Two Tales of Dark MM Romance
Sometimes finding love requires a compromise of the soul.
In The Mirror, Iras is an antique shop owner who lives quietly alone... until he unpacks a mysterious mirror with a secret passenger. The spirit trapped in the mirror seems innocent, fragile, and Iras dedicates himself to its restoration just as he would restore an old piece of furniture.
As the restoration goes on, Iras begins to realize that the work is taking a toll on him. He develops nosebleeds and has nightmares. He begins to crave raw meat, the only thing that sustains him as the spirit in the mirror grows stronger and clearer with every passing day.
By the time Iras realizes the true nature of his companion in the mirror, it's too late to save himself... but Iras is no longer sure if he wants saving.
In The Vestal, Hae Drusa is a possession of the cruel lord Lan. Drusa's virginity gives him special properties; his very presence protects the land and the people in it, ensuring healthy children and flourishing crops. As long as Drusa remains a pure vestal, lord Lan's realm will prosper.
Temptation inevitably arises in the form of a visitor from beyond the borders. Maes Hill, a foreign lordling with an air of the strange about him, quickly bewitches Drusa into a chaste romance. Drusa, afraid of the consequences, insists on maintaining his virginity, and Maes Hill is patient. He swears not to touch Drusa until the vestal decides to escape his captivity.
The innocent affair can't last forever. When lord Lan discovers Drusa's secret companion, he punishes Drusa by taking him to a brothel and showing him exactly what happens to vestals who lose their status.
Horrified, Drusa snaps. He's willing to sacrifice his sanctity for the mysterious Maes Hill, too scared to do anything but fall into his arms... but he has no idea what sort of arms he's submitting himself to.
Hooked by his Horns is a two-story collection of erotic horror, 17k words altogether. Both stories contain violence, dark themes, and potentially upsetting content. Please mind the warnings contained in the foreword.
“That is strange,” said the employee, but cheerfully. “I don’t know what to tell you. Well—” He paused.
“What?” Even over the phone, Iras had an odd prickle of intuition. “Were you told the origin of the rest of the goods?”
“Estate sale,” said Iras, a little dismissively. Most of his goods came by way of the dead. There was no end to the valuables sitting around dust-covered and undiscovered until the owner’s death, when there came a sudden need to empty a home so it could be sold. He usually didn’t think about it until something odd came along — like one shipment of entirely swan-themed furniture and figurines — giving a sad, clear image of a passion extinguished.
“That’s all you were told?”
Iras looked again at the mirror, stood and walked over to it, tracing his cloudy reflection. “Were there any other relevant details?”READ MORE
“Well.” The man paused. “I’m not sure if I should be disclosing this information.”
“I can promise you it won’t affect business,” said Iras, running his fingers down the beveled edge of the glass. It felt somehow warm. “Unless you’re smuggling drugs around in mirrors, I’m not concerned. I promise you I’ve heard it all.” And seen it all. More antique vibrators than was reasonable.
“All right.” The man paused, then sunk into the details. “It wasn’t one person’s possessions that came into our hands to distribute, but a whole family’s. They were murdered. Quite brutally.” His cheerful tone never slipped. “The whole thing was very mysterious.”
“That’s terrible,” said Iras. His natural empathy pinged. No, it wasn’t unusual, but it was sad. He had among his shelves the possessions of many murdered souls, many people who died bad deaths, even just found dead alone in an apartment, their silent life snuffed out without any witness but their shelving, their tables, their jewelry.
He wondered if this mirror had held the reflection of death inside of it.
“That’s all I can tell you,” said the man. “It’s possible I packed some- thing on accident; I’ve been a little preoccupied lately, and I had the whole sad affair in mind. I’ll definitely contact you if any relevant information arises.”
“That may not be necessary,” said Iras. He thought he had already resolved to keep it; he was weak for sad things, and the wistful state and grim origin of the mirror made him think it deserved a permanent home on his mantle.
“Is there anything else I can help you with?”
“I don’t think so. Thank you for your time.”
Iras ended the call.
He looked at the smoky reflection in the mirror, took it into his hands again.
“Why are you being so shy?” he asked it. “Were you frightened?” He ran his finger gently along the beveled edge. “You’re not in that house anymore. This is my antique shop; things are only restored and stored here, sometimes sold. It’s safe. Why don’t you stop hiding?”
His reflection became cloudier... and changed. Replaced by someone else. He still couldn’t make out a whole person, but he saw the face within the glass look around, and regard him in turn.
Not his own.
A little fuller. Maybe heart-shaped. Dark, distinctive brows. Long hair. A glimmer of eyeshine.
‘Safe?’ it asked.
“I knew there was someone in here,” he said.
He sat back cross-legged, holding the mirror, looking down into the obscurity and trying to discern any details of the face. A strange thrill, the delight of discovery, went through him.
“I’m Iras,” he said. “I promise you’re safe here. What’s your name? Who are you?”
The voice came in a whisper.