So you may or may not know that I am two people. I write dark fantasy as KV Taylor, and have for some years. My first full-length novel as such, Scripped, is coming out at the end of this week, and I'm pretty excited about it -- obviously. But I realized it might appeal to some superpowered love readers as well, because while it's primarily a dark paranormal/urban fantasy, it does have a romantic subplot. Actually, most people who've seen it refer to it as a paranormal romance. If a very disturbing one. Think Faerie Stockholm Syndrome and you're there.
But you can win cool dark fiction eBooks by doing a signal boost for me, and the post about this giveaway is here! If you do end up pre-ordering the print version of Scripped, I'm hooking up the first couple of people to email me and let me know with these cool signed, numbered chapbooks I made. Again, these are dark fantasy, but the first story is a love story. A nasty fairy tale style love story, but still. So if you decide to order it, definitely email kate AT kvtaylor DOT com and tell me so I can hook you up. (Scripped will be an eBook too -- I'll post on Friday when everything drops.)
I thought I'd excerpt the prologue, which might explain a little about why I thought it was relevant:
A frantic rush of hands; warm against still-cold skin, cold against still-warm skin. Jonah’s heart thudded harder than he could remember in a long time, and he ate it up. This wasn’t a fantasy he had to check, this wasn’t wrong or stupid or broken of him. This was real, finally.
Lips began to lose their frosty stiffness, so he took a break and turned his face to the fire to get his own warmth back. It was working: Tal was warming up, and it wasn’t numbing Jonah to a slow death.
And it felt. Not that much, it was too cold for that. But it was there.
It had to be there.
“Why you doin’ this?” Tal asked. His chest rose and fell against Jonah’s side, another strange little miracle.
“Because I owe you,” Jonah lied. He was so good at it now, he did it without even thinking.
Tal pursed his lips. It made him look hard and mean, even with this rare flush under the dirty smudges on his skin. “I ain’t looking for pity.”
Jonah felt a stab of guilt. Honesty, then. There was too much to lose. “Because I missed you.”
Out of context, Jonah supposed that might sound romantic, but neither of them had any illusions. Tal’s face softened in a flash of uncommon understanding. As if by magic — and maybe it was magic — he looked real again.
Jonah knew he hadn’t been missed, except as a source of warmth and scrip; he knew he wouldn’t hear it said back. He didn’t want that. “I missed feeling…” but that was the end of the sentence after all, so he stopped.
Tal’s mouth pressed into that line again. That’s how he’d looked when they’d met. Jonah hadn’t known what that face meant, back then.
“So we miss the same thing, now,” Tal said after a moment. This seemed to satisfy him.
Jonah finally asked the question he’d been desperate to ask all night. “Do you know what you are?”
Tal gave the familiar answer. “I’m dead.” And then another addition, newer: “Don’t belong here. Things are familiar, kinda comfortable. But they’re wrong, too.”
Jonah wondered if that explained the stick art, but didn’t ask.
As for what he was, it wouldn’t help Tal to know if he didn’t already, so Jonah didn’t tell him what he’d discovered. His face and throat were warm again, so he leaned close, kissed the fae boy as much to feel as to keep him from saying any more. That odd sensation of unyielding lips, harder than a girl kiss, but Tal had been practicing, or at least he’d listened. He tilted his face to the side so Jonah could get a better angle and scooted as close as he could. Thin, hard hands returned to exploring Jonah’s skin, smooth scarred patches and rougher chlorine-dried stretches alike, warming more and more. Jonah returned the favor, half curiosity, half desperation.
The cabin smelled like cedar and the fireplace. Alien and old, like a memory he was desperate to keep.
Tal tasted like the ground, like the mines, like dirt and rocks. He tasted like home.
Jonah pulled him into his lap, and he came with a disorienting combination of inhuman grace and human willingness. Long legs wrapped around Jonah’s middle, and instead of just stealing his heat, Tal began to share it. The return of some kind of warmth let his body wake up again, really feel the weight of someone in his lap. He could almost imagine there was something more than a need for heat in the way Tal pushed hard against him. It didn’t have that semi-covert rolling of the hips, the methodical angling of compatible body parts against each other, but it was artless and hungry enough to let him pretend.
A surge of something bright and hot spiked deep inside him, followed by a sense of hysterical relief. Christ, it's been so long.
But he hadn’t wanted to cry in just as long, and now his eyes burned.
He wouldn’t, though. He just kissed with everything in him, just like he’d imagined, like he meant it, and pretended this would last forever. Wondered what would happen next, how far this could go, and if it would leave him better or worse off than he’d been yesterday.
It was hard to care, though. It was like being alive again after a whole year of being dead.
And now back to your regularly scheduled superpowered updates~