Anyway, I've been putting in a lot of time at the other house--and winter has been kind of kicking my butt (me and Depression keep doing the two-step). February is always notoriously insane, but before that was January, when a friend passed away not exactly unexpectedly but...well, the short version is that it sucked. Put the suck and the stress of moving and the depression together and I decided to set Dillon and Andy aside for a couple of months and take a break from writing.
And you know what happened next, right? Of course you do: ATTACK OF THE PLOT BUNNIES!
|from "Night of the Lepus" which seemed a) wholly appropriate and|
b) hopefully less likely to get me into copyright trouble, since I'm
crediting the movie (which is awesome in a B-horror flick sort of way).
The plot bunny that surfaced at the Dragon Ritual Drummers concert was actually one that had been hibernating for a while.
And here's that excerpt. Please bear in mind that this is entirely unedited; I wrote it while watching the the sun slowly filter into my dreary family room--I can't WAIT to be writing in my bright sunny office in the new house!
“We meet again.”
Palo was so startled he dropped the small bag of trash he was carrying toward the bin outside the shower house—he immediately dropped to the ground and started picking up his mess. He didn’t have to look to see who was behind him. After hearing the man’s voice once, he’d know it anywhere. What he didn’t expect was for the beautiful Asian drummer to kneel down and help him gather up the trash that had fallen out of the bag—and when Palo looked up and saw him, his breath slipped away. The man was wearing a leather corset, the under-bust kind made for a woman, but there was nothing girly in the way he looked, even with the long black…Palo didn’t know what the super-wide pleated pants were called, but he’d seen them in pictures of Samurai.
“You’re a jumpy little thing,” the Asian commented—but there was nothing derisive in his tone, just a friendly smile on his face and a slightly mischievous glint in his eye.
Palo still couldn’t help ducking his head in a silent apology as heat flooded his cheeks. He desperately wanted to tell the other man he didn’t have to help, it was Palo’s mess, his fault, he’d dropped it—but his heart was racing so fast he was sure he’d never be able to get the words out. The best he could do was try to work faster, so the Asian wouldn’t have to pick up as much.
“You don’t like to talk, do you?”
Palo shook his head. It had nothing to do with Stan’s stupid rules.
“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”
Palo shot him a startled look.
His smile warmed, completely melting Palo’s insides so that his knees felt like they were made of jelly. “I noticed your little bit of a speech disfluency[H1] this morning.”
He swallowed back the lump in his throat and nodded.
The Asian picked up the last piece of garbage and stuffed it into the little plastic bag Palo was holding, then stood up and dusted his hands off on his pants. Nothing in the garbage had been gross, it was mostly paper and bottles—Palo had only gathered up the trash as an excuse to take a walk anyway. “Th-thank…thank you.” His voice was barely a whisper, the words pushed out past the lump in his throat as he stood up, too.
“I’m Derrik.” He held out his hand.
“P-p….Palo.” Damnit, he couldn’t remember a time when his stutter had been so bad! Derrik’s hand was big and warm, but his grip was light. And Palo suddenly remembered he wasn’t even supposed to talk to anyone, so he pulled his hand back quickly—far too quickly to be polite. But if Derrik was into BDSM of any kind, he’d understand. There were rules.
Derrik retrieved the djembe he’d set down to help Palo pick up his mess, and slung the strap back over his shoulder. “I’m headed down to the main circle to teach a class—polyrhythms 101.” He flashed a lop-sided grin. “You interested?”
“I d-d-don’t-don’t drum.”
“You could come dance for us.”
Heat flooded Palo’s cheeks again. Derrik couldn’t possibly have noticed him at the drum circles—could he? Don’t be stupid. Derrik was one of the best drummers Palo had ever seen. Why would he notice me? Shame replaced embarrassment and the vague glimmer of…something. Palo couldn’t name it, but whatever it was, it felt like ego and how many times had his foster mother told him not to be so self-centered? The world didn’t revolve around him.
“A couple of the belly dancers are coming down, too,” Derrik told him.
But Palo shook his head—and spotted Stan, coming toward the shower house. His heart froze. The angry scowl on Stan’s face told Palo he’d seen them talking. “I h-h-have-have…have t-t…to go.” Without waiting for a response or even an acknowledgment, Palo dropped the trash into the bin and hurried to Stan so he could explain. He hadn’t been doing anything wrong. He was just dumping the garbage from their tent and someone stopped to talk to him. It was nothing, no big deal.
But Stan would never believe that. It wasn’t his fault—only that didn’t make Palo any less afraid. Depending on how much of the exchange Stan had seen would depend on how bad it was when they got back to the tent.
Derrik watched his little pup run toward Muttonchops, looking like a scared rabbit running toward a hungry coyote. Part of him wanted to go after him—the look of pure terror in the kid’s eye reminded him too much of the looks he’d seen on battered spouses. But you have no idea how these two roll, he reminded himself. Every couple was different. Every kink was different. Outsiders looking in might have thought Henry was abusing him every time he called Derrik a cunt or a slut—every time he slapped Derrik across the face. But that was the way Derrik had wanted it. Never mind that the old man was right and it was no good for me. Even after two years of therapy, he still hadn’t forgiven Henry for refusing to give in when he said he wanted more. More pain. More punishment. More verbal abuse. For all I know whatever those two have going is exactly what each of them needs. Because two years ago, he never would have believed that he didn’t need everything he thought he wanted.
He still couldn’t help the way his gut twisted up into a knot when Muttonchops grabbed his little pup by the arm and practically dragged him away.