Spy Stuff by Matthew J. Metzger

Spy_Stuff_400x600Spy Stuff by Matthew J. Metzger

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Anton never thought anyone would ever want to date him. Everyone knows nobody wants a transgender boyfriend, right? So he’s as shocked as anyone when seemingly-straight Jude Kalinowski asks him out, and doesn’t appear to be joking.

The only problem is … well, Jude doesn’t actually know.

Anton can see how this will play out: Jude is a nice guy, and nice guys finish last. And Anton is transgender, and transgender people don’t get happy endings. If he tells Jude, it might destroy everything.

And if Jude tells anyone else … it will.


Anton slowly relaxed as Jude started to brighten up and just … talk. Jude chattering, Anton was starting to realise, was a sign that everything was alright. And Anton desperately wanted it to be, so he simply clung on to Jude’s hand — even though it was raining outside, and really too cold to not be wearing gloves — and let the noise wash over him all the way home.

Which meant, when he let them into the house and the smell of Aunt Kerry’s drunk spag bol invaded their clothes, Anton was … actually in kind of a good mood. Maybe he could do this. Maybe Jude would listen, even if in the end he still decided dating a trans guy wasn’t for him? There was a chance, right?

So when Lily appeared in the doorway, took one look at Jude, and screamed, Anton laughed.

“What the hell!” Jude yelped as she tore back into the kitchen.

“She’s –”

“Mummy, Anton’s friend’s on fire in the hall!”

“– kinda weird.”

“No shi — er, hell?”

“Just ignore her,” Anton advised, hanging up their coats. A nervous swoop made itself known when Jude grinned and kissed his ear, but he laughed it off and pushed him in the direction of the kitchen. “Go get us drinks or something.”

“It’s your house,” Jude said, but wandered off obediently. Anton took a moment to simply breathe before following him.

Lily had firmly decided — despite having seen Jude before and not having really clocked his hair — that Jude was on fire, and Anton had to wrestle a cup of water away from her before it ended up on Jude’s head.

“Nooo, give it back!” she wailed, stretching up to grab his belt as he put the cup in the sink and rummaged in the fridge for Cokes.

“Yeah, Anton, give it back. I might start melting the counter,” Jude said, sliding onto one of the stools at the island counters. Aunt Kerry, busy with dinner, simply chuckled at the both of them.

“You’re being mean!” Lily yelled, stamping her foot, then turned on Jude, skidding across the tiles to grab at his trousers. “You need a fireman!”

“It’s always that colour,” Jude said in a serious voice, but he was wearing an ear-splitting grin, and Anton’s heart clenched hard at the sheer beauty of him, despite the battered face.

“No, it’s on fire!”

“No it’s not,” Jude said. “It’s ginger.”

“That’s not ginger, ginger biscuits are ginger!”

“They’re brown.”

“If they’re brown,” Lily said seriously, “then why are they called ginger biscuits, huh?”

“Because they have ginger in them.”

“Which makes them ginger and that’s not ginger and you’re on fire!”

“Lily, leave Jude alone,” Aunt Kerry interjected.


Jude dropped his head onto the counter with a muffled cackle into both hands, and Anton couldn’t help but laugh at sight of him. “Oh God,” he said. “Come on, let’s go into the living room, and –”

“Noooo, you can’t, he’ll put the living room on fire!”

“Lily, seriously, stop it with the fire, he’s not on fire.”

“Jew!” she screeched, and Jude did a full body twitch like he was trying not to curl in on himself. “Jew!”

“Jude!” Anton corrected.

Jude,” she echoed scornfully, throwing Anton a fabulously dirty look for a kid who wasn’t even six yet. “Jude!”

“What?” Jude managed, coughing and rubbing at his eyes, still grinning.

“Tell Tasha to stop it!”

Anton froze. Like a bucket of ice water being dumped on his head, every muscle seized up, and the Coke in the cans started rattling in his shaking hands. “Lily! Stop it!” Aunt Kerry barked, but Jude — oh God, Jude, totally oblivious Jude —

“Okay,” he said. “Who’s Tasha?”

Lily blinked, then flung her arm out, and pointed right at Anton. “Anton’s Tasha,” she said, like it was so obvious.

“Lily, that’s eno –”

“Anton was Natasha only then she became Anton and Mummy says I have to say he but I forget sometimes,” Lily continued in a loud, inescapable voice. It bounced off the walls and tiles, and one of the cans slipped through Anton’s hands and burst open on the floor. Coke was flung everywhere in long, fizzy bursts, soaking his socks and trousers, and through Lily’s indignant shriek and Aunt Kerry’s yell, all he could see was — was —


The wide-eyed, confused stare that Jude was giving him. And the single word, that word, the word Anton hated.


Anton opened his mouth, found nothing coming up to save him, and did the only thing possible.

He bolted.

Author Biography:

Matthew is an asexual, transgender author dragged up in the wet and windy British Isles. He currently lives and works in West Yorkshire, and has a special fondness for writing the rough-edged British working class society in which he grew up — warts and all.

Author Contact:

Matthew roams mainly on Twitter and Facebook, has a free fiction page, runs a blog chronicling his own transition from female to male, and has a website. His young adult backlist can be found on his JMS Books author page. And as a last resort, he can also be contacted at mattmetzger@hotmail.co.uk.

Coming Soon: Private by Matthew Metzger

Private MM

Private by Matthew J. Metzger

Buylink: JMS Books


Sixteen-year-old Shane has finally settled into life in the country, with university ambitions, a steady relationship, and a grudging tolerance for dance that is entirely the fault of his boyfriend, Luke.

Then Shane’s father gets his marching orders, and Shane’s time in this new life is put on a countdown. At sixteen, Shane could legally leave but has nowhere to go. And leaving the first real home he’s had in nearly twelve years doesn’t feel any better whether it’s for the wilds of Cornwall or the local housing association.

But in order to stay, Shane is going to have tell his very conservative, very military family his biggest secrets … all three of them.


“Come over for nine on Saturday. Anna’s got to take Megan swimming.”


“And Dad’s in London for the week.”

Shane ahhed in understanding, and grinned. “See? Sex maniac.”

“Just shut your face and enjoy it,” Luke said.

“Bully,” Shane replied, bringing up a foot to lace his boot. They were his old-old army boots, the ones he’d ‘forgotten to return’ (pinched) ages ago from the Bury base, made out of now incredibly battered black leather. Luke always turned his nose up at them, and did so again at the sight of the damp laces. “Whatever. You get your pointy feet-mutilators, I get boots.”

“Ugly boots.”

“Ugly tights,” Shane said, pointing a finger at them. Luke rolled his eyes but laughed anyway — until the distinctive coughing rumble of Dad’s Land Rover rolled into the car park, and Luke shifted noticeably away. Something twinged in Shane’s chest.

“It’s okay,” Luke said, frowning at him. “You don’t have to tell anyone anything until you want to.”

Shane grimaced. “I have to tell them something if I’m going to stay.”

“Medical school,” Luke said decidedly, and Shane nodded. “Good luck,” Luke added.

“Cheers,” Shane said, a little sourly, and then the heavy glass doors squeaked and Dad’s boots clumped on the carpet.

“There you are,” he rumbled, and eyed the trophy cabinet. “A dance studio, Shane?”

“I figured waiting with Luke was warmer than waiting outside,” Shane said casually, the lie rolling off his tongue easy as anything.

“Fair enough,” Dad said. “Alright, kid?” he added at Luke, who shrugged.

“S’pose so.”

“You, uh,” Dad eyed the tights, “dance here?”

“Yeah,” Luke said. “Ballet.”

“Isn’t that a girls’ thing?” Dad asked.

Luke reddened and scowled. “There’s loads of male ballet dancers, and some of the most skilled ballets are choreographed by men. Matthew Bourne transformed the portrayal of Swan Lake, and …”

“Alright, alright, didn’t mean to offend or nothing!” Dad said hastily, holding up his hands.

“Chill, Luke, Dad’s from the Dark Ages,” Shane said, deliberately keeping his body relaxed. Don’t react, and don’t overreact either. Don’t give anything away.

“Right,” Dad said, eyeing Luke from head to toe, then shrugged and clapped Shane on the shoulder. “Get your arse moving, kiddo. We’re going over to your nana’s for dinner tonight. Aunt Jenny’s popped down for a visit.”

“Aw, Dad!” Shane whined. Aunt Jenny — his mother’s youngest sister, and the only one of his mother’s family they were still in touch with — always tried way too hard. She’d dyed her hair blue last time he’d seen her, and kept asking Jase if it was ‘wicked’.”Please say Aunt Nessa came too.”

“We’re not that lucky, kid, now move it,” Dad said, and Shane groaned, hefting himself to his feet.

“See you tomorrow,” Luke called.

“Yeah, man, later,” Shane tossed over his shoulder, falling into the at-a-distance easiness he’d maintained carefully with every boy except Luke since he was twelve.

“How was school?” Dad asked as they crossed to the Land Rover. It was still grumbling to itself, and Shane slid gratefully into the warmth of the passenger seat. He felt tense — and a bit sick. He had to tell Dad tonight. He had to, but he didn’t know when, because Nana would enthuse about him going off to be a doctor, but that just meant Dad would put a lid on what he really thought and maybe explode when they came home, and…

He swallowed. “Usual,” he said.

“Cadets tomorrow?”

“Nah,” Shane said. “It’s the radio test for the newbies. No point.”

“Fair enough,” Dad said, rolling the car out onto the road and turning away from the town centre. He snickered, and Shane eyed him sideways. “Never thought I’d ever catch you in a dance studio.”

The sick knot intensified.

“Yeah, well, I wasn’t dancing.”

“No shit,” Dad chuckled. “Never told me your mate did, mind. That’s the Devereux kid, ain’t it?”

“Yeah. Luke.”

“Bit of a bender, then, is he?” Dad asked. “Your brother mentioned it before, guess he was right.”

Shane blinked. Liquid nausea flooded his stomach, red-hot and painful, and a cold sweat prickled into being on his palms. “What?”

“Bit of a bender,” Dad repeated, and made a limp-wristed gesture over the steering wheel. “You know, one of them gays.”

Shane bristled, and ground his teeth. “Doesn’t matter if he is,” he said finally.

“Relax, kid, I’m not having a go at your mate,” Dad snorted. “Just didn’t figure you’d get on with one of them fluffy pouf types.”

Shane swallowed hard. His fingers were shaking, and he curled them into his palms. “He’s a good friend,” he said numbly.

“Sure he is,” Dad said. “Least you know he’s not going to be going after your girl, eh? She dance there too?”

“Yeah,” Shane said. “Not today, though. She’s twisted her ankle.”

“Turned out to impress her for nowt, then?” Dad asked, then clucked his tongue. “Better luck next time, kiddo, but don’t let her get used to it or you’ll be stuck in that studio from now ’til kingdom come.”

Shane turned to stare out of the window, biting his lip. He couldn’t tell him. He couldn’t, Dad would think he was ‘one of them fluffy pouf types’ and he wasn’t, he was just Shane and he liked boys and he loved Luke and that was it, but Dad …

“Just watch you lock the bathroom door when you go at the Devereux house, eh kid?” Dad chuckled — and Shane’s mouth engaged before his brain was in gear.

“I have to tell you something,” he blurted out.

And then his brain stalled, the nausea flooded outwards from his stomach — and he threw up in the footwell.

Matthew’s Bio: Matthew is a character. Quite literally. He’s not actually real, he’s just kind of good at pretending he is. But he’s actually as made up as his books – elements of truth, but that’s about all.

Matthew is an author of primarily gay romance novels, both adult and young adult. He is looking to branch out into mainstream fiction, other non-traditional sexualities, and fantasy.


Matthew J. Metzger

One of the jobs I like best in our genre is being a judge for the Rainbow Awards. A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of reading Matthew J. Metzger’s YA story, Vivaldi in the DarkSomehow I completely missed Matthew is a Brit. I have to make up for that now, especially as I see I have a new book to read in the series.

Out-and-regretting-it comprehensive attendee Jayden Phillips turns his cast-iron plans for life upside-down by falling in love with private-school violinist Darren Peace, a sardonic boy with the craziest hair Jayden’s ever seen.

But all is not what it seems, and Jayden’s bullying problem becomes meaningless when he is confronted with what the music does to Darren. How do you stop a dangerous depression rooted in the same thing that makes someone what they are? Dark moods, blank apathy, and the undertow of self-loathing all simmer beneath Darren’s dry and beautiful veneer, and Jayden feels powerless to stop them.

Then a mugging gone wrong takes the music forcibly away, and Jayden is finally given the chance to change Darren’s life — and, quite literally, his mind.

The Devil’s Trill Sonata

Three years after that first meeting in a theatre storeroom, Jayden Phillips and Darren Peace are separating for the first time, trading in school for the trappings of adult life. Jayden has achieved his dream of a place at Cambridge University; Darren has achieved his own of escaping the Cold War of home and tasting true independence for the first time.

A hundred miles apart and embarking on two very different paths, Jayden feels it is inevitable that time and distance will slowly pull them apart. School relationships, after all, don’t last. Darren disagrees — at first. Love is all they need, and they have weathered harder storms than chasing dreams.

That is until the separation, and the encroaching influence of Jayden’s new friends, begins to take its toll on Darren’s mental state. Alone, he descends in a rapid downward spiral that is finally arrested by one night and a drastic course of action. In the wake of a single unanswered phone call, Jayden learns that time and distance have the power to do much more than break a relationship.

The dream is over — and the reality is far, far worse.

Matthew’s Bio: Matthew is a character. Quite literally. He’s not actually real, he’s just kind of good at pretending he is. But he’s actually as made up as his books – elements of truth, but that’s about all.

Matthew is an author of primarily gay romance novels, both adult and young adult. He is looking to branch out into mainstream fiction, other non-traditional sexualities, and fantasy.

Matthew had two novels published in 2013, and so far has four contracted for 2014 release. That’s six books in two years. He doesn’t even want to think about 2015.