Release Catch-up! Bi Magic
Not just my own in this one! While Bi Magic includes Gods Among Men, it also anthologises several other terrific stories from Forbidden Fiction. The basic theme is the same – fantasy tales with bisexual protagonists. I have included another excerpt, continuing on from last week’s post, below, but do check out the whole anthology. 🙂
Best Bisexual Fantasy Anthology
Edited by D.M. Atkins, Rylan Hunter and Lon Sarver
Bi Magic collects nine of ForbiddenFiction’s most popular tales of magic, mystery, romance, and of course, steaming hot sex. These high fantasy romps prove that whether you’re a man, a woman, a shapeshifter, a fairy, or a trickster god from a forgotten pantheon, you really can have it both ways.
- Sacrifices to Ecstasy by James L. Wolf
- The Thief’s Dungeon by Madeleine Swann
- Chaining Flame by James L. Wolf
- Fools Rush In by Elizabeth Schechter
- Milk by Claryssa Berg
- To Market by Elizabeth Schechter
- The Snake and the Lyre by Annabeth Leong
- Gods Among Men by Jacqueline Brocker
- The Fair, Laudenum, and Passion by Madeleine Swann
Excerpt from Gods Among Men
Ilya’s mind was set with determination, and he was governed by red rage. He let his emotions reign freely on his face. The path cleared before him. People raced to their cars and motorbikes. He heard the whispers of ʻIlya’ and ʻGromovnik’ and ‘Nikolai’ in the air.
Good, he thought. Let them all know that I will no longer tolerate Nikolai’s scheming.
More importantly, he would not give in to what had been drilling through his mind and body this past month.
These past years, you mean, a quieter voice said in his mind. Ilya ignored it.
Soon, Ilya stood before Nikolai’s house: it was a fortress of glass and steel, crouching back into a rocky outcrop. So modern and fashionable, possessing none of the traditional values that Ilya held so dear. This home was not suitable for children; Ilya would never have let his near this place. The house may have seemed transparent, but it was another facade for Nikolai’s wretched subterfuges. It was no surprise that Nikolai lived here, right at the end of the bay. He’d want to keep his activities well out of sight from the public. A pity that Ilya could see it from his own house on the hill!
Fortress it may have been, but Ilya could have kicked it over with his rage.
Instead, he tested the glass door in front of him, discovered it was locked, and so smashed the glass pane nearest to the handle to let himself in.
That’s when he discovered that it wasn’t a house; it was a jungle.
Lush green hangings fell from the walls. Potted plants loomed tall, and the furniture was upholstered in a deep, velvety dark green. It was open-plan living, with a mezzanine towards the back—over which a vine grew, thick with broad leaves—and a dining area to one side.
A man built like an ox and wearing a tight t-shirt sat at the dining table. Bodyguard or boyfriend? Maybe both: he carried a side-arm. Ilya didn’t know or care, but when the ox saw Ilya he leapt to his feet. He was nearly beside Ilya, hand at his weapon when a smooth voice spoke from from above.
“Risto, that’s not necessary. Leave him.”
Ilya’s eyes shot upwards. Nikolai was standing on the mezzanine, one hand leaning on the balcony. His black hair was slicked back with hair gel, and his pointy features were filled with mocking arrogance. He wore a dark silk shirt, as green as the surroundings and his eyes, with a snakeskin belt holding up his tight black jeans. A gold scarf was draped around his neck. He was dressed as if for a nightclub. Ilya doubted if he’d ever worn proper clothes, like the shirt sleeves and plain slacks Ilya wore then, or if he had any sensible jewellery. Ilya’s watch and gold ring were as far as he’d ever go.
Risto’s hand hovered a moment, his gaze trailing slowly between Ilya and Nikolai. Ilya watched the gun, ready to duck if Risto should grab it.
Nikolai said, “Leave us, Risto. I can defend myself against Ilya should he prove troublesome.”
Risto looked sceptical. As he should, Ilya thought. Nikolai had long arms and legs, but was slender, with little muscle, while Ilya could have broken Nikolai into pieces. As he might well do, with or without Risto there.
A wave of Nikolai’s hand, though, and Risto obeyed, moving up the staircase, passed Nikolai into the upper level of the house.
When he was gone, Nikolai chuckled. “He is new. How is he to know of our old friendship?”
Ilya scoffed. “That is not what we are.”
Nikolai feigned surprise, but soon his mouth curled into a languid smile, teasing, taunting even.
“I suppose I should fetch some champagne. This is an occasion to celebrate; in all these years, you have never been in my home before.” A pause as he cocked his head; all pretence. “Nor have I been to yours, have I, Ilya?”
Ilya only glared.
Nikolai smirked, then descended the stairs, steps like a slinking cat. He slid onto the couch, hand out in an inviting gesture.
“Please, Ilya. Take a seat.”
Ilya crossed his arms and remained standing. Childish perhaps, but he’d not give in to any of Nikolai’s suggestions. Not today of all days.
Nikolai began to toy with that ridiculous gold scarf. It was made of material like a harem veil, opaque and alluring.
“Are you here to simply glower at me? Come on, Ilya, talk.”
Words were not Ilya’s strength, so he went straight to the point. “You are taking bribes from Mishka to support the application for his club.”
Nikolai twirled the scarf, cocked his head to one side, trying to convey the picture of innocence. Ilya held himself steady, keeping his arms over his chest as if that could contain his bubbling anger, and glared at Nikolai.
At last, Nikolai sighed.
“I suppose it is no surprise that you have found out. You have your informants after all. Yes, it is true. Me, and a number of other members of the chamber, as I’m sure you know. But what concern is it of yours?”
It took Ilya great control not to splutter. “It is illegal.”
“I think you’ll find it is a legally grey area, my dear Ilya.”
The words came at last, and they fell out of Ilya’s mouth. “Do not call me your dear, and do not pretend that what you are doing is the right thing. The man wants to open a sex club. Do you really think that is appropriate for this town?”
“I think it will add a certain kind of appeal.” Nikolai held the scarf below his eyes, peered at Ilya and fluttered his eyelashes. Just like a harlot. “You may even get something out of it yourself.”
Ilya flexed his hand opened and closed again. He would not give in and punch Nikolai, or touch him in any way. He would do this the right way. He had to.
He spoke carefully, his voice controlled. “We are in a fortunate position with our chamber of commerce. The planning section of the council which allows us to vet applications for new businesses has served all of us well. If we start to be open to bribery, we will undermine ourselves.”
Nikolai dropped the scarf. His voice was still casual when he said, “I am less open to bribery than seeing it as an added bonus. Mishka is a sordid man, and it would serve me well for him to think he has me in his pocket. He made me the offer of money without my asking, and it hardly seemed good business to say no.”
You would you dirty little schemer, Ilya thought.
“Nikolai, this is serious.” Ilya took a deep breath, and tried to appeal to Nikolai’s goodness—assuming he had any. “He wants to open it where families will be coming for holidays, right on the promenade. Our town is for everyone, not the coarse and the sexually depraved!”
“I am not the only one taking the money. Why don’t you convince someone else? You only need to convince two of them to change the vote to what you want. I am sure they will respond very well to your threats.”
Ilya stepped closer to the couch with the intent of looming over Nikolai. “Your refusal will send a better message. I do not want only a minority vote. Mishka needs to understand that no one will accept his money or wants his club.”
“Such regard for my power. I am very flattered.”
Ilya closed the distance between them, nearly hitting Nikolai’s knees. He glowered down at him. “You will do this, Nikolai. You will meet with Mishka and tell him the deal is off. Then you will contact the other chamber members and tell them to do the same.”
The leisurely look disappeared, and Nikolai’s face went as hard as stone. “Do not order me around, Ilya.”
Ilya’s fists curled up. “You will do as I say, Nikolai.”
Nikolai sprung to his feet, teeth bared. “Make me.”
In an instant those two simple words pushed Ilya over the edge. Yes, he would make Nikolai bend to him and his demands, and he would do it the only way he knew how. As his body rushed with enraged arousal, Ilya said, “I will.”
Ilya threw himself at Nikolai. He grabbed his chin, forcing Nikolai’s face up to his, and snatched Nikolai’s lips into a biting kiss. Nikolai tried to lean away from Ilya, but Ilya urged his bulky frame right up against Nikolai’s slender body. Nikolai groaned, knotting his fingers into Ilya’s beard. Nikolai’s erection pressed into Ilya, and Ilya’s cock responded. Ilya relished the hardness, but refused to give it attention.
Outside, thick rain began to fall, splashing into the bay and hammering against the glass. A distinct clap of thunder sounded in the distance. Inside, a moist warmth began to form between Ilya and Nikolai’s bodies.
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