Archive for December, 2012


A Fae Christmas Eve

Tiernan cleared his throat, and Kevin’s father turned away from his perusal of the framed display on the fireplace mantel to take the tumbler of ice and Scotch he extended. “Thanks.” He turned back to the frame on the mantel as he sipped. “This is very nice.”

Thomas Almstead’s nod made it clear that he wasn’t talking about the Glenlivet in his hand. The frame held a set of dog tags, and a picture of a young man who had Kevin’s easy smile, but short hair closer to blond than to Kevin’s dark brown. He wore a uniform of desert camouflage, and posed against a wall of sandbags.

“I know Kevin appreciated you giving him Tanner’s tags.” Small talk was never easy for a Fae, but his husband’s father was as close to blood kin as he was ever going to have in the human realm, so Tiernan made the effort. Besides, it made Kevin happy to see his father and his husband get along. “He talks a lot about his brother –.”

“My ears are burning.” Kevin entered from the kitchen, balancing a Waterford crystal bowl brimming with eggnog and setting it carefully on the sideboard beside the dining table.

“That’s a hell of a lot of eggnog for three people.” Thomas eyed Kevin skeptically. “I’d rather not spend Christmas morning with a hangover.”

“Since when do you get hangovers?” Kevin laughed.

“I think my warranty ran out when I hit sixty-five. I spent the day after my birthday hiding from the horrible racket the birds were making.”

“Don’t worry, Dad. You’ll be fine.” Kevin winked at Tiernan.

Did you put honey in that? Tiernan mouthed.

All the answer he got was Kevin’s best mock-angelic smile – more like fallen angelic, actually. You’re asking for it. Tiernan arched a brow.

How nicely do I have to ask?

            Depends on what you’re asking for.

Thomas snorted. “You two are worse than Gloria and I ever were –.”

The doorbell rang, cutting off Thomas’ gruff chiding. “Were you expecting company?”

The color was high in Kevin’s cheeks, but his voice was even. “Yeah, we invited a couple of friends over. They don’t have family anywhere near, so we said they could stop by here.”

“Hence the extra eggnog.”

While they talked, Tiernan went to the door and opened it. On the doorstep stood two men. Both looked to be in their mid-sixties, but that was as far as any resemblance went. One was short, broad, and very bald, and looked every bit as soft and yielding as a knot of oak wood. The other was taller, leaner, and wore his gray hair in a military brush cut. Both men looked nervous, the taller one several orders of magnitude more than the shorter.

“Mac, Lucien.” Tiernan shook the hands of his early shift bartender and bouncer. “Merry Christmas, come on in.”

The bald man nodded and stepped inside; Mac looked about to follow suit, then stopped cold, staring into the living room at Thomas Almstead, who was staring back with the air of a man seeing his own ghost.

“Sarge?” Mac’s voice was nearly inaudible.

Tiernan’s gaze flickered to Kevin; to say that his scair-anam was watching anxiously would be a gross understatement. The surprise Christmas Eve reunion between retired Marine first sergeant Thomas Almstead and the member of his fire team in Vietnam who had twice saved his life, the second time at the cost of a leg – and subsequently received a dishonorable discharge for being gay – had been his idea.

“Sweet bleeding Christ,” Thomas murmured. Carefully, he set his Scotch on the fireplace mantel, then crossed the living room to where Mac waited. Time almost seemed to stop as the former sergeant looked the former rifleman up and down, his gaze pausing for a fleeting moment on the artificial foot protruding from the bottom of one trouser leg.

Even Tiernan found himself holding his breath, rather to his surprise. Mac’s story had played a huge part in his father-in-law’s acceptance – reluctant at first, but slowly warming – of his son’s marriage to another man.

And how strange was it, that the Fae had to swallow a lump in his throat as Thomas drew himself up to attention, and snapped off a crisp salute?

“Sarge, no, that ain’t right.” Mac was blushing, shaking his head.

“Neither was what happened to you.” Thomas wrapped the other man in an awkward but fervent bear hug; when he stepped back, there was a grin on his face shining brighter than the star on the tree. “I have no idea how you came to be here, but damn, it’s good to see you.”

“There’s a story behind that,” Kevin put in, before Tiernan could open his mouth.

“I’m sure there is.” Thomas looked from Kevin to Mac, and from Mac to Lucien, and then cocked an eyebrow at Tiernan, “Why don’t we start disposing of that eggnog while you boys tell it?”

 

*****

A very Merry Christmas to all, from Kevin, Tiernan, Thomas, Mac, Lucien… and me!

My favorite Christmas story ever!

I plan to have a Soulshares Christmas story up here by Christmas Eve, but I thought I’d share my own personal favorite Christmas story here in advance of the day.

It was Christmas Day, 1990. I had just moved to New York City from Minnesota that August; my brother got married in October, and so of course I went home for the wedding, and being a young lawyer in a big New York law firm, the vacation time I could claim was seriously limited. Which meant that I was alone in the big city for Christmas.

This didn’t particularly bother me, as I was head over heels in love with the city, and any time I spent there was like spending time with a dear friend. But I did want to do something to mark the day. And I noticed that Patrick Stewart was doing a Christmas Day performance of his one-man version of A Christmas Carol, so I got on the phone (this was pre-Internet, needless to say!) and bought a ticket.

 

The theater was packed, which surprised me a little – I was still thinking like a Minnesotan, and I think I’d assumed that every New Yorker who could ‘nest’ on Christmas would be doing so. And Patrick Stewart was absolutely brilliant. His ‘set’ consisted of a chair, a lectern with a book on it, and a trap door in the floor that sometimes had a light shining up through it; his ‘costume’ was a brown, slightly Dickensian suit.  With that much of a backdrop, and his amazing voice, he brought the entire story to life, without once stooping to caricature or imitation. We were like a cluster of enthralled children, watching a favorite uncle make magic.

And then he really did. With a little help.

There’s a scene near the end of the story – I’d imagine most of you know it – in which Scrooge awakens from the visitation of the final Spirit a transformed man, and is trying to figure out how long the visitation of the Spirits has lasted. Patrick’s Scrooge raced to the “window,” which in this case was a pantomime of a window being wrested open, and leaned on the windowsill to look out into the street. (And yes, we all saw the nonexistent window, and yes, he did lean on it.) He looked “down into the street,” that is to say, out into the audience.

“And he spied a young urchin, racing down the street, and he called out – ‘Boy! What day is it?’”

And someone in the audience called back, in pitch-perfect accent, “Why, it’s Christmas Day, sir!”

Everyone in the audience burst into applause. Patrick straightened and stepped back, and the smile on his face was like that of a six-year-old boy on Christmas morning, waking to find everything he ever wanted under the tree. He waited for the applause to begin to die down, then held out his arms to the audience and repeated, “What day is it?”

And the whole audience gave back, “Why, it’s Christmas Day, sir!”

 

There’s a post-script to this story, too. On the way out of the theater, I actually heard a few theatergoers commenting that the audience member must have been a plant. But a few years ago, Patrick Stewart came to Minneapolis, to perform at the Guthrie Theater. He did an op-ed piece for the StarTribune, a full page on the subject of his three favorite moments in a lifetime in the theater. That moment was one of them. And I was there for it!

First of all, welcome to everyone who found my little corner of the Internet for the first time through the Hot WinterNights Giveaway Blog Hop! I hope you enjoyed meeting Kevin and Tiernan, the main characters in the first Soulshares novel, Hard as Stone. The second book in the series, Gale Force, is in the loving hands of my editor even as we speak, and I’m hard at work on the third, Deep Waters.

Winners? Ah, yes, winners. *grins* The winner of eARCs of Hard as Stone and Evernight Vol. 2 from my Comments list is Lona Stringer, and the winner from my new followers is the lovely but unpronounceable jyl22075! I’ll be in touch with you both shortly to get you your prizes — wishing you many hours of happy, hot winter night reading!

Hot Winter Nights Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the hottest stop on the Hot Winter Nights Giveaway Blog Hop! *winks* All comments here will enter you in the drawing for the Grand Prize of a $50 Amazon gift card, $10 in Bookstrand Bucks, and a selection of 11 e-books. Total value of the Grand Prize package is over $100, so comment early and often! And be sure to INCLUDE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS!

(To get back to the list of participating blogs, click HERE: http://nicolemorganauthor.blogspot.com)

In addition to the Grand Prize, all comments on this blog entry, and all “follows,” will register you for one of two RoryNi prizes — you’ll find those after the story you’re about to read.

Oh, yes. Story. Here’s my Christmas gift to you, dear readers — an all-new short story set in the world of the Soulshares, in the deep and dark midwinter. Come with me, and step into Purgatory, the hottest all-male sex club on the Eastern Seaboard. And the only one run by a Fae…

Refuge from the Storm

Tiernan cast one last look around Purgatory. His enhanced senses let him see perfectly well in the light from the exit signs, which was all there was at the moment. No sense having anything else on, not when all of D.C. was paralyzed, and the club – and everything else – was closed until the fucking snow stopped. Though he’d seen blizzards that were probably worse, in a century and a half in the human realm, this was the first one he couldn’t just Fade someplace warm to get away from. Well, he could, but it would mean leaving his husband to freeze his ass off. On their wedding anniversary, no less. Shit, I hope Kevin made it home from work. He still shuddered at the thought of spending any length of time in Kevin’s car, but the thought of being stranded somewhere in it was infinitely worse.

Surely Kevin was home by now. And they could take advantage of being snowed in by spending the night in the hot tub by candlelight, instead of going out to dinner. Fuck tradition, he wanted to spend his anniversary wet, hot, and moaning. And making his husband the same way. Thank you, blizzard. Time to get home and find the candles –

What the hell? A blast of cold air roared through the suddenly-open door, seeming to blow a snow-covered figure in just ahead of it. Kevin leaned against the door to close it, breathing hard, snow falling from his hair and clothing. “Shit – are you here, lanan? I can’t see a damned thing.”

Tiernan gestured, and the lights came up over the cock pit as he hurried to Kevin’s side. “What the hell were you doing out in this?” He watched as Kevin tried to unbelt his coat with numb fingers, finally pushing his hands aside and doing the job for him, pushing the coat off his lanan’s broad shoulders and letting it lie where it fell.

“It wasn’t that bad when I left work. I thought I could make it here, surprise you before the club opened for the afternoon.”

He could feel Kevin’s shivers, and wrapped an arm around him, urging him down into the cock pit, to one of the black leather loveseats. “Where’s the death trap?”

Kevin shot him a look as the two of them sank onto the soft leather. “The Mercedes made it as far as the entrance to the valet parking. It’s stuck. And as soon as the plows come by, it’s going to be really stuck.”

Tiernan wrapped his arms around his human, and frowned. “You’re freezing. Why don’t you get out of those wet things, and I’ll go get us something to chase away the cold?” Unable to resist, he leaned in for one hot kiss, then Faded to the bar and started looking around for what he needed.

By the time he poured Kevin’s Jack and coke, and – after some reflection – a shot of Tennessee Honey for himself, every stitch Kevin had been wearing was in an untidy pile on the floor. The human still looked chilled, but the dark gaze raking over the Fae was hot beyond belief.

“Was this what you wanted?” Kevin’s baritone was husky, and whether it trembled with chill or with need, Tiernan had no fucking clue.

Except that either way, he needed his arms around the male. Right now. He all but dove back into the loveseat, could barely wait for Kevin to take his drink before snaking an arm around him and drawing him in close.

Kevin’s low laughter went straight to Tiernan’s cock, teasing it to rigid attention. “Not quite the anniversary we had planned.” The lawyer downed half his Jack and coke at once. “But I think I can make do.” Slowly, he leaned closer; his tongue stroked softly, insistently over Tiernan’s eyebrow ring. “Any way to get some music?”

Tiernan blinked, trying to make sense of his husband’s words. “Music. Right. Yes.” It was just fucking unfair, when you got right down to it, that Kevin was naked and he himself had to deal with zipper teeth trying to circumcise him. He closed his eyes and reached out with his sixth sense, the magickal one, and abruptly the darkness around their little island of light was filled with the pulsing E.D.M. Purgatory was known for. As long as computer chips were still made of silicon, a Fae of the Demesne of Earth always had a way in.

“Perfect.”

Tiernan’s eyes snapped open at the sensation of Kevin’s hips rocking against his. He looked up into dark eyes, dark hair still wet with snow-melt, a smile that he knew from experience could get him hard from the far side of a crowded dance floor. Kevin’s knees were braced to either side of Tiernan’s thighs, and his hands to either side of Tiernan’s head where it rested against the high back of the loveseat. For once, the Fae had no complaint at all about being confined; his gaze traveled around hard-muscled thighs, bunched biceps, washboard abs with a dusting of dark hair, undulating in time with the driving beat of the music, and a proudly erect cock that would make a she-mammoth pack her things and move back in with mama. It swayed and bobbed with Kevin’s every sinuous movement, and left drops of clear fluid scattered across Tiernan’s shirt.

“Best fucking lap dancer in D.C.” Tiernan’s voice was thick, unsteady. “I hope to hell this isn’t one of those times you’re planning to insist on foreplay.” He skinned out of his shirt as quickly as he could, penned in as he was, and shoved his jeans down his hips, groaning as his shaft sprang free, the mark of the zipper clearly visible.

“Maybe that’s all I’m planning.” Kevin’s body slid down Tiernan’s legs until he knelt on the floor; his hand curled around the base of Tiernan’s cock, clenching and releasing to the bass rhythm coming out of the darkness. “A nice, long, slow tease. Hours of it.”

Tiernan cursed as Kevin’s hot mouth closed around the head of his cock. “Not tonight, buchal dana.” Fuck, yes, his husband was being a bad boy. It was Kevin’s shyness that had first driven Tiernan mad for him. And there was still some of that reticence to him, hesitation, wanting to be urged. But from the start there had been a buchal dana living deep within his human, and during this year of their marriage the bad boy had learned how much the Fae delighted in him.

Shit, that beautiful ass was still moving, as if compelled by the music. Tiernan’s hands plunged into Kevin’s hair and pulled him down; he cursed again, ecstatically, as his Prince Albert dragged along Kevin’s tongue, and yet again as the head of his cock bumped against the back of Kevin’s throat. I’m not going to last. No fucking way. “You can come up here and ride me.” His voice was a low purr, barely audible over the hypnotic throbbing of the music. “Or I can come down there, turn you around, and take you as hard as you’re begging to be taken. Your choice.”

Dark eyes laughed up at him for a moment before Kevin released his shaft. “Why do I have to choose? We have all night, after all.” Steadying Tiernan’s shaft with one hand, he lollipopped it from taint to tip, his tongue like hot velvet. “But you’re right, we need to start somewhere. Why don’t you come here and see what you can take?”

The words were hardly out of Kevin’s mouth before Tiernan was off the loveseat, using one hand in his thick dark hair to turn him around, kneeing his thighs apart and pushing him to hands and knees on the black marble floor. He stared in wonder for a moment at his own weeping, nearly purple shaft, before wrapping his free hand around it and positioning the head at Kevin’s clamped-tight entrance. “Look what you do to me, lanan.”

Kevin turned, at this, looking up from where his weight rested on his forearms. The color was high in his cheeks, behind his five o’clock shadow, and his eyes shone. “No more than what you’ve always done to me.”

Tiernan lunged forward, taking Kevin’s mouth in a ferocious kiss and crying out into the kiss with the exquisite burning pleasure as he buried himself deep in his husband’s tight dark passage. Again he thrust, and again, pounding even harder than the bass beat that filled the air, gasping for breath even as he continued his assault on Kevin’s mouth. And he’d been right to think he wouldn’t last; his sac was already rising up, heat pooled at the base of his spine.

And every nerve in his body sang with joy, a blazing bright wonder that convulsed him as he released. Scair-anam

The desire and the joy, his husband’s tight hold and his husband’s kiss, those were what kept Tiernan conscious until the pleasure finally started to ebb. “Damn.” His lips moved against Kevin’s, both mouths swollen and tender and wonderfully sensitive. “Happy anniversary.”

Kevin laughed, a low, rich, delicious sound. “And it’s only just beginning.”

“Not quite what you’d planned, though.”

“Ah, but I’m very good at improvising.”

If this story was your introduction to Kevin and Tiernan and the world of the Soulshares, and you want more, here’s the link to their story, in Hard as Stone:

http://www.amazon.com/Hard-as-Stone-ebook/dp/B009SX91JQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1354327413&sr=8-2&keywords=hard+as+stone

And if you’d like something a little different, you can check out my Gems of Night short story, “Serpentine,” in Evernight 2 —

http://www.amazon.com/Evernight-Vol-2-ebook/dp/B009LLZHX4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354329397&sr=1-1&keywords=evernight+2

On December 5th, each comment below, and each follow, will count as an entry for eARCs of both Hard as Stone and Evernight 2!