YES – Excerpt – Ian and Bartley

March 16, 2015

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The first scene between Ian and Bartley, before Ian makes his wish and wakes up two decades younger.

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THE NORTH DOOR opened, and Bartley James, another of La Tazza’s regulars, walked in. Bartley was Ian’s customer crush, but with his all-American good looks and clean-cut appeal, he was also out of Ian’s league—or at least that’s what Ian believed. His nerves kicked into high gear as Bartley approached the counter.

“Hi, Ian. Can I get a double skim, please?”

“For here or to go?”

Bartley brushed a lock of golden-blond hair out of his eyes. “I need it to go tonight. I’m heading back to the office to finish the blueprints for the new house. We’re breaking ground tomorrow.”

“This the house you designed for the couple in Westlake?”

“One and the same. I’ve finally graduated from being an assistant to a full-fledged architect.”

“Sounds like you’ll need some food, then. Let me throw a sandwich together for you.”

“I only brought in enough cash for the latte.”

Ian turned to the espresso machine to make Bartley’s double skim. “The sandwich is on the house. You’re in here almost every day. It’s the least I can do to help celebrate your big project.”

“Well, thanks. I suppose food would be a good idea. I’m used to running on caffeine at times like this.”

“You ever have our Pilgrim sandwich? I got the idea from a deli in P-town. You ever been there?”

“Provincetown? Mason and I went last summer, before everything fell…. Never mind. I need to stop…. What’s on the sandwich?”

“Turkey, dressing, and homemade cranberry sauce. It’s like Thanksgiving dinner.”

“Sounds good,” Bartley said. “But how do you get all that onto one sandwich?”

“Well, it can be a little messy, I admit, but it’s bloody delicious.”

“Bloody?”

Ian cringed. This was usually the part where he started blabbering about something of no importance. All his attempts to be cool around Bartley ultimately ended in failure. He knew he should shut up, but instead he launched into the inevitable explanation. “I’ve been watching this British soap called Hollyoaks. Twenty-three minutes a day, five days a week. Totally addictive, crazy show, and I’m not exaggerating. Half the characters belong in a mental institution. One of them named his kids Lucas and Leah. You know, after the Star Wars characters? There are these five insanely hot Roscoe brothers. The two things I’ve picked up are ‘bloody’ and ‘sort it.’”

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The Roscoe Brothers

“What do you mean by ‘sort it’?”

“Well, in Texas, when we have a problem, we fix it or handle it or deal with it. But in England, they sort it. I swear to God, they’re constantly sorting things. And if you go to court, you don’t testify, you give evidence.”

“Hmm. What made you start watching a British soap opera?”

Ian finished the latte, handed it to Bartley, and then turned his attention to the sandwich. “It has a lot of gay characters. I’m a little obsessed with gay stories on television shows.”

“Did you find it on BBC America or something?”

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Max and Iago

“No, YouTube. That’s where all the good stuff is. People edit together the gay storylines from European soaps and add English subtitles. They’re called ‘trims.’ Max and Iago from El Cor de la Ciutat. Lenny and Carsten from Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten. Christian and Oliver from Verbotene Liebe.”

Bartley laughed. “Forbidden Love?”

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Lenny and Carsten

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Christian and Oliver

“Very good. Americans only know Brian and Justin from Queer As Folk, or Will and Sonny, of course, but there are all these other gay supercouples out there they’ve never even heard of, let alone seen. I recently lost an entire Saturday afternoon to Elias and Lari.”

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Brian and Justin

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Will and Sonny

“Where are they from?”

“Finland. I can’t pronounce the original title, but it translates as Secret Lives. Did you know people in Finland have saunas in their apartment buildings?”

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Elias and Lari

“I didn’t know that.” Bartley took a sip of his latte. “You got any big plans for the weekend?”

“My friend Mark is taking me to Denver for my birthday.”

“Today’s your birthday?”

“No, tomorrow.”

“Happy early birthday. How old?”

Ian hesitated as he spooned some dressing onto the sandwich. “Forty.”

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8 Responses to “YES – Excerpt – Ian and Bartley”

  1. Angela says:

    I love the excerpt.

    I saw some of those “soaps” on YouTube. It’s nice to be able to follow a storyline of a tv serie on you tube. You can just watch whenever you have the time and you don’t have to follow the whole serie :)

  2. Brad Boney says:

    Thanks, Angela. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been able to watch so much since I found these trims on YouTube. It’s so nice of people to edit and add subtitles so we can enjoy them. :)

  3. Jules Lovestoread Bowersox says:

    Love it! And, Bartley is so awesome. <3

  4. Brad Boney says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Jules! I do love me some Bartley James. :)

  5. Denise dechene says:

    Sounds better and better

  6. Brad Boney says:

    I’m pulling out all the stops, Denise. :)

  7. Antonia says:

    Loved the excerpt!

  8. Brad Boney says:

    Thanks, Antonia! Ian and Bartley take quite an interesting journey together. :)

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