“You said you had something to tell me.” Aric cleared his throat, not wishing to reminiscence about such things, at least not now. He was losing his mind, he must be. This was a dream, it had to be. Yet why did it feel so real? “And my name is not Brandric. It’s Aric. Brandric is what my father calls me.”
“Aric, then.” The dragon inclined its head again, lowering its voice. “Your sister is to marry the prince of a neighboring kingdom. This must not be allowed to happen. It will not unite your kingdoms, but is merely a ploy to gain your father’s trust.”
“I already know that.” Aric had heard two of King Malachite’s men talking. Once the marriage had taken place, King Malachite planned to invade Astria and claim it in the name of Logan, his own kingdom. “He… they talked about using magic.” Aric had told his father about what he’d overheard, but he hadn’t been believed. King Malachite, King Brandr assured his son, would not attempt to betray Astria by using the evil that was magic. Nor would he use their children’s marriage to gain control over Astria. He was an honorable man who had stood by Astria and its people many times, their armies united against a common foe. Together they had triumphed over those who might use magic against them, and worked to rid both their lands of the threat of dragons.
Aric had never trusted King Malachite. There was something about the man that made his skin crawl, but if asked to explain, he couldn’t. Only two people had ever believed him: Georgia and Aunt Hannah.
“The only way to fight magic is with magic.” The dragon looked around, then cocked its head to the side as though listening to something Aric could not hear. “You must seek the Sword of Sherwin, Aric. The quest will not only save your kingdom, but also your sister.”
“I….” Aric stared at the dragon. He’d heard of the sword, of course he had. It was an old tale told to him by both his aunt and his mother. The sword was a thing of power. “It doesn’t exist. It’s just a story. Or if it did, it was lost generations ago.” He shook his head. Surely the dragon couldn’t be serious?
“Then it is time it was found again, isn’t it?”
“You make it sound simple. It’s not.” Aric looked up at the dragon. Its eyes were the same color as its scales. They seemed to bore into his own, searching his heart, and his soul. There was something ageless about it, powerful yet lonely. He shivered, and averted his gaze.
“You see what others don’t, young Aric.” The dragon opened its wings. Aric gasped. They were the length of several men, black cobwebs of fine leather and scale. “Follow your heart, and trust your instincts.”
“But I don’t know where to look.” Aric wanted to believe the dragon, he truly did. Georgia couldn’t be allowed to marry Prince Thorold, and Aric could not stand by and let his kingdom fall. Killing dragons had only been part of the oath he’d taken. He might not intend to keep that part of it, but he certainly would keep the other.
The dragon had already begun to flap its wings. It was preparing to leave, and Aric knew once it took flight he’d never be able to stop it. “Follow your heart, Aric. Do what is right.”
Aric stumbled back, his sword falling to the ground. He couldn’t kill the dragon, but more than that, he didn’t want to. “I don’t know where to look,” he yelled after it. The dragon did not reply but instead took to the air, gliding, hovering above him, its movement graceful, majestic. Something about it called to him, touched him.
He wiped at his eyes. They were wet.
When he looked up again, the dragon was gone.
Tag Archives: Excerpt
Tomorrow, 12/21, at 2:00PM Eastern, my guest blog goes live at Long and Short Reviews, part of the Stuff Your Stocking blogfest. Instead of an interview or whatnot, this time I’ve indulged in a little holiday philosophizing. I’d of course love to know what you think about it. There’s also an Christmas scene excerpt, and an ebook to be won. I hope you’ll stop by. The following link isn’t good until tomorrow at 2 PM EST, but I’ll post it now because I’ll be slaving at the day job at that time. Here it is:
Or copy and paste into your browser’s address bar, http://wcguest.blogspot.com/2012/12/stuff-stocking-blogfest-lou-sylvre.html .
Apparently Luki and Sonny have made a few people cry. Sorry. but not too sorry, because it got Yes: A Vasquez and Jams Novella nominated for the 2012 M/M Romance awards on Goodreads. Not surprisingly, in the best tear-jerking scene category. Thank you readers, for loving Luki Vasquez and Sonny James enough to make the nomination.
Here is the link to vote on all the categories, or click on the badge, above. Please vote, even if Luki and Sonny don’t get your vote, show your pride. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Now, I don’t know what scene from yes is the tear jerker the nominators had in mind, but I can just about guarantee this is not it! I’m offering it just for the fun of it, and a little warmth on a winter’s day. Hope you enjoy!
On New Year’s Eve, Sonny fell in love. With Luki, not for the first time. He used to fall in love with him regularly, but over the last months, it had happened rarely. Very. Not that he ever stopped loving him, but moments of heart-stopping I-love-him-so-much-I’m-gonna-die had fallen to the status of a vague hope for “someday.” But now, there Luki stood, breathing easily without oxygen, effects of chemo and prednisone dwindling—for the time being—radiation sickness beating a fast retreat. On New Year’s Eve, Sonny’s “someday” had come.
Across the living room—the only room in the rambling house still walled all the way around with the original, varnished logs—Luki held up his copy of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Sonny—who rarely watched movies, or television for that matter—privately wondered how any movie, especially one starring a bunch of stuffy Brits trying to be funny, could be so fantastic. Luki’s anticipation seemed almost boyish—though even after months of sickness, even stripped of hair, his body most certainly was not.
“C’mon, baby, let’s watch it,” Luki said. I can’t believe you’ve never seen it.”
Sonny followed him to the living room, sat in the chair and waited while he put the DVD in the player.
“No,” Luki said, tucking himself into a corner of the couch with his bare feet drawn up. “Sit over here with me. Please?”
The “please” was unnecessary, as far as Sonny was concerned.
Still, he wanted to be sure. Not long ago, Luki’s skin had been so sensitive it burned to be touched, and a body close to his made him sweat with heat. Quietly and probably too seriously, he asked, “It won’t bother you?”
So Sonny took up his station, laying curled up half behind Luki with his head miraculously ending up in the crook of Luki’s arm, just as if they were made to be braided together in that fashion.
Luki had discovered the joys of reading after he moved into Sonny’s house, and he especially liked to read aloud to Sonny. At those times this was how they would lay. Now, as always before, Luki stroked Sonny’s bare skin absently while they watched. It felt so sweet, so much like coming home that at first Sonny couldn’t follow the movie. Instead, he listened to Luki laughing, to his heart beating, to his breathing, soft and even.
But Luki had told the truth. Knights riding stick horses
discussing how much weight an African Swallow could carry and throwing cows at each other made him laugh—so hard he had to sit up and wipe his eyes. At a quiet point, he felt Luki’s eyes on him, thought maybe he needed something. But when he turned his head, Luki was gazing at him, his face alight with one of his slight but soul-deep smiles. Sonny tilted his head, questioning.
“Sonny. It has been so long since I’ve seen you laugh. Really laugh, with your whole heart in it.” He ran his thumb across Sonny’s lower lip. “It’s medicine. It might save my life.”
The Halloween Blog Hop, brought to you by The Blog Hop Spot, is a chance for some grown-up, arm chair trick-or-treating. Click the link above for the list of 200+ participating authors. I’m sure they have all come up with sweet or spicy ways to “treat” their visitors over the four days of the hop (10/26 thru 10/29). I plan to check out more than a few and have a little fun myself.
Thanks for knocking at my blog door. My treats are going to work like this:
Each of the four days, I’ve added something new to this post, and today is the last day. Because today’s post is late, I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Some of these daily bits are words (some sexy ones included), and some are images. Today’s ‘treat’ posted 10/29 is part of one of my favorite Vasquez and James scenes–Sonny’s marriage proposal, from Delsyn’s Blues For yesterday’s photos, Saturday’s smutty/sweet scene from the next Vasquez and James, Finding Jackie, and for the 10/26 photo, and for the contest stuff scroll down.
“Good Christ and all the saints! That wind came straight from hell!” Still standing braced against the door, [Luki] looked up at Sonny through wet curls falling over his eyes. “Make a run for the house?”
Sonny, who had stepped back out of the rain and who wasn’t having to fight the wind for possession of the door, said calmly, “No. It’s almost a quarter mile! I don’t want to get wet.” Ignoring the shocked look Luki gave him from under curls now dripping down his face as if he was in the shower, he added, “Let’s just sit in the Mustang.”
Accordingly, Luki let the door drive him inward and followed Sonny to the mean yellow machine, which he apparently had just been wrenching on. “Is there something wrong?”
“With the car, I mean.” Sonny gave him his brows-drawn-together confused look as they climbed in, so Luki elaborated. “You know, the tools, the greasy rag, the—oh God, the grease all over your hands. You weren’t planning to be intimate with me or anything, were you?” Sonny burst out into a loud and hearty laugh, which delighted Luki, though he tried to keep that secret behind a cool facade. Almost, he could forget his troubles. No, their troubles. But his fears.
Bringing him back to the more pleasant moment, Sonny stopped laughing long enough to say, “You’re going to be cold. You’re shivering already….”
He’s not supposed to notice stuff like that. Nobody’s supposed to notice stuff like that.
“…And your clothes are soaked; your hair too. We’ll have to get you warmed up.”
“Warmed up. I’ll turn the heater on for starters.” He cranked the engine and it purred, and in no time, the breath of air coming from below the dash turned warm. “And while you’re getting a start on warming up—honey, why don’t you take that wet jacket off? I’ve got a towel too.” He reached a long arm around the back of Luki’s bucket seat and fiddled with something that had a zipper. When he handed Luki the towel, he said, “It’s clean. For your hair, maybe? I’ll go clean my hands up.”
Before he opened the door, Luki, still shivering, quaked, “How?”
“Yeah, you know. Stuff that cleans off the grease. Goop is a brand name.”
“So then you’ll have ‘Goop’ on your hands.” Luki’s shivering had rattled to a stop, his hair no longer dripped, and he felt that he could manage ultra-cool again. Though he questioned the look of his wardrobe at the moment. Still…. “Like I said, I hope you weren’t planning to get intimate with me or anything.”
Sonny laughed again. “Well,” he said, “I wasn’t actually planning on it, but since you keep bringing it up, I guess it might be in the offing?”
“Then after the Goop, I’ll go stand right there where the water is running down off the roof, put my hands under the stream, and get the Goop off. ’Kay?”
“’Kay.” Luki had to fight off the urge to laugh at Sonny’s exaggerated tone, waiting until he was out of the car even to smile at him. Also, at the idea of getting intimate in the Mustang. Which didn’t have enough room in the backseat for two German Shepherds, much less two six-foot men. Which had narrow bucket seats in the front and a gear shift dead center between them. And a steering wheel and a wrap-around dash and a low roof. Yep. Unlikely intimacy environment. He thought cigarette, but remembering their earlier… conflict, he shooed the thought quickly away. You’re going to have to do something about that addiction, Luki. Even though that was his own thought, he did his best to ignore it.
When Sonny came back, he went to the trunk first and collected a blanket, which he tossed to Luki before he got back in the Mustang. “It’s pissin’ buckets out there. The whole yard is a mud wallow. If you want, I’ll drive us over to the house—seems stupid, I know, but I don’t want to walk it. I really don’t want to take the Mustang out there, though, because I just cleaned it up and, well, you know.”
“That little Honda?”
Sonny shook his head. “Even if we’d both fit at the same time, it’s not running. Truck’s out of the question too. You have to pop the clutch to start it.”
Luki nodded sagely. What the hell is “pop the clutch”? Sounds like porn. Such thoughts played havoc with the sage look, so he spoke up to change the subject. “So, how long will this last?”
“Could be minutes, could be days.”
There went Sonny’s wonderful laugh, bubbling again. “Well, not days. Hours, max.”
“I like it when you bubble, Sonny. Are you cold?”
“I’m going to ignore the bubbling comment—I hope it doesn’t mean you’re getting a fever. In answer to the meaningful question, yes, a little bit. Here, let’s spread out this blanket. Between that and the heater, we ought to be warm and dry in no time.”
“Just in time for us to fight the bluster and mud to get back to the house, for instance.”
“I’m turning the engine off. I smell exhaust. I love that you always have a positive attitude.”
“Just comes naturally. So weren’t you formulating plans for small-space intimacy? Kind of like gardening in pots?”
“I can think of some things that might sprout. Maybe even bloom.”
“That sounds so crude.”
“I agree, but before we get crude, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you—”
“Ask away. No time like the present.” What the hell has gotten hold of me. It’s like I’ve got two modes—smoking and stupid.
“Yes,” Sonny continued, “I’m trying to. Umm… why—”
“Do I keep smoking even though it’s stupid?”
Sonny took an exaggerated breath and blew it out. “No, no, that’s a very good question but—”
“You’re right. I’m quitting, Sonny, for real.”
“Good! But, damn it, that’s not what I was going to ask….” Suddenly wide-eyed, he turned and leaned to get a good look at Luki’s face. “Hey, maybe you really are getting a fever.” He put a hand on Luki’s forehead.
“Maybe. Doesn’t matter.”
“Matters to me.”
“Yes, if you’ll let me ask!”
“You are lucky I want to ask this so badly, or I’d be out of here.”
That sounded ominous to Luki. He didn’t know why it should, but he thought a lot more might be riding on that statement than a little half-serious afternoon spat. His head hurt, and he’d started shivering again. Maybe that made it seem more important. Maybe he did have a fever. Whatever.
“Luki, will you marry me?”
For the contest, answer one of these questions:
- For you, what is the scariest kind of monster in the movies?
- What is your favorite Halloween sweet?
- In books what kind of evil (human) criminal is the most frightening?
- If you could trick or treat with anyone in the world who would it be?
(Note, each question you answer is one entry, so you can enter up to four times.)
What can you win? Choose an ebook of any one of the Vasquez and James series books available at Dreamspinner Press.
What if you’ve read them all? When Finding Jackie, the sequel to Delsyn’s Blues, comes out in May or June 2013, I’ll reserve you a copy of that. That’s a long wait… So, email me at lou(dot)sylvre(at)gmail(dot)com. We’ll talk about it!
They walked back to the hotel after their business and pleasure at the market was done, and Sonny sighed.
Luki said, “What?”
“Nothing,” Sonny said, sounding like a martyr. “It’s just… interesting wallpaper.”
“Baby,” Luki said, not understanding at all but willing to go to any lengths to please his man, “If you hate it—”
“No, no, I don’t. I mean, it’s not bad—it’s probably even good, I just need to get used to it. The colors in here are gorgeous, truthfully. And you know what?”
Luki’s eyes followed his husband, who paced from side to side, peaked around curtains and walls, opened doors. He made a sound something like “Mm,” knowing Sonny wasn’t really looking for a response, but would appreciate knowing Luki was paying attention. He also smiled. Something about the quirky way Sonny settled himself into a space was too sweet for words.
“You know what I need to do, honey?”
Luki noted with glee that Sonny had begun to strip. This time when he said, “Mm,” he didn’t have to feign interest.
“I need to get in that bathtub—do you see that thing? It’s like a swimming pool. I need to get in there and soak, all nice and relaxed, and take in that wallpaper until it seems normal to me.”
The man is fucking crazy, Luki thought, both disappointed and surprised. Sonny was already in the bathroom, fine-tuning the water temperature at this juncture. Luki put his hands in his pockets—not a characteristic posture at all, but he was at a loss. He literally jumped when Sonny whooped, and yelled.
“Yes! There’s bubble bath in here!”
Luki was so nonplussed by this time that he sat down on the couch, rather hard. When he tried to think of something he might be doing the only two things that came to mind were jerking off—which he dismissed immediately—and eating a hamburger. He considered the hamburger carefully, decided against, and got up to wander into the strangely wall-papered, thoroughly lavender scented bathroom.
“This is a big tub, Luki.”
Luki stepped closer to Sonny so he could push a long strand of dark hair off his chest, letting it join it’s fellows falling down Sonny’s back.
Sonny grabbed Luki’s belt at the buckle, made as if to undo it. “Get in, Luki. There’s room. Look.” He lifted a foot out of the water. “See, my feet don’t even reach all the way to the other side. Not crowded at all.”
Luki stood silent, chewing his lip. He wasn’t one for shower play, which Sonny knew. It just reminded him too much of lonelier days. He never took baths—especially bubble baths. And, he really, really didn’t want to smell like flowers. But he loved his husband so much, and there the man was, asking for this simple little thing.
“Luki, take a bath with me. Come on.”
Luki started to strip, tossing his clothes back out onto the chair in the bedroom. He was, of course, hard by the time he was naked, which was something Sonny certainly didn’t fail to notice, even though he said nothing. Luki stood there, feeling confused, never before having realized that deciding how to get into a bathtub and situate oneself was so difficult.
“Luki, you can just sit on that side, face me, so I can look at your eyes and we can talk. Okay? That way you won’t feel so awkward.”
“I’m pretty sure there’s something in that statement I should scold you for, Sonny Bly, I just haven’t figured out what it is.” Luki said that while climbing in and turning around and sitting down as instructed. But once he settled, his hands found Sonny’s legs, and he couldn’t help but rub them. And then Sonny found his foot, and as Sonny well knew, Luki’s toes were really sensitive. And Sonny played with them. All the while they looked each other in the eyes.
“Luki,” Sonny said, finally, “you don’t play in the shower.”
“No. What’s your point?”
For answer, Sonny took Luki’s foot and laid it along his own erection, which was one of the sexiest things that had ever happened to Luki. Then Sonny took his size a-very-large-number foot, with its long, nearly prehensile toes, and not too gently stroked it up and down Luki’s cock, and Luki spent a few seconds catching his breath.
“This isn’t a shower,” Sonny said.
Luki nodded. “Right.”
Sonny let a little water out, added some hot to adjust the temperature. “We could fuck here, if we so desired, which I do.” Sonny actually looked hopeful, as if he was a little afraid Luki would say no, or maybe scoff.
Luki wasn’t about to do either one. Sonny was the most beautiful, lovable, eminently fuckable person on the planet, and Luki wasn’t about to fail him. As he’d explained to Sonny just the other day, fucking Sonny happy was his personal joy. He licked his lips. “Come here, baby.”
Sonny more or less slithered up Luki’s body, dragging his weight over Luki’s flesh until he’d brought his lips even with Luki’s. He stopped, offering his slightly open lips, but waiting for Luki to take them. Luki did, starting with a suck and nibble of Sonny’s lower lip, then licking with just the hard tip of his tongue along the underside of Sonny’s upper lip. He kept it up, nibbling, sucking, licking, lingering at the sensitive corners. Sonny made a move to kiss back, but Luki pulled away, and answered Sonny’s widened eyes by kissing them. He smiled, biting his own lip, made sure Sonny saw the expression, then whispered in his ear. “Just let me do whatever I want to you baby, okay? It’ll be good, I promise, and when I want you to kiss me back, I’ll tell you. Okay?”
“Oh!” Sonny’s breath puffed out, then he nodded. “Okay,” he said. “Yes, Luki. Okay.”
The water, hot and ever so slightly silky from the bubble bath, made touching—running his hands along Sonny’s back, over his ass, down his legs—a little bit different than touching had ever been before, for Luki. And by different he meant, damn, that’s nice! And Sonny, who was never, ever still unless specifically instructed, kept squirming and rocking, moving his body side to side over Luki’s. And the water lifted him just a little bit so Luki felt little weight on him, only a teasingly sweet, achingly light friction.
He pulled his lover tight against his chest. “Sonny, baby, you are so damn sweet!”
Sonny was not very coherent. “Mmm, mm…ooooh! Luki!”
Luki chuckled. He couldn’t help it. Then he took hold of Sonny’s forelock and tilted his head back until he was sure he had Sonny’s eyes, and he said, “Stick out your tongue.”
Sonny did so, a little, and said, “Aauuh?”
Luki smiled. “More.”
When Sonny obeyed, he said, “Yeah, like that.” Then he laid his own tongue alongside it, teased it, licking at its tip, and finally closed his lips around it and sucked it into his mouth, meanwhile invading Sonny’s mouth with his own tongue, and touching every part of Sonny he could reach with any limb, and rocking Sonny over him, cock to cock, chest to chest. At some point he said, “Okay, kiss me back, Sonny.” Finally, after a long interval of bliss, or else torture, Luki asked the question he almost always asked when they made love. “What do you want, baby?”
Unlike his earlier efforts at speech, Sonny answered clear and concise. “Fuck me.” Then he buried his face in Luki’s neck, where he commenced licking, sucking, and yes, even biting.
Luki gasped at the sensations that weren’t quite tickle, weren’t quite pain, “So you’re serious, you want to fuck here? In the bath?”
“Turn over baby, and turn around; get up on your knees. I want your ass right here, up close and personal.”