Sunday, March 13, 2011

SAMPLE SUNDAY featuring Liz Borino


Blurb: EXPECTATIONS depicts the struggle between what we desire for ourselves and our familial obligations. The struggle is personified by Chris and Matt Taylor, identical twins, who are trying to win their overbearing father’s approval and acquire their trust funds. Love, money, and desire collide as Matt and Chris decide what’s really important to them.

Chapter 1
“Ok, guys, that’s it. We’re all moved in!”  Matt said after putting the last of the dishes away in the cabinet of their newly acquired Village loft in New York City.

“This is historic, the first time we’re not sharing a room, Matt.” Chris regarded his twin brother with a smile. “Come here, Aiden. Let’s take our first roommate picture.”

“We took plenty of pictures when we lived in our suite in the dorm.” Aiden said, with a sigh. He really didn’t have time for this crap, but the look on Chris’s face convinced him to smile. The enthusiasm that guy mustered for any kind of new experience was to be admired.

“Yeah, but this is our place! I mean if we don’t pay the bills they won’t get paid!” Chris said.

“Trust me, Chris, there’s nothing exciting about paying bills. I’ve been doing it since I was 17.” Aiden told him after getting a bottle of water from the fridge. “Ok, I’m out.” He grabbed his duffle bag.

“What the fuck, man? We just got in! Sit down and have a beer with us.” Matt called but Aiden was halfway out the door.

“Can’t, dude, got class.”  Aiden called back.

“Aiden, newsflash! We graduated, twice!” Chris said with a laugh, but Aiden just waved him off.

Aiden knew they graduated. He also knew he could be living alone. He’d been building his business since he started at NYU seven years ago and it’s become quite successful. But his friends didn’t need to know that. As a matter of fact, because Aiden had his business under his birth name, Desmond Cain, there was no reason for his roommates to ever find out what he did. He took a deep breath as he opened the door to his dance studio. He turned on all the lights and smiled at the mirrored wall with a bronze bar attached to it. Checking his watch, he smiled at t the realization that he had perfect timing. His students wouldn’t be coming for another 15 minutes, which gave him plenty of time to get changed and warm up.

Aiden took off his jeans and replaced them with shorts over the standard leggings, after tying his hair in a ponytail. Then, set the CD player up and played the first track. No lyrics, but the violin and piano flowed through his body as he stretched his legs and his torso. He always began sessions with yoga. The movements aided in eliminating outside distractions, allowing for the dance to overtake his body. For Aiden the art of dance was something that was better than anything else in his life. For a brief time he could become one with the music, no other feeling was as freeing.

Aiden smiled when his students began to file in. Very few things made him happier than his enthusiastic class. When the room was filled he turned and beamed. “Good evening, everyone.
Shall we begin?”


“So, what do you think he does?” Chris asked Matt as they got back from the grocery store.


“Aiden, what do you think he does? We’ve known him 7 years and he never told us.”

“If he wanted us to know he’d tell us. I’m sure it’s legal and he pays his part of the rent, so honestly I don’t care.” Matt answered distractedly. He was currently caring more about what he would be drinking between now and dinner then what his third roommate did for a living. There had to alcohol in here somewhere. He thought.

“Aren’t you curious, dude?” Chris persisted.

“No, I’m pretty good at minding my own business. Seriously, Chris, let him alone.” Matt shook his head. They were both just under 6 feet with light brown hair, blue eyes and sported a muscular build. Though they were identical, once you got to know them it wasn’t difficult to tell them apart. Matt was much more practical where his brother had an artistic flair about him.
Though different, they were best friends. Freshman year at NYU they came from California to experience something different for a few years.

Neither one had any intention of staying past earning their Bachelor’s Degrees, but they fell in love with the city. So, after completing grad school they decided to stay and get a loft with their friend, Aiden. At first, Matt was planning on going home to work in his father’s marketing company when he graduated, but the truth was he didn’t like being away from Chris for long periods of time. It just felt like there was a part of them missing without the other.

Chris walked quietly upstairs to his room and started decorating with photographs he took at various concerts and through his travels. His favorite was a snapshot of the setting sun over the ocean in Australia he was able to capture the waves crashing which created the illusion of shooting the reds and oranges throughout the sky.

“That’s incredible, Chris.” Aiden said from his doorway causing him to jump. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“No, you’re fine.” Chris said surveying Aiden who seemed perfectly relaxed, but excited at the same time. His green eyes blazed with a secret.

Aiden looked from Chris to the picture taking in the beauty of ricocheting colors.

“You’ve never been, right?” Chris asked.

“Never got that far. We didn’t have the money to really travel when I was growing up.” Aiden answered, then suddenly stopped and looked away. He rarely talked about anything that happened before he came to college at 17.

“You must miss it.” Chris said quietly.

Aiden shook his head and answered just as quietly. “We all make our choices in life. I always knew I wanted to come here as soon as I could. So I did. You really can’t expect to have it all.” There was no regret, or longing, in his voice just acceptance. Aiden had made a choice, a choice to pursue dance and live where no one knew him. His father had told him that if he left the farm he would never be allowed back. So, at 16 he applied for citizenship and got his GED. By 17, a time when his friends were starting their senior year of high school, he was moving into the dorms at NYU on a full scholarship and renting his dance studio, which he bought a year later. “You hungry?”

“Sure, let’s get some pizza in Little Italy.” Chris said. Aiden always did this whenever the subject turned to the past. Though Aiden was easily the best friend Chris made at college there always seemed to be something about him he couldn’t figure out.

The three of them went to Little Italy to split a pizza, at the place they went 3 months ago when they decided to get their loft together. “I gotta say I’m going to miss organized sports at school.” Matt said as he chugged a beer and motioned for another.

“Join a city team. There’re tons of them.” Aiden remarked off-handedly, for the first time noticing how much Matt drank. He was far from drunk, but Aiden didn’t remember him consuming this much alcohol in school. He tried not to make his concern known, but the thoughts of overconsumption made his pulse race.

After a few moments, Matt asked, “Anyone wanna go out? I feel like picking up a woman or two.”

“Don’t you work tomorrow?” Chris asked his brother, which Aiden was happy about since it saved him from doing it.

“Who are you, Dad? I’ve never been late and want to take full advantage of having my own room ASAP.” Matt looked at the check and put down $10 for his share of the bill. “So, anyone coming?”

“I’m good. I think I’d rather just lay low tonight.” Chris said and they looked at Aiden.

“No, Matt, you have fun. Call one of the guys from the office if you need a wingman.” Aiden said, although no one actually expected him to accept the invitation.

“I don’t need a wingman, dude!” Matt laughed. “Don’t wait up.” He said as he left the restaurant.

Aiden and Chris walked in silence back to the loft, or rather, they walked in as much silence as was ever offered in New York City. Aiden enjoyed not talking and just taking in the sights and the sounds of the bustling street. They passed a man and a woman kissing on the street and Chris broke the silence. “So, no girlfriend, right?”

“Nope, no girlfriend.” Aiden confirmed without looking at Chris, wishing they could go back to the silence, but realizing that wouldn’t happen.


“Sure, just not right now.” Aiden glanced over at him. “No one for you either, right?” He asked deciding to play along.

“I’m not big on commitment, especially after Ally.” Chris dated Ally for most of undergrad, but they broke up when she moved to Chicago.

“You’re planning letting one woman ruin you for life?”

“No, I’m just not giving my heart up that easily anymore. Not that you’re one to talk or anything.” Chris said as he stopped and faced his friend.

Aiden looked into Washington Square Park for a long moment. Night was falling late, which was to be expected in May. It was close to 8:00 and there was still some light streaming through. “You know how you’re not big on commitment? Well, I’m not big on complications. Girlfriends, they tend to bring a lot of that.” They ask too many questions, Aiden said silently. He could only hope that Chris would pick up on this desire for privacy. Chris and Matt were always pretty good at not pushing subjects, but Aiden got the impression Chris wanted to dig deeper. Chris took out his camera and pointed it into the trees. At first, Aiden couldn’t imagine what he was trying to capture. Until Chris showed him the leaves ignited with color and dancing across the screen. “You find beauty everywhere, don’t you?”

“I try, but let’s be real here, leaves aren’t nearly as beautiful as human connection.”

Aiden looked at his friend and inwardly groaned. “What are you getting at?”

“I feel like you’re hiding something.”

“I am.” He confirmed. “You don’t need to know everything.”

Though common sense told him to drop it, Chris pressed on. “What are you so afraid of?”

“We all have our secrets. I’m not afraid of anything.” Aiden said as he walked away.

“What’s the point of secrets?” Chris asked catching up as Aiden sped up toward their loft.

“The point of secrets is to not give people a fucking reason to reject you. Not everyone’s life is tied up nicely with a trust fund to fall back on.” Aiden exploded as he ran into the loft and up to his room, slamming his door. As hot tears rolled down his face, he chided himself for losing control. No excuse for that. Aiden laid alone with his thoughts, barely tuned out by the music playing through his headphones.

Chris lay on his bed across the hall from Aiden wondering what he had to hide. Everyone had their secrets. He had secrets of his own. As for Aiden, he had a beauty a photograph could not contain. The realization shook his own reality. He knew receiving his trust fund was dependent on marrying and having a son. His feelings for Aiden would not help him accomplish that.


Matt was a mere 10 city blocks away at Black, a new night club, but he could’ve been across the country for the lack of parallel between his activities and his roommates’. While they were at home engaging in self exploration regarding their feelings, he was trying his damndest not to feel anything at all. He gazed around the crowded scene. Blondes, brunettes, red heads…he liked red heads. Really, after three or four drinks he liked them all.  The stronger the drinks, the less picky he became.

Maybe, he would be a little pickier if he weren’t alone, but he was alone tonight because Chris wanted to lay low. Matt thought downing a beer, feeling as bitter as it tasted. No, I’m not angry at him. I just can’t ‘lay low’ without my head going into overdrive and that’s dangerous. So, he drank faster. Drinking was an acceptable solution to the horror of the office. Quitting was not. A trust fund of fifty million dollars, if he did exactly what he was supposed to do. Worth it, right?

He looked over at the blonde to his right, obvious dye job. Must not have gotten enough attention as a brunette. He, not so discreetly, looked her over again, calculating how much it would cost him to get an invite back to her place. Everyone was here for the same game. I’m not any different than the next guy. Matt reasoned with himself as he checked his wallet.
Condoms? Check. Cash? Also check. Maybe his night wouldn’t be so lonely after all.

Semi-blonde girl smiled and sat next to him. “Hi, I’m Mandy.”

“Matt.” He responded, returning her smile. “Drink?” Not being sober, he decided to limit his words.

“At my apartment, we have better selection and prices. Why don’t we just cut to the chase and go there?”

Matt looked up and blinked in surprise.

“What? We’re all here for the same reason and I’m sure you have an important day job, if not a wife and kids.” He watched her get up and tug on his sleeve “You coming, or not?”

Matt wasn’t sure he enjoyed her taking the lead, but he found himself following her all the same. She was getting prettier the longer he looked at her, or his gin and tonic was setting in.

“So, Matt, tell me, what is your day job?”

At the question, Matt bent down and started throwing up into what he hoped was a bush and not some homeless guy’s box. Mandy didn’t stick around. He didn’t blame her.

Like what you see? Buy Expectations Here:
Amazon US
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