It’s QueerBlogWed! A day to blog about all things queer. The Navel’s tales inspire that in more ways than one.
Peter picks right where he left off on Monday, attempting to charm a beautiful boy who doesn’t want to be charmed in Unwilling to Be Yours.
This is the second prelude to my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest. I’m currently working on revising the first book in the series, Stealing Myself From Shadows during Camp NaNoWriMo.
“Excuse me, I didn’t mean to startle you.” I tried to adopt a more gentlemanly manner. “Is this the center of all things bizarre?”
Oh, I knew where I was, but using Gabrielle’s catch phrase for the Navel might put this boy at ease. Let him know I had a reason for being here.
The boy stared at me in absorbed silence.
I smiled my most winning smile.
He bit his lip, his gaze shifting away my lips. He studied my eyes, my hands, the embroidery on my red vest, and my forest green trousers hugging my legs.
Having those eyes linger over every inch of me was quite unsettling.
In an attempt at distracting him, I waved a hand up at the old fashioned sign hanging over the door. I nodded at the curve of a bare belly, exposing the belly button.
Cute. A shop called the Navel in a town already named Omphalos. Yes, I recognized the old fashioned word for Navel. Calling this Navel ‘the center of all things bizarre’ was more cute poured on top of far too much cuteness already. Not that I’d ever say it. The name of the store had been Gabrielle’d ida. I wasn’t about to accuse my potential boss of laying on the cute too thick.
“This is the Navel, if that’s what you’re asking.” The boy’s manner became even less friendly, if such a thing was possible.
Speaking of too much cute, no one should be that adorable when they scowl at you. It inspires one with the desire to do wrong.
“What do you want?” The boy crossed his arms and blocked the doorway to the Navel.
“Are you this charming to all your customers?” I asked with a certain arch disapproval.
The mischief in me decided to let him think I was an insulted customer, trying to be a good sport about his attitude.
“Or am I just special?” I tried to keep the censure light and playful.
I cocked my head, exposing a little more of my auburn curls. Not as brilliant as this boy’s, but the sun could bring out a certain eye catching gleam in them, according to some of my former admirers.
Not that this boy was going to be an admirer any time soon.
“That depends.” The boy cocked his own head, mimicking my gesture. Or was he mocking it. “Are you truly a customer?”
Clearly, he didn’t believe I was one.
“Or are you after Damian’s job?” The boy narrowed his eyes, planting his feet a little more firmly in the ground.
Ah, there’s a reason for this beautiful boy’s scowl and his name is Damian.
“Actually, I’m here about a job opening,” I raised my hands in a gesture of supplication. “I didn’t realize I was taking someone else’s job away from them.”
“I suppose you’re not.” All the hostility and suspicion seemed to run out of the boy, as his shoulders slumped.
I almost felt a little guilty.