It`s time for Tuesday Tales.
Welcome back! “Cry” is our word this week. Today I’m sharing snippets from my new M/M shifter romance, An Erie Uprising, which will be the final novella in the Lake Erie shifter series.
In this excerpt we’re treated to a conversation between Templeton and Mikel after a rather unpleasant scene at the dinner table involving the resident vampire.
This story may have gay erotic scenes, strong social issues addressed and mature language. If those things offend now is the time to move onto another Tuesday Tales blog. Thanks for stopping by!
We watched him exit with class and speed. I rounded on Mikel, ready to give him a large piece of my mind. He held up a finger.
“Keep it to yourself until we retire, Templeton. This is the evening meal. It’s the one meal I can enjoy as it should be, with refinement and taste, not upset and chaos.”
“I’d say we’re far past a refined and tasteful meal now.” I pushed back from the table, threw my napkin over the damn bloody lamb, and made a dignified exit myself.
I made it to the master suite, crying a bit as I swallowed rapidly several times, then ran into the bath off our bedroom, folding myself over the toilet just in time. I retched and gagged for a moment, my stomach knotting terribly. After I was done, I flushed, made my way to the sink, and brushed my teeth and tongue vigorously.
A soft scratching sound tickled my ears. I spit, rinsed, and cranked off the taps before I turned to look at Mikel filling the doorway. And when I say fill I do mean fill. His shoulders were nearly as wide as the jamb and his red-black head brushed the top casing. He looked suitably contrite.
“Are you not feeling well? Should I have Rugby call for a white witch?”
“No, no witch is needed, I’m just… sick to my stomach.” I rested my backside to the marble countertop, my gaze moving over the man in the doorway. “The meat was too rare.”
“I think it was more than the bloody lamb that sent you to the john to vomit.” He tugged the knot out of his tie then pulled it out from under his starched collar. “I think it was me.”
“Mikel, there is not one thing about you that could ever make me sick.”
“Oh? And the fact that I’m an elitist hypocrite doesn’t sour your stomach in the least?” He whipped the tie to the hamper in the corner then his suit jacket followed. When I couldn’t think of any response, he exhaled sadly and let his eyes drift shut. “So you also think that I’m a fraud. That I say one thing and then do another.”
“Don’t put words into my mouth, Mikel. I never said such a thing, but there are times that you’re quite snobbish.” His amber eyes flared. “It’s true. And sometimes I find it terribly endearing. Like when you refuse to try any clothes on that aren’t imported from the Old Country or hand-tailored by Master Gnome.”
“I cannot fit well into the clothes smaller men wear.”
“Okay yes, I can see that to be case for suits, trousers, and shirts. But underwear and socks as well?” He opened his mouth, shut it, opened it yet again, and then clamped his lips tightly. Ah, he made me smile despite the churning in my belly. “See, that’s charming in its way. I understand it because that’s how you were raised. As the only blooded son of an alpha you were given the best of the best. You know no different. We can’t avoid our upbringing. It’s why I’m so frugal. Growing up on the salary of an OTTER scribe, we didn’t have luxuries. So to this day I still buy the cheapest shampoo, soap, or socks because spending money on things feels wasteful.”
“But there are things about me that are not endearing.” He leaned a shoulder to the doorframe.
“We all have less than endearing qualities, Mikel. I tend to talk too much, horde pennies, fixate on my hair, and stink.”
“You stink because you are a skunk. That also is something that you cannot change.”
“True, but there are things about me that I can change, just as there are things about you that you could work on.” I slipped my hands into my front pockets.
Mikel chewed on that for a second. “His jibe about the servants…that was untrue, Templeton. I have tried to encourage them to seek employment elsewhere. They refuse. They wish to stay here and be at our beck and call. How is that my fault?”
“Yes, I’ve run into the brick wall myself. And it’s not your fault. It’s the fault of the system we’ve all been trapped in for centuries.”
He huffed in annoyance. “That vampire is akin to a burdock in my fur.”
“He does have a knack for knotting you up.”
“Shall I simply kick them out the door into the snow?” He shifted his weight to the other side of the doorway. I shrugged. “I pay them well. They want for nothing. This manse is theirs just as much as its ours. What does he propose I do?”
“I honestly don’t know, Mikel. There’s no simple answer. Let’s just go to bed. We’re all tight as piano wires.” I pushed from the counter. He remained where he was, blocking the doorway with muscle and bulk.
“I’ll instruct Mrs. Dunrite to cook the lamb a bit more next time.” He held out his hand and tried to look sheepish. As if a wolf could ever pull off that expression. I walked over to him and slid my palm over his.
“Thank you. It wasn’t just the blood soaking into my spuds, it was the stress. I’m sure a nice cup of tea and a few biscuits will get me set to rights.”
He led me from the bath to stand beside the bed. His fingers went for my tie. Someone knocked on the door to our suite.
“Master Lupei,” Rugby called through the crack around the door, “I have some peppermint tea and a plate of almond wafers for Master Reed’s bilious stomach.”
“How does he do that?” I enquired and got a shake of the head from the man peeling me out of my clothing. We crawled into bed, Rugby brought us our tea and wafers, and I dozed off on Mikel’s chest after partaking of the remedy. There I lay until morning, my dreams nothing but black space inside my head.
Copyright 2017 ©by V.L. Locey
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