Authors: Alexis Hall, Amy Jo Cousins, Annabeth Albert, Delphine Dryden, Edie Danford, Geonn Cannon, Vanessa North
Genres: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
How does love begin? A glance, a gesture, an unexpected offer of help from a stranger…or from a good friend. A smile across a counter at a coffee shop or video store. A secret revealed in a song from another place and time. Or in a love ballad crooned at a high school dance.
In this anthology of never-before-published sweet LGBTQ+ stories, seven authors explore the beginnings of love between young and new adult couples. All proceeds will support The Trevor Project’s work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.
(Excerpt from book)
A Song for Sweater-boy by Vanessa North
After class, I’m digging in my locker for a new pen when a body slams into the door next to mine, and the face sucking starts. Ash is pressed up against the orange lockers by a girl with blue pigtails and hairy legs, and she seems to be trying to find his tonsils with her tongue. I avert my eyes, but not before noticing she’s definitely the same girl who was cooing over him last week.
“Love you,” she murmurs, her hands slapping the lockers next to his head. “Text me after you get out of that thing today, okay?”
“Yeah.” His voice is all breathless. I pinch my eyes shut. That’s like a sex voice. Like he’s thinking about having sex with that girl.
My gut churns over a sharp stab of jealousy as I finally, finally find the pen. I shove it into my backpack and resolve to clean my locker so I can find what I need easier. I slam it shut and rush down the hall, face flaming.
Why do I care if Ash Cooper wants to have sex with girls? Every boy I ever crush on wants to be with girls. Maybe I’m just irritated by how easy it seems to be for straight people to find someone to date. Or neurotypical people. I’m pretty sure Ryder from the GSA has a boyfriend, and he’s not even cute like Ash Cooper.
I turn around. The blue-haired girl is gone, and Ash’s hand is on my open locker door. I brace myself for the teasing but he just smirks at me and slams my locker shut.
“You were in such a hurry to get away, it bounced.”
“Sorry.” Why am I apologizing to him?
“Why are you apologizing to me?” His smirk widens to a smile; I turn and start walking again.
“Sorry!” I call back over my shoulder, walking faster. I hoped this year would be different, but that smile reminds me of the way the bullies always act like they’re your friend before they stick your head in the toilet.
“Hey, wait!” He calls after me, but my calculus classroom is right there, and I step inside just as the bell rings.