Friday, August 31, 2018


Welcome to The Boys of Summer 
Release Day Celebration!

The day has finally arrived! Ten years after it started, the first book of the Dust & Ash Saga is now available for download and purchase at Amazon and Smashwords. I can't tell you how exciting the entire process has been for me. It's an incredible feeling to hold a book in your hand after pursuing its publication for so many years. I'm very grateful to everybody who helped make this dream a reality.

Cover Reveal Contest Winners

Congratulations to the three winners from my cover reveal event! You'll be getting emails over the weekend to select and claim your prizes. Thanks so much for being a part of my cover reveal!

Release Event!!

If you didn't win a gift card in the cover reveal event, you have a whole month to register to win one in the release event! There are three ways to enter: like my author page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or leave a comment about your favorite music to hear at a wedding reception. Winners for this contest will be announced here on my blog on September 30th!

As always, thanks to my publishing team for all of their hard work:
Editor: Tricia Kristufek
Cover Design: Lex Valentine @Winterheart
Beta Reader: Sweet D
Marketing: Joe Bone
Formatter: Tricia Kristufek

And thanks to all of you, the readers, who have tagged along on this journey. I hope the published novel is everything you expected, and you'll be back for Book Two, I Know What Boys Like, coming Spring 2019!

Monday, August 20, 2018



The Boys of Summer

Book One of the Dust & Ash Saga


WOO HOO! The preorder is live for ebook, paperback, and Smashwords. If you have any questions or if one of the above links doesn't work for you, drop me a comment and I'll email you the link you need. 

Thanks to my terrific publishing team!!

Editor:  Tricia Kristufek
Cover Art: Lex Valentine @ Winterheart Design
Marketing: Joe Bone
Beta & Proofreading: Sweet D
Formatting: Tricia Kristufek

Friday, August 17, 2018


Welcome to the "Deliciously Wicked" blog relaunch and cover reveal event!


In 2008, I was shopping in Giant Eagle with my partner, R, and Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" started playing over the store PA. At the time I was posting stories pretty regularly on Literotica under the screen name "WickedWendyDru." As I listened to the song, I got the idea to create a story loosely based on the lyrics, a story that would be about summer love and the nostalgia associated with summers as a kid. That amorphous idea became the series "Dust & Ash," which turned out to be my most popular and most read series on Literotica. 

Over the next few years, I grew dissatisfied with Literotica (for many reasons, but mostly because they were having plagiarism problems). I transferred "Dust & Ash" over to a new site, Gay Authors, and began the arduous process of editing and rewriting it, even as the serial continued to grow and won awards. Several times I was sure the series was going to be traditionally published, but each time that goal got close enough to touch, it slipped through my fingers.

In 2014, "Dust & Ash" got put on hold while I dealt with a series of unfortunate events. Our family home was seized through eminent domain and we had to move. R was diagnosed with end-stage bone cancer. In 2015, my girlfriend K was diagnosed with stage 4 endometrial cancer. I ended up writing a short story for a charity anthology that released in June 2016 ("Stardust, Always"), the proceeds of which went to cancer research. That turned out to be ironic, as I was then diagnosed with metastatic thyroid cancer. So in three short years, three of us at the House That Love Built ended up going through the soul-numbing process of surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. K and I made it. R, sadly, did not.

His death pretty much devastated me. We'd been together for twelve years. We were handfasted. If you believe in the concept of soulmates (and I do), he was one of mine. I wrote nothing for a year.

But he'd made me promise him I'd publish, and that promise weighed pretty heavily on me. I didn't want to write, or edit, and I certainly didn't want to tackle the huge realm of self-publishing by myself. Enter Grace R. Duncan.

Grace and I worked together on the Free Fiction Friday project, and after the 2016 elections, she put together a charity anthology for The Trevor Project and GLAAD ("Resist & Triumph"). I ended up writing a story for it and editing it, and during the process of putting it together, Grace learned about my promise. She's spent most of the last year and a half gently but firmly guiding me towards...


The cover reveal for the first book of The Dust & Ash Saga, The Boys of Summer!

Isn't it glorious?? The cover was designed by Lex Valentine at Winterheart and features the character Dustin. 

The saga will be a set of six novels, including the never-before-published conclusion to the story of Dust & Ash. Each novel will feature a different character on the cover. Though the "original" story will continue to be available on Gay Authors (in the Premium area), the novels will feature new material as well as tighter, more cohesive storylines.

So here's how this is going to work. The Cover Reveal Event will last until Sunday night. On Monday, the novel will be available for pre-order on both Amazon and Smashwords. The official release date for The Boys of Summer is Friday, August 31, 2018.

Official Blurb for The Boys of Summer:

Ash Redvers, the lead singer of a family owned and operated wedding band, deals with the sudden need to replace his drummer after an unexpected accident. When Dustin Davis shows up ready, willing, and able to play - not to mention gorgeous - Ash thinks it's going to be the best season yet. But Ash has never had a boyfriend, and Dust isn't willing to be a quick hookup. As the summer heats up, they'll have to decide whether all they can make together is music, or if there's something more for them after the Boys of Summer are gone.


Seriously, this has been ten years in the making. Not so long ago, I wasn't even sure that I'd be here now, much less be publishing D&A on my own. It's scary and exhilarating and absolutely wonderful... And I really love sharing it with all of you, especially those of you who've been around since the beginning.

To show that appreciation in a more tangible way, there are prizes to win during this event, and there will be more prizes to win over Labor Day weekend during the release event. Here are the details!

*The relaunch/cover event will run from noon on Friday, August 17, 2018 until midnight on Sunday, August 19, 2018. 

*To be eligible to win prizes, you must leave a comment on the post that includes 1.) Your favorite thing about summer, and 2.) your email address.

*Full list of winners will be posted on the blog, and winners will be contacted to claim their prizes by August 31, 2018.

Thanks so much to all of my readers and especially to the amazing team of people who helped make this possible: Grace R. Duncan, Joe Bone (aka Mr. Grace), Tricia Kristufek, Sweet D, and Lex Valentine. You guys are rock stars in your own right, and I'm so grateful to you all.

LEAVE A COMMENT to win, PRE-ORDER on Monday, and come on back AUGUST 31 for more prizes!!

Friday, November 25, 2016


Happy Black Friday, friends! If you've decided to take time out from your mad shopping to read a bit, then I hope you enjoy the second portion of my NaNo novel. As you may have guessed from last week's intro, this story is pretty heavily sci-fi/fantasy. I promise it is LGBTQ, and there is extremely hot sex in it. But like all good things, you'll have to wait for it! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and I wish you luck as you scavage for your holiday treasures.

* * * *

As expected, an unmarked Cuernos City police cruiser waited outside my gate. I triggered the security with a thought and followed the car inside. The yelling started before I'd even hopped out of the truck.

"Goddammit Daugh! You're a menace!"

Lieutenant Shawn "Brass" Braschelli had probably been on his way home when my little chase turned into the lead on the evening news feed. I keyed the security on the house and didn't pause on my way inside. He followed me.

"Broad daylight! During rush hour!"

I paused just long enough to open my weapons vault, Brass still behind me.

"Ignoring me won't make me go away, you know."

The safari rifle would've been a better choice, but the Remington 700 was ready to go with .30-06 silver shot. I plucked it from its rack and closed the vault door.

"Shooting me won't fix this either," he said. "The Chief will just appoint somebody else to sweep up after you."

I headed for my practice room. Brass actually growled.

"You rack up more property damage than a damn hurricane, you know that?"

I settled onto a stool and used the Remington to point at another. Brass sat down heavily, shoulders sagging. I regarded him and managed to keep the smile off my face.

"We don't get hurricanes here."

"One of the few pluses to living in The Horns." Brass pulled a vapestick from his pocket and held it up. "You care?"


He took a long pull off it and exhaled a plume of blue mist. We didn't talk for the next five minutes as he sucked relaxation from his adult pacifier. Finally, he sat up on the stool and squared his shoulders.

"Ricky told me you got it."


"I'll let the families know."


"You'll talk to the therries?"

"Yeah." I rested the butt of the rifle on my thigh. Brass scrubbed one hand over his face and sighed.

"There gonna be trouble over this?"

"No. They'd already named him rogue."

"Did you have to destroy the Freedom Mosaic?" Brass looked pained.

"It's replaceable."

"Every time you say that it creates another stack of paperwork for my desk."

"I'm the gift that keeps on giving."

"Oh yeah. Damage to city property. Damage to private property." Brass used the vapestick to tick my gifts to him off his fingers. "Medical claims, workers comp claims, psych claims, future psych claims." He assumed a mournful expression that could've earned him money a few hundred years earlier. "I may never dig out from under this one, Jon. Who knew one rogue therry could cause so m–"

Brass's voice cut off as I leveled the gun at his head.

"Don't. Move."

Brass's pupils expanded and the acrid scent of his sweat stung my nose. Time slowed to a crawl. I stared down the Remington's sights and fine-tuned my aim. A single drop of sweat beaded up on Brass's forehead as I increased the pressure on the rifle's trigger. My eastern-most wall imploded, wood splintering as the polymer and metal frame disintegrated. The booming of my gun, a good six inches to the right of Brass's skull, was swallowed up in the implosion.

A half-shifted wolf collapsed to the floor amid the wreckage of my wall. My security system blared. I projected the shut-off sequence and stood, surveying the damage.

Brass sat perfectly still, mouth wide, entire body shaking with his desire to run–but he didn't. He was the best handler I'd ever had, by far. I stepped around him, the Remington resting against my right shoulder. I pulled a Glock and turned this wolf into a twin of the last one.

"They mate for life." I glanced at Brass, who remained motionless. "The body count and amount of flesh missing from the kills was too high for it to be just one rogue." Holstering the handgun, I stepped over the corpse. "I haven't slept in three days. Take care of this mess and submit paperwork to have my house fixed."

I paused at the doorway and looked back at Brass.

"You can move now."

* * * *

Tarik Washington lived in Amanecer, the wealthiest neighborhood in Los Cuernos. I had to pass through three separate gates before I could even see the house, which sprawled out over an entire city-block. The rising sun hovered at the base of the mountains for which the city was named, reddish-orange beams creeping up the tall points of "The Horns" to reclaim the darkness. It had been a long night.

I drove slowly, taking in as much detail as I could. The best private security personnel money could buy dotted the property, openly armed, and psi-webs glittered in the dawn light. Washington was the last member of an old family, famous as much for his perpetual bachelor status as he was for the sculptures he created and sold. One thing was for sure, though. Tarik Washington was afraid of something. This place was an air-tight fortress. I turned my engine off and pocketed the keys.

Ike Vicente waited for me. I hadn't seen Ike since he gave up hunting for Pico Corto five years earlier. I'd heard he went into private security, but his phone call a few hours earlier had been a surprise. There's not a lot that a half human-half vampire–who used to hunt the largest city in the southwest–found challenging, much less unmanageable.


"Jon." He didn't offer a hand to shake and neither did I. We walked toward the double doors, each maintaining our personal space. "Thanks for coming."

I nodded. My eyes took in the tech. I'd never seen its equal on a private residence; it was better than mine. Anything that could penetrate the security on this place was serious. The spot between my shoulder blades tingled.

The entryway of the Washington estate had been built to replicate a cathedral commons room. Sculptures in every medium occupied the space: some of them floated in mid-air, others grew from the walls and windows. The effect was awe-inspiring and far more impressive than the CAM. I took in the ornate stone archways that led to the three wings of the house, and again noted the tech that should've made this place impenetrable. The tingle between my shoulders intensified, and I felt Ike's eyes on me.

"Amazing, huh?"

I nodded again.

A man emerged from somewhere down the main hallway. The lasers from the surveillance devices and psi-webs lit up his pale hair. It was a silvery sort of blond that didn't match his youthful features. I put him at about twenty-two years old. He was thin, and had the kind of build that could be deceptively strong. He moved like he owned everything around him, but I knew he wasn't Tarik Washington. Tarik was biracial, and this guy was very Caucasian. I caught the slightest twitch from Ike as the man approached us. Interesting. Ike didn't like him.

"Mr. Blagden," Ike said. "This is Jon Daugh, the man I recommended. Jon, this is Mr. Colgate Blagden." He paused, then added, "The fifth."

Blagden eyed me like I was a piece of bio-mech hardware he was considering for implantation. I remained mute. The silence stretched out, and that tingle between my shoulder blades became a burning itch. It felt like I had a thorn or cactus spine between my shirt and my shoulder holster. I ignored it.

Colgate Blagden the fifth finally nodded at me.

"Is Mr. Washington awake?" Ike asked.

"Yes. I'll take you back."

We followed Blagden to the main archway. He keyed us through the security webs and we headed down the long hallway.

"Who did the tech arrays?" I asked, voice low.

"I did." Ike motioned to the webs with one hand. "Cricket Cane did the installations."

Well shit. Cricket was the best psion on this side of the country. What in the world had I walked into?

We reached a pair of doors carved from a rich, vibrant hardwood. The detail of the intricate forest scene was stunning. As I watched, a sylph swam through the grain of the wood and vanished behind a cloud. I blinked behind the black lenses and focused. Psi-tech on the door dancing over the surface of the wood was ingeniously disguised as three-dimensional animated art. I tilted my head at Ike.


"My idea, her gift."

I nodded. I'd never seen anything like it. Then again, the government didn't have as much money as Tarik Washington.

Blagden released the security on the heavy double doors and pushed them open. Ike and I followed him into what turned out to be a massive bedroom. Bed chamber was probably a more accurate description. A huge stained glass bed dominated the center of the room. Its iron framework was as much sculpture as it was support for the mattress. Blagden rushed over to the bed, his pale face suddenly flushed. He scrambled up onto one side and reached for somebody buried under acres of snowy white linens.

When I finally got a look at Tarik Washington, my first thought was that he was dying. His milk chocolate-colored skin had an odd ashen cast, and it was shrink-wrapped to his skeleton. I'd seen nocturna-virus victims who looked healthier then Tarik.

"Baby?" Blagden used a completely different voice to speak to Tarik. "Are you awake?"

"Of course I'm awake." Tarik struggled to push himself up on his elbows. He collapsed with a wheezing curse. Ike moved with the scary-quick speed of a born-vampire and propped Tarik up with half a dozen of the pillows heaped at the head of the bed. Blagden pursed his lips.

"Mr. Washington," Ike said. "This is Jon Daugh."

Whatever else was wrong with Tarik Washington, his eyesight was just fine. He looked me over with a critical gaze.

"Is that some sort of joke?" he asked. "John Doe?"

"A safeguard," I said. Washington's brow furrowed.


"Names are important."

Washington considered that, and finally nodded. He looked at Ike.

"Can he do anything you haven't already done?"

"If I didn't think Jon could help, I wouldn't have suggested we call him." Ike gestured to his suit-covered frame and then at me in my tactical gear. "I specialize in protection, sir. Jon specializes in hunting."

"Are you good at it?" Washington stared right at my lens implants. He was definitely direct, and I liked that.

"I'm still alive."

"Are you a halfbreed like Ike?" Blagden asked, one hand petting Tarik's arm.

I caught the slightest twinge from Ike as Blagden said, halfbreed. Mr. Colgate Blagden the fifth was a species purist, as I suspected.

"Col, that's so rude." Tarik's voice was weaker and his eyelids fluttered. He looked on the verge of unconsciousness.

"Stay awake, baby. Please." Blagden gripped Tarik's arm, and then looked at me. "Can you help him?"

"That's what I do."

* * * *

Once again, thanks so much for reading! Comments are, as always, craved and appreciated. 

Be Sure To Check Out The Other Stories:

Follow all your favorites and read the first 100 words on the group’s website: 

Friday, November 18, 2016


Hey folks, welcome back. It's November, which means we're just past the mid-point of National Novel Writing Month. While I'm slightly behind on my word count, I decided sharing the work would be good motivation, so that's today's bit of free fiction. Enjoy!

* * * *

Traffic was jammed up tight on Alvarado. If this thing thought it could elude me by dashing into rush hour, it was about to learn the true definition of "bad decision." I leapt from car to car, both guns drawn as I pursued the rogue werewolf that I'd been hunting for a month.  

I got a good sightline and fired. The crack of the gunshot was very loud. My silver bullet sliced through fur and muscle to embed in bone. The werewolf slammed onto the top of a compact car with a roar of fury. Safety glass spider-webbed and bulged from the windows as the car's roof gave way under the beast's weight, and panicked screams from inside the vehicle joined the sounds of rush hour traffic.

"Hunter, are you still in pursuit?"

"Southbound on Alvarado."

"Brass wants you out of there. We have civilian injury reports incoming."

The comm implant was new tech. It had taken me several days to get used to hearing voices in my head, and several more to learn how to broadcast my thoughts in response to Cuernas Central Command's messages. The very first thing I learned, though, was how to ignore the damn thing, and that's what I did now. I'd tracked this rogue wolf for almost a month. Seven people were dead. That left a lot of grieving families and friends. No way was I giving up.

The shot to the werewolf's leg had slowed it some. I was gaining on it. As people bailed out of vehicles and ran for their lives, I took aim and squeezed off another three rounds. The werewolf jerked and yelped in pain as the silver bullets burrowed deep and burned. It landed heavily on the sidewalk, rolled, and turned down Revolution Boulevard.

"West on Revolution." I leapt, grabbed the pole of a street light, swung down onto the sidewalk, and hit the ground running. "Request air support."

"Denied. SWAT is inbound. Disengage, Hunter."

"Not gonna happen."

Yelling and screaming echoed off the downtown buildings. Terrified people scattered pell-mell to avoid the very large, rampaging werewolf and the gun-toting guy chasing it.

"Move!" I bellowed. I leapt over a downed civilian and kept running. My boots pounded against the concrete, the sun glinting off my silver toe guards.

I hit Revolution and rounded the corner in time to see the rogue plow through the intricate ceramic tile mosaic that framed the Cuernas Art Museum's main entrance. Shit. Brass was gonna be pissed.

"PWT has entered the CAM."

A familiar voice hit my skull like a bell's clapper.

"Goddammit Daugh! Stand down!"

"Hey Brass. Where's SWAT?"

"Five minutes out. Do not enter–"       

I dashed through the huge hole in the Cuernas Art Museum, the crunching of ceramic tile and glass under my boots obscuring the rest of Brass's mandate. It looked like a bomb had gone off in the lobby. Bits and pieces of sculpture were scattered everywhere and people huddled against the walls. Everything reeked of blood, terror, and chaos.

I zeroed in on the blood trail. It led through the lobby and over to an impressive set of marble stairs leading up. The second floor overlooked the lobby area. Shrieks bouncing off the vaulted ceiling combined with wood splintering, metal groaning, and glass shattering to form a symphony of destruction. I holstered my Glocks and took the stairs two at a time.

I reached the top as a sickening crunch cut off a shriek. Every hunter knows what bones sound like when they break; few know what a rogue in a feeding frenzy sounds like, though. Not many live long after hearing it. The growling and slurping as the wolf tore into his victim made my mouth go dry. Devouring humans was strictly taboo among the therianthrope communities. It was a crime punishable by death. Sweat trickled along my hairline and dripped onto my ear, and my lungs burned from the chase. I pushed the fatigue down. If I didn't finish this now, then when the moon rose tonight, the shifters would take over the city and hunt the rogue themselves.

Crouching behind the upper banister, I reached into my breast pocket and removed a small diaphragm. I slipped it into my mouth intending to moisten it, but my mouth was still dry as dust. I sucked at the thing until I had enough saliva to use it, and then got it situated behind my teeth against the roof of my mouth. The wet gulping sounds had subsided some. I was running out of time.

I scanned around and spotted blood on a nearby column. A body lay motionless on the floor in a pool of blood.

"Second floor CAM, at least two DOI." I sent the thought to CCC as I drew my heavier guns.

"Hunter, Brass is on his way down there."

I rolled my eyes. By the time Brass got here this would be all over save for the cleanup. The museum's air-conditioning kicked on with a thrum and I swore silently. If the rogue hadn't already scented me, it had now.

Stepping free of cover, I raised my 45s as I took a deep breath. I exhaled hard through the mouth-call. Its whistle rent the air. The werewolf dropped a partially eaten, mangled body to the floor, threw its head back, and roared in agony, paws over its ears. I blew another blast and it howled, whirling to face me with its teeth bared.

"Engaging PWT."

"Wait for–"

The werewolf charged.

I emptied both guns, twenty-two rounds of silver hollow-points punching into the wolf's center mass. With one last very human-sounding bellow, it staggered sideways and tumbled over the second floor railing, dropping fifty feet to slam into the lobby flooring. Blood splattered wetly and a cloud of dust billowed up.

I stared down at the mess and ejected my empty clips. Reloading, I watched for any movement. I couldn't really tell from up here. Better safe than sorry. I holstered the HK45s and vaulted over the railing. For one brief blissful moment I experienced the rush of free fall, and then I landed hard. The marble floor cracked under my boots and the force of terminal velocity rolled up through my body, which absorbed it the way it always did. The same jump would've maimed or possibly killed a normal human, but I wasn't normal. I was a hunter.

I approached the mangled pile of fur. Instinct took over. I pulled a Glock and the head disintegrated. The empty magazine sprang free and I reloaded. When nothing twitched, I holstered the gun and removed the mouth call. Crunching drew my attention to the main entrance. SWAT had finally shown up.

As soon as Ricardo, the leader of the ten-man team, saw the downed rogue, he lowered his weapon and his gaze. A lot of people had lens implants these days, but I'm told mine look especially sinister. They hid my bio-eyes, and that was more important to me than ultraviolet light protection.

"Hey Ricky," I said. "You're late."

"Daugh." He nodded at me in greeting. "You're causing all kinds of headaches today."

I shrugged. Small talk wasn't my thing.  

"All clear?" he asked.

"At least two dead or infected on the second floor."

"Lefferts. Mendez." Ricky signaled with his free hand. "Secure the dead or infected." Two members of the team headed for the stairs. "The rest of you secure the first floor. DOIs are our first priority."

Castlerock, also known as "Rook" and Ricardo's partner, strolled up, surveyed the remains, and whistled low through her teeth. "It hasn't reverted to human form."

"Rogues don't." I checked my weapons, and then nodded to Ricky. "Scene's all yours." I turned toward the massive hole in the entryway.

"Orders are for you to stay put."

"You want to try to detain me?" I directed the full force of my stare onto Ricardo. The red and blue lights from beyond the entrance danced and skittered across my black lens implants. I shifted my weight just enough to draw attention to my hands resting on the 45s at my waist. He took a step back.

"Just passing it along."

"Uh huh."

"It was pretty." Rook gazed wistfully at the demolished mosaic and shook her head.

"It's replaceable."

I strode through the lobby. When I hit the street I double-timed it back to my truck. A black-and-white had parked in front of me. I wasn't really surprised. I'd jumped the curb pursuing the rogue and was parked on a patch of sidewalk in front of prime downtown real estate. The cop, who I didn't recognize, gulped audibly when he saw me. His ticket book disappeared.

"Thanks for handling traffic," I said.

"I'll move the car."

"Sure. I'd hate to have to drive over it."

He scrambled for the cruiser and I chuckled. I had a special license for the vintage Land Cruiser FJ40 truck I drove. It ran on diesel gasoline and a lot of it. I figured my work as Las Cuernas's resident hunter more than made up for my truck's contributions to the city's air pollution problem. I swung up into the driver's seat. It started up with a rumbling purr and I headed for home.

* * * *

Once again, thanks so much for reading! Comments are, as always, craved and appreciated. 

Be Sure To Check Out The Other Stories:

Follow all your favorites and read the first 100 words on the group’s website: 

Friday, July 22, 2016


Welcome back to Free Fiction Fridays. Though it's a little later than I planned, I hope you enjoy Part 2 of Capturing Dominus.

* * * *

Micah drained the Stolichnaya vodka bottle. He dangled it over the passenger seat before dropping it. The thunk as it hit the floorboard wasn't half as satisfying as the growl and rumble when he revved the engine. Despite downing all the alcohol he could find, he wasn't anywhere close to thrashed. He needed to be fucked up. He needed drugs. 

As the automatic garage door slowly rose, Micah revved the engine again. The Ferrari purred like a big cat. Tears leaked from the corners of Micah's eyes. He ignored them. He'd known Dominus had sex with people at the club. Hell, other doctors called him "Dr. Fuck" because of his specialty as a clinical sexologist.

Knowing something and seeing it were two different things.

Micah eased his foot off the clutch and gave the Italian sports car gas. It lunged forward like a hungry panther. Despite his tears, Micah grinned. If Dominus wouldn't give him a ride, Micah would take one. He gripped the steering wheel tightly and ignored the painful twinge in his heart.

"Fuck him."

The car shot out of the garage. Micah had driven numerous other cars, but never a Ferrari. It was black, like all of Dominus's favorite toys. Micah whipped it around the long driveway and out onto Broadway, narrowly missing several other cars. He laughed crazily. The Ferrari cornered like it was on rails.

Micah shifted like a pro and accelerated along Broadway. The speed helped; the further Micah got from Pacific Heights, the better he felt. He hung a right on Hyde Street and roared down to Market at a ridiculous speed. The tires squealed as he hooked a hard left, heading for whatever dealer he could find.

A quick stop at 4th and Howard put a bundle of magic in his hand. Micah didn't even pull over. He opened one bag, jammed a straw in it, and snorted hard as he drove. He tore open a second little envelope. His eyes were tearing again, but this time it was accompanied by a warm, stinging rush of euphoria. At the very next stop light, Micah did his second bag of coke.

By the time he made it to the Tenderloin, his entire face was numb.

Micah at 14

Cruising in the Ferrari was a trip. Micah ignored the shouts, whistles, and catcalls. Plenty of hookers, hustlers, dealers and thugs roamed this area. He knew most of them by name.

Micah had been a ward of the state before he was out of diapers. He bounced between his mother and various foster homes until she overdosed when he was five. Micah ran away for the first time at six; by the time he turned eight, he'd spent more time on the street than anywhere else. Sticky fingers landed him in front of a family court judge at ten. Subsequent arrests for theft, delinquency, truancy, drug possession, distribution, and soliciting assured his spot on the California Youth Authority rolls. Hell, he was still on probation for his last solicitation rap.

Dominus hadn't cared about any of that. He brought Micah home, cleaned him up, treated him like a human being. Micah waited to be hit, or fucked, or turned over to others for one or both, but it never happened. Gregos Kalogeros didn't want anything from him, and the more time Micah spent in the man's house, the deeper Micah fell. He was fully, totally, terribly in love with Dominus: the only man who didn't want him. The scene from the club flashed through Micah's mind and despair almost crushed him.

Micah gripped the steering wheel so tight his knuckles turned white. He swallowed several times to force the bitter cocaine drip down his throat. Fuck Dominus.

Micah scanned the sidewalk. He was really fucking soaring. Blinking repeatedly to clear his eyes, he thought he saw a friend walking down the other side of the street in the opposite direction. Without a second thought, Micah ran a red light and whipped the Ferrari into a tight U-turn.

He never saw the truck in the intersection, or the SUV parked near the convenience store. He definitely didn't see the store employee wiping fingerprints off the market's door. All Micah saw were the stars when his head hit the windshield.

* * * *

"Try not to move."

Dominus's voice reached out and caressed Micah's ears like a swatch of velvet. He licked his lips and had to work very hard to open his eyes. As he did, his head exploded with sharp, throbbing pain. The whimper slipped free before he could bite it back, and Micah swore.

"Micah?" Dominus reached out and took Micah's hand. "You're at SF General. Stop moving."

"I'm not!" A wave of nausea swept over him and he tried to roll. Vicious pain took his head and chest at the same time, and Micah vomited spectacularly.

"Twenty-five milligrams of Phenergan, please."

"Do you want restraints?"


Hands were everywhere. Somebody wiped Micah's mouth and body. His body came up, dirty linen vanished, and he settled onto clean sheets. The fouled gown disappeared and cool air swirled over Micah's entire body before a warm gown covered him. Whatever Phenergan was, Micah was glad for it. The nausea vanished and some of the throbbing in his head eased. He made the effort to open his eyes again.

"Hospital?" he asked. His mouth tasted terrible.

"Yes. You're at SF Gen. You need to hold still."

Dr. Fuck

Micah managed to focus on Dominus's face. His foster father looked as serious as Micah had ever seen him. Serious, beautiful, and untouchable.

The ache in Micah's chest grew almost unbearable.

Dominus lifted a cup with a straw and Micah took a few sips of tepid water. It wasn't enough to wash the awful taste from his mouth, but it helped. 

"What happened?" he whispered.

"You tell me."

"I–I took your car."

Dominus said nothing, though he picked Micah's hand back up and held it in both of his.

"Did I hit something?" Micah's eyes drooped, but he squeezed Dominus's hand like it was all he had in the world.

"Several somethings." Dominus's voice was even and calm. "Also several someones."

Micah's eyes snapped open and found Dominus's face again. The answer to the question Micah wanted to ask, but couldn't, was right there in Dominus's eyes. Now in addition to his pounding head and aching heart, Micah had an awful emptiness in his gut.

"You have a serious closed head injury." Dominus reached up and gently wiped Micah's tears away. "Seven fractured ribs. Two fractured metacarpals. Four fractured phalanges. Thirteen stitches in your scalp. Extensive contusions to your torso." Dominus brushed his hand down Micah's cheek. "You're very lucky to be alive."

"Sure. Lucky."

"Rest. You're going to be here for a day or two."

Every breath Micah took hurt like he was being stabbed. His left hand was splinted and wrapped, but he wasn't aware of it. All his pain receptors were maxed out. He surreptitiously moved his feet, and then frowned at Dominus.

"No cuffs?"


"Why not?"

"Are you going to run?" Dominus's eyes bored into Micah. "Would you…run from me?"

A long moment passed as they stared at each other. Micah finally broke the silence.


Dominus raised Micah's uninjured hand to his lips and pressed a kiss to the bruised skin of his knuckles.

"We have many things to discuss. For now, rest."


"I'm not going anywhere, Micah."

Micah closed his eyes, held on to Dominus's hand, and wept.

* * * *

Once again, thanks so much for reading! Comments are, as always, craved and appreciated. 

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