For your amusement, this is a post I made on FB and the resulting conversation.
Putting this up where some gay men (or those who like to read about gay men) might see it. “Like” this post and have a chance to win a box of dark chocolate sea salt caramels.
The officers’ wives had invited him for tea. Not for a rousing game of basketball, tennis, or even chess. For tea. What was he supposed to do in a parlor, surrounded by delicate cups, tinkling laughter, and doilies?
Xander shuddered. “Doilies, John. You can’t be sending me into a battlefield that includes doilies.”
His husband of two weeks smirked at him from where he stood in front of the dresser. BDUs on halfway, John Tsoukatos masqueraded as a partial god, partial GI Joe standee. “I thought being part of the military community sounded like ‘all sorts of fun.’ Isn’t that what you said when you agreed to take up with me?”
Xander cast through his shirts, seeking one that wouldn’t look too “out there” according to the assumed military standards. Assumed by me, but confirmed by everything I’ve ever heard about the military. “I don’t regret making our relationship official”—never in life would he regret it—“but I didn’t realize all the required frills that would come with saying ‘I do.’”
“The officers’ wives aren’t harpies,” John said. Fully decked out in his everyday uniform at last, he sat down on the end of their bed to tie his boots. “They’re women. Good women, for the most part. Major Cassock’s wife is a gem. And the others will fall right in line today because this meeting’s organized by the Colonel’s wife, Nora, and she’s a piece.”
“A piece of what?” Xander asked, pulling his head out of the closet.
“A peach.” John smiled. “Relax, Xander. You’ll love them.” He grinned. “And look at it this way: with your long hair, you’ll fit right in. Keiko Armstrong’s hair isn’t even as long as yours, and she’s the queen of understated fashion.”
Xander didn’t respond. John was trying to be helpful, but beyond that Xander heard the familiar note of “I’m being patient in spite of your madness” tone creeping into his husband’s voice. Any further questions and John might snap.
Not that John’s testiness was bad on a day-to-day basis. It normally led to some pretty hot make-up sex. Or some plain old “rough for the sake of being rough” lovemaking that left Xander craving full-out BDSM.
Either floated Xander’s boat just fine.
John stood. “You can come home whenever you want.” He crossed to Xander, turned him gently, and kissed him. “Try? For me?” He laughed. “Besides, after six years of our long-distance loving and you moving whenever I thought I’d be staying in one place for more than six months, meeting a few women—and seeing their doilies—can’t be that bad.”
Xander nodded. “I know.” He swept his hair behind his right ear so it wouldn’t get in the way and resumed their kiss. Mmm. John tasted of coffee and something fruity. “What did you eat this morning?”
“Toast. With homemade raspberry jam.”
The jam Xander had made before their wedding.
John’s next words squashed the warm feeling in Xander’s chest. “I’ll eat a real breakfast at the chow hall.”
With all your buddies I haven’t gotten to meet yet. Xander shoved that thought to the back of his mind. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell had been repealed for less than a year. He and John had been married for barely two weeks. There simply hadn’t been time for more than John going to work and Xander staying in the house they didn’t own, longing to paint the walls and redesign the landscaping in the front yard but knowing he wasn’t allowed to make any significant changes. Bases on the East Coast might be more accepting as a rule, but conformity was still strongly encouraged.
“You taste good,” Xander said, drawing on the raspberry-jam comment. He closed the distance again, grinning when he found John smiling into the lip-lock. “Yes?” he asked, pulling away half an inch.
John’s milk-chocolate eyes sparkled with humor. “I love you. Don’t worry so much.” He stepped back. “If the officers’ wives don’t love you, they’re crazy. I bet they’ll start a contest to see who can French braid your hair the most elegantly.”
“Oh God. Not that.” Xander grinned. “I’d better get going. They wanted everyone to bring a dish to pass for brunch, and I haven’t even started my famous sausage-and-peppers casserole.” Why had he been worrying about what shirt to wear in the first place? He should cook in an apron but without a shirt. As much as he enjoyed being in the kitchen, his fastidious nature wouldn’t allow for oil stains on his clothes. “Go on. You don’t want to be late. The chief will make you give him fifty.”
“That’s drop and give him fifty. Chief Ringgold’s not the BJ type .”
“Lucky for me. And ‘drop and give him fifty’ sounds wrong in the right context.”
“You’re only thinking that because your ‘erotica on the moon’ is due in three weeks and you just finished the outline.”
Xander blushed. “It’s only a short story. I’ll be done in plenty of time for the deadline.”
John pinched Xander’s cheek. “Don’t spend too much time trying to impress the ladies. You’re handsome just the way you are.”
“So are you, GI John.” Bare-chested and wishing he could drag his husband back to bed, Xander nevertheless shoved John toward the door. “Get going. Whether it’s push-ups the traditional way or the new, more creative variety, I don’t want you having to do more than necessary. Unless you’re practicing them on me, of course.”
Tell Me I’m Home: Blue Ticket and Adeste Fideles comes out from Loose Id on December 17.
Elizabeth I’m not a gay man but can I like it just for candy?
Elizabeth I have never read such a thing, but I like men and I like hot men, so. My husband might question my motives, but if I just tell him I’m secretly a gay man and married him for his hot bod, he will leave me alone. XD
Emily Carrington I have two gay friends, a couple, and they read my first book, Dragon Food, for two different reasons. Jeff read it for literary value. Allen read it for the sex. Considering they went at it after reading, I can only assume it’s…inspiring.
Elizabeth So 50 Shades of Grey for gay people. I can dig it. XDDDD
Emily Carrington Ummmm. Fifty Shades with a plot. Where the sex is secondary to the story.
Elizabeth (I didn’t read FSOG)
Elizabeth In fact, I haven’t read anything not a textbook in a very long, long time.
Emily Carrington I tried. It was full of bad grammar and cardboard characters. Drove me up a wall.
Elizabeth So Twilight but with S&M?
Elizabeth and Sans Glitter?
Emily Carrington Tell Me I’m Home will be good for you then. Each story is about twenty pages.
Emily Carrington Yes! No glitter. Although Xander (from Adeste Fideles, the second story in the book) is prone to long, flowing dresses.
Emily Carrington Do you mind if I post this conversation on my website? It makes me smile. I can black out your name if you want.
Elizabeth I like dresses. I approve.
Elizabeth Nope, not at all. If you could black out my last name, I’d appreciate it. <_< My MIL is one of the top rottweiler breeders in the country and I’ve found that the rest of us are easy to track down through her (creepilyyyyyy).
Emily Carrington Oooo! Puppies!
Emily Carrington (My guide dog is a Labrador.)
Elizabeth Yeah our last name…isn’t…really…common?
Emily Carrington Makes sense. I’m lucky I’m using a pen name. Of course, Pepper and Nick know who I am. I started writing shortly after meeting Pepper.
Emily Carrington There are more of us than people think. You can find my stuff on Amazon too.
Peace all, and good night!