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Welcome to my life.
“Raising Hell” is a hot and wild new M/M romance from Daryl Banner, the same author of the Amazon top-selling Bromosexual, Hard For My Boss, and Football Sundae.
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1. Not good news.
The thing is, when your best friend drops a cute pink pill on your palm and tells you, “Get ready for the sexiest high your gay ass has ever experienced,” with that totally-gets-you irresponsible deadpan stare, you kinda don’t expect to get a phone call twelve minutes in telling you your parents are dead.
Like, this profoundly moving high isn’t meant to be coupled with the worst news of your life, and now it is.
And you’re still holding a martini.
Not to mention that ten other guys are in your apartment with you, equally high as fuck. Four of them are taking turns eating each other’s lips and nipples in a sort of awkward pretzel ménage. A naked dude you just met an hour ago is doubled over your mirrored coffee table laughing hysterically at nothing. Next to him, his sweaty, twitchy boyfriend, who’s cutting lines with a surgeon’s precision using a postcard your brother mailed you from Taiwan. And you stand there over all of them, unblinking, mouth agape, still holding that fucking martini, and legitimately wonder what the last thing you said to your parents was.
It’s suddenly the most important piece of information you will ever recall. Was it: “Love you, Mom.”
Was it: “One sec, I’m driving.”
Was it a dismissive, can’t-bother-typing thumbs-up text?
Or is all of this in your head right now? Is this all part of the high? What the fuck was that cute pink pill even called?
And then you say, “Please shut up,” to your friends suddenly.
Of course, no one hears you.
You wonder if you even said the words at all.
And while your friends continue to fornicate obliviously on your faux leather Ikea sectional, flashes of the last time you bothered to visit your parents at their big sprawling mansion less than an hour away in a place called Brookfield, Texas blind you. You see a fancy barbeque with long white tables and a big white pavilion erected in the backyard, everything all white, white, white. You see your dad greeting a guest at the door, and you’re plastered off your ass on your tenth glass of your mother’s finest concord red, eyes blurry, headache coming on, but you remember this one moment perfectly when your dad glances back at you and the tiniest pinch of disapproval darkens his face.
You remember your mother saying something to you about standing up straight, and, “Why’d you wear that hideous thing?”, and then a soft hug an hour later coupled with a, “Your father has so much pressure from work, sweetie, so much pressure …”
And you still can’t remember the last thing you said to them that day before you left. You just remember your eleven-year-old baby sister watching you from the front window, a stony, distant look in her eyes.
This was just a month ago. I’m so fucking high.
“Shut up, everyone, please,” you try again. “I need to think.”
I’m not going to lie to you. I’m so high right now that a part of me literally wants to laugh at the news. I mean, really, I love my parents, but this is just the worst timing.
It’s also still very possible to me that I hallucinated the whole phone call.
Except you didn’t. They’re dead. They’re dead and you’re as high as a sea gull with its long twisty neck and searching, clueless eyes.
Now everyone in the room looks your way. Your best friend. The pretzel ménage. Even the sweaty guy stooped over the coffee table stops mid-snort to stare at you.
And now that you’ve got their attention, you don’t know what to do with it.
“Hello?” comes the voice from the phone in my hand. Yes, I’m still holding a martini in the other. “Mathew? The reception here is just the worst. Hello …? Did you hear what I said? Jesus, please don’t tell me you’re high. What are you on? So predictable. Please, Mathew, I need you straight right now.”
Those are two things I’ll never be. Straight. Or predictable.
Really, isn’t it bad enough that the news came from my self-important, spitting-image-of-dad older brother who always knows better? He owns and runs clothing businesses in Taiwan, Japan, India, and some parts of Europe. Ooh, so fancy. Whatever I make a year bartending, he makes every month. Despite our hardly having a damned thing to do with each other, he seems to always find a way to remind me of that fact twelve times a year.
Don’t get me wrong. He’s not all bad. He loves me as much as a filthy rich older brother ought to, really. His wide-open wallet and yearly five-hundred-dollar Gucci gift card on my birthday says so.
No, I don’t wear Gucci, so the stack of gift cards is building up on my nightstand and I kinda don’t have the heart to tell him.
Like, this isn’t a joke. There’s over thirty-five hundred dollars of Gucci plastic just sitting there next to a bottle of lube and my Hello Kitty alarm clock. You like Gucci? Knock yourself out.