From Spreadsheets to Bed Sheets
by S.B. Hadley Wilson
Never in a million years did I think I’d write gay erotica. Never in a million years did I think gay erotica would be so much fun to write.
Prior to now, I’d always wanted to be a writer—any kind of writer. When I first tried my hand at public relations in New York in the late 1990s, all I could afford to eat was a bagel for lunch and a pack of cigarettes for dinner. That wasn’t living. So I watched my dreams of becoming a writer fly out the window of my four-story walk up apartment, and travel down an unexpected path, from New York to San Francisco, where I ended up in data analytics. For years, I enjoyed working with facts and figures: gathering and massaging data, creating a value story for clients. I assessed everyone’s worth but my own. Until one birthday: “If I can be successful at a job that I enjoy, there’s no telling what I could do with a job that I love.”
So I quit—and committed myself to finishing a book in a year.
That one-year commitment turned into two-and-a-half years of writing, traveling, writing, traveling. I became a master at procrastination and produced a novel that should’ve been a novella. As any novelist knows, word count is often a factor in how books are classified and submitted to agents, but in obtaining the words for a novel, I diluted the tone of my story.
So I decided to do an overhaul to my book. But as I pondered what to change in the manuscript, a submission call for a gay erotica anthology distracted me. I wrote “The Return” in a couple of weeks and fell in love with the characters. And when the editor of the anthology told me that I didn’t make the publishable top 15, but I did make the semi-final top 30, my confidence rose a little bit and I was relieved to still have the rights to the story. So I released “The Return” myself.
I think it’s short and sexy.
The response from people has been hilarious. Some people read it twice in one sitting and have asked me to write a sequel so they know what happens to the three characters—including the straight brother. Some people have refused to read it because they think the sex scenes are fantasies of mine (maybe!) and don’t want to know that much information about me. Positive or negative, I love feedback, so please feel free to connect with me after you’ve read it.
About The Return
Sam is looking forward to his college reunion in San Francisco and staying with Brian, his college crush and roommate. But when Sam comes together with Jacob, Brian’s stunning younger brother, he is shocked by how closely they resemble one another. Immediately, Sam finds himself questioning his friendship with Brian, ambushed by feelings of nostalgia—and unrequited love.
Erotic and vivid, “The Return” is a short story intended for mature audiences.
An Excerpt from The Return
Here Sam was, back in San Francisco.
He paid the driver $50 and climbed out of the taxi.
It was August, and as he stood near the corner of Dolores and Seventeenth Street, he relished the cool, sixty-eight-degree weather and the skyline void of skyscrapers. He had been in Manhattan too long.
He straightened his back, waiting for his suitcase to be pulled out of the trunk, and listened to an invisible saxophonist play the theme song to The Godfather. Without any real reason, Sam decided the musician was the same man who used to repeatedly play the Star Wars theme song when he was last in town. He liked to believe the saxophonist had an affinity for the 1970s, the decade Sam was born in, and played the songs in his honor.
At thirty-one, Sam was surprised ten years had passed since college. Looking up and down the street where he had once lived with his college buddy Brian, he felt as if nothing had changed. He felt twenty-one again, crawling out of college, where he spent his four years in a hangover, corrupted and invincible. If he had not taken that management consultant job in New York, he and Brian would probably still be roommates.
Sam remembered sitting in the living room on the day he had accepted the New York job, sometimes looking at Brian, sometimes looking at the floor, thinking about how they had made a pact to live together until one of them got married, and then how he had squirmed with nervousness telling Brian he was moving to New York, his heart racing.
“This will always be your home,” Brian had said to Sam that day, and again on the day he moved out.
Sam had squeezed him good-bye, tighter than he expected. On the surface, as an only child, Brian had been like a big brother to him. They had loved and protected each other. No problem, right? Wrong: Sam was in love with Brian. During the awkward years of being a young gay kid, moving from Minneapolis to San Francisco for college for the sake of being in the nation’s gay mecca and developing his sexuality, Sam had felt comfortable around Brian. Brian had been the first straight guy never to mock him. But after four years of friendship, Sam had finally accepted the fact that Brian would never be interested in him, so he had left.
Today, Sam was back in town for their ten-year college reunion. It was his first time visiting San Francisco since he had moved, as well as his first time seeing Brian.
Sam’s shoes and the wheels of his suitcase scraped the cement stairs as he ascended to the stoop outside the building’s foyer. He rang the doorbell.
“Sam?” Brian said on the intercom, waiting for him to answer.
After a few tense seconds, Sam smiled and said, “Yes, it’s me!”
The wrought-iron gate buzzed and then clicked open, and Sam crossed the black-and-white tile into the dark foyer. He turned the knob to Brian’s door, but it was locked. He left an impression of his sweaty palm on the knob. He shifted his weight from left to right, grasping the handle of his suitcase firmly, waiting, wondering if Brian would hug him first.
When Sam heard footsteps from behind Brian’s door, he suddenly felt a sharp pain in his belly. His chest felt heavy. He had wanted to see Brian all these years, but life had happened and time had passed. And now that the moment was here, he wished he had another second to compose himself. But when the door opened, it was not Brian—it was his youngest brother, Jacob. Sam had not seen Jacob in years. Ten, in fact. The last time they had seen each other, Jacob had been eleven and had come with their other two brothers to San Francisco for Brian’s graduation. But Jacob was grown-up now. He was a younger reflection of Brian.
Jacob stood a foot away from Sam in the foyer. His face was stretched into a brilliant smile. With one hand, he brushed his blond, overgrown bangs to the side of his forehead while he leaned against the door frame. His white, spectacular briefs hugged his perfect and otherwise-naked body, rendering Sam speechless and causing him to think he was hallucinating.
The saxophonist had gone silent.
Sam recalled Brian’s mentioning a few years earlier that Jacob was gay, and that he had left their hometown, Indianapolis, and moved into Sam’s old bedroom in their San Francisco apartment. But Sam had never imagined Jacob would look like a demigod, a statue standing on a podium. He had never imagined he would be looking at the cut body of his best friend’s brother and finding it hard not to stare at his tight white briefs. He tried to concentrate on Jacob’s tremendous green eyes, but his curiosity got the better of him, and he glanced down at Jacob’s junk, wondering what it smelled like. When he saw the impeccable outline of the head of Jacob’s cock, Sam’s dick twitched. When he raised his eyes again, he noticed Jacob’s lips, wildly pink, still turned upward.
About S.B. Hadley Wilson
S. B. Hadley Wilson was born in Bangkok, Thailand, but grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned a marketing degree at New York University’s Stern School of Business and a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He spent most of his career working in data analytics for Fortune 100 companies. In 2011, Hadley walked away from corporate America to dedicate his time to writing.
Hadley lives in San Francisco, California.
Hadley has kindly offered up an eBook copy of The Return to SEVEN (his favorite number!) lucky winners! The giveaway starts now and ends September 19, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway, except to verify your Rafflecopter entry.
Don’t forget to check out Morgan’s review of The Return to see what she thought of it!