Bring the Love Release Party Chatroom

Bring the Love Blog Tour Art

D.M. Atkins So, for the audience (who may read this later), please introduce yourselves. I’m DM Atkins, aka Dany, and I’m the publisher at FFP.
Jacqueline Brocker Hello Lon, hello DM!
Olivia Stone Hi everyone! I’m Olivia Stone, one of the writers in the anthology
Jamie Freeman I’m Jamie Freeman.  My story “The Wages of Sin” appears in the Bring the Love anthology.
Jacqueline Brocker Greetings Olivia. I’m Jacqueline Brocker (call me Jacqui), and I wrote “Bare Blue Steel” which appears in Bring the Love.
Lon Sarver Technical note: There are no writers in the anthology, only stories. We tried putting writers in, but there were both length issues and objections to the necessary… edits
Jamie Freeman (grin)
Olivia Stone Great, nice to meet you! Thanks for clearing that up, Lon
D.M. Atkins Yeah, writers are as hard to keep in a book as kittens in a box.
Lon Sarver I live to serve.
Jamie Freeman Sounds like you live to edit.  (But that’s not a bad thing.)
Jacqueline Brocker Ha! 😀
D.M. Atkins Lon is our resident Hufflepuff.
D.M. Atkins So, let’s start with Jamie. Tell us a bit about your story and then share an excerpt?
Olivia Stone Awww 🙂
Lon Sarver Editing is serving. Kind of like being a service top.
Jamie Freeman Okay.  My story [Wages of Sin] is set in an alternate future in which the US has fractured into two halves, one of which has become the Christian States of America.  It’s a fascist government that enforces a strict biblical law…
Lon Sarver I thought the contemporary drama anthology was another time…
D.M. Atkins You know, that’s even more frightening now than it was when you submitted it.
Jamie Freeman right??
Jacqueline Brocker You beat me to the punch Lon… thought something very similar. :/
Lon Sarver Sorry. Can’t get the news out of my head today. Carry on.
Jamie Freeman It scared me to go back and read it again!
Olivia Stone Yikes, I bet!
Jamie Freeman I wrote is back in the Bush Administration, but it really seems to resonate now.
Jamie Freeman I picked a short introductory excerpt that highlights the central tension of the story – between sex and fascism…
Jamie Freeman Here’s a bit of it:
Jamie Freeman When I was in college I remember reading accounts of New York during World War II that described a general spirit of abandon that permeated the bars and the clubs and the streets of the city. You want to lean me up against that wall and fuck me up the ass? Well, I’ve never been with a man before, but, what the hell; I’m fuckin’ shipping out to the Ardennes tomorrow.

Likewise here in Occupied D.C. the war had made sluts of us all.I started seeing young couples making out on the Metro again. Black market bourbon and vodka started appearing at parties and a couple of the dance halls started staying open after ten. People started making the occasional sexual joke in line at the grocery store or in the elevators. I even got invited to a key party up in Woodley Park by this guy I know from the Travel Advisory office.

The suddenness of the shift was so remarkable that the Blues immediately started tweeting about it, claiming that as their guerrilla attacks became more frequent so too did the reports of Levitican Code violations, as if the adulterers and the gender-traitors   (homosexuals) and the life-takers (users of contraception) had run into the streets to fornicate to the sounds of automatic gunfire and explosions.

And maybe they had.

There will surely be a future PhD thesis in there somewhere. Refornication: Politico-Social Antecedents to the Sexual Tipping Point Phenomenon in the early C.S.A. period.

Jamie Freeman For a while, I assumed the shift was an exclusively hetero phenomenon, but I was wrong. The first time I really noticed that the shift included the gays was about a week after the U.S.-backed NOLA Blues seized control of New Orleans. They took over the public works by force and threw open the border to the waiting U.S. Army. There was an information blackout, even on the internal C.S.A. governmental feeds, but the news was blaring from every major U.S. news site. I had a free-chip Blackberry I’d bought on the black market and I sat in my office with the door locked, watching video of U.S. troops rolling into the Garden District for the second time in a decade, but this time hailed as liberators, the soldiers greeted by cheering crowds waving the old Stars and Stripes and pelting them with Mardi Gras beads and strings of pink azalea blossoms.

I felt the tears streaming down my face and had to log off.
I lay with my head down on the desk for over an hour listening to the sound of my own breathing and feeling sorry for myself. When I finally managed to get my shit together enough to get past the secretaries without too many awkward questions, I told Erika I was going to lunch and headed for the elevators. ‘Praise be to Him,’ she called after me, her voice light and sweet.
‘Praise be,’ I called, flashing her a false grin and waving as I fled.

D.M. Atkins So intense.
Lon Sarver Yup
Olivia Stone Very powerful
Lon Sarver The rest of the story just ratchets up from there.
Jamie Freeman Thank you.  Yes, it’s a pretty dark story…
Jacqueline Brocker I was already looking forward to reading the story, but now I’m really looking forward to it!
D.M. Atkins And yet there is that rebellion that gets me every time.
Jamie Freeman (*grin*) Don’t read it before bed!  I’ve written several in this world and none of them end well.
D.M. Atkins Born activist here with a Southern background, this one really speaks to me.
Lon Sarver What? You mean being gay under a repressive theocratic regime isn’t all unicorns and rainbows?
Jamie Freeman Yes – The Blues are out there somewhere, fighting for right…
D.M. Atkins Several? Publisher ears perk up…
Lon Sarver We could do an anthology. Free Prozac with every download!
D.M. Atkins If we are very lucky, Jamie will send us a novel, or at least more of his stories.
Jamie Freeman I do have about 3 or 4 stories set in this world – they’ve been published in anthologies in the past (by other publishers) but I could dust them off for ya…
Jamie Freeman Free Prozac might be needed.  These stories have been difficult to place with a publisher until I met you guys.  I love that Forbidden Fiction is willing to go out on a limb.
E.E. Grey afternoon all
Jamie Freeman Hello!
Jacqueline Brocker Hello E.E.!
Olivia Stone Hi!
D.M. Atkins Thank you. And we’d do it again when you are ready.
Jamie Freeman (thank you!)
D.M. Atkins So, next up is Jacqueline Brocker who we have quite a few wonderful stories from.
Jacqueline Brocker Oh, you’re too kind DM! 🙂 So, my story is called Bare Blue Steel and set in modern day Britain.
D.M. Atkins So many that we will probably be doing two anthologies of her work in the next year.
Jacqueline Brocker It’s about Jimmy, a major film buff, and his lover Tom, and how Jimmy copes when he discovers that Tom owns a gun (this is something of a bigger deal here in the UK than the US – gun ownership far less common).
Jacqueline Brocker This excerpt is from the first time Jimmy sees Tom:
Jacqueline Brocker When Jimmy and Tom met, Jimmy had just started working at the White Stag. The pub ran a monthly poker tournament, an event which the otherwise noisy Stag regarded with a pride and a touch of solemnity. Richard the manager shoved Jimmy into the section they cordoned off for it, telling him there would be little trouble, that the players were there for the game, not for some argy-bargy that the pool room tended to attract.

Jimmy first saw him saunter into the pub in a pin-stripe suit, and as Tom, thus far unnamed in Jimmy’s mind, sat down, Jimmy noticed his shoulders. Broad, the kind you wanted to rest your head on, or squeeze, or worship. Next thing he saw was his hair. He wore it in the 70s style, thick and full, held in place with what might have been brylcreem once upon a time but was probably VO5. He emanated an aura of cool mystery, the perfect picture of a 1940s gangster, but without the dramatic black and white picture.

Not like he was an actual gangster. They, Jimmy reckoned, wouldn’t be hanging out in a place like the White Stag. Kind of a pity, might have made the place that much cooler.

He mentally smacked himself for that thought. Daft bugger.

Tom shook hands with the players. Images from The Cincinnati Kid played through Jimmy’s mind “There was a familiarity, but a calm, cool guardedness to the way they looked at each other. The game hadn’t started and they were already sizing each other up. Only thing that was missing, for the most part, were the sharp suits and vests. Tom wore a vest with a blue satin front, and some of the much older blokes did as well, but others were in a variety of gear, from wide collared shirts and track suits to jeans. Tom sat with a straight back, perfect poise. Water could have rolled down the lines of his body in perfect, unbroken drops.

Jacqueline Brocker Jimmy knew bugger all about poker” just what he’d picked from stuff he’d seen on screen. Fold, showing your hand, something about matched pairs of cards and runs. Aces win. The game itself became dull to watch, but when Jimmy wasn’t working, he looked at Tom’s table. At Tom. Tom played with the steadiest face of all the players. Beneath all the others, Jimmy detected the shifts, mostly of annoyance, but nothing but a serene pleasantness exuded from Tom.

Still, he lost, and from the zero chips he had left at the end of the night, quite badly too it seemed. He didn’t stay for a drink, but he left the pub with a secretive smile. Jimmy watched him go, checking out his shoulders, back, his arse… and thought Oh well. [end]

Lon Sarver [insert jokes about poking faces here]
D.M. Atkins Yeah, I was thinking how difficult it would be to date someone who could hide their emotions like that.
Jacqueline Brocker 😛
D.M. Atkins Jacqueline – You have such an amazing variety of characters and moods in your stories. What inspired this one?
Jacqueline Brocker Yes, indeed!
Jamie Freeman Intriguing
Jacqueline Brocker And I hope that comes through in the story.
Lon Sarver It’s only an exciting mystery in fiction and when one is in one’s late teens/early twenties
Jacqueline Brocker Yes, it gets a bit tedious otherwise.
Jacqueline Brocker Thanks, Jamie!
D.M. Atkins It’s also interesting to me how cultural difference manifest. The US Southern anti-gay influences on Jamie, the British culture on Jacqueline.
Jamie Freeman If you write what you know, it all comes pouring out.
Lon Sarver It’s almost as if culture shapes human behavior, somehow…
Jamie Freeman Jacqui, can you tell us about the political aspects of the story as related to gun ownership in the UK?
Jacqueline Brocker Hmm. I think the politics are less the issue here than the surprise of discovery. One of the things I look at is more how someone who doesn’t see guns on a regular basis, only really on TV (the police here don’t carry them as standard, for instance) and how that could affect someone discovering that their lover has one – it’s more about the relationship between reality and fiction, I think.
Siol na Tine *waves*
Lon Sarver Hi!
Jamie Freeman Interesting.
Siol na Tine 🙂
Jacqueline Brocker (Good question, thank you!)
Jamie Freeman I’m looking forward to reading the whole story!
D.M. Atkins Does that mean that guns are more or less fetishized in the UK?
Siol na Tine I will say, Jaqueline, that it depends a LOT on *where* in the US you live – or Canada, I suppose. So, plenty of folks will still identify with the trouble of it.
Lon Sarver Jacqui: Yeah, I got the reality T.V. fiction vibe while editing. It’s interesting, though, that the British setting intensifies that divide. The reality of gun ownership overlaps the fiction, here in the US.
Siol na Tine Gods know I was startled when I found out my partner owns a gun! I’ve never even seen the thing. He keeps it in a lock box.
D.M. Atkins They seem pretty polarized here in the US between those who hate them and those who love them.
Jacqueline Brocker Oh, indeed, I have no doubt about that Siol. There would also be parts of the UK where, for instance, rifles would be more common (rural areas for instance, or for shooting parties).
Siol na Tine I think some of that is the less passionate just not speaking up about it.
Lon Sarver Strangely, the relative commonness of gun ownership seems to feed the fiction more than dispelling it. Probably because many people who own them (in relatively safe urban/suburban areas, at least) don’t actually see them used outside the gun range or the media.
Jamie Freeman Here in the US South – where open carry laws allow people to carry guns anywhere they want – even automatic weapons – I still find myself judging people differently when I discover they are gun owners.  For me, it places them in an “Other” category & I have to reconfigure and reconcile my opinions of them…
Siol na Tine Yeah. Lots of fantasies about what gun ownership means among the gun owners themselves
Lon Sarver So, the awareness of a gun is somewhat insulated from the reality of using one because you have to, for food or for defense.
Olivia Stone yes, sorry I thought I was already logged in over there
Jamie Freeman And I find guns popping up in my writing a lot … I’m apparently processing it all.  Yes, Siol – my fantasies are somehow invaded by guns.
Siol na Tine Hmm. I know quite a few gun owners, but very few “gun nuts” (although I know some of them too). Ownership itself doesn’t make me recategorize people, but how they talk about it definitely does. If they’re very matter-of-fact, know how to use, clean, keep safe, etc. their one or two guns. If they have military training, so it’s just life. If they do a lot of camping in the wilds, etc. Vs. collecting them like dolls, comparing whose collection is manlier with friends, ranting about people threatening to take them away, etc.
Jamie Freeman I was raised by a couple of hippies who always cut the guns off of my army men, made me play the medic when I played “way” and took away Han Solo’s blaster … so for me it’s an alien world right next door.
Jamie Freeman “war”
Siol na Tine Heh, my hippie parents were less pacifistic than yours, it seems 😉
Jamie Freeman 🙂
D.M. Atkins I am one of those parents who doesn’t allow toy guns for the kids.
Siol na Tine I don’t remember owning any toy guns – I don’t remember wanting to, though.
Lon Sarver Toy swords, though…
Siol na Tine Heh, yes, lots of toy swords, bows, the occasional lance
Jacqueline Brocker That’s interesting what Siol is saying kind of pairs up with what Lon said about the reality of owning a gun versus treating them like toys.
Jamie Freeman Yes!  I love my light saber.
Siol na Tine and we did have uh… water weenies?
Lon Sarver If the boy turns out to be a mad decapitator, I’m blaming you!
Siol na Tine not guns – long tubes suitable for using just like water guns, but holding WAY more water.
Siol na Tine Psh, like he didn’t have swords before I showed up!
D.M. Atkins Replicas of swords on the walls here.
Siol na Tine So… no manly guns, but all the phallic symbols we wanted ;p In retrospect, that may have had an effect on me… ;p
Siol na Tine @Lon – Oh, carry on then.
D.M. Atkins LOL Guilty as charged. My son will be a Ninja.
Jacqueline Brocker Maybe I should write about sword fetishization next…
Jamie Freeman “An elegant weapon for a more civilized age…” as they say.
Siol na Tine I’m sort of bewildered by guns as phallic symbols. Does that come up for you, Jamie? Jaqueline?
Jamie Freeman Oh yeah.
Siol na Tine How does that work?
D.M. Atkins My love of Errol Flynn (sp?)…
Jamie Freeman It’s about power and control and fear.  It’s a fascinating realm.
Jacqueline Brocker It certainly came up in Bare Blue Steel, sort of… though not something I think about regularly.
D.M. Atkins Swords and whips.
Lon Sarver Well, they’re long and tubular and shoot things that can change people’s lives…
Siol na Tine Hm. I had a friend who first survived a drive-by shooting through their car, and then several months later got into an accident where they had to climb out of the car.
E.E. Grey my mother was against guns, but my dad was a hunter, so I learned how to shoot until my mother put a stop to it
Lon Sarver I have the image in my head now of Sylvester Stallone as Rambo, all oiled up and muscly with his Big Long machine gun, grunting and screaming as he fires it…
Siol na Tine It was quite the intense rebirth metaphor
D.M. Atkins I think being exposed to gun violence certainly made them a turn off for me. But when I saw flogging on Captain Blood…
Lon Sarver Which is why I brought up the difference between guns as fantasy objects and guns as really used.
Siol na Tine That’s definitely a thing – when does personal experience with violence create a fetish and when does it create a trigger? Or, for that matter, when does deliberately crafting a trigger into a fetish help? We definitely get stories about that, don’t we!
D.M. Atkins Ah, the strange world of brain chemistry…
Jamie Freeman Interesting.  I have a FFP story that revolves around gunplay in which I explore all that .. writing it was a revelation in a way.  I really didn’t even see how fetishized guns are until I started writing this story.
Lon Sarver Folks who have had to shoot their dinner, or their fellow humans, or nearly been shot, have a different point of reference than those for whom guns are largely symbols of personal power an skill.
Siol na Tine Right? Sexy sexy trauma
Jamie Freeman (yes, I agree, Lon)
Siol na Tine Very true, although I know plenty of examples of overlap – and especially, embracing the guns as the symbols of power
Siol na Tine as a way of coping with having had to use them to kill
Siol na Tine … There are advantages and disadvantages to being the kind of person people confess stuff to.
Jamie Freeman (grin) So true, Siol.  To a writer, it’s a goldmine.
Siol na Tine Heh, not sure they’d still do it if they thought I was using it that way.
Jamie Freeman (heh – me neither!)
Siol na Tine So I feed y’all the resulting plot bunnies instead! Wait…
Jacqueline Brocker Not the plot bunnies, please not the plot bunnies… *eyes her already overstuffed ideas folders*
Siol na Tine Dany, maybe you should save us from ourselves? With another story snippet, perhaps? Plausible deniability? ;p
Olivia Stone Sure, no problem!
Olivia Stone So, my story is called “Slow Surrender” and is set in the LA drag scene. My main character is Lucas by day and the badass drag queen Bombshell by night. Though Lucas is more on the femme side of the gender spectrum, he’s very kinky and dominating in the bedroom, which makes dating tricky (gender norms have a nasty way of reproducing themselves, even in queer spaces).
Olivia Stone He meets a guy named Connor who presents more traditionally masculine and loves being dominated in bed, but has quite a few hang-ups about it. The story is all about them getting to know each other, take risks outside of their comfort zones, and learn that sometimes it really is worth it to put yourself out there and make an honest connection with someone who can really understand you.
Jacqueline Brocker That sounds really compelling.
Olivia Stone Thank you, I really enjoyed writing it
Olivia Stone I have an excerpt for you here, this is during Lucas and Connor’s second real encounter:
Olivia Stone Lucas pulled out a cigarette and stuck the pack back into his jacket pocket. ‘You mind?’ he said, raising an eyebrow at Connor before lighting it.

‘No, go ahead.’

When Lucas finished lighting the cigarette, he leaned back and took a drag, sweet relief flooding him. He took another drag, deliberately making his lips cling to the cigarette obscenely as he watched Connor watch him.

Lucas extended the cigarette to Connor, but he shook his head.

‘Oh, no I don’t smoke.’

‘Of course you don’t. You’re a good boy,’ Lucas said, which made Connor frown.

‘Oh, don’t be like that. There’s nothing wrong with being a good boy. We need at least a few decent people in the world and I know I’m certainly not going to be one of them.’

‘So I’m taking one for the team then?’ Connor said with a laugh, his shoulders noticeably relaxing.

‘Exactly,’ Lucas said. He took another drag of his cigarette and they lapsed into a silence that was sexually charged, but not entirely uncomfortable.’

‘I see the way you look at me, you know,’ Lucas said.


Lucas smiled and shook his head as he moved in closer. ‘You’re not exactly subtle. But then, neither am I,’ he said with a laugh as he gestured to his whole get up.

‘Ah, subtlety’s kind of overrated anyway,’ Connor said with a huff of laughter.

‘My thoughts exactly. No wonder we get along so well.’ Lucas leaned in a bit closer, and Connor swallowed hard. ‘See, you’re doing it again. Looking at me like you want me to eat you alive.’

Connor’s breath hitched, and God he was so fucking adorable. Lucas was just itching to take him apart. He tossed his cigarette to the ground and stubbed it out.

Olivia Stone ‘If this is what you want, then what are you running from?’ Lucas asked as he slowly stroked his thumb across Connor’s bottom lip. Lucas leaned in slowly, giving Connor one last chance to pull away, if he really wanted to.

He didn’t.

The kiss was slow and thorough at first, until Lucas nipped Connor’s bottom lip and then shoved him hard up against the wall.

‘You’re already hard,’ Lucas said as he cupped Connor through his pants. ‘Tell me what you want, Connor. If I’m feeling generous I might even give it to you.’

‘Everything, anything, just… touch me, please.’

As much as everything and anything sounded good to Lucas too, he knew he’d have to go on stage pretty soon. His tuck also meant that he couldn’t get hard, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t still have some fun. At least now Lucas had the opportunity to scratch the surface on his desire to get his hands all over Connor.

Olivia Stone [end]
D.M. Atkins I do love Lucas.. and damn but those are some good lines.
Jacqueline Brocker Oooh, I liked that. Really lovely build up of tension between them.
Siol na Tine I’ll… just be over here…
Olivia Stone Hehe, thank you!
Olivia Stone Yeah, things definitely heat up right after that excerpt
Siol na Tine Dammit, Olivia, I had JUST finally caught my breath, and now I’m all winded again.
Siol na Tine *laugh*
D.M. Atkins What did Lucas come from?
Olivia Stone I’m a big lover of drag (I’ve been a drag king before which was super fun), so Lucas is kind of an amalgamation of different queens I’ve liked
D.M. Atkins Nice.
Siol na Tine I noticed the different uses of drag in the snippet. It carried interesting implications.
Siol na Tine Of drag as the surface layer, but also drag as what you pull from within…
Olivia Stone Yeah, I really wanted to play around with drag and gender in the story, thinking about what is performance and what isn’t
Olivia Stone Even though drag is artificial it does something important and real for the people who perform it and enjoy
Jamie Freeman And everything is performance in a way?  I like this idea a lot.
Siol na Tine Well, more artifice than artificial, if you know what I mean
Jamie Freeman Looking forward to reading your story too!
Siol na Tine Absolutely created, an art form, even, but that doesn’t make it not real.
Olivia Stone Exactly!
D.M. Atkins I’ve done “drag” in both directions (myself being pretty much in the middle). And it’s quite fun for me as long as people don’t assume that’s all I am.
Olivia Stone Yeah, it’s a facet but not the full picture
Siol na Tine I don’t think of my costuming as drag, but I suppose it is, in a way. At least, Ru Paul tells us we’re all born naked, all else is drag… 😉
Olivia Stone Hehe, yes!
Jamie Freeman Exactly?  Appearance is never ALL you are … that’s the amazing thing about drag.
Siol na Tine I definitely feel at least as “disguised” in high femme as in anything butch…
Jacqueline Brocker I fear folks it’s past 1 in the morning here and I do need some sleep. This has been such fun though, great conversation. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to reading everyone’s stories! Good night all.
Olivia Stone Good night!
Lon Sarver G’night!
D.M. Atkins Aww, thank you Jacqueline for joining us. Sleep well and dream great new stories!
Jamie Freeman Bye Jacqui.  Nice to meet you!
Jacqueline Brocker Nice to meet you too Jamie! I shall certainly try DM. 🙂
D.M. Atkins Ready for E.E. Grey, who has two stories in the anthology.
D.M. Atkins Want to tell us about them?
E.E. Grey yes, somehow I ended up with 2!
E.E. Grey The first one, Cigarette Burns, is actually the very first story I submitted to FFP way back in 2012
D.M. Atkins Grey is one of “early adopters” at ForbiddenFiction.
E.E. Grey It’s a short story about Maddox, who was unceremoniously dumped by his boyfriend, and is spending the evening drowning his sorrows as a local bar
E.E. Grey so in this excerpt, he meets Rory, someone who may be able to lift his spirits
E.E. Grey It’s been too long, Maddox thinks. He watches the guy and wonders what it would take to get him to go down on him. He doesn’t even know if the guy is interested in other guys, but it never hurt to ask. He can’t bring himself to, though, and he looks away. No one would want to with him anyway; Joel had made that perfectly clear.

His cigarette is almost finished and he’s just thinking about grabbing one last beer before going home to see if there’s anything left of Joel’s to break when the guy beside him shifts, shoving his hair out of his eyes again with a rough hand. When Maddox looks over, he finds the guy watching him intently. It doesn’t make him nervous or excited or anything. He’s lost all ability to care. If apathy was a religion, he’d be a god.

*Long day?* the guy asks.

Maddox scrunches up in his jacket in the cold, staring down at his cigarette instead. It’s almost burned down to his fingertips but he doesn’t smash it out yet.

He doesn’t reply to the guy either. He doesn’t need to reply. He’s not going to spill his sob story to some random stranger he met in an alley between the trash cans and the stray dog rooting in the corner. It’s pathetic enough that he even cares about all of this. He doesn’t need to relive it again.

E.E. Grey The guy moves first, turning towards Maddox as Maddox fingers his cigarette and wonders how much penalty there would be to break the lease on his apartment. Every fucking thing in it reminds him of Joel and how much of an asshole he really is.

‘Hey,’ the guy says and Maddox glances at him, thinking he sees a flash of silver in the guy’s mouth, maybe a tongue piercing. ‘You want to get another drink?’

Maddox pauses. He thinks maybe the guy is coming on to him, but maybe he’s also hallucinating. It’s been seven months since he’s done this, even talked to another guy with sex as a possible outcome. In a way it had been nice, not having to guess, knowing he’d have someone to go home to. That had all been a joke.

E.E. Grey ‘No,’ he mutters, finally replying to the guy, using his voice for what seems like the first time in days. It’s rough from all the cigarettes, scratchy and low.

The guy isn’t insulted, licking his lips again before raising the cigarette and taking a drag. Maddox watches him, watches the way his tongue flicks out first, dragging over his bottom lip. He hasn’t been with anyone in months, and it’s not like it would take much to get him going at this point.

‘You wanna fuck then?’ the guy asks, plain and simple as if asking for another cigarette. His eyes are big and dark in the flickering light of the streetlamp and Maddox watches him shove his hair back again, casually, as if he’s said nothing out of the ordinary.

E.E. Grey [end, for real this time]
Lon Sarver Sure it is.
Lon Sarver 😉
E.E. Grey I’m sorry, it’s been a really long, stressful day
D.M. Atkins This is one of those simple but wonderful stories that starts out so sad and ends in a place of hope.
E.E. Grey yes, I’m not a super dramatic writer
Lon Sarver It’s OK, these things happen. Just shows folks that authors are real human beings.
Lon Sarver And not vat-grown clones chained to computers in sweatshops.
D.M. Atkins Where did the inspiration for this one start?
Lon Sarver Totally not that. Nope.
E.E. Grey i think the inspiration was probably a mixture of Gerard Way and cigarettes
D.M. Atkins Ahhh
Lon Sarver Who’s Gerard Way?
E.E. Grey he’s a singer
Jamie Freeman My Chemical Romance?
Olivia Stone From My Chemical Romance
E.E. Grey lead singer of My Chemical Romance, a band that has since broken up
Siol na Tine @E.E. I’m sorry for your day. *virtualhugs* if you want them.
E.E. Grey thanks! I took a xanax, i’m good 😉
Siol na Tine Ha! All hail the meds! Grok. I took mine already. 😉
Lon Sarver Xanax give good hugs.
E.E. Grey it does
E.E. Grey so anyway, I’ve got a second story in here
E.E. Grey somehow
Siol na Tine Somehow? You are surprised?
D.M. Atkins One of the things that struck me in putting this anthology together is that two very different stories in it have the same story arc – Cigarette Burns and Greasy Boy (by P.L. Ripley).
Siol na Tine As I recall, we had to narrow it *down* to two from you!
E.E. Grey it’s because I write too much
Siol na Tine “too much” Psh.
Lon Sarver Oh, I wouldn’t say too much.
E.E. Grey except this year. Wrote one draft of a thing then got stuck editing
D.M. Atkins The gay man rejected by his love who hocks up with a stranger and then feels more hopeful. It shows that the same arc can work so well in different stories with different authors.
Siol na Tine A familiar trouble to everyone here, I’m sure!
Lon Sarver That happens. Editing can be tough. Hard, terrible work. Only from the tough, the talented, the beautiful…
E.E. Grey i believe you know exactly how hard editing is with me, Lon! 😉
Lon Sarver What? My saying that has nothing to do with me being an editor. It’s just the facts.
Siol na Tine *eyeroll*
Lon Sarver I’ve edited worse, believe me.
E.E. Grey speaking of editing, my second story in this anthology, From the Storm, went through probably 5 drafts before it saw the light of day
D.M. Atkins Editing is the hardest part of writing for me too.
E.E. Grey I thought, how could such a short, simple story be so hard to get right
Lon Sarver Ah, yeah. I remember that process.
Lon Sarver Because it is short and simple. Just like packing a small suitcase can be more difficult than packing a large one.
D.M. Atkins I tend to write long, so often find the shorter stories harder to get right.
E.E. Grey months and months and months of agonizing on my part
D.M. Atkins So, what is the story about?
Lon Sarver You still need all the same stuff, you just have fewer pages to put it in. It requires a greater economy of words, and more focus on implication than on overt description.
E.E. Grey despite all the hardship of editing, it’s actually a pretty simple story about getting caught in a black out and having some fun
Lon Sarver It got to the right place in the end.
Siol na Tine Hmmm, fun in the dark….
Lon Sarver I think the hard part, from an editing perspective, was selling the isolation of being caught in the storm without turning it into a disaster piece.
E.E. Grey It’s about our lawyer, Bailey, and the company intern, Ian, getting stuck at work on the hottest day of the year, without power or air conditioning
Olivia Stone Ooooh, nice!
E.E. Grey so, here’s a bit to get you started!
E.E. Grey As Ian rummaged in the fridge, Bailey closed his eyes for a second, trying to remember what being cool felt like, but he couldn’t. His mind still lingered on the briefs back in his office, but it became more difficult to concentrate when Ian grabbed a handful of ice and dropped it in a cup on the counter.

‘I think we should both cool down,’ Ian said, coming back to Bailey.

‘I don’t think the boss would approve,’ Bailey said, smiling slightly and leaning against the counter.

‘Well, I think it’s hot in here and you’ve worked very hard today,’ Ian replied, cornering Bailey and smirking. Bailey almost groaned, but it was cut off by a gasp as something cold and wet slid along his collarbone, gliding up the bone, sliding up the length of his neck as he tilted his head back, swallowing slowly.

E.E. Grey He felt the ice melting as Ian let it slip down his throat and back to his chest. He breathed out slowly, stretching his neck back and closing his eyes.

It wasn’t how Bailey had imagined it, but he’d imagined it in an air-conditioned bedroom, not the tiny office kitchenette where they drank stale coffee and listened to coworkers’ gossip.

The ice melted completely, and only Ian’s fingers were left, trailing the last bit of water along his collarbone, but when something warmer, softer, pressed against his skin, Bailey’s eyes opened.

Bringing up a hand, he slid it into Ian’s soft hair as Ian’s lips brushed against him. All the blood seemed to be rushing to his cock as Ian’s mouth continued its exploration of his collarbone.

E.E. Grey [end]
Olivia Stone *fans self*
D.M. Atkins Aww, great tease!
Jamie Freeman Excellent – and yet, very much unlike my own office.  😉
E.E. Grey mine too
E.E. Grey mine is always freezing
Lon Sarver I’ve not worked in an office like that before. Not even at ForbiddenFiction!
E.E. Grey it’s after hours!
Olivia Stone Anything goes 😉
Jamie Freeman I particularly like workplace erotica though.  Probably comes from decades spent working in HR.  🙂
Olivia Stone Yeah, there’s something deliciously taboo about it
Siol na Tine Ahh, having the intern be the one initiating takes away one of the layers of problematic power dynamics. Of course, it arguably adds another in its place 😉
Jamie Freeman Yes!  Good point.
D.M. Atkins If we ever do a second “Desk Job” anthology, it would fit that one too.
Siol na Tine @Jamie – Have we got the collection for you!
E.E. Grey this one actually changed location at least twice
E.E. Grey it wasn’t originally in the office
Jamie Freeman If we ever do another “Desk Job”, I want in too!
E.E. Grey this was written for a different FFP collection
Siol na Tine If we get enough stories again, we definitely will, and this will definitely be in it!
E.E. Grey I don’t remember which though, a summer heatwave something
D.M. Atkins Jamie, you are already in the first one! LOL
Siol na Tine Oh? Which collection was it originally written for E.E.?
Jamie Freeman (I know – and I think I have more to say on the subject!)
Siol na Tine (This is my shocked face! 😉
E.E. Grey I don’t remember. a summer heat or something like that
D.M. Atkins Awesome. More to say on hot office sex works for me.
Siol na Tine Ohhh, yeah. Not one we got enough stories for yet, but good that it served as prompts!
Siol na Tine I adore anthologies, but then, I adore the short story form.
Siol na Tine Also, fun covers
E.E. Grey I’d say my average story length is 5-30k
Siol na Tine But I might be biased there 😉
D.M. Atkins We have a lot more prompts than anthologies. Some we only have a few stories in. This anthology came from us looking around at the stories that could be put together to make new anthologies.
E.E. Grey at least when it comes to fanfic
Siol na Tine That’s a pretty wide range, really.
Siol na Tine There aren’t as many authors who can do 5k as well as 30k
E.E. Grey yeah i don’t really monitor my lengths
Siol na Tine If you’re telling the story that needs to be told, no reason you should – at least at first.
E.E. Grey my longest was 100k
Jamie Freeman I do.  I write to a target length 90% of the time.
Siol na Tine Granted, if you have to fit in some kind of box, there’s that, but if not, hey, have at, yeah?
E.E. Grey shortest was 100 words
D.M. Atkins We are also planning a “dark” m/m collection with less romantic themes.
E.E. Grey I guess I don’t plan enough to have a target length
Siol na Tine @Jamie – Why? Does it help you map out the story arc structure?
Lon Sarver Some publishers give a target length for anthologies and serialized publication.
Siol na Tine @E.E. – Yeah, different writing styles work differently. We have authors who just sit down and start writing what the characters in their heads are saying, and others who will map out whole universes before ever outlining a plot point.
Jamie Freeman Yes.  It helps me pace things.  In the back of my mind I am watching the word count and crafting the story to fit… it also helps me edit to create a tighter manuscript.
Siol na Tine @Lon – Oh sure, if you know it’s for a prompt that’s a thing.
E.E. Grey I have done both. but I find it easier to not have everything mapped out at first
Siol na Tine @Jamie – That makes sense.
E.E. Grey I have written plenty of targeted length stories too
Siol na Tine *Takes notes for the inevitable day she’s stuck writing her own damned plot bunnies*…
D.M. Atkins I like to have the story arc in my mind, particularly for short stories.
E.E. Grey like I said, write too much. I think the count is over 320 now
Siol na Tine I like to have a story arc in mind that I slyly feed to better fiction authors ;p
D.M. Atkins Even then, sometimes they get away from me..
D.M. Atkins 320 or 320000
Olivia Stone I like to have an arc in mind, but I’m such an outliner that I have to be careful not to get so bogged down in planning instead of writing
E.E. Grey 320 stories.
D.M. Atkins Wow
Olivia Stone Wow, 320? That’s amazing!
Siol na Tine Not sure I believe in too much of a good thing…
E.E. Grey word count would be impossible to calculate at this point. I did 600k in a year once
Jamie Freeman @D.M. Atkins – yes – sometimes they escape and you suddenly have a larger project on your hands.  It’s all very organic no matter how much I try to wrangle it.
Siol na Tine Ha! I’m remembering the last time D.M. Atkins told me about a novella she was writing. By the time she was done explaining it, it had turned itself into a possible multi-novel series!
D.M. Atkins I’ve written more novels than short stories. If you count the fanfic, I passed 20 a while ago, with over 4 million words.
E.E. Grey I do count the fanfic
Lon Sarver D.M. Atkins has a big case of “Hey, but what about this minor story point? I could unpack that a bit…”
Siol na Tine Hmm… if a picture is worth 1,000 words, I wonder how I’m doing…?
E.E. Grey I used to have a lot more free time
D.M. Atkins Mm, I think that was over 20 fanfic with about that many non-fanfic novels. I have counted the files in a while.
Jamie Freeman @Lon Yes!  That’s a great way to fuel the next story!
Siol na Tine How often do y’all write stories inspired by your dreams?
Siol na Tine Asking for a friend…
Lon Sarver Sure, if we could convince her to do it in the next story, instead of adding another subplot to the current story…
E.E. Grey Never but I had a great dream the other day that would have been a perfect novel
Siol na Tine You mean will be? *wink wink*
Lon Sarver No pressure or anything.
E.E. Grey well, I kind of forgot? but I wrote it to my friend so maybe it’s still in the messages
Jamie Freeman @Siol – I don’t ever.  I’m such a rationalist that I just can’t connect that way.   Though I will say that I sometimes use dream images in my writing for effect…
Siol na Tine No, seriously, why *not* turn that perfect novel dream into an actual novel?
E.E. Grey I was hoping to actually finishing editing Olympic Passions #4 before I started something else
Siol na Tine @Jamie – Your dreams aren’t rational enough, I take it?
E.E. Grey but that would require actually editing
Olivia Stone @Siol I have a hard time remembering my dreams. I have occasionally halfway woken up to mumble story ideas into my phone and then when I wake up and listen to them I find the story doesn’t actually make sense, my dreaming mind just thought it did
Siol na Tine @E.E. Oh, well, yes, there’s that.
Siol na Tine @Olivia – *Laugh* Yes, that’s a very familiar one.
Jamie Freeman @Siol – right.  My dreams don’t cohere enough for me to twist them into narrative.
D.M. Atkins Several of my short stories were re-occurring nightmares. They stopped when I wrote them down. My demons have ways of making me write.
Siol na Tine *Nods* This is one of those times where Lon would tell me I’m not a standard example of humanity.
D.M. Atkins Thus, spawning several wolf related stories…
Jamie Freeman I do find dreams inspiring – images, themes, dialogue – but they have to be placed within a coherent narrative.
Siol na Tine @E.E. Maybe taking a break from OP4 to write something different would actually help unlock the editing for later?
Siol na Tine They say a change is as good as a rest, sometimes…
D.M. Atkins Yes, the wolf imagery kept coming up so I ended up writing several were-wolf themed short stories and then the novel, Faewolf.
E.E. Grey Oh, I’ve been taking a break… about 3 months now 😉
Lon Sarver I’ve always found that setting something aside and working on something else helps me bring fresh eyes to the project.
E.E. Grey I wrote some new fanfic the other day instead
Siol na Tine Cool 🙂
E.E. Grey not exactly productive, but its writing
D.M. Atkins Writing something new can sort of prime the pump for another story.
Olivia Stone Fic can be great for getting the creative juices flowing again
Siol na Tine A lot of our authors get going on a fanfic, and then realize they’re taking it somewhere far enough from canon that it’s worth re-working into original fic.
Siol na Tine Fanfic can be VERY productive!
Siol na Tine Hell, technically several of our prompts are basically for fanfic – just for stuff so old it’s not under copyright!
E.E. Grey TRUE
Siol na Tine Shakespeare, Homer, the Bible…
E.E. Grey I should do a gay Emma adaptation
Olivia Stone Alright everyone, I’ve got to go now but it was really great chatting with you!
Siol na Tine Aww, it was good to see you Olivia!
Jamie Freeman Good night!  Nice to meet you.  🙂
Olivia Stone You too! 🙂
Lon Sarver G’night
D.M. Atkins So, Lon, I know you have some more excepts for us from the authors who couldn’t make it. Share with us?
Lon Sarver OK, let me consult my list…
Siol na Tine And my list of covers, for that matter…
Lon Sarver OK, here’s one.
D.M. Atkins In the meantime, I’m curious if folks read the interviews?
Siol na Tine I haven’t read this batch yet, sorry
D.M. Atkins The three part one we did with the answers to the questions the authors gave us.
D.M. Atkins Check them out on the Blog Tour to see what each person said.
Jamie Freeman I read some of them, but haven’t made it through all of them.
D.M. Atkins We have one on our site and the other two on other sites (but linked to our blog tour page).
Siol na Tine Yup
Siol na Tine Shiny!
D.M. Atkins I’m a big fan of hearing the story behind the story.
Jamie Freeman I like that too.
Lon Sarver The story is Naked in the Sun, by Dorla Moorehouse. It’s about a man, Daniel, who’s been gradually losing his eyesight, and his partner Andy, who is frightened by this and is very overprotective. Depressed by his health, Daniel hasn’t been into sex for a few months, and Andy is taken by surprise when Daniel expresses a return of desire. That they’re in a public park when Andy declares his lust doesn’t make him any less nervous…
Lon Sarver I looked around. It really wasn’t that crowded. We could probably get away with it. My mind was made up when I spied some large shrubbery a few feet away.

‘Okay, but I want us to hide in some bushes. I don’t want to miss this conference call because I got arrested.’

‘Fair enough.’

I guided Daniel over to the shrubs, helped him to the ground. Once stable, he pounced, knocking me off balance, flat on my back, arms pinned to the earth. I was ashamed to realize that I was surprised by his assertiveness. It suddenly occurred to me how often my sexual fantasies had involved me being in control, and being excessively tender and gentle. I hurried to turn my thoughts back to Daniel and the attention he was giving me. This moment was too important to be ruined by my own distractions and insecurities.

Lon Sarver Daniel started unbuttoning my shirt as his tongue delved between my teeth. His erection was pressed directly against mine, and I thought I was going to burst from joy and arousal. Daniel was grinding against me, his smooth fingers pinching my nipples, teeth taking greedy bites from my neck as I writhed. He couldn’t see, but he had my body memorized.

‘I want to suck you off,’ he whispered. ‘And then I want to fuck you in the ass.’

I opened my mouth to speak, but Daniel shook his head. Placing three fingers under my chin, he pushed my lips closed. ‘I know what you’re about to ask. Don’t. Yes, this is exactly what I want to do. Just let go and have fun. Please.’

Lon Sarver [End}
D.M. Atkins It’s one of only three stories involving an established couple.
Lon Sarver This was one I edited, by the way. It’s all from Andy’s point of view, and getting his voice right in a way that showed Andy’s fears without reducing Daniel to a two-dimensional figure took some work.
D.M. Atkins I liked the way they had to deal with the assumptions they have and how it had changed the way they see each other.
Siol na Tine Augh, but *I* don’t know what he was gonna ask! What was he gonna ask?!?!
Siol na Tine Probably “Are you sure?!”…
Jamie Freeman (don’t tell us!!)
Lon Sarver Yeah, Daniel’s gotten to the place of “this is who I am now,” and Andy hasn’t.
Lon Sarver Actually, I think he was going into a long digression about baking scones. But that didn’t make the final edit of the story.
Jamie Freeman This anthology has a very broad range of relationships and themes!
Lon Sarver Andy’s whole baking fetish just didn’t fit in the short fiction form.
E.E. Grey Well, scones are important
Jamie Freeman Everyone loves scones.
Lon Sarver He’s a real sconer.
E.E. Grey especially the glazed kind
Jamie Freeman (*grin*)
Lon Sarver Seriously, though, it was just a moment of “shut up and let me blow you, OK?”
D.M. Atkins *rolls eyes* at you all
Lon Sarver Andy’s pretty tired of being babied by this point.
E.E. Grey if you could have fit a recipe in there, you could have released a separate cook book
Siol na Tine We have a whole other collection for that going…
Lon Sarver Well, we do (did?) have a collection in the works where each story is paired with an original recipe from the author.
Siol na Tine So, if you do manage to extract a scone fetish from the author, please let us know!
D.M. Atkins Hey we tried the erotic cook book idea… unfortunately most writers do not make up their own recipes.
Siol na Tine We do, but it’s far from having enough stories
Lon Sarver Problem is in verifying that recipes are copyrighted, and folks don’t always know where they got them. And writers are not always cooks…
E.E. Grey I bake!
E.E. Grey I guess I have a baking fetish, if that’s what we’re calling it now
D.M. Atkins So, do you have original recipes that could be paired with stories?
Jamie Freeman I think I have the first thousand words of a story about a donut bakery somewhere … hmmm … wonder where that is.
Siol na Tine Granted… we could always use more stories about sexy foodness. We don’t necessarily need recipes for every story…
D.M. Atkins Jamie, yes donuts!
E.E. Grey it’s hard to create an original recipe
Lon Sarver How about one where the gingerbread man comes to life… With an appetite?
Siol na Tine Especially in baking
Siol na Tine Hi Elizabeth!
E.E. Grey I mean, chocolate chip cookies are all basically sugar, flour, eggs, and chocolate
D.M. Atkins We do have a collection about food and sex. It isn’t full yet and so baking us up something for it would be delicious.
Lon Sarver “That’s not sugar glaze,” he said with a leer.
D.M. Atkins HI Elizabeth!
Elizabeth A. Schechter Hi there!
Lon Sarver Hey, Liz.
Jamie Freeman @Lon (ha ha)
Elizabeth A. Schechter Books with recipes in there are a big thing in romance.
Jamie Freeman Howdy!
D.M. Atkins For those joining us Elizabeth Schechter is the author of quite a few short stories and novels, including the Rebel Mage trilogy.
Lon Sarver And also in black magic, but that’s another anthology.
Elizabeth A. Schechter Hi, all! I’m not in for long, because east coast, and mornings come early here.
Lon Sarver DM is prompting me for another excerpt. I think she just doesn’t want me continuing with food-based story prompts now.
Siol na Tine That’s because if you’re the one designing the prompts we’ll end up with food-based *horror* erotica!
Elizabeth A. Schechter It came from the back of Lon’s pantry…
Jamie Freeman If only
D.M. Atkins My stomach started growling…
Siol na Tine And I can only fit so many genre references into one book cover, dammit! ;p
Elizabeth A. Schechter The night the forgotten leftovers took over the refrigerator. Sounds like something Chuck Tingle would write.
Siol na Tine Well… actually…
E.E. Grey just put in the moldy can of pasta sauce I discovered in my fridge today
D.M. Atkins You want to see some of the sexy food stories, see Julian Keys’ list.
Lon Sarver This one’s from Judge Not by Kalin Morgan. Matt is a man who, trying to get home after work, finds himself inexplicably dragged into a weird court that adjudicates violations of the unwritten laws of S&M…
Siol na Tine Contrary to popular belief, old leftovers are not *actually* eldritch abominations.
Lon Sarver Matt found himself pressed up against the wall of the room, Mr Smith’s body leaning hard against him, those dark eyes staring into his own wide green ones. The urge to struggle against him, to fight and then run warred with another unexpected need to submit, to go limp and boneless against the more dominant force.

Mr Smith waited a long moment before he said lowly and firmly, ‘You need to be calm. Take a deep breath. You do not have permission to speak and I would highly advise against any further speaking out of turn, and especially cursing, unless you wish to be punished here and now. His Lordship is not known for his forgiving nature.’

The hand eased off slightly and Matt sucked in a deep breath. ‘That’s it. Good boy. And another … I know this is unexpected.’ A small snort escaped from Matt, an eyebrow quirking in mocking response. ‘Okay, perhaps unexpected is not quite the right word, but it is happening and it will happen and the best you can do is keep calm and behave. Things will go much easier for you if you behave.’

Matt pulled in another slow breath, inhaling the other man’s scent, dark and softly smoky. He felt his cock stir at the pressure Mr Smith was still exerting against him, reacting to the ease with which the man held him up against the wall. A tremor ran through him as he prayed that the other man would not notice his body’s betrayal.

His pupils dilated and he let his eyes fall closed as he sucked in another slow breath. Perhaps if he just went along with it all, submitted like they wanted him to, he could get out of here and get home to his nice, safe bed. But definitely not by taking an elevator.

Matt felt the pressure against him ease away and he opened his eyes, shifting away from the wall and moving to stand in the middle of the room as indicated.

‘You have not had time to brief your client, Mr Smith?’

Lon Sarver ‘No, Sir. There seems to have been a slight temporal glitch. But he will remain calm and he is most apologetic for his ill-mannered outburst.’

Matt nodded his agreement and murmured a soft apology when the Earl’s heavy gaze fell on him. The door opened behind them, but Matt kept his eyes fixed firmly on the floor, concentrating on his breathing.

Lon Sarver [end]
Jamie Freeman I like this – if Kafka had written S&M?
Elizabeth A. Schechter Oh, dear. Looks like they lost connection.
Lon Sarver Well, maybe he did, he was just topping the reader…
D.M. Atkins [Glitch reload and reply again.]
Elizabeth A. Schechter And they’re back! In time for me to say gnite.
Lon Sarver Can you hear me now?
Jamie Freeman I hear ya
Lon Sarver If so, you might want to consult a specialist.
D.M. Atkins So, this story is less strictly contemporary, and more urban fantasy. It was one of our best-selling shorts and this is his first anthology it’s been in.
Lon Sarver This is a visual medium.
D.M. Atkins So where were we…
E.E. Grey I’m going to be off. got rabbits to feed
Lon Sarver OK. G’night, E.E.
E.E. Grey laters
D.M. Atkins EE – Say hi and give pet to rabbits. Night.
Siol na Tine *sigh* Looks like we got reconnected just in time for everyone else to go 🙁
E.E. Grey I will. I have babies! I’ll tell them you say hello
D.M. Atkins Wanna tell us about another story Lon?
Jamie Freeman I’m back, but I’m on East Coast time so I need to be heading off into the sunset.  Had a blast – I’m really looking forward to reading everyone’s stories!
Siol na Tine Be well, Jamie! Happy baby bunnies EE!
D.M. Atkins Sweet dreams. Hope you enjoy reading all the stories!
Lon Sarver Thanks for joining us.
Lon Sarver OK, internet gods willing, I have more excerpts…
Siol na Tine Good to see you!
Lon Sarver In P.L. Ripley’s story Private Security, Ryan is a college guy with a night job as a private guard on an office block, and Definitely Not Gay. Justin is a friend of his, also Definitely Not Gay, dropped out and turned to a life of crime.
Lon Sarver So, this bit happens when Ryan catches Justin breaking into a place he’s guarding. And the two aren’t sure about this whole Not Gay thing anymore…
Lon Sarver ‘Stop. We can’t do this.’ Justin tried to pull himself from Ryan’s hold, but could not break free. Ryan tightened his grip and after a minute or so, Justin gave up his attempt to release himself.

‘Why can’t we do this?’ Ryan asked.

‘I’m not gay,’ Justin replied.

‘I know you’re not gay. I’ve seen all the girls you were sleeping with back at school. I kind of envied you with some of them. I’m not gay either, but I want to be with you. I have for a long time. And I think you want to be with me as well.’

‘Just because I want to, doesn’t mean I should.’

Lon Sarver ‘So you do want to!’

‘I do. I don’t know why, but I do.’ Justin began unbuttoning Ryan’s uniform shirt, then slid it from his shoulders and let it pool on the floor at their feet. He slipped his hands beneath the crisp, white undershirt, his cool fingers causing a chill to race along Ryan’s belly and chest. Justin looked into Ryan’s eyes and they both swallowed nervously at the same time. ‘Is this what you wanted?’ he asked. Ryan couldn’t speak. His mouth was desert dry, but he nodded his head that this was exactly what he had fantasized about.

Justin’s fingers found Ryan’s nipples and teased them until they grew as hard as Ryan’s cock had become. God, how Ryan wanted him. He resisted the urge to tear off Justin’s clothes and ravish him on the desk. To taste his entire body from ankles to eyelids. Ryan tugged on Justin’s jeans, pulling the button loose and sliding the zipper down until his bright white underwear shone out at him. He slipped his hand beneath the elastic band, feeling the shock of pubic hair then the rigid stem of Justin’s cock. He was hard and Ryan felt a flutter in his belly when Justin moaned at his touch.

He pulled Justin’s cock out, gave it a few tugs, watching as his foreskin slid up over the fat, red head, then pulled away again, leaving the crown slick with precome. Ryan licked his lips, wondering what it tasted like. He had tasted his own semen once, when he was very young and just learning how to masturbate. One quick dip of his index finger in his overflowing belly button and Ryan discovered it was bitter, foul tasting stuff. He had never asked any girl he had been with to take his come in her mouth because of that. Some still did, but not at his insistence. But he had never tasted precome and really had no desire to, until now. He imagined it must taste similar to come, yet he wanted Justin’s just the same.

Lon Sarver Ryan nuzzled Justin’s neck, thrilled by his friend’s pleasured moans. He nibbled Justin’s earlobe while continuing to fist his cock.

‘Oh god, Ryan,’ Justin moaned. He fumbled with Ryan’s uniform pants, tugging them open and letting them slide to the floor. Then Justin had Ryan’s cock out and was playing with it just as Ryan was playing with Justin. ‘I’m sorry I pushed you. I’m sorry you hit your head.’

‘I told you, it’s okay. You didn’t hurt me. I understand why you freaked.’

‘Let me make it up to you,’ Justin said and before Ryan could comment, Justin was on his knees before him and pulling Ryan’s cock into his mouth. Ryan gasped at the sudden wet heat surrounding him. His body went limp and he leaned against the desk before he fell again.

It was obvious that Justin had never done this before. He fumbled his tongue over Ryan’s cock, in an attempt to imitate what girls had done for him. Ryan didn’t complain though. He knew he would do no better, having never even had the desire to give another guy head before. But he wanted to do this for Justin. And the way Justin looked up at him, the smile in his eyes, the way he struggled to pull Ryan all the way into his throat, Ryan knew the desire to please was not his exclusively. ‘Does it feel good?’ Justin asked, pulling Ryan’s cock from his mouth just long enough to get the words out, then went back to it before he got the answer.

Lon Sarver Hi, Julian!
Julian Keys Here’s the blushing mortified emoji? That’s me!
Julian Keys Um…hi?
Lon Sarver And don’t worry about internet problems. We’ve been having them here, too.
Lon Sarver I think the excerpts are too hot for our ISP.
Lon Sarver The relays are getting all hot and sticky and dropping connections.
Lon Sarver Hey, there’s a story prompt: Cyber Sex–when the Singularity hits, and the AI comes!
Siol na Tine LOL
Siol na Tine Also, no worries Julian, you’re not too late to tell us about your story!
Siol na Tine (And I know folks do need to leave when they do, but I, at least, am ok with going over time a bit, if you need some space to work your greatness. 😉
Julian Keys here’s an except where Eric, our designated driver of the story Designated Driver, fantasizes about Arthur (his man crush) in the shower: [start]Arthur. I was mesmerized by his muscled arms, by the way his trousers hugged his butt. He’d brush a black tendril of hair behind his ear and I’d gulp with desire. His voice could raise goosebumps on my flesh, and when those warm, dark eyes fixed on me, my cock would twitch and my pulse would race.

He was perfect casting for the gay wet dream of a classical warrior. Masturbating in the shower, I’d envision him wearing a Spartan helmet and sandals. As hot water dripped off my hard-on, I’d imagine myself his captive. Forced to suck his cock, and then, turning round, take it between my spread ass cheeks.

And yes, he was gay. On nights when he alone called me for a ride, he usually fell into the back seat with some sexy twink. The two of them would spend the ride sucking tongues and working their hands down each other’s pants. I did my best to keep my eyes on the road and off my rearview. But there was no suppressing a shiver when I heard Arthur say things like: “I’m going to give it to you so hard.”

God, what I wouldn’t do to have him say that to me. Sober.

D.M. Atkins Aww, so sad. He thinks he not good enough for anyone, let alone the man he has a crush on.
Lon Sarver Heh. This is where you definitely tip your driver.
Siol na Tine Reminds me of the P!nk song. 🙂
Lon Sarver Just the tip, mind you…
Julian Keys And on the opposite side (the story is split between two first person pov’s) Eric and Arthur, we have Arthur’s view of Eric while they’re driving together: [start]I  wondered what it might be like to travel with him across country. Or better yet, to take him to Germany and introduce him to the Autobahn. God, wouldn’t he love that? I found myself watching his nimble hands, so sure on the wheel. What would they’d feel like cupping my ass?

“Check this out,” Eric said another night, one of the few times he actually spoke first. We were heading down Newberry Blvd., the hellish part that ran through the commercial district. It had recently been repaved and given islands of concrete and trees, which had significantly improved the traffic.

“Look at the way the islands change the flow. They create private lanes for those wanting the stores. So there’s no interference with the main drag.” His eyes glowed with admiration. “Such a simple solution. I love it.”

A guy who found beauty in traffic flow. How could I not be charmed? Even my initial impression of his attractiveness shifted, going all the way from indifferent to obsessed. What did he look like naked? And would he jump or moan if his nipples were tweaked? Night after night, I’d lie in bed, stroking my stiff cock and dreaming of his bubble butt exposed. I’d imagine myself impaling him, envision the wiry muscles of his back rippling as he undulated.

From the looks Eric gave me, I knew he’d be willing and interested. But his natural reticence made me hesitate. Was it shyness or something more?

D.M. Atkins So, is this were I add but he “gets it in the end”?
Julian Keys Yeah, I really seem to go for writing about the shy solitary types who, like certain kids on playgrounds think “no body likes me…”
Siol na Tine Awww
Lon Sarver I’m trying to find a way to get a “double parking” joke in…
Siol na Tine both your story and the one above it sound really…
Siol na Tine I don’t know, ‘endearing’?
D.M. Atkins Yeah. I can understand that and it makes me want to sit him down for a talk on self esteem and consent… (I’m such a mom.)
Siol na Tine That’s not usually how I think about what we publish, but, they’re just so adorkable about it
Julian Keys Fire away with the driving puns! DD is all about comparing sex to driving and who is behind the wheel.
Siol na Tine Well, okay, but there’s only two of them
Julian Keys 😀 Thank you!
Siol na Tine So, I don’t see how we’ll work in four-way flashers…
Lon Sarver Well you know he knows how to drive stick..
D.M. Atkins Could also add a no “drinking and driving” metaphor in there too.
Siol na Tine Why does this feel like a lightbulb joke?
D.M. Atkins Julian, you can tell this is us far into the chat. Not quite to drinking yet, but definitely getting slappy.
Siol na Tine Yet?
Siol na Tine Oh, well, Lon does like a good bourbon, I suppose
D.M. Atkins We end the anthology with this story because it such a strong arc from so sad to so happy.
Julian Keys Well, drinking is a huge part of the story. That was the trick. Trying to make it realistic but still funny without glorify getting drunk…
Julian Keys I also like weaving together themes. In this case, driving with care as compared to driving drunk, and comparing the search for romance with traveling down unknown streets, or thinking you know the way only to find yourself going down a wrong road. Smooth rides turning into crazy, twisted and bumpy travel. Accelerating or coming to an expected stop. Using all those metaphors for Eric and Arthur’s search for love was so much fun.
Siol na Tine That’s a tough call
Siol na Tine A lot of people romanticize alcohol
Lon Sarver Where the rubber meets the…
Siol na Tine Road rash?
Lon Sarver There’s an ointment for that.
Julian Keys True, people romantic alcohol and I didn’t want to do that. But then, these are young men and it’s real enough that they’re going to party. And it adds to that aspect of the story. How can you be part of the fun if you need to stay sober? How can you know if the fun is real and true if you’re drunk? You might say that Eric always takes drives with drunks, while Arthur always drives drunk*”and then regrets it in the morning when he has to deal with the hangover. And so while they go on plenty of drives, neither one ever gets to really enjoy the ride.
Julian Keys Haha on the road rash!
Siol na Tine Honestly, as a person who isn’t much into drinking and has spent a lot of timing driving people around? I appreciate it.
D.M. Atkins We’re at the end of our chat arc for the day. Let’s have one more excerpt, this time from Lynn Kelling who couldn’t make it today.
Siol na Tine There’s a whole lot of feeling like they don’t actually want you around, they just want to use you for the service
Lon Sarver The piece from Lynn is a prequel short to Whatever the Cost, about how Timothy and Avery came to the city where the novel is set, and a little adventure they had with one another on the road…
Lon Sarver ‘Slow?’ Timothy scoffs, stepping up to Avery, straddling his legs. Usually he makes Avery feel short at five foot eight he’s two inches shorter than Timothy, but convinced he still has one more growth spurt left in him, that the relatives he never met were fantastically tall, even though he has no proof of such a thing. Leaning as he is, Timothy towers over him, so Avery glances up through the long golden bangs he hates, his big green eyes taking over his boyish face. ‘You had your hand down my pants, and then you up and take the fuck off? How am I supposed to run after you?’

‘It was pretty funny,’ Avery grins slyly, sliding up to his feet to use every bit of his height. The glow coming off of Philadelphia on his left makes it look like Oz, a wondrous, magical place  “especially compared to darker, seedy Camden on his right. But Camden is his home. The rent’s cheap. The company is good. Letting his lips part softly, his eyes closing halfway, Avery watches Timothy’s mouth. Chasing it, he stays a breath away, a smile playing at the corners of his full lips.

‘Maybe,’ Timothy says thoughtfully, his naturally hushed, sandpapery voice like a tickle that races over Avery’s skin, ‘I should keep you on a leash.’

Lon Sarver ‘Mm, kinky,’ Avery purrs, grabbing Timothy brazenly by the crotch. Breathing out a rush of air, Timothy shivers, squints down at him and surges for his mouth. Avery in turn leans back, keeping just out of range, thinking of the random stranger that Timothy blew the other day for a hundred bucks.

‘Stop that,’ Timothy scolds, grabbing Avery by the back of the head, getting hat and hair both, using the grip to pull him into kissing range. The tip of Avery’s tongue teases lightly over the center of Timothy’s top lip and he tries to jerk away again, but Timothy yanks him close, kissing him deep and dirty until Avery’s head spins. They break after long minutes. ‘When I want to kiss you, you have to let me.’

‘Oh yeah?’

‘Yeah, actually. It’s a rule. I just made it.’

Lon Sarver Gonna get that tattooed on your arm too? Or maybe you could just write ‘property of Timothy’ over my ass.’

Timothy’s eyebrows shoot up. ‘Can I?’

Avery’s response is a deep, rolling chuckle. He undulates forward, dragging in a slow grind against Timothy’s groin. It makes Timothy exhale heavily, so Avery does it again but this time Timothy grabs Avery’s ass to guide his movements and keep him there. Avery keeps at it until Timothy’s dark brown eyes are black with lust, his skin flushed with heat. Then he wriggles away, slipping from his lover’s hold and hopping a few feet down the walkway with a bright laugh.

He dashes farther away while Timothy groans and braces a hand on the railing. ‘How can someone so sweet be so evil?’

‘It’s a talent?’ Avery shrugs.

D.M. Atkins Yeah. That’s a story that would fit well with your world of characters, Julian.
Julian Keys Which one? (evil grin)
D.M. Atkins The sweetness of Timothy in particular.
Siol na Tine Just because we’re no longer obliged to keep talking, doesn’t mean we’re obliged to stop 😉
Lon Sarver We could have an anthology entitled Break The Woobie
Julian Keys Yes. I do like to mix the sweet with the sharp.
D.M. Atkins The characters in Whatever the Cost had such hard backgrounds and they have worked so hard to understand they deserve better.
Julian Keys I seem to have the worst luck with the chats. First one I was unprepared. Second one everyone got the plague and it was canceled. Third one I barely get in under the wire…
Julian Keys Actually, while I’ve got you all, I need your help!
Siol na Tine Oh?
D.M. Atkins Glad you got here for the end at least.
D.M. Atkins For those reading our chat, this is where the official part ends. We hope you enjoyed the teasers and will enjoy the book of them even more.

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