(Adult content warning, just in case you’ve forgotten the disclaimer on the left sidebar: the following post contains male/male erotic references. Don’t read or follow the links, if that’s not your thing.)
(Note added 12-6-2014: Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you to all the readers who have tweeted and re-tweeted the link to this chapter! You are all wonderful people, and I’m not on Twitter enough right now to properly thank you for your support. Does it help if I tell you I’m writing?)
This week, the DRB1stChp blog will be hosting the first chapter of my (very adult) M/M erotic romance space opera Moro’s Price.
Thank you Zenobia, for hosting me on your blog! First chapter reads are a necessary luxury for both readers and authors. Sometimes digital publishing platforms don’t provide sample texts, or they’re too hard to find in the sea of published matter. Blogs like DRB offer targeted snapshots of books to readers interested in that genre. If you like it, we give you links to learn more.
In the case of Moro’s Price, Chapter 2 is the teaser snippet on Amazon and other platforms. It’s about as raw as the book gets, so readers know they’re wandering into angst, some dubious consent issues, and probably way too much political intrigue for an erotic romance novel. But I did actually write (and Loose Id published, bless ’em) a first chapter that introduces my little genius/crown prince/sadist-in-training Valier and his best friend Mateo, on their way to a questionable adventure.
Yes, I’m still typing away at Moro’s sequel. But at the same time, I’m working on a smaller, more intimate M/M story: how Mateo DaSilva gave up his impossible dreams of romancing Val, and focused on someone only slightly less out of reach and socially unacceptable.
This is the very rough first chapter of the novella called ‘Leopard’s Leap’ (for now). If you search through my posts on this blog, you’ll find a few more bits and pieces. I can’t release more than that, sorry.
Mateo’s life changed on his fifteenth birthday, in a Taverna DaSilva storage room. Far from the chaos of his extended family’s party, he’d hidden behind a stack of crates to get away from a female guest’s fumbling gropes. He calmed his breathing in the dark, spice-scented peace; no longer puzzling over why he’d run away, but how to break the news to Papa DaSilva.
The door began to slide open. Expecting the girl, Mateo flattened himself on the wooden floor. The room blazed with light from a panel in the ceiling. Gruff voices announced the arrival of Papa and another man.
“Be reasonable, Vidan,” began the stranger.
As soon as the door shut, Papa’s voice rose. “Heral, pimp your son as much as you’d like, as long as he’ll stand it. But no child of my family will go to school on such evil credit. How dare you bring a fighting-whore into my house?”
The other man said, “He asked, Vidan. We know the restaurant is in trouble. You can barely pay your suppliers. How will you pay for Mateo’s school? Sign a slave bond for the rest of your children, until Mateo frees them? He’s a bright boy. I’ve seen his holo recordings. They’re good. If he gets hired by the bigger entertainment channels, he might pay back our investment in what, five years? Your Lena talked to us last night. Jason is making more than enough money in the fights. We’re almost free ourselves, fifty years early! My grandchildren will be free-born.”
“Lena and I are free. None of my children are slaves,” said Papa with brittle dignity.
”Keep them so,” Heral urged. “Jason suggested it first. He is Mateo’s best chance.”
Mateo finally placed Heral. A distant kinsman, some third or fourth cousin impugned in scandalized whispers at family gatherings. When Heral’s grandfather lost a bad business gamble, he and his children were sold into bond to pay it. That would have meant a century or two of grinding debt. But Heral had a son who was a god of the arena, whose earnings in a single fight were more than Papa’s restaurant made in several years. Heral’s family had new clothes and the newest-model hover cars. They did not carry themselves like the cringing, dispirited bond-slaves Mateo had recorded as a school project, in the east Cedar-Saba produce markets.
Mateo heard new footsteps in the corridor, pausing in the doorway. “Father?” asked a rich baritone voice, “Did you ask him?”
“I did. The stubborn old fool said no.” Heral sounded more insulted than Papa.
“Jason Kee-DaSilva, I am honored by your offer,” Papa began.
“But you cannot take a whore’s credits?” Jason asked. “Would it help if I said I chose this life? I like money. I like helping my family. I like fame. I love sex. As long as the gladiators are willing to fight me, I’m willing to take their credits – or their bodies.”
“And to give up your own, when you lose?” asked Papa. “With crowds watching?”
Laughter purred in the fighter’s voice. “Every credit they don’t take goes to my family. And I like to be watched.”
Mateo’s mouth went dry and his heart hammered so loudly that everyone must surely hear it.