So, I was seriously debating whether I’d be here this week. I have heavy deadlines and am beginning renovations, so… my time is so tight. But, I’ll give it a whirl. Honestly, I looked at this image and was like… yeah, how do you make that into a story. I’m fairly certain it’s tree cracks and rings with a blue overlay, but… I wouldn’t bet my life on that. There’s only one way for me to make this work. I’m revisiting a couple of good ole boys from the past. When last we saw them, they were either in a tent beneath the northern lights, or getting married. I can’t honestly remember and becauseI had a different wordpress site then, I’m not sure what the URLs are but… no matter. Let’s just jump right in. Here’s the photo and here’s the resulting story…
“What the hell is that?”
Seth groaned, punching Kent in the shoulder. “What does it look like, jackass?”
Kent tilted his head to the left, squinted, then tilted it to the right. “Seriously, Seth? Is that some kind of trick question? It looks like…”
“Art, you moron. It’s art.”
Kent chuckled. “It’s a bunch of lines.”
“The word you’re searching for is abstract.”
“What’s abstract is your taste in art.” Kent glanced at him. “And where is said art going?”
Seth punched him, again. Harder. Not hard enough to hurt, but enough to show Kent he thought Kent was finally looking…better. Colour had returned to his cheeks, and his skin had lost that loose look from severe hydration. Or in Kent’s case, blood loss. “Are you sure you’re back to normal? Or is your brain still playing catch up from going toe to toe with that vamp?”
Red slashes rose along Kent’s face. Nothing like a bit of teasing to rouse Kent’s hunter instincts. The ones that had somehow kept him alive when others would have died. Shit, Seth wasn’t sure he would have survived, not after losing three liters of blood. At that point, most people were long past hemorrhagic shock and well on their way to death. It was just a matter of time—organs shutting down. The brain slowly dimming then turning off. But not Kent. He’d managed to stagger to his feet and stake the vamp when the bastard had wrapped one hand around Seth’s neck. Slit a line across his chest with one, black claw, determined to watch him die, slowly before draining any remaining blood.
Fucker had paid with his immortal life. But damn, had Seth been scared. He’d carried Kent to the car, made him mumble the entire way to the hospital. Seth didn’t even remember the drive. One minute, he was shoving Kent in the passenger side, keeping pressure on the twin wounds on his neck. The next, he was carrying his partner—his lover—through a set of silver sliding doors, and a slew of lab coats and scrubs had appeared. He didn’t even remember the faces—just those clothes and a bunch of arms and hands… all grabbing Kent. Starting lines, pushing meds. There were voices and bright lights, and then nothing until the doctor told him Kent would make it. Barely. But in this instance, barely counted.
Seth assumed he’d given the doctor some kind of lame ass story—getting mugged, fighting back, one of the perps using some weird weapon—all the while wondering if his life was about to end. If the better part of him—the biggest part of him—was going to wither and die.
Kent gave him a shove. It was decent. Nearly hard enough to push Seth off-balance, but substantial. Which meant Kent was getting better. Stronger.
Kent glared at him. “Well enough to kick your ass.”
“I’d settle for you pounding it, but it’s a bit soon for that.” He laughed when Kent’s eyes darkened. Good. Thinking about sex meant he was definitely getting stronger. “And I thought I’d put it above the bed.”
“It took us six months to find a place we could actually call home. One you deemed safe enough. But the loft is pretty damn small and doesn’t provide for a lot decorating room.”
“It’s not going in the bedroom. I’m finally feeling like I might actually get back out there. The last thing I need is to have some creepy-ass painting watching me while I sleep.”
Seth laughed. “Dude. It’s a painting. It doesn’t watch anything.”
“Yeah? Do you remember how Parkins got that slash across his face?”
Seth scoffed. “Some gypsy had cast a spell and entombed that slasher freak into the photo. The one of him. This is just a fractal wood pattern with a blue filter. Nothing to come alive and kill us while we sleep. Guaranteed.”
“Right, so that little heart image in the center?”
“Now, you notice. That’s why I got it. It symbolizes love.”
“Or it starts beating when the lights go out.”
Seth laughed. “It’s supposed to be romantic. Christ, I thought you’d clue in. See that it had an ulterior meaning.”
Kent’s eyes narrowed a second before he grabbed Seth’s shirt and dragged him over, settling his lips on Seth’s. A few seconds of flesh-on-flesh contact and Kent was twisting Seth’s mouth open and delving inside. A hint of coffee teased Seth’s senses as he closed his eyes and savored the feel of Kent’s knuckles digging into his chest, his muscles flexing beneath Seth’s fingers as he palmed Kent’s arms, slowly smoothing them up his biceps to his shoulders. Kent hummed against his mouth then eased back, resting his forehead on Seth’s.
Kent grinned. “That had ulterior motives. Your painting…”
“Fine, it can go on that wall by the fireplace.”
“Great. And tonight, we’ll sit there until I’m sure nothing is coming out of the damn thing.”
Seth bit back his smile. His plan was working perfectly. “How about I make you a deal?”
Kent ached a brow.
“If, by three am, nothing has jumped out and tried to gut us, I get to spend the rest of the night worshipping your body.”
Kent’s mouth quirked. “And if we do have to fight off the monster with the blue heart?”
“So, no matter what happens, whether you’re right or wrong… You win?”
Seth brushed his mouth over Kent’s, licking his lower lip then pulling back before Kent could take it further. “Actually, I’ll make damn sure it’s you who wins. As many times as you’ll let me.”
Kent’s mouth lifted into a stunning smile. “Deal.”
And that’s it for me. Please visit the other ladies and see what they came up with.