Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Briefs


 
Welcome to the Wednesday Briefers flash group. The short stories have a maximum of a 1000 word count plus links at the bottom to the other flashers. The prompts for this week are:



"In what universe did you think..."


or use: kumquat, canary and vitamin


or "He had to chuckle when he saw..."


or use: backwards, light, brandy


or "The lady is a tramp..."


or any other Cher reference.



I’m using "He had to chuckle when he saw..."  

 

All That He Desires #9


Was he completely nuts?



Jules stopped again. But what was the alternative? Just give in to what Anslee demanded? Give up his life to be… he wasn’t sure what he’d be, but he damn sure didn’t want to find out.



While lost in his head he’d covered more land than he thought, and now he was coming out of the woods. All he needed to do was get across the farmland and he’d be close to home. This was going to be the hardest part because the lands were bare this time of the year. He’d be exposed.



“Shit.” There was no hope for it. He’d try to stay as close to the tree line as possible and… pray.



As good as praying sounded, he was more worried about the fact he wasn’t being followed. At least, he was pretty sure he was alone out here. While racing madly through the woods, he’d half expected Anslee to pop out from behind a tree and yell ‘boo’ at him. The fact he hadn’t scared him more. He didn’t strike Jules as the type to just shrug his shoulders and give up.



Jules skirted the pastures, eyes searching the darkness for anything that looked out of the ordinary. God, everything looked so different at night with moonlight bathing the land in its silvery light. The stark beauty would’ve interested him more if other things hadn’t been demanding his attention.



Like… where was Anslee, and what was he planning?



* * * *



Anslee parked, watching as the one he’d claimed ran hell for leather away from him. He sincerely hoped his human didn’t break an ankle in his mad dash for freedom.



“Mental note—lock the doors from now on.” Sighing, he got out and walked around the front of his car. The headlights cut across the park, illuminating the swings close by.



He shouldn’t have been surprised by Jules’ actions, though. Humans were notorious for fighting against anything that represented a loss of what they considered their freedom. Freedom. He snorted. What was freedom? Did these humans not realize every living thing on this planet was governed by rules in some form?



There was the law of nature, laws set up by man, laws of the different deities… freedom was nothing more than an illusion. They all answered to someone, even beings like him. Laws, freedom, choices… opportunity. These concepts were all related, as were the consequences tied to each. For every action, there was a reaction. Call it Fate, Karma, or whatever, life was not lived in a vacuum.



Ever since the universe came into being, and the first creatures crawled out of the primordial ooze, there had been choice, and with that, opportunity. Human history was littered with examples. As long as a creature lived, he had choices. Anslee smirked as he remembered one of his favorite examples revolving around a garden, a snake, and an apple. Jules took the opportunity offered and now it was time to deal with the end result of that…. him.



Wasn’t there an old saying about when Opportunity knocked…?



Anslee shook his head, clearing his thoughts. Now was not the time to ponder such things. He had a human to tend to. He could admit he was slightly annoyed with Jules, but privately he did have to chuckle when he saw Jules bail out of the car. His human had guts and a very strong will. He admired that in any creature.



“So, to chase or not to chase… that is the question.” Anslee leaned against his car, debating. A chase through the woods might be fun for him, but he didn’t imagine Jules was in a frame of mind to enjoy such a thing. Maybe later that would change.



“Where would he go? Hmmm. If I was a human who had just been confronted with the unimaginable, was scared and not thinking clearly, and now was on the run… where would I go?” Anslee smiled suddenly. “Home, of course. I’d need money, supplies, and so forth. Yes, my first stop would be home.”



Satisfied with that answer, he returned to the car. Maybe he’d pick something up to eat on the way to Jules’ apartment. He was sure when his human managed to stand still for more than a few moments, exhaustion would hit him like a ton of bricks. Adrenaline drop wasn’t a pleasant thing and Jules would need comfort. Which he was more than willing to give.



* * * *



“Shit,” Jules hissed when yet another branch smacked him in the face.



He’d made it. Now all he had to do was cut through a few business parking lots and he’d be home free. While running, he’d made a plan. Okay, sort of a plan. He’d grab some clothes, something to eat, some money he had hidden, and get the hell out of there. Once morning came, he’d find somewhere to sleep for a while, then hit the road again. There were plenty of ATM’s around for him to get money from too. If he had to, he’d move clear across the country and start a new life.



A very small part of his brain that was rational pointed out the glaring flaws in the plan, but he ignored it. As he drew closer to his apartment complex, he checked the parking lot. Good, he didn’t see Anslee’s car. He grabbed the spare key under the planter and let himself inside his dark apartment. He’d get what he had to have then…



“Well, you got here faster than I thought. I had allotted at least another ten minutes before you arrived. Oh, I also stopped and got us something to eat. Your food is in the microwave so it would be kept warm. After we eat, we need to have a long talk, Jules.”



“Fuck.” Jules stared in shock at Anslee, who was sitting on his couch as pretty as you please.



TBC. Make sure to visit the other briefers!

 
   
 
    
    

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Welcome Donna Gallagher



Laura’s Light

by Donna Gallagher 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Welcome everyone! Today I'm spotlighting Laura' Light by Donna Gallagher. Goddess Fish Promotions is organizing a Virtual Super Book Blast Tour for Laura's Light, a Contemporary Erotic available February 25, 2013 from Total E-Bound. The Super Book Blast Tour will take place on Tuesday, February 26, 2013. Donna will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
 
The tour dates can be found here:

 
 

BLURB: 

Forty-two- year- old single mother Laura Harris devoted more than half her life to raising her son. She remembered the concept of having sex but it had been aeons since she’s actually been a participant - especially with a real flesh-and-blood partner. But it’s time to reclaim her life. Her son is a man now. And the rising star of the Jets rugby league team. Their future is brighter than ever and, for the first time, financially secure. But Laura is starting to think agreeing to have dinner with Trevor Hughes could be biting off more than she can chew. Not that she can’t see herself taking a nice big chunk from the absolutely gorgeous thirty-four-year-old sports commentator’s rump, he’s one prime piece of masculinity! She just isn’t sure how or when the whole sex thing will become an issue. She can’t even get past the what-to-wear step. Let alone the when-to-take-it-off stage…

 

Trevor Hughes usually avoids the woman with substance - he has enough of his own demons to deal without trying to care for anyone else. But there’s something about the upbeat, sexy, one-woman-dynamo Laura Harris. The woman is pure sunshine and happiness. And that’s surprising when you look at what life has handed her. Nothing seemed to dampen Laura’s spirits and she quickly becomes someone Trevor needs in his life…Until misunderstandings come between them. Can Trevor put things right?


 

Excerpt:

Trevor thrust hard, pounded into her relentlessly. The muscles she clung to in his back tensed, and even though he was wearing a condom Laura swore she could feel his seed, the warmth of it as it flooded into the protective latex skin that covered his penis, buried deep inside her. She drew her finger nails down his back, knew that the scratch mark would mar his skin, but she didn’t care. She wanted to mark him. Claim him. And it was that thought that brought her crashing back to reality. She had just had sex with a relative stranger on a first date. No promises made.

 

“My God, I’m acting like a tramp.” Laura didn’t realise she had voiced her thought until Trevor raised his prone body, placed his hands on either side of her face as he took his own weight on his elbows.

 

“Never. Don’t say that. I refuse to let you think like that. I’ve wanted you from the first time I set eyes on you, Laura. You were at the club after Rookie’s first-grade debut. It was the colour of your hair that caught my eye. You were standing next to Rookie, then you smiled—it shone like a beacon, lighting up the room. At first I thought you were with Rookie. It wasn’t until Brodie mentioned later on that you were his mother that I knew any different. Even then, I couldn’t believe that you were anywhere near old enough to be his mother. I still don’t. You must have been just a babe yourself when you gave birth. You are not a tramp. This is not dirty. What we just experienced, Laura, is something special. You are special, and I will never think of you any other way.”

 

Laura was so moved by Trevor’s words that her heart nearly burst with joy, but in her mind a niggling voice cautioned her. Trevor had mentioned her age—well, not specifically, but the fact she was no spring chicken was not lost on her. How long could she expect him to desire her when he was so many years younger, still had his life ahead of him? She was certain Trevor would never find himself short of younger female attention, even without the notoriety of his career. The man was sin on two legs. What right-minded female wouldn’t want him between her thighs?

 

Laura would have to be careful that she didn’t do or say anything that would portray her as a needy, clingy female, that she didn’t do anything to scare Trevor away. She thought that maybe if she remained aloof, in it for the joy of sex with no strings attached, she could keep Trevor interested for a while longer. It was up to her to protect her heart along the way.
 
 
 
 
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
 
Sydney-born Donna Gallagher decided at an early age that life needed be tackled head on.
Leaving home at 15 she supported herself through her teen years.
In her twenties she married a professional sportsman, her love of sport -- especially rugby league -- probably overriding her good sense.
 
The seven-year marriage was an adventure. There were the emotional ups and downs of having a husband with a public profile in a sometimes glamorous but always high-pressure field. There were always interesting characters to meet and observe and even the opportunity to live for a time in the UK.
 
Eventually Donna returned home a single woman, but she never lost her passion for watching sport, as well as the people in and around it.
 
Now happily re-married and with three sons Donna loves coffee mornings with her female friends, sorting through problems from the personal to the international. But she's on even footing with the keenest man when it comes to watching and talking rugby league.
 
Donna considers herself something of a black sheep in a family of high achievers. Her brother has a doctorate in mathematics and her sister is a well-known sports journalist.
 
An avid reader, especially of romance, Donna finally found she couldn't stop the characters residing in her imagination from spilling onto paper. Naturally rugby league is the backdrop to her League of Love Series, published through UK publisher Total-E-Bound, spicy tales of hunky heroes and spunky heroines overcoming adversity to eventually find true love.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Coming Soon - Haunting the Night





Coming Early March:



Tag Line: Hugh has an obsession with leather. And pretty twinks who need to learn to obey.
 
Blurb:
Only one member of the Bad Boys Club remains. Hugh.
 
The name of the game is control. Hugh's a lawyer for a well-known defense firm. That was Daddy's choice -- both the profession and the firm. His father's control is second only to that of the wealthy society Hugh moves in. In Hugh's world, image is everything. But appearances can be deceiving. Blond hair, cornflower blue eyes, a cute face and boyish charm belie the shark within... His obsession? Hot cars. And small, blond twinks.
 
Enter Tobis. This sweet young twink isn't at all what he appears to be. Alpha of the Blood Moon pack, Tobis is one of the strongest weres around. And he's on the hunt. Tobis' obsession? Leather. Particularly on his submissive mate.
 
And then there were none...

 
Excerpt:
Hugh sat at the table watching as Kain, Jordan, and Allen made their moves on the prey they’d picked out. He’d checked the dance floor, and not one guy he saw impressed him so far. He needed a change -- something or someone to break the monotony. With a sigh, he picked up his glass. Before he could take a drink, that feeling of being watched hit him square between the shoulder blades again. His shoulders tensed and chill bumps broke out over his flesh.
 
“What the hell?” While he was used to being stared at, and even got his own far share of attention from the paparazzi, this was different. More intense, more…threatening, almost. Unease flooded him, and he couldn’t shake the recurring feeling of danger. Hugh glanced around, but didn’t see anyone taking an undue interest in him. Maybe a family member of one of the defendants they’d gotten off was stalking him. Hugh dismissed the idea immediately; that was just silly.
 
More likely his old man had someone keeping an eye on him. Now that he could believe -- the nosey old bastard. “Fuck this.” The whole night had been off from the get-go, and he’d had enough. He rose, with every intention of leaving, when the overhead lights spotlighted someone at the bar below.
 
“Well, hello,” he murmured as he stared at the young man at the main bar. Jesus, how had he missed this one? He was perfect. Damned if he was leaving now. The night was suddenly looking up.
 
Dressed simply, in faded jeans, a black T-shirt, and a leather bomber jacket, was a stranger, one of the most gorgeous men Hugh had ever seen. He was everything he wanted in a man -- cute, small, and blond. The perfect twink. Actually, the tiny blond looked entirely too young to be in Night Moves, but he was sure the guy wouldn’t be allowed in if he was underage. To make things even better, his target was staring at him. Even from this distance, he could see the hunger dancing in the stranger’s eyes. He was a little more blue-collar than Hugh normally went for, but what the hell. Hadn’t he just been thinking he needed a change?
 
“Yeah, why not?”
 
Hugh had taken no more than a few steps when the man at the bar winked at him. Most of the twinks he picked up were either drama queens or shy little guys. There was certainly nothing shy about this man. Hugh raised an eyebrow. He’d have to show the stranger who was in charge, of course, then they could have some fun. At least it looked like he wasn’t going to have to put out much effort tonight, and that suited him just fine. Hugh made his way down stairs to the main bar and to the guy waiting on him.
 
“Hey there, sexy. Buy you a drink?” Hugh stood next to his target, music pounding in the background. He was a good half a foot taller, he noticed.
 
“I’ll let you buy me a drink, then you can take me home with you. How does that sound, darlin’?”
 
Hugh’s entire body clenched at that southern drawl. Well, fuck. That was the sexiest thing… he’d heard of a whiskey-soaked voice before, but this… this was decadent. He had to clear his throat before he could speak. “Direct is how it sounds.”
 
“Problem?”
 
Hugh motioned to the bartender and resisted the urge to readjust his cock. That accent had him hardening immediately. “Absolutely not. Just not used to it.”
 
“Now that’s a crying shame.”
 
“I’m beginning to think so myself.” Jesus, every word that fell from the guy’s lips set him on fire. A quick look around showed he wasn’t the only one affected by that slow drawl. He frowned at two women and a man in warning. This sexy thing with the voice that was as slow as molasses was his for the night; he would be the one that heard the guy cry out in pleasure.
 


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Welcome Andrew Q. Gordon


Hey guys! Today I have Andrew Q. Gordon visiting with me. He's talking about his release The Last Grand Master from DsP. So, pull up a chair and join us!




~How do you come up with a title?
Some just come to me, for instance, my next book, Purpose, I just knew that was the title and in fact much of the story evolved from the title. The current book, The Last Grand Master, that has had three title changes. The first 'title', The Lonely Wizard, seemed right at first, but then as someone pointed out, Farrell was only lonely before the story began, so it wasn't a good title after all. Chosen of Honorus, was next, and it was a fine title, except the made up name wasn't likely to draw in readers, so we settled on The Last Grand Master, because a) it didn't a made up name, b) was true, and c) seemed more catchy.



~Which character caused you the most difficulty to write?
Will/Gar from Purpose. When the book starts, Will has hidden behind the persona of Gar, an unemotional, cold person, uncaring person in order to stay sane as the host for a spirit of vengeance. But as the story progresses, Will starts to re-emerge, until eventually he sheds Gar entirely. Making that transition smooth and 'believable' was very hard. Too much, too soon wouldn't work, but too little would leave people wondering why his lover stays.



~Out of all the stories you’ve written which one are you most proud of?
Second Shot, which is posted for free on Gay Authors wbesite. It was the first novel length story I completed [Novel length is a joke as it's almost 300K words long.] I learned so much from it and the feedback from it encouraged me to push forward with my goal to be published. It's the only contemporary story I've done to date, but I hope to return to that genre, if not those characters, soon.



~Do you plan your stories and, if so, to what extent?
No and yes. No in that I don't do a storyboard, but yes I have a definite plan for the story, where it's going, how it will end, etc. I probably do something of an informal storyboard when I write out the ideas to bounce off people, but that's about it.








~How many stories do you work on at any one time?
I have five stories in the various stages, most are just rough ideas and first chapters. But I find I can only really work on one story at a time. Otherwise the characters in the different books start to sound and act alike. I guess that isn't too much of a problem if they are different genre's because there isn't a lot of cross over, but I think if the MC all sound and act alike, readers go get turned off. It's why I've tried to do so many different types of stories, so the characters will have their own persona.



~Is there anything you’d like to tell? Maybe something in the works you would like to promotion? Feel free!
Hmm, just one? LOL I think readers will find most of my stories are very character centric. It makes stories a bit too long at times, because I spend perhaps too much time developing the characters. For The Last Grand Master, which is out now, that's not too much of an issue. It's a full length novel and the story is going to take several books to complete.


But for Purpose, which comes out in May/June, and other stand-alone books I plan to write, it was harder. I'm rather light on sex in my books – which maybe a problem for your readers given how hot and steamy your books tend to be – but I try to make up for it by showing the more romantic, playful side of the characters and letting everyone figure out what exactly happened between the sheets for themselves.
 

~ What was your favorite character to write, and why? 
Farrell from The Last Grand Master. Embarrassingly enough, most if it is because I kind of always saw myself as a wizard in my 'other' life. If I'd ever gotten into WofW, I'd have been a wizard for sure. Maybe that's why people comment on how detailed the magic is in my stories. I guess maybe I've given it a bit too much thought?



 ~So tell us about yourself. What got you interested in writing?
I've wanted to write fantasy since I read Lord of The Rings at age 12. After that, I read as much as I could and always thought I could write a story at least as engaging as some of the published books I'd read –not Tolkien or some of the other biggies, but some of the others I'd read.



~How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
It really depends. There are elements of me and my life experiences to varying degrees in every character – how could there not be? But I wrote I a short story as a follow up to Second Shot that was the trial of someone from the story. It was written from the prosecutor's perspective, so that drew heavily on my life and work experiences. For Purpose, the location drew on the fact I live in the DC area, but the character, only in small ways.



~When you sit down to write a book, do you go with the flow? Or do you outline and plot all the important details out first?
I rarely have an outline when I write. There have been many times when I've started to write something, thinking the scene would go one way and as I started writing, it seemed stupid, unbelievable, too easy, or it just stunk and I'd have to shift directions. That happens probably more often than not when I write. Hmm, maybe I do need an outline.



~Name three things that would surprise your fans to know about you?
Most of the things that surprise people are fairly well known. But for those who don't know:

· My husband and I have a toddler we had with a surrogate. She is biologically one of ours – we just won't say who's the dad.


· I'm a soccer referee. I've worked the gold medal games at a couple international gay soccer championships, the last being the Outgames in Vancouver in 2011.


· I'm a fairly good cook and baker. Someone has to make sure everyone in the family eats. I’m Italian after all.



~Want to tell us about any projects you have in the works? Or any releases coming soon?
My next release is Purpose. I've touched on it a bit already, but it's a paranormal with a romance element. Will was 26 when his lover died the day after the spirit of vengeance chose him to be its host. Forty years later, Will is nothing like the man he'd been when David was killed. He's hidden behind Gar, a fake persona he created to avoid living with what he's become. When he meets, Ryan, Will and all his emotions start to re-emerge. But Ryan also seems to calm the spirit Will spent forty years serving. Unable to explain how or why, Will and Ryan set out to understand the bond they share and why they are drawn to each other.


Beyond that, Book Two of Champion of the Gods – the sequel to The Last Grand Master – is in the works. I'm half way done with the rewrite of the first draft. I also have two contemporary stories, another fantasy and a paranormal story in various stages. I doubt any of those will be out before 2014.



~ A lot of your writing contains non-human elements. What draws you to that?
I think a lot of it comes from my love of comic books and super heroes as a kid. I don't think 'superhero' novels sell that well for some reason, but if you dress them up as fantasy stories and change them to elves and wizards and whatever, you can get away with it. I like the paranormal, superhero, magic angle. I think it allows readers to escape from this world and if the 'world' is well enough developed, you can immerse yourself in a bit of day dreaming and 'what if' thinking.



~ Have you ever doubted yourself as a writer and if so, how did you overcome it?
Often. When I submitted The Last Grand Master, I wasn't sure it would be accepted. In fact I was so sure Dreamspinner wouldn't want it, I was lining up cover artists and formatting services so I could self publish it. Then when it was released I didn't expect anyone would want to read it. It has sold better than I expected – in fact, on Valentine's day, when Dreamspinner offered anyone with an account a free eBook, during the three giveaways, ten people selected it as the 'one' book they wanted. That really shocked me. With all the other very good books in Dreamspinner's big library, that anyone would want mine over all the others, was really a surprise.


Which doesn't answer the how do I over come it. I decided that doing nothing meant I'd never know, I decided to put my work out there and see. The worst that could happen is someone would say – you stink – and them I'd know. But I had to try to be know if I could or not, so I just took a damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead, approach.



~ What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?
An author friend, Helen Chappell, told me the best way to improve was to put your work out there and get feed back. So I joined Gay Authors and posted things to get feed back. Most of it was positive – which surprisingly enough was not terribly helpful. I don't need to hear – oh that's good – from people who I'm asking for help from. I mean I love hearing that people like something or think it's good, but I needed to know what I wasn't doing well to improve. The people who told me what wasn't so good, those people helped me enormously. The positive reviews helped me keep going, but the negative comments, mostly in private, were what helped me get to the published author level.



~ What's your guilty pleasure?
Doritos – Nacho Cheese. I also love baseball. It's something my husband and I both enjoy so it's something we plan to share with our daughter and hope she likes it too.



~ What part of the writing process do you dread?
The same as everyone else I suppose. Marketing. The dirty word of writing. In the build up to the release of The Last Grand Master, I had to put everything else on hold, no new writing, not much reading, no other hobbies. Granted that was my first foray into marketing so there is a lot of 'infrastructure' I did that won't need to be repeated with future books, but it is a huge time drain and I'm still not very good at 'getting the work out.'



~If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
Italian. I'd probably make manicotti. Of course I'd make the sauce first. For desert, we'd probably have pie. I like cherry or pecan, so you'd probably get one or both of those.



~Do you prefer hot or cold weather and why?
I'm totally a winter person. I hate hot humid weather. Just hate it. I spend years in Minnesota and found I don't mind the cold, I just bundle up, or snuggle in and all is good. I'm grouchy in the summer, have been since I was born according to my mother.



 



~ Are you a romantic?
Very much so. I love planning something romantic. It's harder with the baby, I mean I can't just tell the husband to pack a bag and I'll tell him when we get to the airport where we're going – I've done that before. But I can still bring home something that he'll like or make something special for him just because. I think romance is what keeps relationships alive.



~Do you listen to music when you're writing?
Not so much anymore. When I write at home, the baby is usually sleeping so I need to be able to hear if she cries. But whenever I can, yes I love to listen to music when I work or write. And not soft, or classic, usually it's rock, alternative, punk. Don't ask me to explain how I can tune that out, but I can. And the harder the beat, the better I write. Go figure.



~ What are your future ambitions?
Retire soon, move somewhere cheaper where we can let 'lil q [our daughter] grow up and be happy and write for the rest of my life. Maybe open a B & B somewhere. My husband's job is portable so when the housing market recovers enough, we'll probably ditch the corporate world and retire somewhere.



Blurb:
In a war that shook the earth, the Six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For the three thousand years since, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity.
But then a new wizard unleashes the power of Neldin. Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, uses dark magic to create an army of creatures to carry out his master's will.

One by one, the sovereign realms fall. Soon the only wizard who can stop Meglar is Grand Master Farrell, the Prince of Haven, the hidden home of refugees. An untried wizard, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

While helping Nerti, queen of the unicorns, Farrell saves Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen to be Farrell's mate. But Farrell approaches love with caution, and before he can decide how to proceed, Meglar invades a neighboring kingdom. Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Farrell pushes himself to the limit as he and Miceral fight not only to stop Meglar but for their very survival.

Buy at:
Dreamspinner Press: The Last Grand Master.

Barnes & Noble: The Last Grand Master

 

Excerpt:

It took the pair several minutes to wade through the throng of well-wishers. When they reached the central staging area, Farrell scowled as he scanned the stage.

“Didn’t Horgon tell the organizers we wanted all newly-joineds to meet us here?”

Miceral’s smile faded when he looked around. “I heard him dictate the request.”

Searching for the festival organizer, Farrell readied a searching spell when he noticed the official at the head of a large group of confused couples.

“Guess that answers that,” Miceral whispered in his ear.

After an obligatory first dance with the other couples, Miceral led Farrell to a long table set aside for them. Swimming through the sea of well-wishers, Farrell let out a sigh of relief when they reached the far corner of the hall.

“Farrell?” He turned when he heard his name, scanning the crowd for the speaker.

Miceral pointed to their left, just as Ostert and Lillian made their way through the crowd.

“Congratulations on entering the ranks of the joined.” Ostert clapped Miceral on the back while Farrell gave Lillian a hug. Reaching for Ostert’s hand, Farrell stepped back.

“A dress tunic and no sword?” Farrell smirked. “You even wore your uniform when we came to dinner. I didn’t know you owned anything else.”

Lillian rolled her eyes and shook her head. “If you only knew the effort it took to get him to wear this today.”

Miceral reached out to hug her. “You only have yourself to blame for the monster you created.”

She nodded. “I know. You remind me every time I complain. If I hadn’t let him wear the uniform to our union ceremony, he wouldn’t think it’s acceptable everywhere.”

“At the risk of upsetting you,” Farrell pulled out a chair for Lillian, “I think he looks rather handsome in the uniform.”

“Thank you.” Ostert gave his wife an exaggerated nod. “But I still don’t find you attractive, Farrell.”

Farrell laughed, remembering their conversation when they first met. “That’s a good thing, since you’re about to become a father soon. I would hate to have your lovely wife vexed at me.”

“Hey.” Miceral poked him on the upper arm. “You should be concerned about your new life partner. Telling other men you think they’re handsome on our union day is not the best idea.”

Realizing the mistake he’d made, Farrell couldn’t think of a good comeback. He must have looked as confused as he felt because Miceral pulled him closer for a long kiss.

“Do that some more and I won’t even notice other men exist.” Farrell leaned in for another kiss before he let Miceral step back.

“Were we that bad?” Ostert asked his wife.

“We? No, we weren’t, but you were worse.” She smiled at him.

 “Me?”

“Oh, yes.” Farrell pointed at his friend. “For days after the ceremony you wore a smile as wide as your face.”

“So how’s the baby?” Miceral asked.

Ostert’s face broke into a grin. “The healers say he’s doing great.”

Farrell turned to Lillian. “He? I thought you said you didn’t want to know the sex.”

She let out her breath and turned to her husband. “I didn’t, but I agreed to find out if he agreed to dress properly for today.”

Miceral laughed. “I think she played you.”

Turning from his wife to Miceral, Ostert looked deflated. “Really?”

Putting an arm around his friend, Miceral shook his head. “If she really didn’t want to know, do you think she would have bargained just to get you in a tunic? She obviously didn’t mind finding out, but used it to get you do something she knew you’d resist.”

“Miceral!” Lillian’s eyes narrowed as she fixed her stare on him. “You’re not supposed to tell him my secrets.”

Gently taking her hand in his, Miceral brought it to his lips for a brief kiss. “My apologies, Lillian. Ostert is like a younger brother to me. Someone has to teach him what to expect.”

In the process of taking a sip of wine, Farrell sprayed the red liquid all over the table when he coughed. When he recovered, he waved his hand to clean up the mess. “You’re teaching him the ways of women? Where did you come by this knowledge?”

Turning Ostert away from Farrell, Miceral glared at his partner for a moment. “Don’t mind him. Just remember to ask me next time.”  
 
 
Links:
Twitter: @AndrewQGordon

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Briefs - All That He Desires



Welcome to the Wednesday Briefers flash group. The short stories have a maximum of a 1000 word count plus links at the bottom to the other flashers. The prompts for this week are:

“Brother, can you spare a dime?”

 or use: medicine, urn, vast

or “Where were you when...”

or “But you said...”

or write a modern take on a well-known fairy tale

or use: sushi, hibiscus, kimono.


I’m using “But you said…” 
 

All That He Desires #8

“Are you human? Good or bad? You called yourself a dark lord. Does that mean you’re… bad?”

Anslee shrugged. “I am neither good nor bad. I’m called a dark lord because of my features—my dark hair and skin. I’m not human either, but you already knew that. I am √°imear—one of the dark lords of Opportunity, and you are mine.”

* * * *

Jules sputtered as the sports car pulled away from where it was parked. He seriously considered throwing open the door at the next red light and bailing. He wasn’t entirely sure why the hell he’d gotten in the car in the first place.

“Yours? Yours? Just what the hell does that mean?”

“It means I’ve claimed you as mine. I’ve been looking for a mate and I’m attracted to you, as you are to me. When you took the opportunity I presented, you opened yourself up to being claimed by me.” Jules drove through the night as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening.

“But, but… you just said you weren’t human! Then how can you be with me? Oh my God, what did I just say? This is just nuts! Are you listening to yourself?” Jules was tempted to beat his head against the dash. This was beyond crazy. “You can’t just up and… do whatever with me. I have rights. This is America! Jesus, don’t I have a say in this deal?”

Jules shrugged. “Yes, and you made your choice, remember? It was your choice to take that lotto ticket.”

But I didn’t know what taking that damn thing meant!” Jules wailed.

“Doesn’t matter. Did you truly believe you’d be getting something for nothing? Really, Jules, did you not think the whole set up was odd? That there wouldn’t be strings attached?” Jules slowed and stopped at a red light. “I don’t understand why you’re so upset over this. I’m giving you a whole new life, will show you things you could only dream of. Human,” Anslee huffed. “You humans make no sense most of the time. Why can’t you be grateful for what I’ve offering you?”

Grateful?”

Then the stark realization hit he was talking to a being that was not human. Anslee was not only a nonhuman, he seemed to think what he was forcing on Jules was normal. Did Anslee think every brain cell in his head had shut down and he’d just bob his head happily and go along? He wasn’t some animal to be ordered around. Maybe he should just bark and wag his damn tail. Jules still wasn’t sure what the thing next to him actually was, but his attitude stated clearly how he felt about humans. On the evolutionary chain he was below Anslee.

Yeah, and fuck that.

Jules threw the car door open and bailed. They’d stopped at a red light next to a park on the other end of town. The park had been built years ago and had woods that back up to one side. He’d played there as a kid, then later when he was a teen. The woods were vast, and they gave way to huge tracks of farmland. The good thing was he could use the farmland and woods as cover to circle back around to his apartment.

“Jules! Damnations!”

The annoyance—well, imagine that—in Anslee’s voice, and the screech of tires, had Jules picking up speed as he ran through the kids play area. Nighttime sounds greeted him as he sprinted towards the woods. The moon was out and there were very few clouds in the sky. He wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not. Way too much light. Skirting the monkey bars, he headed straight for the tree line and a well-worn path he hoped was still there. When he was a teenager, this was here many of his friends went to make out.

“Still there, thank God,” he panted, following the path. If he remembered correctly, the path didn’t go far. Then he’d have to deal with the overgrowth.

Little silvers of moonlight beamed down through the bare tree limbs giving the woods an eerie cast. An owl hooted in the distance and Jules shivered as he ran. Was Anslee following him? He couldn’t hear anything over the pounding of his own heart. Jules stumbled to a stop, one hand resting against a tree for support, and strained to listen. Nothing. The crickets still chirped as if it was nothing to have a human crashing through their woods.

Every B flick horror movie he’d ever seen raced through his head. Wasn’t this where the actors died a horrible death? Lovely thought. He didn’t think Anslee would kill him, but he was sure not to be happy with the little impromptu jaunt through the woods either.

“Not going there.” Jules pushed the thoughts aside, filled his lungs and took off again.

Maybe Anslee wasn’t following him, but he couldn’t see him giving up so easily. Especially when he had set this whole damn thing in motion. Slowing down a little, he picked his way through some brush. Earlier, in his mad bash, a branch had wacked him across the face. Yeah, once was enough, so he was more careful now. He’d get home and… shit. Get home and what? Pack up a few essentials and take to the road? Empty out his bank account and spend the rest of his life running? Throw away his degree while he hoped that… thing… never found him? Okay, so maybe he hadn’t that this through.

Was he completely nuts?

Jules stopped again. But what was the alternative? Just give in? While lost in his head he’d covered more land than he thought, and now he was coming out of the woods. All he needed to do was get across the farmland and he’d be close to home. This was going to be the hardest part because the lands were bare this time of the year. He’d be exposed.

 “Shit.” There was no hope for it. He’d try to stay as close to the tree line as possible and… pray.
 

TBC! Make sure to visit the other briefers too. J

~M