A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies Read online Christina Lee

Categories Genre: Gay, GLBT, M-M Romance, Romance Tags Authors:
Total pages in book: 80
Estimated words: 76006 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 380(@200wpm)___ 304(@250wpm)___ 253(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Christina Lee

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
B086HWVP59
Book Information:

The last thing Emerson Rose expects is to fall for his best friend, Rhys, especially since he’s never been attracted to a man before. Everything in his life is already complicated enough. He’s put his own future on hold to raise his two younger siblings, and confusing feelings for the guy who always has his back muddy the waters even more. But then something astonishing happens. For one perfect moment, he thinks Rhys might feel the same—only to have his world come crashing down around him a second time.

Rhys Lancaster has always known he’s gay and that Emerson isn’t. Best friends since childhood, their easy companionship has usually been enough. Between his job, his adrenaline-filled adventures, and hanging out with Emerson and his siblings, he has it good…until he wakes up in the hospital with no memories of the last year of his life.

Like they normally do when things go horribly wrong, Rhys and Emerson support each other. Frustrated by all he’s lost, Rhys stays with Emerson during his recovery, and Emerson helps Rhys through the fog, while pushing those other feelings aside. To make matters worse, Rhys knows Emerson’s keeping something from him. Everything feels different now when he looks at Emerson, and as they fall into a comfortable routine, that aching desire doesn’t stay buried for long.

But Emerson has a family to raise, and Rhys is struggling to figure out what’s going on inside his head. Unless they can push past the doubts and fears to seal that connection between them again, this tragedy might become the one each has to weather alone.
Books by Author:

Christina Lee



Prologue

Seven years earlier

Emerson

Emerson’s best friend, Rhys, joined in with the Rose family as they sang Emerson happy birthday. They had lived across the street from each other their entire lives, and Rhys was pretty much an extension of Emerson’s family—except for the Roses’ trademark ginger hair and freckles that Emerson detested.

Rhys had been there for every major event and milestone, practically every sad or happy occasion. Like when Emerson’s biological father walked out on him when he was only a toddler, or when his mom remarried and then had two more kids by the time Emerson was twelve.

The neighbors had long gotten used to their shenanigans, which involved Emerson jumping over fences to cut through to the park or Rhys using the neighbor’s upturned sidewalk to make sleds or skateboards fly. Emerson generally played it safe because that was ingrained in his personality, but he usually got a kick out of Rhys’s antics, and every now and again he’d take him up on a dare—if it wasn’t too dangerous.

Like last summer when some asswipe at the neighborhood pool dared them to play gay chicken, which was a stupid game where two “straight” guys moved their faces closer and closer to each other like they were gonna kiss, and the first to flinch would lose the bet. Emerson was just insecure enough to care what those kids thought at the time.

But Rhys pretended to buy into it. He winked conspiratorially at Emerson, and just as Rhys’s lips moved dangerously close to Emerson’s and his pulse thrummed fiercely, Rhys whispered, “I actually am gay.” Emerson barely had time to react before Rhys pushed him in the deep end. His cartoonish arm-flailing before he went in was apparently so funny to those on standby that the game was quickly forgotten and a dunking match ensued before the lifeguards blew their whistles and kicked them all out.

“Happy birthday to you! You live in a zoo!” Rhys now sang in a goofy voice along with Emerson’s stepfather, Brad. And as Emerson laughed and playfully elbowed his best friend, he’d admit that Rhys’s confession last summer had not only startled but also fascinated him—to be that certain of yourself, which was so like Rhys, when Emerson’s insides were a jumbled mess most of the time. It had become a nonissue, though. Emerson’s parents and Rhys’s mom had always preached inclusion and acceptance, and he and Rhys never brought it up again.

Besides, neither of them had experienced any first crushes on anyone their freshman year like some of the other kids in their school—at least not that Rhys had shared or that Emerson noticed. And he figured he’d absolutely notice since they were together so much. He’d been lectured about hormones and puberty by his mom but usually tuned it out because freaking embarrassing. Plus, it made him feel even more behind, but at least Rhys seemed to be in the same boat, so maybe turning fifteen would bring some good surprises for them both.

After they devoured the chocolate cake and cleared the table, Rhys helped Emerson download the new video game he’d gotten for his birthday.

“Ready to get your butt whooped?” Emerson asked with a smirk. It was one of the only things he was better at than Rhys. Which didn’t say much because it only involved good hand-eye coordination and strategic thinking, but he’d take it.

“You wish!” Rhys scoffed, ever sure of himself even though he lost every single time. The handful of instances Emerson had felt bad and let him win, Rhys realized his scheme immediately.

It usually led to a wrestling match where sometimes Rhys got the upper hand and would straddle Emerson and tickle the most sensitive area on his rib cage until Emerson admitted the offense through tears that were part frustration, part laughter. Emerson hated feeling out of control and got so pissed one time, he’d kicked Rhys in the groin, so Rhys knew better than to try it again.

Just as they grabbed the controllers and were about to start playing, his mom stuck her head in the room. “How about getting out of the house in this awesome weather and taking Sam and Audrey to the carnival?”

The Woodcrest Fair kicked off at the end of August with rides and games, and Emerson knew how excited his siblings, who were four and six, were to visit the petting zoo. But couldn’t he catch a break, especially on his birthday? Didn’t his mom realize he would rather hang with his friends? He didn’t have that many—not like Rhys, who was way more outgoing than him—but he’d unquestionably have more fun if he didn’t have to drag his brother and sister along.

He supposed the carnival was pretty dumb anyway and most kids their age probably only went because they didn’t have much else to do. With that in mind, he let out an exasperated sigh and set down the controller. “Yeah, sure.”

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