- different boys — The Series
- About the Book
- About the Author
- Main Characters
- Friends and Family
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 14
- Coming up on the next episode
different boys — The Series
The new gay romance series “different boys” tells the tempestuous story of Colin and Tom, twin brothers who could scarcely be more different from one another, but who are both simply trying to get their lives in order and find the secret of love and happiness.
About the Book
EPISODE 1: SURPRISES BOTH GREAT AND SMALL
Colin and Tom are celebrating their 29th birthday in the back room of their mother’s bar. There is a sudden blackout, and Colin gets a very special birthday surprise that causes a great deal of trouble.
Tom’s 30th year begins with a bitter disappointment: Sasha unceremoniously dumps him after their night together. And then he gets run over by a crazy cyclist!
About the Author
Norman Stark is the pseudonym of a successful author who has developed plots and written screenplays for numerous TV productions for a number of years. He lives with his partner in Cologne, Germany, and is an expert on the colorful world of gay society.
Colin regards monogamy as the greatest possible denial of human nature and prides himself in his serial sexual escapades. His job as a flight attendant takes him all around the world, to the most popular gay hotspots and the hottest guys.
Tom prefers to surround himself with other things, things that make life more beautiful. He runs his own designer boutique in San Francisco, selling home accessories. But among all the gleaming candlesticks and plush cushions, something is missing — the one thing he longs for more than anything else: his ideal man, the love of his life. Until one day, that man literally falls at Tom’s feet.
Friends and Family
Their mother, Ella, and their friends, Jenny, Jason, Deb, Beata, and Adrian, are further sources of turmoil and confusion in the twins’ lives. And then there’s their sister, Lisa, whose ultraconservative husband is trying to break up their family.
Tom: Happy Birthday, bro!
Colin: Happy Birthday to you too, bro!
Tom: See you at Mom’s?
Colin: Sure thing, see you at Mom’s ☺
The guy looked good enough to eat, no doubt about it. He had a body that could have rivaled a Greek statue. Velvety, chocolate-brown skin showcased the rounded contours of his muscles. He lay there in front of them like a heavenly angel who’d floated softly down to earth.
“I’ll take the chest,” Tom decided, reaching for the knife and plunging it into the Adonis at about the level of his heart, to the delight of the onlookers. The other guests were dancing exuberantly to the pounding beats coming from oversized speakers, which seemed to be engaged in a kind of good-natured contest to see which was the loudest. The air in the room was muggy and hot — the place was jam-packed, after all — and there were throngs of thirsty people at the bar gasping for a cold beer or perhaps something stronger. To cut a long story short: The party was a success.
“You can have the chest, as long as you leave me that,” Colin grinned, indicating the generous bulge beneath the skimpy underpants.
“Of course, dearest brother,” Tom purred, passing Colin the knife. “But I’ve already conquered this lover’s heart.” Tom closed his eyes and bit into the man’s pecs with relish while Colin carefully extracted his favorite part of the body.
“That is absolutely scrumptious,” he raved, smacking his lips. “Let me guess … apricot jam?”
“Someone knows what he’s talking about!” Sophie flattered him, batting her eyelashes at him playfully.
“With regard to men or to cakes?” Mary asked, amused. She held a delicate index finger to her pursed lips with girlish innocence.
“Both,” Tom said confidently, laughing. “Colin’s definitely had more experience with men, but I’m more of a connoisseur of baked goods.”
Tom divided the hunk into pieces, slicing along the outlines of his six-pack, while Colin greedily stuffed the pastry privates made of cake, cream filling, apricot jam, and rich chocolate frosting into his mouth. He groaned with pleasure. “I have to admit, I think I got the best bit.”
“You seem to really like our cake. Just be careful you don’t choke on it, Colin!” Marie warned him, giggling, as she accepted a slice of the abs. Sophie patted her reassuringly on the shoulder and reached straight for the slice with the belly button. “Believe me, my dear, Colin’s had a lot of practice. He can cope with a pretty big portion without any trouble!”
“At least you’d have a really good headline,” Tom chuckled. “San Francisco flight attendant chokes on a penis!”
Colin punched his brother on the shoulder in mock anger. Sophie pulled the corners of her mouth down into an ironically tragic expression. “We come all the way from San Diego to celebrate your birthday, and you go and die an agonizing death by asphyxiation, just because you can’t get a man down your throat. That would be truly unfortunate.”
“You’re quite right. You and Mary have always been shining examples to me,” Colin grinned. “No one is quite as classy as you two when it comes to picking up men.”
While the other guests enjoyed the cake man, laying waste to his sweet body, Sophie and Mary exchanged conspiratorial grins and held their tongues. Their silence spoke volumes. But they weren’t even the tiniest bit ashamed — quite the contrary. Colin and Tom had known the two of them for many years and had always been amazed by their wild sexual exploits. They were involved in a pretty serious line of work, though: They were journalists working for the tabloid EXPOSURE, ferreting out the dark secrets of movers and shakers in politics, economics, and the media and revealing them to the world. They were good at that. But they were just as skilled at getting laid as they were at shedding light on compromising situations.
“Happy to be of service at any time, should you need further advice on the matter,” Sophie murmured, eyes half-closed, as she inserted the moist cake between her crimson lips. She let the tip of her tongue dart out lasciviously.
At that moment, a small man with a happy grin plastered across his roundish face was jostling his way through the tightly packed guests. He walked up to the counter and clapped his hands to attract attention. The DJ lowered the volume, and all eyes turned to look at him expectantly. Jason isn’t really the type to make a big speech, Tom thought, surprised. Jason was the good fairy in Tom’s design boutique, A-TOM, located on Valencia Street in the Mission district, one of San Francisco’s trendiest shopping areas. Customers seeking to jazz up their homes with the appropriate accessories soon discovered that Jason was their man. And the same was true for those who wanted to find out all the latest gossip about the scene.
Jason clearly wasn’t used to standing in front of a large group of people. He awkwardly picked at his right hand with his left index finger and smiled nervously. “I-I think,” he began, stammering, “that Tom and Colin deserve a little serenade.”
“Please, no,” Tom and Colin pleaded in unison, but Jason had already raised his short arms into the air, unfazed. He waved them around like a conductor during the first bars of an overture, and the guests obediently started to sing “Happy Birthday.” Jason made heroic attempts to guide them, but the voices were determined to wobble past the right notes. The dissonant pitches swelled to a crescendo, finishing with gusto in the long drawn-out cry of “Hap-py birth-day to you!”
Colin and Tom applauded appreciatively. Despite the complete lack of musicality, their friends’ singing had made them very happy. The brothers had agreed that they wanted the 29th year of their lives to start with a bang. Because once you crossed over the line into 30s territory, you were faced with the pathetic remnants of your life — a life in which you had to switch to anti-wrinkle face cream and would be mercilessly rejected by the search criteria on dating apps like Grindr.
At least the two of them shared a birthday, allowing them to truly commiserate. In fact, they’d been born at almost the same exact time: After spending nine months together in an increasingly crowded womb, Colin had been squeezed out just two minutes earlier than Tom. The woman who had bravely endured it all was standing there at the counter, beaming with happiness. Ella.
Ella’s full name was Annabella, but polysyllabic first names had gone out of fashion long before she entered her thirties. A catchy name like Ella was more suitable for the 70s soundtrack of Abba, the Bee Gees, and The Jackson 5. The bar where Colin and Tom were celebrating the start of their 30th year on the planet was Ella’s domain. Tucked away on a side street in the Lower Haight, the rustic old pub had become a kind of San Francisco institution. You wouldn’t find any imaginative designer interiors here, like you would in a trendy club, nor would you be served any fancy new cocktail creations. But Ella’s hospitable nature and her terrific selection of craft beers had won the hearts of many members of the Bay Area’s gay community.
After everyone had drunk a solemn toast to the twins, Ella went up to her boys, spread out her arms under her flowing Hawaiian-print wrap, and draped them over her sons’ shoulders. She sighed happily as she pulled the twins’ heads to her ample bosom with maternal affection. “I’m so glad I’ve got you!”
Colin and Tom briefly allowed their heads to sink into the fluffy featherbed of Ella’s chest. It took them straight back to their childhood in a flash. Back then, they’d been grateful for physical closeness to their mother’s breasts. But at 29, they were getting a little too old for it. “OK, OK, Mom,” Tom panted, nearly suffocating, and carefully pushed himself out of her tight embrace. “We love you, too.”
“Hmpf!” Colin nodded in agreement. Ella’s generous bosom was cutting off his air supply. He wriggled out of her grip and gasped for breath while his mother sobbed, overcome by joy.
“Before everyone starts bursting into tears, I’ve got just the right antidote,” Deb promised from behind her mixing board, dropping her index finger onto the power button of her control panel like a ballistic missile. The room exploded with the sound of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” and the crowd began to move as one to the beat. Deb was a mechanic by trade, but despite her love of seriously unhip lumberjack shirts, she had a well-developed instinct for the right song at the right time. Colin and Tom had been happy to leave the evening’s music selection in her capable hands.
Tom watched with amusement as Mary and Sophie used their practiced eyes to locate the only straight men in the room. They danced up to their prey, hips swaying provocatively. They definitely wouldn’t be spending the night alone. And neither would Colin. Adrian was just sashaying up to him now, having spent most of the evening undressing him with his eyes. Adrian had broad shoulders, a powerful torso, strong upper arms, and the unmistakable aura of a powerful man. Just Colin’s type. Tom shook his head. He found Adrian visually attractive, but he’d never developed the kind of predatory instinct that Colin had. You could definitely tell that they were fraternal twins and had inherited different genes. Not just because Tom had dark hair, while Colin’s head sported a blond crew cut. When it came to their dealings with men, the twins seemed to be from different planets.
Ella was hard at work behind the bar again, pouring one beer after another to keep the mob of crazy dancers well hydrated.
“Want me to give you a hand, Mom?” Tom knew that his mother would gladly do everything herself, even play the music, if she could. She would do anything for the twins and for her daughter, Lisa. But he didn’t want her to spend all night slaving away behind the bar.
“Don’t even think about it,” Lisa interrupted. Tom had scarcely seen his beloved sister all evening. But now she was squeezing her slender body behind the bar with determination. She pulled her brown hair back and began passing Ella empty beer mugs.
“You and Colin should celebrate in peace tonight. You only turn 29 once, you know,” she smiled at Tom.
“That’s sweet of you, Lizzy,” Ella said warmly.
“I’m happy to help, but please stop calling me Lizzy all the time!” Lisa demanded indignantly.
“Of course, Lisa,” Ella conceded with raised eyebrows and carried on pouring beer in silence. Colin had heard the baby of the family snap at their mother, too. Their sister — three years their junior — hadn’t always been so uptight. In the past, she hadn’t cared whether you called her Lisa or Lizzy — or Plug, as Colin and Tom had christened her. She had been perfectly happy as long as she could hang out with her two older brothers. And when Colin and Tom surprised her and Ella with their double coming-out, Lisa boasted at school about the fact that she had two gay brothers. When other kids made fun of them, she punched them in the nose — hard. But those times were long gone. Nowadays, she probably would have preferred it if both her brothers had married beautiful women and given her lots of nieces and nephews.
The reason for this change in her personality was a few feet away, pressing himself against the wall next to the counter as if he were trapped in a cage full of vile serpents. Greg. Lisa’s lord and master, and the begetter of her two children. He was morosely nursing a Bud Light. Bud Light — in a bar famous for its craft beers! “He’s very sentimental about his home,” Lisa would explain when people pointed out the absurdity of his choice. She always defended him. Greg’s home was somewhere out there in the Midwestern expanse of the flyover states. Way out there, where the air was pure, the prairies full of corn, the women obedient, and the men heterosexual. Greg was deeply conservative and had been brainwashing Lisa with his petit-bourgeois values. In his simplistic world, the line between good and evil was as sharply defined as the side part in his grey hair. For him, Colin and Tom belonged in the evil category. It was a wonder Lisa had been able to accept their invitation to the party. And even more surprising was the fact that Greg had come along himself. But he’d obviously only come in order to keep an eye on Lisa — and to demonstrate just how much he disapproved of all this.
Behind that scowling facade of his, he was probably praying for heaven to send all these sinners a warning sign. His prayer seemed to have been answered, because just as Deb began blasting Madonna’s “Girl Gone Wild,” everything stopped working. Suddenly, it was pitch black in the room, and Madonna fell silent. A murmur went through the uneasy crowd.
Colin felt someone grab hold of him between his legs. A moment later, he heard Adrian’s voice in his ear: “I haven’t given you your birthday present yet.”
At the same time, Deb’s firm instructions rang through the darkness: “Nobody move! We don’t want anyone to get hurt. I’ve got everything under control.” But Colin didn’t intend to keep still. He ran his fingers along Adrian’s pant leg and pressed his hand against the noticeably hard place beneath his zipper.
“Can I open it right away?” he asked in a whisper.
“As long as you don’t tear the wrapping paper, sure.”
A pale cone of light appeared on the wall. The illuminated patch moved shakily back and forth, heading toward the storeroom.
“We’re just going to check the fuses,” Deb announced.