Tag Archives: romance

With These Hands

As the acid creeps up into my throat, it threatens to call forth the cancer I should have been given a few years ago — when my body was a volcano with a self-destructive warpath. My limbs ache and my chest feels as if it is hollow, its heaviness causing me to hunch my back in a way that causes my spine to scream out.

I can hear them, Byleth and Lestan especially, calling to me. They want me to think about my future and find a way out of all of this. They want me to stop shuffling my feet at Death’s door as if I’m eager for a blind date that rattles my bones with anxiety. They want me to breathe and pick up my hunched form, and continue to fight — fight the invisible force that has varying degrees of pressure for every person.

My eyes drift to the hallway and the darkness greets me with beckoning tendrils, but the tall, golden-skinned form that comes from it shakes his head. His glowing pink eyes are determined. They are filled with an emotion I am not familiar with from him.

“Do not, Shane. Do. Not.”

It’s vague, but I know what he means. He stands there in the shadows, his giant stature seeming taller than ever as he crosses his well-toned arms. I’ve never seen him angry, and if I had it was long ago, so long it’s now an afterthought. At least I’d have something to compare this to.

“Stop this poetical shit and breathe, and sleep.” Byleth in his golden, Hellish king glory shakes his head, his shoulder-length blond hair falling into his face. I observe as a clawed hand smooths it back between his golden horns, and I think, for a moment, how much I’d love to feel his soft hair.

Like my large cat who enjoys being used as a pillow, I imagine pulling the fallen king’s head to my chest and caressing his soft hair, closing my eyes to forget about any other thing. Nothing else exists. But Lestan, he’s here too. I haven’t forgotten him and I love him, and he’s behind me caressing my hair as I imagined myself doing for Byleth. I can feel his hurt through our connection, and although he doesn’t speak, I know there are no words to express anything of substance at this moment.

Tetsu is here as well, his appearance rare, but a welcome one. He glares at me as I observe him from the corner of my eyes, letting him know I see him. The elf huffs and approaches me, pushing past Lestan and tugging at my shirt. “We’re leaving. Come on.”

“You know I can’t,” I say. It’s the middle of the night and storms have been on the horizon, and although I would love more than anything to meld into the darkness on such a night, I’m too tired. I laugh to myself. I’m too tired to seek out my own demise.

“If you will.” Daro, my golden-skinned demon prince approaches my other side, all four of them behind me now. He smiles and runs his claws across my head. “Allow us to take you away, if but for a moment. Do continue as you are.”

I sigh and nod.

* * *

Rules and word counts and regulations. This isn’t what a story is to me, yet it’s what the world expects. Hook them and then seduce them with purple flowers shaped like Roman aphrodisia. When did the magic of weaving worlds and emotions become so stale?

* * *

I open my eyes and breathe in strong patchouli, the incense smoke drifting about the room like a magickal haze. Its spell renders me complacent as I look to the stage before me. The rest of the room is dark and bare. Lestan and Daro take their places beside me, and my vampire husband creeps behind me to wrap his arms around my waist. His chin rests on my shoulder and he kisses my neck briefly, his short black hair tickling my skin. My body still aches and my chest is heavy as I see Byleth approaching a microphone on the stage, his white platform heels clacking loudly in the silence to stir up ethereal dust of ages past. He is wearing white corduroy bell bottoms with a wide flare and a jacket that is similar with nothing beneath it. His bare chest glistens in the dim, haunting light cast only on the stage, and his red eyes shine with excitement.

Tetsu has pulled his long black hair into a ponytail and adjusts his rectangular glasses before settling his hands on his guitar. He glances at me and then at Byleth, not entirely happy with the change in scenery, but he is more than willing to fall into its magick. Music begins to drift through the room, Tetsu’s fingers gliding over the vintage guitar to fill the atmosphere with sultry, retro vibes. The other instruments are not visible on the stage or anywhere in the room, but they are playing nonetheless. Byleth begins to sing, his angelic voice still beautiful even after his fall.

The lyrics are sultry, provocative, and enticing. He weaves his tainted angelic magick into them, their flow seeping into me like a warm caress that bathes my insides in pleasant tingles. To my surprise, Daro sways to the music, his eyes closed as his arm wraps around my shoulders. Lestan is doing the same, although he has come around to my front to smooth his hands across the sides of my face. I feel an indescribable emotion well up within me as I listen to the hazy tones of Byleth’s seduction, and my eyes begin to burn.

I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve been able to cry without it being painful. It’s as if my body knows how the tears burn, so it ceases their flow before they can begin. I still feel the burn anyway, and Lestan wipes at my eyes knowing all too well what’s happening. Sadness is no longer an emotional hurt but a physical one, and I blink hard as the burning causes me to lose sight of the beautiful fallen angel singing on stage.

“With these hands, I will cling to you. I’m yours forever and a day. With these hands, I will bring to you a tender love as warm as May… With this heart, I will sing to you. Ooh, long after stars have lost their glow. And with these hands, I’ll provide for you. Should there be a stormy sea, I’ll turn the tide for you, and I’ll never… Oh no, I’ll never… I’ll never let you go.”

My eyelids flutter as a kiss is laid on each one, and I open them to see Lestan smiling at me. He kisses me and I feel Daro’s hand squeeze my shoulder, and I look back to the stage to see Byleth singing as true as ever. He smiles and reaches out to me as the lyrics flow from his lips, and I am pulled up as if I weigh nothing.

He hugs me tightly to him, and I look down to see Lestan in a much cheerier state. He turns to Daro and bows like a gentleman, and Daro smiles genuinely as he takes the vampire’s outstretched hand. They begin the steps to a slow dance, and I return to the fallen angel who is swaying with me. I feel his voice’s reverberation throughout my body as I cling to his chest, and he continues, holding me tight as he sends more comfort through his song of sweet intentions.

He trails off as the song ends, and Tetsu falls silent as he observes us. He is happier too, I think. Byleth’s lips brush against my ear as he leans over to kiss it, and he whispers in a way that sends a sense of peace into my mind. “Don’t go, sugar. Stay with me, stay with Lestan, and stay with Tetsu and Daro. Live for moments like this, and…” He pulls back and quirks an eyebrow as his usual attitude seeps back into his tone. “Consider yourself lucky. I once told you that a demon nor a fallen angel practice healing magick.”

“But…” My confusion causes me to furrow my brow. The warmth is still flowing through me as he waves away the microphone and caresses my jaw with his fingers.

“Don’t make me say it. Please.” He sighs. “Just make a promise, okay?”

I bite my lip and avert my gaze, unsure if I’m able to make any sort of promise he would want. I know to break a promise with him would be the ultimate betrayal, especially since I’d sworn honesty and loyalty to him. To Lestan. To Daro. To Tetsu. He nudges my jaw with a clawed finger to gain my attention once more. I look into his glowing red eyes and they are full of an intensity that I know all too well to take very seriously. His romance and his caresses were true, but he was also a king of Hell. That was truer than all else.

I nod. “I promise I will survive tonight.”

He sighs, exhaustion consuming him. He closes his eyes to gather himself before returning to me. Lestan has joined us on the stage as has Daro, and I feel as if they are all pressuring me to keep my word for longer than tonight. I feel their anticipation of my words and my actions, and I cannot let them down. I cannot disappoint them.

They tell me I may not meet them once more if I greet Death before it is my time. They may not go with me, and that thought is more frightening than the struggles Life will undoubtedly continue to bring me. I nod again. “I will survive tonight. And tomorrow, I will tell myself and you all that I will survive that night.” I take a deep breath as Lestan brushes my hair from my neck to kiss the skin. Daro takes my hand and Tetsu comes up to rest his chin on my shoulder. Byleth still embraces me with one arm, and I know that life exists in all of them.

The tingling I feel when Byleth sings, and the warmth I feel when Lestan kisses me. The intrigue I know when Daro speaks to me in philosophical ways and touches me in ways he is not familiar with, and the empathy I feel when Tetsu and I talk about things that only we can understand. The words I spin to portray these moments and these realities that I exist in with them.

These are not our stories. These are not debatable. This is life.

© 2019 Shane Blackheart
Song lyrics: Tom Jones

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Book Review: Unchained (Blood Bond Saga #1-3)

Unchained (Blood Bond Saga #1-3)Unchained by Helen Hardt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

(Spoiler warning)
This book definitely has an interesting story, but the delivery fell short for me. Please note, this is just my personal opinion and in no way is an attempt to say anything bad about the author or her talents. This may have just not been her best book or series. Spoilers, so beware.

The first part begins with Dante, a vampire who had been imprisoned for many years. He is stumbling around the city looking for blood, and he ends up in a hospital to meet the woman who will ultimately possess him for the entirety of the book: Erin. They become absolutely obsessed with each other from first eye contact, and there is a deeper connection between them that hasn’t happened between a vampire and human for some time. That’s the basic premise from the start.

Now, beyond this, the story fell apart for me. There is a lot of filler — or so it felt like. Dante goes here. Then he leaves. Then Erin goes here, then here, then leaves, then goes here. Dante is constantly uptight and arrogant, and he’s suspicious over his grandfather for who knows what reason. By the end of the third part, I still have no idea what his problem with his grandfather was, or even why we are supposed to suspect… something from the man. Unless his reason for anger was not justified and it escaped me.

My other problem — I’ll just say this: abbreviations for words. Certain words were abbreviated that just made me stop and I groaned (vamp, being one). It took me away from the seriousness of the story. I honestly wasn’t a fan of the general writing or style, but that is most likely my problem and not the author’s. I only mention it as it was a big factor in my rating.

Now, I do get the back and forth, hot and cold between Dante and Erin after reading through the book in its entirety. But, I have to admit, it’s extremely frustrating in the way it’s written. It goes back to my point of the constant back and forth, person A goes here and then goes there, and then person B goes here, and then decides a minute later to change locations for some reason or another, usually an upset. I was getting whiplash from all the moving around. And then we get another mystery introduced that hit out of nowhere, about Erin having mysterious marks on her leg? What I don’t understand is if she’s supposedly bonded to someone else, how can she be bonded to Dante? I was under the impression the bond was pretty solid and existed between a fated human and their vampire, but I’m confused even now. Maybe it’s explored in later books.

The story has promise, but I wasn’t inclined to read any more of the series. I feel like the story was dragged on for the purpose of it being longer, at least, that’s what it felt like to me. The cliffhanger was just so epically huge and after reading the first three, nothing felt good about the ending. ‘Read more books to finish the story,’ basically. And I understand how a series works, but in book series I’ve read before, I at least felt some sort of completion at the end of each book. Something was wrapped up in some way, and while in the 3-in-1 version of this book we did get one ‘kind of’ answer to the story (the explanation for the blood bond was also confusing and I felt it could have been explained or worked out better), I’m just so… underwhelmed? I’m not sure. I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. If nothing else, I felt bad for the grandfather because he seems to be getting a lot of flack for just wanting to be helpful or keep Dante safe. But Dante? My goodness man, just say something. I understand why you might be stuck in a teenager’s mindset, but speak!

I don’t like writing negative reviews, and this definitely isn’t a bad review per se, but I personally did not like how the book was written or the pacing. I did enjoy what story there was to enjoy to a point, but I wish the author had at least moved things along a bit better and left out the extremely energetic characters’ traveling. If the ending had been more fulfilling in some way and not as confusing, I’d probably have given the story more of a chance. But maybe serials just aren’t my thing.

As always, kudos to the author for writing a story and getting it out there. I’m sure Helen has other wonderful books, and I’m sure many will enjoy this one where I did not.

View all my reviews

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

Anywhere But Here [M]

RatingMature (vague and tasteful, but descriptive, love scene)

SummaryThis is based on an actual bit of headspace time I spent with one of my demon guides, Daro. When it’s hard for me to see reason after experiencing a traumatic event, I can always count on one of my guides to take me away from it all for just a small time. This was very strange for Daro, however. He is not one to be sexual in any sense of the word except on rare occasions. It seemed this was one of them.


I laid my head on the table over the soft blanket, my heart sinking slowly as all life seemed to leave me. I wasn’t dying in reality, but I felt as if my future was already dead. I didn’t know where to go in life since my dreams had ended before they could even begin, my life’s goal no longer within any sort of possible reach. I was a slave to my mental disabilities and my poor health, as well as the system that enjoyed all too much keeping the lesser-abled down where they belonged.

“Shane.” A deep voice broke over my lamenting and a tan, clawed hand crept onto my upper back. It hesitated before moving in a soothing motion, my muscles easing from the tension that had formed long ago. I smiled.

“Daro.” I glanced over to see a tall, golden-skinned demon with long black hair and silver horns staring down at me, his pale pink eyes piercing straight through my soul as they always did. Byleth was present as well, but he moved aside to let Daro gain control over my reality for a little while. Even he knew when he and Lestan’s kind of reasoning wouldn’t pull me back.

“I… am not good with comfort. I apologize for that. I do, however, believe that you may do whatever you wish. You have accomplished everything you’ve set out to do in life, Shane. That does not end here.”

“I feel like it’s the end. I feel like my future is blank because the only thing I’d ever wanted to do – the only plan I’d had for my life is now no longer there.” I felt emotion welling up within me and tears burned behind my eyes. “It’s so stupid. At least, it probably sounds stupid. Who gets this emotional over wanting to tell stories, or to be heard?”

“It is as good a reason as any.” Daro smiled down at me, his hand moving slowly over my back. I then felt it – a wave of energy that made my stomach flutter. That wasn’t a usual reaction to his presence. I then remembered the last time I’d started making changes to my body for my transition, and Daro had developed the same sort of energy then. I felt self-conscious at that moment as I noticed the dark and aggressive energy coming from him.

“You aren’t normally like this, Daro.”

“No, but your energy is quite contagious and strong at this time. You are early in your transition.” His hand’s movements turned to something more sensual, his fingers sliding over my still very tense muscles as if they were tempting me. I wanted him to take me away from here.

“I don’t want to be here.” I sighed as another rush made my stomach spin. “Take me somewhere else. Please.”

“If it is not for self-destructive reasons, then where would you like to be?”

“Anywhere but here. I don’t want to even be alive right now.”

Daro closed his eyes and chuckled quietly as I closed mine in like. The soft blanket against my face brought me comfort as I sank into it and the feeling of the large hand on my back that was rubbing in circles. I started to drift off until I saw nothing but the blankness that was already present in my mind.

*** 

When I opened my eyes, I was lying on a stone floor. There were thick blankets beneath me and pillows everywhere, and I could feel a faint breeze coming through the natural windows in the stone walls around me. A few pillars surrounded the room and vases of lotus flowers and leaves were scattered about. The sun was setting and gave an orange glow to the already flickering candles around the blankets on the floor, and I realized then that we were most definitely not anywhere in current space or time.

My attention was brought back to where I lied as the blankets shuffled around me. Daro’s athletic form crawled over me and I watched as his sleeveless black trench disappeared, leaving him in the black silk harem-type pants he usually wore. My heart was in my throat as I realized it was all that he was wearing. “This is so weird. You’re not usually this kind of a… romantic?”

He smiled before I was surrounded by black hair and left breathless with a kiss, his lips full and soft as they teased mine open. I grabbed onto his toned arms and wrapped my fingers around his tribal band mark, squeezing as if I were uncertain of his presence. I didn’t want him to let me go. He chuckled against my mouth before releasing me and throwing some of his long hair behind his back.

“You may find that I can be romantic when the mood calls for it.” I gasped as his claws tickled up my shirt and back down to my shorts where he tugged at the hem. “Your energy has been quite contagious. I can no longer contain myself.”

“I’m sorry. Is it hard to deal with? I know you aren’t really that sexual.”

“Not at all.” Daro nipped at my jaw before trailing kisses to my neck, and then left his mark there as if to claim me as his own. I lost the ability to breathe as he slid my shorts down and his fingers slipped between my legs. Despite the bliss that I was in, this was all strange to me. Daro had rarely, if ever, displayed such eroticism before. It consumed my mind until he sunk low, tossing my shorts to the side before diving between my legs to make me swoon. My hands shot down to run through his hair and my back arched, my mind growing fuzzy and forgetting all of my worries. It hit me then just how much I wanted him.

He trailed his lips back up my stomach and came up to kiss me again. It was like a game as our lips teased, nipped, and ghosted over the other’s. Embarrassment burned up into my ears as I realized how heavily I was breathing, but nothing could make the excitement calm within me that he’d created. It was an entirely new side of him that I never knew I needed to see, but it was one I wanted to see more often. It was caring, gentle, playful, and loving. Everything he had created there – the flowers, the fantasy-like setting, and the atmosphere – it was all for the sake of this moment.

I was jolted back once again as he nipped my neck more aggressively than the last time, his teeth leaving little bites down to my abdomen and down my thigh. He paused as he was lifting my leg, sitting back on his knees to glance at me from beside my raised knee. “Forgive me. I am feeling rather aggressive. I am not entirely comfortable with such an aggressive emotion.”

“Is it a bad thing? You’re not going to hurt me, are you?”

“Hurt you?” He chuckled. “Never hurt you, Shane. Although, I suspect you enjoy this kind of aggression.” He accentuated his words by nipping my leg once more and then paused to remove his pants. I looked away, not sure of the exact reason for doing so. We hadn’t been intimate many times in the past, and I was always aware of how much I wanted that kind of thing from him throughout the years. His beauty never escaped me; it was exotic and mysterious and it held a certain kind of danger to it, but nothing that was a threat to me.

He’d always held an air of dark mystery about him. Being purposefully vague, never answering my questions fully, and remaining stoic, calm, and collected during even the worst crises. I never feared him, but I always desired him. It was something I’d brushed to the side often due to his mostly asexual nature, his willingness to humor Byleth due to the Fallen Angel’s insistence more than anything. It wasn’t even that Daro didn’t enjoy it when it happened either. He would always become claimed by the passion of the moment sooner or later. I often wondered if he hid more than he had to at times like those.

“Daro, why aren’t you a sexual person?”

“Because I am not a person.” A playfulness glistened in his eyes as he came back to kiss me again, teasing entrance between my legs. “I am much more than that, although I am not immune to stronger emotions such as this. Even I have moments where I cannot remain as calm as I’d like to be.”

“But what do you feel you have to hide?” Despite my breathlessness, I had to know. I knew I wouldn’t get another chance to have him so vulnerable. I was rendered speechless with a more insistent nudge.

“It seems…” A quiet moan interrupted his speech as he slid fully inside. He remained still as he supported himself on his hands beside my head, his eyes closed as if to control himself. “… It seems I cannot always control myself around you.”

“Wait…” I gasped as he thrust forward. “Daro…”

“There are things I must never admit, although Byleth has done such a thing.” A clawed hand turned my head to the side so Daro could tease my ear, whispering as he rocked his body into mine. “I care for you in ways I should not.” His words quivered as he began to lose control, his breath hot in my ear as he lost himself to the sensations between us. I wrapped my legs around his waist and gave myself over to him fully then, my body sliding back against the blankets on the stone floor. I noticed that it had grown darker and the candles were our only source of light.

I mumbled his name over and over again as he returned to my neck, our bodies still rocking against the blankets as he nibbled at the bruised skin. I was completely consumed with my lust for him and my mind felt far away as the end approached quickly, my body arching into him as my release overcame me. He grew much more rough with his movements then, goosebumps forming on his arms beneath my fingers as he lost the last bit of control he’d managed to keep.

I watched as he rose up onto his knees and grabbed my legs, lifting them as he quickened his movements. The pleasure was so intense that tears rolled down the sides of my face, and I felt light-headed from the distant buzz and my lack of ability to breathe. It had to be a dream.

I was reminded of the reality of the moment as he thrust deep one last time before shuddering, his claws gripping at my legs like a vice. I bit my lip and hummed with pleasure through all of it, my insides filling with him. He fell onto his hands beside my head, struggling with his control as he moaned through his release, his body rocking and riding the wave until he started to calm. It was then that everything grew eerily silent.

A faint buzzing throughout my body caused a distant ringing in my ears. Our labored breathing seemed to echo around us as we both came down, and the candlelight flickered in the still-present summer breeze. I was the first to finally come around and I ran my hands through his hair, coaxing him into a kiss that he accepted fully. When we parted, I saw in his eyes a feeling of utter exhaustion, his natural glow from them dimming in the dark. It worried me. “Hey, are you okay?”

He huffed a laugh before closing his eyes to hide them from me. “I will be fine. You need not worry.”

“What in the hell’s possessed you? You aren’t acting like yourself at all.” I grew even more concerned as he sat up and pulled me with him, hugging me tightly.

“One of the stronger emotions I often try to bury.” He rested his chin on the top of my head as I relaxed into him, my bones melting into his embrace. “But that is not important. What is most important here, is that you realize your worth to continue with your life. I would not see it any other way.”

“You’re avoiding the subject.” I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face. He sighed before releasing me just enough to look into my eyes, and took my jaw into his hand and lifted it to guide me into a kiss, one that I knew was meant solely for a distraction. All too often I couldn’t get him to speak clearly to me, but I was determined to do it this time. I released him from the kiss and mused at the look of concern on his face. “Daro, what emotion are you burying?”

“Shane.” He sighed again, his unease growing.”There are things I must not speak. Not yet.”

“Well, what can you say? I mean, there has to be some vague way you can express it that I might get without you having to say it outright.”

He watched me for a moment in silence, the breeze coming through the windows causing strands of his hair to drift across his face. I smoothed them aside as he seemed to finally come to a conclusion in his mind, and spoke carefully. “There are certain words and feelings a demon must never admit or express – a demon prince is held in much higher regard. Byleth is free from the rules and unspoken laws we set for ourselves. It is why he is free to express himself as he so wishes, as he is a Fallen and not a demon.” Daro ran a clawed thumb across my lower lip in which I bit at playfully. He smiled. “I care for you, Shane, more than you may ever know.”

“I guess that’s good enough for me.” I laughed. “Man, we’ve come a long way. It’s taken you longer than everyone to come out of your shell, and even then you only lose control for a moment before you return to your stoic self.” I hugged him tightly again, my head resting on his chest. He smelled like myrrh. “It’s not my intent to undo you or who you are. You’re just the biggest mystery life has brought me and I want to figure it out. Not only that…” I looked up at him again, trying not to blush. “You’re hot as hell.”

Daro leaned back on his hand while the other still rested around my waist, a genuine laugh consuming him that was quite rare. I’d never seen him laugh like that for as long as I’d known him.

***

I opened my eyes and I was once again lying face down on the rainbow blanket, Byleth and Lestan’s presence returning. There was no longer a breeze and the dim lighting of my apartment came back into focus, and Daro was kneeling beside me on one knee. He opened his eyes to search me, making sure I was alright before standing and returning to his usual self. Despite everything that had happened just then, there was no sign of him losing his composure. I knew the truth though, and I’d seen a side of him that I suspected none ever had. It was all I could do to keep from grabbing him by the waist and hugging him from where I sat, to which I gave into easily. Byleth’s hum of amusement reached my ears as I clung to Daro tightly.

“Thank you.”

~ ©2018 Shane Blackheart

Ramblings to a Dead Tree

This bit of writing is from an entry I made in my newest journal. I tend to have a bad habit of buying new journals even though I haven’t filled the last, but I also do the same things with books – I haven’t finished half of the ones I own but I MUST have that new book I just found! An antique book? Rare or out of print? Hard to find? Give them all to me. I just add them to the stack of things ‘to do’ that I never get around to. Such is the life of a bibliophile. Being obsessed with antiques makes it worse.

So, I made a commitment to this journal that I have yet to stick to. I haven’t written in it again, but at least I made an effort to start. The cover reads ‘Fucking Brilliant’ anyway, so I figured it would be best for things I thought were… well… fucking brilliant. As is expected of something like that, what I wrote at first did not live up to this goal. It’s an entry from a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share it here regardless, mostly because I managed to weave senseless rambling with flowery words.

***

From May 17, 2018

I got this notebook to jot down genius ideas or stories – to dedicate one notebook to a single subject – yet here I am sitting outside my counselor’s office waiting for my appointment. The sun is out, the weather is hot, and the breeze feels nice in contrast to the sun’s warm rays. I’ve had a rough couple of days so it is welcome. I lost a friend, but I think it was a long time coming. ‘Exes for a reason’ comes to mind. I think I’m just done with people using me for money – using me in general. But that’s not what I wanted to write about. No. I’d intended to draw.

While on the bus, I felt inspired emotionally by a few things that I can’t put words to. I know, how can you be inspired by something that escapes you? Maybe I’m manic or maybe I’m going insane from being perpetually broke the moment my SSI check goes into my account. Maybe I just grip my pencil too god damned hard when I write and the pain distracts me. No matter the reason, here I am, writing drabbles of senseless mind-clusterings. (Is that a word? My word processor didn’t mark it as an error, so a word it is!) Such is the consequence of being a manic erratic creator. I bet this all sounds cringey and stereotypically embarrassing too.

But at least I am writing. Not in pen, but in pencil. Mistakes are my forte’ after all, as is senseless rambling, but I’m becoming self-deprecating. I’m good at that too. And again. Is there even a point to this rambling or is it a way to communicate with a faceless listener due to my loneliness? Although I do have Lestan, Byleth, Daro, and the others – my alters, others, or whatever you’d like to call them – I am physically lonely. All I’ve ever wanted is a physical companion; that hopeless romantic notion of a soul mate for true love. As a transman, I feel that’s impossible, so I converse through graphite with a dead tree.

But I am lonely. I can’t drive and I’m stuck in life with very little – at least I have that little, though. Unfortunately, being a transman who doesn’t look like a lovechild of the Hulk and Chris Evans, along with mental illness and being on disability, as well as having no car, is the recipe for loneliness. No one is interested in who you are anymore. Everyone just wants an easy ticket to romance with no effort and no baggage without realizing that everyone has baggage. Some are just better at hiding it than others.

But it’s time to see my counselor now. Hopefully, good news for top surgery is to follow within the next month or two, and progress with my projects.

[End of entry]

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I’m never really alone to be truthful. I do have my alters or others (I haven’t yet found a good enough word for them that feels ‘right’, although the medical term would be ‘alters’) to keep me company and provide me with companionship. They even give me a nudge and ask to take over when things get to be too much, and usually, I let them. But the physical companionship of another person is often lost with me. I’ve been single for quite a few years now and am still trying to find a date despite my looming failure of it. Life gets lonely no matter how many friends you have and no matter how big your support system is. It’s no replacement for that special kind of relationship that only is shared with one special person – your person (or persons if you are polyamorous).

All of my attempts to confess to people I’ve liked has ended in me never hearing from them again, or them disappearing shortly after. It has made me feel pretty undesirable and unloveable, and I know that it’s popular to say: ‘If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?!’ (thank you, RuPaul), but I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Sometimes a special person is all you need to learn to love yourself, especially when you’ve had a life of others convincing you of how worthless of a person you are and believing it.

I’d like to think I am capable of being loved in that way. I’d like to believe I am desirable and that someone is out there for me, but I’ve given up again. I’m overweight, my teeth are a bit messed up because I broke my jaw when I was thirteen, I’m dysphoric on the best of days and don’t pass as a cisgender man yet, I have mental illness, and I’m on a fixed income due to disability and unable to safely operate a car even though I do have my license.

But I take care of myself. I live on my own and have two awesome cats. I pay my own bills and do my own grocery shopping. I get by. I make art in several different mediums by either sketching or drawing digitally. I have a Youtube channel and I make animations and voice act them, as well as organize everything and write the scripts. I am a writer above all of that and have aspirations of being published one day to be able to have accomplished my dream I’ve had since I was a child.

I love video games, anime, and long conversations about deeper subjects. I have an entire family who also comes along for the ride, although I can only show you them through drawings and voice recordings they’ve come to the forefront to do and not physically. While it seems overwhelming, they’re an awesome bunch who just want to see me live and strive to be the best I can be and to, of course, find what makes me happy. 

I’ve repeated a few times now in this blog that there is so much more to me than my illnesses and my financial situation, as well as the shortcomings in general. But no one wants to get far enough romantically to see any of it. No one sees that as any value compared to the small things that are out of my control. I just wish I could get lucky someday and meet someone and we can have a mutual interest in each other, and the shortcomings will seem so much smaller than the greater things that make us who we really are.

Bear Your Arteries! (Original writing)

(This is a short bit of writing practice I did based off of some Sims 4 gameplay. Lucifuge Rofocale, a demon who lives as a vampire, couldn’t get enough of Bjorn’s blood. So, naturally, I had to write a story about it. MATURE themes ahead! Open-minded older teens & adults only! Link to a related Youtube video based on this story below.)

Bjorn stretched widely upon entering the old yet lavish home. He often visited – usually a few times a week at least. His absence had been much longer this time, however, and Lucifuge had become irritable. The demon who lived as a vampire had no shortage of ‘blood supply’. There was his chosen occupation, which brought many to his home in search of obscure sexual tastes – at times allowing Lucifuge to feed on them. This was a rare occurrence at the best of times and Lucifuge often was left with nothing but monetary compensation for his services, which was the expected outcome anyway. When it came to his particular tastes in blood, though, Bjorn seemed to be the only human who could sate his bloodlust.

The man was of average height with blonde hair that was slicked back just above his shoulders, still short enough to be decent for a human male of his age. His years were beginning to show on his brow and in the soft crow’s feet that were forming on his face. He was of average build but was lazy in his lifestyle and way of dress, often adorned in a beige sweater that fastened in front by a few buttons, a white t-shirt beneath, and a pair of faded dad jeans to complete the image of a sloth of a man. He spoke in a Southern drawl that made Lucifuge cringe with distaste, but despite all of this, at least the man had a redeeming pair of baby blues. Overall, he wasn’t the worst looking man on the planet. He could probably become quite attractive with a few trivial changes here or there, but Bjorn was as he presented himself, which Lucifuge had no control over.

And there the vampire was, focusing on all of this as his hunger for blood grew. He instinctively ran his hand over his silver braid to the side of his shoulder to occupy his hand with something. He knew his eyes were glowing a dark crimson by the way Bjorn seemed to back away from him ever so slightly, which wasn’t the norm. More than likely, his face had also changed due to his dark mood, the lines in his skin much more prominent and the shadows consuming his eyelids. He watched Bjorn as if he were eyeing up his prey and a dark, half-grin stole across his features. “My dear Bjorn, what has you so unnerved?” His dark and sophisticated English accent was clearly taunting, tugging at his guest’s nerves. Bjorn cleared his throat and leaned back against the window as if he were distracted by something outside. A low fog had started to drift about the property line.

“I just… I get nervous sometimes that the wife will catch me. We been doin’ this for a while now, you know? She’s gonna start to wonder where I go all the time at my age.”

“And that is exactly why she won’t suspect a thing. Is it so uncommon for a 40-year-old man to go out with friends to the bar? Play a game of poker or get completely pissed?”

“I got kids too, Lucifuge.” Bjorn sighed and ran a hand down his face. “I just don’t know how long I can keep doin’ this with all that weighing on me. I’m also a straight man.”

“Straight?” Lucifuge burst into laughter, leaning back on the second-floor railing for support. “Call yourself whatever you please, but what we do is far from it.” The vampire waited for his laughter to die down before he eyed the other man with a gaze to make even the most doubtful compliant. There was something within his dark red eyes that caused Bjorn to crumble inside no matter how hard he would try to avoid them. That damnable gaze won every time.

“Just take what you need so I can leave.”

“You love it and you know it. It’s a shame it had to be you, though.” Lucifuge pushed away from the railing and approached his guest, carefully sliding a hand low on the man’s hip and the other to the side of Bjorn’s face that had started to flush. He brought his lips close to ghost across the man’s neck, delighting in the shiver it brought forth. “You’re detestable. Your voice gives me a headache and your very existence irritates me. Yet… “ Lucifuge flicked his tongue out to tease the skin that had just begun to scar from repeated punctures. “I can practically taste your sanguis suavis.”

Bjorn held his breath as he expected the pain to come, but it never did. The vampire seemed to hesitate as he pulled his mouth back, watching Bjorn with interest. “What? Why didn’t you drain me?”

“No, that wouldn’t do for my current mood, I’m afraid.” Lucifuge pushed Bjorn back with force and the man fell onto the red satin sheets covering the lavish bed behind them. “The hunger will make for an interesting session – wouldn’t you agree?”

“You’re scaring me.” Bjorn’s heart threatened to break free from his chest as the vampire crawled over him, pressing their bodies together. Lucifuge’s voice lowered to barely above a whisper as he teased his lips along Bjorn’s ear.

“I must find a way to rekindle your interest. I can’t have you doubting what we have now.”

“Lucifuge…” A sigh escaped Bjorn as the body above him began its torturous dance. He felt utterly powerless and was embarrassed by his growing desire. “We don’t have nothin’ but convenience for you.” He groaned in pain as a clawed hand came up to grab his slightly fuzzy jaw, squeezing as it forced his head to the side to look into a pair of swimming red eyes.

“You can’t hide it from me when we’re like this, you fool. You’re quivering in your boots – which, speaking of…” Lucifuge released the man and sunk low to the floor, pulling both boots from Bjorn’s large feet. He then returned his gaze to the man above him and slid his hands along Bjorn’s thighs as he leaned up on his elbows to watch, the vampire tempting his desires as dark fingers crept higher. Lucifuge slid his tongue across his fangs, toying with Bjorn as his body swayed in an intoxicating spell that soon had the man on the bed gripping at the sheets in anticipation. “There is another artery here…” Lucifuge squeezed high on Bjorn’s thigh and the man forgot to breathe. “… and I’ve yet to try it, although I imagine your blood is rushing elsewhere.” The vampire laughed darkly as the man above him became compliant, falling back onto the bed and closing his eyes. “Speechless?” Lucifuge’s hand crept up to the button on Bjorn’s jeans, flicking it open and dragging down the zipper. “Then let’s begin.”

©2018 Shane Blackheart

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Check out the Sims Machinima I made based on this general story here: Lucifuge & Bjorn – Bear Your Arteries!

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