GENRE: Contemporary, Romance
LENGTH: 3,145 words
This story is included in the anthology, Love on the Rocks
BLURB: Ritchie is a cam whore; he loves the internet and lives for the comments visitors post about his latest vlogs. His older boyfriend Doug isn't exactly technologically savvy and is worried about what Ritchie gets up to online.
He trusts Ritchie, really ... it's everyone else he isn't too sure about. One evening while Doug is at class, he decides to chat up Ritchie without revealing himself to his boyfriend, just to see what happens. The response he gets surprises him.
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As he clicks the shortcut link to Facebook on his toolbar, a new instant messenger dialog pops up. Ritchie glances at the username, but it isn’t anyone he knows. He’s used to that -- he gets a lot of IMs from random strangers, people who visit his site and watch his vlogs. Some don’t want to comment publicly on his videos, while others try to chat him up, see if they can’t get to know him better. Because he doesn’t want to piss off anyone who likes his stuff, he’s mostly polite. But sometimes ...
luvU12345: hey sexy why the smile?
Ritchie glances at the webcam, which had recorded his grin at the thought of getting with Doug later and had promptly broadcast it on his site. He wonders if the next message would be so perky if he flicked off the cam. But there’s nothing overt in the IM, nothing but the word sexy and hell, that could just be someone shooting the shit.
richcamboy: thinking bout my man. who r u?
What the fuck? Ritchie closes the IM window in disgust. If this joker had seen him grin on the cam, then whoever it is could take a moment or two to read his stats, posted just below the video feed. gwm 20 richmond, sex: as often as possible, looking for: already found him. Ritchie thought that answered the age-old online pick-up line “age sex location” rather succinctly.
A few minutes later, when Ritchie’s checking on his Farmville game, another message pops up. It’s from the same person.
luvU12345: u still there?
Niceties go out the window. Miffed, Ritchie glares at the webcam a moment and hopes whoever is on the other end of the internet catches that.
luvU1234: u didnt answer. asl?
richcamboy: read my page, dumbass.
Two seconds later, the time it apparently takes for luvU to figure out what he’s talking about, comes the question:
luvU12345: o ur gay?
Ritchie doesn’t have the patience for this. He types one word into the message box -- blocked -- then does just that, blocks the user from contacting him again. This isn’t the first time he’s blocked someone for being stupid, and he suspects it won’t be the last.