Exclusive Excerpt from I’ve Got You
by Becca Seymour
I took a deep breath and looked in the mirror. I didn’t dare look at my face though. Sometimes, I just couldn’t stomach the sight. I was sure that was all levels of screwed up, but it was my truth. Instead, I focused on my T-shirt, wondering if it was too tight, wondering if anyone could tell from the way it clung to my toned body that I was… gay. I shook my head.
I could totally do this. I had to get the hell over myself.
I sighed. I still had no idea if I could do this—accept this openness, something I’d spent pretty much my whole life ignoring—but being honest with myself, I was getting tired of my bullshit. Tired of my inner monologues. Tired of not stepping the fuck up and owning my sexuality once and for all.
Yes, there was always a but, but this time, I clamped my jaw tight and stared at my face. I looked tense as all hell. It therefore made sense that a few beers would help. Getting out of my own company would help, surely to God it would.
Glancing away, I headed toward the front door, grabbing my wallet and keys on the way. Tonight I would stop the pity party and actually leave the damn house. As I stepped outside and pulled the door closed, I gave myself a moment to feel some of the tension disperse. Inhaling deeply, I savored the fresh air, the coolness in my lungs. This was good. I could do this. Even more, I was proud of myself for doing this alone. It would have been too easy to rely on Carter, my tentative friend who had implanted himself into my life. I could do this by myself. Pride felt a little alien as it settled in my head and on my chest. It was a strange sensation, and it had been a long time since I could honestly remember a time I felt honest-to-God proud of myself. Deception and self-loathing, plus a family who took every opportunity to drag me down and remind me I wasn’t good enough, could do that to a guy.
With an exhale, I forced myself to smile, still staring at the door. Shit, damn tears filled my eyes. I blinked them away and swallowed the sentiment, hysterical emotion and laughter bubbling in my chest and making their way to my throat. It sprung free, a deep laugh, the action making the smile on my lips genuine. Shit, I was losing it. But still, I grinned and allowed myself the moment to feel lighter. I considered accepting the tears, knowing that, while spiked with fear, they were also coated with unfamiliar happiness and relief.
My lips still fixed with a smirk, I breathed out and closed my eyes before taking another breath. I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going (other than a local bar), and definitely no idea what tomorrow held, let alone the long-term future held, but still, I smiled.
I turned and headed down the street to the town center, the smile now lazily lifting my lips. As I walked past Carter’s, I didn’t hesitate or pause. He had become something of my safe haven. He knew who I was. Admittedly, while he didn’t know my past, my history, he’d still given me the courage I needed to step out. I wouldn’t falter and detour. Instead, I continued on.
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