Title: Bleeding Like Me
Author: Riley Parks
Release Date: November 21st 2017
Genre: MM Contemporary Dark Romance
Published by: Boroughs Publishing
Being gay in their neighborhood is perilous. Being gay in a street gang is unheard of. Being gay and in love with a man in a rival gang is a death wish. Through drug addiction, brutality, and seemingly endless peril, they remain; finding stability within each other that shouldn’t exist in their volatile world.
BEAUTIFUL CONTRADICTIONHe didn't paint people; the curves of their bodies and angles of their faces never interested him as much as cityscapes. The circumstances of his life had compelled him to create new worlds that he could get lost in rather than reflect the features of the people he ran from. He constructed buildings from their foundations, making them taller and stronger than he was. He adorned the edifices with countless windows, always left open or cracked so hope could pour in and fears could seep out. Tree lined streets reminded him how to breathe, pumping oxygen through the atmosphere, off the canvas, and into his lungs.
He didn't paint people until the day he no longer desired the anonymity of his cities. The streets didn't feel like his escape anymore, not like him. Cerulean skies gave way to pale blue eyes and bus routes to pink pouts. Evan didn't paint people until he painted Jackson.
It had been a week since Evan had become the proud owner of somebody else’s credit card number and he had put it to good use. His bed was now covered in sheets and a comforter, his closet was full of clothes, and the new easel in the corner of his room was holding a canvas that had vibrant acrylic paint brushed across it. With Luis’s guidance, Evan had purchased items with the intention of reselling them for a cheaper price, thus padding his pockets with cash. He used most of his earnings for drugs, remaining loyal to his brother for weed, but going to a few of the Klown Killerz who were higher up in the hierarchy for his coke. He’d learned the hard way that Kane’s shit was cut with baby laxatives. Now that he was able to spend money that wasn’t his own, he’d decided to spring for the good shit.
During the day he mostly chilled with Luis, Kane, and Jamal, playing video games and getting high, or he hid in his room, lost in the abstract landscapes he created on canvas. Through his art, he constructed a world full of happiness and love, a place so contradictory to what he knew. His paintings allowed him to live unapologetically. To walk down the streets into structures he built, knowing that they’d keep him safe; a dream that had yet to be realized anywhere but in his imagination. He wondered if years of not having a home had inspired him to develop sanctuaries that could hold him, even if only through the paintbrush in his hand.
Evenings were spent targeting women who were desperate or stupid enough to do things for the set. He’d been able to lock down two girls who, according to the information that was passed down to him from the O-Gs, had already proved to be invaluable. He’d been sent out to tag turf only once, and wielding that can of spray paint had felt like a homecoming.
With everything else there had been a learning curve, but cloaking himself in the darkness of night and spraying graffiti came easy to him. He was as precise as he was fast, both qualities needed to get the message across without ending up in prison. When he was younger, he’d made the mistake of becoming too wrapped up in the work and not cognizant enough of the ticking clock that began counting down as soon as the paint hit concrete. He’d gotten himself thrown in juvie quite a few times as a kid, but only ended up in jail twice as an adult, which he figured was growth, all things considered.
Two prizes of $15 Boroughs Bucksa Rafflecopter giveaway
Riley has always loved to write, believing that life has the possibility to be its most beautiful when it’s portrayed on the pages of a book. Feeling the need to create and liberate in the midst of the political landscape, Riley writes novels that focus on LGBTQ protagonists, wanting to honor a community that deserves better representation depicting lives, loves and triumphs in all facets of fiction.