Category Archives: Original Writing

STIGMA – book trailer

I don’t have publishing details or anything yet for my book, but I wanted to make something for fun since I love this project so much. It’s extremely close to my heart in many ways, and I wanted to share the excitement in a more creative way than just typing about it.

So, here is a book trailer I spent a few days creating. My editor and I are working on the final touches to the book, and we’re discussing possible publishing avenues. Traditional or Indie is my highest hope! Either way, no matter which type of publishing I pursue, the book will be published as soon as everything is worked out. When that time comes, I’ll be sure to update this video with any relevant information.

Until then, hopefully you enjoy the little trailer I put together and it sparks some interest in you.

The Ultimate Trick – Original horror story

The sepia sky threatened to choke the sun that afternoon.

A memory of a storm that was ever present on the horizon stole my thoughts as I jogged across town. My phone was to my ear, but my mind was elsewhere, the line falling dead a sign that I was either being ignored or my friend was busy. I sighed and slipped the phone back into my pocket as I approached the rickety white gazebo at the town’s center. There was a sparse motion of old cars driving around it — a roundabout having been installed many years ago as if to honor the very spot.

Nothing else existed in that circle of lawn except for that antique bit of woodwork. No flowers graced its presence nor did the grass grow very well, and if there had been any trees they were mowed down long ago. Between its sorry existence and the threatening sky, I was reminded of why I felt it was imperative that I be at that very spot.

It was a similar scene and atmosphere to a dream I’d experienced the night before. As most odd dreams were, it was a hazy memory that left me filled with an uneasiness I’d been darkened by in the dream itself. It was as if there was another force at work in the middle of that traffic circle — something of warning to forbid anything living to occupy its same space. I stared up at the decaying structure in wonder, sensing a fizzled out presence that I was certain I hadn’t imagined. I chuckled.

Dreams and nightmares were just that, and my friend had probably ditched me because of my all-too-obvious madness.

My phone buzzed in my pocket and I answered, my friend’s presence finally alerting me to the fact that she wasn’t freaked out by me — yet. She wanted to meet at the convenience store across the way to grab a few things before humoring my weird dream visions, but it was already too late. I turned to see the aging family-owned restaurant at the other end of the small town. I was already late for work.

The phone no sooner went dead before I noticed a familiar form approaching the old country store. I watched through narrowed eyes as it most definitely was my friend. Odd. She’d been home — about a mile away — when we’d spoken. Yet, there she was as if a strange doppelganger was poking fun at my already unnerving bout of mania.

I shook it off and made my way into the restaurant. All was dark until I turned on the lights, which didn’t really help matters. At most I could make out the moth-eaten faded pink table cloths, retro decor, and the smell of old wood that I liked most of all. I shook my head again, my mind getting away with me. It was probably just anxiety; tunnel vision was a bitch when your brain was in a different reality entirely. The nightmare was getting to me, and whatever had been present in that odd place in the center of town was clearly trying to one-up me.

A back room that was also the kitchen served to be no better. A small mouse scuttled across the yellow and white tiled floor that caught me by surprise, but I noticed a dirty plate with rotten food spread out across the stove burners. A glance up revealed a small window to be propped open, and a few dried specks of blood popped out against the metal frame. Lovely.

“What in the hell is this?”

I jumped and grabbed at my heart, forcing the thing back into my chest. My grandma had crept up behind me and examined the damage, shaking her head.

“I locked it up last night, I swear,” I stammered. My head was as full as a balloon from my anxiety now, the pressure threatening to pop. “I have no idea how anyone could have gotten in.”

“Well, can’t be helped now. We should clean up before we open.” She flicked on the old-fashioned red faucet handles and grabbed a bottle of Ivory soap.

I climbed onto the counter to shut the window and locked it tight, and took in the rest of the kitchen. Although the old bulbs were doing their best to provide light, the window’s closing had stolen any sign of day from the room. I swiped a finger across the glass and cringed when a line of dust settled. Food and Safety wasn’t going to be happy about that.

I then turned my focus to my grandma’s submerged arms. The pale green plate in her hands turned over and over in the suds, the food having been tossed in the disposal. Something dawned on me then as I became hypnotized by the monotony.

“That homeless woman that camps out back sometimes,” I offered. “Do you think it was her?” An image of a scraggly woman with long blonde hair, old round wire-framed glasses, grimy clothing, and sooty skin crossed my mind. I’d only seen her a few times before, but my heart sank at the memory of her. I couldn’t be angry. I made a point to leave food for her after closing up.

My grandma confirmed my suspicions, nodding. “I wish I knew what kind of tricks she pulled to get in here. That window’s pretty high.”

“People get desperate when they’re hungry.” I shrugged as I remembered the dried blood on the frame.

“It’s a damn shame.” My grandma flicked water everywhere before turning to me with a towel. “Let’s open this place up. We hired a new waitress and she needs training.”

* * *

Later that day, the sky seemed to grace the stale atmosphere with more luminescence through the restaurant windows.

Business was slow as it tended to be, but the mood was light and the food was delicious. My grandpa had stopped by and was greeting my grandma at the door, I sitting at a booth to chat with a few of the regular patrons. The new waitress came by and fumbled her tray, and I held my breath before she righted it again and sat a guest’s order safely on a table. My grandpa and grandma joined us.

The guests turned their attention to my grandpa, who had taken several seemingly trivial items from his pocket; an elastic string, a few metal rings, a gathering of beads, and other odd bits and pieces. I looked on with my grandma and the others with curiosity, our faces beaming. Grandpa had always been an entertainer, so there was no doubt that he had some tricks up his sleeve to impress.

Grandpa eyed the attractive young waitress and beckoned for her to come forward. He’d been messing with the beads and string for a distraction, but lifted the ring as if to aim it in the proper direction. The young woman leaned forward, and in a blink the ring was through her nose. For a moment she panicked but settled her conscience as pain seemed to elude her. Grandpa laughed while everyone stared in awe, I craning my neck to see any sort of way it had been done. Just as quickly as it had appeared, grandpa snapped his fingers before removing the ring in a swift motion, his other hand flat in the air in a waving motion for show. The few patrons clapped as well as the waitress once she realized it had all been an illusion.

At least, I was certain it was an illusion.

As grandpa started a new series of magic tricks, my tunnel vision returned and I stared off to the far corner of the room, my eyes tracing the vintage floral wallpaper. As long as I’ve been alive, grandpa had always been full of the perfect jokes, and he’d always impressed everyone with his strange ability for sleight of hand. I’d asked him how he managed such impossible tricks, but he could never give a clear answer. His usual, ‘A magician doesn’t give away his secrets!’ went in one ear and out the other as I’d finally just decided to accept the unexplainable. I couldn’t help but shake an odd sense about them, though. They didn’t feel or seem like atypical magic show tricks, but completely random things my grandpa would come up with off the top of his head. This removed any ability for him having rehearsed them.

I was brought out of my thoughts when the friend I’d contacted earlier came up behind me. Her hand on my shoulder reminded me of our meeting, and that I’d completely forgotten and left her standing in that weird space at the center of town. Thankfully, she wasn’t angry in the slightest and shoved her way into the booth beside me, and we settled in to watch grandpa perform more of his illustrious magic.

* * *

I’d completely forgotten about the gazebo and the strange dream that led me there. Instead, I headed toward my grandma’s house that was a block away, she staying behind to close the restaurant. I’d hugged myself in embarrassment during that conversation, ashamed that I couldn’t even lock up a place correctly. Although I was entirely certain I’d done just that, my head had been in odd places all day and since the day before, and I chalked it all up to my mania and my nerves.

My friend had gone home and my grandpa had left at some point as well, most likely due to fatigue from old age. I smiled and humored myself with a silly thought. Maybe he needed to recharge his magical powers somehow, just like a wise old man from a fairy tale. Perhaps he even had a deep secret he had to keep hidden somehow — a wizard sworn to secrecy who had to play his feats off as simple parlor tricks.

I yawned as I kicked off my shoes by the front door of my grandparents’ house. The newly cleaned cream carpet was plush beneath my feet, and I wiggled my toes as the feeling of wanting to lay on it washed over me. I did just that, staring up at the swirled white ceiling like I had as a child. The memories were fleeting, but I remembered lying on my back and telling stories with my friend, our game to continue as long as we could manage while staring at the ceiling and not moving an inch. Whoever ran out of ideas or moved first lost the game. Very vaguely I recalled her telling a story about wolves…

I jumped up into a sitting position as I heard faint shuffling. A distinct smell of decay overwhelmed me just as quick, and I was flooded with a range of emotions that rendered me completely speechless. I threw my hand over my mouth and nose, wondering how I’d missed it all before. My empathic abilities were heightened when I was manic, and it was like being punched in the stomach. It always hit me at once before I had any time to sort any of it.

My breathing quickened and my eyes grew wide. Too much. I felt too much and my skin was crawling. I had to move — knew I had to get off of the floor and find the source of the coppery smell invading my senses. As I managed to stand at last, I searched for a memory of the smell. I knew I’d caught it before, and it was recently. Yes, it was at the restaurant. It was when I’d found the specks of blood on the window.

Dread settling over me moved my legs on impulse. The only light in the house was that of the sinking sun shining through the blinds — the slitted rays painting everything orange that they touched. The kitchen and the living room were empty and silent save for the same inkling of a dreadful presence I’d felt at the center of town. I made my way down the hallway to the bathroom. The smell grew stronger.

Was the dream a warning? Had I missed a message by not going back, and not probing further for the presence that was growing stronger the further I walked?

I was nearly gagging as the smell of decay suffocated me. I reached out to touch the white bathroom door that was just barely ajar and noticed the lights were on inside, spreading out across the hallway as the door creaked on its hinges.

I choked on the lump that formed in my throat.

My eyes followed a trail of blood that split out across the white tile, and it ended in a pool surrounding a young woman in an old-fashioned waitress’ dress. I recognized her instantly from the restaurant. Her eyes were open wide in a memory of fear, and they were now glazed over as they stared up at me. I stared back with rapt attention, unable to tear myself away from the grisly sight. Nausea crept up into my throat and gripped at my stomach, and I felt a strange pull at the back of my head as I began to hyperventilate.

Tunnel vision. Can’t breathe. Dizzy — so damned dizzy.

And then the void.

* * *

A fog clouded my vision as I turned my head. My wrists hurt and I noticed I was on the floor, the young woman’s blood sticking my fingers to the white porcelain beneath me. My limbs were shaky as I pushed myself up to kneel, and I glanced around the bathroom when my vision came as clear as it was going to get.

I found my grandpa standing at the sink in a white tank. He was bent over and focusing in the mirror as if he were attempting to shave the white stubble on his face. I couldn’t make out his expression, but what was clear was his utter neglect of the gruesome scene lying on the floor right behind him. He didn’t seem to be stirred by my presence in the slightest.

“Grandpa?” My voice was hoarse as it shook, my anxiety robbing me of further communication. I desperately didn’t want to believe what I suspected, but nothing else would have made sense. Another fainting spell threatened, but I remained upright despite it.

Without a sound, he finally turned to acknowledge my presence. Tears spilled from the corners of my eyes as my blood turned to ice.

My cheerful, loving grandpa — my secret wizard — wore the darkest, most maniacal grin on his face. His eyes were wide with frenzy and his aged white teeth were on full display like a Cheshire cat. His expression warped his face and exaggerated its features, and I could feel the way murder had corrupted him. It was animalistic and raw in its nature, and something so primal that I knew I would never forget it again. It was bliss and desperation at the same time, mingled together in an explosive passion that robbed of any ability to choke back the feral cries.

I knew there had to be something about my grandpa and his magic. He was most certainly gifted in ways that weren’t only sleight of hand and rehearsed showman magic tricks. He was something else entirely, and for a moment I wondered if my mania was just playing tricks on me. With his razor still in hand, my grandpa approached me, his maddening expression never changing.

“You weren’t meant to see this.” He spoke in a higher pitch than his usual tone, and much quieter.

“Why?” I was breathless as I stumbled backward where I sat, scrambling to get out of that room. When I finally reached the threshold, I was shaking too much to get to my knees and close the door. I hugged myself tight as grandpa squeezed the plastic razor in his hand.

He just stood there in silence, that same grin claiming him as if he had no control over it. Everything was silent save for our breathing, mine coming in short bursts as my body tensed impossibly tight. The bathroom light poured out at either side of him as if it were framing him — as if he held a much grander purpose than even I could ever manage to comprehend.

The door slammed shut. I was bathed in darkness once more and worked up the nerve to crawl down the hallway, the drying blood on my hands staining the carpet. The stench in the house. The body on the floor. That smell of old decay lingering in the walls — grandpa was no stranger to it.

It was the ultimate trick, to make someone disappear.

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Autumn Rain – an original poem

I wanted to try writing poetry again. It’s never been something that’s come easy to me since I’m better with flowery words in longer prose, and I usually fail for words when it comes to painting something more abstract for a proper poem, or at least, something that resembles one. I found a TED Talk about poetry tonight though, and I followed its guidance for an idea. This is what I came up with, in memory of one of my best friends who lost her life too soon when we were teenagers.


Etching people of never past across wallpaper,
a childlike innocence rapt with brilliance —
you were a creator of life.

Your very presence brought sunshine into my bleak home;
my upstairs of cobwebs and stale, stagnant air.
You made me a creator of life, too.

I loved you like a lily loves the sun;
a flower sprung to life and realized as something beautiful.
And now I love you like Autumn rain.

Nostalgia and fragments of you haunt me.
The pages I salvaged from your heart’s permission,
they are your eternity.

As a creator of life,
you drift among faded lines of frozen expressions,
and I cherish the soul you left in that ink.

I’ve wilted without your sun,
and the smell of pencils have turned to must,
your legacy now etched into my lucid dreams.

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Excerpt from original writing: Baalthazar [M]

This excerpt is better suited for more mature readers, as well as those who don’t mind a bit of steamy interaction between two demons. A bit of mild adult content ahead.

This is taken from a much older story I started writing years and years ago. I found it again while going through my writing folder, and I missed the way I used to write for my spirit guides and alters when we explored the world we created to exist in together. I still, to this day, am not sure what or who Baalthazar really is. He’s the only one who hasn’t spoken up much or volunteered much at all about himself personally. Maybe one day he will be ready to open up. I suspect that if I continue with this story, he may just tell me more since he allowed me to see his vulnerability in this, but in the end, I know he’s only here because Daro is.


Baalthazar sat awkwardly beside the demon he had spent too much time searching for. He hadn’t really thought about what he would do once he found him, other than bring him back to Hell with him. The young demon was lonely as it was down there and spent a lot of time on his own in the little space he’d taken for himself. Daro had been the only one to ever pay him any mind, save for Lilith who would occasionally drop in to make sure he wasn’t royally screwing anything up. A demon obsessed with voodoo magick wasn’t one to be trifled with either, so she would usually do so at a safe distance. It wasn’t until Baalthazar had messed with the wrong demon that she’d finally come around to make sure he was alright. Daro hadn’t been there to protect him.

Lilith wouldn’t come with him, though. He tried to convince her that he knew nothing of the world above and she was better versed, even if she was a bit rusty on her basic human etiquette. Since Baalthazar had been the one to screw up, however, it was his own duty to fix it. The only way he knew how would be to leave for a little while and let things cool down — well, as much anything could cool down in Hell. He just knew that Asmodeus wasn’t one you wanted to piss off, and without his personal ‘guard dog’, as Lilith often called Daro, he was mostly defenseless. One could only control a powerful demon with voodoo magick caught unaware for so long.

“Baalthazar? You’ve grown silent.” Daro was staring at him patiently as their earlier conversation died off.

The young demon shook his head as if to be rid of unpleasant feelings and looked over to the fire that was still burning strong. It brought out the frightening orange hue in his eyes that made him unnerving to most. “I… was just thinking as I often tend to do, but not very often at the same time.” Baalthazar forgot to breathe when he felt Daro’s large hand covering his that had been sitting in his lap.

“You are troubled. I imagine it has to do with your parting from home?”

“Kind of — yes. With you gone I had no one there to… to really talk to, you know? I got bored so I did something stupid.” Baal bit his lip to try to stifle a giggle that escaped anyway. “It was worth it though. Very much worth it, indeed.”

“I see you have not been harmed in any way, but were you dealt punishment? Surely you are aware that demons are not to meddle within each other’s affairs or personal spaces without good reason.”

“I didn’t stay long enough to find out. Lilith told me I should leave, but she refused to come with me.” Baalthazar sighed and looked to the fire again as if longing for home. “So I wanted to look for you because I knew you were up here and I knew you would protect me like you always do.” A light blush lit up the young demon’s face and he unconsciously intertwined their fingers.

“It seems I am always picking up the pieces after one of your many disasters, little demon.” Daro smiled and lifted a hand to turn Baal’s face to meet his. His pink eyes were glowing, but not from the fire.

It caused that same uncomfortable feeling to rise within Baalthazar’s stomach he had been feeling when Daro was around, and he turned even redder. It was becoming harder and harder to hide the way he felt and he knew that Daro was most likely already aware of it more than he was. “I am sorry for that. I get quite bored, you see, because no one ever really bothers to, well, bother me so I end up having to make up my own kind of fun.”

“Which is devious at best, even for a demon, but you aren’t entirely demon, are you? I suppose that would be an apt excuse for your behavior.” Daro’s smile dropped from his face as he was nudged away.

“Please refrain from mentioning that out loud!” Baalthazar hugged himself and closed his eyes. “Why must you remind me of my fiend blood? I am a hybrid — a mistake that should not exist and everyone treats me as if I’m something dirty. Something disgusting and unworthy. Why do you have to remind me of that?!”

“It is not my desire to remind you of anything so horrible, little demon.” Daro reached out to draw Baalthazar close, which caught the young demon by surprise so much that he had to latch onto the toned body against him for support. “You are unique, this is true. You are not, however, a mistake nor are you a burden to Hell. As humans have their imperfections, so do demons. Many will not admit to their faults and rightfully so, as most demons are above wrong or right, but many are not willing to accept that which was not meant to initially exist.” Daro hummed a quiet laugh as Baalthazar’s claws gripped at his long black overcoat. “You exist because you are meant to exist. We all play a part in this strange world and in between, so why would you be any different, little demon? Perhaps their distaste of you is their unwillingness to accept a change that will force them to confront certain things within themselves they have never had a need for.”

“Like… affection?” Baalthazar’s breath came short as he rested the side of his face on Daro’s bare chest. The demon prince was darker skinned than most demons would appear, and it gave him a tribal yet exotic beauty that was difficult to ignore.

Daro chuckled and set a hand on Baalthazar’s head between his horns. “The very same affection that brought you into this world and your mother and father out of it.”

“Is that why I feel so disgusting?” Baal lifted his head to look up into Daro’s eyes, an expression of sadness betraying the prince’s true feelings staring back at him. Everything felt like it was happening at once and Baalthazar was afraid. “Every time I’m around you I feel like I’m going to be ill and it burns in a way that I can’t even describe.” It was happening again. As his hands rested against the taller demon’s bare chest, he couldn’t help but move his fingers along the tanned skin to feel its roughness. He knew very well that his embarrassing problem was very visible and that Daro must have noticed.

He had. A curious smile stole over Daro’s face the young demon had never seen before, one that was much darker than all the others that had been kind and warm. “I am aware of your struggle, little demon. You need not fight what is happening to you.”

“It’s not as if I can help it. I can’t just will it away whenever I want to feel normal again!” Baalthazar shifted to face Daro fully and climbed up to sit on his knees where it was more comfortable. “What did you do when it happened to you, Daro?”

“I had the pleasure of being in the company of a rather persuasive vampire.”

“No!” Baalthazar hissed. “That fiend comes nowhere near me!”

“I did not imply he would, little demon.” Daro laughed again. “I was merely recounting my experience.” He hugged Baalthazar to him again and ran his hand through the expanse of messy green hair. “I suspect yours will be equally enjoyable as mine was.”

“You’re making an awful lot of assumptions.” Baal pulled away and looked up at his superior. “I want nothing to do with this kind of madness.”

“You seem to be expressing the opposite sentiment. I assume you remain so close to me because of your affections.”

“That…” Baalthazar averted his gaze only for his head to be turned to look back into Daro’s eyes. “I look up to you and you are very admirable, Daro. Am I to blame?”

“There is no need to attach such negativity to these feelings.” Baalthazar closed his eyes as Daro ran his thumb across the young demon’s bottom lip. “Perhaps, if you will allow me…”

Baalthazar swallowed hard as he felt Daro’s body heat between them, his own mirroring just how much he truly did desire it. He made no further struggle as Daro brought their lips together. It was soft and innocent — just enough to test how the younger demon would react. When there was no rejection, Daro slid his hand beneath Baal’s jaw and coaxed his mouth open to find a way past the sharp teeth. The younger demon responded eagerly as a wave seemed to crash over him at once, his breath hot in the demon prince’s mouth as he slowly lost the battle he’d been fighting for too long. An embarrassing moan escaped him as he felt a clawed hand on his thigh, Daro’s hand creeping higher before squeezing as if to gain permission before going further.

Baalthazar took the moment to pull back, his face flushed darker than before as he was rendered breathless. “That was strange. Too strange. Maybe we should… We should stop this.”

Daro smiled in a way that was more inviting. “Come here, Baalthazar. I only wish to ease your pain.”

The younger demon rose up onto his knees and wrapped his arms around Daro, hugging the taller demon’s head against his chest. “You cannot possibly find me desirable.” Baalthazar breathed the words as claws wandered up his leg once more. His hips rocked at the sensation that sent shocks of pleasure pulsing into his desire.

Daro chuckled against his chest and slid his lips over to tease a nipple with his tongue. Another embarrassing moan escaped the younger demon. “Would you like me to prove that you are false, little demon?”

“I am afraid.” A shiver ran down Baal’s spine as claws just barely grazed the bulge in his tight jeans.

“There is no need to be.” Daro released the younger demon and leaned back on his hands, coaxing Baalthazar to join him.

Baal got onto his hands and knees and crawled over Daro, but not before observing him carefully. He stopped between Daro’s knees and found that the demon prince was just as aroused as he was. “You… you desire me?”

“Very much, little demon. The opinions of others are not my own, so you need not doubt me.” He welcomed Baalthazar into another kiss before resuming his tortures with his hand, this time sliding up to squeeze the bulge in the young demon’s pants. “Stop me if you become uncomfortable.” Daro whispered the words against Baalthazar’s lips as his fingers fumbled with the button on the younger demon’s jeans, and he pulled them open.

There was no resistance that time.

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Excerpt from Original writing: Heart of Hades [M]

This post contains mild adult content. While tame, it’s best suited for more mature readers.

This is a potential scene in a new story I want to write, but it popped into my head a few nights ago and I had to write it out. Since it’s Pride month, I figured I’d post it here. Although Hades/Death can really be genderless or any gender, Hades/Death is male in this story.


“No.” Hades grabbed Gaspar’s jaw and held it in place. “We cannot. It is not your time.”

Gaspar huffed a frustrated breath and wrapped his hand around Hades’ wrist. The truth had already come out about Annabelle and he’d had enough time to be angry about it, but it gave him the chance to face his fears and spend eternity searching for her if he had to. That also meant giving up his own life, which he was prepared to do for Hades anyway. He couldn’t fight it anymore.

His heart hammered in his coma-ridden body, and he could feel the heat claiming his insides as he focused on the mouth of Death itself. A year ago he wouldn’t have believed it were possible. To love Death was stupid, but it was even more stupid to consider that Death would love him in return.

Hades didn’t have to say anything. His fear for taking Gaspar’s life with a mere kiss said enough, and the way the entity’s hand trembled as it slid over the young man’s mouth took the very breath from him. Gaspar closed his eyes and opened his mouth to allow the long clawed fingers to drift across his lips, and he felt a pang deep down inside.

“It’s my time. Please.” Gaspar opened his eyes and stared into the milky white abyss of Death’s gaze, wondering if the entity had a soul. “I can’t leave you now, and I have nothing waiting for me.”

“Are you suggesting I go against nature’s rule?” Hades smirked.

“I’m saying it’s my time.” Gaspar raised his eyebrows as if it should be obvious what he meant.

Hades’ eyes widened when he realized it at last. “Suicide?”

Gaspar smiled and moved the pale hand covering his face. “What better way to die? And you bet your ass I’ll keep searching for my twin sister.”

Hades moved to protest but was rendered speechless at the determination in the man’s gaze. It was that same determination that caused him to even consider their original deal. He closed his eyes, and in that moment he knew he’d tiptoed around messing with fate.

Gaspar pressed his lips to Hades’, his kiss turning into something deeper as he felt the hand on his face smooth back to caress his cheek. It took mere seconds to notice the shift, and Gaspar backed away in a choking fit. Hades stood there watching him as he hacked, and he grabbed at his chest. For a moment, fear struck Gaspar before a faint ringing in his ears alerted him to a monitor’s flatline, and he felt a release like none other.

Gaspar fell to his knees and arched his back, Hades coming down to meet him. The entity smoothed the young man’s hair back as he moaned into the ether, and his legs squeezed together. Gaspar grabbed Hades, much to the entity’s surprise, and kissed him hard as his tongue sought out a way past the sharp teeth.

Hades chuckled darkly as Gaspar rode out his release, and the kiss finally calmed as the young man’s body ceased its rocking. “You have experienced something that a human never has thus far.”

Nnnggg.” Gaspar’s embarrassing moan made him clamp his mouth shut.

Hades chuckled again. “When a soul is released, the body has already died. A human is not able to live through such a thing. To experience such a release is the ultimate bliss.”

“Am I really dead?”

“Do you feel quite different?”

“Besides needing a shower?” Gaspar laughed. “I was already dead the moment I stepped foot into this realm with you. I had no intention of going back.”

“You are quite the devil. You have bested me.” Hades stood and helped Gaspar to his feet. “I give you my congratulations.”

“And did I win you?” Gaspar smiled and wrapped his arms around Hades, kissing him again.

The entity returned it with vigor, something stirring deep within him that he’d felt before but pushed down. Now, there was no reason to hold back. He’d already messed up by falling for a human, and now that he was bested, it was time to learn what love meant to Gaspar’s kind. Hades resurfaced. “Yes, Gaspar. You have won me.”

“Then come be with me.” Gaspar grinned before slipping his hand between and down Hades’ robe. “And this time, we can kiss.”

The entity sighed as Gaspar’s hand coaxed him further away from his purpose. It still surprised him that it was even possible. It had surprised Gaspar back when it had happened for the first time too. But now was not the time for self-reflection. Hades returned the gesture by feathering his long fingers down Gaspar’s front, just barely tucking them beneath the waist of the young man’s jeans. “Yes. Let’s.”

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Excerpt from original writing: What Lies Beyond

Since it’s Pride month, I wanted to post more LGBTQ moments from my stories. This is the start of more than a few I have planned, but I have a few posted from previous months. Happy Pride everyone!


The two drifted through the cemetery in near silence, Lestan only speaking up as he noticed something unique in their path. The spirit was content with this, never replying but smiling back to acknowledge the other’s presence. He stopped them once they reached the mausoleum he’d occupied the night before, and he drifted around to the front to see that it was locked. A sadness enveloped him. He didn’t have to worry about those sorts of things. “I am sorry, it seems you cannot come with me to see what I have to show you.”

“In there?” Lestan approached the chain lock and held it in his hand, the rust flaking against his fair skin.

“Yes, inside. Below.” The spirit dispersed through the peeling green doors and was absent for a second, only to resurface as his face faded through the door to look out. Lestan found it amusing and bit his lip to keep from laughing out loud. The spirit’s distressed expression didn’t affect his humor. “There is no way to let you inside from here, either.”

“A chain lock isn’t going to keep me out, love. Move back — or don’t, actually.” He finally chuckled. “It’s not like you can actually get in the way, can you?”

“No.” The spirit’s interest was piqued as he hovered beside the vampire anyway, watching intently as hands curled around the chain and pulled tight.

The lock popped away from the metal and rust crumbled to the ground as Lestan applied his full strength, and the iron gate swinging open. The vampire smiled at his victory and pushed against the green doors, the lock in them still intact. It went the same way as the chain, and Lestan stumbled inside. He was careful not to fall down the stairs and stopped before them, allowing the spirit to join him. It seemed the entity was able to manipulate objects in the basest of ways only, which allowed him to close the door behind them. Despite the streaks of moonlight inside, they were awash in darkness.

“So, what’s in here?”

“Down there.” The spirit drifted ahead and Lestan followed him down into an even darker abyss. The pupils in his eyes enlarged like a feline’s as he adjusted to the darkness, seeing everything on par with the entity.

He was nonplussed. “Did you know them?” He looked around at the decayed forms resting in their respective hollows. They’d been down there a while, otherwise the stench would be beyond what the vampire could handle.

The spirit stood in the center of the room, glad that Lestan could see along with him, at least. “No. I just like it here. Come, stand still.” Lestan did as he was told, standing before the spirit in complete silence. “We are beneath the earth now. Can’t you hear it?”

Lestan shook his head. “I hear the wind outside and the insects.”

“There’s something else. Maybe you can’t.” The spirit became sad once more but was comforted by the dull hum of the earth’s pulse. “It’s the sound of life from the source itself.”

“You can hear that?” Lestan finally understood and was in awe. “What does it sound like?”

“Listen. If you can hear the insects, you can hear the pulse. Close your eyes.” The entity closed his own and a small smile was on his lips as he heard it, the thrum surrounding his senses as he became lost in the earth’s song.

Lestan closed his eyes as well, and they stood there in silence for some time before the vampire finally reopened his eyes. The spirit seemed so serene and at peace, and he wondered what it would be like to see other positive emotions on the melancholic being’s face. It suited him more than he would likely ever be able to imagine.

Moving on pure curiosity, Lestan took a step toward the spirit. He was lost in Mother Nature’s thrum and ignored the vampire’s close proximity as Lestan paused right before the specter, their noses nearly touching. Lestan’s lips parted as he observed the entity’s face up close and he found a beauty in it — its features shockingly pale with dark circles around the eyes and charcoal lips. The vampire wondered what they felt like — if they had a feeling at all. He was able to touch the spirit’s hand last night and tonight, and he was sure that while the spirit was distracted he would have his chance to find out.

Lestan slowly ghosted his lips over the spirit’s, a faint feeling of something similar to flesh meeting his own. The spirit finally noticed his closeness and seemed uncertain of what to do, his body remaining frozen as the vampire slid his tongue along the ethereal black lips that had started to tremble. He finally pulled away, his form more corporeal than ever as a light blue blush lit up his cheeks. He had felt a spark of something that he couldn’t put a name to. It felt warm, which was something the spirit did not and should not have experienced. It was nice in all of the wrong ways, and he backed away until he was at the wall of the mausoleum, fading once more.

“No no, don’t fade, sweetheart. There’s nothing to be afraid of.” Lestan covered the distance between them and reached out to touch the spirit’s hand, but his own just bled right through. “Don’t you want to know the name I thought of for you?”

“I am not worthy of a name.” The spirit’s voice was shaking and becoming unclear again. “Please do not give me a name. I have no individuality and am not anything other than my purpose.”

“Jack. I want to call you that so I don’t have to keep referring to you as ‘spirit’.”

“Jack? No.” The spirit curled into himself as he flickered.

“It’s from a movie that reminded me of you, honestly.” Lestan smiled awkwardly. He suddenly felt self-conscious; he’d never had to name anything before. What was worse was that it made the spirit highly uncomfortable, even more so than the kiss he’d attempted.

“I must go. Please leave me and do not return.”

“I can’t do that!” Lestan panicked as the spirit began to fade entirely. “I don’t want to leave you alone. You have to be lonely by yourself existing in this agony all the time. You deserve to be happy.” His words resounded off the walls as he was alone at last, the spirit having receded entirely. The vampire approached the stone wall that the spirit had been huddled against, and rested his head against the cold surface. “Jack — please let me call you Jack. If you’re still listening, I’ll be back tomorrow. Wait for me by the same tombstone, okay? I’ll be there until you show up, even if it’s almost sunrise.”

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Dog Days – original writing


The mug of catnip tea was trembling in his hands, and his black fur bristled beneath his gray sweater as the heavy-voiced pitbull delivered the news. It was as if the TV set was underwater, and everything around him was closing in fast.

A gentle hand on his shoulder ceased the impending doom if only for a moment. He leaned against a broad wolf’s shoulder, his boyfriend’s gray fur ticking his pink nose. “Sorry, Striker.”

“Hey, you’re fine, buddy. Just drink your tea.” The wolf’s soft tone was much more welcome than the sharp delivery invading the dark living room, and Striker found himself thankful for the sudden downpour outside. “I’ll keep you safe. Always. You know that, right, Sam?”

“Thank you. Just… give me a minute. I’m sorry.” The cat sipped his steaming tea and waited for the blanket of calm to wash over him. It was hard to come across catnip in that day and age, but he was thankful to know a few who grew the stuff. It was getting harder and harder to find reputable sources for it anyway, what with the police dogs’ superior sense of smell. They could sense a few plants of catnip from a mile away. Bloodhounds were like that.

“Hey, why don’t we change the channel? I think it’s time for your favorite show, anyway.” Striker fumbled with the chunky remote in his claws before switching to something more cheerful, and a beautiful white cat appeared on the screen. She smiled with a glow that most did not, and she planted herself on a stool where she crossed her legs, her white sundress with palm leaves falling gracefully just above her knees. She pulled out a book and began to read.

It was a rainy night in June when Tabitha fell into her dream. She rarely tripped or stumbled, or waltzed gracefully into it, but released herself into it fully, granting it ownership of her perceived reality. Sometimes she would fall flat or drift gently onto a chaise lounge, and at other times she would be welcomed by semblances of creatures she knew with blank faces, all smiling with whiskers upturned.

Adventurous opossums and bats and platypi greeted her with kinship, and the Dodo once had her over for supper. She’d danced with butterflies and spoken to young foxes, and stargazed with raccoons. She’d seen the future and traipsed through the past, Bastet greeting her with motherly grace. Through all of this, Tabitha knew peace and love, home and comfort, and it was her kind of unreality. It was her homesick and her tears, and her fond memories yet to come.’

Samhain sighed as the catnip calmed his aching muscles and tickled his brain. He’d spent the better part of the day tense and with worry, the sight of Catty on screen bringing him a semblance of home at last. The news had been filled with nothing but bad things, and politics had become more and more unbearable to behold. It was bad enough that he was in hiding with Striker, and Striker knew as well the risks they had to take.

Love did not come easy in those times, and especially not for the others.

Samhain was othered, and Striker was not. It was pure fate that they’d managed to find comfort in each other, and as the bulldog-majority government created more and more restrictions for felines in society, Striker stood by Samhain through all of it. He was as loyal a companion as canines were thought to be. As they were to their own kind and only their kind.

Tears threatened to spill over Samhain’s golden eyes as a poodle stood from the crowd on television. She barked loudly toward the stage and threw a rotten fish that landed directly on the book in Catty’s hands after slapping her in the face. The short-haired cat paid it no mind and brushed it off, and continued reading as if it hadn’t happened at all. The poodle was ushered out of the room, and the cats in the audience began to murmur and growl in displeasure.

Striker grabbed for the remote again. “Hey, we don’t have to keep watching this.”

“No, it’s fine.” Samhain’s claws drifted up to turn the wolf’s face to meet his, and he kissed him softly. “It’s far better than anything else on TV right now, and Catty is so wonderful. Her peace of mind is contagious.”

Striker’s face twisted in sadness as he watched his partner stare glassy-eyed at the TV, the catnip claiming his conscious thoughts. For a moment a great emotion welled up within him, and his heart beat faster behind his red flannel. He turned Samhain to look him in the eyes, his equally as golden. “Sam, are you okay?”

“Of course.” The cat chuckled humorlessly. “I have to be, don’t I?”

The rain outside became a torrent and thunder resounded. Shortly after, the electricity in their small suburban home flickered. Striker paid it no mind as his ears drooped. “No, you don’t have to be. It’s okay to not be okay sometimes.”

Samhain paused and inhaled deeply. His catnip tea was nearly gone. He turned his head to stare at the TV again, Catty having once more continued with the poetic journey of Tabitha the Persian cat. He then drifted back to Striker, who hadn’t stopped observing him. His heart sunk. “I’m scared. There isn’t a way in this world for me, nor for anyone of feline descent. My heart flutters and my fur prickles, and my tail curls between my legs. My breaths come short and my purr is a deception to my truth, and every day I look into your eyes, as beautiful as they are, and I question you.”

“You question me?”

“But then I realize you are not like them. I realize you are one of the lucky ones.” Samhain smiled and pecked Striker’s black nose before returning to Catty.

As the rain poured outside and the thunder boomed, the two became one with the sofa and basked in the sole light of the TV set flickering in the room, and they knew they were with each other and that they were where they needed to be, and that they would be safe.

They had to be.

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Excerpt from something new

I woke up after hearing a new song by one of my favorite artists (after the excerpt), and I was instantly inspired in a way I hadn’t been in a while. The song felt so close to home for me, and its vibe was something I just melded with — it was like something that carried the same kind of energy with it that I put into my own art. So, here is a rough draft of the beginnings to a new story. It was also a reason to write Byleth into his favorite era, and it was a chance to step outside of my comfort zone.


Byleth’s adrenalin lit up like fire when he saw the angel.

He watched on as the colorful lights drifted around the room, the patrons all dressed in bell bottoms, hot pants, and large colored glasses. Byleth’s own white platforms drifted across the swirled brown carpet as he did his best to remain inconspicuous. The blue-eyed blond in his sight smiled widely as he conversed with the humans, and he seemed to be favorable to the seductive tones of Jimi Hendrix playing in the background. Something was offered to him that was barely visible, and as Byleth zeroed in on the angel’s pale hand that took it, foolishly, as a gift, he bit his lip to keep from laughing.

The angel placed the tab on his tongue, and it would only be a matter of time.

Byleth took a deep breath and adjusted his large, round tinted glasses before circling around the dancers. A few women in flowery micro-dresses sidled up to him, and he groaned internally for having to pass them by. Something much more important was about to happen — something that would quite possibly change just about everything. The Hellish king politely declined and took his time weaving through the sex and drug-fueled environment.

Just a bit longer.

He finally gave in to a couple coaxing him into a sway, and he joined them with his eyes never leaving the strange man in white at the table in a far corner. The blond’s posture was seeming to relax as it sunk into the chair, and he was running his hand through his hair. It was beginning.

Byleth excused himself and approached the group at the table. “Mind if I steal your friend for a minute?”

“Hey, man! You wanna ball with us?”

Byleth smirked. “Not really, I’m more interested in that one.” He pointed a clawed finger toward the blond who had finally taken in his presence.

“Byleth?” The man in white stood and stumbled as he fell into Byleth, who nearly tripped backward in his attempt to catch the man. “I thought you hated this scene!”

Byleth chuckled and held the man at arm’s length. “A lot changes in a few millennia, Gabriel.” He eyed the angel carefully. “You seriously came down here in that? No wonder these cats are looking at you weird.”

“Cats?” Gabriel’s eyes drifted, and he smiled. “Cats! Yes, there’s an orange one there, and a white one there! Strange…” The angel seemed perplexed. “I was under the impression animals of that variety went without clothing and weren’t capable of playing cards.”

Byleth had to contain his amusement and steered the angel out onto the dance floor. “Come on, you weirdo. We’re going to have some fun with your trippin’ ass.”

“This is fantastic!” Gabriel fell into the sway Byleth had started, the others around them preoccupied in their own haze. His blue eyes were glazed over. “I hadn’t realized this realm was so beautiful. Everything moves like poetry, and humans are so… beautiful.”

“Oh yeah?” Byleth quirked his brow as he dared to take the angel’s hands in his, pulling him close. “What else?” It was as if he were talking to a child.

Gabriel’s attention returned to the fallen angel dancing with him, and something curious came over him. The silence was enough to make Byleth stare at him cautiously, wondering whether Gabriel was about to go into a bad trip. In a matter of seconds, his heart was in his throat and he tensed as he was pulled against the angel’s body.

His red eyes widened as he was being devoured, the angel kissing him like he’d never tasted anything so delicious in his existence. Byleth’s supernatural senses took in the taste of the acid that was consuming Gabriel, and for a moment he allowed himself to connect with the chaotic yet blissful energy invading him. He closed his eyes and fell into the heady atmosphere, and he noticed the angel’s face had become damp with perspiration. So the drug had allowed Gabriel to feel as humans did, which was an interesting side effect for an angel.

Byleth.” The name fell from the angel’s lips in pure ecstasy. “It’s so… warm? Is this what it feels like to be in heat?”

Byleth chuckled as desire dripped from the form in his arms. “If you want to call it that. But I’m not sure if I—” Byleth’s flirtatious tone was interrupted by hands wandering around his white turtle neck. The orange jacket around his shoulders was on the ground in seconds, and Gabriel was leaning into him, taking in his scent. A thin hand snaked up to his collar and tugged it aside, and Byleth felt a rush of air against his neck as the angel breathed deeply.

“You smell so good, Byleth. So good.”

It took every ounce of the fallen king’s willpower to not crumble. Gabriel, God’s messenger and devout son of Heaven, was grinding on him and practically devouring him like an animal, and it was the worst turn-on he never knew he had. It brought to mind memories that were well into the future, of the time Azazel had stolen Gabriel’s form to drag him into a cruel game that left him with the being he was at that moment — the Byleth who reveled in debauched things and had found the ability to love once more. His vacation into the past hadn’t changed any of that, and the 60s seemed to be even more potent for his newest desires.

He gave in to his body’s whims at last, and kissed Gabriel hungrily. There was nothing more that he desired than to corrupt something so innocent, especially when that something was an angel who deserved his revenge.

He’d be a fool not to take this opportunity with fate.

©2019 Shane Blackheart

Excerpt from original writing: What Lies Beyond

The title is one I thought of back in high school when I originally wrote this story, but I can’t make myself change it. It has a history, as well as it being Lestan and Jack’s personal history. This is just a small bit from it, and it’s one of the many moments in the story where Jack has some self-reflection. It’s appropriate for all audiences.

 


 

The wind rustled through the spirit’s translucent form, his hair unmoving in the breeze. He stared at the moon as if he were seeing every minute detail, its rocky and cold surface beckoning to him as did the vastness of space. He craved the void but only ever crossed into it when necessary. Otherwise, he was afraid he’d become lost and never return. That was not his purpose, and he knew his place and where he had to remain. To leave would be to abandon those wracked with grief due to their own unfortunate passings, and that was something the spirit would never wish upon any creature.

He lifted his hand and a battered, pale heart appeared, the agony contained within reaching a volume that could be heard throughout the cemetery. Every soul he led into the next world left their sorrows with him, and in his heart, he felt the weight of every single one. Hundreds — thousands — of cries and haunting screams rustled the energy around him and the trees swayed with the sheer force of the energy until the spirit withdrew, the heart fizzling out to return to him.

He looked out across the cemetery before drifting off the tombstone he occupied. He didn’t walk often as mortals tended to, but after meeting the vampire earlier that night, he felt the need to think, and to think brought its own kind of melancholy. He’d never spoken to another creature at length. It had been enough to cause his entire existence to pause, but what was even more curious was the vampire’s persistence in wanting to know him. It simply wasn’t the way things were supposed to be, and the spirit felt raw anxiety rising within him, the grass beneath his feet flattening with an ethereal breeze as his energy sparked in the darkness.

A name. The vampire had said something about a name before the spirit vanished. He knew the meaning of them and their importance, but he wasn’t anything important enough in his own mind to be deserving of a name. He was just… there. He existed for his purpose and although he’d put a name to that purpose for the vampire’s sake of understanding, it wasn’t even close to the true meaning. The spirit sighed, a dim, pale blue glow emanating from him as he drifted between the shadows in the cemetery. Speaking with the vampire had brought upon more complications than he had ever wanted to deal with.

Cold stone caressed the spirit’s entire being as he drifted through it, the mausoleum steps just below him as he hovered near the walls. Thin, vine-like branches wound their way through the small and narrow windows in the walls, their tendrils dry and clinging to life as they stretched over the worn surface. Silver strands of moonlight disturbed the peaceful dark and spilled upon the floor where the spirit drifted past, the stone steps leading down introducing a much colder atmosphere than above. Stopping once he was fully below ground, the spirit gazed around the quiet room.

Hollowed out shelves in the stonework lined the walls, their presence barely visible to the naked eye in the purest of darknesses. Although the spirit’s eyes were as black as the void, they allowed him a glimpse into that world that none were able to perceive otherwise. He was as much a part of this darkness as it was of him, and within it, he could see the bones lying neatly and untouched in their respective shrouds. The materials were wrought with decay and their jewels tarnished to never shine again, insects crawling over and between them on their path to devour what was left of the body below it.

It was beautiful.

The spirit drifted over to a body that was much less decayed than the others, the bones jutting out where the flesh had all but dissipated with time. His hand trailed over the skull that was thinly veiled with parchment-like skin, and he pressed his fingers gently into the eyes, his own falling shut as he felt a semblance of something that was once there. A sadness gripped at his chest and he pulled his hand away. These were his true friends and the only ones he could ever allow himself to have. They could not tempt him away from his purpose or claim to give him a name. They’d become just as meaningless as he, their own names lost with the passage of time.

The spirit dropped to the stone floor among the spiders and other insects. The tomb walls behind him brought comfort as he welcomed their frigid chill, and the energy of the ever-changing earth behind them seeped through him. He could hear every breath within the womb of Mother Nature itself as he basked in it, and he closed his eyes once more as he took in the sound. An involuntary thought crossed his mind in that moment.

Perhaps the vampire would enjoy it just as much with him. If not, then all would be understood.

 

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Excerpt from Untitled original writing

I haven’t thought of a better title for this story yet, as it was converted from a fanfiction. I made the events and characters my own and did a lot of renaming and lots of rewriting. I just had so much fun with the story and it had so much more potential, so I made it my own. The plot was already drastically different than the source, so now it’s just a matter of finishing it.

I’m also really excited because this is the first novel I’ve written with a transman as a main character. Draven is the transman in the story who is a thirty-nine-year-old writer, and he is the guardian of an eighteen-year-old punk of a boy, Lucien, who lost his parents in a car crash a year previous to the story’s events. (I mention ages so readers know all characters are eighteen or older in the context being given, although there is no mature content in this excerpt). Also to note, the picture was chosen because it best reflects Draven’s style and the feel and look of his house.

Here is a scene from the most recent chapter I wrote for it, and I’d safely rate it PG-13 mostly for language, so it’s appropriate for most audiences:

 


Lucien’s fingers slid along the smooth surface of the desk, Draven standing nearby to watch him. He looked up at the man as he remembered his first exploration of the room. There had been a drawer that was locked, and although he’d had other plans with Draven when they’d arrived home from the awkward night at the bar, his curiosities were strong. They’d grown so close in such a short time, so surely the man would divulge his secrets. “Hey, what’s in your locked drawer?”

“How did you know I’d locked one of my drawers?” Draven arched a questioning brow. Lucien chuckled.

“Remember when I snuck in here and caught you doing fun things at your computer?” Draven’s face became a darker shade of red than what it had been from the inebriation. “I, uh…” That old, creeping feeling of doing something wrong and getting caught still loomed over Lucien’s head despite he and Draven’s relationship. He licked his lips nervously. “I might have been going through your stuff.”

“Why would you go against my wishes?” Draven approached the desk, but paused as he realized how stupid it was to say. Lucien had already done much worse than go through his desk.

“I was depressed and in a bad mood. I needed a distraction because mom and dad… a year ago.” Lucien paused and his thoughts became dark. He became rapt in the surface of the desk, tracing the light as it bent across the slick wooden edges. He could hear the muffled cries and the sound of the siren, and he was vaguely aware of the phantom pain in his lower back that bothered him whenever everything came flooding back.

“Lucien?” Draven set his hands on the teenager’s shoulders and shook him gently to bring him back to reality. “Hey, Lucien? Are you with me?”

“What?” Lucien blinked hard a few times before he was able to tear himself away from the grisly memory. It was happening less and less, but any time he was careless enough to mention it, the PTSD symptoms would come crashing over him like a tidal wave. He should have continued his visits with his therapist, but all it had ever done for him was upset him even more. Exposure therapy just pissed him off. He focused on Draven fully. “Sorry. I don’t really feel so good.”

“Perhaps an early night would be best for the both of us?” Draven smiled and petted the teenager’s hair before Lucien knocked his hand away.

“I won’t be able to sleep. I need a distraction.” He returned his focus to the present and glanced down at the desk drawers, his hand drifting over the locked one. “Maybe I’ll feel better if you show me what’s in there.”

“Lucien…” Draven sighed and they stood in silence, just staring into each other’s eyes as if in an unspoken argument. After some time, Draven relented and opened the middle drawer of the desk, fishing through it until he produced a small brass key. “If you’d been more thorough, you’d have found it.”

“I mean, I would have. You just got home too early. Not that I’m complaining.” The teenager smiled slyly as he moved aside. Draven unlocked the drawer with hesitation and paused before pulling it out to reveal a large stack of manuscripts. Lucien’s heart dropped as disappointment washed over him. He’d hoped for something more scandalous or secret, but it had only been some old stories. “That’s it? Why are those locked up?”

“Their… contents aren’t something I’d want others to find.” Draven fell into his office chair and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m not sure if you’ve read any of my books, but they’re more respectable than those.”

“What are they about?” Lucien reached into the drawer and pulled out the top stack of papers that were held together with a large clip. The title page didn’t reveal much, other than an over-the-top unoriginal title that screamed dramatic. He scanned through the first few pages, and then flipped the rest as if they were a flip book, pausing near the middle when a particular scene caught his eye. Lucien’s breath caught in his throat as he remembered the small paper of notes he’d found that day, and it all made sense then.

Draven glanced up at him to see that the teenager was fixated. “I was never comfortable with myself enough to be with many people, so I lived vicariously through my writing.”

“This is hot, though.” Lucien blurted the words as he felt something stir deep in his stomach. The erotica on the pages in his hands was nothing short of flowery smut — the subjects engaged in things that made even Lucien blush. He dropped the manuscript onto the desk and picked up the second, just as transfixed on it as he was the first while skimming through. “And it’s amazing. Why do you care what people think?”

“People know my name, Lucien. If I were to publish something like that, I’d lose all respect.”

“Then those people would be the assholes you ignore. You wouldn’t need them anyway.” The teenager grabbed the third, smiling wide. Draven sighed in frustration.

“You’re young and you aren’t a writer. You wouldn’t understand the intricacies of the publishing world — or the etiquette.”

“So? It’s just words.” Lucien dropped the third manuscript, intent on taking them back to his bedroom to read further. “Aren’t there authors out there who use different names? What if you just changed your name for those books? Can you do that?”

“A pen name?” Draven sunk back into his chair and stared at the stack on the desk, honestly pondering the reality of that situation. It lasted all but a few minutes before Draven shook it out of his mind. “No. I can’t. It’s too embarrassing.”

“More embarrassing than what I do to you?” Lucien flashed Draven his best bedroom eyes and straddled the man’s legs over the chair.

“What you and I do is private. Those wouldn’t be.” The man’s eyes fell shut when Lucien sunk down into his lap and kissed him. He rested his arms around the teenager’s waist and gave no resistance.

“But it would be awesome to let other people see it. Even if they didn’t know it was you.” Lucien’s lips drifted over the Draven’s neck and he nipped at the skin. “Wouldn’t that be hot?”

“I’m not fond of exhibitionism.” Draven hummed with pleasure as Lucien left a bruise on his neck. The teenager rocked his hips forward to gain another beautiful sound from his guardian, and returned his focus to the man’s red eyes.

“Seemed to be cool with it earlier after we left the bar.”

“I wasn’t in my right mind.” Draven’s hands crept higher and up the teenager’s shirt to feel his thin form. “You’re not eating, Lucien.”

“I don’t get hungry.” Lucien’s voice held a tinge of irritation. Although Draven had been all for touching him earlier, he seemed to be deflecting now.

“You’re much too thin.” Draven willed away his desire and leaned back to look into his ward’s eyes. “You’re not doing well. This mess you’ve stumbled into with Grace and I can’t be helping.”

“I’ll tell Grace eventually, okay?” Lucien huffed. “Can we not do this right now?”

“You need to figure this out before it does any more damage to you than it already has. We both know you’re still dealing with other things that aren’t getting better. This is the last thing you need.”

“I’ll be fine!” Lucien slid out of Draven’s lap and grabbed the manuscripts from the desk. “Maybe if you quit this hot and cold shit it’d be easier.”

“I can’t continue this while Grace is oblivious to it. You must realize that this isn’t fair to either of us, Lucien. You can’t just run away from things that aren’t pleasant in life. You have to confront them or they’ll never get better.”

“You should probably stop drinking. You always get weird when you do.”

“Lucien, you must tell Grace.” Draven stood from his chair and approached the office door. “I can see how much she cares for you. Address it however you like, but stop playing these games. You once told me you’d like me to treat you as the grown man you are. Act like it.”

Lucien’s lips parted as if he were ready to argue, but fell silent as he was left alone in the office. Draven had never gotten so angry before — had never spoken to Lucien like he had earlier in the evening. It caused the teenager’s mind to go blank, and he was faced with a side of his guardian that he’d once found amusing in thought, but was hating every bit of now that it was a reality. He’d asked for this, and now he had to deal with it.

Tomorrow he would tell Grace. Maybe.

© 2018 Shane Blackheart