Gay Contemporary and Paranormal Romance

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wednesday Briefs #25 The Hollow: Soul Seekers

 Copyright 2014 JC Wallace
Each week a group of authors participate weekly in Wednesday Briefs Flash Fiction. Each installment is 500-1000 words long and is posted to our blogs each week. After you read the latest in my story, click on the links at the end to visit the other flashers.

~~~~~*~~~~~


Levi let out a long sigh escape. Why did she have to mention that?
Dr. Winston continued. “The pendant blocks energy. For some reason, Jeb’s energy is having an adverse effect on you. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Nothing like it? It’s all freaking crazy if you ask me. So it was you every time this thing happened to me?” He pointed to Jeb, accusingly. Jeb stood, arms at his side, very still, too still. “Do you know what kind of hell you put me through? I thought I was going crazy, losing my friggin’ mind. I thought my skull was going to disintegrate. I almost died, at least three times.” He said pushing three fingers toward Jeb.
Dr. Winston’s head jerked in Jeb’s direction but Jeb remained deathly still.
“Yeah, that’s right. After that first time, you were around at the college; I ended in the lake because I felt like my body was on fire.”
A raised eyebrow then low chuckle came from Jeb. “On purpose?”
“Yeah, only I don’t see how dropping twenty feet into an icy Adirondack Lake, breaking a rib, then almost freezing to death is funny,” Levi seethed.
Jeb flinched as if Levi had swung at him.
“The second time, when you were outside my house, I almost swallowed an entire bottle of pills because I couldn’t take the crushing sadness that came after seeing you. And then yesterday when you touched me, my Godm the pain, and then my nose started bleeding and, well…forget it.”  Levi plunked down into the chair rubbing his temples hard.
“Levi, I’m sorry. We didn’t have a clue it was that bad,” Dr. Winston said.
“Well, maybe if you’d asked before sending your goon after me, all of this could have been avoided,” Levi said, wondering how hard he’d have to rub to crush his skull and end all of this here.
Slowly, sitting up his headache began to dissipate. Jeb had resumed his relaxed position against the wall, playing with that damned pendant, the only barrier between Levi’s sanity and utter hell when he was near.
The corner of Jeb’s mouth curled a bit, a mischievous glint in his eyes. Was the cocky jerk enjoying Levi’s pain?  Jeb tilted his head a bit and wrapped his fist around the pendant. His lips parted a bit.
Startling warmth flooded through Levi’s body. Levi rubbed began to rub his palms slowly over the tops of his thighs. Jeb held Levi’s gaze. Jeb gave his bottom a slow languorous lick. Levi’s eyes followed the pink appendage. God, what would it be like to suck on that lip?
What the hell was that? Levi sat straight up in the chair, the action tipping it a bit.
“You okay,” Dr. Winston asked, reaching out to steady the chair
“Not really,” Levi said blatantly.
Jeb unwrapped his fingers from the pendant but continued to hold it with two fingers.
Dr. Winston carried on. “I’m confused about some things you said.”
Welcome to my world.
“What exactly happened that drove you into the lake and to swallow the pills?  Once Jeb wasn’t near, the affect would have ended.”
Levi explained the euphoria, the searing heat that followed. He described the sadness and overwhelming despair but stopped before telling about the wanton need for Noah and his murderous desires.
“What about yesterday?” Jeb asked. Levi glared at him but Jeb continued. “After I left you.”
Levi averted his gaze to his hands unsure how to answer that. “Let’s just say there’s this person,”no way was he outing himself here“and, well...” He swallowed hard, trying to suppress his blush. “It was all nice and cozy and then it wasn’t.”
“What wasn’t “nice”?” Jeb asked, leaning forward, scowling.
“I wanted to kill this person, okay? If I hadn’t gotten away from this person, I might have done it with my bare hands.”
Jeb cocked an eyebrow as if impressed with his statement. “You just wanted to kill this person. Nothing else.”
Levi narrowed his eyes, wondering what Jeb thought he knew. “Um, first I might have wanted to…you know…”Levi could feel his face turn about ten shades of purple.
“What?” Jeb pushed.
Levi signed. “We were kissing and you know it got a little out of control and then I felt like I wanted to murder this person,” Levi confessed, unsettled sharing the information.
“So after you left Jeb each time you experienced an intense emotion running the spectrum. On one end a mild euphoria which, when untethered, can turn to a raging burning high. Sadness to utter despair and then lust to a murderous rage.”
Sounded right. “Can you tell me why I had those emotions? Levi asked.
“Not really. I mean they’re normal emotions. Something definitely triggered their intensity.”
Levi shook his head. “You don’t understand. I don’t feel, ever.  Except for a few times when something really bad happened.” Levi continued without trepidation. Might as well throw all of his most embarrassing details onto that table. “I’m as dead inside as they come. I don’t even cry unless I’m really hurt. I totally pissed off my brother yesterday, hurt him, the only person in my life who has always been there for me and I just did it. Felt a little guilty, tried really hard to cry when I saw the pain in his eyes but nothing.” Levi was disgusted by his hideous behavior toward Logan.
Dr. Winston jaw dropped. Jeb didn’t move except to narrow his eyes. Levi really wanted to punch him.



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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wednesday Briefs #24 The Hollow: Soul Seekers


Copyright 2014 JC Wallace
Each week a group of authors participate weekly in Wednesday Briefs Flash Fiction. Each installment is 500-1000 words long and is posted to our blogs each week. After you read the latest in my story, click on the links at the end to visit the other flashers.

~~~~~*~~~~~

Dr. Winston shook her head, her lips thinned. “Not after you. Do you remember the last conversation we had in this office before you left school for good?”

He did. Dr. Winston’s concern had been apparent for Levi’s missing so many classes, his attention wandering in class, his reluctance to participate. Levi had failed to mention at the time that’d he’d already decided to leave college. “Yes.”

“I had questioned you about your Guardian?”

There was that word again. “I told you I have parents.” His tone was a tad snippy.

“Not as in the legal sense. A Guardian is someone other than a parent who agrees to watch over someone, be a guide for anyone who’s had his or her soul removed. It goes much deeper than that but you couldn’t name anyone. So, I sent Jeb to try to find out who that was. I had a fear that this person hadn’t taken their role seriously and neglected the oath they had taken.”

Back to the soulless thing. “Mine’s right where it’s supposed to be.” Levi insisted, pointing to his chest, not wanting to say’ soul’ aloud in front of Jeb.

Dr. Winston sighed heavily and turned to Jeb.

 “Having some difficulty accepting the truth?” the man muttered as if Levi wouldn’t hear.

Dr. Winston only nodded with a faint glimmer of pity. God, he knew that look well.

“So you believe this? You think my soul is gone, too,” Levi challenged Jeb, who continued to stare at Levi.

Levi dropped his hands hard into his lap. Despite the enormity of the situation, he had remained quite calm. From under the fringe of his bangs, Levi gave Jeb a sideways glance. Jeb continued to silently play with that damned pendant, his steely control apparent in every movement, every breath. “Evidently, he didn’t find a Guardian because I don’t have one.”

But I do have a soul. I have to.

“You’re right. He didn’t find anyone. In fact, you’re quite a solitary person, Levi.”

“Tell me something I don’t know,” Levi mumbled, rubbing the tension at the base of his neck. He was so getting a headache.

As if it had been a dare, Dr. Winston said, “Jeb has been watching you since the day you left school. Since November.”

Levi’s skin rippled over his body, and a sickening chill spreading from his spine. Levi glared hard at Jeb who truly had been stalking him. “W-why would you...I would’ve known.”

A smug smile crossed his lips. “No one sees me until I want them to.”

Levi begged to differ. “I saw you at the college, outside of the classroom, in the parking lot – outside of my house. Ran right into you in the hallway.”

Jeb shifted his stance. Apparently, Levi had hit a nerve. “Those were times I wanted you to see me.”

“Riiiight,” Levi drawled with a haughty air.

“I did ask Jeb to talk to you, to convince you to come and see me. I sent you several messages to get you to come but you kept putting me off. Can you tell me what happened whenever Jeb approached you?” Dr. Winston had moved to her chair and leaned toward Levi. Her closeness made him want to push his chair back.

“What do you mean?” Levi asked, so ready to hit “end” to cease this conversation.

Jeb was about to speak but Dr. Winston put up her hand and silenced him.

Good boy, Levi snickered to himself when Jeb obeyed.

“Jeb said he ran into some trouble whenever he got near you. What did you feel?”

“Nothing.” He was so not letting them into his personal shit. “That wasn’t about him.”

It couldn’t possibly be because of Jeb. None of this made sense. Maybe Levi wasn’t in that office. Maybe his body was somewhere, drooling in a heap, his mind cracked. This had to be an illusion. A very real illusion.

“It had everything to do with him,” Dr. Winston assured Levi.

Jeb at least had the decency to look apologetic for what he’d assumed was his doing.

“If it did then I wouldn’t be standing right now. I’d be writhing around on the floor in agony, with my blood pouring out of my nose and my head about to explode brain matter everywhere.”

Dr. Winston raised an eyebrow and glanced to Jeb who gave him an I-told-you-so look.

Levi startled when Dr. Winston reached above his head and retrieved something from the bookcase behind him. A small silver metal box was nestled in her palm. Crossing to Jeb, she opened the lid of the box. Without being asked, Jeb removed the chain from around his neck, placed it into the box with a jut of his chin and snapped the lid shut.

A pressure as terrifyingly real as ever slammed into Levi. Leaning over in the chair, he grabbed his head, nearly falling, crunching his ribs. An arm grabbed his. The pressure quickly subsided but it was too late. The blood dripped from his nose onto the rug below. A tissue was stuffed into his hand. Levi quickly brought it up to staunch the blood.

Slowly rising, he saw Jeb kneeling beside him, his hand steadying Levi. He held the pendant loosely in his other hand.  His expression looked…concerned? For Levi? Probably afraid he’d be convicted of murder if Levi dropped dead. Levi pulled away. Jeb stumbled back, surprised by the sudden movement.

“What did you do to me?” Levi gasped, standing on wobbly legs. Fuck, there was that headache.

Jeb pulled up to his full height. Slowly, he returned the pendant to his neck but didn’t answer.

Dr. Winston spoke instead. “I’m sorry but it was the only way to show you. I haven’t figured out why this is happening. When Jeb told me about your recent reactions to him, I had my doubts. I mean he’s been close to you for months and suddenly this starts occurring. It didn’t make sense. Now I feel it has something to do with you stopping the medication. Past that I am baffled”.
 
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Check out the other flashers this week at www.wedbriefsfic.com
 
 
 

 
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Welcome Avery Dawes with her zombie short story, Fall Break Fright!


Welcome to the blog Avery Dawes with her short story, Fall Break Fright, featuring two hot guys and zombies. What more could you ask for?! Grrr...
 
~~~~~~*~~~~~
 
 
Title:  Fall Break Fright

Author:  Avery Dawes 

Release Date:  September 30, 2014

Genre:  M-M Romance with Zombies

Story Length:  Short Story, approx. 12K words

 

Blurb:

Carson Davis can’t go home…

His aunt is his only relative in the world, and she’s made it clear she doesn’t want him there during his fall break. Looks like he’s stuck at college, alone and heart-broken. But Carson hasn’t figured on his new roommate, Tyler Owen, who’s extremely hot and unfortunately straight.
 
Or is he?

Tyler unexpectedly invites Carson to go with him to his family’s home in Kansas. Not only that, but Carson’s gaydar must be off, ‘cause Tyler is not only gay, he’s into Carson! However, things go horribly wrong once they reach Kansas. Not with them, but with the unexpected appearance of…

Zombies?

The world seems to have gone mad, and now it’s Carson and Tyler against the walking dead. They have to survive these creatures so they can enjoy their happily ever after. 

 
 


 
Excerpt
 
Crouching, Tyler peeked around the corner of the building. His movements were slow and smooth as not to attract attention. Carson also knelt and brought the shovel up in front of him in a defensive position. He tried to take shallow breaths, not wanting the least little sound to draw attention to their hiding place.
Tyler’s hand reached back and gave Carson’s knee a reassuring squeeze. They froze as two bloodied and battered zombies lumbered down the street, passing them by. The groans and foul odor that emanated from the pair caused Carson to tremble. He swallowed down the bile rising in his throat, noting that their stench would remain with him for way too long. Tyler gave Carson’s knee another, longer squeeze.
After what was probably a couple of minutes, they were once again on the move. At another rundown building, Tyler paused and grabbed Carson’s hand. He brought it to his lips where he pressed a kiss to Carson’s bloodied knuckles. “The old feed mill is the last substantial building before we hit flat, open farmland. The first farm is the Haynes’s; my family’s is the second. The house is your typical white two story farmhouse and sits about a half-mile off the road. The barn is a massive, modern structure that is slightly behind and to the right of the house.”
Carson nodded, taking in Tyler’s description. He grew up in a cabin in the Green Mountains. The fields that seemed to go on and on were foreign to him; he missed the scent of pine and the sounds of cascading streams. As a kid, Carson spent as much time as possible exploring the woods around his house. Being outside meant avoiding his aunt, which was his main goal when he wasn’t in school. But now he needed to get his mind back to the present. “So what’s our plan if there’s nothing to hide behind?”
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About the Author

The secret is out: Avery Dawes is Denise Wyant’s naughty alter-ego. Avery enjoys writing about the passion that exists between two hunky and sometimes geeky men while Denise favors the alpha male who sweeps an intelligent and sassy woman off her feet. Both believe in their characters finding love and happiness, no matter the trials they have to endure to achieve it.

 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday Briefs #23 The Hollow: Soul Seekers


Copyright 2014 JC Wallace
Each week a group of authors participate weekly in Wednesday Briefs Flash Fiction. Each installment is 500-1000 words long and is posted to our blogs each week. After you read the latest in my story, click on the links at the end to visit the other flashers.

~~~~~*~~~~~



Crazy may cover Levi like a second skin but some of it was sitting right in front of him. Levi actually cracked a bit of a smile but it faded. “Okay…umm…yeah, I’m going to get going now.”

Levi rose and headed for the door.

“Fear.”

Levi halted at the word and turned slowly, trying to keep his expression blank.

“Fear, anxiety, nervousness maybe even panic? Do these sound familiar?”

“Yeah. I have an anxiety disorder. That’s why I left school.” It’s why every day of my life is hell on earth.

Dr. Winston shook his head slowly. “No, you don’t.”

“I think I would know.”

“It’s not the source.”

“I suppose lacking a soul is the real reason,” Levi said, unable to control the sarcasm that came with it. He wished he’d gone to ____, Dr. Winston’s teaching assistant to get the article. Well, too late.

“Please, sit and I will explain.”

When Levi failed to move she went on. “Our bodies need energy to exist. Yes, energy from food but most important the energy of a soul. Without it, the body tries to compensate by pulling energy in from around it. It’s kind of like a continuous drawing in of whatever is available. Everyone’s souls give off a hint of energy. So, the more energy around the more that is drawn inward, filling the body, overdosing it in a way. How do you feel in a room full of people?”

It makes his skin crawl and drives his panic to astronomical levels but he wasn’t going to confirm anything.

“You feel safer with as few people as possible around, probably even alone? Less energy to deal with,” she said and nodded, eying him as if to see how much he was buying.

Levi averted his gaze. “That doesn’t prove anything.”

“It proves everything.”

“You think because I have issues with anxiety that I have no soul.” Levi wasn’t the only one with issues.

“No, I think you don’t have a soul because I can’t see it.”

Levi frowned and looked up into the doctor’s face. “You’re a-”

“Seer. Yes. And the moment you walked into my class I knew yours was not there. That’s why I handed out the chapter on senz’anima. I was trying to tell you that I knew and figured you would come to me. Tell me why did you ask for the article?”

Levi shifted in his seat. Should he mention the old woman? Wouldn’t sound any crazier than what he’d heard from his professor.

“An old woman yesterday she...umm...she said I was senz’anima, hollow, unfeeling...empty.”

Dr. Winston’s brows raised. “Where was this?”

“In a store. She just pointed at me and said it.” Even now it sent cold chills through him. “Then I remembered the word from class.”

“She would have to be a Seer to have known that,” Dr. Winston said thoughtfully, chewing on her fingernail.

Levi didn’t like the look on her face. “But she was disgusted, even afraid.”

“Not all Seers feel that souls should be removed. There are people who believe removing a soul creates evil that will affect others around that person. They are quite...vocal about it.”

Vocal? “So this woman saw I didn’t have a soul and decided to tell me I’m evil. Nice.” Levi wanted to close his eyes and wake up in his bed. “How do you know she was one of these people?”

 “Seers aren’t allowed to approach the soulless for many reasons. Souls aren’t just taken at infancy. At the age of consent, some choose to part with theirs.”

Who in the world would choose to part with their soul and feel gut-wrenching agony of anxiety every day of their lives?

“So I have no soul?” Levi could play along. “Why am I still walking around?”

“Your soul is still here on this plane. And you still have a small part, enough to keep your life force going.”

“If it’s so horrible to go without a soul why in the hell would anyone remove it in the first place because I have to tell you, my life has been no picnic.”

Biggest. Fucking. Understatement. Ever.

“It’s not supposed to be like that.”

Levi smirked and shook his head. “And what’s it supposed to be?”

“What is left of the soul still allows the person to feel and function and avoid the influx of energy from the environment.”

“Listen, I really appreciate your concern for me, however misguided it is, but I have an anxiety disorder diagnosed by a real doctor, treated with real medication and counseling. Actually, until I came to college it was pretty much under control.” He just didn’t feel emotions.

“Medication. Hmm. What about now? Is anything different?”

Except for a panic attacks and his psyche preparing to crack into irretrievable pieces, and the crushing pain in his head and the intense emotions driving his insanity, oh, and the whole psychopath thing, not much.

“I stopped taking my meds. Couldn’t stand not feeling anything anymore. I felt so closed off, so dull. I recently read that it’s a side effect of anti-depressants.” It had been an epiphany at the time.

“Really? When was that? Did your doctor take you off of them?”

Levi regretted saying anything. He knew full well that you never stopped meds without your doctor’s okay. “Almost two weeks ago. I just decided to stop taking them.”

“And what happened?”

“More anxiety, a huge panic attack.”

“What else?”

What did she want? She appeared to be digging for something.

A knock at the door startled Levi, his heart pounding. He hadn’t realized how tense he’d become. Even Dr. Winston looked a bit unnerved but regained her composure.

“Excuse me,” she said, passing Levi to the door.

Levi stood and moved to the other side of the office to make room for whoever was at the door. Probably a student needing to meet with Dr. Winston which would give him the opportunity to get out and fast. He’d indulged the fantasy world of his former teacher long enough. But what about the man?

Dr. Winston opened the door and spoke to someone on the other side out of Levi’s view. A few nervous glances at Levi then Dr. Winston drew back and opened the door wide.

Fuck me sideways.

It was the man who’d nearly killed him.


 

Chapter 12

Levi scrambled back into a pile of books, knocking them over, his eyes frozen on the dark-eyed man, sans the black hoodie, looming in the doorway. He’d never forget those dark eyes, the harsh glare. Adrenaline surged readying Levi for flight however, he was trapped in the far corner of the room like a rat by a big fucking cat. The only exit blocked. Levi raised his hands toward his head ready for the mind exploding pain and pressure to come…but nothing.

Dr. Winston and the very tall man in the black T-shirt that stated ‘I’m the evil twin’ in white letters watched Levi.  

Even without the bone crushing force he’d experienced last in the presence of that man, Levi was terrified. Sweat formed on his brow, pushed out by his rapid heart rate. That man was here, sixty miles from his home, in his professor’s office, stalking Levi.

Dr. Winston looked to the man who raised his eyebrows with a slight nod. Her expression told Levi they were acquainted.

The man returned the look and shrugged his shoulders. “Looks like it worked.” His voice was rough and low, almost like a growl.

They returned their gazes to Levi. If he ran fast enough, he might be able to knock the man back and get into the hallway. But then what?

Dr. Winston took a few tentative steps toward Levi, raising her hands as if approaching a frightened animal ready to bolt. That was so Levi at this minute. “Levi, it’s okay. I know Jeb.”

Jeb. The stalker has a name. Levi gripped his fingers tight on the windowsill he leaned against. Three stories. Looking down there was no way to jump for a quick getaway.

Jeb, the stalker, leaned a shoulder against the doorjamb, settling in. He reached a large hand to his chest and fingered an object hanging from a silver chain around his neck.

A calming rush came over Levi. His hands relaxed, his shoulders dropped. What was he afraid of? Dr. Winston knew this man. She’d never allow Jeb to hurt him, right? If so, then why did part of his brain scream ‘lies’ at that logic?

Levi looked into the eyes of the stranger, which weren’t black but a deep, dark chocolate with an actual flicker of amber light within them. And now that he wasn’t glowering, Levi noticed the sharp line of his jaw, his high cheekbones. His black hair wasn’t straight but not curly either. It swept across his thick dark eyebrows, curled a bit toward his ears where dark sideburns reached down the sides of his cheeks. In the back, the hair curled around his nape. Jeb reminded Levi of Logan with his confident air, but this guy bordered on the edge of cockiness.

“Levi, we have a lot to discuss so why don’t you sit?”  Again, Dr. Winston motioned to the chair where Levi had been seated.

The idea of talking now seemed okay. Thoughts of fleeing left Levi’s mind and he returned to his seat.

Jeb waited for an invite and passed before Levi, sauntering toward the windows. As he passed, the uneasiness and calmness within Levi faded replaced with trepidation and apprehension. What was he thinking staying here a moment longer? Grasping at the arms of the chair, he decided to wait until Dr. Winston sat once again and then he would bolt. However, Dr. Winston didn’t sit but leaned against her desk. Would she try to grab Levi if he ran?

I have to get out of here!

Jeb leaned his back against the wall, regarding Levi in silence. What was he looking at? Levi almost said it aloud but bit down on his lip. Levi’s eyes darted between them. A puzzled looked on Jeb’s face gave him pause.

“Relax, Levi. You look terrified. Jeb’s a nice guy,” Dr. Winston said to reassure him.

A nice guy who was stalking Levi and had practically caused his head to implode. At least he hadn’t been deliberately trying to hurt Levi, as he’d had thought, but he wasn’t convinced that Jeb wouldn’t release his mind meld on him.

Jeb went back to playing with his necklace, eyes intent on Levi. Levi took a deep breath relaxing his muscles, rolling his head to release the tension. He leaned back against the chair and released his grip on the arms. Out of the corner of his eye, he glanced at Jeb and thought he saw a ghost of a smile.

“That’s better,” Dr. Winston said, the smile returning to her face.

“Who is he?” Levi asked, talking as if Jeb weren’t in the room.

“He’s a friend. Well, and part of the Seer community.”

“You’re a Seer?” Levi asked with a bit on contention.

Jeb snorted still playing with his necklace. He had quite a fetish over it. “No.”

“I sent Jeb to check on you,” Dr. Winston confessed without a hint of remorse.

Levi straightened in the chair. “You what?! You sent him after me?"
 
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