Thank you so much, Jessica, for allowing me to share here. This is my new release, just out on July 31, 2021.
GENRE: Gay Paranormal Romance
LENGTH: 2,699 words
RATING: flame rating 2
After getting some bad news about his dad’s health condition, Shane, with his boyfriend Kenzo, rush to the hospital. Slippery snowy road conditions, added with a bit of speeding, send them into a terrible car crash.
Both men are in critical condition, with one on life support. Decisions are made. When one must be sacrificed to save the other, will their love survive?
“Do you know what’s the hardest part of being away from you? It’s being denied to do something like this.” Kenzo ran his fingers through Shane’s short hair.
Shane’s eyes fluttered open. “I’m dreaming,” he mumbled.
“No, you’re not.”
“Yeah, right,” Shane smiled at Kenzo. Dream or not, Kenzo’s touch felt very real, as was the way he lifted his eyebrow in that way of his.
“This is me, Shane. You’re not dreaming and you’re not hallucinating. I’m here … to haunt you.”
Shane snorted. “Very funny, Kenzo.”
“Shane, look at me, really look at me. Touch me,” Kenzo said earnestly, looking at him with that damn puppy-look of his.
Sighing, Shane reached out to palm Kenzo’s face but his hand went right through it. Shane’s breath caught, letting his hand fall on his bed.
“Kenzo, what are you doing here?” he asked.
“I miss you, Shane.” Kenzo said simply.
“No, no, no. I mean, what are you doing here. You’re not supposed to be here, Kenzo.”
“Aren’t you glad to see me?”
“I am! God knows I am. But this is not right. This is …”
“Too absurd for you?”
Shane’s vision started to blur. “This is … hard,” he whispered. “You were gone. You might be here right now but you’re going to leave me again.”
Shane started to cry, the wall that he had been building up around him crumbling into a pile of dust. He hadn’t cried after he woke up at the hospital after the surgery, not even once. And he didn’t cry when they told him that Kenzo, his Kenzo, had died in the accident. His fault, it was his fault that Kenzo died, and he cried brokenly, flinching away when Kenzo reached out for him.
“Kenzo, you have no idea. You don’t have any idea what I’m going through. I’d rather die than go on without you.”
Kenzo looked lost and confused. Wearing his gray T-shirt, he was still very much the same Kenzo that Shane knew and loved. He looked beautiful, and so real, and alive. Distracted, Shane almost missed Kenzo’s next words.
“That’s where you’re wrong, Shane,” Kenzo said quietly. “You have no idea what I went through. Alone. Silence all around me. I’m not supposed to be here, they tried to stop me from going to you. But Shane, I’m here now. I come back to you.”
It’s the summer of 1967 and the Sexual Offences Act has just decriminalized consensual gay sex in private between two men over twenty-one. Percy Wright and his friend Les Baker have both taken temporary jobs teaching English as a foreign language in London during their long summer break from teaching at a rural boarding school near Oxford.
Thirty-three year old Percy is keen to soak up some theatre, music and general culture, whilst the younger Les is also keen to experience the varied gay social scene. When Les picks up a man called Phil at the box office of the Albert Hall when he goes to buy tickets to a Promenade Concert, Percy inadvertently gets thrown together with Adrian Framlingham, Phil’s friend.
Adrian is all the things Percy likes in a man…funny, kind and steady. When Les gets hurt, Percy turns to Adrian for support, but as the end of the summer looms it seems as if their affair will come to a natural end.
What will happen when Percy goes back to his everyday life as a house-master? Will he and Adrian stay in touch? Does he even want a long-distance relationship when arranging to meet someone for sex is still illegal, even if the act itself is not?
A 20k novella that’s set five years before Taking Stock. Stand alone.
Content Warning: secondary character suffers off-screen assault/implied rape
“Shall we go for a walk in Hyde Park this evening?” Les said with forced casualness, shoving toast into the toaster in a bleary fashion.
“Tonight?” Percy said. It was a Thursday.
“One of the blokes I was talking to at the William at the weekend mentioned it. Said it’s an interesting place of an evening.”
He put the emphasis on interesting.
“Les…,” Percy was reluctant. “I’m not sure it’s my kind of thing.”
“What, getting your rocks off isn’t your kind of thing?” Les said, slightly snippily. “Don’t pretend you haven’t been having it off with Adrian for the last fortnight.”
Percy didn’t have anything to say back to that.
“We’re back to school in two weeks,” Les said, almost wearily. “And I want to have as much fun as possible before I get shut up in that damned boarding house with sixty adolescent terrors for another year.”
Percy watched him, steadily.
“This is…so different,” Les continued. “I don’t want to miss anything.”
“Didn’t you have a social set at university?” Percy asked. Not that he had himself, really.
“In York!?” Les said with an derisive huffing noise. “Not these kind of friends. I just want…something, Perce.”
Percy could understand that. “I know, he said. “I know you do. But…is Hyde Park after dark really what you’re looking for?”
Les sat at the small table and focused on buttering his toast fiercely. “I won’t know if I don’t go, will I?” he said. “It’s okay, Perce. You don’t have to come. I know it’s not really your scene.”
Les was so much younger, sometimes, Percy thought.
“What about Phil?” he asked.
“Nice bloke,” Les said, dismissively. “I don’t want a wife, though, Percy. I want some fun.”
Percy sighed. “Well, what time are you thinking of going?” he asked. “I’m meeting Adrian. He’s managed to get tickets for Hello Dolly at Drury Lane.” This would be the fourth time they had deliberately arranged to meet. After their first outing to the Prince William in Hampstead nearly a fortnight ago, they’d met in the week at a pub close to Adrian’s offices after work and gone on and had a meal. And on Sunday they’d begun the day by walking along the Embankment, had some chips in a pub they’d come upon and then spent the afternoon in Regent’s Park. It had been a really lovely day out. He’d felt guilty leaving Les on his own, but Les seemed happy enough going up to the Prince William by himself, once he’d been introduced around the weekend before.
“No idea what time,” said Les, interrupting his memories. I was going to come home and have some tea and then go on out. So you can still come along if you change your mind.”
Percy shook his head. “I won’t change my mind. I’ve got to be out of the door at about six, so I was going to come home, bolt a bit of toast and change, and then go on out. We’re having supper somewhere afterwards, I think.”
Les made grunting assent.
Percy was worried about him. The huge platter of different places and experiences that had opened to them over the last month were so different from anything either of them had experienced before. Percy was much more cautious than Les. He didn’t seem to have the same need to grab everything with both hands and try it all out. He was a decade older, he supposed. Whether than meant it had drained out of his system without him noticing whilst he was busy trying to hide it all, or whether it just meant he was a bit more sensible than he would have been a decade ago, he didn’t know.
What he did know what that in his opinion, Les was going to get in to trouble. And Percy wasn’t prepared to be dragged in to trouble with him.
“You will be careful, won’t you?” he said, diffidently. “Just…be careful, Les.”
Les looked over at him. “I’ll be careful. And you…you have a good time, yeah? If I don’t see you before you go out. He seems like a really nice bloke.”
Writer of queer, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense. Lives in the South West of England with Mr AL, two children, a badly behaved dachshund, a terrifying cat and some hens. Likes gardening but doesn’t really have time or energy. Not musical. Doesn’t much like telly. Non-binary. Chronically disabled. Has tedious fits.
Audience: Adult 18+ – Genre: MM Romance Horror – Format: e-book – Publisher: JMS Books – Cover by: Written Ink Designs – Editor: Willem Schutte – Pages: (17, 172 words) – ISBN: 9781611527643 – Date Published: April 5, 2015
Lucian Salvatore returns to Clover East after his grandmother calls him home to take care of the family’s recording studio. This is a welcome trip after the tragic loss of his boyfriend.
Nate Lockwood is the man who practically runs the Salvatore studio. He suspects he’s going to be replaced once Lucian comes home to take over the business. But Nate doesn’t plan on leaving Clover East so soon, at least not before he solves the mystery that’s the real reason he came to the small town in the first place.
Will Nate be able to discover what happened to his aunt who disappeared in Clover East so many years ago? What does her disappearance have to do with Lucian’s family … and the haunted recording room in the studio where they both work?
“You have family here? Clover East is such a small town. I don’t visit often but I think I know who all the families are around here.”
Nate was tempted to ask if Lucian knew Janette Madison, Nate’s aunt, but he was afraid it would be too soon, too abrupt.
“Nah, I don’t have family here,” he said instead. “I had just thought one of my aunts stopped by this town, but I’m not so sure myself.” There, he had said it.
“You haven’t had any news from your aunt?”
“You mean she’s missing or something?” Lucian frowned.
“Honestly, I don’t know if she’s missing or just doesn’t want to be found.”
“Did your family ask you to find her?”
Nate played with his bottle. He wouldn’t look at Lucian. “No one asked me to locate her because there’s no one else out there. She’s the only family I have left. That’s why I wanted to find her.”
Neither spoke after that. When Nate lifted his head, he found Lucian staring blankly at a spot on the table. He wanted to ask about him instead but Nate couldn’t bring himself to open his mouth. His mind was whirling with the thoughts that until now, years after he first came to this city, he still couldn’t find Aunt Janette.
I’m sorry about your loss and I’m very sorry I didn’t come to the funeral. I was halfway around the continent and I was quite short of money. But don’t worry about me. I met someone and he asked me to go live with him. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Clover East, a small town in Illinois? I hadn’t, before this. But I have a good feeling about this place, Nate. If you ever want to come to stay with me, you’ll be more than welcome.
“She sent me a letter, literally inviting me to be with her.”
“What do you mean — be with you?”
“She met a man who asked her to come to Clover East. She understood I had just lost everyone so she wanted me to stay with her. She sounded so happy at that time. There were no signs that she wanted to hide. Something bad must have happened to her.”
“Did she mention any names?”
Nate shook his head, and practically jumped when Lucian clasped a hand over his. When did he get so close?
“You’re not alone anymore. We’ll search for your aunt and we’re going to find her. Together.”
Nate gawked, first at the hand that was warm against his skin and then up to Lucian’s soft green eyes. The man was nothing like the cold, arrogant one Nate had met earlier that morning. He was almost afraid at the sudden change.
“Uh, thank you, I guess?”
“Does my grandma know about this?”
“No, I never told her.”
“Why didn’t you?”
Nate had never thought about why it had not crossed his mind to talk to Helen about it. She had never asked him why he came to the town, thus, he didn’t feel the need to mention it.
“I don’t know,” he said simply to Lucian.
Lucian pursed his lips. “I just thought it might help, you know. She’s lived here all her life. She must notice when there’s a newcomer in town, especially when the person suddenly disappears.”
“I found it strange,” Nate said slowly, “that no one seemed to hear or see anything about her. It’s like she never set foot in this place.”
“Are you sure she was really here?”
Nate said nothing and took out his cell-phone. He opened the picture albums and scrolled down until he found what he was looking for. He showed the picture to Lucian, who scrutinized it like a doctor checking on a patient on an operation table. Nate could almost see through Lucian’s eyes his aunt smiling at the camera, her long black locks blown by the wind. She posed in Clover East’s city square in front of a group of tables belonging to a café there.
“She was alone.”
“Yeah.” Nate knew exactly what Lucian was thinking. If she’d been with someone, they might have been able to recognize them.
“I wonder who took the picture.”
“She could’ve simply asked a passerby to do it.”
“You’re right.” Lucian gave him back the cell phone. “She only sent you that?”
“So she was really here but we have no idea for how long and whom she met.”
“I was worried about her.” Nate sighed, and when he looked up, Lucian’s eyes bored into his.
“We’ll tell my grandma when she’s home and start an extensive search.”
Nate didn’t know what to say. He felt as if he was drowning in Lucian’s gaze.
“O-okay,” he said finally, after he realized Lucian had cleared his throat several times, awaiting his response.
“Good.” Lucian heaved a deep breath and stretched out, pulling his arms high above his head, and Nate was unable to keep his eyes off the scrumptious sight. “So, will you stay for dinner?”
Iyana writes M/M short stories and novellas. Her works have been published by Evernight Publishing, JMS Books, Books to Go Now, Torquere Press, Bitten Press, Leap of Faith Publishing, Breathless Press, and Alfie Dog Fiction.
Iyana lives in Jakarta, a city famous for its traffic jams, a lot of cars and motorcycles, and people selling stuff on the roads. You can spend two hours on the road going to a place you can reach in half an hour in a normal situation. Thanks to the traffic jams, though, Iyana can come up with a lot of stories, mostly shorties, as she prefers to spend the time during her trips writing into her cell phone rather than sleeping.
Another thing Iyana loves is kitties. Right now she has three of them. Their names are Cil, Horus, and Betsy, and one kitten. When she doesn’t write, she plays with them, or they would play with her when she writes.