THE PASSION STROLL...
a blog by author Ashavan Doyon
And we're back on schedule! Huzzah!
Thommas has found and joined with his mate, Nem, the Prince of Zaharoth, but he still has oaths that bind him with the power of the Realm. Oaths to find Jordan. Oaths to see Jordan and Brian reunited in the Real. The only problem? Jordan is beginning to fray and decay—a mad and tormented, beautiful young man who is being gifted to the scheming Rakibak, the Lady's chamberlain and first adviser.
Can Thommas keep his promise? Will the legacy of Guardian win out over the Lady's hatred for the Traitor of Garuth? Find out in Chapter 19 of The One That Feels.
Missing out? The story is all here, try it from the beginning!
I stood before the gates of the palace. There were no guards. They’d not been needed since the Guardian... since I placed the protections on this realm. I closed my eyes and pressed a hand against the gates. The natives of Garuth watched. Everyone knew the palace was impenetrable. And yet there I was, my hand upon the gates. Futile. Goblins pointed at me and laughed; pixies flitted about. A grim ogre called me a name best not repeated. But I stood, my hand upon the gate and I spoke to it.
They gasped as the troll I’d bound into the gate to protect the palace stepped out of the stone. This one was a creature not of water but of stone and air and a life beat that was the fire of molten rock. It towered above me, its step shaking the realm, looked down upon me and roared.
The crowd fled in terror. Some, no doubt, remembered the legend that towered above them. But this one, this troll of the true blood of that race, he stared down at me and nodded once. Then he retreated back into the wall, sliding into the stone as if it was the very air itself. The gates creaked, a line that was not there before ran down the wall from top to bottom, and the massive portal swung open, just wide enough, just long enough, to admit me. And then the gates slammed closed with an ominous clang.
At long last, Chapter 18 of The One That Feels is here!
A blissful wedding night has led to Nem becoming more adventurous, more seductive and, importantly, more comfortable in his relationship with Thommas. But the specter of the mission remains. When Iptak returns with information, will it spell disaster for their newfound happiness?
Find out, in Chapter 18 of The One That Feels!
Missed out? Start the story at the beginning. (don't forget to click the read more link!)
I woke, exhausted, head buried in a pillow. My arm searched the bed for my mate, but Nem had gone. It was this realization more than anything that woke me. Waking and finding him gone. I groaned as my eyes adjusted to the light that filtered in through the windows. I shifted in the bed, pushing and pulling and shifting pillows until I was upright and seated. Our clothes were still there, mine in a pile on the floor, Nem’s neatly arranged on the back of a chair.
I took a long deep breath and called out. “Nem?”
The door to the living area where we’d had our ceremony opened, and Nem stepped into the door frame, leaning casually against it. My breath caught as I looked at him, wearing only a narrow bit of silk that covered his privates and hugged tightly to his ass. His hair had been pulled free from the braids, and it hung loose around his face. He smiled at me and mouthed the words “I love you” before moving to the bed and sitting on the edge. He stroked my face gently and then leaned over to kiss me on the forehead.
I've been buried by politics. Yuck. Trying to unbury myself and proud to present Chapter 17 of The One That Feels. If you've been reading, you've probably waited anxiously for this chapter. Nem and Thommas have just made good on the promise spoken at the bridge to enter Garuth... which means there are steamy times in their future. Like immediately in their future. Like if you want to read the hot sexy steamy stuff, it's in this chapter. This one, right here.
If you haven't been reading, as tempting as it may be to skip to the steamy stuff, I'd suggest starting with Chapter 1. For real. Sure you may not need the early chapters to make sense of them having sex. But when you get to Chapter 18, you're going to be really confused if you don't start at the beginning.
February's ARDOR (my newsletter) will be coming out soon. Be sure not to miss it! To make sure, I suggest signing up for the newsletter, which gets you access to ARDOR Briefs, which show up in the alternate months and aren't available at all to non-subscribers. As always, the full newsletter is posted in beautiful pdf format on the ARDOR page.
And now... the steamy stuff:
The glow of the circle faded and I had to fight to recognize anything beyond the slim body that I held so carefully against my own. Nem’s head rested gently against my chest, his arms around me, his hands on my back. He was trembling.
“I’m ready,” he choked out softly.
“Nem, it’s not like that.”
“You said… it wouldn’t be soft or gentle, that you would…”
“That’s had you afraid?”
Nem nodded against my chest.
“Shh,” I said, kissing his forehead, mindful of the great antlers rising from them. “It’s not what I meant, not the way you mean it.”
“It’s not?” he asked, the words coming out in a nervous sputter.
“No.” I pulled back just enough to look down at him, even as he nervously glanced away. “Look at me.”
He looked up, that silver fire subdued as his eyes swirled with dusky grays.
“I love you.”
He trembled and there was a flash of that gorgeous light behind the gray.
“Let me show you?” I asked, stroking the hairline at his forehead, past the elegant rising crown of his antlers, and lifting loose strands of liquid silver hair to tuck them back behind the curved point of his ear. He whimpered softly, and I carefully squatted and then lifted him into my arms, carrying him through the threshold to the bedroom. I set him down and stripped off my tailed jacket, letting it fall to the floor.
Lots of exciting news coming, but it's not quite ready yet! In the meantime, our intrepid duo has entered Garuth. Safe from pursuit from Zaharoth, at least for the moment, the pair never-the-less must face another reality. They swore an oath in the Realm, and they are bound to it. Thommas and Nem must marry. Can Thommas match Nem's joy at their impending nuptials? Can he admit the feelings that mean setting aside any chance at a future with a love he felt destined for?
Find out in Chapter 16 of The One That Feels! Missed out on the early chapters? Check it out from the beginning: Chapter 1.
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Nem looked at the clothes the goblin had laid out for him with an arched eyebrow, his long, thin fingers delicately prodding the last item—a slim bit of silk.
“You want me to wear this?” Nem asked.
“Under the other clothes,” I said, stepping up to him and rubbing my beard into his cheek.
I kissed a spot underneath his ear and whispered, very softly, “Because it’s sexy. You’ll look so hot in them. Don’t feel you have to. Brian never would, so it’s not like….”
Nem reached up, though he did not turn, simply leaned back against me as his hand cupped my cheek. “It’s important to you?”
“For you to want to be sexy for me. Yeah,” I said, kissing him on the cheek. “I’ll know, all through the ceremony. I’ll know that you’re just waiting for it to be over so I can take those clothes off and you’ll be wearing that. And I”—my breath was heavy—“I’ll be on fire for you.”
First of all, if you were looking for ARDOR briefs, I'm so sorry, that's one of the things that got dropped in the craziness last month. Never fear, the full issue will be out in a few days—first few articles are already written. If you haven't signed up I truly recommend it. And there really truly is some free stuff coming for subscribers, I hope before the end of the year.
When last we left our intrepid heroes, they had eluded the knights of Zaharoth by negotiating passage into Garuth with the bridge troll. The toll? A truth, spoken with the power that all oaths have on those of the Real. Now our heroes are in the city. Will Thommas go through with it and elope with Nem as he has sworn to do? Find out now!
What do you mean you don't know what's going on? Why not? It's free! New chapters are posted twice a month. Go read chapter one and get caught up.
Nem held tightly to me from the moment we entered Garuth, never without contact against my skin for more than a moment. I knew why, but it still unsettled me. I had been long alone, and I hadn’t felt the familiar clutch of a hand on my forearm, against my waist, brushing my back—all those little touches—in what seemed an age. Now they were there, desperate, and I felt them to my bones.
I gave Nem what I hoped was a reassuring glance as we made our way through the streets. I had clothes again, a shirt meant to be worn loose that clung to my frame on account of being several sizes too small. Nem had bargained for it with a merchant on the road as we approached the inner districts, and my pleas that I didn’t care did nothing to dissuade him. He’d proudly stripped me of his cloak and pulled the shirt onto me with promises that if I’d just wear it he’d be all too happy to rip it off me when the time was right. I didn’t ask what he meant me to do for a shirt after that. I don’t think he’d th0ught much beyond the moment.
In the city, I felt eyes watching us. Nem’s features alone marked him as nobility, and most of these creatures, from goblin to pixie, could sense the Real that oozed from me, even if the light of that place was tightly held in by glamour. Nem was clearly used to the attention, but it had been long since I’d walked the streets of a city in the Realm.
He brushed a hand against my cheek. “Are you well?” he asked, his voice husky and sexy beside me. It still managed to be musical, and I wondered idly whether it was his glamour or my feelings that made it so.
Greetings everyone. It's been a rough week, but I'm going to save my thoughts on that for my newsletter. ARDOR briefs will come out later this week. If you haven't signed up I truly recommend it. It's the best way to be sure you know everything that's going on with me and with my writing. There's also plans for some free stuff just for subscribers.
So, our intrepid heroes are fleeing the agents sent by Nem's father to capture his son and bring him to heel. This week, Thommas and Nem reach the border of Garuth. Will the deal struck with the knights hold if they seek to leave the border of Zaharoth? Find out this chapter in The One That Feels!
What do you mean you didn't read the beginning yet? Why not? It's free! New chapters are posted twice a month. Go read chapter one and get caught up.
The river stretched before us, the vast expanse so wide the other side disappeared into the darkness. Even in the dark of the falling night we could see the bridge. It was hardly possible to miss it, towering even over the ancient trees of the wood and stretching across the full width of the river, a cold soaring silhouette lit by the burgeoning light of the rising moon.
I took a deep breath as I watched the river, raging in the night. Rivers so wide did not often rage, but this one did, water crashing against rock, furious with some unknown anger. Nem settled next to me nervously.
“Are you sure?” I asked quietly.
Nem leaned his head against my arm. “You know I am.”
“Will see this as deserting him. I know.”
It's Halloween! I'm delighted to share the next installment of my free serialized fiction story, The One That Feels!
When we left our intrepid explorers, they were still lost in a dream, drowning in the discovery of pleasure in a kiss. Now Thommas has woken up, and the torture he endured at the hands of the king of Zaharoth awaits his waking self. What will Nem do when he's faced with the truth of his father's abuses?
Find out in Chapter 13!
Don't miss the story from the very beginning. And if you haven't yet, subscribe to the email newsletter.
I woke screaming. Some part of me knew, of course, that the pain had to be simmering beneath the surface, pushed aside by the thrill and adrenaline of Nem’s kisses from the dream. Kisses that I’d wanted, needed on some level. I pulled myself upright and tried to catch a breath in between the screams. Nem ran to me, frantic, and then his eyes grew wide with shock and slowly, very slowly, he backed away, his hand over his mouth.
Desperately I ripped at the fabric of my shirt and began to peel it from my body. The shirt was already badly ripped, mere tatters hanging from the flesh of my back, glued there by bits of blood and gore that had dried into the skin as my body tried desperately to heal from the very real damage the king of Zaharoth had dealt to me in the dream.
Nem had fallen to his knees, his mouth desperately forming the word “no” over and over as he looked at me. And then he stood abruptly, his eyes dark and furious as he walked over and knelt next to me. He pulled a small vial from a chain around his neck and held it to my lips.
Pursued by the knights of Zaharoth, Nem and Thommas seek to escape and find Jordan. But what does that search mean for the Nem's not so subtle interest in Thommas, and how will they deal with their pursuers?
Find out in Chapter 12 of The One That Feels.
Note: This chapter contains some graphic violence. Be warned.
New to the story? Check it out from the beginning.
Brian looked up. “You’re back?” he asked. He sounded desperate.
He stood as I shook my head and moved toward me.
“No! Stay there.”
“What?” Brian looked at me, confused. “Why?”
“I am not here, Bri. This is not real, not in the way you’re thinking.”
“This is as close as you get,” I said, my voice firm. “We’re in a dream.”
“It feels real.” His voice was sullen. I could see his grip on Jordan’s hand loosen.
“Keep hold of his hand,” I snapped, harsher than I wanted. “Don’t let go.”
Brian’s surprise was evident as he looked down and realized he was at Jordan’s bedside, as though he had forgotten. He gulped and sat down, pulling the hand to his lips. “I’m losing him, Thom.” The words were mumbled into his lover’s skin, a confession. Not a new one. He’d known it when he first sought me out.
Happy to share Chapter 11 of The One That Feels. We join our hero as he quests through the forests of Zaharoth in a desperate search for Brian's love Jordan. His companion? A spoiled prince who may just be more complicated than he seems.
If you're new to the story, start here, otherwise dig in and enjoy!
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Hiking in the woods can be exciting for a day, even for two or three. In the Realm, surrounded by what can only be described as the true vibrancy of life, I managed a week. A full week before the chill of the Realm had filled my bones so completely that I was sure no heat would ever warm me. A week before sleeping on the hard cold earth had left my bones and body weary.
We seemed no closer to the goal. The wood seemed to delight in trickery, leading us down paths too dangerous to contemplate. And if the wood itself were not already against us, we had been followed for at least two days by something more than just eyes in the distance, glowing in the dark of night.
Nem stumbled behind me and I turned quickly to catch him before he hit the ground and help him back to his feet. Silver tears glinted in his eyes. He started to speak but I set a finger to his lips, took his hand in mine, and kept moving.
That it was day could be told only by the scarce light that penetrated the great canopy above. There were bare spots of sunlight, penetrating the deepest depths of the forest like a spotlight, dotting the floor of the wood with scattered shining spots of burning light. The rest was in a shadow that had grown worse with every day as we sank deeper into the wood. Even the glowing eyes at night seemed fewer in number, as if even they feared the true depths of the forest.
It's been a crazy week. Giving my notice at work. Worrying about the uncertainties of a new position. But it's done. My double set of edits are done. And now I'm prepared to offer you another look into the travels of Thommas as he travels the Realm.
When last we left our intrepid duo, they'd become entangled in a dream. Now, as they wake, what truths will they speak? Find out now in Chapter 10 of The One That Feels! (joining us late? Catch the story from Chapter 1 - and don't forget to click on the "Read More" link to see the whole chapter)
As always, I recommend subscribing to my newsletter. Subscribers will be getting a nice little novelette as a thank you soon, so be sure you're subscribed.
Nem shuddered in my arms as he woke. It was nice, comforting to hold someone like that again, but it took only moments before he pulled himself away from my arms, struggling to pull himself upright. His arms pulled tightly against his chest as he backed away from me. His breath was a soft mist that floated across our protected grove.
“You are safe,” I said, wincing as I got to my feet. I pulled my own arms across my chest. The fire had died down in the night and it was brutally cold.
“Y-you. You don’t know—”
“Yes,” I said. “I will keep you safe.” My words were very soft, but I knew that he heard them.
“How long, Nem?” I asked. “How long has he been torturing you?”
Writer of the mysterious, fantastic, and the romantic. Sometimes sappy. Often angsty. Always searching for the sexy. Stories about men who love men.