Where do you go when your home is no longer a safe place"
Alex is about to turn eighteen and is firmly in the closet. He"s been biding his time, waiting to escape to uni, and finally come out away from the oppressive influence of his homophobic father. When he flunks his exams, he"s stuck in the small town of Porthladock"and what"s worse is that he"s working for his dad. The only thing that makes it bearable is Cam.
Cam"s comfortable with his bisexuality, but he doesn"t broadcast it. Young, free, and single, his social life revolves around playing rugby and hanging out with his mates. He"s attracted to Alex, but with the six-year age gap, Cam"s wary of getting involved. Plus, he thinks Alex needs a friend more than he needs a lover, and as their friendship grows, Cam decides he"s not willing to risk ruining it for casual sex.
When Alex"s dad finds out about his sexuality, Alex is suddenly both jobless and homeless. He finds work at Rainbow Place, the local LGBT-friendly caf" and Cam lets Alex stay in his flat for a while. But Alex would rather be sleeping in Cam"s bed than on his sofa. With them both living under one roof, their feelings for each other grow stronger, and the sexual tension is hard to ignore. Will giving in to it ruin their friendship and complicate things for Alex even more"
Although this book is part of a linked series, it has a satisfying happy ending, and can be enjoyed as a standalone.Books in Series:Rainbow Place Series by Jay NorthcoteBooks by Author:Jay Northcote Books
Alex was full of nervous excitement while he hurried to keep up with Hayden, who was striding down the street as if he were on a mission. "I should be back at home revising," Alex protested. "My dad would do his nut if he knew I was out tonight."
"Don"t be such a wuss," Hayden said. "Don"t you want to go and support Seb" Rainbow Place is the coolest thing to happen in Porthladock, basically ever. It"s already late, so we don"t have to stay long, but let"s just have a quick drink."
Rainbow Place was pretty awesome, and the fact that an LGBT-friendly caf"/bar was opening right here in Alex"s home town was incredible. It gave Alex some much-needed hope for the future. But Alex"s dad would go even more mental if he knew where Alex was going tonight. Alex"s father was furious that Rainbow Place was still going ahead with its grand opening, despite his vocal opposition to Seb Radcliffe"s plans.
Just thinking about his dad"s reaction made Alex feel sick, but also sent a thread of steely determination through him. Fuck his father and his stupid, bigoted views. In a few months he"d be escaping anyway, his dream of leaving home to go to university now so close to being a reality. As long as he got the grades he needed he"d be gone by September. Alex needed to keep his head down, stay out of trouble with his dad, and he could survive till then. But that didn"t mean he couldn"t live a little too. Lucky for him, his dad was too wrapped up in his business and political connections to pay much attention to him. That suited Alex just fine. His parents were out at some Tory party social in Truro that evening and wouldn"t be back till midnight. Alex could be home and in bed by then and they"d never be any the wiser.
"Maybe some of the rugby lads will be there again too," Hayden said, casting a knowing sidelong glance at Alex. "Maybe Cam will be there."
Cheeks flaming, Alex muttered, "Shut up." But he couldn"t help smiling as butterflies exploded in his stomach at the thought.
He"d met Cam earlier in the week when he, Hayden, and a couple of other friends had gone to help out after Rainbow Place had been vandalised. The vandalism had come in the wake of Alex"s dad writing a shitty letter to the local paper about the plans for a queer-friendly caf". It may not have been directly related, but Alex couldn"t help feeling guilty by association. When photos of people rallying around to help repair the damage had gone viral on social media, Alex and his friends had decided to join them.
The scale of the vandalism had shocked Alex. The walls had been spray-painted with horrible, homophobic slurs. He could only imagine how devastated Seb must have been. But the fact that so many people came to help must have softened the blow. It had actually ended up being an amazing night"not least because of Cam.
Cam was part of the local rugby team who had been some of the first to volunteer their time to help clean off the graffiti. Alex and Cam had ended up getting talking while they"d worked side by side on cleaning the kitchen floor, and Alex was smitten.
There was no way Cam would be interested in him though. He"d been a little flirtatious, sure. Enough that Alex had suspected Cam might be gay. Unfortunately, he was way out of Alex"s league. Cam was gorgeous: tall, dark, and handsome with a thousand-watt smile and shoulders to die for. He was also clearly a few years older than Alex, and was cool and confident where Alex was awkward and constantly worrying about saying the wrong thing.
"Wow, it looks really busy." Hayden"s voice snapped Alex out of the Cam rabbit hole his brain had fallen into.
Standing outside Rainbow Place in the early summer twilight, they paused, and looked through the windows. The place was packed, all the tables were full and people were standing around the bar.
"That"s cool, though. Good news for Seb," Alex said.
"There might not be anywhere to sit but we can stand at the bar. If Amber was working I could have got her to try to save us a table or something, but she finished at lunchtime."
Their friend Amber had got a job working as a server there. Alex was envious. He worked Saturdays cleaning the static caravans on one of his dad"s holiday parks on changeover day before the next lot of tourists arrived. He"d much rather be working at Rainbow Place.
"I don"t think she"d be able to do that unless we were going to eat."
"Yeah, I guess not. Let"s go in anyway. I"m thirsty."
Hayden flicked his bleached blond hair out of his eyes as he made his way confidently to the bar. Alex followed a few steps behind. This seemed to be his default position in life in relation to his best friend.