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Purchase Negotiation 20: Pizza

First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Screwed

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He had to admit, the woman had decent taste in pizza joints. 

They knew her here, too, and had teased her a little bit about the new boyfriend until she’d made a mock-stern face.  “Don’t you dare scare this one off! He’s not like that last one, okay? So be nice.”

The waitress had winked at Leander. “You hear that? We can’t scare you off.  So you be nice to her, mister.”

“I wouldn’t dream of being anything else,” he assured the woman.  As they were seated, though, he couldn’t help but ask, “the last one?” Continue reading

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Purchase Negotiation 19: Screwed

First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Testosterone Stuff

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Leander would have been content to stay quiet when they left Mr. MacDiarmad’s office. Considering the way the last few hours had gone, he might have been content to stay quiet forever

If he was quiet, he reasoned, he couldn’t put his foot in it any deeper. If he was quiet, he wouldn’t end up with Sylviane dragging him back to her father, and maybe he could avoid her treating him too much like a broken doll. 

He was still a little surprised when Sylviane slid her hand into his and squeezed. He looked down at her — she wasn’t all that short, really, it was just somehow that he was still looking down at her — and raised his eyebrows, hoping that, at least, was safe.  Continue reading

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Purchase Negotiation 18 – Testosterone Stuff

First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Unicorn

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They sat there for a moment.  Leander was trying to come up with something to say that wasn’t sir, you’re weird, and that terrifies me, and Mr. MacDiarmid seemed to be trying to come up with anything at all to say on his end. 

It was like that, sitting on the floor, one of Mr. MacDiarmad’s hands on Leander’s and the other on his shoulder, that Sylviane found them. 

Leander tensed.  He didn’t— But — how was he going to explain—   Continue reading

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Coming Out In Cloverleaf

This is a few days late, sorry!  But it came to my mind on National Coming Out Day

Nathen (and his headmates) are the protagonists of Afterward(s), the… ahem… novels?… I’m working on.  He’s also visible in “Dictator, Dic-TAH-tor…” and “Lightning in Autumn” (which started the whole thing), as well as “Bi Kisses” and possibly my favorite little microfic here.

This is set in approximately the 2060’s, in Cloverleaf.

~*~

The calendar was a surprise.  Nathen just wasn’t all that used to them anymore; a lot of places had lost touch with the exact days and weeks for a while, and those that hadn’t had definitely lost touch with things like printed calendars.

But this one, hung behind the bar and claiming to be the most gorgeous people in all of Cloverleaf, was there (Mr. October was indeed gorgeous, but he couldn’t hold a candle to Leo), and the days were neatly X’d off.

It was a Friday – he’d already known that; they were working, after all.  And it was apparently October 11th.

How did I never notice that before?

Because it’s usually behind the rum and the vodka.  Means we need to restock.

They did that, pulling the big glass bottles out – rum, proper rum. Or possibly improper rum, probably improper rum, all things considered. But still rum. Vodka, which of course could be distilled in formerly-Montana if it could be distilled in probably-still-Russia.

It was only when they were making sure that the glasses were stocked that the date hit Nathen.

“Oh.”  He blinked.  “It’s Coming Out Day.”  How long since he’d thought of that?  How long since Pride Parades?  How long since that one sweet co-worker who had shyly suggested to him that, since it was National Coming Out Day, maybe he had something to say?

“It’s what?”  Xia, who owned the bar was not young, per se, but she definitely was younger than Nathen.  Younger than the end of the world.

“Old holiday. Ancient holiday,” he corrected. “Back when being gay was, uh. When it wasn’t quite so accepted. Well.” He cleared his throat. “Back in America, when it wasn’t still as accepted.” There were still places here and there on the continent when just about anything wasn’t accepted. He wasn’t sure that would ever change. But here, here in Cloverleaf, things were a lot… well, easier.

“Oh.”   Xia smirked at him.  “So you’re saying ‘back in the bad old days.'”

Nathen chuckled.  “Yeah.  Yeah, I suppose I am.”

The world was doing fine, he supposed, if less than a century later, they could call the days before the apocalypse the bad old days..

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Spoils of War 21 – Don’t Die, I Hate You

First: Spoils of War I: Surrender

“Wake up. Hey, Mistress.  Bitch. Wake up.” Someone splashed water in her face. 

Nikol blinked.  “Urgh?”

“Say the Words.  Jas — Repair, you know, body.  Come on. I got the rib out. I cleaned everything. Sterilized it.  Now heal it. Come on. Wake up.”

She blinked again.  “Did you just call me Mistress Bitch?”

“Yeah.  Mistress, comma, bitch.  Got a better idea?”

“My name’s Nikol.”

“Great, mine’s Aran.  You don’t answer to Nikol when you’re passed out.  Wonder if I answer to Aran?” Continue reading

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Purchase Negotiation 17: Unicorn

First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Broken

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If this was supposed to be making him feel better, Leander mused dryly, it was doing a lousy job.  He was feeling differently, sure, but mostly he was feeling confused.  His owner — there were other words for it, but Leander didn’t use Master even in his own head if he could avoid it and Keeper was the sort of word people used who though Fae was its own society instead of just leeched on to humanity.  — His owner was making fun of himself, inviting Leander to do the same, and telling him it’s okay to have negative opinions about himself

Leander twitched and tried not to think about hos this could go sideways, but his lips did something, he was sure, something like yeah, right. Continue reading

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Spoils of War 20 – Aftermath

First: Spoils of War I: Surrender

When Aran tapped her on the shoulder, Nikol hadn’t realized that she’d been asleep.  Asleep sitting in the middle of the road in a trapped town. She muttered a couple curses at her stupidity.

“Eat,” he insisted. “I’ve been standing guard.  You — I figure that’s the second time you saved my life.  Oh. And — I found this one. She says you’re an idiot.” He was holding up a cat. 

The cat.  A pressure Nikol had barely noticed lifted.  She took the grumbling cat from Arran and, very carefully, set about petting the beast.  Behind the ears, top of the head, shoulders, spine but not too far back, back to the shoulders.  

“I gave her a magical flea-and-tick treatment as a thank you and fixed her worms and the sore place in her left hip.  I figured that was the best I could do. The ones travelling with us — they’ll tolerate her, but they’re not going to share a saddle with her.”

“This is her home, anyway.”  She petted the cat behind the ears again.  “Thank you for paying my debt to her.” Continue reading

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Purchase Negotiation 16: Broken

First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Owned

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“Well.” Mr. MacDiarmad considered Leander.  Leander, in turn, fought with panic. He was not getting sent back to that place.  He wasn’t! He’d… fuck, he’d grovel if he had to. 

“I see my daughter was right.”

It took Leander a moment to process the words — and the rueful tone. “I’m not broken. Sir.”

“No. No, I don’t think you are. But I do think that I might be screwing up… first things first. Leander, do not injure my daughter during sexual situations — with the one caveat to all of your orders that you may slap her and-or bruise her in removing her if she tries to push anything on you that you don’t want. All right?”

Leander felt tension leaving his shoulders. “Thank you, sir.” Continue reading

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