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Snowed In... With My Best Friend's Dad
Author: Seth King

Introduction

Alex West

 

“Did you just look at my dad’s ass?”

I freeze, the bottle of wine I was sharing with my best friend hovering in the air halfway between the table and my mouth.

“Well, speak up,” Benny says as we sit by the indoor hotel pool together. “Were you, or were you not, staring at my dad’s body?”

I stutter and put down the wine. The truth is, yes, since my best friend Benny’s dad is both incredibly hot and – as of this time last year – openly gay, there’s a good chance I was just looking at his ass as he exited the pool in his little white short-shorts. But then again, who wouldn’t want to look at Hunter Torres’ ass?

And his legs…

And his back…

And his face…

Oops. Guess I should stop while I’m already behind…

But okay, I’ll confess – so I want Dr. Torres to fuck the living shit out of me. But so does half the gay population of Atlanta, because he is Adonis come to life – so why am I different just because his son happens to be my best friend?

Okay – so maybe that does make me a little different…

I guess I should explain our background a little. I met Benny my freshman year in college, and his parents just kind of…weren’t in the picture. He said he never went home on the weekends because his parents’ marriage was “tense,” and it was stressful to be around – so I never pressed the issue.

We all discovered the reason behind that tenseness when his dad came out last year. According to what I know, Hunter handled everything elegantly; sat down his wife and kids and told them separately that he was miserable and living a lie and feared he would walk off a bridge one day if he didn’t get real. And that was it.

As Dr. Torres towels off, I finally pull my eyes away completely and turn to Benny.

“Huh?” I ask. “No, I wasn’t looking at all.”

“You just checked him out while he got out of the pool. I just saw you.”

“What?” I asked with feigned indignation. “How dare you. I was actually just, um…staring off into the middle distance, thinking about God.”

“God? But you’re an atheist.”

“Excuse me, I am an optimistic agnostic,” I correct him. “Atheism makes me sounds so…hopeless. If God just totally doesn’t exist, how could you explain the existence of Beyoncé?”

“Whatever,” Benny says. “Don’t think mentioning my queen will get you out of this one. I’m already stressed enough, since my sister’s wedding is our first family trip since my dad came out of the middle-aged closet. I don’t want to have to worry about my friends checking him out in front of me, too.”

I sigh and put a hand atop his, then notice his fingernails are painted a shiny black. “First of all, cute nails.”

“Thanks, sis.”

“Surely. And second of all…look. I know we don’t really talk about this much. But…”

“But what? There is no ‘but’ here. He’s my dad, and it’s weird.”

“Benny. Come on. Your dad happens to be a gay man who is extremely attractive, no offense. And I happen to be a gay man who possibly, potentially, hypothetically, enjoys looking at attractive gay men. I respect boundaries and everything, but…get real. Even if I did check him out, did you really think something like that would never happen?”

“No,” he says pointedly. “I didn’t. He’s my dad, and all of my other friends have respected it so far. I guess I just underestimated what a skank you were…”

“Hey, stop slut-shaming! The word ‘skank’ comes with many toxic undertones, thank you very much. But anyway…ugh. I know it’s a sore subject and everything, but-”

“It’s a sore subject because it’s weird, Alex,” Benny says quickly, his voice rising. “Having a gay dad is fucking weird, and I’m sick of you pretending it isn’t weird. I mean, thought my family life was already odd enough when I had to come out a few years ago and navigate all that stuff. And then my dad suddenly divorces my mom and comes out, too? Like, think about it: I’m a gay dude with a gay dad. That just doesn’t happen! Well, maybe in magazine articles or in soap operas or something, but not in real life. Why are you always defending him, anyway? Why don’t you just admit that the whole thing is fucking weird, and that you wouldn’t want it for yourself, either?”

“Great,” I say with an eye roll. “Not this whole thing again. Complaining about something your dad can’t even help about himself, when you wanted – and received! – total acceptance from him when you came out, yourself…”

He blinks. “And? What does that mean?”

“It means I’m not ‘defending’ anyone by saying you’re being unfair about this. I know it’s not my place, but-”

“Like that has ever stopped you before,” he mutters.

“True. But I don’t know, I just think you’ve punished your dad for long enough, and it’s time you deal with it. He’s been ‘out’ for over a year. I know it might not be what you expected or anything, but he didn’t choose to be gay any more than you did.”

Benny crosses his arms. “Fine. But it’s still the reason my parents aren’t married anymore.”

“Ha! Coming from someone whose parents spent years too long shackled to a bad marriage because they were afraid of the shame of divorce, I think we both know this needed to happen. I mean, come on. He was gay. And they weren’t even compatible, either. Every visit to your house was like a trip back in time to my own childhood – the awkward silences, the bickering, the long pauses…”

“Fine,” Benny says again, taking out his phone and getting lost in Twitter. “He didn’t choose to be gay. But he did choose to marry my mother and stay with her for twenty years. I mean, I’m glad they had me, and that I exist, but come on – you can’t blame me for taking her side.”

I throw him a look. “Like you weren’t dating girls in high school before you knew you were a big ole homosexual, too?”

Benny picks up the bottle, then slams it down just as quickly. “Look, Alex. Fucking listen, for once in your life. I want my dad to live his life, and I’m glad he came out. I am, I really am. I wouldn’t wish the closet on anyone. But, bottom line…he can live his life. He can just live it far away from me, with people who aren’t my best friend, because it’s weird. So keep your eyes away, got it?”

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