Honor C by C. Zampa
Contemporary M/M Novella
Available at Publisher
When Honor Castillo convinces himself he isn’t gay, he begins a new life. He ends his affair with his lover, Jorge Villagomez, and marries Rebecca to establish a life with her as a respected San Antonio businessman. They have a son and he tells himself he is happy.
Eleven years later, Jorge returns to San Antonio, and his path crosses with Honor’s once more. The flame of their passion never died, and neither did Jorge’s love for Honor.
When Jorge approaches Honor to design his studio, Honor believes he can walk the line between friendship and lovers. But when a sudden crisis threatens to take Jorge from him forever, Honor must choose between his duty and his heart. Most of all, he’s forced to decide what he’s willing to lose in order to be true to who he really is.
Teaser Adult Excerpt:
1989—Mercario R. Fuentes Middle School
TODAY he’d planted his scrawny body just a few feet away from me on one of the wooden benches in the playground.
Afraid to try more than a covert sideways gaze, I studied him as best I could.
This Jorge kid. A sissy, I thought. Not because of his too-dressy-for-this-school yellow polo shirt tucked into the painfully skinny waist of his neatly pressed khaki pants. Because of his prim, tea-party posture—knees clenched tight and the toes of his shiny loafers pressed together. The way he picked off bits of his food and put them daintily to his lips and shifted his hips all fussy-like while he chewed.
Pretty jet-black hair, all slicked back from his thin face. And that face. A girl’s softness, such white skin.
In spite of his prissiness, or maybe because of it, I felt a weird stirring in my belly at the sight of Jorge Villagomez. I hadn’t a clue at the time what that sensation was. But it bothered me, confused me.
On those closely clamped knees rested his lunch, neatly compartmentalized in little plastic containers. A sandwich—cheese with lettuce, it looked like—apple wedges, and carrot sticks. White milk from the cafeteria.
I glanced at my own lunch and felt awfully… fat… next to Jorge. There was my burrito staring back at me. Embarrassed at my huge, kind of ugly lunch for the first time in my kid life, I mimicked Jorge and primly plucked a piece of the tortilla shell and nibbled it.
“El Gordo!” From a bench opposite us, Shirley Setzer hollered.
I was used to her taunts about my weight. Usually I let it roll off my back, pretended not to hear her and her little gaggle of girlfriends’ jabs. Today, though, with the delicate, perfect Jorge beside me, I was humiliated by my bigness. To be made fun of in front of him seemed different, somehow more painful. Maybe even then I’d felt some lovely attraction to him, some powerful, unrealized desire for him to like me.
At Shirley’s jeer, Jorge glanced up from his lunch, first to her and then to me.
For the first time, I saw—close up—his eyes. His stunning eyes. Calm, quiet as though nothing could surprise him.
He returned his attention to his lunch.
Shirley called out once more, “Cerdo! Gordo! That’s right! Stuff your face!”
I figured everyone was supposed to be impressed that she’d learned those choice Spanish words just to torment me. Still, I acted as though I hadn’t heard her, but her chanting did drive me to stuff the burrito into my brown paper bag and roll it into a ball.
Just as I stood to dump my lunch in the trash, and in the middle of another string of Shirley’s Spanish insults, Jorge shoved himself up from the bench, sending his fancy lunch tumbling to the concrete at his feet. For a moment, he stood with his hands on both puny hips and then—without saying a word—the little kid charged across the space between the benches and lunged for her.
The force of his thrust at her shoulders sent my frizzy-haired antagonist sprawling to the grass, her legs in the air and her flowered panties bared for all the world to see.
While the other kids—even Shirley’s own little troupe—laughed their heads off, Jorge repeated his hands-on-the-hips stance and glared fiery arrows at her.
“He’s not fat!” He bent over the bench and jabbed a finger at her. “You hear me? He’s not fat.”
Shaking his head and rolling his eyes, he strutted back to our bench and knelt to calmly pick up his spilled lunch from the ground.
Once he’d snapped his red lunch box shut, he stood and—never once looking at me or speaking—commenced to march toward the building.
He said nothing to me that day, passed me without a glance in the halls as though I was invisible.
Only later—much later, when we’d become inseparable pals—did he tell me that, on that day, he’d noticed me for the first time. And he thought I was the cutest boy he’d ever seen.
Me. Gordo. Cerdo. Chubby Honor Castillo. The cutest kid Jorge had ever seen.
The first time we’d touched, kissed, in the tree house. Dios mío! Our warm dicks straining and touching through jeans and our lips searching each other’s sweaty skin in some sort of inexperienced desperation. Soft, warm, gritty.