Sunday, November 17, 2019

One Plus Two Equals... - 29


"This gives me a lot to think about."
"Is that good or bad?" Duane asked.
"It's damned confusing is what it is." Julyan pulled away so he could really look at Duane. "I like you; I like you a lot, to be honest. But now that I know Auden is your other half and not some stranger trying to come on to me for whatever reason I…his doing that doesn't bother me as much as it did."
Duane snorted softly. "So you're saying I'm in competition with myself for your affections."
Julyan gave his words serious thought before replying. "You have my affections, and perhaps in time my love. That's yet to be determined and of course you might not feel the same. But there is something about Auden, something which… Damn it, this isn't fair to you and it is you I care about. I told him that."
"Yeah, I know. I was there lest you forget."
Suddenly Julyan's eyes widened in shock when something occurred to him. "When you and I…when we were making love…"
"Yes, he was there. Oh, I wasn't conscious of him if that's what's got you worried, but I knew he was there and he’ll remember it, just as I remember what he does when he’s the one in charge."
"That's going to put one big crimp in things. How can I go to bed with you again knowing he's watching? Although…" Julyan shivered when he realized the idea excited as well as appalled him.
"I wish we could test the theory." Again Duane took Julyan in his arms, this time to kiss him gently.
Julyan responded. There was no way he couldn't, even though a small part of his mind was thinking about the fact Auden was there too. He hadn't been lying; he did care for Duane, now even more than he had before because Duane had trusted him enough to reveal his secret. "We can test the theory," he murmured when the kiss ended.
"But not right now, I'm afraid," Duane replied with a smile. "I'm sure I have a bunch of employees standing around outside the restaurant wondering where the hell I am."
"Oh shit, is it that late?" Julyan glanced at the clock beside the bed. "It is!" He jumped out of bed, searching for his clothes. "Now's when it would be nice if you were a wolf-shifter. You could teleport us there, or whatever it is they do."
Duane laughed as he headed to the bathroom. "Sorry, but that is not one of my talents."

Friday, November 15, 2019

One Plus Two Equals... - 28


There was something in the tone of Auden's voice, a subtle ache behind his words, which surprised Julyan. He reached for him, for a moment needing to comfort him.
"Don't," Auden said sharply, slapping his hand away. "I'm not some child who needs…" His hands clenched and unclenched. Then, as if unable to deal with whatever he was feeling he began shifting.
"Auden, you're human. You have the right to have feelings, emotions." Julyan reached out again, gripping his arm. For a moment he saw both men and then it was Duane who sat there.
"He'll never admit to that," Duane said quietly. "To have feelings, to give free rein to his emotions, could mean his death, and…" he caught Julyan's gaze, "mine."
"It's not fair. He deserves to be more than some… some killing machine for… for whoever your boss is."
"We are what we are, Juls. He sees the world as black and white, I see the grays. At least that's how I think of it. He has feelings, never doubt that, but he'll either act on them instinctively, like when he kissed you on the roof, or bury them as he did just now."
"So you're aware of what he's doing when he's…him."
Duane nodded. "Aware, but that's all. I have no control over him when he's 'out', any more than he can control me when we're 'me'."
Julyan frowned. "So, in theory, you could always be you and never shift."
"In theory, yes, but if one of us did that it would be denying what we are. As I've been trying to explain, we're two parts of a whole." Duane took Julyan's hand, pulling gently until the younger man came to him then wrapping his arms around him. "Think of it like this, if it helps. Suppose instead of shifting from myself to Auden I was able to shift and become a wolf. A wolf shifter needs both halves to be complete, it's in their natures. Denying one part of themselves would destroy them. It would be the same for Auden and me."
Looking up at Duane, Julyan nodded. "I think I understand." He chewed his lip thoughtfully. "I don't know if it's the right word, but in stories of wolf-shifters, the human half is compelled, I guess you could say, to become a wolf from time to time. Is it the same with you?"
Duane chuckled. "In those stories, and there is truth behind them, the full moon causes what you're calling a compulsion. We don't have to deal with anything that strong. However, with that said, when Auden isn't needed for what he's trained to do I still feel the desire to be him from time to time. He's the wild, free part of us, I'm the more staid, controlled half. In Freudian terms, as I said earlier, we're Id and Super-ego for lack of a better way to put it."

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

One Plus Two Equals... - 27


"I'm still pissed at you." Julyan came closer.
"For hiding this from you?"
"For…yeah, sort of, but more, because somehow you used Auden to make me realize it was you I liked." Tentatively he sat down on the edge of the bed. "Are you two different people?"
Duane nodded, then shook his head, chuckling when Julyan told him to make up his mind. "Obviously to some extent we're the same or I wouldn't have had the wounds he got when he took out two particularly vicious creatures. Creatures who, from the information we finally were able to put together, were plotting to do some major ecological damage that would have made the furor over that oil spill look like a tempest in a teapot."
"Shit."
"To put it mildly."
"So if Auden's the big, tough guy who does the dirty work, what is your part in this?"
"It's hard to explain since we're essentially one and the same in some respects. I suppose you could call me his cover. Everything is in my name. On paper he doesn't exist. I set up 'camp' wherever we're needed, he does the job, then I, we move on to the next one."
"Oh." Julyan looked down at the floor so Duane couldn't read the hurt on his face.
Duane carefully touched Julyan's shoulder, waiting for him to pull away. When he didn't, Duane asked, "Do you believe what I've been telling you?"
Lifting his eyes, Julyan gave the smallest of nods. "I don't disbelieve it."
"Like you don't 'disbelieve' in Santa because no one's proved to you he does or doesn't exist. Do you need proof?"
Julyan chuckled although he knew what Duane was asking. "That Santa exists?"
Duane smiled. "That I can't prove, but…"
"Show me," Julyan said, his voice taut with anticipation and fear.
Hiding his own fear that showing him would be the final nail in the coffin of what had been their budding relationship, Duane shifted. It wasn't instantaneous. His slender frame lengthened, grew more muscular. His hair darkened, his facial features hardened into those of a man used to being into control of any situation. In the end it was Auden who sat where Duane had been.
"Like what you see?" Auden asked, a smirk on his face.
Julyan, although still in shock, reddened in embarrassment. Auden was stark naked and it was unbelievably erotic.
"I'm not him, Juls. Don't expect me to act the same."
"Don't call me that! That's his name for me, not yours."
“I know that, obviously,” Auden's lip curled up in amusement. "How about I kiss you instead?"
"No!"
"Afraid of what could happen if I did?"
"No. Yes… No, no I'm not. Nothing will happen because you're not the man I want."
Auden smiled. "Actually, I am, just not in this…form. As Duane said, we are both different and yet the same. He's the emotional, dare I say loving part while I'm the tough, sensual half of the whole."
"He's damned sensual."
"I suppose in your eyes he is since he's the one you care for."

Monday, November 11, 2019

One Plus Two Equals... - 26


"I become the most barbarous and vicious of all animals," Duane replied. "Another human being. In my case another man, one who is stronger and wilier than I'll ever be."
"You don't think much of us, do you?"
"Us? Meaning you think I'm not human?"
"Are you?"
Duane smiled just slightly, seeing by his question that Julyan seemed to be accepting what he'd been telling him. "I consider myself human, yes. Different, enhanced, for lack of a better word, but still human in my heart and mind."
"And the man you shift to?" Suddenly Julyan's eyes widened. "Auden. That's why… The eyes… The times you've said almost the same things he has." He sprang from the bed, backing away, fury in his expression. "You bastard! You… you…"
"Son of a bitch, fucking asshole, motherfucker? Stop me when I hit the right one."
"All of them. Every damned one of them. You've been toying with me, trying to seduce me as Auden while you were coming on to me as…as yourself. Trying to make me think you cared for me."
"Julyan," Duane said softly, reaching out a hand to him, "I do care for you, more than I'm sure you will ever believe. I wasn't toying with you."
"What the hell do you call what you, what Auden was doing?" Julyan ignored his hand although he didn't move any farther away.
"When I shift and become Auden, well…he’s bolder than me. He's a man who sees what he wants and does his best to take it. Id to my ego maybe, for lack of a better description. He's also…"
"Also?" Julyan asked when Duane stopped speaking.
"There are other supernaturals. Not many. It's not like in the stories where there are as many as there are humans, living side by side with humans without them knowing. But they do exist and some of them are not nice creatures."
"So?"
"So Auden, well, by extension both of us work for an agency formed to deal with them. It's why he was up on your roof. I swear he had no idea you lived there the first time you met him."
"Not true. You said yourself you knew where I lived from my application."
Duane nodded. "I would have, if I'd actually done more than glance at it. You know filling it out was just a formality."
"You have an answer for everything, don't you?"
"I've been around long enough I've learned I need to."
Julyan inched closer to the bed now, his fascination with what Duane had been telling him overriding his anger. "How long?"
"Not thousands of years, if that's what you're afraid of. A bare sixty years."
Julyan couldn't help it. "You don't look a day over forty."
Duane clutched his heart. "You wound me to the core."
"You're addicted to that gesture."
"Yeah, I guess I am." Duane studied Julyan then, trying to figure out exactly where he stood with him now.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

It's release day for 'Hunting a Killer'!

Hunting a Killer





GENRE: Gay Mystery Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 35,859 words
RATING: flame rating 4

When the police call the slaughter of his mother and brother a home invasion gone bad, Mika doesn't believe it. Because he has no way to prove otherwise, he closes down, refusing to talk about what happened.

That is until Buck, a bouncer at a local bar Mika visits, convinces Mika to open up to him. When he does, Buck not only learns about the murder, but also that Mika grew up living off the grid until his father died, two years previously, at which point his family moved to the city.

They begin to bond as they try to figure out the reason behind the murders, which may revolve around the family property in the mountains. All they have to do is prove it, without being killed in the process. Only if they can will they take a chance and move their growing friendship on to something more.

EXCERPT:

"Going to order a beer and stare at it," Buck teased. "If so, you're too late. We're about to close."

Mika shook his head. "I couldn't sleep so I figured maybe if I took a walk ..." He swallowed hard. "Okay, not quite the truth. I was wide awake, tossing and turning, and I remembered what you said, and you're the only person who has even seemed to give a damn even if you don't know me, and ..."

"You need to get everything out before it breaks you."

"Yeah. I know it's asking a lot, and it's late, and you probably want to get home ..."

Buck chuckled. "Do you ever finish a sentence?"

For a second, a smile flashed over Mika's lips. "Apparently not tonight."

"Come on inside. I have closing chores, and then we can go get some coffee?" He looked at Mika in question.

"If you're sure."

"I am."

Mika settled by a table by the door while Buck did what he needed to so he could leave. When he finished, he suggested they head to an all-night diner two blocks from the bar. He was certain going there was a good idea, even though he wasn't sure why he'd offered. All he knew was that this man he didn't really know except very casually, if that, was hurting and needed someone to listen to him.

They found a vacant table in one corner of the diner and ordered coffee.

"Go ahead and eat, if you're hungry," Mika said.

"Naw, I'm good." Buck waited for the coffee to arrive before saying, "When you said your brother was killed --"

"Murdered," Mika interjected.

"Okay, murdered. You implied your mother was, too. How?"

"Do you honestly want to know, or are you doing some Good Samaritan thing because you feel sorry for me?"

Buck immediately decided honesty would be better than hedging. "It's obvious you're suffering. I have the feeling you haven't talked to anyone about what happened. Or more, you've talked to the police and perhaps relatives, maybe a friend or people you work with, but you haven't let it all out. Because of that, it's eating a hole in you." He tapped his chest. "Here, and probably in your head, too, if that makes any kind of sense."

Mika nodded. "It does. The cops think it was a home invasion. My uncle?" He shrugged. "He probably agrees with them, though he never said. He's the only relative I've got left, now."

"No father? Okay, dumb question. You just said you've only got your uncle. Is he here in town?"

"No. He flew in after hearing about the murders, took over the funeral and burial arrangements because I'm too young --" he rolled his eyes, "-- hired some lawyer to handle everything else, and left. He never was close to us when my father was alive and after he died, Elias, that's my uncle, got mom to agree to move here then pretty much walked away." Mika grimaced. "He's good at that."

"Off topic, sort of, but how old are you?"

"Twenty-five."

"Hell, that's not too young."

"Tell that to Elias. Anyway, no, I didn't open up to him, given his attitude. The guys I work with sympathized with me about what happened, but that's it."

Buck took a drink of coffee, studying Mika. "You sound as if you don’t believe it was a home invasion, or a break-in, or whatever."

"We live ... lived in a lower middle-class neighborhood. If you were looking for a place to rob, would you choose a small house in an area of small houses where it was pretty obvious the people were struggling to make ends meet?"

Buck chuckled. "I wouldn't, but then I'm not a burglar, even a stupid one." He paused before asking, "How were they killed? Shot, like they surprised the guys?"

"Shot, yeah, but not until after they ..." Mika took a deep breath. "It looked like they tortured Reko and Mom, first. They were slashed with a knife, or knives. Cut ..." He shuddered, closing his eyes, saying, "I walked in on the scene. There was so much blood."

"Damn. No wonder you're so, well upset doesn't begin to describe it."

"It doesn't. The detective, his name is Windom, suggested the killers tortured them, trying to find out where they kept any valuables." Mika's mouth tightened. "As if there were any. All of us worked just to pay the mortgage and keep food on the table."

"If it wasn't a burglary or home invasion, then why were they killed?"

"I don't know! It's not like we had any enemies. We only lived here for a couple of years. How could we have made enemies?"