Woohoo! KevaD is here today and for some lucky commenter, there's a $10.00 Gift Certificate. So come on out and comment folks!! I just love me some KevaD. He's a dynamic author and an awesome man.
Thank you ever so much for having me back once again. But I want to thank your readers for taking a few minutes to spend with us as well, so, thank you!
And as an extra thanks, I'll be giving away a $10.00 Noble Romance gift certificate to a randomly selected commenter.
For those not familiar with me, I'm KevaD, a writer of any story my mind wants to produce. I'm a storyteller who sees stories in every face, cloud, and raccoon that didn't make it across the road. Simply put, life is a tale far too intriguing not to tell.
"Desire Damned" is an erotic MM paranormal set on the battlefields of Gettysburg.
I took a lot of time nurturing this story as I didn't want it to be the usual paranormal fare. Though I knew this piece had to remain a novella as part of Noble Romance Publishing's Timeless Desire Line, I wanted the reader to experience a tale through the eyes of a warrior who has devoted his tormented life to the one person he has loved since creation.
Taka is the greatest unknown warrior the world will ever see. His motivation is his love for the gentle Har, his soul mate and Taka's reason for refusing to submit to Satan's wishes.
Taka needed an edge to him. He's killed far too many people not to have a razor's edge. Yet, he also needed a softness that could surrender to his lover. So, I kept Taka and Har men instead of making them demons, angels, or whatever else is popular right now. They are trapped in an eternity neither wanted. But to leave their circumstances would require abandoning one to Satan's hatred of the men. And neither Har nor Taka could ever allow that to happen.
Still, the story had to have a happy ending, and I certainly couldn't allow Satan to defeat Taka. Hopefully I came up with a very unique twist readers haven't encountered before and will enjoy and support – maybe even cheer for. I truly hope you think so.
Satan wants the warrior Taka to bow before him. But Taka bows to no one except his gentle lover Har.
For thousands of years the two men have been doomed to a life of torment. While one walks the earth, the other suffers under the devil's lash. Their only respite is an occasional night; a random, beautiful, love-filled night, knowing that with the dawn one of them must die in battle and return to Satan's wrath.
On the war-torn fields of Gettysburg the two lovers are reunited once again. But this time something beyond Hell's reach has happened. Something so wondrous, Satan may finally get his wish.
Again, thank you all so very much for spending some time with me today.
Glory could not be found in death. Taka chuckled sadly. For him, not even death could be found in death. How long had it been this time? He pulled the blanket tight around his neck and kept his eyes closed. The blanket stank of sour sweat and damp wool.
What new ways have they found to kill each other now?
He'd learned with each new age he found himself in, war was nothing more than the testing ground for technology, an incubator for new-fangled ideas. Men died, war ended, only the inventions remained to tell the tale. People soon forgot the lives destroyed, but enjoyed the innovative toys and comforts spilled blood produced.
Taka rubbed his head over the soft grass. So many wars, so many battles. So many times he'd died, only to awaken in the midst of another opportunity to be killed.
There was one good thing about war though, for a day or two, Taka wouldn't suffer under the devil's lash. Insects wouldn't crawl in and out of festering wounds, gnaw at his eyes and lips. And if he was lucky – very lucky – he might even live until the next war. He sighed heavily. To live meant Har had to die and suffer the unrelenting torment, the inextinguishable pain. And he would never allow Har to suffer, not as long as he held the strength to die and keep Har alive.
Har. How he missed him. Hopefully they would find each other. His heart thumped at the thought. Har in his arms, their lips meeting, their bodies entwined. How joyous the time shared would be . . . before one of them died and submitted to the hellish torture inflicted on their bodies.
An odor of beef and boiling potatoes drifted past. His empty belly rumbled in want. Clothing rustled. Men groaned and moved. Metal buckles clicked. Rifle hammers snapped back, clapped shut. Low conversations started, faded. The voices were tired and broken, not hopeful and filled with excitement.
Wherever he was, whatever war this might be, hadn't just begun.
In the distance, cannon fire shattered the stillness.
"Fall in! Form a line, recruits."
Taka puffed his cheeks and blew out a breath. That would be him, a recruit - one of the new men, not known to the rest. He tossed off the blanket and sat. Slowly, he opened his eyes. Leafy boughs of trees sheltered him from the sun. A tree grove. Shade surrounded him. Elms and walnuts mixed their odors to provide a façade of serenity.
"I said, fall in, goddamnit!"
English. He'd heard English before, but never spoken the language. Each new war brought another tongue to add to his growing list. Satan seemed to have a fascination with tongues and dialects and always made sure Har and Taka mingled well. Ojibwa had been his last voice, the one prior. He'd fought nearly naked alongside Frenchmen in grand, colorful clothes. Running through the forests, his skin free to breathe, had reminded him of his earliest days when few men walked the earth. Before he'd disobeyed Satan and incurred the devil's unrelenting anger. He shook off the memory. Today, he lived once more. No need to waste a moment on the past or the future.
Taka stood and combed his fingers through his thick hair. Then he ran his hands over his clothing. The shirt was a pullover of discolored white cotton, the material soft on his skin. Dark gray trousers of wool itched his legs. Braided suspenders held the pants on his hips. He wiggled his toes inside brown leather boots. Cotton covered his feet. At least he had on socks. The boots were a bit tight, a tad too small, but not all that uncomfortable. When the opportunity presented itself, he'd take a bigger pair from a corpse.
Taka grabbed his blanket from the ground. A folded paper fell out. He retrieved and opened the parchment. Enlistment papers. His name was Sanford Rawlings, and he'd been drafted into the Army of Virginia, whatever that was. Not that it really mattered. Finding Har was his only goal, and his love wouldn't be in this army – he'd be a member of the opposing force.
He stuck the paper inside his shirt and took his time rolling the blanket.
Heavy steps tromped toward him.
"Did you hear me, boy? I ordered you to fall in!" The voice was thick with a drawl and full of raw domination. A sergeant of some sort no doubt. Officers didn't waste their valuable time with individual soldiers.
Taka/Sanford Rawlings placed the blanket next to an elm's trunk and turned to face the man huffing anger on his neck.
The bearded man planted the edge of the black brim of his drooped front forage cap against Taka's forehead. Brown eyes flamed. "You don't want to cross me, boy. I'll be the weevil in your cotton you want to mess with me."
This man, this overconfident rabble, defeat the warrior Taka? Hardly. He tried to stop the chuckle, but the minute laugh slipped between his lips.
"You think I'm funny?" The voice climbed two octaves. Sallow cheeks burned red. Bushy brown brows lowered. Spittle splashed on Taka's lips.
Better to leave this annoyance alone and get started finding Har. "No, I don't. Sorry. Didn't mean nothing by it."
"Sergeant," the man growled. "Didn't mean nothing by it, Sergeant."
"Sergeant. Sorry, Sergeant."
The sergeant's eyes shifted their gaze back and forth. "Best be. Now fall in."
Taka slipped around the man clad in gray from throat to pants bottom. Large stripes blazed yellow on the man's woolen waist-length coat. Sweat dripped down his dirty neck. A wide, black belt was cinched around the jacket. A leather holster with button flap dangled from the right side of the belt; a sheathed bayonet on the other.
The uniform was soiled, but not with fresh dirt. The sergeant hadn't seen combat in at least a few days. Cannon continued their firing from a distance too far for Taka to accurately judge. Could he be among reserves maybe? Troops not involved in the actual fighting, but at the ready for a moment's call should the battle sway in the wrong direction for either side. Which, since Taka was here, probably stood a very good chance of happening. Add that to the bayonet – an infantry weapon - on the sergeant's belt, and a charge into the enemy's ranks had to be on somebody's agenda.
Taka walked out of the grove into a lush pasture of grass dotted with the white petals and thick scent of sweet clover. A black and yellow bee nonchalantly buzzed past. Heat pressed his face. The sun beat down from behind. Summer. Had to be. The fiery orb sank almost imperceptibly. Afternoon. Four o'clock or thereabouts. The sun sat in the west. That meant the cannon fire, and possibly the bulk of the fighting, was north of his position.
Har would instinctively know he had arrived and make his way to the farthest end of the battle sometime after dark. Undoubtedly to Taka's right – south. Lifetimes ago they had agreed to always seek out a small river or stream to meet. Trees and thick foliage would hide their all too brief time together.
"Move your ass." The sergeant brushed past Taka.
At the bottom of the slope lay rows of small canvas tents extending east, interspersed by an occasional larger tent with the sides drawn up and tied. Uniformed men milled about the larger tents. Command tents. Men shuffled about a quadrangle of stone-ringed fires. Two cows hung on spits over a pair of the fires. Kettles boiled over the others. Supper.
Small groups of soldiers led by sergeants in waistcoats practiced marching with rifles held waist high. More evidence of an upcoming assault. But the marching aspect dictated there would be a lot of ground to cover before the actual call for the charge.
The cannons boomed.
"Ohh," Taka moaned. Cannon and men marching on open ground. An inevitable bloodbath. Whatever time had passed, man had learned little in the spans.