YA is filled with guys who make girls swoon. At Boys Don’t Read, we know nothing about this. But we do know real guys. And more importantly: we know who we’d hang out with. So when Novel Novice asked us to participate in a blog collaboration, we couldn’t resist. They will discuss the romantic potential of six YA guys – the Wow factor. We will tell you if we’d game with them – the WoW (World of Warcraft) factor – or whether they’d be left in the cold with their abnormal abs and mane-like hair. When the smoke clears – when all the XP has been allocated – the world will be a better place. And you will know what it means to be a real dude.
Cassel knows the angles. He figures the cost, the benefit, the blowback, and how he’s getting his. And the guy loves the game. He loves the game so goddamn much it’s sick. So I’ll go ahead and overlook the handsome. I’ll overlook the strong jaw and superhuman powers and the likelihood that my girlfriend will keep touching his arm at our next party.
Because I want Cassel on my side of the table. In my raid. Driving the getaway car – depending on the kind of night we’re having. Because Cassel is a Natural Born Gamer.
First of all, this dude’s got no problem taking the creative leap. When I pull out my Dungeon Master Hat, unfurl my hex mat and and throw down my Crown Royal bag, do you think Cassel raises a single gloved finger in alarm? Hell no. Why? First of all — his finger is gloved. Second of all, this guy once stitched rocks INTO HIS LEG because he believed they’d protect him from curses. Like, pieces of gravel. And hey – maybe they will. I don’t judge: I’m a gamer.
Don’t get me wrong. Cassel isn’t getting the key to the back door. Or the combination to the garage. Or a single, solitary moment in a room I don’t happen to be physically standing in. I don’t even like him petting my cat. I feel like they’re conspiring to take over the world between turns. Hell, I feel like Cassel is conspiring with my ottoman to take over the world. He claims it was human once.
That’s what I love about this guy.
I actually wish I could see him more. We’re not as close as we could be, what with his family business and my inability to trust him with so much as a chocolate chip cookie. We need more time. Because Cassel is the kind of the guy whose facade only cracks a little around 3:00 AM, after one too many raids and five too many pixie sticks. Or Zots. Or whatever Cassel’s into throwing back these days. Only when fatigue is starting to pull him apart a little at the edges do you learn anything real. How he feels about his mom and his brothers. Why he won’t take off those damn gloves. How much cash he got fencing your mom’s iPhone 4 last week.
You only get that side of Cassel when you’re both about to fall asleep after a played-out Geek Fest, staring at the lazy ceiling fan and waiting for the dawn to confirm you’ve been awake too long. You’re talking Life, the Universe, and Everything and in the middle of something important, one of you falls asleep. The next morning, Cassel acts like he doesn’t remember a thing. And maybe he doesn’t. Like I said. Dude’s weird.
But the good kind of weird. The fun kind.
That’s why the Boys and I are road-tripping to Vegas with him next week. Bryan and Steve don’t know yet, but I’m sure they’ll come along. We’ll promise them a free hotel, because Cassel says the two of us are coming back millionaires. He’s cutting me in 50/50, and all I’ve got to do is drive. Really — I swear. He gave me his word.
Verdict: Would quest with proper surveillance. Beyond WoW — Vegas, baby.