Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Writing Update, Story Excerpt

Hey there, darlins.

So clearly this isn't the next part of Pandora yet.  What can I say, its got Garrett and Robbie fighting in it and I have to get the mood just right or they stay angry at each other, which I just can't be having.  Instead, knowing that you all are a deserving and awesome group, I thought I'd share some of what's been consuming my writing time over the month of November.  Freaking NaNoWriMo.

Earlier this year I got a contract to continue the story I started with Opening Worlds, which was published by Storm Moon Press.  It's got to be a genuine novel, and so far I'm at 65k words and still going.  It features Jason and Ferran on Ferran's home planet and is going to be very cool once it's been beta's and edited and so on.  However, I'm going to give you a taste anyway.  Please keep in mind that this could totally change by the time the book is published.

And also, ps--there are times I wish I had a writing wife.  Someone to kick my tail into working on cool stuff who is not me and is not my husband, because he only reads what I give him.  He's good at it, but he doesn't solicit., poke, prod or trade stories.  My last writing wife left me when RL got tough, and I can't blame her. Fortunately I have some very encouraging readers (and Tiffany, I think I will do a revisit on The Captain's world next, even if it's just an interlude.  They've been neglected for too long.  Good idea.)

Okay.  Explanations and whining over.  Here's the first chapter of Changing Worlds.


Very much R-rated, people.  Don't like m/m lovin', don't read.


***


A month, Jason Kim reflected, was a very malleable amount of time.


As a child a month had been a near-interminable amount of time, it’s challenging length compounded by the fact that he lived on one planet, went to school on another, and that neither of those places had months that matched the Federation standard. He’d count down the days until he got to return to his parents’ house, only to realize that because of calculation errors he would be stuck in limbo for three days until the school’s shuttle schedule matched the way it should to get him home.

Once Jason entered the Academy, everything changed. Life revolved around the Federation time standard, a relic from Old Earth, twenty-four hour days and seven day weeks. Seven years of intensive training left him a capable military officer and an absolute adherent to the standard, and that was how he lived his life. One month passed the same as every other, and life was dictated by the mission, not by the prospect of leave or the chance to see family and friends. It was easy to let any idea of a personal life slide after his parents died, and he had always been most comfortable in his own company anyway.

Things didn’t change so much after he left the military. Jason immediately went to work for the Shimona cartel, specializing in transferring goods and passengers in a state of elegance. Jason had the kind of appeal they were looking for in a ship captain: he was attractive, he was efficient and he was impersonal. They needed someone who could be polite while maintaining his distance, who wouldn’t get distracted from doing his job. Jason was that person, even after he met Blake, even after they blended their lives together. Time might have passed more pleasurably, but it was still set to a steady, predictable beat.

Blake left and time became purely professional again, perhaps a little slower than before, but still filled. After a year, Jason had begun to feel like he had gotten a handle on the rhythm of the rest of his life. And then…then, Ferran had come aboard.

Suddenly a month was nothing, a tiny blip in the radar. Suddenly a month was filled with a whirlwind romance, ridiculously fast from Jason’s perspective. His passion for Ferran was consuming, moreso than he’d ever experienced before. Jason had no idea that so many of the emotions he’d been sure he could live without would come barreling back into his mind and body. Because there was a time limit on Ferran. Less than a month, from the time he boarded Jason’s ship, the Silver Star, to the time that he returned to his planet, Perelan, and reintegrated into his home society, so truly alien from a human’s.

Monotonous weeks turned into a conscious measure of minutes, and those minutes were spent memorizing, cataloguing and cherishing every bit of his lover that Jason could get. Ferran had been the first to say it, “love,” that fraught and frightening word, but he had meant it, and so Jason had felt relief when he said it back, even though their affection was destined to end in nothing. How could it not? Ferran was restricted to his home planet after his brief period of interstellar liberty, the fate of all male Perels, and Jason took a leave of absence and returned to his own home, alone, and emptier than he could ever remember being.

A lot could change in a month. Jason had found love like he’d never experienced and lost it all in less than a month. And now, less than a month after he’d given up hope, Ferran was back, he and Jason were for all intents and purposes married and both of them would be moving back to Perelan in the company of the Federation ambassador tomorrow, to begin training Ferran as a diplomat.

And Jason? He didn’t know what role he was going to play on Perelan, other than husband and resident alien oddity. To be perfectly honest, he didn’t really care. For the first time in a long time Jason was content to live in the moment, not because he had nothing to look forward to, but because he was happy. Really happy. The whole thing still felt slightly surreal.

“What about this?” Ferran asked, looking over at Jason from where he sat, cross-legged, in front of the closet. They were packing up the last of Jason’s belongings that would be brought with them to Perelan, and Ferran was incredibly inquisitive. It was fortunate that Jason didn’t have much of a capacity for embarrassment, because otherwise he’d have been constantly red. He’d had no idea his mother had kept so many of his childhood things. What Ferran was holding up now looked like a plaster imprint of Jason’s five year old hand.

“That can stay,” Jason said, carefully folding one of his favorite sets of casual clothes, made from actual silk and cotton. They wrinkled if he wasn’t careful with them. He set them into the case laid open next to his dresser.

“What is it for?” Ferran asked, setting his own hand curiously against the imprint. His fingers were long and milk-pale, capped with thick, blunt nails that were almost out of place on his otherwise delicate hands.

“It’s just a child’s gift,” Jason replied. “We made them in class one day. I thought my parents had gotten rid of that long ago, where did you find it?”

“In a box in the back,” Ferran said. “There’s a mask as well.” He pulled out a brightly-colored dragon mask, the lines almost perfectly colored in by a young Jason, who had been something of a perfectionist even then. Ferran put the mask in front of his face. “It’s very fierce, but a little hard to see out of.”

“Your eyes are a little bigger than mine,” Jason remarked, amused. Ferran’s eyes were easily twice the size of his own, with amber irises and large, dark pupils evolved to capture the light. Ferran pulled the mask away and grinned, and for a moment it was all Jason could do not to stop what they were doing and take Ferran to bed. Again. But they’d only been given a week for their impromptu honeymoon, and spending too much time lost in his lover was what was giving Jason a headache about finishing packing now. It wasn’t like he owned a lot of things. Packing was a task that should have taken half a day, max, but it had stretched out, slowed down and crawled to a halt as Jason let himself get lost in the reality of having Ferran with him again.

Forever, he reminded himself, turning back to the last of his clothing. We have forever now. I don’t have to count every second. But the anxiety in him refused to be soothed, and he abandoned the clothes in favor of joining Ferran in front of the closet. “What else is back there?”

“I haven’t checked yet,” Ferran said, but he looked eager to keep going.

“Let’s find out.” Jason reached back into the cedar-scented depths of the closet and closed his hands around a small cylindrical tube. He pulled it out. “These are mine, actually.” He barely remembered burying it back there only a year ago.

“What’s in it?” Ferran asked curiously.

Jason unscrewed the cap on the cylinder and pulled out a sheaf of thin films. “They’re pictures.”

“Pictures of what?”

“All sorts of things,” Jason said absently as he remembered back to why he had stuffed almost all of the pictures he owned into a tube and shoved them into the back of his closet like a petulant child. It had been an unusually turbulent moment for him, one of the few times when he let emotion carry him away into actions that weren’t logical. Instead of just getting rid of the pictures that bothered him, Jason had completely cleared house. Both his quarters on the ship as well as his home had been cleaned out.

“Do you mind looking at them?” Ferran was an empath, and he doubtless was picking up on the sense of resistance inside of Jason. These weren’t really things that he wanted to look at again, but he didn’t have any choice. He had no idea when he’d get the chance to come back to his childhood home, and apart from that he wasn’t a child any longer. He couldn’t hide from things that made him uncomfortable.

“It’s all right,” Jason said gently. “Let’s look at them.”

The first one was a black and white photograph of his parents. They were in profile, looking out from the balcony of their house at the crashing waves below the small, cliff-top colony of Jacksonville. They both looked stern, a little distant, but that was how his parents had always looked in pictures. You had to be with them to see the grace of his mother’s movements, or really tell that the lines in his father’s face came from smiles. They had been older than most couples when they’d had him, and he’d lost them far sooner than any of them had planned. He shouldn’t have hidden this picture away.

“My parents.” He handed the film over to Ferran, who took it carefully. His lover gazed down at the photograph with lively interest.

“You look like your father.”

Jason smiled. “Thank you.” He had always admired his father’s way with people, his inner strength and his calm demeanor. Any comparisons were, in his mind, favorable.

“What was his name?”

“Gary. My mother was Min-suh, but my father called her Minnie.” The next picture was a portrait of his mother, and Jason handed that one over as well. The one behind that was a candid photo of himself and Blake, and that…that wasn’t quite so easy to look at.

Ferran knew instantly. “This is your last lover?”

“Yes.”

“How long were you together?”

“Just for a year.” Which was still the longest romantic relationship Jason had ever had, actually.

Ferran was quiet for a moment, then asked, “Does it bother you to look at him?”

“A little.” He didn’t want to lie to Ferran, and he suspected that the Perel would know if he’d tried to anyway. “But you should know about Blake. At the least you should know that he existed. He was out of my life for a year by the time you met me.” Jason put that picture, and the two behind it, back into the tube. “These ones can stay. I’ll take the other two, though.”

Ferran held the pictures of Jason’s parents side by side and admired them for a long moment. “We don’t have anything like this on Perelan. It’s considered disrespectful to make images of our loved ones, because it implies that we can’t hold them in our hearts without help. Remembrance of the past is important, but our historians do not like dwelling on specifics. I’ve only ever painted in the abstract.”

“You’re a painter?”

“It was one of the skills my mother thought it important for me to learn.” Ferran handed the pictures back carefully. Jason took them and set them back on the bed, filing this new information about his husband into the “to be explored” category. Jason wasn’t a painter but he had access to courses that Ferran might like, instructional holos and the means to buy any equipment that Ferran might need. Although right now there wasn’t the time to buy anything, and Jason knew for a fact that nothing was shipped to Perelan without express permission.

Jason reached back into the closet. After a moment of searching his hands closed on another cylindrical object, and he felt like groaning for a moment. More pictures? How many of those had he secreted away? But no, this time what he brought out brought a smile to his face. “I thought this was in storage on board the Silver Star.” He partially unsheathed the weapon and looked down at the short, straight blade. Still shining, still sharp. Just like he’d left it.

Ferran’s eyes went a little wide as he took in the sword. “You use this?”

“Not really,” Jason said, turning the sheathe over in his hands. It was painted with a flower pattern and coated with red lacquer, and the metal fittings were engraved with silver that was so tarnished it was almost black. “Swordsmanship went through something of a renaissance while I was going through the Academy. I learned fencing and kendo, and some Indonesian styles. This sword is actually Korean, and a lot shorter than the katanas that samurai used.”

“Who are samurai?” Ferran asked.

Jason smiled. “I forget sometimes how few movies you’ve seen. Why didn’t you go to any theaters while you were travelling around the universe?”

“There were other things to do,” Ferran replied, a mischievous look in his eyes. “Many other things. And alien films are one of the few things we’re occasionally granted access to on Perelan.”

“Well, tonight I’m introducing you to the archetype that is the samurai,” Jason said decisively. “Movies and popcorn, that’s the tradition.”

“I like your traditions,” Ferran smiled, wrapping his arms around Jason’s shoulders. “I liked celebrating your birthday.” It had been Jason’s birthday three days ago, and they had baked a cake, loaded it down with candles and spent the rest of the evening celebrating in a more intimate way. The kitchen was a place they both liked to be and Ferran was an excellent cook, far better than Jason even after so many years of learning it on his own. The white truffle cake was one of the few things Jason could make that Ferran didn’t already know how to improve upon.

“We’ll do the same for you when your birthday rolls around,” Jason promised, but Ferran shook his head.

“My birthday isn’t important,” he said, quietly but with complete assurance. “We never celebrate the birthdays of males on Perelan. Instead, each house celebrates the birthday of their reigning matriarch. It’s a feast day for the entire family. To celebrate my own birth would say to the others in my house that I was putting myself above them, and above where a sterile male should be stationed. I don’t mind it.”

Jason was inclined to insist that Ferran’s birthday was important and that they should celebrate it anyway, but he stopped himself. There was a lot he had to learn about Perel culture, and he didn’t want to make any assumptions before he had a chance to really sit down and talk with Giselle Howards, the Federation ambassador to the planet. She’d be able to give him a crash course in Perelan and its people without the risk of Jason offending his new husband.

“What is it?” Ferran asked, curling in even closer. He tended to cuddle when he thought something might be wrong. It wasn’t a habit that Jason felt like breaking, either. He liked the fact that for the first time in a long time, someone wanted to be close to him. Not just wanted, but needed to be close to him. The intensity of that emotion was something that Jason was still adapting to, but the more they were together the more he grew accustomed to letting himself need his husband back.

“Nothing that can’t wait,” he said after a moment. “Come on. Samurai movie time.”

In the end Jason chose the movie Samurai Fiction, an Old Earth classic and a far less violent example of the genre than some of what he had to pick from. There was plenty of fighting to keep it interesting, and enough discussions of personal honor and the Japanese class system that it would give Ferran a good beginning.

It was definitely violent enough for Ferran. “Is killing really so casual for humans?” he asked a little tentatively at the end of the movie. Jason ran a soothing hand down the feathery, amber-tipped quills that ran the length of Ferran’s spine and over his head. They tended to get sharper when he was upset or confused, and at the moment they were standing nearly on end.

“Not really,” Jason replied. “It’s just a movie. People watching it know it’s just for entertainment.”

“Why is death so entertaining?”

Jason stared at a piece of popcorn that had fallen to the floor and considered the question for a moment before answering. “Death is…mysterious. For some people death is the utter end, for others it’s the beginning of a new way of life. Everyone has a different opinion on death, but the one thing we know for sure is that there’s no definitive explanation for what happens after you die that everyone agrees on.

“The ability to kill another person can be seen as a good thing depending on who does the dying, or it can be a skill that makes other people consider you a monster. It all depends on what you decide to do with that ability. And a person who can face the prospect of death with calm and acceptance…it’s captivating, in its way. Admirable.”

Ferran listened to the explanation with his head cocked, disbelief clear in his eyes. “Perels think of any death other than old age as something shameful, something to be avoided at all costs.” His beautiful, expressive face was somber, and his ears were flared back, a sign of discomfort. “After our civil war, with so many of us dead or wounded, it became clear that we had taken our ability to destroy life too far. It was unsure for a time whether our species would even survive. All lives are to be treasured, even those who have little to offer their houses or society at large. Unnatural deaths are very rare, and suicide is one of the worst things a Perel can do. It brings shame on an entire family.”

“Like your brother?”

Ferran nodded. “It’s one reason that my petition to be trained as a diplomat was taken so seriously, even though I’m only a sterile male. There’s a flaw in my breeding, and the matriarchs thought it was possible that I might kill myself if they denied my petition.” Ferran took in Jason’s expression and hurried to add, “I didn’t lie when I told you before that I wasn’t going to kill myself, though. I would never do that. It is the ultimate expression of hopelessness, and I was never without hope.”

“Good,” Jason said firmly, leaning in and capturing Ferran’s lips in a kiss. The Perel seemed to melt against his body, warm and lithe and pliable, and Jason pulled him closer, framing Ferran’s smooth, pale face with his hands and opening up to his lover’s rough, questing tongue and the hungry little purrs that accompanied it. Before they had technically gotten married, Ferran had let Jason do all the driving when it came to their sex life. Now that he felt more secure, Ferran was occasionally reaching for control, taking it and giving it back to Jason as they gently dueled for dominance.

“It’s our last night here,” Jason said around their kiss, barely able to spare the breath to get the words out. “What do you want?”

“You.” It was what Ferran always said, and it was so full of truth and need that Jason couldn’t help but hold him a little tighter, and pull him a little closer.

“In our bed?” he whispered, nuzzling the pulse point beneath Ferran’s jaw before he bit it, very lightly. Ferran shivered in his arms.

“Wherever you want me,” Ferran breathed. “Anywhere, any way you want me.”

“The bed, then,” Jason decided, standing up and drawing Ferran up with him. They had already christened every room of the house, including the butterfly pavilion and, during a rare moment of good weather, the balcony. He wanted their last night to be one of comfort and closeness as opposed to fast and furious, or in the case of the garage, practically acrobatic.

They kissed their way back to the bedroom, so absorbed in each other than Jason didn’t remember the photographs he’d left out on the bed. Ferran reached out and moved them to the dresser before they could be crushed, and a moment later they were lying on the bed against each other.

Perels were physically similar enough to humans that it had never been a challenge for Jason, physically or mentally, to be intimate with Ferran. The challenge had come in being emotionally ready to involve himself with a race of people who were renowned for their sexual appetite. That was the most that the majority of people ever learned about the few Perels that were allowed off their planet, and it was initially enough to put Jason off of getting close to Ferran. He hadn’t counted on his second in command conspiring to force him to socialize, and he’d soon learned that there was a lot more to Ferran than simply sexual hunger.

Which wasn’t to say that there was anything wrong with Ferran’s hunger when it was focused on Jason. Ferran twined his slender, strong legs with Jason’s and pulled them tightly against each other, their erections rubbing tantalizingly through the thin cotton pants that they both wore. Jason had a shirt on as well but Ferran was bare-chested, which he always preferred as long as it wasn’t too cold. His skin was so warm…

The urge to strip them out of their clothes and just rut until they came was strong, but Jason wanted more than sex tonight. “Let me touch you,” he said softly, stilling the rhythm of Ferran’s hips with one hand as he caressed the length of his lover’s thigh. Ferran was panting quickly, his chest rising and falling in short bursts, but he nodded his assent.

Jason started at the too, stroking a hand carefully through the quills on his lover’s head, feeling them quiver under his fingers and switch from soft to sharp, soft to sharp. When they were sharp, they were almost edged enough to cut the tender skin of his lips, so Jason left the touch to his toughened hands and winnowed his fingers through the thin, straight strands. Short and blunter at the edges of Ferran’s face, the longest quills along the top of his head and the nape of his neck were almost six inches in length.

Jason trailed his fingers down a cluster of quills just behind Ferran’s ear, pausing there to gently scratch the tight skin. Ferran purred and turned his head into the touch, the rigidness of his desire relaxing some as he got into the comfort that Jason was offering. Ferran’s ears slanted back against his head, crinkle-edged and tufted with a wisp of amber hair. They were adorable, and incredibly sensitive, but Jason knew that Ferran was sensitive about the things that spoke most loudly to the differences between him and Jason, and that sensitivity sometimes made him self-conscious. For a moment Jason wondered exactly how much his new husband was working to be sensitive to human culture, perhaps to things that even Jason wasn’t noticing, but then Ferran mewled needily and nuzzled against Jason’s throat, redirecting his attention back to the now.

Jason kissed over Ferran’s closed eyelids, so thin they were almost transparent, their lashes long and dark. He kissed his pointed nose and the tip of his sharp chin before losing himself again in Ferran’s mouth. God, his lover could kiss. His tongue was long, and rougher than a human’s, but Jason never came away from Ferran’s embrace feeling raw. Jason’s tongue delved into Ferran’s mouth in turn, cautious over canines that were marginally longer and sharper than a human’s. Perels could be omnivorous but preferred vegetarianism, by and large. One hand cupped Ferran’s neck, fingers burrowing into the quills there while the other kept moving against Ferran’s side, brushing over the edge of his abdomen before skirting back to safer territory.

They broke apart long enough for Ferran to murmur, “Jason.” His voice was dark and throaty, almost a growl.

“Let me,” Jason replied, trying to stay on track with what he had in mind. He wanted, no, he needed to ground himself in Ferran tonight, touch every bit of him, feel the reality of him. Everything else was about to change. Ferran had to be familiar, he had to become the basis of Jason’s sense of home now.

Ferran whined faintly but acquiesced, and Jason continued his steady march down his lover’s body, kissing and licking at his throat, tormenting each new set of nipples as he worked his way down Ferran’s chest. The skin was slightly darker around those, a flush of pink against unrelenting paleness. Even on the tender skin of Ferran’s stomach the tissue was thicker than a human’s, more resistant to scratches and tears. The only place his skin truly softened was over his eyes, and…

Jason undid the tie on Ferran’s pants and pulled them down and away, leaving his lover nude. The head of his erection was bright red and flowing with milky fluid. It glistened against the length of it and pooled at the base, no hair to get caught in. Jason liked being able to see everything. He licked the head once, gently, just enough to get a taste before moving down the bed.

Ferran whined again, louder this time, but he didn’t reach for himself, or reach to redirect Jason back to his cock. He pulled his knees back and shuddered when Jason kissed the insides of his thighs, stroked down over the long, taut muscles of his calves. Ferran’s toes were long, exceptionally so as compared to a human, and his feet had high, spring-like arches. His toenails were black and thick, protective, and Jason spared a moment to kiss the biggest nail on each foot before he finally began to slide back up Ferran’s body.

God, he was leaking, flowing so much it almost looked like he was coming in slow motion. Perels, Jason had learned, produced a lot more seminal fluid than humans did, and their bodies made use of it. Jason ran his fingers through the liquid that had collected against Ferran’s balls, which were drawn hard and tight against his body, then ran them back underneath his lover until his slick fingers probed at Ferran’s entrance. His lover relaxed immediately, welcoming the press, the rich fluid acting as a perfect lubricant. Gathering a little more, Jason pushed his fingers back inside as he lowered his mouth onto Ferran’s cock.

His husband came quickly, keening, the build-up too much for him to resist. Hot sperm filled Jason’s mouth to overflowing, and he swallowed quickly. It tasted more bitter than a human man’s, musky and thick, but Jason swallowed again and again, addicted to the flavor. When it was clear there would be no more, Jason gently let go of Ferran’s swollen, sensitized organ and moved to pull his fingers out.

“No,” Ferran pleaded, clenching him tight. “Be in me.”

“I will,” Jason promised. “Give me a moment and I will.” As soon as Ferran nodded and relaxed he sat back, pulling off his shirt and pants with more haste than he normally did, even if they were making love, and threw them onto the floor. A second later he was pressed against Ferran again, their bodies perfectly matched, and then Ferran drew his legs back and rolled his hips and suddenly it was impossible not to slide into him.

Hot, so hot, so slicktightperfect…and God, Jason was going to come in a second if he didn’t control himself. He leaned back on his arms a little bit, putting some distance between himself and Ferran. It didn’t help. The low lights made his lover’s eyes look like they were glowing, and Ferran’s hands were everywhere, stroking down his chest and over his shoulders and urging him on. After a moment he gave into the urge, pulling back and then stroking in with more and more force until Jason was gasping for breath, his whole body was burning with tension and he knew that he was on the cusp of exploding, and all it would take was a look, a word, a movement…

“Jason.” One word, one look that he couldn’t even understand when there was so much there to see, and Jason flew apart, burying himself in Ferran and coming so hard that his vision dimmed and his hearing went fuzzy. Everything seemed to be quivering, from his hair to his toes, and it took everything he had left not to black out and collapse on his lover.

Ferran knew, of course. He was an empath, he felt Jason’s emotions, and his ability to feel them was becoming stronger the closer they became. He held Jason close, cradling him against his body but not suffocating him, giving him the space he needed to catch his breath. It took minutes, and every minute was a gift, every second was a blessing. He breathed out and Ferran breathed in, drinking in his exhalations and purring with pleasure.

It was frightening, how much Jason was beginning to crave the closeness he had with Ferran, how much he was starting to need him. The love hadn’t been nearly as hard for Jason to reconcile as the growing understanding that he was becoming genuinely dependent on someone else for the first time since he was a child. He’d been part of a team, he’d been in relationships but all of those had paled in comparison to what was happening to him now, and he was both glad and anxious about that.

Eventually Jason came back to himself enough to get up. He went into the bathroom and got a clean washcloth, wet it and came back to find Ferran curled on his side, his huge eyes at half-mast, gazing in his direction.

“I am also nervous.”

Ferran’s sudden confession took Jason a little by surprise, and he raised an eyebrow as he scooted close enough to begin to wipe his lover clean. “Why are you nervous?”

“I want you to be happy on Perelan.”

“I will be happy,” Jason promised. “I’ll be with you.”

“Yes,” Ferran said, but that was all he said, and Jason was learning to hear his new husband’s silences as well as he did his words.

“I said forever,” Jason told him, smoothing a palm over damp skin. “I meant it. I don’t expect it will all be easy, but we’ll learn how to deal with that.”

“I believe you.”

“As well you should,” Jason said, trying to lighten the mood a little. “Or didn’t you know that I’m always right about these sorts of things?”

“That’s not what Florence told me,” Ferran countered, referring to Jason’s former second in command on board the Silver Star. She had been keeping in touch with both of them, sending brief text messages to their communicators almost daily. She managed to make them laugh more often than not, very frequently resorting to ancient idioms that Jason had to explain to Ferran, or jovial commentary on what she considered Jason’s many amusing traits. Her last text to Ferran had read, Suggest installing a low-intensity shock button to use when you go out on the town with him. Wished for one many times myself. Might prompt him to use his words.

“Flo is biased against me, you know that. She thinks I have no social skills.”

“She’s wrong about that,” Ferran agreed with a smile. “You’re very sociable with me.”

“You see? You can’t listen to her.” Jason leaned in and kissed Ferran, and let his lover’s insistent hands keep him drawn close instead of getting up to clean the clothes from the floor like he’d intended to. Jason was well and truly exhausted, and it didn’t take much time for him to fall asleep in Ferran’s arms, his lover curled possessively around his head and shoulders.





Jason woke up in a cold sweat sometime before dawn, his breathing fast and his heart pounding so hard it felt like it might beat out of his chest. The nightmare that had woken him was dissipating quickly, leeching from his brain like an evaporating mist but leaving behind a dark, sticky residue. The urge to scream, caught by his tight jaw and clenched teeth, slowly receded, and eventually Jason was left exhausted but absolutely unable to get back to sleep. He glanced over at Ferran, still curled close to him, still asleep. Well, that was a mercy. He didn’t want to have to explain to his lover what was going on with him. Not that he knew himself, exactly.

Moving slowly, Jason eased out of the circle of Ferran’s arms and off of the bed, grabbed a robe that hung on the back of his bathroom door and slung it on, then walked quietly into the living room. He stood at the door that led to his balcony and stared out into the darkness, just barely able to detect the violent crashing of the waves far below. Lightning cracked through the sky, streaks of silver and gold in dark indigo clouds. Beautiful. Frightening. Sort of like what was happening here.

In his most ruthlessly practical moments, when he was alone, Jason contemplated what he’d gotten himself into with a certain amount of grim resignation. He was going to be the first human being given intimate access to an alien world, an alien world that humans didn’t honestly know very much about. He was going there married to a highly-ranked member of that society, from what Jason could tell, but also a relatively powerless one. Infertile males were used as bargaining chips by their mothers, traded to other families to be caretakers and homemakers. Ferran was the first one to be allowed to pursue a different path, but there were probably whole labyrinths of political issues driving that decision that Jason knew nothing about, much less how he fit into the grand scheme of things. There was no doubt in his mind, though, that his presence among the Perels was entirely calculated.

Jason didn’t doubt that Ferran loved him. His new husband was as innocent a creature as Jason had ever seen in some ways, barely old enough to be considered an adult by his own people. He and his cousins had been on the verge of completing their post-adolescent tour of the ‘verse, were actually headed back to Perelan, when he and Jason had met. The depth of deceit that it would take to fool Jason into falling for him was beyond Ferran, not to mention that had snaring a human partner been premeditated, Ferran could have done a hell of a lot better. Gone for someone with more money, more power, more connections. Jason was a loner and always had been, and there was no lack of infatuated humans waiting for the first hint of something more with the attractive aliens to catapult them into love.

Instead Ferran had fallen in love with Jason, and he had risked a great deal to be with him. The proposal had come through Ambassador Howards, the Federation’s representative to Perelan, not from Ferran himself, and there had been no assurance that Jason would agree to a marriage. But in the end Jason had agreed, and for the next year at least, he and Ferran were legally bound to each other. There was still a lot to work out about that: how they would need to conduct themselves on the planet, how Jason’s actions would reflect on Ferran, even what Ferran’s duties within his own house would be now that he was no longer a viable bargaining chip. All his worth, all his beauty and gentility and intelligence had been spent on catching Jason, and Jason wasn’t at all sure that he was going to prove a worthwhile investment.

He hadn’t had a nightmare for a long time. As a child they were night terrors, leaving him upright and screaming, unable to see or hear as his mother tried to calm him. His parents had refused drugs and therapy, his father instead opting to teach Jason meditation and other methods of self-control. They had eventually worked, and he’d become very adept over the years at blocking or burying the things that made him uncomfortable. Only occasionally was it so bad that those things manifested as nightmares, but it looked like now was going to be one of those times.

Uncertainty, doubts of his own self-worth, fear of leaving the simplicity and structure of everything he knew for the mystery that was Perelan…Jason had a lot to be afraid of. He closed his eyes for a moment and breathed in deeply, letting the air circulate through the lowest parts of his lungs before emerging as a faint hiss through his teeth. He needed to handle this. And privately, because the last thing his new husband needed at the moment was insecurity from Jason. Ferran was going to be dealing with a lot once they got back to Perelan. Jason couldn’t add to that stress. Silently he promised himself to take up daily meditation again, to work kata and other exercises that were comfortingly mindless, physical movements that would ground and occupy him. He could handle this on his own. He would have to.

Jason opened his eyes again and sighed. The very edge of the horizon was limned with violet, signaling the beginning of dawn. Ambassador Howards would arrive in less than three hours to take them away in her ship. Jason glanced around his house, his eyes lingering on the hardwood floors and handmade cabinets, the simple, comfortable furnishings and soothing earth tones. There was a neat stack of containers by the door that contained everything he was taking with him to Perelan. Well, almost everything.

Jason turned and headed back into the bedroom. If he couldn’t sleep, the least he could do was finish packing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pandora Post # 27, 1 of 2

Title: Pandora




Part Twenty-Seven, 1 of 2: Reactionary



Notes: This is the next part of a spin-off story of a series I posted on Literotica (titled Bonded, as Carizabeth) and the subject matter is m/m sci fi. I know this is a short post, but I had to get something up before Thanksgiving or feel like a total bum. The second half of this part is almost done and will be up shortly. Longer too, I’m thinkin’.



PS-Happy Thanksgiving! Wait…what will I do without turkey cooked in a dutch oven?





***







Garrett tended to take most things in stride following his lengthy stay in a rehabilitation clinic as a teenager. The part of him that responded with the strongest emotions, the part that was responsible for real outrage and unspeakable joy, that part had been dulled to calm his brain and level his mood. Garrett still enjoyed a good fight and recent events had shown that he could still be depressed when the tragic or the unexpected hit, but for the most part he considered himself remarkably even-keeled. So experiencing real shock and surprise wasn’t something that happened very often, and after the last few weeks he’d had he didn’t expect to experience any more unless something miraculous happened.

It didn’t end u being miraculous, but what Garrett found out was a hell of a surprise.

He was eating breakfast with Claudia when he got the news. Therese was cutting up fresh fruit at the counter, Claudia was sipping tea and watching with amused eyes as Garrett tried to feed Renee from a bottle.

“She’s squirmy,” he muttered, trying to get the nipple to her mouth but missing and hitting her cheek instead as she wiggled in the cradle of his arm.

“She’s hungry,” Claudia corrected with a grin. “She feeds from a bottle all the time, Gare, you can do this.”

“It’s not the feeding, it’s the holding and feeding simultaneously,” Garrett said, trying and missing Renee’s mouth again. She wailed and waved her arms. “You’ve either got to hold still for this, honey, or we’ve got to get some tie-downs.” Finally he got the nipple to her mouth and relaxed as Renee started to suck voraciously. “Damn, you are an eating machine, aren’t you?”

“Garrett,” Claudia chided him gently. “Come on, it can’t be that surprising. Don’t you feed Cody?”

“Cody is six. I can call up a meal for him and sit by and watch him eat it and yeah, he too is an eating machine but I don’t have to do the feeding. Except for cutting things up into bites, sometimes.”

“He sounds like a good kid.”

“He’s a great kid,” Garrett agreed. The last time he and Cody had had breakfast it had been just the two of them; Jonah had been on shift, flying shuttles inland. They’d eaten waffles delivered from the ship’s kitchen and tried to balance their forks together over the top of a bottle. Things had been strained between the adults but Cody was happily oblivious, and the ease that Garrett had interacting with him was a palpable relief. Cody was so easy. So happy.

“You miss him? You could call them,” Claudia offered.

“Not right now,” Garrett said. “Later.” Later.

“Are you sure? I bet it would do you good to see a friendly face.”

“It would,” Garrett said. Then, just to be an ass, he continued, “Like Isidore. Does he still work here? I haven’t heard any mention of him for a few months.”

When he looked up from Renee, Garrett was surprised to see Claudia’s complexion draining to a pallid white. “Oh…oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you…I thought you knew, but I shouldn’t have assumed that.”

“Tell me what?” Garrett’s stomach twisted uncomfortably. He wasn’t in love with Isidore, but he did like him. “Is he dead?”

“No…no, Gare, he…Isidore is a suspect.”

This time Garrett’s stomach dropped clean out of his body with shock. Isidore Cain was a suspect in a terrorist attack? Adorable, gentle, ridiculously appealing Isidore? Whom Garrett had recommended to Wyl as a mechanic? No fucking way. Apart from all the other reasons, Garrett’s ability to judge people could not possibly be that bad. “He’s a suspect? Claudia, Isidore is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. He is not the kind of person to smuggle explosives into the governor’s military base and blow up his fucking motor pool!”

“Language,” Therese said severely, and came over and took Renee and the bottle out of his arms. She left the kitchen and left Claudia shifting in her seat, not really meeting Garrett’s eyes.

“No, it’s not that he did the blowing-up himself, but he let the person in who did,” she continued. “The cameras showed that it was his cousin. Isidore let him into the compound because he said he was delivering parts for a custom bike that Isidore and Wyl were putting together in their spare time. But instead he had a bomb, concealed in the machinery so the surface scans at the gate didn’t see it, and he set it next to the generator. He was killed in the explosion.”

“I do remember that.” Claudia had left him a message detailing that part while Garrett was engaged in his mad dash back to Paradise. “But that doesn’t mean that Isidore had anything to do with his cousin’s insanity. I can’t believe it.”

“I know.” Well, huh. Garrett had been expecting a bit of a fight about that. “I mean, I know Isidore, Gare, and I don’t think he had any involvement other than letting his cousin inside. But his father’s half of the family has a lot of ties to the resistance, it was one of the things that bothered Jane about hiring him in the first place but Wyl talked her into it.

“Once Robbie made the connection, he put Isidore into a holding cell. I know that he’s talked to him several times, but Isidore hadn’t been released yet. Robbie wanted to hold him as an enemy combatant.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.” Garrett pushed to his feet, anger surging through him. “If Robbie questioned him, then he’s already gotten everything he possibly can out of him. Robbie’s interrogations could make a robot beg for its maker and Isidore isn’t a criminal, he wouldn’t try to lie. He wouldn’t want to. He should be let go. He should at least be given legal counsel.” Garrett paced back and forth for a moment, then whirled to look at Claudia again. “I need to speak to him.”

“The guards won’t let you in, Gare,” Claudia said with a sigh. “They’re under orders not to.”

“Then I need to talk to Robbie. He gets back in today, right?”

“Garrett…” Claudia sighed, stood up and came over to him, placing a hand on his arm. “It was chaos. Robbie had to take control and fast, and Wyl had been injured and he was put almost immediately into a Regen chamber, you know how much harder he experiences everything and he just couldn’t take it. They barely had a chance to speak before Wyl went under, and everything was just…it was very hard, Gare, and it’s still so hard for Robbie.”

“I get that, Claudia, but that isn’t an excuse for him being an idiot.”

“You have to be kind, Garrett.”

“I plan on being kind, honey.” Garrett squeezed her shoulder gently before turning and heading towards his room. With Robbie, though, kind could mean giving him a swift kick in the ass, literally. To get away with that, Garrett had to be prepared.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Visiting Lisabet

Hi guys!

I'm guest blogging on Lisabet Sarai's website today, and I would love for you to visit me there.  Odds are I could even respond to comments on her blog, unlike mine (#@%$*&).  I talk a little about Africa and irony and circular living, which I just made up.  Other people may call it karma:)

Check it out here: http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/2011/11/wow-thats-ironic.html

More Pandora will be up soon, promise.  I'm finally bringing Robbie back into the mix, so that should be fun.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Few Small Things...

Just so you know...

Cat and Karen, email me!  Don't you want your contest schwag?  Mmm, delicious schwag.  So tasty.

For those who have asked, Pandora has about 5 parts left to go.  Not entirely sure about that number, but it's somewhere in there.  I hope it'll be done before the end of the year. After I can stomach reading the entire thing again and get it edited, I'll post it in much larger parts on Literotica.

And speaking of that...what the hell will I post on this blog next?

I have no idea which of the many ideas I've got that I'll go with.  New genre?  Another spinoff?  Something different entirely?  Less of a lengthy and agonizing WIP?  I know there are people out there who would appreciate that.  Whatever I end up going with, I have no plans to stop posting free stories, here or on Lit.  That's how I got my start, after all, and it's where I try out the new things that interest me.  Plus I'm full of love for my readers;)

Anyway, time for bed.  Sweet dreams.

PS--someday, I will have a real website with my own domain, where I don't have to lose wrestling matches with blogger over answering comments on my own darn blog.  I can already feel the air of "grown-up" waiting to descend upon me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pandora Post #26

Title: Pandora




Part Twenty-Six: An Insomniac’s R&R



Notes: This is the next part of a spin-off story of a series I posted on Literotica (titled Bonded, as Carizabeth) and the subject matter is m/m sci fi. And this chapter is R, semi-superfluous R all the way. Did this chapter really need to be? I say yes, and to hell with furthering the plot:)






***









It was some crazy combination of luck, overall good or bad Garrett couldn’t tell, when he found out that Robbie was in the city and wouldn’t be back until the next day. He left a note on Robbie’s door, a message on his com and instructions for his adjutant to let Robbie know the instant he was back that Garrett wanted to talk to him.

His main plan sidelined, Garrett considered going and visiting Wyl, but Wyl probably didn’t have a microphone in the side of his Regen chamber. Besides, the thought of even pretending to converse with Wyl when he couldn’t talk back was just…wrong, somehow. Wyl never wanted for words, and Garrett didn’t want to sit there and stew in silence about how close his friend had come to losing his life entirely. Garrett would have checked in on Claudia again, but Therese very firmly told him that both Claudia and Renee were sleeping, and wouldn’t he like to get some sleep himself?

“Claudia had the guest room readied for you,” Therese added, trying to look conciliatory and failing miserably while wearing fatigues and fingering the hilt of a long-bladed shedskin knife. It was the kind of specialty close-combat knife that left a thin layer of the blade itself behind in a wound when you stuck someone with it so the wound didn’t close, and it looked completely incongruous on a woman with a cup of china cup of bright pink tea in her other hand.

“Is there anyone around for you to use that thing on?” Garrett asked, gesturing towards the weapon.

“You never know,” Therese replied with all seriousness.

“Right…” Garrett decided that a retreat was called for and made his way back into the guest room. Miles and Claudia would have given it to him when he was living on Paradise before, but Garrett had always preferred sleeping on his ship. That wasn’t going to be an option for a while, though, and he took a few minutes to get the room, more of a suite really, the way he liked it. The walls became a kaleidoscope of color, the corners darkening to an indigo that spread out across the ceiling and floor. The bed was soft and incredibly inviting, and once Garrett lay down he found that it was impossible to even contemplate getting up. He stared up at the indigo ceiling, unmoving, for a long moment before exerting himself enough to reach over to the computer terminal next to the bed and switch it to voice activation.

“Yes, sir?”

“Project a star chart of the Castellus region of the Fringe on the ceiling.”

A moment later the star chart popped up, Pandora and a dozen other planets springing into view as they circled a red giant sun. Only two of the other planets were remotely hospitable to humans, and neither had been settled yet. Neither of them were Garrett’s concern.

“Zoom in.”

The chart obediently became larger.

“Zoom in.”

It bloomed larger still.

“Center on Pandora.”

The swirling blue planet came to life, the clouds moving across it as though it was a true picture of Pandora itself and not just a representation. Garrett stared for a long time at the picture before he whispered, “Zoom in.”

The planet loomed larger above the bed, taking up more than half of his ceiling. It was a holographic projection, and from this angle Garrett felt like he could almost reach out and brush his fingers through the trailing clouds. He almost tried it, just to imagine the coolness, but he stopped himself at the last second.

He shouldn’t do this. He shouldn’t think about them. This dry desert planet was his world right now, fucking Paradise and the heap of trouble it had made for his family. That other world, a world of rain and cold and the most addictive comfort Garrett had ever known, was in his past, at least for now. He really, really shouldn’t think about them.

He shouldn’t because it was shameful. Every second he had slept on his way back to his family, his father and stepmother and brand new baby sister, Garrett had dreamed not of the people he was heading towards, but of the ones he was leaving behind. Jonah, tall, drawling, handsome when you first met him and captivating when you studied him, fearfully protective and welcoming all at once. And Cody, Jonah’s son, his beautiful damaged child. Born to die young. Bright eyes, bright hair, open heart…Cody had never been afraid to tell Garrett what he thought, even when it meant saying that he loved him. That was the last think Cody had said to Garrett before he left Pandora, that he loved him. The kid was braver than both his father or his father’s lover, that was for sure.

Fuck, Garrett didn’t want to think about them, but he couldn’t not think about them when he didn’t have control of his own mind, when he let himself sleep. It felt like a betrayal to his family here that he couldn’t give his all to them when they needed him. He could give his body and his will, but his mind and heart were hopelessly divided. Hopelessly. Hopeless. Kind of like how he felt right now.

Don’t say that, darlin’.

Garrett groaned and rolled over on the bed, resolutely shutting his eyes. “Don’t tell me what to think, jerk,” he muttered. “I want to wallow.”

Too bad. You’re tired, Garrett. Go to sleep.

“No. You’re always there when I sleep.”

Hate to break it to you like this, darlin’, but I’m always there anyway. Awake, asleep…love doesn’t let go. You can’t let it go either.

“I can get over you eventually,” Garrett insisted to himself, but the words were literally painful to force out of his mouth. “Fuck,” he hissed into the pillow. “Fuuuuck.”

Garrett knew that his Shoulder-Jonah, whether modeled after an angel or a devil, was right either way. He couldn’t just make himself stop thinking about them. It was too soon, he was too raw, and he was so tired right now, so incredibly tired…but now that he was in bed and thinking about Jonah he couldn’t stop, and surprisingly his libido didn’t seem to be nearly as tired as the rest of him. Garrett kept his face turned resolutely against the cool fabric of the pillow, but his hips pressed closer to the bed when he thought about the last time he and Jonah were together. Intimately together, at least.



Jonah was, and had always been, a top. His ex husband must have loved getting fucked because Jack had never even broached the subject with Jonah, if the man’s nervous reaction when Garrett first asked was anything to go by. Garrett had dropped it for the time being, happy just to be getting laid by Jonah as often as he was, which wasn’t nearly often enough with Cody around, but that was the way it had to be. After he lost his eyes Garrett took comfort in letting Jonah into him, in letting himself be touched and loved and cared for so intimately. He didn’t even think about asking for things to go the other way. Once he was whole again though, and once the tension started to rise as Jonah and Cody got ready to move, the idea came back to him. Garrett wanted to be the giver for once, not the taker. He wanted to make Jonah fall apart beneath him instead of falling for the other man. He wanted to fuck him.

Garrett hadn’t planned on bringing it up, though. Doing so would have smacked too much of resentful, last hurrah sex, of angry-ending sex, for him to broach it while things were so awkward between them. He didn’t want things to end, damn it, he didn’t want them to change at all, but Jonah and his son were moving on and moving out just like they’d always intended, and Garrett felt like all he could do was scramble to keep pace and try not to trip. So he left everything else the way it was as much as he could, despite wanting more. Funny enough, it was just when he was at his most accepting, just a few nights before Claudia called about the accident, that Jonah decided he wanted it.

In retrospect, Garrett should have known that something more was bothering his lover than this final aspect of his virginity. Garrett probably had known, subconsciously, but he hadn’t wanted to think about what Jonah was trying to tell him with subtext while they were lying naked in bed and all of a sudden Jonah was handing over the lube.

Garrett had raised one eyebrow. “Really?” he asked, delight edging his words.

“Been thinkin’ about it for a while,” Jonah replied. The lights were low but Garrett could feel the heat in his lover’s face, and the increasingly rapid beat of his heart. “I think I want it. With you.”

“Jonah…” Garrett straddled his lover’s hips and devoured his mouth, whispering in between kisses how good he was going to make it, how wonderful it would feel. He stroked over Jonah’s chest and arms and rubbed against the heat of his groin until all the nervous tension was gone, and only the needy tension, the kind that drew muscles so taut until they trembled for release, was left.

Garrett started with a finger. With other lovers he would have turned them onto their stomachs and lifted their hips, rimmed them until they were screaming for his cock, but Jonah needed different handling. You didn’t start with exotic with him, you didn’t leap for the new. The more they made love, the more Jonah wanted a connection to Garrett, until he almost never took him from behind unless Garrett specifically asked, because Jonah always wanted to see his face, wanted to kiss him and watch him and own every inch of him as they moved together. It was a desire that Garrett never got tired of, this feeling that if they had the time Jonah would be happy just being there with him, holding him and looking at him and delighting in the fact that they were together. It was a desire so frightening that Garrett had to try not to think about it, for fear that he’d start wanting it too.

One finger, one slippery finger moved in slow circles around Jonah’s hole, not penetrating, just stroking. Garrett stopped kissing him and just focused on his lover’s reactions, timing every movement of his hand to Jonah’s breathing and the minute quivers that rocked him. “Do you like this?” he asked. Garrett never had to ask to know, but he wanted to share that control with Jonah.

“I like it,” Jonah whispered, and Garrett eased his finger inside, pausing to savor the so-tight heat and watch thoughts flutter across Jonah’s face. They weren’t all comfortable ones. Garrett could have distracted his lover with a blowjob and stretched him on the sly, but for some reason he wanted them both to be completely present for this. He moved his finger gently, feeling the ring of muscle cling stubbornly, and he kissed Jonah’s cheek. “Relax, sweetheart.”

A few deep breaths later and Jonah did, prompting a grin from Garrett. He worked his single finger in and out, in, out, penetrating over and over until it was easy before adding a second one. Jonah’s hole clenched again, tugging him inside, and Garrett had to bite his lip and moan through his teeth at the feel of it. Slowly Jonah relaxed, slowly Garrett began to move and then he asked, “Do you like this?”

“I like it,” Jonah replied, a little breathless but more genuine now, almost eager for it. “Don’t stop.”

“I couldn’t stop,” Garrett told him honestly. He worked his two fingers with shallow thrusts, curling just enough to touch Jonah’s prostate and smiling when Jonah’s eyes went wide, and his breath stuttered in his chest.

“Holy shit,” Jonah muttered.

“Glad to hear it,” Garrett said. He added more lubricant and then a third finger, and this time Jonah didn’t wince, didn’t even hesitate as he began to move, tentatively, against Garrett’s hand. His eyes fluttered closed as Garrett stroked over and over that sweet spot inside of him, and once he started moaning Garrett’s patience was just about gone. He pulled his fingers out one at a time, watching as startlement flashed to regret and then understanding. Garrett slicked his cock, then asked, “How do you want it? It can be easier if you’re on your knees.”

Jonah laughed a little. “What do you think?”

“I think you want it just like this, you little attention slut” Garrett teased him. “So you can watch me make you go insane.”

“Might be nice too,” Jonah admitted, and then his grin went slack as Garrett eased his legs up and open and pressed in close against him. Close, but not penetrating him. Not yet. Garrett rubbed the head of his cock against Jonah’s crease, coming so close to slipping inside but not letting himself. God, he could come just like this, shoot all over Jonah’s ass and embarrass the hell out of himself, and it was so tempting because he knew it would feel so good. Being inside Jonah, though…that would feel incredible.

“C’mon, darlin’,” Jonah urged, rocking up against him. That was all the extra incentive he needed and Garrett pushed forward, slowly, past clinging muscles and into the pulsing reality that was being inside of Jonah. Fuck, he could feel Jonah’s heartbeat, feel it match the pulse point jumping in his neck. Garrett laid one of his hands against that pulse point, cupping Jonah’s face while supporting them with the other one, so he wouldn’t bend his lover in half.

“Garrett,” Jonah said, but it was all he managed before Garrett moved and his voice broke into pieces. A few thrusts and Jonah was reduced to mere syllables, simple sounds like “ah” and “mmm” and Garrett’s favorite, a wondrous, shocked kind of “ohh” that reassured Garrett with the pure pleasure it represented.

Garrett thrust deeper into Jonah’s heat, harder and faster as he realized just how close to the edge he was. Jonah would come the second Garrett touched him, he knew it, he just had to draw it out a little more, a little more…but he felt his own climax coming on fast. Leaning forward, he kissed Jonah’s swollen lips, then whispered, “Do you like this?”

“Love it,” Jonah groaned, “Fuck, I love it, Garrett, please, ohh…” He lost his words and Garrett lost his control. He slid his hand from Jonah’s face to his cock and stroked it once just before he thrust one last time and came, his orgasm streaming out of him and into his lover, pouring all of his hidden love and want and need with it. He barely noticed when Jonah came as well, gasping and saying his name. They hung there for a long, slow moment, both of them aching with the shared onslaught of pleasure, before Garrett finally came down and pulled out.

He curled up next to Jonah and buried his face in his lover’s neck, his throat suddenly stopped up with the intensity of too many unspoken words. So good and perfect and more and the leviathan, I love you, beat at Garrett’s vocal cords, trying to force their way past his stubborn tongue. He beat them all back, breathing slowly and deeply, soothing himself with the scent of his lover until he was back under control. Garrett cleared his throat.

“So. Do you think you’ll want that again?”

Jonah laughed weakly. “Only about as often as I’m layin’ down, darlin’.”



This bed smelled nothing like Jonah. It didn’t feel like their bed, it didn’t carry Jonah’s heat or imprint, and the room didn’t echo with his voice. But the memory of a bed that did, and everything they had done in it, sent Garrett’s reeling mind into a tailspin, and he came with a gasp and a shudder into the soft coldness beneath him. He would have moved, he might have screamed, but sly exhaustion finally won and before Garrett could do anything else, he was unconscious.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Contest Results (and a word on Pandora)

8 am Colorado time is here.  Contest over!  And did you guys ever know how to work it!  Five commenters means five winners.  Tiffany, Jana, Irina, Cat and Karen, you guys are the best.  Thanks for playing, thanks for commenting, now I need you to email me your pick.  Any one of my ebooks, a paperback book (either Wild Passions, Myths and Magic or Making Contact) or beta rights.  carizabeth@hotmail.com, ladies.  I can't wait to hear from you.

And for the people who read my blog for the writing (I know you're out there), the next post I make will be the next piece of Pandora.  (Thanks for all the lovely words about that, by the way.  I'm glad so many people like it.)  We'e nearing the end.  I can smell the finish line:)

Thanks to all of you who visit.  You make me smile.  More importantly, you make me write.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Release Day Contest

Ha, I didn't forget!  Today is the release of A Blinded Mind from Dreamspinner Press, yay!




So cool...it's the longest thing I've ever published, not including Literotica stuff.

Below is a link to my new release page on Dreampsinner. 


Note that I'm not asking you to rush off and buy it in order to play this contest, although if you like my work you're probably going to enjoy this book.  All you have to do to play is comment on this blog post.  That's it.  Show willingness.  Indicate interest.  Introduce yourself, for those of you who read but never comment, which I get.  If there are five or fewer commenters, then you all win!  You can pick an ebook of mine for me to send you, pick from the paperback books of mine that I have on hand (all anthologies, so they might broaden your horizons) or be a beta for one of my in progress or near future works, which includes the one I posted snippets of earlier, Different Spheres.  Yep.  Cheat time and read it before it's published.  If there are more than five commenters, then I get a number generator to randomly select two of you and offer you the same deal.  Capische?  Is that how you spell that?  Anyway, the contest ends at 8am Colorado time tomorrow, so you get a full 24 hours to post a comment.

So many choices!  What can I say, I'm a giver and this is my first contest ever, so I just want to see who's out there.  Happy Tuesday, guys.

And btw, it's snowing again.  Way to kick a drought, Colorado.  I've moved up in the world though, I now have a fleecy jacket.  Still no gloves and hat, but they're on my To Do list..

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Blinded Mind snippet

From Chapter Six.  It's a fun chapter, what can I say.  The book comes out tomorrow, woot!

And by the way, ps, before I go...thanks a lot to the people who follow the blog, and those of you who've commented recently, be it on the snow (which is almost all gone now, I love Colorado) or the stories.  I still can't quite reply via comment yet, but I really appreciate your support and your friendship.


***

It was the work of years for Jonathan to develop the patience he has now. The last time he was in PsyCo’s clutches, he spent so much of it furious, lashing out and being punished in return, that now sometimes he almost manages to forget where he is without that fury to support him. Now he’s so patient he might be a Zen monk, or a hunter stalking his prey. Hunter. Jonathan learned to hunt all sorts of game when he was alone, and becoming patient was the least painful part of that learning curve. Now it serves him well, and surprises his handlers, especially Cagney. Surprise is good. Jonathan wants to keep Cagney off balance. Maybe that way he can wring a little more information from him in the moments when his guard is down. It’s been three days, and Jonathan still doesn’t know anything concrete about Sam.


His patience frustrates the hell out of Patience. As a boy, he could only ignore her for so long before her words broke through his shield and he snapped back, spit acid on acid and settled in to a long, terrible fight. Now his patience is immense, and his personal control much better. Patience is forever pushing, prying, working for that rise, but he only gives in when he senses she’ll turn on Tai next.

Patience is one thing, but boredom is another. Jonathan has patience, but he doesn’t care for boredom, so to help keep himself amused he conjures up old friends and companions in his mind, like he did before Sam came into his life in London. They have conversations, not out loud here because he doesn’t need anyone thinking he’s crazy, but internal conversations. It fills the silences and drowns out the noise nicely.

Before, Caroline had always been his favorite person to call up. He hadn’t seen her since she was nine, but she’d already had the acerbic wit of a much older person, and she was smart, brilliant in her own way. When he pictured her, he usually saw her in a red dress of crushed velvet with a wide lace collar, black patent shoes, with her hair tied back and a grumpy frown that indicated that she didn’t care for any of their mother’s fashion choices and wouldn’t put up with this shit a second time. They had the same color hair, the same eyes. Jonathan and Caroline might have been twins for all their similarities. It was strangely like looking in a mirror when he envisioned her.

Neither of his parents ever got conjured up, nor did Sarah. When Jonathan was living in the basement of Madame Tussaud’s in London, sometimes he’d take his inspiration from the shattered remains of wax figures and speak with famous people long past. For intelligent conversation he chose Rousseau or Franklin. For a laugh he would occasionally animate the remains of simpering socialites whose names he’d forgotten, or never known at all. None of the wax models were whole after the war and the looting, but he’d collected the best pieces and stowed them down in his bunker. He can only imagine what Sam thought when he woke up that first time, surrounded by severed limbs and death masks.

Sam… that’s who he’d really like to talk to right now. Not Caroline, not any other long-dead apparition, but Sam. In the flesh, by preference, but a virtual companion would be better than nothing. Lunch has just ended, so Jonathan has approximately three thousand five hundred heartbeats before Cagney shows up, if the pattern holds for today. He can’t imagine why it wouldn’t. The denizens of PsyCo live by patterns. About an hour… plenty of time to put together a Sam.

Jonathan constructs the physical first: the heavy, hard body, the smooth skin and the lips and that smile and everything else he loved—no, loves about Sam. His expressive eyes, the way they say so much without him having to make a sound. Not that it isn’t good when Sam makes a sound, because his voice is wonderful. It’s deep, which is to be expected given his size, but he has a surprisingly casual, yet still polite way of speaking.

Jonathan and Sam spent hours every day for over a month talking, and Jonathan thinks he knows him pretty well. He thinks he can conjure up an accurate facial expression even if words fail him, and after a few more minutes of preparation, he feels pretty good about the Sam he’s got. The hardest thing is deciding what to dress him in. Jonathan doesn’t need to be popping a boner in his cell right now. He finally decides on loose sweats.

“Seriously?” Sam asks, peeling the bottom of the sweatshirt away from his waist. “You think I need XXXL-sized clothing?”

“No, I think I need you in XXXL-sized clothing,” Jonathan replies, a smile splitting his face as he watches Sam toying with the fabric. “Too tempting otherwise.”

“Ah yes.” Sam nods. “My notorious temptingness. I’m a modern-day siren, that’s me.”

“There’s a similar legend about a spot not too far from where I am now, actually,” Jonathan says. “Except in this case the girls luring men to their deaths were called the Lorelei, or Rhine Maidens.”

“Lorelei, huh? That tears it, man, next Halloween I’m dressing up as a water-logged hooker and prancing around playing BeyoncĂ©.”

“Who’s BeyoncĂ©?” Inherently Jonathan knows, otherwise he wouldn’t have made his illusory Sam mention her, but he likes Sam’s take on Americana.

“An incredibly fine singer from before the war. Woman was built like a brick shithouse.”

“That’s a rather disgusting description, you know. I’ve no idea how it could ever be construed to mean something sexually appealing.”

“I’m not a linguist.” Sam shrugs, sitting down next to Jonathan on his bunk. “I don’t know how these things get started. I just know how to use them. The older sayings have less bite sometimes, you know.”

“Yeah.” Most of the post-war slang revolves around food, shelter, and depression.

“You been okay, Jonnie?”

Jonathan hesitates before replying. “It’s not being here in and of itself that’s so bad, honestly. I mean, I don’t like it, and I’d really rather not be here, and if I didn’t have you to worry about I’d probably be going out of my skin, but as it is, I’m too worried about you to think about how bad I have it.”

Sam shakes his head. “I’m sorry I’m worrying you.”

“Well, it’s hardly your fault, is it?”

“You should have just left me there.”

“I couldn’t do that.”

“They would have taken me with them.”

“I don’t know that they took you with us now,” Jonathan snaps. “Look, exactly what mood are you going for here, mate? Because me being pissy isn’t conducive to my health in a fucking psych prison.”

Sam gives him a long stare, and Jonathan drops his eyes after a moment. “I know. You wouldn’t be bringing it up if I didn’t think it was important. I’m just….” He shuts his eyes and swallows. “Just worried about you.”

“I’m sure I’m freaking out about you too, if that helps any. I’m looking for you, Jonnie. I’m going to find you.”

“How can you possibly say that?” Jonathan argues. “How can you do that? You’re critically injured, fighting for your life. You’re being dosed with more drugs right now than I am, probably, and for all I know when you recover, you won’t even remember me. I’m sure they’d prefer it that way.”

“How are they gonna make me forget?” Sam asks.

“Well, not the typical way, obviously, but there are drugs… perhaps hypnosis… I don’t really know. I just know that the odds aren’t good that I’m going to get my happily ever after with you, Sam.”

Sam’s eyes soften a little. “You wanted a happily ever after with me? You didn’t really just want me to stay because I was the only choice?”

“Well, no.”

“Huh. Wish I’d known that earlier.”

“Yes, well, if wishes were horses then beggars would ride.”

“Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first,” Sam agrees.

“Eww. I prefer the British version of the proverb.”

“So do I. I was just trying to get a rise out of you,” Sam says with a grin. Jonathan smiles back, feeling a little bit better despite himself.