Choosing Love by Winona Wilder

Choosing Love
Coming Out, Book 1
by Winona Wilder


eBook ISBN: 1-61034-223-2

Cal has hidden his true feelings from Waylon for years, not willing to jeopardize their friendship. After a night of drunken passion, the truth finally comes out. While Cal learns to accept his true nature, Waylon is afraid to risk alienating his family. Will he live in denial or choose love?

With the help of their sexy history teacher, Evan, the three men learn that love has no boundaries. But are evenings filled with hot sex enough to forge a lasting ménage?

Chapter One

Cal surveyed the field, still slick from last night’s rainfall. The players ran back to the sidelines, mud splashing up to further stain their tight white pants. From the safety of the bleachers, he sat, leaning over his knees watching the team finish up their practice. That’s what men did. They enjoyed sporting events, anything to do with the game or school spirit. But Cal would be lying to himself if he said he was there just to cheer the guys on. He came out every Tuesday and Thursday to watch only one man, Waylon Matthews.
Yes, Waylon had a girlfriend—the college tramp fitting of the star quarterback. There was nothing wrong with dreaming, with fantasizing. Cal knew full well that he’d never reveal the love threatening to undo him. Or come forward with his sexuality. He tried that a few years earlier and still regretted the decision to share his secret with his mother and stepfather. Cal learned in a hurry that love wasn’t always unconditional.
“You looked good out there.” Cal stood up as Waylon neared. The guy was built like a brick shithouse, solid sinewy muscle, tight abs and firm ass. Waylon wasn’t just Cal’s fantasy on two legs, but also his best friend, which made life complicated at best. There was no way he’d jeopardize their friendship by sharing his true feelings. Guys like Waylon were one hundred percent male, proud of the testosterone that flowed through their veins, and quick to judge any man with even an inkling of femininity. Cal wasn’t feminine, but announcing he was gay would not go over well.
“It was a fucking nightmare. I can’t believe the coach made us practice in that mud hole.” Waylon stretched his neck out to each side and dropped his helmet on the bleacher. “You wanna go get some lunch?”
“Yeah, I’m starving.”
The sun highlighted Waylon’s short blond hair. Cal had to fight the temptation to wipe a smear of mud from his cheek or just stare at him like a lovesick fool. He had to fight a shitload of temptations when it came to his friend making every day a struggle. It could get pretty damn depressing when you loved someone and couldn’t act on your feelings. There would never be a happily ever after for Cal, and although he accepted that fact, it didn’t hurt any less.
When Waylon came back out of the school, changed and ready to go, he had Stephanie in tow. Cal leaned against his car, his expression blank as the two neared. If he had to spend another lunch with that little airhead, he’d lose it.
“You mind if we bring Steph along? She found me in the hallway.”
“Sure.” Maybe his voice was a little more monotone than necessary, but he wasn’t happy. Watching the two lovebirds tore him apart, and sitting across from them at the diner was unadulterated torture. But even despite his secret feelings for Waylon, Stephanie was all wrong for him. No way did his friend love her. He only used her for sex, and maybe the bragging rights of dating the hottest girl in the college. Cal could understand wanting to fit in, but Waylon was a god—he had nothing to prove to anyone.
They drove to the diner, less than ten minutes away. Stephanie sat in the backseat alone. He caught her doing her makeup through the rearview mirror and rolled his eyes. To his right, Waylon looked over his new class schedule for the second semester, which went into effect on Monday. Cal hadn’t even opened his yet.
“Will you look at that!” blurted Waylon, waving the paper between them. “You took American History, right? I think we have the same class.”
“Do you have any with me?” Stephanie leaned up between their seats, trying to grab the paper that Waylon held out of reach.
“I doubt it.” He tucked the paper into his back pocket, and Cal had to divert his greedy gaze from drinking in the man’s body. His jeans were tight, leaving little to the imagination. It didn’t help that he’d seen him undress after numerous practices.
They pulled into the parking lot and made their way into the local diner, the bells clanging against the glass door as they entered. It was bustling with college kids, as usual. They had the best homemade burgers in town. Loud ruckus filled the interior, and Cal immediately tried to scope out a free booth. There was no need. As soon as some of the jocks noticed Waylon, they called his friend over, happy to spend time with the popular star player. Cal followed behind and took a seat once a booth was cleared out for them. They only reason they accepted Cal was due to association. Otherwise, they wouldn’t know he existed.
After saying their good-byes, the large group of men left the diner, leaving only the usual murmur of voices. Cal mindlessly leafed through the plastic-covered menu, already knowing what he’d order. He just didn’t want to look up and see the perfect couple. Although they rarely became intimate in public, not even many kisses, he didn’t want to see them side by side.
Stephanie leaned over on her elbows, getting in Cal’s space. She had a conspiratorial look on her face, which was common with her. Every month, every week, her tormenting increased. He assumed she was jealous of all the time Waylon spent with him.
“What?” Cal snapped, biting his tongue the next moment.
“Why don’t you have a girlfriend? You’re not that bad looking, and I’ve known you for two years now.”
He held his breath, his chest seizing. So this was how a deer felt when caught in the headlights. There was no reason to suspect that Cal was into guys rather than girls, but he’d always had the feeling that everyone somehow knew. What reason could he have for not dating? Normal men in their twenties had girlfriends, or at bare minimum, dated occasionally.
“You looking?” Humor was his best ally when he felt pressed against a wall. Waylon continued to sit with his back against the red vinyl upholstered bench seat. What was he thinking? Did he sense something was amiss with him, too?
“Shut up, Cal. I like my men big and muscled.” She squeezed Waylon’s bicep for emphasis. No, Cal wasn’t close to Waylon’s size or buffness, but he wasn’t skin and bones either. Stephanie was just a bitch, and he hated being downsized by her in front of Waylon. “Maybe you just don’t measure up. Is that it? I mean, you’re only twenty-two, right? Are guys’ dicks even full grown at that age?”
“Leave him alone.” Waylon pulled his arm away and piled up the menus on the center of the table. He knocked on the wood laminate once, and the waitress, eager to serve him, hustled over with her pad and pen.
There wasn’t much conversation through lunch. Stephanie talked just to hear herself, not realizing that the two men were more quiet than usual. She even had the nerve to bring up comparisons of them again, even after Waylon had warned her to knock it off. According to her, if Cal joined the football team and bulked up, he’d be able to land a girl. Whatever. Next time she wanted to tag along, he’d pass on lunch. As much as he wanted to spend time with his best friend, it wasn’t worth dealing with this other half. You didn’t emasculate a man by talking about the size of his dick.
Back at the college, Cal parked and slammed the door shut behind him, wasting no time in getting to the front doors.
“Hey! Why the hurry?” Waylon called after him.
He spun and continued walking backwards. “I have to check on my schedule. See ya.” Cal just wanted to be alone for awhile. What he really needed to do was reevaluate his whole fucking life.
As he navigated the long, waxed floors in the east hallway, he tore open his schedule from the sealed envelope and noted that he did indeed share American History with his friend. He wasn’t sure if his summer class credit had gone through, and being a prerequisite, he decided to speak with the teacher. The history room was one of the larger in the school, with stadium seating, and currently empty save the teacher. He was busy filing through paperwork, oblivious to Cal entering the room.
He cleared his throat. “Professor Hawke?”
The teacher looked up and faced him. The man wasn’t aged like many of the other teachers. Rather, he appeared to be in his mid-thirties. Even sitting, Cal could tell he’d be tall, with a healthy, solid frame. His chocolate brown hair was casually styled in slight disarray. It would be a pleasure to sit in front of him every day. If nothing else, he’d have a good show. With the hot professor and Waylon in the same room as him for over an hour each day, he’d be hard as rock by the time the period finished.
“Can I help you?” He stood and approached Cal, running a hand through his tousled hair. A cute grin pulled at his mouth, as if he knew a secret joke and wasn’t telling.
“Hi, I’ll be in your class on Monday and wanted to be sure you received my summer credit.”
“You’re Calvin Waters, aren’t you?”
He couldn’t help but frown. He’d never met this teacher before, so he shouldn’t be able to recognize him. “That’s me. But—”
Mr. Hawke chuckled. “Don’t worry. I don’t have ESP. I just happened to be going over your file this morning. Everyone’s, for that matter.” He casually sat on the edge of his desk. “I like to know my students before classes start.”
“So is everything in order, then?”
“It’s all good. You ready for Monday?” His voice was deep with a rich timbre. It must have been the man’s good looks, plus the position of authority he held that made Cal hyper aware of his own body’s response. His heart and breathing rate picked up, and his mouth felt dry. No man besides Waylon affected him this strongly.
“I’ll be here.”
“Good. I look forward to it, then.” That too-cute smile, complete with a dimple, made its reappearance. Damn, the man was fine. No doubt he’d be married, with two point five kids—white picket fence and all. Cal was a sick fuck. No wonder why his parents disowned him. He was a freak of nature and destined to live out a miserable life constantly tamping down his deviant desires.
Cal offered a half grin and nodded before making like a bat out of hell. He couldn’t wait to finish his last class and get home. It was Friday, so he would be free to drown his sorrows in alcohol.

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