Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cruise Flashing - Gay Pride @ Beth Wylde

Hey everyone! It's finally time for our fabulous Wednesday Briefs crew to get together for a chat on Beth Wylde's yahoo group. We'll be talking about many different topics, answering questions, and doing some giveaways!

The first posts will probably be up by 6am in LA, 8am in Chicago, 9am in New York, 2pm in London, and 11pm in Sydney.

And now for the Cruise Flash! The concept: writers are given certain guidelines to follow for their short stories (5-15K words). We've been given some of the background characters on the ship, the itinerary, the layout, etc., and we've all built up amazingly diverse stories around that information. My story is as yet untitled, so we'll stick with that for now. Enjoy, and please stop by the chat if you can!




The alarm blared, and I realized no matter how many times I smacked the snooze button, it would keep on blaring every five minutes until I hauled my ass out of bed. I rubbed my hands over my face and opened my eyes. When I saw I’d overslept by thirty minutes, I bolted to my feet.

"Oh fuck!" I yelled.

"Hm?" mumbled the blanket-covered lump on the bed.

The sound startled me. Truthfully, I'd forgotten that Alex had come home with me the night before. No wonder I was tired. The boy was unbelievably flexible, and he had the stamina of the Energizer bunny. Add in the bubble butt and cute face, and you had one hell of a temptation, especially after such a lengthy dry spell as I'd suffered through. Alex's reputation as the village bicycle, however, rendered him non-boyfriend material—okay for an occasional fuck, but nothing serious. He was irritated that I made him use a condom for oral sex, but no way was I taking such a stupid risk as that.

I shook his shoulder. "Hey, Alex? Time to get up, bud. I have to go."

"Hm?" he repeated. Slowly, he uncovered his head and blinked at me. "What time is it?"

"Five. I'll be late for work, so you really have to go. I'll pay for a cab if you want."

"Five?" he asked indignantly. "What type of job requires someone functioning at five in the morning?"

"The kind I'm gonna lose if I'm late again. So I'm sorry, you gotta leave."

"All right, I'm up." He fell back down onto the bed and groaned. "I swear, I'm up."

"I'm taking a shower, can you call a cab?" He waved me away and I ran into the bathroom. A check in the mirror made me wince. Would my boss be able to tell that I'd been up all night, fucking Alex every which way to Sunday?

Probably. Shit.

After the world's quickest shower and shave, I threw on my uniform. The apartment door closed and I thanked God that Alex had left with no drama. With five minutes to spare, I grabbed my bags—which I had packed the night before—and hurried out the door.


The chief steward, Nathan, stood with a clipboard, ticking names off the roster as the crew boarded. I pulled my hat down and tried to hide my yawn as I passed.

"Mr. Yates," he said haughtily. "Are we keeping you up?"

What should have been "No, sir," sounded like "'O 'ir." I yawned again and hitched my enormous duffle bag higher on my shoulder.

My boss rolled his eyes and checked my name off. He handed me a stack of papers. "You're in C-12. Stow your shit and get some frigging coffee. We have six hours 'til show time, so I need you on your A game. Got it?"

"'Es, 'ir."

Down at the far end of the crew quarters, I opened the door and heard a muffled oath from inside the cabin. "Shut the damn door!" someone snapped.

Thinking nothing of the feminine tone of the voice, I pushed in and tossed my bag onto the lower bunk.

"That bed's taken."

I whirled around to see a very petite woman, struggling to get a Caraway Cruise Line polo shirt down over her head. I turned back around, facing the wall and inquired, "Um… who are you?"

"Stacey," she huffed. "Okay, you can turn around now."

Facing her, I explained, "I'm Isaac. Sorry, but you're in the wrong cabin."

"C-12, right?" She shuffled her papers and pointed at the cabin assignment. It indicated C-12.

"But… I'm C-12, too."

We stared at each other in disbelief before I caught sight of Nathan passing. "Hey Nate!" I called. He stuck his head in the door and raised an eyebrow. I corrected myself. "Nathan."

He moved into the room and barked, "You need something, Yates?"

"He certainly does," Stacey said. "Another cabin."

"Why?" Nathan asked.

I pointed at Stacey. "'Cause she's a she—I mean a girl… woman."

"Oh crap. Didn't you know?" His mouth turned down even further than usual. "We're a little full up right now, because the powers that be decided to bring some trainees on board. Every crew cabin is filled for the trip out, and you two seemed like… a good match."

"Why?" Stacey and I both asked slowly.

For the first time since I'd known him, Nathan blushed and appeared unsure of himself. "Well, you're both of a similar nature."

I didn't get it. My new roommate did, though. "You mean we're both gay."

"Yeah," Nathan admitted. "You're both homosexual, so the director hoped you'd be agreeable. You should have received a letter explaining."

"We didn't," I replied.

Nathan sighed. "Look, if you can just work with me on this, I'll owe you one. These trainees are already grinding my gears and we haven't even left port. Okay?"

Stacey eyed me with her hands on her hips. "Fine with me, I guess. You?"

I shrugged and nodded. "Should make for an interesting trip."


"That is some bullshit right there," my friend Leo said. I was sitting down to lunch with him and a few other guys that I'd worked with before. Leo was a six-year veteran of the "Frisco-Lulu" run and had been my roommate for the past three years. He shook his head. "What on earth are they thinking? You're both of the same 'nature'? Don't they know that ninety percent of the men on this ship are gay? Why couldn't she have roomed with one of the newbies?"

"She could room with me," offered Martin, a doe-eyed blond. He grimaced and explained, "They stuck me with Andy again."

"Aren't you good friends with Andy?" Leo asked.

"Well, sure," Martin replied.

I set my fork down. "Then what's the problem?"

"His cologne and mine just don't mix." We all groaned, but he ignored us. "It might be fun to room with a girl."

Leo chuckled. "Wouldn't work, Martin. She wouldn't have enough space for her makeup, cause all of yours takes up the whole damn cabin."

Martin narrowed his eyes, and then produced scented lip gloss from his pocket. "I will have you know that this shit is what gets me the best tips."

I grabbed the tube from him and read the label. "Raspberry mint. Damn, Martin, you are so gay, I bet you shit glitter."

The table cracked up and I said my goodbyes to head up to the office.

To be continued...

Thanks for reading! Don't forget to stop by the chat today! Click here for the link. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 7

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Seven

Not until I reached the street where the club was located, did I realize I was underage. Hopefully, Aramis had arranged something with the bouncer, or maybe it was an 18+ club. I parked in a garage and walked down to a non-descript brick warehouse with a neon "A" hanging over the door. Other than that, there were no markings. A line of people waiting to get in stretched down the sidewalk, and I was relieved to see that many of them didn't look much older than me.

The bouncer checked my ID and asked me for the password. It took me a second to remember it. "Eternum," I said. He jerked his head back in surprise and it seemed at first like I'd picked the wrong word, but he shrugged and let me in.

My eyes adjusted to the dark interior and I gazed in wonder at the scene around me. Guys were all over each other. Everywhere I looked, I saw couples in various stages of fully-clothed foreplay. Someone pushed me out of the way of the others entering and toward the dance floor. I wandered through the gyrating crowd and came out the other side, facing several round tables against a wall covered with deep red, velvet curtain. At every table, two—and sometimes more than two—guys were kissing, groping and grinding. Staring unabashedly, I moved down the row, until I saw a man with his head thrown back in ecstasy, gripping the shoulders of his partner, who was working his mouth on the man's neck and moaning. The one doing the kissing had his back to me, but I noticed a rather familiar head of stylishly-tousled blond hair.

I couldn't help but call out over the music, "Aramis?"

When he turned around, I staggered back in horror. Blood dripped from long fangs in Aramis' mouth. His eyes glowed an icy white that chilled me to the bone. A quick glance at his partner confirmed the nightmare: the man leaned against the wall with a dazed smile on his face. Blood still oozed from two puncture wounds in his neck.

"Oh fuck!" I screamed. Fighting the urge to vomit, I turned and ran towards the exit. The music died and everyone stopped to look at me, but I didn't give a shit. I had to get out of this surreal hell. I made it through the stunned crowd on the dance floor and was on my way toward the door, but Aramis suddenly landed in front of me. I tried to run around him, but strong arms wrapped around me.

I struggled, kicking and screaming. Aramis called out in some language, which I took to be Italian, and someone handed him something. He whispered, "I'm sorry, Eliot," and stuck a needle in my arm. The room spun and my mind went dark.

When I woke, my entire body felt sluggish. I opened my eyes and blinked under the harsh light. There were several other people in the room. Aramis was sitting in a chair with an older man leaning over him, yelling.

"What the hell happened?" the man boomed.

"Father, I told you, I have no idea. He doesn't even know what we are."

Mr. Ambrogi growled. "I gathered that much from his reaction. How could you do this?"

Aramis sounded desperate. "I swear I didn't invite him!"

"Yes you did," I croaked. Everyone turned to me. I clumsily dug for my phone and showed the text I had received.

Mr. Ambrogi grabbed my phone and shoved it in his son's face. "What do you call this, then?"

Aramis padded his coat pockets and gasped. "My phone. It's gone!"

"God damn it!" Mr. Ambrogi roared. He gave orders in Italian to the other men in the room. They disappeared through the door, leaving Aramis and his father alone with me. As the elder man knelt before me, I scuttled back toward the wall. He raised a hand to calm me. "Don't be afraid, Eliot. I know for certain that none of this is your fault. Do you feel comfortable speaking to my son?"

I nodded, and he smiled gently before leaving the room. Aramis slumped against the back of his chair. I cleared my throat, but couldn't keep my voice from shaking. "I… I am so freaked out. Is this really happening?"

"Yes," Aramis replied quietly.

"So you're really a…"


"They really exist?"


"No!" I snapped. "There's nothing fucking obvious about any of this! I mean—what is this place?"

"It's a feeder club. Men with vampire fetishes come here and… donate. It's a safe environment for younger vamps like me to get what we need."

"A feeder club," I repeated, matter-of-factly. "That's completely twisted."

Aramis shrugged. "Necessity is the mother of invention."

I rubbed my temples to relieve the throbbing in my head. "So, you were… feeding from that guy? You weren't making out with him?"

"Yes to the first question. Technically, no to the second question. The problem is this: when we feed from a human, that human becomes sexually aroused. Their passion triggers a similar response in a vampire. Most of the time I can fight it."

The thought of Aramis with his—God help me—fangs sunk into some little twink's neck made me red with rage. I hopped up and screamed, "Most of the time? So even though you were coming on to me and making me feel all… whatever, and seeming like you were interested in me, you still had no problem macking on that dude's throat? Were you going to fuck him or maybe just take him in the back for a quick blow job?"

"Of course not," he said with a sigh.

"Bullshit." I went towards the door, but before my eyes caught his movement, Aramis blocked my path.

"Stop doing that!" I spat at him.

"Eliot, please listen to me. At least give me the chance to explain. I'm begging you."

"You've done nothing but lie to me. Why should I give you anything?"

"Because you are my mate." His mouth covered mine before I could respond.


Don't forget to visit the other flashers!

Cia Nordwell
Chris T. Kat
JC Wallace
Jim Dunaway
Julie Lynn Hayes
Larry Benjamin
MA Church
Rob Colton
Sarah Hayes
Tali Spencer

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 6

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


*NOTE: There is an external link toward the end of this chapter. You can check it out if you'd like to. It will open in a new tab.

Chapter Six

A three-acre field separated the Ambrogi estate from the Becker's. The vampires had named the empty lot Little Switzerland. It was completely neutral; it didn't belong to either clan. Unlike its namesake, however, this plot of land had been the scene of many skirmishes.

This dark January night was no exception. A large crowd gathered on each side of the field. In the middle of the group, two boys stood, glaring at one another. Beside each boy was an older vampire—their fathers and Clan chiefs.

As their sons prepared to fight, Aristes Ambrogi locked eyes with Lukas Becker. The latter sneered and turned to leave the field. The elder Ambrogi fought the urge to grin in triumph. Everyone knew who would win the fight today. The larger issue was why Aramis had challenged Blake in the first place. The rumors that flew around the Clan were troubling indeed. The "why" would need to be dealt with, but for the present, it was time for Aristes to join his family on the sideline and make sure things didn't get out of hand.

He needn't have worried. In an instant, Blake bolted toward Aramis, intending to push him out of the battle circle, thus ending the challenge. The taller, stronger vampire had anticipated Blake's clumsy surprise attack. Aramis spun around and kicked his attacker in the chest. Blake flew backwards thirty feet and landed well out of the battle circle.

Aramis brushed off his jacket. "I think I'm done here."

Members of the Ambrogi Clan shouted and jeered at the humiliated vampire, until the Ambrogi chief ordered, "Silence!" Everyone immediately obeyed. Aristes turned to his son. "Go and shake hands with your opponent and then meet me in my office."

Aramis scoffed. "Dad, that wasn't even a real fight. It was one kick! Can't I go out with Robbie and—"

"My office," Mr. Ambrogi repeated. "Five minutes. I will not say it again."

After the Ambrogis left the field, a small group of Belannis gathered around their friend. Carson Nilsson asked, "What the hell, dude! You didn't even try against Ambrogi."

Blake cuffed him on the arm. "Why get my ass kicked when I know of a much better, much more effective way to bring Ambrogi down? Look what happened to fall out of his pocket when he took his coat off." He held up a smart phone and chuckled darkly. "Once I spied it on the ground, I figured I'd lose the challenge quick and snatch the phone."

Carson had a very, very bad feeling about this.


Aristes Ambrogi sat back in his chair and studied his son's face. It was one thing for Aramis to date a schoolmate from a vetted family outside the clans. It was a different matter entirely to date someone outside the school.

"Well?" Aramis asked nervously.

Mr. Ambrogi exhaled slowly. "I don't know, Aramis. This is so… unheard of."

The boy shook his head. "Un. Real. It's not like Eliot is another species." His father cocked his head to one side and raised an eyebrow. Aramis corrected himself. "Okay, technically he is another species, but Dad, he's special. I've never reacted that way before. And he likes me. I can tell."

"Senator Ishiro's daughter Suki liked you too," Mr. Ambrogi replied.

"And Suki is a girl. We've been through this. I don't date girls. Please. Just let me introduce you to Eliot, and then you can decide if I can go to the council. How does that sound?"

Mr. Ambrogi nodded. "Very well. The winter fete is in six weeks. You may bring him then.

Aramis shot out of his chair. "To the fete?" he cried. "No! I meant just our family."

The older vampire set his jaw and his eyes flashed silver-blue. Aramis got the warning and quickly sat down. Mr. Ambrogi said, "The Coven is your family, Aramis."

"Yes, sir. I apologize. However, I checked the laws today and it states quite clearly that any human has to appear before the council prior to entering a clan assembly. The fete's an assembly, right? So I'll have to bring him home first, and then to the council and then to the fete."

"It is a comfort to know that you follow the Laws of the Covens, Aramis," his father said with a grin. "Especially when it suits your purpose. Go ahead and bring this… Eliot to the estate. If I deem him worthy, I will speak to the council on your behalf."

"Really?" Aramis asked with an ecstatic grin. "You'd talk to them for me?"

Mr. Ambrogi walked around his desk and put a hand on his son's shoulder. "I want you happy, Aramis. You've been alone for far too long. If you think this boy will make you happy, then so be it."


Aramis had asked me to go out sometime, so we traded phone numbers. On the bus ride home, I assigned his number a separate tone for calls and texts. I couldn't believe that he wanted to go out with me. Me! The king of all things ordinary—except for this new patch of blond hair behind my ear. Even my father, the doctor, couldn't explain it. We chalked it up to hormones.

As I lay on my bed Saturday night, my phone chimed with the special tone reserved for Aramis. I excitedly opened the text, but was confused with the message.

11pm Tonight – INFO HERE.

I clicked on the link and it brought up a password box. I took a chance at ETERNUM and hit enter. The blog consisted of a single post. An invitation to someplace called Artery in Boston. The simplicity, yet sinister quality of the image chilled my bones… and made me insanely curious.

Quickly donning some subdued club attire, I grabbed my keys and said, "Hey dad? I'm going down to a club in Boston."

"Boston?" he asked. "I don't know…"

"Please? I have my pepper spray and I won't talk to strange people."

Little did I know that people would be the least of my worries that night.


Don't forget to visit the other flashers!

Cia Nordwell
Chris T. Kat
JC Wallace
Jim Dunaway
Jon Keys
Julie Lynn Hayes
MA Church
Rob Colton
Shelly Schulz
Tali Spencer
TC Collins

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 5

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Five

"You openly challenged Blake Becker?" Robbie yelled. He stormed around the dorm room, trying to make sense of his friends' announcement. "Blake Becker, as in the son of the chief of the Belanni Clan, challenged by you, the son of the chief of the Ambrogis. Do you realize the problems this'll cause between the clans?"

"There already is a rift between the clans."

"No," Rob shot back. "Right now there's a hair-line fracture between the clans. You challenging Blake could open up the Grand fucking Canyon between the clans! Oh my God, Aramis. Eliot's a human, for Christ's sake. His family's not even vetted within the school. You have zero chance with the council."

"Then I'll leave the clan," Aramis replied stubbornly.

Robbie dropped into a chair and sighed. "You're tripping. You realize what that would mean, right? Your father would never tolerate that. He'd kick you out, man. The Clack's not worth it. Don't you see that? He's nothing."

Aramis shook his head. "You don't understand, Rob. He's everything to me. Look." He turned his head and lifted the hair behind his ear. The other boy leaned in closely to look, and then staggered back in amazement. A thick lock of Aramis' gold-blond hair was now dark brown.

"Oh my God," Rob breathed. He sat next to Aramis on the bed and said, "Dude, you're fucked."


The first week of my Italian class flew by. The course-load was challenging, but not overwhelming, and every day Aramis met me for coffee and introduced me to students and faculty. I began to feel like a real part of Belsmeade… until I went back to high school after my coffee break with Aramis. That's when reality set back in and I realized that I'd never truly be one of them. I'd never really fit in with Aramis' friends.

On Friday afternoons, my friends and many other Clacks would congregate in the book store next to the high school. There was a great coffee bar nestled inside the shop, that served an amazing raspberry Danish, so I was a loyal patron. After my first week at Belsmeade, I ordered a latté and plopped down in a well-worn arm chair. My friend Kyla sat on a sofa opposite me with Travis next to her, shoving a scone into his mouth.

"So give us the scoop," Kyla demanded. "What was it like? Are the guys all really hot?"

I rolled my eyes. "Of course not all of them," I replied with a laugh. "Just because they're rich beyond imagining doesn't make them all supermodels."

Travis swallowed hard and added, "But a hundred grand in the bank definitely makes an ugly-ass man a hell of a lot more attractive."

I laughed, but was nervous inside. I hadn't told them about Aramis yet. "Actually, guys, there's one guy that—"

The bell over the front door rang and Kyla and Travis' gazes fixed on something behind me. I turned around to see what they were staring at and I gulped. Aramis was standing there, smiling.

"Hey, Eliot," he said in his deep, smooth voice. "Glad I found you."

"Aramis," I replied in a daze.

When I didn't add anything else, Travis hopped up and beamed at the newcomer. "I'm Travis. And you are?"

"Aramis Ambrogi. A friend of Eliot's from Belsmeade."

Kyla and Travis both wilted like dry daisies and I scowled at them. "These are my friends Kyla and—"

"Travis," Aramis offered. "Nice to meet you. I'm sorry to bother you, but could I have a private word, Eliot?"

I looked at him in astonishment. "Um… sure. I'll be back guys."

We walked outside and I followed Aramis around the corner. When we were out of view of everyone else, he turned to face me and stared. I stared back until he spoke. "How are you?"


He took a step closer. "How are you?"

Once again, that peculiar feeling of fuzziness clouded my head. Aramis reached up to carress my face and I leaned into his touch. His fingers smoothed over my cheek and around the curve of my ear. With gentle pressure, he turned my head and I felt his breath on my neck. All too quickly, however, he pulled away. My vision came back into focus and I saw Aramis gawking at something behind my ear.

"Aramis? What are you looking at?"

With trembling fingers, he gently tugged on a lock of my hair. A brief touch of his lips on my cheek made me shudder. I closed my eyes and reveled in the contact. Twisting the strands around his finger, he put his mouth to my ear and whispered, "This."

"What is it?" I asked, but got no reply. I opened my eyes and Aramis was gone. I hurried around to the front of the building, but he was nowhere to be seen.

I rubbed the spot on my head that had fascinated him so much and went back into the book shop in a daze. Ignoring the questions from my friends, I headed to the restroom. After locking the door, I turned to the mirror and angled my head to look behind my ear. I gasped when I saw that the hair Aramis had touched—hair that had always been my usual dark brown—was now a bright, golden blond.

"What the hell?" I breathed.


Don't forget to visit the other flashers!

Andrew Q Gordon
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ES Skipper
Grace Duncan
JC Wallace
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MA Church
Sarah Hayes
Shelly Schulz
Victoria Adams

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tease Me Thursday - The Rise of the Amici

Welcome to the Tease Me Thursday blog hop! This is the 13th week of TMT.

When it's not quite Friday, and you're feeling like some fun from your favorite authors and authors you haven't met yet. Come on in, have a seat, and most of all... have fun! For this hop you post 7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or even 7 words. It can be from a WIP or something published.

Somethig a little different this week. This is just a fun little scene from the third book of my mainstream (m/f, non-erotic) WIP. Hopefully one of these days, I'll finish the monstrous epic.

A little background: Cub is a very short, very pregnant, human female, while Stewart is a very tall, very broad, Scottish vampire. Gray is a the narrator's gay boss, who is enamoured of all the vampires.



"Do you really go commando under that kilt?" Cub asked with a snicker. When Stewart reached for her hand, Cub squeaked with wide eyes. "Let me go! What on earth?"

"I'm showing ye what's under ma kilt. Be gentle." Stewart was trying desperately not to laugh, and just barely succeeded when he said, "They're right here under ma sporran." He reached up under his kilt with Cub's hand and she screeched so loudly that we all winced with the volume. Cub yanked her hand away, shrieking and squawking and jumping up and down. The guys roared with laughter. Stewart turned his back for a moment and fiddled with something, and then turned to Cub. In his hand, he held a water balloon, bound in the middle with a rubber band to create what must have felt like a rather realistic set of testicles.

"I'm sorry, wee lassie. I couldna resist."

Lex cackled and grabbed the balloon from Stewart. "Oh my god!" she wheezed. "Are these life-sized, Stew? They're pretty big. Here Sofie! Catch Stew's junk!"

I wasn't quick enough to catch Stew's manly bits, however, and they hit the ground at Gray's feet, bursting with an anti-climactic swish. Gray scoffed and said, "I guess that's as close as I'll ever get to Stewart's balls."

There was complete and utter silence for several seconds, and then we all burst into hysterics. Lex used the distraction to get closer to Stewart, and flipped the back of his kilt up, exposing his gloriously muscular naked ass. All of the ladies, and Gray, bent quickly to look.

"I was wrong!" the latter said with wide eyes.


Don't miss the other teasers! And click here to join this fun blog hop!

Julie Lynn Hayes
MA Church
JC Wallace
Andrew Jericho
Gale Stanley
Morticia Knight

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 4

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Four

I drove slowly through the student parking lot. The last thing I needed was to rear-end someone's Jaguar or Porsche. Once I found a spot, I grabbed my bag, opened the car door and then shut it again in a panic.

What was I afraid of? Why was this so hard?

"It's not hard, you wimp," I mumbled to myself. One last look in the mirror before I opened the door again and took a step into the unknown. Nervously, I straightened my tie. Hopefully, I'd fit in. I'd look like one of them.

As I made my way across the campus, the chapel bell rang and suddenly "them" were everywhere. All around me, doors opened and a flood of students poured into the quad. My messenger bag was fairly light, but it felt like a ten ton weight, dragging me down as I walked. My legs felt rubbery as I neared a group of Meades in front of the chapel.

"Oh God," I muttered when they stopped chatting and turned toward me.

In the middle of the group was a boy with hair of such a vibrant shade of red that I nearly laughed. I had never seen hair that red outside a Viking museum. Apparently, I couldn't keep the smirk completely off my face, since the boy's eyes narrowed and he closed the distance between us in three long strides.

"You need something, Clack?" he demanded with a sneer.

I shook my head and walked quickly away. Raucous laughter followed me like the plague. Then I heard the term "fag" and I slowly came to a stop. Normally, I wouldn't care what the kids thought of my sexuality, but twice in one day? First Jeff Peters at my school started at me for being gay. Now at Belsmeade, it was happening again. I thought it would be better here, that everyone would be more matured and refined. What was I thinking? My life would suck wherever I went.

I turned to go back to my car and ran head-long into a tall, amazingly ripped body.

"Hey, Eliot!" Aramis laughed. He threw an arm around my shoulders and swung me back around. "Classroom's this way, bud."

"But—" I muttered as he was manhandled toward McMahan Hall. I huffed. "Aramis! Let go. I'm getting the hell outta here. This was a complete mistake."

I was near tears and sniffed to keep the drops at bay. Aramis let his arm drop and studied my face with concern. "What's wrong? You just got here."

"Yeah. And in the two minutes I've been here, I've been bullied by that red-headed dick over there and called a fag. Thanks, but no thanks."

"He did what?" Aramis spun around and eyed the red-head. "Wait here," he told me. He walked quickly up to the jerk and had a heated, but short, discussion with him. Aramis poked the other boy hard in the chest and the boy nodded. With a self-satisfied smile, Aramis came back to me and said, "I wouldn't worry about him anymore."

I wasn't ready to let my guard down so quickly. "Why?" I asked nervously.

He shrugged. "I caught him cheating on a test last year and it's fun to let him think I may give the teacher the evidence at some point. He's an asshole to everyone. He outed me in my freshman year to whole school, thinking it would be some big scandal. Turns out they already knew and Blake was pissed at the lack of a flipping fuck that was given about my sexuality. It was kind of funny really."

I fidgeted with the strap of my bag. "So… People here don't have a problem with us?"

"'Us', huh? You sail under the rainbow flag too?"

"Yup. I've been out for a while. My family's always known."

Aramis plugged for more info. "Boyfriend?"

"Me? Nah. There are a few other gay guys at school, but none that interest me sexually. They're just good friends. Are there many gays here?"

Aramis shrugged. "A handful here and there. But once you live so close for four years, the selection gets stale. I went with one guy for about six months, but the sex was horrible."

"You've had sex?" I blurted out incredulously. Immediately after, I wished a hole in the earth would swallow me up. I scoffed and said out loud, "Way to go, El. Can I die now?"

Aramis came to a dead stop and grabbed my arm. "Please never say that Eliot. Don't talk about dying."

"Sorry," I replied, tugging out of his grasp. Why had he overreacted so much. "Geez. I was only kidding."

He seemed to realize his mistake and laughed nervously. "Sorry. It's no big deal about the virgin thing. In fact, I'd consider it an honor to make love to a virgin."

I turned to face him. There was a predatory look in Aramis' eyes and there was no mistaking what it meant. He was interested, and he knew I was too. He took a step closer and an indescribably delicious scent wafted around me. He wasn't touching me, but I felt like his arms had cocooned me in a tight embrace. My brain felt like a bag of cotton balls and I had a hard time remembering where I was or what I was supposed to be doing.

"Eliot?" Aramis asked, snapping me out of my fog. "Eliot, you'd better go in or you'll be late."

"Hm?" I shook my head to clear it and realized I was in front of the languages building. Reluctantly, I looked away from Aramis and said, "I'd better go before I'm late."

He laughed quietly. "Wanna grab some coffee after class?"

"Uh… okay." I replied. "Meet you here?"

"Right here." Aramis nodded happily and ran off toward the admin building. I exhaled slowly and opened the door to my first class at Belsmeade Academy.


Blake Becker watched the Clack walk into the language building and growled. That little shit had somehow captured Ambrogi's interest, but why? He was human and a townie. What the hell would cause Aramis to confront Blake in front of Blake's clan like that? Just threatening him with the cheating crap is one thing; directly challenging him was quite another. He should've just told the fucker off, but in his anger, Blake had accepted the challenge. Ambrogi was bigger and stronger than him, too, so there was little chance he'd win. His humiliation would be doubly painful. He was in trouble and the Clack was the cause.

No doubt about it: the human had to be dealt with.


Don't forget to visit the other flashers!

Andrew Q. Gordon
Cia Nordwell
ES Skipper
Grace Duncan
JC Wallace
Jon Keys
Julie Lynn Hayes
MA Church