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Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Loud and Clear

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Loud and Clear (2016) Aidan Wayne

Loud and ClearI just needed to reread this is all.

This is a romance, but it’s also about the huge difference that money and power can make.

Jaxon:

“Serves you right for being the smart one,” he said, shouldering his phone so he could clear away his dishes.

“Shut up.” Tatyana always got touchy when Jaxon brought up that he was the stupid one in the family.

Caleb:

Sucks. Sucked. Had to hand over the presentation, clients thought he was stupid and he wasn’t, had worked so freaking hard, not his fucking fault that sometimes he just couldn’t talk. Not his fucking— He wasn’t stupid.

“Don’t bother,” he said, nodding at the notepad. Caleb looked up at him and frowned. “I mean. You can write, if you wanna, if that’s better for you, but—” he did sigh this time, letting it all out in a rush “— I can’t read.”

Caleb’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline.

“Yeah,” Jaxon averted his eyes. “I know, okay? But there it is. Dumb as a brick.” Caleb scowled so hard that Jaxon actually jerked back a little.

“I-if yo-you a-a-are du-du-d-d-dumb f-f-for th-th-that, h-how do yo-y-you think I f-f-feel?” he spat, quick and choppy.

Caleb had spent his whole life fighting with a world that judged him on one single trait. Stamped stupid on his forehead in bright-red ink because he couldn’t get them to listen to what he had to say instead of how he said it. He knew what that fucking felt like. But he also knew he was a privileged bastard who’d gotten good grades without much trouble, who’d gotten into great schools as a result, who worked hard, yeah, but who’d also had the method and means to get to where he wanted to be.

Caleb grinned. “Hi. How are you?”

Jaxon beamed. “I’m fine,” he signed. Signed! “How are you?”

You speak ASL?!” Caleb signed back, sure his eyes were bugging out of his head.

“Only a little,” Jaxon said. “I tried to learn some basics. Thought it might make things easier for you if you could sign at least a little to me. I didn’t get to learn very much. I only had a few days. But it’s not that hard to learn! It’s just memorization, so even I could get it through my head.” His smile was bashful, but he still looked nervous, like he was waiting for Caleb’s approval.

This man had started learning ASL for their first date. And he was good at it.

And he thought he was stupid?

This story just makes me feel better about the world.

Rating: 9/10

 

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