Saturday, May 1, 2010

"To Have a Warrior" released

I'm in a flurry of busyness and excitement this weekend because Cobblestone Press just released my new M/M erotic short story "To Have a Warrior." I'm working to get the word out, plan promotions, clean the house and find time to keep editing the next novel-length work. But here's a little excerpt to share:

To Have a Warrior
by Marie Dees

Aki placed himself directly in the path of the three approaching warriors. Even if he didn’t look much like a warrior, he was going to force these men to acknowledge his existence. He wasn’t going to join the list of ethnologists who’d failed to get even a single interview from the men. “I am Aki. I am from New Earth.”

The first warrior didn’t bother to walk around him. He simply shouldered Aki out of the way as he passed. Aki stumbled and found his footing, but now stood directly in line with the second warrior. “I am Aki.” The second warrior used his elbow to send him falling to the red dirt of New Rangipo.

“Aki, you must come sit with me.”

Aki glanced to where the old woman sat, leaning against her hide tent, then back to the approaching third warrior. This one stopped to look down at him sprawled on the ground. Aki met the gaze of those blue eyes. “I am Aki. Will you tell me your name?” He was sure he had the right verb and correct conjugation.

The warrior looked away and strode a few meters to where the others stood, apparently studying the empty red desert. Aki pushed to his feet, wondering what they’d do if he went after them. From the reaction he’d just received, he’d probably set back relations with the tribe another decade. He brushed the red dirt from his pants. He hadn’t been attacked, just pushed out of the way.

“Aki, you will come sit by me,” the old woman snapped.

With a shrug, he strode over to her tent, which sat a few meters apart from the rest of the nomadic camp and closest to the research settlement. The science team would move when the camp moved, and Aki had no doubt Grandmother’s tent would again end up between them and the rest of the tribe.

She patted the ground beside her stool, indicating he should sit there. He did, folding his legs to sit cross-legged just within the shade of the tent. ”They are warriors.” She spoke slowly, as if to a child. "You are not a warrior. They may not talk to you.”

He nodded. “Yes, Grandmother,” he said using the respect word for the tribe’s older women. “But I don’t understand why they may not speak with me.”

“Because they are warriors.”

He sighed. No one had ever managed to wring a better answer than that out of the tribes since few of the women bothered to speak with the researchers. The old woman was an exception. Perhaps age put her above social considerations.

“Do not try to force them, Aki. You are not a warrior.”

He huffed. "Well, I know that." He wasn’t even worth fighting. Not that he’d have stood a chance of winning or of proving himself a warrior if they had fought him. The warriors he’d confronted stood over six feet tall with skin burned brown from the harsh sun of this world.

Aki was a head shorter than any of them. If he'd ever thought himself muscular, the sight of these men would have changed his mind. And the warriors wore so little, a strip of cloth covering their genitals and a light robe of the local wool over their shoulders; he could see each and every muscle. They also had long hair, which they wore pulled back into a braid. The spear each one carried showed his warrior status.

Since landing on the planet, all Aki'd done was stare as a succession of desirable men wandered across the landscape and ignored him. Damn the professor for pulling him into this project. He'd called it the opportunity of a lifetime. The chance to study the culture of a society that hadn’t been in contact with the outside world since it had been settled. Aki had jumped at the opportunity. The job should have gone to someone with ten times his experience. The professor hadn’t warned him that it could also be the failure of a lifetime.

Aki looked over at the old woman. She was spinning thread from the goat-like animals the tribe raised. He watched as the thread twirled gracefully on her drop spindle. Maybe he could make her understand his need. Her standing with the tribe might be high enough to allow her to help him. "I don't want to be a warrior. I just want to speak with them. Don't they understand?"

"They understand." She picked up some of the wool and put it in his hands. Then she pulled a bit out and showed him how to roll it between his fingers. He did so, anything to help win her approval. She smiled when he managed to make a bit of clumsy thread. "They do not speak to those outside the tribe."

“Maybe you could explain to them what I need?” he asked, still twirling the wool.
“What is it that you think you need, Aki? What is it that a warrior can give to you?”


Arlene said...

Awesome. Congrats!!! What a lovely cover, blurb and excerpt. I'm hooked.

Rebecca Leigh said...

congrats on the new release!! Wow -- this sounds fabulous, can't wait to go check it out!!

Cate Masters said...

Congrats! Sounds like a fantastic read.

Barbara Elsborg said...

Well, now I finally got it - I have to make time to read it!!!

Marie Dees said...

Thanks for the support everyone!

Marion Sipe said...

Congratulations! It looks like a great read, and the cover is gorgeous!

Jay Di Meo said...

Congratulations, Marie, this is a fantastic story!!!