THE PASSION STROLL...
a blog by author Ashavan Doyon
Okay, I know it's late so I'm just going to get right to it. This is Chapter 22... in which Thommas finally reaches Jordan, and finds him protected, imprisoned, and not so mad as he was led to believe.
Can Thommas free Brian's love, and in doing satisfy the obligation that keeps him from his beloved Nem? Find out!
A little lost? Check out the story from the very first words!
I followed the narrow circling corridor into the depths of the dungeons. The atmosphere was eerily quiet. This deep, the prisoners within the oubliettes had no hope. It did not matter whether they had given up or not. Those who had no longer screamed. Those who had not no longer had voices left to scream, their outraged screamed into oblivion until their voices were no more. And so both no longer had hope.
Somewhere deep in this maze of lost souls, there was a cell, and in it a man. A man who the Realm thought crazy. A man who had been offered up to the most miserably perverse creature in Garuth. Rakibak had imprisoned his toy deep in an oubliette, to be forgotten until Jordan’s blood was needed to give undeserved honor to his own.
My steps were as careful as they were quick. Rakibak had taken risks to put Jordan in an oubliette, but he viewed Jordan as his route to the blood. In the Realm’s vigorously class stratified society, that was something he would kill for. Something he would betray for. Something he’d twist his vows to Garuth for.
Jordan would be guarded.
I watched the shadows, the floor, the walls. Every step taken was a risk, so much risk. Necessary risk. If I paid my debt, fulfilled my vow, I would be free. I could remain with Nem, remain with my mate. My Nem. I hesitated for a moment. I would take the risk. I would find Jordan. I would be with Nem. Forever.
Are you excited? This month there are three episodes of The One That Feels to make up for missing the second chapter last month. So you're getting Chapter 21 today, then in just about two weeks on Monday May 15 you'll get Chapter 22 and then on the 29th or 30th (I may be away for that final weekend which could delay it a day) you'll get Chapter 23!
That's a lot of The One That Feels, and it's an exciting time in our serial adventure. When we last saw Thommas, he had ventured into dreams in an effort to warn the Lady about the doom her Chancellor Rakibak was courting—only to be yanked from the dream by the villainous knave himself! He's been left hanging, literally, from shackles of cold iron in the dungeon cells deep beneath the island city.
Will Thommas escape? What's going on with Nem? With Jordan located, can they stop doom from claiming Garuth? Find out!
Are you confused? Did you start the story late? Fear not! You can start at the beginning!
I hung there for a while before the guards got complacent. Days, perhaps. Rakibak did not return to gloat, and that alone made me wonder, despite his outbursts, if he’d learned wisdom while I was away. Even for the prince of Zaharoth, it would take time for Nem to ease past through the bureaucracy of Garuth to reach Nastasia. It would take time for diplomacy to work to get him access to me. And even then, as the Traitor of Garuth, my freedom to leave with him was far from assured.
My guards watched me. And at first their gaze was unsettling and focused. Elite guards they may be, but they were young. To them I was an impossible legend, and so complacency came. Slowly, inexorably, it came, until their glances were casual and brief, until they laughed and joked with each other around me. Until the spells upon my shackles had spent too long fighting with cold iron to survive.
I closed my eyes and whispered a prayer. I love you, my Nem.
A glance upon metal that belonged only in the real and a thought teased open my shackles. I needed the guards only to be close. And then they were. One step, two, a sword born of feeling and dread and the silence of loneliness that swallowed all sound and my blows were frantic against their own. They screamed for help only to find the loneliness I bore as a blade devoured their words, made them frightened and alone. Their swordplay was skilled, their strikes precise, but mine was something they had not seen before. With each blow I pushed them back, fighting not with grace but with the power my size afforded, and they stumbled, and fell, and finally grasped at the bars to keep on their feet.
Writer of the mysterious, fantastic, and the romantic. Sometimes sappy. Often angsty. Always searching for the sexy. Stories about men who love men.