Surviving Elite High: Loving James
Author: John H. Ames
Series: Surviving Elite High
Previous Books: Surviving Elite High (available at Budding Moon Press); Surviving Elite High: Senior Year
Genre: Young Adult; GLBT
You pay: 3.49
Cover art: Les Byerley
Surviving a normal high school is hard enough. Surviving Elite High? Close to impossible! Not until you learn the difference between love and obsession…
Sixteen year old James Gordon has it all. He’s rich, studious, and bears quite a strong resemblance to Justin Bieber. So, what’s stopping him from being a normal kid in high school? The deadly jocks. They torment anyone who’s gay or possibly closeted, even though Nick Wild Hawk, star of the football team and the love of his life, John, came out to the whole school in previous years and made being gay at Elite High just another walk of life.
However, even though the jocks have bullied James nonstop and made his life a living hell, he can’t help but fantasize about the king of the jocks, Nathan Parker. Nathan is rugged, straight and the most popular guy in school. When fate intercepts and places James and Nathan under the same roof, James’ torture really begins. And yet, through it all, James hopes that that his steadfast love for Nathan will change the jock into a lover rather than an abuser. Unless a certain hot, loyal, guy in the background can find a way to show James he is really, truly loved, and has been for a long time. Before it’s too late…
Surviving Elite High: Loving James is the third part of the Surviving Elite High Saga which features one the most famous and loved characters in the series, Jacob Ashmore. Book one of the series is available at Budding Moon Press.
Publisher advisory: This book contains scenes of graphic bullying and sexual abuse (not between the romantic couple).
“I’m getting married.”
Those were the first words out of my dad’s mouth as he parked our Escalade in front of Elite High.
I immediately turned to him. Now I knew why he’d had that apprehensive look on his face all week. Why he found it hard to look me in the eyes without seeming like he was about to cry. “What? I didn’t even know you were dating!”
He combed a shaky hand through his short brown hair. He looked so much like me, or I looked like him. He had always been so proud that I was his spitting image. “I know. I didn’t want to say anything until I knew it was serious.”
His honey brown eyes looked weary. I immediately searched them for the truth since they had never lied to me before. For a few seconds I found them hard to read, but when I did, they confirmed that he had found someone new. He was moving on and leaving my mother’s memory behind. Soon, there would be nothing left of her in our house and our hearts. A stranger sneaked in in the middle of the night and took her place without my consent. That usurper meant nothing good for us. “James—”
“Who is she?” I wanted to know the name of the woman I was going to loathe for the rest of my life. When he remained silent, I asked again. “Who is she?”
“Olivia Jones, my secretary.”
“How cliché.” I stormed out of the car and ran toward the main entrance of Elite High.
“James!” I heard Dad call.
I ignored him. All I wanted was to forget what he had just told me. I took a deep breath and looked around for my best friend, Madeline, but she was nowhere to be found. The hallway was bustling with students, heading to class or standing around in tiny cliques, gossiping about last year’s prom. My former tutor, John Ames, and his boyfriend, Nick Hawking, aka Nick Wild Hawk, had made that night unforgettable for everyone who had attended that night. And even those who hadn’t, for that matter. They went to prom as the first openly gay couple ever and Nick proposed to John by reenacting the day they met in front of everyone who was present. How romantic and thrilling that must have been for John! I would have died in Nick’s arms and got lost in them. Nick made that night legendary not only for everyone at Elite High, but especially for John, Nick’s great love.
Nick. Just thinking about him made me drool and my legs wobbly. The man was perfection to the extreme. I envied my ex-tutor, John, for having a man like him at his side, someone to love, cherish and protect him. Hell, everyone wanted Nick, but he only had eyes for John. They had left their mark in Elite High and a huge void in my heart. This school wouldn’t be the same if not for those two. Thanks to Nick’s crusading for equal rights at Elite High, and to his open, passionate love for John, being gay was actually acceptable now. Well, with most people. There’s always the homophobic asshole. Or assholes.
“Hey, fag!” someone shouted the moment I stopped in front of my locker. Like I said…
“Don’t ignore me, punk!”
My heart immediately began to pound hard against my chest, trying his best to set himself free from my captivity and runaway as far as possible. I wanted to run with him too, but my feet felt glued to the ground. I knew exactly who was calling me. Nathan Parker. He had become the most feared bully in school. For awhile after the deadly rampage of Matthew Ward who’d tried to shoot Nick and John and who’d killed a teacher and four students the year before last, bullying had basically stopped. Nick and his gang’s defense presence also kept bullying to a minimum. But, since Nick and his friends had graduated and we were now unprotected, bullying was on the rise again. I quickly glanced at Nathan, trying my best not to tremble. He was standing with his posse a few feet away from me. Aaron Evans, Daniel Murray, and Louis Goodwill rounded out his little gang. They were snickering behind him.
“Bitch! You want this, don’t you?” Nathan grabbed his crotch.
“I’d rather die, you crazy fuck!”
Aaron and Daniel’s mouth fell open while Louis turned to Nathan to see what he was going to do next. Nathan looked stupefied, like he couldn’t believe I’d had the courage to stand up to him. I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I was still agitated after my dad’s revelation a few minutes earlier. When I looked around, I realized that the hallway was empty. I shouldn’t have been so careless. I was dead meat.
Unfortunately, Nathan got his wits back. “What did you say, homo?” He stalked over to me, his goons behind him. The four of them quickly walled me against the locker. “Answer me, bitch!”
“Is something wrong, James?” Mrs. Carter, my new English teacher, poked her head out of a nearby classroom. She had been John’s favorite teacher last year.
Nathan’s posse backed off. “Nothing, Mrs. Carter,” Aaron mumbled. “We were just asking James if he could help us with our homework since he’s really smart.”
“I wasn’t asking you,” she said. “Is everything okay, James?”
“Yes, ma’am. They were asking me for help.”
Mrs. Carter raised a suspicious eyebrow. “I don’t understand why four seniors would ask a sophomore for help, but if James says nothing’s wrong, then get to class. You’re all really late.”
At once, we scattered into every direction. Nathan and I headed down the same corridor but on opposite sides. At the doorway to his class, he bumped into me. “Thanks,” he murmured under his breath.