Devil’s Bargain, Devil’s Kiss

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Short Story (7700 words)
Ebook Edition (Available in epub, mobi & pdf.)
Publication date: August 9, 2012
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When handsome Doctor Nicholas Black brings his wagon full of patent medicines to Jonah’s small town, it seems like the answer to the whole town’s prayers. But the good doctor’s cures don’t come cheap, and for Jonah in particular there might be too high a price to pay. (M/M)

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The doctor nods, pulling on his pipe so the coals glow bright. He sits there for a second looking satisfied, then blows out a long stream of smoke. “If you tell me you came out here to discuss animal husbandry, Jonah, I’m going to be quite surprised.”

Jonah laughs, ducking his head a little. “No, sir,” he says. “Wish I could say this was just a social call, but—.”

“No need to apologize, my boy,” the doctor says. He sets his pipe on the arm of his chair and gets up. “A medical man grows accustomed to the feeling of being ever on call, I assure you.”

“Still,” Jonah says, “I don’t mean to trouble you. You must be wanting some supper, and it—it can’t be easy on your lady friend if you’re working all the time.”

The doctor shakes his head, coming over to where Jonah’s standing. “You’re a fine young man, Jonah, but don’t you worry. Eve’s out just at the moment anyway. I promise she won’t begrudge you this.”

Jonah frowns, because that kind of sounds funny. “I wasn’t trying to make it sound like…” he says, and the doctor lays a heavy hand on his shoulder.

“Now, I have what you need here, Jonah,” he says, “but I think I’m going to have to ask you for payment. I promise it’ll be nothing you can’t spare.”

“I would have paid you last time,” Jonah says. He reaches into his pocket for his coins.

“I wonder,” the doctor says, and his tone makes Jonah stop and look up at him. “I’m not asking for money, my boy.” His smile gets wider. “I’m asking a kiss.”

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