposed skin. Frostier than a snowman. He rubbed his gloved hands together. His leather jacket and sweatshirt weren’t going to keep the nipping wind from icing his skin. At least he had on long underwear, and they looked cool—a black pair exposed by the self-inflicted shreds he’d made to his jeans.
Bryan lips clamped around the smoke were almost the shade of poppy red from Biboon’s nasty weather the spirit of winter was raining on the northwest of Ontario. His gelled blond waves whipped about.
“Where you been?” Bryan stamped his feet and kept sucking on what everyone called a dart.
Elliot shook a cigarette from the packet. “I….” Ah hell, he couldn’t resist. Every guy had a right to brag. Plus, his news could earn him major props. Maybe Bryan’s buddies might start showing Elliot respect, instead of grudgingly tolerating him. “Raquel chatted me up.”
Bryan’s sky-blue eyes widened. His normally rosy cheeks shone up a shade brighter. He plush lips moved into a line of uneasiness. “What’d you mean?”
“I’m serious.” Elliot fumbled to light his dart without having to remove his gloves. “She stopped me after class.”
“Stopped you about what? Here.” Bryan handed over his smoke.
When Elliot’s gloved hand touched Bryan’s, the same feeling of sinking into frozen waters chugged through his veins. He had to get a grip. If Bryan peeked inside his brain, he’d give Elliot a beat down.
He stuck the tip against his smoke and puffed. “Here…” He made sure to hold the end toward Bryan so there’d be no more touching.
“Stopped you about what?” Annoyance heated Bryan’s question like the embers of their glowing-red cigarettes.
Surprise sent Elliot a step back. What the hell had he done to send his best bud into Terminator mode? If anything, Bryan should have been stoked Elliot was finally fitting in. “She asked me if I was going to the dance.”
“She did?” Bryan’s jaw slackened. “What’d you say?”
Heat flooded Elliot’s face. He took a drag. While replying, he let the smoke leave his mouth. “I told her I wasn’t sure.”
“She told me I should ask someone.” Well, it was cold. Elliot could use more heat on his face, so he might as well accept that he was probably blushing.
“She uh…” Elliot licked his lips. “She…walked away…but she kept looking at me. D-do you think… Uh…y’know, do you think she wants me to ask her?”
Bryan’s mink brows drew together. Just as quickly he offered a sheepish half grin that never reached his eyes. “I dunno. Maybe. I guess you should ask her. Wouldn’t hurt to try. That’s if you really wanna go with her. Do you?”
Only a moron would turn away from Raquel Hudson, one of the it girls of the school. Taking her to the dance meant Elliot would be the envy of his buddies. But she was a chick. And the clincher—she wasn’t Bryan.
“I dunno. We’ll see.” He shrugged.
The bell rang.