Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! Every Saturday, those participating share six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction on their blogs.

They can be their own. They can be someone else’s. They just need to be LGBTQ+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQ+ fiction, go to…

For quite some time, I’ve been sharing six sentences of Be My Valentine…Snack, the third prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows here.

I won’t be able to do that in April because my characters are invading. (wry grin) They’ll be Blogging From AZ, talking in first person about Character Goals. They’ll be here from Monday to Saturday.

I’m not finished with Be My Valentine…Snack, though. I considered simply putting the story on hold until April.

This doesn’t feel like the right course, though. I considered another.

Some Rainbow Snippeteers blog on Sunday instead of Saturday. Maybe I could join them during April.

It would mean Be My Valentine…Snack will come out in trickles, six sentences at a time every Sunday for a month.

At the same time, everyone who stops by while participating in Rainbow Snippets would get to keep up with the story.

I’ve decided to do that. So this will be the last Saturday for a while, Snippeteers, until I return on Sunday. 🙂


“Ah, but was that a kiss of true love?”

Duessa materialized several feet away from us. She wore a different gown, a sleek, tapering split of red and back down her torso. It was slit down the sides for her arms. Each sported a black or a red glove with either a heart or a spade.

“You’ll need it to be cured.”


Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to #QueerBlogWed, a time to share a touch of the rainbow on our blogs.

Perfect timing, considering what’s about to happen in Be My Valentine…Snack, which picks up right where it left off on Me Me Monday…


“I’ve got to break free of him,” I clung to Peter, wishing I could will more strength to the only ally I had in this place. “If I had some other energy, I could fight-”

My sentence was cut off by Peter’s lips locking themselves onto mine in a brutal kiss.

Power, hot, sharp, and lovely rushed into my mouth, my face, tingling its way down my neck, my chest, and my pelvis.

I should have backed away. I should have pushed him away.

Peter’s lips tasted warm and sweet.

My entire body tingled with energy, almost bursting with it.

I dropped my stick. It clattered, as it hit the floor.

Peter broke away, allowing me to breathe

“Is that enough?” He winked at me, brown eye bright with flirtatious mischief.

I didn’t know whether to punch him or kiss him again.

Power pulsed through me, mingling with my own power. It rushed down the link towards Valentine.

“No!” ‘Valentine’ snarled, struggling against the energy. The yellow green of his own flaring against it. “I won’t share! Not with you!” He curled his wasted lips in disgust.

“You’re not exactly my type, either,” Peter drawled, giving Valentine a once over. “However, my boy here needed a little pick me up, which you clearly weren’t giving him.”

“Your boy?” The yellow green energy dimmed. Valentine looked from Peter to me. “This foolish little hero is your beloved?”

Much as I disliked being called a foolish little hero, I decided to leave it be.

The others hesitated, pausing in their sinister shuffle while Valentine waited for Peter’s answer.

“Well, this is the first encouragement I’ve ever gotten from him.” Peter gave me a sideways glance and a graceful little shrug. “A lover who is truly devoted, however, does not give up easily.”

“A lover who is truly devoted does not give up easily,” Valentine repeated. His entire face softened, cheeks regaining a measure of fullness. “You love this boy, not the Lady Duessa, then.”

Oh, be careful what you say, I thought.

Valentine’s jealous energy had diminished, but it could flare up again. It might, if Peter said the wrong thing about Duessa.

“I’ll admit the lady’s kiss is overwhelming.” Peter tried to make a gallant little bow, but only managed to bob his head. “I confess, though, that my main reason for saying yes to her was to make Christopher jealous.”

Oh, that was a good one! I thought, careful not to say it out loud.

The yellow green energy was diminishing, like a dying flame.

“You shouldn’t play games like that,” Valentine chided, but he was no longer angry. His eyes dimmed, no longer seeing.

He sank to his knees. Every other Valentine drooped with him.

“You should be honest with the one…you…love.”

With those words, Valentine slid onto his side. Every other Valentine collapsed.

None of them moved.

“Well done.” Duessa no longer sounded amused. “I didn’t think you’d realize Peter was carrying his own cure.”

I almost asked what she meant before thinking better of it. Duessa believed I’d met her second challenge. This was good.

I just had no idea how I’d done it.

“A kiss is a way of breaking many an enchantment.” Peter lifted his chin with a measure of defiance.

I almost wept with relief to see it.

“Not to mention a fast way to exchange energy.” Peter offered me another little sideways glance.

He was right.

Peter had figured out how to overcome the challenge. He’d saved both of us.

Impressive. Not to mention embarrassing since I was the one who was supposed to be rescuing him.

“And you accuse me of being the one who likes being a hero.” I felt a slight grin tug at the corner of my mouth, in spite of myself.
Peter winked at me, his lips twitching with a repressed smile.

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Me Me Monday! A day to promote, strut, and celebrate your Me-ness!

Duessa Ashelocke is certainly about to do so with the help of her Valentines, much to Christopher’s dismay in the next part of Be My Valentine…Snack…


I could still hear her, though.

“Alas for you, Peter is still under the spell of my venom. Hidden in this room is a cure.”

Some of the Valentines stirred.

One of them rose from the ground, standing on thin legs covered with rags, which might once have been leggings. He wobbled, but braced himself with angry energy coming.

I felt myself clenching my teeth, almost vibrating with an anger that wasn’t my own.

“Christopher!” Peter shook me, holding onto my arm, bracing both of us. “What’s wrong?”
“Sharing my strength has consequences.” I dug my fingers into his arm, feeling waves of concern centering me. They were coming from Peter. “I’m not sure where you’re getting yours.”

“Neither am I.” Duessa’s voice tickled in my ear, close, too close. “I must say I’m impressed, Peter. Where do you get such stamina?”

“Do you really need to ask me that question?” Peter muttered, cheeks turning crimson.

Other young man were getting to their feet, limbs jerking in an almost puppet like fashion. Yes, there were delicate strands, still connecting them to the ceiling, thin as gossamer, almost invisible.

I hadn’t freed Duessa’s Valentines. I’d only awakened them.

I shuddered with another wave of rage which sent cramps through my thighs and calves.

The young man I’d first awakened gazed at me through shaggy tresses of gray hair. He bared his teeth at Peter. They were way too sharp.

“Perhaps not, tidbit. If you’re to recover from my bite completely, you’ll to deal with my former Valentines, you and Christopher.” Duessa’s voice floated around the air, like smoke.

The former Valentines all sighed as one at the sound. Peter sighed, too, almost swooning, knocking me off my feet when he did.

Valentine, the first Valentine stood up a little straighter. The others grinned at Peter and I, exposing teeth just as sharp.

“One of my sweetmeats here has the cure.” Duessa chuckled, a low, throaty sound which made the hairs of the back of neck tingle. “Can you guess what your second challenge is, my dear Christopher?”

“Which valentine has it?” I steadied Peter, planting my own feet, willing my legs to stay steady. “I suppose I need to figure out what the cure is, as well.”

“I can see why my nephew, not to mention this one is fond of you.” Duessa’s playful tone developed an edge. “You just keep getting more interesting, don’t you, tidbit?”

Peter swayed, but kept his balance. He narrowed his eyes in the direction of the approaching valentines, breathing against my neck.

“Stay calm,” I murmured. “She likes games, according to Damian. Nor does she lie, although there may very well be a trick or a trap in her words.”

“You like being a hero, don’t you?” Peter muttered. “Is this what it takes to catch your eye?”

“You have got to be joking,” I looked at the most aggressive Valentine, pulsing with anger. A faint, greenish nimbus surrounded him. Valentine was giving off energy.

Every thin, wasted youth in the room pulsed with same energy, mine and Valentine’s. His rage. My strength.

I took a deep breath, feeling the vibration connecting us. I tugged at it, trying to withdraw some of that power back into myself.

Only to be yanked off my feet. I stumbled, resisting the pull toward Valentine.

Peter caught me before I could fall. “Are you all right?” Peter gripped my arm, quivering with tension himself.

“No.” For the first time, I had no urge to brush his hand away. Touching me was making Peter stronger. “I drew energy from one of Duessa’s Valentines, by sharing mine with him. He seems to be the one in control of the energy.”

“That’s right, pretty.” Valentine grinned at me. “I’m quite grateful for your kind foolishness.” He took another step towards me, pulsing with power. The power was a sickly, yellowish green. “Thanks to you, I now have the strength to make certain I don’t have to share my lady’s affections with any other Valentine.”

Wonderful. I’d awakened his jealousy and I attached myself to it. Stupid, stupid Christopher.

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday, those participating post six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just has to be LGBTQ+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQ+ fiction, go here…

For mine, Christopher continues where he left off on #QueerBlogWed. He’s just freed Peter and the other Valentines, but where’s Duessa?


“Very good, tidbit!”

All of the Valentines perked up at the sound of Duessa’s voice. Peter, did, too, although he frowned a moment later.

I looked around the room to where she had been standing.

Duessa was no longer there. I couldn’t see her.




Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to #QueerBlogWed, a time to share a touch of the rainbow on our blogs.

It’s also time for Christopher to continue talking to one of Duessa’s valentines in order to find Peter. The energy he gave to the young man turns out to have unexpected consequences…


“I’m looking for someone in the web.” I forced myself to focus, leaning against the cocoon. “You’re part of the web. Will you help me find him?”

“Someone in the web?” ‘Valentine’’s voice got a little stronger. “My lady has collected another valentine?” Jealousy laced every word, dripping through the strands wrapping him in place.

“She has.” I made my voice as gentle and persuasive as possible. “She won’t be able to keep him. Not if I can find him and take him away.”

“Yes! Take him away!” Anger steamed within the cocoon strengthened by our shared warm. It seeped into my hand with renewed energy. “Take them all away!”

The web dripped, splattering on the tile below. Each cocoon dissolved, melting before my eyes.

Each cocoon fell the floor, releasing the wasted looking youths inside them.

Some of them didn’t get up. Some of them just lay upon the black and white tiles.

I searched the listless figures, focusing upon the healthiest, least wrinkled and wasted looking of them all.

Peter shook out his auburn curls, showing more awareness than he had during the entire walk to Duessa’s lair. He widened his eyes at the sight of his companions, darting an almost terrified gaze over their brittle strands of hair and pale, wrinkled skin.

I ran over to Peter and offered him a hand.

Peter studied my fingers, blinking with an almost terrifed innocence.

I wondered if I had looked the same to Damian when he first offered me his hand. After all that had happened, what would be the consequences of accepting anything from another.

Like Damian, I waited. I simply stood there with my hand extended.

Peter reached out to take it. He pulled himself up, almost dragging me to the floor with his desperate strength. He managed to stand, even though he swayed as he stood.



Be My Valentine…Snack

It’s Me Me Monday! A day to promote, strut, and celebrate your Me-ness!

Right now, Christopher is exploring his own Me-ness, what he’s capable of , what his limits are, and what he’s going to do upon discovering Duessa Ashelocke’s ‘Valentines’ within her Place of Power in the next part of ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’…


Arachnocrats weren’t that different than shadows, not really.

Something hungry stirred with me, yearning to unweave itself from this mortal form and to taste that passion, throbbing with the cocoon. How ironic if I were to feed on Duessa’s Valentines in her Place of Power, stealing the strength to fight her from her victims.

No. I shuddered within my frail human form, whcih would be so easy to discard.

No. If I fed on these fading cocoons, what would happen to the Valentines within?

Peter was somewhere among them. How many playful young flirts dangled from the ceiling, paying for one foolish choice? I couldn’t condemn them for that. How many stupid things had I done, which now lay with a shadow’s belly?

No. I’d chosen to live as a human. This body was a gift, the first gift Damian had ever given me.

Damian. I could still recall the warmth of his hand, the first thing I’d felt when stepping into his world.

He’d given me energy with a touch. Perhaps I could do the same.

I took a step forward toward the cocoon pulsing with frantic life

“Hello.” I made my voice as gentle as possible. I reached out with my free hand toward its rosy side, willing my own heat into it. “What’s your name?”

My fingers glowed, faintly green. Warmth pulsed, gathering into my palm.

I pressed my hand against the cocoon, feeling the energy course down through my arm, out of me.

I staggered, weakened by the loss.

The cocoon’s blush deepened. Its pulse quickened.

“Valentine.” I heard a young man’s dispirited voice, dull with misery. “I cannot remember who I was, before Valentine.”

“Pleased to meet you, Valentine.” I felt the connection, the flow of heat in a stream linking us.

Ah, this was shared warmth rather than stolen.

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction on their blogs. It might be their own. It might be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQ+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQ+ stories, go to…

For mine, Christopher will be picking up where he left off on #QueerBlogWed, discovering what he’s capable of in the Shadow Forest, even while in Duessa Ashelocke’s Place of Power…


I took a deep breath, sucked in the cold air. It tasted like dead things.

I gazed at one of the cocoons. A faint, rosy hue pulsed within its whiteness, making it tremble.

This particular Valentine had power, but it was fading. After all, Duessa had been feeding upon his blood, his life force. Perhaps even on his memories.

Be My Valentine…Snack

It’s #QueerBlogWed, a day to celebrate a touch of the rainbow on our blogs.

Christopher doesn’t feel like celebrating, but he is more than ready to fight. He picks up where he left off on Monday in ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’.


I released my fury in a hot burst.

A crimson purple flame streaked out of me, almost knocking me backwards.

I stood my ground, holding onto the manifestation, the shape. This was still the Shadow Forest, even if it was Duessa’s Place of Power.

This was my anger, not hers.

I willed blue ice around the red, willing it into the shape of a sword. The shadows were shaped in my hand, as I grasped…

…a stick. A sharp, icicle shaped stick, with a hint of red inside.

I flushed, feeling a bit ashamed.

“Very good.” Duessa nodded in approval. “You can shape reality in my lair. Not everyone can do that.” Ah, but there was a glint in one of her rose colored eyes, a mocking humor I’d seen countless times in her nephew’s. “Only do you know what to do with that stick of yours?”

“We’ll see.” I tried to sound more confident than I felt.

A stick. I’d tried to will a sword into existence. I’d gotten a stick.

At least it looked sharp at one end.

I swung it at one of the strands of web, holding one of the heart-shaped cocoons.

The stick bounced against the springy softness of the web.

“At least, it didn’t get stuck!” Duessa pointed out cheerfully. “Your hand would, if you touched the web.”

My hand. I looked down at my chilled fingers, clutching the staff. Each digit felt like it was sealed in ice, unable to move.

No. This was the Shadow Forest. Things could change, if I willed it.

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Me Me Monday! A day to promote, strut, and celebrate your Me-ness!

Duessa Ashelocke is certainly doing all of that in the next part of ‘Be My Valentine…Snack’.


Her auburn hair fell loose down her back.

The outfit suited her far more than the waistcoat and buffled skirts. Each eye stared out from her face, like planets within a constellation. She stretched out with each arm from a slit in her dress, ready to embrace her Place of Power, along with me in it.

“Where’s Peter?” I spotted several niches. Statues of slender young men in various postures of sensual torment. They appeared to be statues, only they were a bit too lifelike.

“Not there.” Duessa shook her head. “Those spaces are reserved for my bridegrooms.” She allowed her eight eyes to roam over me, lingering over my neck. “Peter did consent to be my Valentine, which is why he’s within my web’s strands.”

She lifted a couple of hands to point at the danging clumps of whiteness clinging the roof and the tops of the pillars. No, not just clumps. Tiny cocoon shaped like human sized hearts.

“What have you done to him?!” No, this was a nightmare. She couldn’t have done this, not so fast. She couldn’t haven’t reduced a flamboyant flirt like Peter into one of these silent, faceless hearts. “Which one is he?”

“Ah! That is your first challenge.” Duessa lowered her arms. “You must find and free Peter. You can use any Arts you like, but you mustn’t get caught in my web.” She smiled, showing her fangs. There were more than two. “If you do, you become one of my Valentines.”

“I see.” My anger swelled at the sight of those hearts, at the thought of Peter trapped within one of them, waiting his turn to be ‘drained’.

A memory of Damian’s lips twisting with a similar rage, uttering a departing shot at Duessa bloomed within my mind.

“Give my best to your valentines. They must be feeling quite drained.”

Did he ever wander here as a child, among the cocoons? Did he ever try to touch one of them, only to get his hand stuck?

Did they feel anything? Was Peter aware of what was happening? Was he finally frightened? Or did he continue to drift in a mindless state of numbness?

Rage churned and hissed within my stomach, demanding to be released.

Why not? There was no reason I couldn’t use it.

Be My Valentine…Snack

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday, six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction is posted on the participants’ blogs and shared.

These six sentences can be your own. They can be someone else’s. They just need to be LGBTQ+.

For mine, I’m continuing with Be My Valentine Snack, right where I left off on #QueerBlogWed


“I see you’ve spotted my web.”

Duessa Ashelocke appeared in the middle of the checkered floor. She wore a completely different dress that than the slitted waistcoat with full skirts she visited the Navel in. I’d never been sure how she managed to hide her extra arms in the garment.

She wasn’t even trying to hide them now, or anything else.

A sleek black dress with filmy skirts and sleeves emphasized every curve and every extra limb, giving them an exotic allure.