Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 19

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 Nineteen

"Excuse me?" Dad asked with a scowl.

"Well, he'll be at Belsmeade and I'll be home and it's really, really hard to be apart and it's gonna suck enough—"

I heard Epp snort and start laughing in the other room, and then I heard someone smack him on the head. "Don't be rude," Aurelia snapped.

Epp said, "Ya know? I'm lucky I have any hair on that part of my head. You people are always hitting me!"

"Because you're always an asshole," Aramis called out to him.

"Basta!" Aristes barked. Then he turned to my father. "Please forgive my children, John. They can be somewhat uncouth."

Dad nodded, but looked worried. I turned to Aramis. "Can Dad and I talk in private for a bit?"

Aramis looked bereft. "But, you don't want me to stay?"

"Please, Air. I need some time." I could tell he didn't like it, but he and his dad left the room and I sat in a chair opposite my father.

"So," Dad said. "You're feeling okay, after changing?"

"Surprisingly, I feel fine. Kinda weird to think about still, but too late to turn back now."

He clenched his jaw. "Yes it is. God damn it, Eliot! What happened? You tell me you were going to a club in Boston and next thing I know some stranger calls me to tell me there'd been an accident. I panicked. I thought I'd lost you, bud. And then I found out that you're…"

A tear dripped down his cheek and I moved to kneel at his feet. "Dad, I'm still here. It's still me. I'm just a little… tougher to break now. But if you want to know, I'll tell you everything."

I went through the whole story, starting with meeting Aramis, all the way through the kiss that cost me my human life. He listened thoughtfully and asked a few questions now and then, until everything was told.

"But are you happy?" he asked.

"I am, Dad. I love Aramis and he loves me."

He looked around at the luxurious furniture and shelves of old books and whistled. "Well, you're certainly never want for anything, that's for sure."

"Love you, Dad," I said.

"Love you, too, bud."

There was a knock on the door and Aurelia peeked in. "We're just about to have some dinner. Would you like to join us?"

"Dinner?" Dad asked. "You mean you—"

Aurelia laughed graciously. "My dear John, our family eats food just as humans do. We're having pot roast this evening. Our cook is quite excellent."

"I'm sorry," he replied. "I'm not used to all of this."

"No reason to be sorry. You and your son will have to learn together, and we'll all help you."

The dining formal dining room was cavernous. The table sat sixteen, which was unfathomable to me. Blanca and Lucia flanked my father, and I could tell that he was trying to enjoy their attention without seeming like a creepy old man. They were two absolutely, spectacularly beautiful nineteen-year-old girls, while he was technically old enough to be their father.

I was distracted by my thoughts when the butler—by Christ, these people had a butler!—came in and started pouring wine into the glasses around the table. He arrived at my chair and asked, "Would you care for some wine, sir?"

"Um… no. Just water."

He smiled politely and continued around the table until everyone but the baby and I had their glasses filled. Aramis' father stood and raised his glass. "A toast. To the new members of our family: Eliot, Blake and John. Welcome to the clan."

Everyone took sips of their wine, so I sipped my water. When the thin, cold liquid hit my tongue, I coughed and sprayed it in a fine mist all over myself. I was so used to warm, thick blood, that the water—the most basic beverage on the planet—made me want to gag.

Aramis chuckled. "Sorry, babe. Forgot to tell you that everything's going to taste really different now."

"Even water?" dad asked.

"Even water," I replied morosely. I sank down in my chair, trying to make myself invisible. Aristes snapped his fingers at one of the servants, who hurried over to wipe my mess off the table. The butler then miraculously appeared at my side with a bottle of red liquid. I took it and was amazed that it was warm.

"It's synthetic," Aramis said quietly. "It's not quite as good as the real thing, but it's better than water."

I lifted the bottle and sniffed at it delicately. When I didn't hurl at the smell, I decided to try it. I slowly tipped the bottle up and took a swallow. The taste was definitely not the sweet, savory flavor of my mate, but the texture was the same, and it had a rich, earthiness to it that made it enjoyable. I raised the bottle again and began to chug it, moaning at the buzz in my gut.

"Eliot!" my father snapped.

"What?" I asked indignantly.

"Mind your manners."

I looked sheepishly at Aurelia, who waved my worries away. "It will of course be hard for you to control your thirst. Have as much as you'd like."

I really liked Aramis' mom.

The butler brought me another bottle and announced, "The council has arrived, sir. Shall I show them into the study?"

"No need," said a voice from the hall.

The door opened and eight vampires strode into the room. Six were men, all equally as handsome and distinguished-looking as Aristes. There were also two women. One of them was hanging on the arm of one of the male vamps. The second, younger female was… staring directly at my father with a look of utter disbelief. My father returned her gaze, with the addition of a slack jaw and a weird choking, rattling sound coming from his throat.

Dad shot from his chair and thrust his hand out to her. "John Berenz," he told her.

The dark-haired beauty took Dad's hand and stuttered, "N-nice to meet you. I'm Benita de Sorbino." They didn't release each other's hands, but stood staring dumbly at one another.

Marco raised an eyebrow and asked, "Well, what have we here?"

Raniero shook his head in disbelief. "This place is turning into the Love Boat."


Don't forget to visit the other flashers!

Avery Dawes
Carol Pedroso
Cia Nordwell
Elyzabeth VaLey
Jim Dunaway
Jon Keys
Julie Lynn Hayes
MA Church
Matthias Williamson
Tali Spencer
Victoria Adams

Guest Author, Julie Lynn Hayes!

Hey there, everyone! I'm thrilled to play host to Julie Lynn Hayes. She's part of the Wednesday Briefs flash fiction group, a brilliant author of many books and short stories, a great editor, and well... an all-around a goddess. Today, Julie's here talking about her latest release, DIRTY LITTLE LIES.

Holidays are a time for families to come together in many places around the world. But the definition of family has changed in this modern world we live in, and the nuclear family structure isn’t what it used to be. With people getting divorced and remarried, having children from the first and then the second family, genealogical trees have had to adapt, and they aren’t as linear any more. Add to that shifting family dynamics, and the increasing awareness that many so-called happy families are actually quite dysfunctional…. Well, holidays can be as much stressful as joyful.

Poet Robert Frost once said, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Sadly, that isn’t always true, and neither is the reverse, as many GLBT young people have discovered when their own parents have disowned them and thrown them out of the family home. Fear of being outed and discarded like yesterday’s trash leads many young people to hide their natural sexual orientation, and sometimes denying who they really are.

In Dirty Little Lies, Levi Thornton is gay and closeted. His situation is exacerbated by the fact that his father is well-known televangelist, Marshall Thornton. To come out of the closet would mean giving up the lifestyle to which Levi has become accustomed. Not to mention, risking his father’s censure.

But sometimes the desire for revenge overrides the need to stay closeted. This Christmas is going to be one Marshall Thornton isn’t likely to forget anytime soon.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Kazy!

Levi Thornton is the closeted gay son of homophobic televangelist Marshall Thornton. So what’s the perfect gift for the father who never cared? Levi’s going to find a yummy young man on Christmas Eve, fuck him all night long and six ways to Sunday. And then he’s going to out himself on live national TV on Christmas Day in front of his father and God and everyone else.

The problem is he’s having no luck at finding that special someone to share this moment with. Just when he thinks his quest is hopeless, in breezes Darjeeling Crane, and it’s off to the family hideaway for a night of fun. This will be a Christmas to remember, if Levi has anything to say about it.

Levi rose, loosened his red houndstooth tie, plastered a beatific smile on his handsome face, and strode purposefully toward the blond, never taking his eyes from him. He dropped onto the empty stool beside him, swinging it to face him, their knees touching.

“Merry Christmas,” the blond greeted him.

“It will be,” Levi replied. “It certainly will be.” At that moment the counter girl laid down a menu, a glass of water, and tableware. “Take your time, honey,” she said, walking away before he could comment.

The stranger flipped the menu open. “Anything you recommend?”

Levi blindly jabbed a finger at the open page. “Yeah. Me,” he brazenly replied. “I can give you something a whole lot better than anything you’ll find here. And then I’ll feed you, too.”

“That’s quite an offer, Mr…?” He looked at Levi, the question hanging from his pretty lips.

“You can call me Levi. What should I call you, pretty thing?”

“I like that, but you can call me Darjeeling.”

Auburn eyebrows arched in disbelief. “Like the tea?”


Levi leaned in, his lips brushing against the other man’s ear, his breath warm against his flesh. “I have a place where you and I can go, if you’re interested. Someplace a whole lot better than this ptomaine palace. And a hell of a lot more private. What do you say?” He ran his tongue along the outer shell of Darjeeling’s ear, felt his shiver.

“What do I say?” He laid his hand on Levi’s arm, turned his head just enough that their lips were mere micro-centimeters apart. “I say how soon can we leave?”

Julie Lynn Hayes first began publishing short stories and poetry in the 1990’s, when it was a different ballgame altogether, and ebooks hadn’t been dreamed of yet. That changed in 2010 with the acceptance of her first romance novel. She’s come a long way since that first book appeared, and is finding the journey a very educational one.

She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses. She often writes of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms, and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She likes to write in different genres, to stretch herself in order to see what is possible. Her great challenge is to be told something can’t be done; she feels compelled to do it.

When she isn’t writing, she enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stich, needlepoint and knitting, and she loves to cook, spending time watching the Food Network. Her favorite chef is Geoffrey Zakarian. Her family thinks she’s a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all.

Her published works can be found at the following publishers' sites: Dreamspinner Press, eXtasy Books, Amber Quill Press, Torquere Press, and Wayward ink.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 18

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 Eighteen

"Shh!" a voice hissed. "Don't wake them up."

"Oh shut up, Chia." I recognized Blanca's voice. "This is too good. We gotta tell them."

Someone shook my shoulder. "Eliot. Hey, Eliot. Psst."

I sat up with a start and my forehead smacked into something hard. "Ow!" cried Blanca. "That hurt!"

"Blanca," Aramis growled. "What on earth are you doing in here?"

She flung herself onto the bed between Aramis and me and lay her head back on my pillow. Lucia sat on the edge of the bed, and put her hands up to get our attention. "You are never going to believe it."

"The fact that you're insane?" Aramis said. "Yes, I definitely believe that."

"Shut up," she said. "It's important! Epp has found his mate."

"Whoop-dee-doo," Aramis droned.

"But you have to hear who it is!" Lucia whined, shaking her brother by the shoulders.

Aramis pushed her off and sat up. "Fine. I give. Who'd Epp shackle himself to?"

Blanca grinned evilly. "Blake Becker."

I said nothing. Aramis said nothing. A bird chirped. Time passed. Finally Lucia verified the fantastic claim. "It's true! Go ask mami. Everyone's kinda freakin' out."

"Wait a minute," Aramis snapped. "How the hell did this happen? I thought Blake was always hot for me."

"What?" I cried, hopping out of bed. Immediately, I regretted this decision, since I was buck naked. The girls whooped with laughter and Aramis tossed me a pillow to cover myself with. I held it in front of me while he ushered his giggling sisters out the door.

He locked the door and turned to me, holding a hand out to defend himself. "I know you're probably pissed, but all I meant was that I assumed Blake wanted me. He'd always acted strangely around me, but now that I think about it, he was even weirder whenever the whole family was around. He must have been picking up on Epp's scent."

I bit my lip and looked at my mate. "So, you don't want Blake?"

Aramis shook his head and sighed. "Baby, I will never want anyone but you. I've never wanted Blake, even before I knew you existed. He's a douche, and now that douche is gonna be family, and Epp's father-in-law is the devil. This just got so much shittier than it already was. Come on. We'd better get cleaned up and dressed before mom comes looking for us. It's almost time for dinner anyway."


The feeling in the main house was tense, but everyone was trying to behave as normally as possible. Aurelia smiled widely when Aramis and I walked into the kitchen. "Oh, my boys. How are you?"

"Fine, mami," Aramis said, kissing his mom's forehead. "Fascinated by the latest gossip. Where's Epp?"

"In the living room with his mate," she replied with a raised eyebrow.

"You let Blake go?" I asked.

Aurelia shrugged. "It's not like he's going anywhere now. And I'm warning you now. You boys all better figure out how to get along with each other."

"After what he did?" Aramis said through clenched teeth. His mother didn't reply verbally, but her steely glare was enough of an inducement to agree to whatever she said. If she had looked at me that way and told me to stand in front of a subway train, I would have.

We went into the living room and found Epp sitting on the couch with his arm around Blake. Immediately, Epp hopped up, crouched in front of his soon-to-be mate and growled fiercely at us.

"Oh, sit down and put your bitch claws away," Aramis said. He pulled me into a chair with him and added, "It's all good. I got my mate and you got yours. And we forgive yours for being a royal douche."

"Aramis!" His father walked into the room and glared at his sons. "This ends now."

Aramis groaned. "Didn't I just say it's done? I'm serious. If anything, Blake helped me get Eliot sooner, so thanks, or whatever."

Blake was perplexed. "Uh, you're welcome?"

Mr. Ambrogi smiled and turned to me. "Eliot, there is someone to see you in my study. Come with me, please."

I stood on shaking legs and followed him. He opened the door across the hall and I saw my father sitting in a leather chair in front of the fire.

"Dad!" I cried, and ran to him. He stood up just before I crashed into him and braced himself for the impact. I threw my arms around him and buried my face in his shoulder. "I'm so sorry, Dad. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't mean to hurt you. Honest! Are you okay?"

After he steadied himself, he squeezed back and kissed the top of my head. "I'm fine, Eliot. I'm fine. Well, not fine, really. I mean… are you… okay?"

I let him go and noticed Aramis behind me. I took him by the hand and said to my father, "I'm okay. And this is Aramis. My… mate."

"Mate," dad repeated. "As in… blood?"

Aramis and I both nodded and Aristes came to my rescue. "The boys have ritually mated, yes. Because of this, I think it best to have Eliot transfer to Belsmeade to finish his school year."

"What? No!" I clenched my fists. "I'm sorry, Mr. Ambrogi, but I don't want that. I have one semester to go, and I want to keep everything as normal as possible. Please, sir."

He didn't seem convinced. "And what happens if you lose your temper, Eliot? Or if you get thirsty? It could be very dangerous."

I put on my best pout and said, "Please?"

Mr. Ambrogi sighed. "My God, you're better at pouting than Blanca. Fine. As you wish. You can stay at that high school of yours. But at the first hint of trouble, you will have to transfer. And you must tell no one—and I do mean no one—of what has happened."

I smiled. "I promise, I won't, but, uh…" Turning to my dad, I smiled sweetly. "Dad? Since Aramis and I are kinda, ya know, together, can he move in with us?"


Don't forget to visit the other flashers!

Avery Dawes
Carol Pedroso
Cia Nordwell
Jim Dunaway
Jon Keys
Julie Lynn Hayes
MA Church
Matthias Williamson
Ravon Silvius
Tali Spencer
Victoria Adams