So last week I did one of my weird elemental fae bits. Back to more superpowered love today. You might've noticed the pretty dude with the rainbow-waisted underpants over there in the sidebar, lately. I thought the place could use a little more perking up, and that's a drawing the fabulous Astro did of one of the heroes of what I hope will be my next superpowered love book, working titled Losing Better. Andrew fancies himself a superhero. Gabriel -- aka Special Agent Genêt -- fancies him a sociopath.
And yet, love happens whether you want it or not.
As with the others, please bear in mind that this is not a finished product, just a look at the strange life of a Work in Progress. Thank you to John and Hayley for all their help with this one! [To anyone seeing this on a feed, such as at goodreads or via email: the formatting doesn't transfer, I know. Please click through using the link at the bottom of the post to see it at the blog. Sorry!]
I asked, "What's here for you?"
Andrew shrugged, the cords of muscle in his broad shoulders and back flexing beneath the soft shirt. "The lake. The people."
That would've been implausible ten years ago, when Hooperstown had been the shithole I remembered from my youth. Today, I might almost have believed him, if I didn't already know better. "The parties?"
The last of the uneaten food tucked away, I asked, "Where's the coffee?"
"Behind the Coke in there."
I ducked back into the refrigerator and retrieved it, stared at it for a while, uncomprehending, and finally dropped some reasonable-looking amount in the grinder.
After a few moments, he said, "Next one's this weekend. You should come."
"Not really a party boy."
I looked over my shoulder. He leaned back against the sink and crossed his arms over his chest, grinning. I asked, "And what is that supposed to mean?"
Andrew laughed, and the wickedness in it reminded me of a bottle of bourbon and a bout of My First Hangover. I might've fucked him that night, if we hadn't been too drunk to manage anything but dry humping on the couch -- a circumstance I'd regretted almost as much as the bourbon itself, the next morning.
I laughed too. "Did you ever consider that I might not still behave like a horny teenager, Andrew?"
"Nope. Want to know why?"
"You want to tell me, anyhow."
"'Cause I never met a person who didn't. If they were being honest."
"You may be right." If he made this any easier, I might have to feel sorry for him. And what the hell else went into making coffee? Water, beans, and ... "Filters?"
"Here, they're kind of hidden." He moved to stand next to me and rifled through the overhead cupboard.
The smell of him again, still green, but cleaner. Like spicy wood--cedar, maybe. It wasn't a chemical, cologne smell, but the fresh scent of soap and skin. Like most of his kind, even when he wasn't trying a faint aura of coolness clung to him.
He found a handful of brown paper filters and lowered his arm, then turned. This put us face to face, as I'd stolidly maintained my position between him and the fridge. His dark eyelashes fluttered as if he hadn't expected to find me there. "Ah, sorry." Then he cocked his head. "You used to be a lot shorter than me."
I raised my eyebrows, enjoying the slow but insistent, electric heating of my blood, the overwhelming sensations of the moment. I lowered my voice so he'd have to lean nearer and said, "Did you ever consider that I might've grown since I was a horny teenager?"
"Actually, yes. That, I considered." He let go the filters, resting his hand on the counter, and took the bait. He tilted his head and leaned forward. "Once or twice."
My heart hammered against my ribcage, and my cock, already halfway there, filled out.
How fortunate that I'd had practice controlling him in this state. "Andrew."
"Gabriel." One corner of his mouth pulled upward. His breath was cool on my lips, but the scent of wine was warm.
I reached up and flattened my palm against his chest. Cool, yes, but his heartbeat was quick, and it warmed him little by little. I let a faint static charge spiral up from my middle, trip through my arms, and discharge through my fingertips.
His mouth slackened at the tickling sensation. He sighed, lashes drooping low over wide, pale eyes.
I smiled. "Are you about to do something two parts stupid and one part wonderful?"
"That does sound like me, doesn't it?"
So before you ask, yeah, Gabriel's kind of a cock. But, um, he makes it look good? And you should see him when he gets his, "FBI, motherfucker!" on.
Will Losing Better see the light of day? I hope so, and I hope soon, in some form. But now you know what I'm working on!