Tomfoolery is a frisky short story written for the first year anniversary of Coffee and Porn in the Morning. I channelled my inner nerd and the spirits of all the software enginners I've met over the years. My outer nerd cheered on.
Ben Hammond is a nerdy computer programmer with a yen for anime, comic books, and the handsome stranger he keeps seeing at the coffee shop. As he's working up the nerve to ask the guy out, he has no idea that getting his man is only half the story.
Ben Hammond was going nuts, and it wasn't only a figure of speech. No, he feared there was a good chance of him truly cracking up, like Ingrid Bergman in Gas Light, as Charles Boyer slowly and systematically drives her mad. Ben had seen that oldie on cable about a year ago—back when he still had time to watch TV. His circumstances seemed much like Ingrid's: someone was messing with him in subtle ways to drive him crazy. Except, those things only happened in movies, never in real life. Ergo, he really was nuts.
Ben couldn't pinpoint exactly when it had started. It was minute things, like stuff appearing in places other than where he remembered leaving them, shirts he swore he'd washed appearing dirty in the hamper. His toys seemed interfered with too. Ben had twenty-five limited edition vinyl figures of various sizes spread around the place. Most of them sat on the shelves, artfully arranged between rows of books—of which only a third were comics. The toys were arranged with calculated casualness, and thanks to his mild OCD, Ben had noticed when they'd moved about, even slightly. All these things could be dismissed individually, but cumulatively they became worrisome. Like this morning, his razor sitting on the left side of the sink, when he always put it on the right side. It was plain wrong.
The loud cry stirred him from his unpleasant thoughts. The orange tabby hopped up on the counter, and purring like the engine of a small plane, rubbed his face to Ben's exposed belly. The fur felt like velvet against naked skin. Ben immediately cheered up, and forgot about the blasted razor.
© Lou Harper, June 2012
All Rights Reserved.
Seduction is a kinky short set in the world of Last Stop.
With a weakness for bossy men and facial hair, Jay is willing to serve up more than just drinks when a handsome stranger with long sideburns walks into his bar. But the object of his desire may be more than Jay gambled on.
Some people manage to capture your imagination without even trying. Jay finished hooking up the tap to the new keg, looked up, and saw a new customer walk in. He nicknamed him Handsome Stranger--Handsome for short--right then. To be frank, the guy wasn't traditionally good looking, not like a model or a movie star, but he had character by the bucketload. A certain world-weariness had etched itself into his features--like someone who'd been around the block a few times and had a tough hide to show for it. He wore a white dress shirt and dark slacks, but his movements were too precise and sharp for him to be another office drone. Plus Handsome had sexy long sideburns that reminded Jay of Colin Firth in some costume drama he'd seen on TV. It's safe to say Jay was attracted to the guy right away.
At first sight on a weekday Slugger would've seemed like a neighborhood dive bar to any stranger stumbling in. Neon beer signs brightened the modest space, and the bar mirrors and TV screen showing CNN Sports completed the illusion. Even though it was barely past noon a couple of barflies already perched on the barstools like roosters on fence posts. Of course, any stranger would soon spot the odd bits--like the fact that one of the regulars, Larry, wore four-inch fuck-me pumps with his blue jeans and a white button-down. If you somehow missed that, the second TV playing gay porn would be a dead giveaway you weren't in Kansas anymore. Some newcomers turned tail and fled at that point.
This particular stranger paused right inside the entrance. He squinted, as most customers did after stepping from the bright L.A. sun into the permanent twilight of Slugger. He glanced at the TV, but the sight of two naked men bonking like rabbits didn't send him scrambling for the door. Instead he strolled to the bar, parked his ass, and asked for a club soda.
Part of Slugger's usual clientele consisted of gay men too middle-aged or unhip for The Abbey and other fashionable West Hollywood clubs. The rest were people of all genders and sexual persuasions from the surrounding working middle class neighborhood, who didn't mind hanging out in a gay bar as long as the drinks were strong and cheap.
Jay poured the bubbly water in a glass and set it in front of Handsome. "Now don't go wild on me," he said and winked.
Jay had a teasing tone with customers out of habit, the gay ones anyway. They appreciated a twenty-something, good-looking blond like him flirting with them, and it showed in the tips. Rarely had anyone ever taken it seriously, and if they did, Jay diverted their attentions without ruffling too many feathers. He had a policy of not mixing business with pleasure, but he'd happily make an exception for Handsome. It was those sideburns.
For a flash, Handsome's gaze swept over Jay's body and face as if he was seriously considering his options. "No drinking on the job," he said.
© Lou Harper, June 2012
All Rights Reserved.
Late Night Snack is a short story set in the world of Spirit Sanguine.
Sometimes life takes strange turns. Gabe is a slayer but his lover is a vampire. And so is his boss. When Gabe is tasked with capturing a delinquent blood sucker, he's determined to succeed, even if it means posing as bait. There is only one problem: Harvey, his possessive boyfriend, might ruin everything.
Warning: hot fang-on-man action, role-playing, and one pissed off vampire.
Gabe's innate ability to sense vampires came in handy as he circled around from bar to dance floor and every dark nook and cranny of the place. He lingered around every blood sucker long enough for them to smell him. After an hour of circling he still hadn't had a single bite—literal or otherwise—and was getting frustrated.
All the cranberry juices he drank in place of alcohol took their toll and he needed to take a trip to the bathroom. Suspicious noises drifted out of one of the stalls but he could tell neither of the occupants were vamps, so he ignored it. He did his business and headed back toward the bar but didn't get far. A tall and curvaceous vampire with caramel skin and a breathtakingly tight red dress blocked his way.
"There you are, darling. You've been avoiding me all night. You're such a tease."
"Hello Jade." Gabe took in her mane-like black wig. "Diana Ross?" he guessed.
She batted her fake lashes and stepped closer. "What can I say, the classics never get old. Love what you're wearing." The dress shimmered and dazzled with every move she made. "You know how uniforms make me hot and hungry," she purred.
Yes, Gabe knew, and it'd been one of the numerous reasons he'd been keeping away from Jade. He spotted another one of those reasons marching up to them at that very moment. It was Harvey, wearing a very short purple dress and white lace-up boots. Well, he was anything if not predictable. Gabe swallowed his extreme annoyance and pretended not to know their new company.
Harvey smiled at Gabe but danger sparkled in his eyes. "There you are, Officer. I have a crime to report: someone stole my innocence," he said in a soft, feminine voice.
Jade sniggered. "Oh, Honey the statute of limitation on that expired a long time ago."
Harvey gave her a withering look. "Jade darling, what are you doing lurking here in the dark? Isn't there a football team somewhere you should be ravishing?"
Jade smiled back sweetly. "They can wait. Pretty costume, if a bit desperate. Who are you supposed to be, if you don't mind me asking? Cinderella's slutty step-sister?"
Harvey put his hands on his waist. "Michelle Kwan, who else? Not all of us can dress like Oprah and get away with it."
Jade made the sound of someone who's just swallowed a very large frog and required the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge it.
Exploiting Jade's momentary loss for words, Harvey turned back to Gabe with a pointed glare. "I must discuss an important matter with you, Officer. Would you come with me?"
Gabe had no other choice than to follow. Harvey led him down a hallway to the so-called emergency exit. A burly vampire stood guard but after a quick scan of their faces he let them through and out into the alley. No alarm sounded.
As soon as they got outside, Harvey pushed Gabe against the wall and slipped a hand into Gabe's pants.
"Harvey, I'm going to strangle you," Gabe hissed.
"Shh!" Harvey turned Gabe's head, exposing his pulse point.
For a brief second Gabe felt the fangs puncturing his skin, but the sensation was quickly washed away by a sensual buzz. Harvey sucked hard and Gabe knew it would leave a bruise, but he couldn't care less. His dick had a mind of its own, and it could never resist Harvey. Right now it was hard and in great need of attention.
© Lou Harper, June 2013
All Rights Reserved.
Dead Man and the Lustful Spirit is an 8,000 word short story set after the events of Dead Man and the Restless Spirits. This time the spirit is demonic in nature, requiring Bran to step in. However, Denton won't stay at the sidelines long.
Denton is a necromancer and his boyfriend Bran is a witch. It's not as exciting as it sounds. They don't even get to dress the part, unless it's New Year's Eve and they've been invited to a costume party. Denton is happy to let his hair down, but coaxing the reclusive Bran out of his shell is hard enough without a demonic spirit crashing the party.
Convincing the spirit to return whence it came from will call on Denton's special skills, but not in necromancy.
Denton Mills, aka Dead Man, the mightiest—and likely only—necromancer of the Chicago tri-state area, handed his puffy coat to the coat check girl. He tucked his and Bran’s tickets both into the back pocket of his pants, since the long black mage robe Bran wore didn’t provide easy access to pockets. On the other hand, it did a good job making Bran look even more alluring than usual. Quite an achievement, in the opinion of Denton, who’d had the hots for Bran from the first time they’d met. Hard to believe it had only been a few months ago.
“What? You’re staring. Something wrong with my costume?” Bran asked and brushed his hand over the burgundy trim of the robe.
Denton gave Bran an exaggerated once-over. “Not a thing. I was admiring the view. You should wear a robe every day. Or a kilt.”
Bran’s olive skin hid any hint of a blush, but his eyelids fluttered. He didn’t know how to take compliments or flirt. But he tried. “You look very, uhm, nice too.”
“I know! If seeing ghosts makes me a necromancer, I may dress as one, right?” Denton kept chatting as he and Bran moved out of the way of newly arriving guests, and toward the double doors leading to the ballroom.
“From a videogame?” Bran sounded baffled. He wasn’t a gamer.
Bran shrugged his skull-adorned shoulder. “Sure, why not? Fantasy is more picturesque than reality. You won’t see anyone dressed as a plumber. Unless it’s from a video game,” he added. The reality was, very few people even knew about Denton’s talents, and while it was an occasional source of extra income for him, he made his living as a web programmer. A damn good one too.
Denton went on. “I know what you’re thinking—I made you wear a mage’s robe, and you’re really a witch. But Swords and Magic of Calingor doesn’t have a witch class, and honestly, most people can’t tell one caster from another. And no wonder—they all either cast fire or ice spells. But you always know who the necromancer is from the cool skeletons and zombies following him around.”
“I wasn’t thinking that at all,” Bran said, his bafflement still in place.
© Lou Harper, June 2014
All Rights Reserved.