Loose Id: $4.79
All Romance: $4.49
This is pretty cool, because I was putting words on the sequel last night. Poor Glyn. That wolf of his is like that one friend that’s always right about stuff, but never knows when to shut up.
I sent this to the Editor in Question the other day, as we were batting around ideas for lightening the mood in the second part of Bite Me. We’re heading for 90K now. *shakes head*
Glyn licked the last of the grease off his fingers and wondered when the hell KFC had become an option for supper. For that matter, eating on the couch, with his head in Levi’s lap, instead of at the perfectly good dining table he owned. He tipped his head back to look up at Levi, happily devouring another deep-fried heart attack disguised as chicken.
It was tasty, though. Still, he needed to do something to derail this descent into trailer park living. “Where’s the laptop?”
Levi swallowed, and said, “Kitchen, I think.”
Glyn thought about it for a moment, but he was far too comfortable here. “What about my phone?”
“Side table. You want it?”
“I’ll get it. Your hands are greasy.”
“And yours aren’t?”
“But they’re my hands.” Shamelessly, he crawled across Levi’s lap, hanging over the arm of the couch to poke at the phone. Out of habit, and because it was fun and he was part witch, he pressed himself against Levi’s thigh harder than was truly necessary.
Levi tossed a stripped bone into the box on the coffee table and grabbed Glyn’s ass with both hands. “Don’t mind if I do.”
Glyn jumped. “Fido, I hope you wiped your hands before you did that. That’s virgin wool.” Glyn craned his neck in an attempt to assess the damage.
“Not anymore.” Levi cocked his head to one side, very much in the manner of his wolf, and eyed Glyn’s ass speculatively. “I suppose I could lick it off.” He squeezed the muscle and grinned.
“Be my guest,” Glyn said as he turned back to the phone. The Times had a section on what was playing at the theatre. It had been a while since he’d gone anywhere except work and home. “Ouch, Fido. Fewer teeth please. I have to sit on that later.”
Still a few tweaks to tweak, but very much the fun side of Glyn. 😀
Pop over to Inlinks to catch all the links to all the stories! I went literal with the concept of Summer Madness, by the way, instead of writing a summer fling. But when witches are involved, it’s all madness. 🙂
Glyn turned from wiping up the countertop and nearly jumped out of his skin. “Gram!” After silence for half a year, he’d been sure he’d been cast off. But here she was, and it lifted a weight from his heart he hadn’t entirely acknowledged.
“Hello, Glynnie.” She stood in the doorway of his and Levi’s new kitchen, like a beam of sunshine transplanted indoors. “You moved.”
He smiled and hung the cloth over the handle on the oven door. ‘“I did.” Edges lined up just so, the middle row of checks exactly in the center of the handle. The more structured his environment, the less his craziness tried to break free of the bonds he placed on it. As the pattern of the cloth aligned, Glyn’s witchblood settled back into his new normal—slightly agitated and precariously balanced between sanity and witchiness.
“It seems rather…plain. Do you need money?”
“I’m fine, Gram. We only finished building a couple of weeks ago. I’m still decorating.”
“You may call on the coven at need. For anything.”
The tone of her voice raised his hackles. “I’m telling the truth.” He spun to face her, only to be brought up short by the look on her face.
She lifted his chin with one hand, examining his face, his expression. A faint tingle raced over his skin as she read his energy. “You didn’t do it.”
“I would have. I was going to.” Glyn looked away. He’d been willing to trade his free will for Levi.
She frowned, her eyes darkening from spring leaf to summer moss. “What changed your mind?”
“I didn’t.” An unaccustomed flush rose in his cheeks.
“Then what happened?”
“Levi poured it out.” Glyn had been willing, but Levi hadn’t.
Her eyes widened. “He did? So he does love you.”
“Of course he does. He wouldn’t put up with my shit if he didn’t.” She still hadn’t explained why she’d come in person.“Gram, you could have seen this just looking back. Why did you come here to ask me?”
“Oh, Glynnie. I love you. Of all my grandchildren, you’re my favorite.” She glanced away, and a rare glimmer of discomfort flickered across her face. “I should have come earlier, but I didn’t want to see you like that. No witch should live in such a fashion, bound in faerie chaine.” Her gaze met his again. “Even to someone who loves them.”
“He wouldn’t have hurt me.”
She stroked his cheek again. “You were always such a trusting child.”
Glyn rolled his eyes, an old habit he thought he’d given up years ago. “Gram.”
Her eyes danced, and she smiled at him with a witch’s smile, wild as the north wind and careless as the south. “Well, that doesn’t matter anymore. I think we should celebrate.”
Shit. “No, it’s okay—” But it was already too late. Her blood called to him, and his gleefully slipped its bonds, rising to join its voice to hers.
* * * *
Levi closed the truck door and reached in the back to grab the picnic basket he’d picked up for cheap on the way home. He’d started swinging by yard sales whenever he saw one—it helped with the limited decorating budget. Glyn never said a word, but the man had lived in a Central Park condo. Levi knew in his bones what a come-down their current situation was. New house or not.
As he got closer to the front door, he heard the rapid beat of a drum. Not rock music, which wasn’t Glyn’s style anyway, but something more exotic. Maybe African? Had the stubborn witch finally given in and spent money on something that wasn’t absolutely essential? The thought brought a smile to Levi’s lips as he walked through the door.
His excited greeting died half-formed at the kitchen door. The first thing he saw was Glyn, stark naked and laughing hard enough tears streamed down his cheeks. The walls were covered in something that looked like hieroglyphics, the same color as the paint splashed so decoratively over Glyn’s body.
The next thing he noticed was a willowy blonde, sitting on the floor with her back against the refrigerator, a set of bongos cradled within the nest of her crossed legs. She reminded him of Glyn, something in the graceful lines of her body and the way she moved as she tapped the surface of the drums.
A chair danced by, smacking his ankle sharply as it pirouetted in front of him, before galloping across the room to dart underneath the table. A table which stomped ponderously around the edges of the room like a near-sighted elephant with gout.
“Levi!” Glyn whooped in delight and spun over to him. His eyes practically glowed, and an eerie not-quite-human aura surrounded him. “My grandmother is here! Come dance.” He laughed madly and led Levi into the center of the room, singing off-key in some language that wasn’t English or Spanish.
“What’s going on?”
“We’re celebrating!” He hooked his arms around Levi’s neck and practically swung off him. “Somebody’s overdressed.” He let go of Levi and attacked the buttons of his workshirt.
Levi fended him off and looked at the woman. “And you are?”
“I just told you—that’s Gram.” Glyn struggled against Levi’s grip. “Oh, are we playing?” He laughed, and now that he was listening for it, Levi could hear something else in his voice. Magic, maybe? He’d heard Glyn go witchy before in a bad way, but he’d never heard him happy and drunk on power. His lover was normally locked down so tight.
Levi thought he could grow to like this side of Glyn.
“So this is the man my grandson loves.” The blonde—how could she be Glyn’s grandmother?—threw her arms around the two of them and made all three sway in time to the bongos, which played themselves on the floor at their feet.
She smelled like Glyn, a wildness like the call of the forest at full moon. He wasn’t particularly interested in women, but even so, his body reacted to her.
“He looks good in clothes, Glyn. What does he look like out of them?” she said.
Levi jumped back as she started tugging at the waistband of his jeans. “Glyn!” he protested.
Glyn laughed and kissed him. “Gram, mine!” Glyn pushed her hands away, only to replace them with his own.
She reached again for Levi’s clothing, giggling as she did. Glyn shoved Levi behind him and grappled playfully with her. Her laugh was joyful and happy and felt like a warm summer night with pack all around. It was like Glyn, a hundred times over.
But he’d be damned if he was going to let her undress him.
Glyn appeared to have the same idea. He shoved gently at the blonde and chivvied her toward the door. “Goodbye, Gram. You’ve seen him. Now it’s time to leave.”
“Such a greedy child.”
“Blood tells. Bye, Gram.”
Her laugh floated down the hall, the door slammed, and they were alone.
Glyn came back into the kitchen. “Celebrate,” he said and jumped on Levi.
Levi kissed him. “Celebrate. And tomorrow we can clean the paint off the walls.”
Finished out at 79, 400 words. It probably won’t stop there, but it was a whopper of a story. It’s entirely possible we may cut some chapters before we’re done, but that will have to wait for editorial comment.
In the meantime, I’m feeling a bit at loose ends. I shouldn’t feel like I still owe words, because I wrote 3000 today alone, went through the manuscript twice, and completely rewrote the ending. But I do. I guess because I’ve never shut down LSB before 10 pm in a long time.
I think, for tonight, I shall have a bath, read a book, and play a bunch of Tapped Out. I’m grinding for cash and Stonecutter emblems. Woohoo!
Back to near the beginning of the story. I should be turning this in by the end of the month. I added another chapter today, so we’re at 22 now, and looking to finish out at something close to 72 or 73 K. Which, as anyone who knows me can tell you, probably means that the final manuscript will be closer to 80K.
Every time I touch these things, they get longer. (Go ahead and giggle. I did. 🙂 )
So, after the bite, before the ‘everything else’:
Trevor followed Zachary’s orders to the word. There were never any fewer than four people in the cabin with Levi, and he was never left alone, even in the bathroom. He was fed, often, and sent to bed whenever he showed an inclination to roam.
“Rest. You’ll need your strength,” they told him, over and over.
“I’m fine,” he’d growl. At first, they’d just laugh at him and manhandle him to wherever they wanted him. By noon the next day, the laughter had mostly stopped, and by late afternoon, they’d taken to shooting questioning glances at each other every time they redirected him.
By the way, probably the last one for this book. Gotta keep something for later, right? 😀
I need to be wary of this turning into a darling, but it was so unexpected and funny I wanted to share it.
Glyn smiled back at him and plotted a distraction. One more movie filled with explosions and random violence, and he was going to hotwire a car himself and go on a rampage—to the theatre. “Depends. Maybe I can interest you in something different?”
Levi slouched to bring his head on a level with Glyn’s and sipped at his beer. “What are you thinking of?”
Glyn raised his glass to his lips and contemplated the man sitting next to him. “Anything without car chases.”
“I like chasing cars.”
Delighted, Glyn sat up and put his wine safely out of harm’s way. “Fido, did you just make a joke?”
You would think, after all this time, I would recognize that when a chapter isn’t working for me, it’s probably a point of view error.
Nope. To parody Writing Excuses: “Fifteen hours, because no one can see it happening and I’m not that smart.” I’ve spent the past three days tweaking and rearranging this chapter, making it incrementally better with each change. Yet, no matter what I did, I was still unsatisfied.
I was driving home from paying the vet bill today when I realized that this chapter needs to be from Levi’s point of view. I have information I need to pass on to you all, but to do it from Glyn’s point of view means rehashing information you already have, and going ‘public’ with information that Glyn can’t have during this book. (Because I wrote myself into a corner in Bite Me Tender.)
Coming at it from within Levi’s head… I can toss all sorts of tidbits your way, and leave Glyn in the dark. *cue evil laugh* I love Glyn dearly, but I love torturing him more.
If he ever finds me, I’m done for. 😀
So, here’s a piece from the broken chapter. Look for Levi’s take on things in the published version. Unless the editor nixes it. >.<
The server caught Glyn as he was about to stomp out the door. He handed Glyn his credit card slip to sign, which gave Levi just enough time to catch up. Glyn glared at the werewolf, shrugged into his long coat, and walked out.
Levi was right on his heels. “Fine.”
Glyn kept walking. “Fine, what?” He shouldered through the outer doors and gasped as the cold wind blew his coat open.
“Fine, I’ll tell you. Hope it makes you happy.”
“Getting blindsided later on certainly won’t. What’s the big deal?” Glyn lowered his voice. “You keep telling me werewolves are tough.”
Levi came to an abrupt halt. “I was a monster. I’m trying to get better.”
Glyn spun to glare at him. “Really? Who do you think you’re talking to?” He gestured at himself. “Am I any less a monster?”
Levi stepped in close, and said in a low voice, “There’s monster, and then there’s killer.”
Just a few lines tonight. Writing’s been a hit-or-miss kind of project lately, with more misses than hits. Writer’s block–or, rather, depression masquerading as writer’s block (so I can feel even worse about myself, right? Depression’s a shady bitch.). I’ve learned to recognize it for what it is, which is half the battle. I haven’t figured out the other half yet, unfortunately, so the month’s wordcounts are rather ragged. But here’s a little bit, totally unedited and very first draft.
Levi wasn’t nearly drunk enough to deafen himself to the call of the moon. He lay on his bed in the rooming house and groaned as the liquor tried to drag him down to unconsciousness and his bones tried shift and take on their full moon shape. When he’d first arrived in the city, he’d kept things stable by hunting stray dogs. Since he’d discovered the witch, he’d managed to placate the wolf with sex and food—lots of both. But now Glyn wasn’t answering his calls.
He rolled off the bed and shook his head. A walk would clear the fog from his mind. And help him burn off some of this raging energy.
The wolf agreed.
Oops! Sorry, I’ve been sitting here, doing some editing, and delighting my tastebuds with some Knappoque Castle whiskey. The good news is that I’m sending off the first installment of The Color Club to the fundraising anthology.
I’m a bit conflicted–serials are all the rage now, and this setup really lends itself well to a serial that I could easily put out every two months for–I don’t know how long.
At the same time, serials are all the rage now, and it could boost the 2014 AW Erotica Anthology sales.
Decisions, decisions. I did make a commitment, though, so off it goes to the judges. And off I go to work on the second installment, The North Pole.
Anyway, here’s another peek at Glyn and Levi, at a more settled point in their relationship:
When Levi showed up forty-five minutes later, Glyn had everything arranged. “Go have a shower. A quick one. And shave.”
Levi ran a hand over his jaw, the callouses on his palm rasping over a couple days worth of stubble. “Thought you liked it.”
“Not where we’re going. You have fifteen minutes.”
“Fuck, you’re bossy.” But he was moving toward the master bedroom even as he complained.
“That’s because I’m the boss.” Glyn sneered at the wolf, which curled a lip at him, then pointedly turned its back and started licking its balls.
Classy, wolf. What was he doing, fighting with a non-corporeal animal? The damn thing drove him crazy. It was like having a little brother—an incredibly annoying brother that you couldn’t drown, or lose, or fire out the window of a cab while doing sixty on the Interstate.
All hail the King of Snark. Glyn probably would have made an annoying little brother himself. 🙂
It’s always a guessing game, when you start a new story. How long will it be? How many chapters? What subplots will jump up to surprise you?
When I started Bite Me, I figured it was likely going to be a bit longer than Bite Me Tender. After all, I had Levi’s story from before he met Glyn, and then the story of their time together in New York.
Bite Me Tender ended up being about 35K. So, I figured–I’m telling two separate stories. They’re both taking place over extended periods of time. There’s a lot of world-building character establishing in there. (And Gram wants a chapter again. Shoot me now, please. *passes out*)
My guess was–oh, about 40,000 words. Give or take a thousand or so. I actually figured I’d be wrapping it up in about the same space as Bite Me Tender, but I know I also tend to underestimate, and to underwrite things, so I padded my guess.
(I can hear Gram laughing now.) I have at least four more chapters to go and, as I go through it before sending it to beta, it may grow another one too. For a while, I was thinking it might end up going to 50,000.
Now I’m thinking 60.
So, yeah, if you want someone to guess your age, I’m probably your girl.