Unwilling to Be Yours

It’s QueerBlogWed! A day to blog about all things queer. Peter and the Navel qualify in more ways than one. 🙂 They’re going to pick up right where they left off on Monday in Unwilling to Be Yours.

Unwilling to Be Yours is the second prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows, my novel under revision. Stealing Myself From Shadows is the first book in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest series.

“Your heart belongs to another. I understand, but I refuse to give up so easily.” I gave him a cheerful smile, meant to reassure him that my comment had been nothing, but a joke.

If only I could convince myself of that as well.

Stop ogling the boss’s son, I told that self. Concentrate on the boss instead.

“After all, I am here to fill a vacancy.” I made another slight bow in Gabrielle’s direction. “I shall endeavor to do so, in every way.”

Gabrielle’s smile faltered at my words.

All right, that has been the wrong thing to say.

“You’ll fail.” Christopher spoke with a bleakness which was worse than anger. “No one can replace Damian. Not ever.”

“That remains to be seen.” Gabrielle gentled the severity of her statement by using a much softer voice. “Someone has to replace him in the store, for at least a little while.”

She locked her blue eyes with mine.

Something darker and older seemed to slither behind them, assessing everything about me.

It was an effort not to shudder.

There was more to Gabrielle than the cheerful, goofy exterior she’d presented.

Not that I hadn’t guessed that. The energies moving around the shop were proof that the proprietor of the Navel was more than she appeared.

Something told me I’d have to take care around Christopher, even if she was amused by my flirting. The order to keep my lips off of her son hadn’t been entirely said in jest.

Gabrielle nodded her head slightly, allowing a tiny smile to play across her lips.

I got the impression she’d guessed what I was thinking.

 

Unwilling to Be Yours

Welcome to Me Me Monday! A day to strut, promote, and celebrate your Me-ness! Especially if you’re a member of Queer Sci Fi.

Peter is going to do his best to strut his in the next part of Unwilling to Be Yours, prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows. He’s just met his potential boss, Gabrielle, plus he’s fighting off irresistible attraction to the boss’s son.

Never sleep with the boss’s daughter is an old adage, but what about the boss’s son? Not that Christopher is inclined to let Peter get that close to him.

Ah, so his name is Christopher. I watched him approach, wishing I could repeat his name, let it roll around on my tongue, taste it.

I felt my lips twitch with the urge to speak, but I didn’t.

He bowed his head, keeping his eyes downcast, avoiding mine or Gabrielle’s.

“Pleased to meet you, Peter.” It was an attempt at politeness, but I could tell he didn’t mean a word of it.

“The pleasure is all mine.” I used my most silky tone. Paul had called it my just before bedroom voice. Not too obviously provocative, but with just a hint of suggestion.

I sidled up to Christopher and claimed his hand.

Before he could protest, I raised his hand to my lips and kissed it.

“O ho, you rogue!” Gabrielle scolded, not entirely without approval. “Keep your lips off my son, if you wish to stay here!”

Christopher jerked his hand back.

He glared at me, eyes widening, lower lip quivering with outrage.

It was enough to make any self respecting pervert want to ravage him.

Fortunately, I’m a gentlemanly pervert.

I dropped his hand and backed away.

“Forgive me.” I watched Christopher from beneath lowered eyelashes.

The crimson blooming in both his cheeks reminded me of apples. You just had to take a bite out of them.

“I admit, I have a bad tendency towards roguery, but I promise to keep my lips to myself.” I made a slight half step back, giving him additional space.

He stared at me with huge eyes and trembling lips. So deliciously shy.

All right, I was trying to be a gentlemanly pervert. I turned back on temptation and towards my future employer.

I bowed to Gabrielle, allowing myself to go a little lower. After all, she was the one I wanted to impress, not Christopher.

Christopher was just, well, desirable, for all his desire not to be.

Gabrielle smiled at me, lips twitched, trying to contain her amusement. Hardly the swooning response I’d hoped for from the lady, but at least she was entertained.

“You can keep your lips and your roguery away along with your hands!” Christopher growled, trying to keep his tongue from tripping over itself in anxiety. “I’m not interested in that sort of thing!”

He pressed his lips shut and wrapped his arms around himself. He stared at the floorboard, clearly wishing they’d swallow him

This made me feel a little guilty. If he was that unwilling, teasing him wouldn’t be much fun.

Unwilling to Be Yours

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! Every Saturday, six sentences of LGBTQ+ fiction is posted and shared. It can be your own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQ+ fiction.

To read a wide variety of samples from such stories, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

Peter picks right where he left off on Wednesday in Unwilling to Be Yours, my second prelude to Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest.

He’s just met Gabrielle, pausing in mid flirt to gawk at the attire of the Navel’s proprietor. ‘Brie was loving every minute of it (she prides herself on her oddball fashion sense), when she noticed her son skulking in the background.

This is seven sentences, not six, so bear with me. They’re short sentences. I was tempted to add a little more, but I managed to restrain myself.

Gabrielle looked up. Her smile vanished.

“Christopher!” A worried wrinkle popped out in the center of her forehead. “Stop skulking and come introduce yourself!”

Unwilling to Be Yours

It’s QueerBlogWed! A day to post and blog about anything queer. Peter and Unwilling to Be Yours definitely qualify as this in more ways than one. As do Christopher and Gabrielle.

Peter is about to meet ‘Brie in the next part of this prelude to Tales of Navel/The Shadow Forest. Enjoy!

“Welcome!” The word rang clear, projecting throughout the shop with perfect pitch. It was feminine and soft, yet it boomed with a dominating presence capable of matching tones with one from the thickest and manliest of chests.

I found myself standing up a little straighter at the sound of it, turning with unexpected humbleness towards its source.

“Welcome to the Navel, center of all things bizarre!” The lady made her entrance right when the light struck her golden hair, giving her a halo of reflected glow.

I swallowed a moment of remembered religious awe, before I recalled I was done with all such sentiments forever. I’d left them behind, along with my other half.

No. Don’t think of him. Concentrate on the beauty in front of you, feast your eyes upon it. Let it absorb you, consume you. It’s only courteous to the one who possesses it. Not to mention it’ll keep you from moping.

I whispered my secret prayer to myself while turning to face that beauty.

“And a center in Omphalos must be bizarre, indeed!” I collected my wit, making a sweeping to her, before lifting my head to take a second glance.

What I saw made me blink. Twice.

I’d seen feathers and shells woven into hair before. I’d never seen them attached to a veil hanging in front of a fedora.

Gabrielle wore it on top of her head, as if it was not only natural, but a symbol of authority. Shells, feathers, and gauzy material formed an almost misty barrier between the air around her and hair as brilliant as Christopher’s, but more of a pure gold. Unlike his, hers hadn’t been cropped, but flowed in magnificent tresses down her back.

“A fitting hat for one clearly born from the foam!” I managed, trying not to gape. “You’re even lovelier in person that I imagined you to be.”

“You mean, even weirder,” Gabrielle corrected me, grinning at my reaction. “You’re Peter, aren’t you? A pity you don’t come with a Paul. I imagine both of you would be wearing bright colors and trying to outdo each other, flirting with everything you see.”

She raised a hand to sweep over my red vest, tight trousers, and shoulder length auburn curls.

I struggled to conceal my surprise. I had once come with a Paul, but we’d gone our separate ways. What we wanted was too different. Yes, it had been painful, but I was young. There would be many other romantic encounters in my life. It was a waste to get hung up on just one.

If I did, I’d be as grumpy as the boy who’d opened the door for me.

Unwilling to Be Yours

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

This is a philosophy Peter, narrator of Unwilling to Yours is more than happy to follow. The problem is he’s facing a less than appreciative audience.

Not that he’s about to let it get him down. He picks up right where he left off on Saturday in this prelude to Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest…

He opened the door for me, causing a few door chimes to tinkle.

“Go right in.” He kept his gaze fixed upon my knee. “Gabrielle is expecting you.”

It was too late to say anything that might make the boy feel better.

I ducked my head, as I entered the shop.

The darkness made me blink like a mole, after the sunshine outside. The dim light was accompanied by rush of magic, slithering up to inspect me, taste the very air around me.

Well, well, quite the initial interview. The Navel was turning out to be a very interesting place.

Unwilling to Be Yours

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets! Every Saturday, six sentences of GLBTQ+ fiction are posted and shared. They can be your own. They can be someone else’s. They just need to be GLBTQ+.

To read a wide variety of LGBTQ+ snippets, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, I post a fragment of a prelude to Stealing Myself From Shadows, the first book in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest.

The first prelude was Waiting to Be Yours, written from Christopher’s perspective. How he found Damian and lost him.

The second prelude is Unwilling to Be Yours, which introduces a new character, Peter. It’s told from his perspective, revealing a very different Christopher. A much grumpier Christopher. A Christopher trying to wait for Damian, to carry on without Damian. He doesn’t like it one bit.

Picking up right where he left off on Wednesday, Peter continues with Unwilling to Be Yours.

“Yes, you’ve come to the right place.” The boy dropped his gaze down to his feet, as if he couldn’t bear to look at my face. “I’m sorry. I’m still getting used to that job opening myself.”

I studied the shadows under the boy’s eyes, the slight trembling of his lower lip.

Before I could say anything else, the boy turned his head and lowered his eyelashes, hiding anything swimming within them.

Unwilling to Be Yours

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.