Free Fiction: Office Romance

 

Squirrels leapt across the grass and up into trees. Daffodils were in bloom and blossoms were just beginning to unfurl from their buds. It was warm, with a cool breeze that played across the back of his neck.

He meandered through the park at a leisurely pace, taking in the view of the river that divided the park from the luxury flats with their floor-to-ceiling windows. Nate had always loved this park. Especially in the morning, before anyone else got to it.

It was short-lived, though. It took twenty minutes, if he dragged his feet, to walk from one end to the other, and soon he was on the other side of it. Looming over him was a red-brick block of offices, the lights off and blinds drawn. He pressed the buzzer on the door and waited for Gladys, the cleaning supervisor, to let him in. He greeted her warmly, but she barely acknowledged him in return. He got the sense Gladys was not a morning person. That, or she just didn’t like him very much.

He wasn’t the first person into the office, for once. Someone was in the staff kitchen, clinking cutlery, and the kettle was rumbling to a boil. He peered around the doorway to see a young man he didn’t recognise. His hair was short, curly and bed-rumpled, but his suit jacket was wrinkle free, well-ironed. As Nate walked through the door, the stranger turned, a teaspoon in his hand.

“Oh, hello,” he said, all Welsh vowels. “I’m Steffan. I started last week. D’you want a cuppa?”

Nate looked him over. He must the be the new sales assistant, Tina’s replacement. He was short, with wide eyes and a slightly pointed chin. Kind of cute, Nate decided. That was good. They needed more of that around here. His liked his colleagues, but none of them were very good eye candy. Except maybe Dianne, but she was the boss, and married. Or he supposed there was Isaac, from accounting. Okay, so maybe not none of them, but it had been a while since Nate had had someone new to look at.

“I’ll take that as a no then, shall I?” Steffan asked, and Nate realised he’d been staring, silently.

Great, he thought, I’ve creeped out the new guy. What a way to start the morning. “Sorry, yes,” he said, before feigning a yawn. “It’s too early. Not quite with it yet. I’m Nate. And I’ll take two sugars.”

Steffan nodded and turned his back to Nate, busying himself with the mugs. He was careful to choose only the plain white ones, Nate noticed, which was good. If he accidentally used Lisa’s kitten mug, this place would become a living hell for him very quickly.

“So where you from, Steffan?” Nate asked, taking a seat at the nearest of the three tables, and stretching his legs out.

Steffan turned, a steaming mug of tea in each hand and his eyebrows raised. “What? You can’t tell?”

“Ha. Well obviously. But where abouts, I meant.”

“Right. Ystradgynlais.”

At Nate’s blank look, Steffan smirked; clearly he’d assumed Nate wouldn’t know where that was, and he’d been right.

“Powys,” Steffan clarified. “About half an hour from Swansea. What about you?”

“Bristol born and raised,” Nate said, a hint of pride leaking into his voice.

“Huh. You don’t have much of an accent.”

Nate chuckled. “Get me drunk, and you’ll hear it.”

Nate couldn’t help but enjoy the way Steffan blushed.

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Free Fiction: Office Romance

Free Fiction: ‘Scrying’

Happy Halloween! My favourite holiday of the year (: To celebrate, I’ve written a little m/m romancey thing. Enjoy!

Scrying

The sound of rattling metal filled Kyle’s ears as the fence reverberated against the force of his boot. He kicked the fence again, and the lower link broke. Kyle pushed the panel back, leaving a gap just big enough for him to crawl through. The fence clanged back into place once he was clear, but he wasn’t worried about noise. He knew well enough that no one would hear him out here.

The old hospital loomed just beyond a thin smattering of spruce. Kyle had always thought it an ugly building, squat and grey. It had been built in the late 60s for pure functionality, but it hadn’t stayed open long. Just 40 years later budget cuts had seen the hospital close. Plenty of people in the neighbouring towns had lost their jobs, and others had lost a much needed lifeline. Kyle wasn’t complaining though. He’d gained a home.

Or at least he had until the guardian scheme had moved them all on elsewhere. The building now was marked for demolition, and no one cared if it was looked after or not. Kyle thought maybe the same thing had happened to him and Ernie. They’d stopped caring, stopped looking after each other. Still, he wasn’t ready to bulldoze everything they had, even if Ernie thought so. Continue reading “Free Fiction: ‘Scrying’”

Free Fiction: ‘Scrying’

Free Read: Underneath

It’s a nice, slow Sunday, so I wrote a thing. Enjoy!

 

Chelsea hunched her shoulders against the drizzling rain and quickened her pace. Her train had been delayed by nearly two hours and she was eager to get home. Not that there was much waiting for her except the usual soap operas, dinner and a bottle of wine for one. It was exactly a year, almost to the hour now, that Raina had disappeared, gone out to the shop for tortilla chips and never returned. For a while, Chelsea had been hopeful. She’d worked with the police, she’d handed out posters, attended meetings, even done her own searching, but there was nothing; it was as though Raina had vanished into thin air. The phone had gone silent, and now the meetings Chelsea attended were support groups. She’d stayed in the flat, despite the rent hike, just in case Raina came home. Chelsea wanted to be there. She didn’t want Raina to come home to some stranger. She’d gotten a cat, to keep her company on the longer nights, but the cat was only in when Chelsea was out. Like Raina, it wasn’t much of a people person.

She paused outside the carpark, glancing behind her, then left and right. There was nothing except a three foot high pile of rubber tyres and an overturned shopping trolley. There was no one following her, no one anywhere near her. Still, she shivered, goosebumps prickling up and down her arms and along the back of her neck. She went in, crossing the empty spaces quickly, eyes scanning left to right. She jumped as a shutter squealed across the street, a shop closing up, and laughed at herself. The laugh didn’t sound quite right, a little breathy.

It was okay now. She was almost home. She turned the corner, the muscles in her shoulders loosening as she caught sight of her car, the silver paintwork glistening with raindrops under lamplight. The ground vibrated under her feet. A lorry, maybe, going too fast on the main road.

And then her stomach bottomed out as the road fell away beneath her.

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Free Read: Underneath

Free Fiction: Hanging

It’s story time!! This one’s a little 1k m/m fluff thing.

 

Nate groaned in protest, the insistent beep of his alarm paying him no mind. Finally, grudgingly, he swung an arm out of bed and whacked down the snooze button, buried his face in his pillow. His head hurt, stomach churned, and the room felt tentative, like it could tip over at any moment; staying in bed was certainly the best option.

He hadn’t realised how much he’d been drinking last night, how wasted he’d been, but he had hazy memories of throwing up in the bushes outside Amanda’s house, stumbling into the road on the way home and lying face down on the kerb, hoping home would come to him. How he’d eventually gotten back was beyond him.

Ten minutes later, and the alarm was off again. Snooze. Another ten minutes. Beep. Beep. Beep. Nate hit the off button and pushed himself up to sit. He felt shivery, and his hands were shaking as he peeled back the covers. Tea. He needed tea. And a fucking cigarette.

In his t-shirt and boxers, Nate made his way quietly into the kitchen, unsure who was out and who was asleep. If Jeremy was in, he’d be feeling just as bad as Nate by now.

Heaping sugar into his mug, he waited for the kettle to boil, holding his hand out in front of his eyes and watching it tremble. Water boiled, tea in one hand, cigarette packet and lighter in the other, Nate pushed open the kitchen door. He took a seat on the outside step and watched the sun play through the leaves of the old sycamore that stood just outside their yard.

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Free Fiction: Hanging

Prompt Party!

I’ve been trying for the better part of two hours to come up with a half-decent blog post, and sadly, I’ve been failing rather badly. So instead of talking about boring shit that no one actually wants to read, I’m going to be taking prompts for, let’s say, the next week or so.

So, all you have to do is leave me a little one-sentence prompt in the comments, specifying genre (if it’s romance, specify m/m, f/f, f/m, etc). You can use keywords or pictures instead of sentences if you’d like, and it doesn’t have to be romance. If you want horror, crack, etc, I’ll try my best (although I do tend to curve waay off course with these things). Then I will reply to your comment with a nice (or horrible, if you’d prefer) little 500 word story.

I’ll probably close this one on the 4th of August (mah birfday!) so you have until then to leave a prompt.

Get thinking, guys. I wanna write!

Prompt Party!

Free Fiction: Detention

Mrs Hunt stood in front of me, one hand splayed on the table, the other brandishing a piece of checked paper in my face. “See these squares?”

I nodded. It was hard not to see them when I could practically taste the paper.

“Good. Now I want you—and you too, Mike—” I turned in my seat to look at him, some Pavlovian trick; hear Mike’s name, stand on tiptoe to scan the crowd for him. If I thought Mike was nearby, I had to know where. Apparently that still applied even when I knew exactly where he was. Mrs Hunt coughed, deliberately, obviously, and I turned back to her, an apologetic smile on my face. “Right. Now I want you both to take your pencils and place a nice, precise dot dead in the centre of each square.”

I gaped. Literally gaped. I’d had some shit detentions before—writing lines, litter picking, even once cleaning the underside of my desk for sticking chewing gum there—but this? This was really taking the piss. What was the point? I just couldn’t see it.

Seeing that we understood, she left us to it, telling us she’d be back to check on our ‘progress’ later.

I glanced around at Mike. “Is she fucking with us?”

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Free Fiction: Detention

Free Fiction: Around the Corner

Words: 2,400
Genre: M/M Romance
Notes: Written for the LT3 GR group challenge #14, here.
Prompt: I’m no good at Goodbye …

 

Raj raised the beer to lips, sipping slowly, watching Michael as he did the same, his head tipped back against the plywood wall of the treehouse, one knee bent, the other stretched out, the toe of his boot brushing Raj’s knee when he moved.

Again, Raj was struck with the knowledge that this moment, this little pocket of time that sooner or later, had to burst, wasn’t infinite, that after tonight there would be no more drinking beer and getting stoned with Michael. No more sharing earphones and listening to the music on Michael’s iPod. No more Michael.

He leaned forward, shifting onto his knees, pushing the beer across the floor. “Michael—”

Michael shook his head. Don’t.

Raj persisted, hand brushing over Michael’s knee, denim and skin, his jeans full of holes. The words broke from his mouth before he had a chance to pull them back. “I don’t want you to go.”

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Free Fiction: Around the Corner

Pancakes

Happy belated pancake day / early Valentine’s day! Just a little snippet of my Bestiary boys, Dorian and Evan, post-story. Mild spoilers, but not really.

 

Dorian eyed Evan over his pancakes. The bastard was eating his way through a whole pile of them; even though he’d been the one to upend the last of the batter over the floor, he wouldn’t share. “It was your batter,” he’d said. “So you should have taken better care of it.”

“Maybe you should have taken better care of yourself before I had to come and rescue you.”

Evan raised an eyebrow at him. “You rescued me? Funny, because that’s not the way I remember it at all. You would have died if it wasn’t for me.”

Dorian glared at him, and Evan chuckled before dropping his gaze and tucking into the pancakes. “Mmm,” he said, making a lot more noise with his knife and fork than was necessary. “Mm, mm, mmm.”

Dorian smiled despite himself, shaking his head as Evan squeezed way too much lemon juice over his next lot. Evan was making a big mistake, Dorian thought to himself. Valentine’s day was just around the corner and two could play at this game. Maybe he’d take the tickets for the planned trip to Italy and rip Evan’s up right under his nose. That’d show him.

He was saved the trouble, however, when Evan sat back in seat, rubbing his stomach, and declared, “I’m full.” He gestured to the plate of probably cold pancakes still sat on the table. “You want these or not?”

Dorian shot him another glare before pulling the plate over and tucking in. As predicted, they were on the cold side, but still pretty damn good. “You’re such an arse,” he muttered through a mouthful of jam-filled pancake.

Evan grinned and leant forward, his face in Dorian’s. “You love it,” he said, and although Dorian would never admit it to Evan, he kind of did.

Pancakes

Free Fiction: The Promise of Rain

Dane leaned against the brick wall, one foot propped against it, and held his lighter to the tip of his cigarette, flicking it several times before it ignited, setting the paper aglow.

The slate grey sky held the promise of rain, although it was the warmest it had been all month. Against it, gulls careened, wheeling about and calling to each other as they flew out towards the cliffs and, beyond them, the sea. It was the kind of sky that made everything below it look washed out and unreal, and Dane wondered why everything was so grey. If they weren’t renting, and if their landlord wasn’t such a tight git, he’d take his paints and splash them over the yard, let the colours bleed into one another. The grey would still be there though, concrete slabs hiding beneath the paint, waiting for the rain to wash it away.

The gate banged opened and Dane looked up, almost dropping his cigarette. He fumbled, straightening and trying to look cool as Luke wheeled his bike up the step and into the yard.

“Alright?” he asked, just to say something, anything.

The yard was small enough that although Luke was stood on the opposite side of it, bolting the gate shut behind him, he was close enough to reach out and touch, the bike filling most of the space between them. Dane drew on his cigarette, suddenly glad he hadn’t stuck to his new year’s resolution.

“Yeah.” Luke grinned, ran a hand through his flyaway sandy hair. “Just been out along the seafront. Almost got shat on, obviously. I think it’s that kind of day.”

Dane laughed. “Bird or man?” he asked. “Or man dressed as bird?”

“Bird, obviously,” Luke said, setting his bike against the fence. “It takes a certain kind of someone to let a bloke shit on them.”

“Hey,” Dane chided, just to be annoying. “For some, that’s a perfectly healthy way to express themselves.”

“That how you express yourself?” Luke teased, holding out his hand for a cigarette. Automatically, Dane held the packet out to him.

“Nah. I’m more of a spray paint guy myself.”

“That’s good,” Luke nodded, handing back his lighter and breathing out a huff of smoke. “Because I was going to ask if you wanted to go out tomorrow, for dinner. Obviously, that offer doesn’t stand if I’m likely to end the night being shat on.”

Dane frowned. Was Luke saying what he thought he was saying? Probably not. He did have a tendency to read too much into things, after all, and he and Luke … they lived together. Luke was a practical guy. He’d never ask out a housemate.

“Are you going to answer me? Rejection hurts, but being left hanging is way worse, you know.”

“Uh …” was all that came out of Dane’s mouth. Luke was asking him out. “Sure,” he said, once his vocal chords had started working again.

Luke grinned, his whole face lighting up with it, cheeks dimpling. “No need to sound so enthusiastic,” he said. “You’re paying anyway. I’m skint.”

“Oh, that explains the offer, then.”

“That,” Luke said, reaching out and taking Dane’s burnt-out cigarette from his hand, fingers warm as they brushed against his, and throwing it over the fence into the alleyway outside. “And I wanted to spend some time with you. You know …” he trailed off, leaning over the handlebars of his bike to press his lips to the corner of Dane’s mouth. “Because I like you.”

He was still working on ‘I like you too,’ when the first drops of rain began to fall, urging Luke inside, squeezing past the bike and through the door into the kitchen, leaving Dane to wonder what exactly the hell had just happened. In just a few minutes, everything had changed, and it felt fucking awesome.

Free Fiction: The Promise of Rain

Giveaway: The Dog in the Mist

I’m finally ready to host my first ever giveaway! ^_^ I will be giving an e-book copy of The Dog in the Mist to one lucky commenter (maybe two lucky commenters if I’m feeling generous and get enough comments).


Dorian has been favored by tragedy for what seems like his entire life. He’s lost his parents, his best friend, and now he’s lost his gran as well. As if that’s not enough, he is stalked by a black dog too large to be just an ordinary dog, and which seems to bring death in its wake. To save himself, he will have to return to beliefs that he cast away long ago …

Please remember to leave some sort of detail so I can contact you, either an e-mail address or a twitter account where I can get hold of you.

To make it a bite more interesting and get some kind of discussion going, tell me, what is YOUR favourite mythological creature/being?

Please note: This giveaway is now closed.

Giveaway: The Dog in the Mist