Strange Hospitality

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Short Story (5150 words)
Ebook Edition (Available in epub, mobi & pdf.)
Publication date: October 11, 2012
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Devon is driving through the English countryside when his car spins out of control. Lost in the snow and the dark, he knocks at the door of the only house in the area. Luc, owner and only resident of the mysterious house, takes him in and offers him a place to stay for the night, if Devon obeys the rules of the house. Devon promptly disobeys, of course, ending up in hot water and trying to decide if Luc’s response is punishment or promise. (M/M)

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The man stares silently at Devon, taking in the chestnut hair, glittering with melted snowflakes, the overcoat dripping wet snow onto his floor. His dark green gaze works back up Devon’s body, his head tilting slightly to compensate for Devon’s extra height.

“You are very tall.”

Devon flushes and slumps slightly even though the man facing him must be near six foot himself. The man continues to stare silently at him. Devon fidgets and rubs his tingling hands together. He jerks one out toward the man.

“I’m Devon, Devon Marshall. Sorry again and thank you for letting me in, you never know who could be at your door. I promise I’m not an axe murderer or something like that.”

The other man’s lips quirk in a slight smile at that point and Devon relaxes slightly as he continues. “Just point me at the phone and I’ll be out of your hair.”

The man seems to gather himself together, although he doesn’t take Devon’s hand.

“No, it is I who should offer apologies. I have been rude, making you stand here in that damp coat. Please, allow me.”

He moves behind Devon, hands falling onto Devon’s shoulders, slipping the wet wool down his arms. Devon feels a tremor run through him and turns slightly to bring the man back into view as he pulls his snow-encrusted boots from his feet. The other man nods slightly in recognition of Devon’s gesture.

“I do not have the pleasure of company very often and my manners are… rusty. I am sorry, the phone is out of order. I believe a tree may have fallen and taken out the line. But you may remain here until morning and we will venture out to see if anything can be done.”

“Thank you so much, Mr…” Devon raises an eyebrow of his own, waiting for the man to introduce himself.

The man turns back from hanging up Devon’s coat and gives a soft, self-mocking smile.

“Once again, my manners desert me. Please, call me Luc. Come, we will endeavour to warm you up.”


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