Short Story “Remembering You” – Rainbow Advent Calendar

Short Story “Remembering You” – Rainbow Advent Calendar

Hello friends! From the 1st – 24th of December authors of GLBT+ fiction opened a door to a selection of festive stories to while away the winter days and get you in the Christmas spirit. A small gift from us to you for all your support in 2018. My story, Remembering You, was free from Dec 9th through the 31st, and is now excerpted here for you to enjoy! Thanks to Jacy Braegan and DJ Jamison for beta/proofreading and Eden Finley for moral support! <3

To read the other Rainbow Advent Calendar stories, see the masterlist or follow on the Rainbow Advent Calendar FB group.

Title: Remembering You
Word Count: 9,600~
Rating: Explicit
Summary: When Robbie comes home for Christmas, he is confronted by Troy, the ex-step-cousin whose dad left Robbie’s aunt one summer eight years ago. Can Robbie stifle lingering feelings for Troy, who was his first love and who gave him his first kiss? 
Themes/Tropes: second chance, childhood crush, first kisses, extended family

 Read Preview Below!


“Okay, we’re going to stop this,” I announced. “Can’t handle any more bright colors right now.” I slumped against the wall and rubbed my eyes. 

Beside me, Troy was probably smiling the smug smile of someone who cheated at fighting games. “Don’t be a sore loser. Play me again.” 

I barked a laugh. “No. I hate you.” 

Now that I wasn’t rubbing my eyes, that was definitely a smug smile I saw. “Lies. You love me.”

I really do, my traitorous brain replied for me. At least I didn’t say it out loud. We were only hanging out like this, only next door neighbors, because Troy’s dad was married to my aunt. That made us step-cousins. Troy was the last person I was allowed to love. “Yeah, whatever,” I said instead. “I’m still done for tonight.” 

Troy gave an unconcerned shrug, but he lingered in his seat on my bed. “You turning in?” 

I bit my lip. “Not yet. I’m not sleepy.” I prayed I wouldn’t start breaking into yawns now that I’d said that. 

Troy’s foot nudged my leg, sending a jolt of heat that made my limbs shaky. Every time Troy touched me it felt like he had actual superpowers that affected only me—like my own personal Rogue or something. “Well then, young one. Entertain me.” 

I scoffed. “I’m only seventeen months younger than you, dude.” Not that anyone’s counting. Sure, we were two grades apart, but in a couple of months we’d be going to the same high school. We’d be peers. Even if you were the same age, you still couldn’t have him, dumbass. 

“Fine. Entertain me, Robbie.” 

I rolled my eyes at him. “Okay.” Now what? “All right. Um. Truth or dare.” 

Troy’s laughter was mostly silent, consisting of crinkled eyes and the baring of his perfectly straight white teeth. He had a dimple on one cheek that only appeared mid-smile, disappearing when his lips found their rightful place. “Really?” 

“Sure, why not? Don’t tell me you’re afraid of a little Truth or Dare.” 

That laugh again, followed by another half-hearted nudge to my leg with one foot. “Maybe you’re the one who needs to be afraid,” he joked. “Dare.” 

“All right. Go into the kitchen and chug an entire mouthful of shoyu.” 

Troy made a face. “Nuh uh. No dares that can’t be performed in the comfort of this room. If we start messing around in the kitchen, your mom’s gonna wake up and wonder why you aren’t asleep the night before your trip.” 

I huffed an exaggerated sigh, muttering “cheater” under my breath. “Fine, fine. Sing me a Taylor Swift song.” 

Troy laughed. “That’s it? That’s your dare?” 

I shrugged. “I know you know a few. And I could use some soothing tunes right about now.” I was almost going to admit that I’d heard him singing in the shower a couple of times when he’d been too lazy to walk next door, but that would’ve been creepy. It wasn’t like I had my ears pressed against the bathroom door or anything, but our walls were thin. I’d had my door open so sounds from the hallway naturally drifted into my room. Pure coincidence. And Troy’s singing voice was good. 

Troy played it up, taking a huge, dramatic breath before belting out the words to my favorite Taylor Swift song. His voice was too low in pitch for it to sound right, but the way the words vibrated in his throat before he released them made goosebumps rise on my skin. I fell back onto my bed and shoved my arms under my blankets, pretending I was stretching. 

“That did not sound good,” I said, grinning up at him. 

Troy grinned back. “Liar. I rocked that. Now. Your turn. Truth or dare?” 

“Truth.” I half-expected Troy to tease me for choosing the easy way out because his grin turned slightly mischievous. But that wasn’t what he teased me about. 

“Have you ever kissed a guy, Robbie?” His voice was low, just a tiny bit louder than a whisper.

For a second, I only blinked at him, shocked that he’d asked. That he knew. Then the shock subsided and was replaced by embarrassed dismay. I snatched off my glasses and threw my arms over my eyes. “Oh my god. Am I that fucking obvious, man?” 

This time I did hear Troy’s laugh. “Yeah, kind of.” At least he still sounded like the kind, laid-back guy I’d fallen for in the past half a year. “So spill, Robbie.” 

I sighed. There was nothing to be ashamed of. Plenty of kids hadn’t had their first kiss by fourteen. I knew that. Faced with the question from my crush, though, I really didn’t want to admit it. But fair was fair. “No.” 

“Why not?” Troy sounded surprised. 

I still couldn’t look at him. I blinked up at the popcorn ceiling instead and realized I didn’t even have to worry; I didn’t know where I’d tossed my glasses and I couldn’t actually see much at all.  “It’s not like I can just go up to the first guy I see and ask him for a kiss. Doesn’t work like that. People get punched out for that shit.” 

“Ah,” he said, the syllable drawn out. “Right. I guess that makes sense. I just thought… That kid you’re always hanging around.” 

“Oh, Marc? Nah. He likes girls.” My lips quirked into a smile. “Hasn’t kissed anyone either, in case you’re wondering. And he doesn’t know about me, despite how apparently obvious I am.” No one knows but you. I turned onto my side. I could make out Troy’s mild expression. “You’re surprisingly cool about this.” 

“Surprisingly?” Troy asked, one eyebrow raised. He managed to sound amused and insulted all at once. “I’m not a homophobe.” 

“Sorry,” I mumbled. “I’ve kind of been, like, majorly stressed about telling anyone. I thought there’d be a freak-out about it.” I snorted. “Guess I was worried for nothing, if everyone’s already guessed.” 

Troy’s fingers tugged a loose thread on my comforter. I focused on that, on the movement of his hand. “Maybe you’re not so obvious. Maybe it’s because I know you.” 

Yeah, you do. I’d lost count of how many nights we’d hung out like this, in my room or his, or out in the yard where a single fence enclosed both our houses. And now, adding to all the things he already knew about me—my favorite foods, what games I liked, what I wanted to be when I grew up, and a million other little things—he knew about this too. About boys and my wanting to kiss them. I’d never felt closer to anyone. 

“I dare you to kiss me.” The words left my mouth before I could pull them back. I froze for a moment, wanting to bite my tongue, to laugh, to groan and hide my face again. Shit, what a fuck up. Troy may be fine with you liking dudes, but it doesn’t mean he wants you coming on to him, jackass. 

I waited for his reaction as my face burned. I clenched my teeth, preparing myself for rejection. 

“You’re not very good at this game, Robbie.” Troy leaned in closer. I blinked up at him, catching the smirk on his lips and the almost predatory glint in his eyes. 

“Why?” I sounded breathless—I was breathless.

“Because a Truth or Dare master would’ve picked something more challenging.” His face hovered above mine, and his hand yanked on my shirt , pulling me up. I felt the other hand cup the back of my neck. My heart sped into overdrive, and I opened my mouth to say something—maybe that I’d been joking, or that I changed my mind—but it was too late. 

Troy’s lips closed over mine, warm and wet and perfect. Oh, my god. I’m kissing a guy. I’m kissing Troy.

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