Wordy Wednesday Guest Post: Pondering what's truly admirable by JM Cartwright
Today's Wordy Wednesday is a guest post from JM Cartwright, author of The Trouble With Angel. Welcome JM!
As many of you know, June is Living Out With Pride Month. It strikes me that we shouldn't need to highlight such a thing in America. We live in the land of the free, don't we? I confess straight away that I am a Libertarian and I do indeed recognize that we have inequities all around us. Some of those I think are as they should be - in that, we have equal access to opportunity. Except that, in some cases, that's not exactly true, is it?
Such is the case with marriage - and marriage equality. I can go to the county or village clerk and pay to get a marriage license, but my friend Mike cannot. I would argue that religion actually clouds the legitimate issue of equal access to a government-provided service, which is licensing. The organized religions of the world that object to marriage equality have every right to abide by their tenets. But it seems to me that particular point is separate from whether you or I can walk into a government office and purchase a marriage license, then be married by a government official.
So it seems that we should and must recognize those who decide to disclose that they don't exactly fit the mold, meet societal norms or whatever other label one might apply. It's changing, no doubt about that. Societal norms evolve over time, and I for one and heartily glad that some of that evolution is in the area of acceptance for LGBT people. I salute those people brave enough to change their lives, brave the intolerance of others, the fear, the questions. Being who we are takes courage; it requires fortitude, a knowledge that no matter what others think, it's the right thing to do. For ourselves.
I write about guys who struggle, laugh, fall in love and work it out. It's not always that simple in real life. The beauty of romance fiction is that we can make it easy or hard on our characters; but we'll work it out in the end. No such guarantee in life.
None of us can decide for another when - or even if - it's time to come out. No matter how much we might want to make someone else's life different, we cannot. We can support, we can encourage. We can have our friends' backs. But ultimately, it's an individual decision, and it takes guts.
How can we not admire that?
Living in swanky LA, via the barrio, Angel Vargas is happy with his life. Great job, great boss, and he can keep an eye on his mom. The one thorn in his side is major league pitcher Brandon Halvorsen, The Great Dane. The stuffy, stick-in-the-mud straight guy is one of his boss' best clients, and the guy annoys the hell out of Angel.
Huge changes are happening in Brandon's life, and he needs help. Becoming an instant father was not on his list of things to do. Ever. He sure as heck wasn't planning on the snotty, gorgeous Angel being the solution to his problem, but stranger things have happened. What happens when hip, LA-cool Angel is dragged into famous jock Brandon's world? Life gets interesting, and hot, in a hurry.
"Is there a problem?" Brandon asked politely.
"Not at all," Angel assured courteously, still staring at the elevator doors. The trouble was, they were highly polished steel, and he could see Brandon staring at his reflection. "Why would there be a problem? I don't know where we're going, why we're going there, or what we're going to do when we get there. You talk to my boss but you won't tell me. Why would that be a problem?"
The car arrived just at that moment. Perfect timing. He moved forward into the cab and spun around on his heel, then held open the door graciously. "Coming?"
He heard what sounded like a chuckle that was turned into a cough when he stared at his blond nemesis.
"You're pretty good with that death-stare, you know. Anybody ever told you that before?" Brandon didn't sound as if it bothered him one bit. In fact, he appeared to be enjoying getting under Angel's skin.
Looking askance at CeCe's client, Angel spoke once again without thinking. "Yeah? Well, too bad it's not working."
That had Brandon laughing once more, and had Angel fuming, since nothing he said or did seemed to penetrate that tough exterior.
"I may have underestimated you, Angel. You're a tough little guy, aren't you?" Brandon sounded almost... admiring?
Resenting that, since he was five eleven, Angel grunted. "I'm not little. You're just big." He eyed Brandon, his gaze skating quickly over the masculinity on display. "Probably too many 'roids, right?" As he spoke, the elevator arrived at the first floor. As soon as the doors opened, he stepped out, heading toward the entry.
He was pulled up short by Brandon's big hand on his upper arm. Those fingers squeezed warningly as Brandon pulled him over behind a large plant grouping. Yanking unsuccessfully, he squirmed to get away. "What are you doing? Let me go!" he whispered fiercely. "Somebody's going to see us!"
"And?" Brandon stared down at him, his face very close.
Angel was really confused now. What the hell was going on? "And? What, are you dumb? I'm not exactly in the closet, you know. If people around here see you this close to me, they're going to make assumptions that I bet you'd prefer not be made." There. That wasn't too snotty, was it? He jerked his arm again, to no avail.
"You know taking steroids can make your junk really tiny, right?" Brandon's voice was lowered and his head was bent attentively over Angel's, their foreheads almost touching. If Angel hadn't known better, he would have sworn that Brandon wanted to stand this close to him.
Brandon took a quick look around. Seeming assured that where they were standing behind the giant palms was hidden from view, he pushed Angel back against the wall and leaned his weight forward. "Just wanted you to know that my junk is all there -- and it's not tiny."
With that, he rolled his hips into Angel's.
Thanks JM for a great post!