I’m trying to get some more words done on my poppy boys. But people keep sending me pictures of pretty young men.
Ben Wishaw, who is a pretty good likeness of my Ross.
Some dude on Shutterstock, who is reasonably like Ben.
And then there was the conversation about whether zombies could swim. Which led to the conversation about whether a lobster had enough brains to be zombified.
Yep. We’re weird.
I’m on chapter 18 of 22 now–harder to get stuff done when you have to work all day. On the bright side, the first half has gone to betas and I’ll be sending the last half on the weekend. Knight has officially passed the 90,000 word mark, which scares me a little. It’s a lot of work to edit something that big and I know I have to be missing stuff.
Anyway, thought I’d share a little bit of how Ben feels about Ross.
“I like you. I like your friends. In a weird sort of way, I like your family too. I like the way you are with your students. I love your sense of humor. I like the way you look when you’re lost in a book and how baffled you are when you stop reading and you’ve forgotten which world is real. And, although I still don’t understand it, I even love your addiction to eating waffles straight out of the freezer.”
Things that make you go awww…
You know, that moment when you take the new squeeze out and all your friends come to inspect the goods? And there’s always that one friend that feels that they have to make sure of the new squeeze’s intentions, like it was the 1850’s and you’re some virginal young thing without a brain cell to call your own?
“So, Ben, what do you do for a living?” Hunter leaned out to flag down a waitress, then brought his eyes back to Ben.
“Hunter,” Ross said in a warning tone.
Ben patted the hand still on his arm to let Ross know it was okay. “I’m a cop.”
“A cop. That’s interesting. Bet it’s a pretty exciting job.” Hunter twitched, shot Ross a funny look, then grinned back at Ben, who shrugged.
“Oh, do tell,” Hunter crooned with a flirtatious wink. Ben hid behind his glass of coke to camoflage the grin trying to escape because the look on Ross’ face was priceless. Damn, he’s cute. And obviously mortified by Hunter’s behavior. The look he shot Hunter would have withered a five year veteran of the force.
Hunter, it appeared, was made of tougher stuff than that. “Do you ever have to wrestle anyone to the ground and, like, hold them there?”
Yep, totally appalled.
Oops! I almost forgot! I’ve had my head down, added 4000 words today (We’re past 80,000 now), and only just realized what time it was.
Slightly longer section this week. We meet Michael again, and one of Ross’ coworkers, Marie.
“Is that him? He’s cute.” Marie nodded at the big glass doors, where Ross could see Ben coming up the steps.
“Yes, and yes,” he said gratefully, feeling his mouth spread in a broad smile. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Michael stand up and tug his coat into place, so he hurried forward to meet Ben just inside the door. “Hi, perfect timing.” He could almost feel the vibrating rage coming off Michael from across the foyer, despite the pleasantly neutral expression he wore. Some little devil of perversion, and maybe the hope that Michael would leave him alone if he saw that Ross was with a cop, prompted him to tilt his head back and press the tiniest of kisses on Ben’s mouth, even as some part of him gibbered in terror the whole time. You’d think I’d have learned by now. He felt the warmth of Ben’s hand land on his hip and saw Ben’s smile, and it all became worth it.
Marie cleared her throat behind him.
“Ben, this is Marie. Marie, this is Ben.” He made the introductions as quickly as he could, then took Ben’s arm and turned him back toward the door. “Let’s go.”
“Am I escaping an interrogation?” Ben chuckled as Ross hurried him down the concrete steps.
Ross nodded. “Something like that.” He glanced over his shoulder and saw Michael in the doorway, wearing that calm, intent expression that Ross had learned to dread. Because there was no way to win when Michael looked like that. He turned back to Ben. “So, where are we going?”
Yeah, I gotta go wash again…
I’ve never introduced the bad guy in Knight. He makes my skin crawl and I have to go wash after I write scenes with him in them.
Ross came to an abrupt halt two houses up the street from his apartment. Michael was sitting on the step, a bunch of flowers in his hand—blue ones of course, always blue. No, this was supposed to be over! Ross felt an instant’s urge to turn and run but he was just a moment too slow, like a rabbit on the freeway trying to decide in which direction to bolt as the truck bore down on it. As soon as he saw Michael look up at him, with that look in his eyes, he knew it was too late—Ross was already in the headlights’ path. So when Michael stood up and started walking down the pathway, Ross took a deep breath, forced his legs to move and braced for the impact. At least he wasn’t drunk this time.
Not one of his creepiest moments, because I don’t want to send you screaming for the soap.
I’m tightening up the timeline right now and adding in some stuff so I don’t forget it. I went back to my first hand knowledge source last night for some more information on domestic violence by someone in a position of authority and realized there are some things I need to add in for that too. And cross your fingers for Ben–he’s meeting the family tonight. He should have worn the kevlar.
I did really well this month, mostly due to Nuts About You (I keep writing Nuts to You–is that a Freudian slip?) and to A Knight in Shining Kevlar. That’s not to say that other stories didn’t get a little love–If/Then got a little longer and got a plot snarl sorted out; Je Veux…had some editing done and a few thousand more words added; Bite Me, Furface! gained about 1500 words. The biggest change, though, happened in a story that I hadn’t even planned on writing for a long time. But I happened to look it over about a week ago and it liked the attention. But then, what would you expect of a courtesan? They live by the amount of attention they can attract.
The Courtesy of Knives seems to be elbowing its way to the front of the pack, with backstory and new characters filling in blank spaces as fast as I can make notes. It’ll be interesting, getting back to my fantasy roots, but there’s a fair bit of research to do yet, not the least of which involves some indepth reading about the courtesans of 16th century Venice and the birth of the Geisha class in Japan. And I need to draw a flippin’ map. I hate drawing maps. Time to start looking at cloud formations again, so I at least have a starting point for the land masses. Dang it!
So, you’re probably wanting to slap me right about now, because I haven’t explained a thing about the story. Darn thing is—panzter! I don’t know all the story. I can tell you a bit about it, though. Iyani is a courtesan in a country where only men are allowed to ply that trade at the highest levels. Ganelon is a prince (the spare, not the heir) on a diplomatic foray to said country with the courtesans. Due to some political shenanigans that actually take place before the story, Iyani ends up seeking shelter with Ganelon and travelling back to his country with him. The story themes around trust and that sense of dislocation that you feel when you move to a new community, where you don’t understand the customs and, in poor Iyani’s case, don’t even speak the language. There’s some typical epic fantasy action, as well, and a suitably tragic something that happens near the end. And a happy something, and a going-to-be-happy something as well.
Ah, this is going to be fun.
For those who are curious, here’s the screenshot of my actual daily wordcounts. There’s a few days in there for editing and a few I ended up taking off because some days the hamster is more dead than alive up there.
Well, I think I can safely say that Knight has hit critical mass, which is my geeky way of saying that most of the empty spots in the plot have been filled in, at least in my head. It’s just finding the time to write them down.
This bit comes from about halfway through the book, when circumstance force Ross to lay all his cards out on the table.
“Bedroom’s this way,” he said, tugging Ben in the direction of the hallway. Ben laughed and efficiently stripped Ross of his jacket and shirt. Wow, never realised that would be one of the fringe benefits of dating a cop. He tilted his head back to allow Ben access to the sensitive skin under his jaw and a flash of blue caught his eye. Blue? He opened his eyes wider and searched the living room for whatever it was.
A huge vase full of blue roses stood proudly on top of the low bookcase he used as a coffee table.
“Shit!” He shoved Ben away and stumbled as he stepped back to get a better look. The thunk his head made as he hit the wall flashed him back to that moment seven years ago and an agonizing blast of fear burned up his nerves before he got a grip on himself.
“Ross, what’s wrong? What did I do?” Ben crouched beside him, worry and puzzlement on his face. One hand reached out toward Ross, but stopped before it could touch him.
Ross tore his eyes away from the roses to look at Ben. “Nothing. You didn’t do anything.” He put his hand in Ben’s and added, “Help me up.”
Ben pulled him to his feet and steadied him when he wobbled, his vision swimming—from nerves or from the crack on the head, he didn’t know. He walked over to the roses and made a circuit around them, looking for a card or some other sign of who had sent them, but there was nothing there.
“Ross?” Ben asked in a worried tone.
“There’s no card.”
“So, you didn’t buy these?”
“I hate blue roses.” Ross looked up at Ben. “Michael always gave me blue roses, because pink was for girls.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” A pause. “Who would send you blue roses?”
Fuck. Ross looked up at Ben. “I have another confession to make.”
Lol, not sure if that’s famous last words or the last words you want to hear from your significant other.
Okay, must go fill in a little plot hole. Because enquiring minds need to know why Michael sent the roses.
Have a good one!