Welcome back! Just a couple of super quick announcements this week.
- I was over on the lovely Raine O'Tierney's Hat Party yesterday. Check it out here; I had a lot of fun and am running a giveaway.
- Don't forget that Bisexual Awareness Month continues next week with an awesome guest blogger: Cat Grant. I'll be putting her post up on Wednesday.
- Also next week, Jamie Fessenden is scheduled to come by and talk about his new release. I can't wait; I absolutely adore Jamie's writing (and he's pretty awesome, too!)
- This is the last week before AIDS Walk Detroit. I'm still looking anyone who might want to chip in a buck or two.
- In purely, silly, personal news: I've gone shorter! No, not my height. My hair. I wasn't too keen on the first short cut I got (last year, sometime, I think.) I mean, it was fine. It was cute. But there's something about this cut that I'm totally digging. Maybe it's my stylist, who encourages me to totally rock it out, because the first time I sat in his chair, he saw right through my suburban housewife disguise to the real me underneath. I swear, there's nothing like an awesome new hair cut to make me feel like a million bucks :)
- If you haven't signed up for my newsletter, I'll be putting that out next week, too. Get in on the fun! Recipes, news, book reviews, and the occasional, special subscriber-only giveaway.
Trellen woke alone, surrounded by darkness. He reached out to see if Master had shifted away from him while they slept, but the bed was truly empty.
“Master?” he called out.
Trellen’s heart sped up. Had it taken so little time to earn enough trust to be left unguarded? “Master?” he called again, a little louder. Perhaps the other male was only testing him, hiding in the dark.
But he said he wouldn’t play games with me. Trellen snorted. What made him think he could trust the word of an Unspeakable One?
What makes me think I cannot? It wasn’t as if he knew anything about Master or his kind. Just what the Elders tell us, that they are monsters who lurk Below and eat their own young. But what if…? He shook himself. It didn’t matter if the Elders were right or wrong. It’s not I’ve ever believed half of what they say, anyway. The Elders used fear to keep the colony together, Trellen’s own father said as much. And he had been on the Elder council. But that was a long time ago. Whatever had happened, Father was bitter about it. Which only means I can’t trust his words any more than theirs. Not that Father ever spoke of the Unspeakable Ones with anything other than fear in his voice. They were vile, filthy creatures, cruel, and untrustworthy.
Tellen shuddered. If that’s what the Unspeakable Ones were, what was he, to have so easily lain with one?
Not wanting to think about it, he eased himself from the bed. He couldn’t see, but he could still smell, still taste the water. There was a hint of Master’s scent, but it wasn’t as strong as it had been before, when Master was in the chamber with him. Perhaps he really had gone? But Trellen doubted he would be gone long. He couldn’t go home, but….But perhaps I can find a way out of this wretched dark place. There had to be a home for him somewhere out in the Blue. Had he not planned on leaving the colony anyway?
Trellen followed the contour of the rough rock wall. It seemed that part of Master’s home was made of the same material as the leviathans, and part of it was natural. Interesting. How had Master accomplished that? Or maybe he found it this way?
It didn’t matter. All that mattered was finding the way out of his dark prison. Trellen made his way slowly and carefully around the room; perhaps if he was lucky, he would find a glow orb tucked away somewhere, shielded so as to not give off light. If he found one, he could escape easily.
He nearly jumped out of his skin when he bumped up against something in the dark. He skittered back from it—but when nothing attacked him in the dark, Trellen reached out to try and figure out what he’d bumped.
It was made of leviathan-material, hard and rough, weathered by age and salt water. Slowly, he felt his way around it…a box? It was as wide as both his arms spread out, but only about half that tall. Atop it Trellen found…shells. He easily recognized the large conch shell in the middle for its shape and spines. Around it were lain clam shells…an abalone shell? There were others, both large and small. Trellen inspected each in turn to see if there was anything tucked away beneath them—but there was nothing. He was about to give up when his hands came to something new. Another box? It was much smaller, and it seemed to have a hinged lid. Hope rose in his chest again and he opened it.
No light poured out. Maybe Master really didn’t light his chamber.
Why would he? He seems perfectly able to see in the dark. Disheartened, Trellen sank to the chamber floor. It was no use. He could never escape if he couldn’t see where he was going.
“Enjoying yourself Pretty?”
Trellen jumped. He’d been so absorbed in his task that hadn’t noticed the change in the water’s taste. “I…I was just….”
But Master chuckled. Trellen felt his movement and a moment later, Master settled onto the chamber floor behind him. He rested his hands on Trellen’s shoulders and spread his tentacles around Trellen’s waist and over his tail. The contact was at once frightening and…and why did Trellen’s cock have to have a mind all its own all of the sudden? It wasn’t jutting out, yet, but he could feel that infernal wave starting to build inside again.
Master ran his hands gently down Trellen’s arms and Trellen gulped in great mouthfuls of water—water that tasted of Master’s salty-sweetness. Heat flushed through him. “I’m sorry. I was just…just…I’m sorry.”
“No need to apologize, Pretty.” Master rested his chin on Trellen’s shoulder; his cheek felt smooth against Trellen’s skin. With gentle hands, he took the box from Trellen’s grasp.
“I was just curious. I didn’t mean to offend you.”
“No apologies,” Master repeated, his voice soft in Trellen’s ear. “You haven’t offended me at all.”
Trellen felt movement. Master lifted his hand and put something into it. Genuine curiosity took over and Trellen felt the object. It was a ring made of hard metal, encrusted with hard, smooth rocks. It was from the world Above; Trellen had found a few similar trinkets in wrecked leviathans, though of course had to keep his treasures a secret. The Elders said that if you brought Men’s treasures into the colony, Men would come looking for them.
“Do you like it?” Master asked.
“It…it must be lovely.” Of course he wouldn’t know. He couldn’t see, but he kept running his fingertips over it. There were five jewels of about the same size laid across the top of the band. “What color are they?”
He Master’s lips curl into a smile against his cheek. “The same as your eyes.” Master plucked the ring from his hands and Trellen had to fight to curb his disappointment. None of the treasures he’d ever found were so ornate. Mostly, Trellen found metal coins, cups, a few plain metal bands. But nothing truly beautiful.
“Here,” Master said and slid the ring onto Trellen’s finger. “For you.”