Saturday, December 13

Tentacles and Chain (ch. 23)

Sorry I've been so quiet lately (and haven't gotten a newsletter out in the last couple of months)--things have been bat-poop crazy. Hopefully that will settle down this week and life will go back to what passes for "normal" around here :)

Chapter Twenty-Three

It took three more days of fear and uneasy sleep before Trellen finally found shelter in the form of a tiny island. It was barren, little more than sand and rocks rising a few feet above the water, but the shallows around it would provide a temporary haven where he could finally rest and refill his empty net. Exhaustion claimed him the instant he reached the shallows—but Trellen’s dreams continued to be filled with nightmare images of sharks and Men and monsters with tentacles.
“Do you really still fear me so much?”
“Master?” Shadows danced around Trellen, taunting him, forever out of reach. He swam toward one, only to have it retreat into the distance; he turned and swam after another, but it too vanished. He turned and tried for a third and it slipped out of his grasp. “Please, where are you? Don’t leave me alone.”
“You’re the one who left, sweet.”
Pain stabbed at his heart. “I had to! You robbed me of my freedom. What was I supposed to do? Remain your slave forever?” Forever. Could he have had forever?
A hand caressed his cheek. Trellen melted into the familiar touch.
“If I had not taken you, would you have given me a chance to seduce you honestly? Would you have allowed me to love you?”
Trellen woke, shaking and cold. Above the waves, night had fallen and when he breached the surface, he saw a storm brewing on the horizon. He ate the last clam in his net and went searching for more before it hit.
His little island didn’t provide enough for much of a meal, but he was able to scrounge a few crustaceans out of the sand and find a better shelter under a narrow rock ledge before the sea swelled and rains came crashing down on him. He cowered there in the dark, pressed back against the hard rock, while above the waves thunder crashed and lightning seared across the angry sky. All he could do was wait it out and pray the rising waves didn’t sweep him back out to sea.

Strong tentacles held him close—secure—as long smooth fingers ghosted over Trellen’s chest and stomach, making him shudder. “So good,” he murmured.
Master’s chuckle was a warm rumble in his ear. “Not half as good as it’s going to be in a few moments, my sweet. I promised I would make it up to you when I got back.” He pinched Trellen’s nipple so hard that Trellen gasped—but his cock responded, surging to life. Master grasped hold of it and Trellen bucked his hips.  
“Please. Please say I can come.”
“So soon?” Master teased.
His whole body ached with need. “Please, it’s been so long.”
“I know, my sweet.” Unexpected sorrow filled Master’s voice and he pressed a soft kiss to Trellen’s temple. “I am sorry I left you. I would have brought you with me if I could. Please believe that.”
Pain swelled in Trellen’s chest at the heart-felt words. “I miss you. Freedom isn’t what I thought it would be.”
“I miss you too, sweet. So very much.”
“Please fuck me.”
Master smiled and eased himself into place.  
But then wakefulness began to stake its claim. Trellen struggled against it, wanting to remain within the dream for as long as he could, because there, he was happy.  
Please don’t go. Not yet. I’m not ready. Please. Master…. Trellen reached out, but Master was already gone. Come back.
He opened his eyes to find sun shining down through clear blue waves.
Trellen breached the surface and crawled out onto his little island. He hugged his tail to his chest, and gazed down at the ring Master had put on his finger. It sparkled bright blue in the sunlight. Trellen squeezed his eyes shut. Every time he dreamed, it was always the same. He felt his Master’s hands, his cock. He heard the sweet words and for a moment, Trellen was happy again. He was safe.
But then sleep left him and he was alone in the shallows of his tiny island, aching for his Master’s touch. The first few times he’d woken like that, he’d tried to satisfy himself, pumping his cock until he came, imagining Master’s mouth, his hand. His body. But no matter what images Trellen painted for himself in his mind, his orgasm felt empty. So now he masturbated only so his cock would ease back into its slit. There was no pleasure in it, no joy; it was merely a necessary chore, like foraging for food.
Was it too late to go back? Over a week had passed since he left the safe haven of Master’s home. Surely Master had returned by now and found him gone. What must he think?
Or does he even care? After all, Trellen had been nothing more than a play thing. A slave.
“I hope I please you as much as you please me.” Master’s soft, tender words echoed through his head.
“You do,” Trellen told the empty air. “I only wish I’d said it when I had the chance.”
He gazed out over the open sea. For so long, this was all he’d dreamed of. Freedom from the colony, from feeling like he would never fit in. Freedom from expectations of the Elders.
Freedom from the monster who enslaved me.
But was he truly a monster if all he did was show Trellen his own true self? Trellen didn’t know. He only knew how much he regretted leaving.
Would Master take him back if he returned now? Trellen had broken his promise. I said I would obey and instead, I fled.
Could he even find his way back if he tried? Was it worth the risk? His little island didn’t offer much—muscles and crustaceans were scarce and there were no kelp beds nearby, only clumps of tough, floating sea grass—but it was safer here than the open water.
He clenched his fists in anger at his own cowardice.  
Is this what I wanted to leave the colony for? To cling to a dismal little rock in the middle of the sea? Trellen had dreamed of adventure and exploration. He’d dreamed of meeting someone who would accept him.
And I did.
With Master’s guidance, he had discovered a great many things about himself, truths that as much as he willed it, he couldn’t un-learn. I need his touch. His kiss. Goddess help me, I even need his chains.
Trellen scoured the shallows for what food he could find and set off, praying that if She hadn’t abandoned him, Kaia would guide his way home.

Saturday, December 6

Tentacles and Chain (ch. 22)

Chapter Twenty-Two

It took a long time to find the way out, but at last, Trellen caught the scent of the open sea and his heart began to race. Cautiously, he followed the rough rock wall, praying the opening wasn’t too far. If Master came back before he’d made his escape….What would I tell him? How would he punish me? Would Master lock him back up in his cell? Would he only bring Trellen out to use him? Or would he never touch me again? Trellen wasn’t sure which possibility made his heart hurt more.
But then he felt the cold rush of the current and swam toward it. And a moment later, came to a gap in the stone. Beyond it lay the open sea. All he had to do was pass through the opening and he would be free.
So why were there knots tightening in his gut?
Trellen closed his eyes. Master wasn’t the monster of his childhood tales. But he took me from the Blue. He forced me to give up my freedom in an impossible bargain. He perverted my body and my soul so that I could never go back to the colony. Maybe I hated it there. Maybe I planned to leave. But that was my choice to make. He took that choice from me.
Only…was this new life really so terrible? Trellen was cared for. He knew joy. Pleasure. He wasn’t alone.
I could go back. I could pretend I never left. He’ll never know I tried to escape.
But someday, he’ll tire of me. 
He opened his eyes and peered into the darkness.
The Below was a dangerous place. All he had to defend himself from sharks was the sharpened stone Master had left with him for prying open shells.
Master said the waters here were safe. Besides, all I have to do is swim up and I’ll come to the Blue. There was an island nearby. That meant shallows and warmth and sun as well as an easy, abundant source of his food. 
Except that the island was the first place Master would look for him. No, Trellen would have to head straight out into the open sea if he was going to escape. He had food enough for a few days. He would be all right.
He nibbled his lip. He had food because Master…. No. He would not regret his decision. A cage was still a cage, no matter how pleasant it might seem. If he hadn’t been happy in the confines of the colony, how could he possibly hope to be happy here?
This is the only chance I have—the only choice I have.
Swallowing back the last of his fears, Trellen left the shelter of the cavern and turned his face upward, hoping that it was daytime and he would soon see the sunlight filtered through the Blue.
As he rose, he couldn’t help but swim faster, his heart pounding as his tail beat against the water and the current rushed past. He was free.
And there! Up above him—a glimmer of light.
The Blue!
Or at least the closest to home that Trellen would ever get.
But I can make my own home.
He swam faster and faster, so that before he knew it, he’d breached the waves. The sunlight burned his eyes and he was quick to retreat back to the safety of the water. He returned to the darker twilight region with sunspots still dancing behind his eyelids. Trellen lingered there as his eyes, so long accustomed to the dark, adjusted once more to sunlight, and then made his way more slowly back up to the surface. Even then, he had to close his eyes for several moments after breaching the waves—but the wind on his face had never tasted so sweet or felt so good.
At length, Trellen opened his eyes again and attempted to get his bearings, but there was nothing to be seen but endless sea. The island didn’t seem far…. But it didn’t matter. He picked a direction and dove back beneath the waves. He was free.

Day turned to night and there was still nothing around but open sea. And the open sea means sharks and orca. It meant leviathans filled with Men. It meant no place to rest. So Trellen ate as much as he could with uncertainty gnawing at his gut and continued onward through the dark night.
By the time the sun was beginning to rise behind him, Trellen was so exhausted, he had no choice but to sleep out in the open and unprotected. It was an uneasy, nightmare filled slumber. Every noise caused him to jolt awake, clutching the small sharpened stone, wishing for strong arms and tentacles wrapped around him. 
He swallowed hard. He would not regret leaving.
But was it really better to die out in the open sea than to be cared for in a cage?
Afraid to think about it too hard, Trellen set off again. He couldn’t help wondering if Maser had returned yet, and if so, what he thought when he found the bed chamber empty.
Will he search for me? Or just choose a new concubine?

Unsettled by the thought of his Master lying with another male, Trellen swam on. Perhaps if luck was with him, he would find shelter by nightfall. 

Saturday, November 29

Tentacles and Chain (ch. 21)

Thank you all so much for continuing to read  :)   I had a lot of fun writing this story and it's so amazing that so many people are enjoying it. 

Some quick "business" -- Dreamspinner Press (publisher of my first three novels) is having a SALE! There are just two more days to get 25% off everything in the store (including in-stock paperbacks). This is definitely the time to stock up on those ebooks (let's face it, they cost less and hello, instant gratification!) or new paperbacks by your favorite authors (because they're big and shiny and you can hold them in your hands :)  )  

If you happen to live in Metro-Detroit (or not too far away), I hope you'll join me at Affirmations in Ferndale for an awesome presentation on PrEP. (No, I'm not in anyway presenting or there in a official capacity; I was sick the day APM sponsored PrEP training for its volunteers and staff members, so I'm going to make it up to myself by going to the panel discussion at Affirmations--although I probably would have gone, anyway. PrEP is an incredible drug that offers so much hope to the community. It doesn't protect against other STIs--and herpes is still incurable--but with each step forward, we get closer to finding a cure.)

Monday is World AIDS Day. It's also the day A Place to Belong is due, so I won't be around much. I'll be scrambling with last minute edits before turning it in with fingers and toes crossed! But I still want to take a moment here and now to remind everyone that the fight is far from over. We have to continue educating, speaking out, speaking up, and fighting not only HIV but the stigma that is attached to it. 

Pink News recently published an awesome article about men taking shower-selfies in a new campaign called "We are ALL clean".  It falls in line with my own recent post about the language we use to describe HIV negative and HIV positive people. To recap the mos salient point of my own blog post: I don't have lupus. I don't have cancer. I don't even have a cold. Does that make me "clean"? No. Of course not. It means I don't have lupus or cancer or a cold. When we say someone is "clean" we are implying that others are "dirty" -- you wouldn't say that about someone with lupus. You wouldn't say that about someone with cancer. You wouldn't say that about someone with a cold. Don't say that about someone who has HIV--all it does is add to an already nearly unbearable stigma. 

Lastly, I know I've missed a couple of months (again), but my newsletter should be out soon. October was NOT the month I wanted it to be and that sort of caused November to whiz by in a blur. I have a few more days of crazy-marathon writing and then I can breathe again, get my newsletter out, put up my if you haven't signed up already, please sign up. I do monthly (or, you know, mostly monthly) book reviews, recipes, and occasionally hold special subscriber-only contests. Especially when I'm feeling guilty about not having put out a newsletter in a a couple of months! 

And now, of course, the reason you're really here today, Chapter 21 of Tentacles and Chain...the chapter where everything changes....

Chapter Twenty-One 
Trellen blinked in dismay, aware that his Master could see him in the dark, even if all he could see was inky blackness. “You’re going away?” he repeated, turning the statement into a question. What Master had actually said was “I’ve been called away.” But what did that mean? Called by who?
Master brushed his knuckles across Trellen’s cheek. “I will only be gone for a short time, my sweet and I will I will leave you everything you need in my absence.”
Everything but you. The thought struck him both unexpectedly and hard. When had he come to need the other male so much that the thought Master leaving made Trellen’s heart ache? “Why do you have to go?”
“I have…obligations.”
“The details don’t matter, sweet. I won’t be gone long, I promise.” 
“Can’t I come with you?”
Master seemed to consider it, but, “No,” he said. “It is best that you stay here where you are safe.”
Trellen frowned. Where could Master be going that wasn’t safe? What if something happened and he didn’t return? “Please. I won’t be any trouble—”
“No, Trellen.”
He swallowed hard. Master almost never used his name.
“It will be all right, my sweet,” he said more gently, cupping Trellen’s cheek “I will only be away for a short time and when I come home, I will show you exactly how much I’ve missed you—because be assured, I will miss you very much.”
His tone caused a shiver of pleasure to ripple down Trellen’s spine, but it did little to alleviate his unhappiness. He turned his head and pressed a kiss to Master’s palm. “I would rather you stayed.”
“I know. I would rather that, too. But some things cannot be helped. I have…,” he hesitated. “Responsibilities to attend to.”
Trellen didn’t like the sound of the word “responsibilities.” What could be so important—and so dangerous—that Master wouldn’t take him along?
As if sensing his distress, Master rubbed his thumb over Trellen’s cheek. “There’s nothing for you to worry about, I promise. I’ll be back before you’ve even had the chance to miss me.”
“When do you have to leave?”
“The sooner I go, the sooner I can come back to you.”
He didn’t like that answer either, but he forced himself to accept it. “Do you at least have time to fuck me before you go?”
Master chuckled. “I believe I can make the time for that, my sweet.” And he drew Trellen into a scorching kiss.

Trellen woke to find himself alone on the soft sand bed. It wasn’t unusual. Master was often away when he woke. But he’s never gone for long. This time, however, was different. Trellen knew Master wasn’t coming back any time soon.
Next to the bed, he found nets full of kelp, sagren leaves, clams, conches, and sea uchins, along with a sharpened stone for breaking through shells to get at their meat. There’s enough food here for several days. Did Master really expect to be gone for so long? Am I truly supposed to just wait here for him?
But what else could he do? He was a prisoner in the dark.
Hours passed. Trellen did what he could to distract himself from the cold loneliness. He moved through the bed chamber, blindly exploring every chest, feeling every seashell, every trinket, everything that Master had collected and lain out with such obvious care.
Then he slept.
He woke.
He ate without tasting anything.
He moved through the chamber once more and finally lay back on the soft sand bed, staring into black nothingness. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he’d dozed off and then woke back up again.
This was the longest he’d been left alone since he came to Master’s home.
But then an ugly tendril of thought began to niggle at his brain. Trellen hadn’t “come” here. He had been brought. Taken against his will and held prisoner in the dark until he agreed to submit to another male’s pleasures.
Trellen swallowed back the cold lump in his throat.
I require only your submission. But it is my hope that you do not hate me too much for taking you from your home.”
Did he hate the other male?
Master had held him prisoner. But he’s shown me such pleasure. And the other night, under the stars…. He was sure if he asked, Master would take him there again.
But he was stalking me since at least last turning. Watching me. Following me. He caged me and gave me an impossible choice. I made the only bargain that I could and I only did it so I could find a means of escaping this awful place.
And here he was, unguarded, unfettered, uncaged and knowing with certainty that his Master would be gone for a least a few days. Why was he not fleeing? He knew the way out…or at least he thought he could retrace the way they’d taken, just a few nights ago. When would he ever get another opportunity this good?
Only where would he go? He could never return to the colony and face his family, his friends. They would know at once that he was tainted.
There must be other colonies out in the Blue. One of them will surely take me in. Or if not, he could swim free, explore the Blue like Lucien and the others before him. It was what he’d wanted anyway, wasn’t it? To escape the colony and find his own way in the sea.
To be free.
Besides, sooner or later Master was going to tire of him and then what? What did an Unspeakable One do with his toys when he was done playing with them?
How many others had Master imprisoned here in the dark?
I cannot be the first. I won’t be the last.
But the way Master kissed him, the way he touched Trellen, the way he made him feel when he whispered words of praise….
He clenched his fists. He would not be a prisoner to his own depravity. If he could reclaim nothing else, he could at least reclaim his dignity.  
My freedom.
He could break free of his cage, comfortable though it was, and swim once more in the sunlight. He could feel the wind on his face and know the joy of the open sea.
Trellen rose up off the bed and gathered up the nets of urchins and clams, because only a fool would venture out into the Blue without at least a few days’ supply of food.
He hesitated, as Master’s soft words echoed in his mind: “I hope I please you as much as you please me.”
“You do please me,” he admitted softly. “And I am sorry. I wish things could be different. If we had met and been allowed to…..” Love. The word hit him like thunder.
But how can this be love? I am his slave. I don’t even know his real name.
His mind made up, Trellen turned and swam out of the chamber.

Thursday, November 27

Happy Thanksgiving to my American Friends

and a merry Thursday to everyone else!

Well, I was going to write about my amazing non-holiday holiday--but then my daughter PMed me last night and asked if we could pick her up for today.

??? I answered.

For dinner.

What was she talking about? She'd told us last week that she already had plans for the day (and that's okay with me, I was raised not to make a big fuss about holidays. If you want to see someone, you don't need a special day, you just do it. Besides, the kid is coming over on Tuesday for dinner and I AM making a big fuss of that.)

But no. Her plans had changed and my husband said she should come here for dinner. Which is awesome. Except I was planning a night of bologne and cheese sandwiches. Of course he offered to cook (you bet your sweet ass he's going to do it, too!) but there's no food in the house. (Okay, there is, but it's mostly frozen. Payday is Friday, I figured we'd survive just fine on bologne and cheese for two days. No, really, authors don't make a lot of money. Bolonge and cheese--or ramen--are staples around here.)

And I would have been totally fine with having my kid for dinner today, IF I'd heard about it sooner. You know, like with enough time to cobble together some loose change from the sofa cushions and gather up the returnables and send my husband to the store for something fit to serve company. I mean, yes, she's my kid, but still.

So a quick trip to Meijer's last nigh for a few basics and we're on our way to an ad hoc Thanksgiving Day dinner (chicken, it's easier and they're sort of like little turkeys, right??)

And I still get to spend the morning writing, which was my plan for the day. Besides, it's not like I don't have to eat dinner.

I don't do the gratitude lists--although there are many things for which I'm grateful--but this week something happened (something fairly small in and of itself) that reminded me how grateful I am for my chosen family. My brothers and sisters from other mothers. Growing up an only child, I didn't know what it was to have siblings, but for the last 20 some years, I've had been friends with one woman in particular. We weren't in constant contact (I totally missed her wedding and the birth of her son). And there were times I was a less than wonderful friend.

And there were times over the last year that were pretty rough. I'm perfectly well aware that no matter how frustratED I was, I was equally frustratING to her.

Because she's my sister. And that means we sometimes don't get along. But the woman, a few years back who expected me to drop my sister--my SISTER--and side with her...boy did she have another thing coming. Even if we'd been in the middle of the tension of the last year, I wouldn't choose anyone over this woman who has been my friend for over 20 years.

Because that's what family really is. It's not the group of people into whose midst you were born. It's the group of people who are a part of your heart and soul.

And today, I am very, very grateful for those people. For my husband, my sister, my circle of chosen kith and kin.

I'm super grateful for you guys too. I might only make enough money to afford bologne and cheese sandwiches, but I love writing and the only way I could make any money from it at all is you guys. (And I *am* exaggerating, we have a lovely stew that I made earlier in the week to get us through 'til payday, which is as much about ye Gods, I don't want to shop this week as it is about the sad state of our bank account).

So what about you? What did you do on this Thursday afternoon? 

Saturday, November 22

Tentacles and Chain (ch. 20)

If you're here for my official Sex Positive Blog Hop post, you can find that post here: ( -- if you're here for Chapter 20 of Tentacles and Chain, read on  :)   We're headed towards the final few chapters (only six more after today). 

Don't forget, you can catch up on anything you've missed at

Chapter Twenty

The sand was cool under his skin, and as the water lapped up against it, hitting the empty shore with a sure and steady rhythm like a heartbeat, it glowed bright blue. It was almost bright enough to make out Master’s features.
Trellen wished… but…. He bit his lip. His only fear was never seeing the Blue again, never swimming in the open sea. Hadn’t his Master just brought him to the open sea and let him swim unfettered? Hadn’t Master shown him something more beautiful than Trellen had ever imagined? How could I ask for more, especially tonight? He dipped his hand in the water and scooped up a handful of bright stars—they were really plankton, but that didn’t make them any less incredible.
Master hauled himself out of the water to sit next to Trellen, his tentacles creating pools and eddies of swirling blue stars. “It pleases me very much to see you so happy.”
Trellen smiled. It would be so easy…. I fear never seeing the Blue, never feeling the sunlight on my skin again. But the words wouldn’t come. Instead, he asked, “Would…would you fuck me? Here, on the sand?”
He sensed another smile—and maybe, just maybe, he saw it, as his eyes were long accustomed to darkness. Master brushed a strand of damp hair away from Trellen’s face and Trellen melted into his touch. “If that is what you wish, my sweet.”
Trellen nodded. There was nothing he wanted more than to feel his Master’s weight on top of him in a way that wasn’t possible under the waves. He wanted to be smothered, to kiss and be kissed, to taste and be tasted, to touch and be touched. He craved everything his Master gave him and so much more. Trellen leaned in and Master met his kiss halfway; he responded. It was sweet and soft and Trellen drank in his scent as it mingled with the salt-spray. He nipped at Master’s lips and Master opened to him, allowing Trellen to deepen the kiss. Allowing Trellen to control it.
Then Master wrapped one arm around Trellen’s waist and leaned in. With Master holding him tight, Trellen lowered himself to the sand, so he was lying beneath his Master. Master kissed his lips, his jaw, his neck. He kissed his way along Trellen’s collar bone and down the center of his chest. Trellen smiled and let out a soft, happy sigh. He was unrestrained and able to run his hands through his Master’s long hair, able to lift his head and kiss Master’s shoulder. Everything felt so different above the waves.
Around him millions of bright stars pooled in the soft sand while overhead millions more glittered in the dark, moonless sky. Never had a moment been so perfect.
Trellen closed his eyes and listened to the waves, to the sound of his own breath, as his Master took one hard nipple into his mouth. He nipped and sucked, and Trellen arched into the pain—the pleasure—even as his cock swelled to its full length. Master reached down and took hold if it, stroking the sensitive flesh while he transferred his attention to Trellen’s other nipple.
When Trellen felt his Master’s fingers press against his entrance, his breath caught. Master pushed in, gently, and began stretching him very, very slowly.
“Please,” Trellen breathed. “Please fuck me.”
With a soft chuckle, Master shifted, positioning himself on top of Trellen. He rested the tip of his cock against Trellen’s entrance while Trellen wriggled under him.
“Please?” Trellen repeated.
Master eased into him slowly; it was maddening. But Master seemed to take great delight in the frustration he was causing. He eased himself all the way in, then pulled out again, and waited until Trellen was whimpering, begging again, before sliding his cock back in, even more slowly than before.
Trellen let out a long low groan. “Please. More.”  
Master chuckled. “In time. Right now I want to enjoy how good you feel.”
Trellen smiled and reached up to push the wet hair away from Master’s shadowed face; he could only make out the barest outline of his features, but it was enough. “I’m yours,” he said softly. “Take me however you wish. Just understand that I’ll always want more.”
“I…,” he hesitated. “You were right to accuse me of watching you, stalking you. But the reality of you is far better than anything I had ever imagined. I only hope…I hope I please you as much as you please me.”
Trellen’s heart felt like it was going to explode at the unexpected words, the tenderness in his tone. He cupped the back of his Master’s head and drew him into a long, slow kiss.
 “I’m close, sweet,” Master said, breaking the kiss many long moments later. “Come for me. I want to feel your release.”
The words were all Trellen needed anymore. The orgasm rocked through him and he clung to his Master’s shoulders as a warm jet of cum shot between them. In nearly the same instant, he felt his Master’s release deep inside him.
Master withdrew gently and pressed a soft kiss to Trellen’s lips before scooping seawater onto his stomach, to wash off his mess. Then he gathered Trellen into his arms and they lay on the beach, watching the stars, listening to the waves lap up against the sand.
At length, Master spoke, though there was an uncharacteristic trepidation in his tone. “You asked me once to speak of myself,” he said. “I was wondering if you would return the courtesy.”
“What do you mean?” Hadn’t Master stalked him before snatching him from the Blue? Didn’t Master already know all there was to know?
“I mean only that I wish to know something about you, my sweet.”
Cold fear replaced the warmth he’d felt only a moment ago. “What…what do you want to know?”
“Only as much as you wish to tell me.” He sounded…sad?
Or perhaps simply resigned to not hearing anything.
Trellen pondered it, but he couldn’t think of a reason not to respond to his Master’s question. Master wasn’t pressing him to confide his fears.
“I…you must already know that I was never content to stay within the confines of the reef wall,” Trellen said. “The open sea…it sings to my soul.” But that was getting too close to admitting his greatest fear. Was I not only moments ago considering telling him? Only before he could find the words, Master spoke.
“It sings to my soul as well.”
Trellen blinked up at him. “But you hardly ever leave the cavern.”
 “That is because I have a good reason to remain.” He brushed his knuckles over Trellen’s cheek.
Heat rose in Trellen’s skin. Did Master mean that he was Master’s reason for staying? Or does he believe that I would flee if he left me alone for too long? Yet Master had brought him here, to this beautiful place. I am unchained. I could escape. But where would he go? Besides, Master was faster than him, stronger. If he really thought I could get away, he never would have brought me here.
 “There was a time,” Master said, drawing Trellen out of the quagmire of unhappy thoughts, “when Cetaceans roamed the Blue.”
Trellen frowned. “When?” The Elders had never spoken of such a time. Neither had his teachers or even his parents. But why would Master lie?
“It was long ago,” Master told him. “Before your parents or even your grandparents were born.”
“What happened?”
“Men came on their great leviathans. The sea changed.”
 That might explain why the Elders were so afraid of…well, everything. “Do Cepholopoda fear Men?” he wondered.
“We have a healthy respect for two-leggeds. They are dangerous—but so are we.”
Trellen nodded. Of that he had no doubt. “How do you know so much about Cetaceans?”
“That…that is a long story, my sweet. And it is a story for another time,” he added, before Trellen could ask to hear more.
Without argument, Trellen snuggled into his Master’s chest. He told Master about his mother’s smile and his father’s stern demeanor. He spoke of his four sisters and his little brother, always following him, always getting in his way. He listened when Master spoke of his younger sister, who had caused Master much the same sort of grief that Trellen’s brother caused him.
“I saw you with another male,” Master said then. “One about your own age. You often ventured outside the reef wall together.”
Trellen opened his mouth and then closed it again. How long had Master been stalking him to know about Luce? “Lucien was my best friend. He left last turning.”
“I know.”
Hope lit in his chest. “You don’t…there’s no way you would know…?” Goddess, if he could just hear that Lucien was all right—
But Master shook his head. “I did not follow him any further than the edge of my territory.” He curled a tentacle protectively—possessively—around Trellen’s waist. “He had your heart.” It wasn’t a question.
Trellen nodded anyway. “It doesn’t matter. He didn’t give me his in return.” If he had, he wouldn’t have left.
Master was quiet for so long, Trellen wondered if he’d fallen asleep. Then he spoke, his voice as soft as the breeze coming in from the sea. “I do not expect…. I require only your submission. But it is my hope that you do not hate me too much for taking you from your home.”
Trellen didn’t answer. He didn’t hate him. He wasn’t sure what he felt anymore.

Wednesday, November 19

I'm Guilty...

If you're here for my official Sex Positive Blog Hop pos, you can find that post here (but I hope you'll read this short blog entry, too).

While reading through some of the incredible articles in HuffPo's Teen Sex: It's Complicated series, I came across a phrase that made me cringe. The writer is a teenaged girl who certainly didn't mean any offence to anyone when she used the word "clean" to mean disease free. It's a common term. And the reason I cringed is because I've been guilty of it myself, much to my own chagrin.

Truthfully, I was just parroting what other people used to say. If you were HIV and STD negative, you were "clean". 

But think about that. What's the opposite of "clean"?


So does that mean that people who have HIV or herpes (two of the STDs/STIs that can't be cured) are "dirty"? Or that someone who has one of the curable STDs/STIs is "dirty" until they're done with treatment?

Of course not!

But that's what the implication of the word "clean"--that if your'e not clean, you're "dirty" and in the case of incurable infections like HIV and herpes, that is a terrible thing to say to someone, even without meaning to. It only adds to an already enormous stigma that comes along, particularly with being HIV positive. 

Get tested! If you're in MI, check out, if you live somewhere else in
the US, check out the CDC's website:
for a testing location near you
People make all kinds of assumptions about people who have sexually transmitted diseases/infections and there is a LOAD of misinformation circulating around the Internet and in people's heads and even in classrooms and Congress about what sexually transmitted diseases are and how they're spread. Believe me, I know. I volunteer for AIDS Partnership Michigan and most of the time my job is answering the help-line. Mostly I get calls from Michigan, but occasionally I get calls from other states--and it boggles my mind the things that people have been told about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Obviously it would be grossly unethical to give specifics, so let's just leave it with it blows my mind that in 2014 people still think they can contract HIV from doorknobs, toilet seats, shaking hands, or giving someone a hug--that people become anxious when they discover that a co-worker *might* have herpes or genital warts.  A) you can't believe everything that's said around the water cooler and B) unless you're having sex with the person, you don't have much to worry about.  

But people are still afraid. There's still a stigma. And using the word "clean" to mean "disease free" only adds to it. The more these conditions are stigmatized, the less people are willing to get tested for HIV and other STDs/STIs. If you don't get tested, you can't get treated, and just because something is incurable doesn't mean you can't live a normal, healthy life, IF you take care of yourself the right way--and "right" is something you can only figure out with your doctor. 

Here's another way to look at it: I don't have cancer. I don't have multiple sclerosis. I don't have Parkinson's disease. I don't have Alzheimer's. I don't have arthritis. I don't have lupus. I don't even have a cold. 

Does that make me "clean"?

Or does it simply make me free of diseases and virus infections?

Are people with these diseases/infections somehow "dirty" or less deserving of our love and support?

Please. Think about the words you use. Don't feed the fear. Don't add to the stigma.

Saturday, November 15

Tentacles and Chain (Ch. 19)

If you're here for the Sex Positive Blog Hop, you can find that post here. 

If you're here for this week's installment of Tentacles and Chain, read on...

Chapter Nineteen

Trellen finished the last of the tender muscles Master had brought him. They were something new and tasted nothing like anything he’d ever had before. The meat was sweet and savory at the same time, salty, but not overpoweringly so. The last bite gone, he leaned against his Master’s shoulder feeling contented. Happy. The feeling only increased when Master laid his one arm around his shoulders and with the other hand, tilted he Trellen’s chin up, coaxing him into a soft, sweet kiss. When they separated, he laid his head on Master’s shoulder and closed his eyes.
 “You’re not going to go back to sleep, I hope,” Master said, his tone full of warmth. “There’s something I wanted to show you.”
“Show me?” What could he possibly hope to show Trellen in the dark?
Master ran his hand over Trellen’s cheek, then slipped from the bed, letting his fingertips trail down Trellen’s arm, until he came to Trellen’s hand. He grasped hold of it, so their fingers intertwined. “Come, my sweet little Pretty and see for yourself.” He gave a gentle tug.
Trellen let himself be pulled up and guided from the safety of the chamber. He knew the way to the chamber where Master liked to “torture” him—although Trellen really couldn’t call it that—so when they veered a different way, he moved closer to the safety of his Master’s body and only relaxed when he felt a strong tentacle slip around his waist. There was little Cetaceans feared more than travelling blindly through the darkness. Unlike the dolphins and orca they called cousins, Cetaceans were not gifted with the ability to bounce sound off objects in the water. It made Trellen wonder how Master saw so easily in the pitch blackness of Below. He didn’t use echolocation; Trellen would have heard it if he did. But he must have something.
“Where are we going?” Trellen asked.
“Patience, my sweet.”
But Trellen knew that tone. Master used it when he was excited about something, like when he’d brought Trellen the urchins wrapped in kelp for the first time. Or when he has some new game to play.
What game could Master be playing now?
The water’s scent changed and Trellen’s heart skipped a beat. “We’ve left the cavern.” He could feel the current, fresh and clear against his skin. It wasn’t the Blue, but it was still the open sea and for a moment he longed for nothing more than to tear away from his Master’s embrace and swim free, if only for a few minutes—but if he did that, he would be easy prey for predators lurking in the dark. Trellen shivered and held Master tighter.
“Easy, my sweet.” Master soothed, tightening his grip on Trellen’s waist. “These waters are safe.”
Trellen nodded but didn’t let go. When he felt Master taking them upward, however, his heart began to race anew. How far were they from the Blue? Surely once they were in the sunlight, Master wouldn’t restrain him—would he? It would be pure torture if he did.
But he said he wouldn’t play mind games with me.
He also said I couldn’t see him until I told him what I fear. Perhaps Master had changed his mind? Oh please let that be true. Trellen had tried so many times to imagine what Master looked like, but the picture refused to paint itself in his mind.
Would Master allow him to breach the surface, smell the air, and feel the sun on his face? Goddess, it had been so long! He would give anything for just a few moments in the sunlight.
Will he breach the waves with me? Did Cephalopoda leap above the waves like Cetaceans, Trellen wondered. He’d certainly never seen an octopus do it. But Master must be able to. He was so strong. What would it be like to swim together through the Blue?
To sit together in the sun.
Trellen gazed upward, hoping for a glimpse of light, but even as the pressure began to decrease, the waters remained dark. It must be nighttime. Still. It was the Blue whether sunlight filtered through the waves or not. This was home and his heart ached to be so close and yet so far away from everything he had ever known and loved. “Are we near the colony?”
“No, sweet.”
Relief and disappointment waged war within his heart. It was better this way, better not risk being seen with the Unspeakable One. Better not to risk losing his Master and be taken back to a place he could never call home again anyway. Better my family thinks me dead than for them to know how tainted my soul has become. It would break his mother’s heart to see him like this. His sisters would weep. His brother….He looked up to me. Pain made Trellen’s heart heavy. He used to become so annoyed at his younger brother for always wanting to follow him. Now I would give anything just to see him one more time. But it was better that it never happened. Because if they knew what I was, they would forever hate me.
Trellen was so engrossed in his own thoughts that he didn’t realize the sea around them was suddenly teaming with bright specs of blue light, like tiny stars in the darkness. “What…what is this?”
Master feathered a soft kiss to his temple and loosened his grip. Trellen panicked and held on tighter.
“Easy, my sweet. We’re near the surface. There’s no moon out tonight, but you should still be able to see well enough to make your way.”
“Please don’t go too far.”
“Never.” But then he released Trellen.
For a moment he faltered—the he flipped his tail and swam. It felt good to have the current rushing past after having been confined for so long. But then he doubled back toward his Master. He let the current carry him amid the tiny, swirling stars. They were beautiful—magical. With a flip of the tail, Trellen breached the surface and breathed in the cool night air, salty and sweet. His heart soared. The sky above was as black as the black waters of Below and as filled with stars as the water. Like swimming in the sea of heaven.
Trellen floated on his back for a long while, gazing up into the moonless night—then he heard a splash and turned. Master. His features were obscured in the shadowy dark, but Trellen knew his presence. “This is…it’s incredible.”
“I thought you would like it.” Master’s voice was pure music in the open air, not at all like the strange timber it had below the surface.
Trellen swam to him and thrust both arms around his neck; he pressed his lips to his Master’s mouth and Master returned the kiss with ardent fervor. “Thank you for bringing me here,” Trellen said when he broke the kiss.
Master smiled; Trellen couldn’t see it, but he felt it. “You are welcome, Pretty. Come. There is an island near. When the water hits the shore, it glows blue for as far as the eye can see.”