Twisted Gifts

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Short Story (6500 words)
Ebook Edition (Available in epub, mobi & pdf.)
Publication date: November 11, 2013
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In Inherent Gifts, Jere learned to navigate his new world where slavery was not only enforced, but thrust upon him in the form of a young slave named Wren. It only takes one foot on a different path to change everything though. What would Wren and Jere be like if Wren had broken free from slavery before Jere ever met him? In an alternate universe, Wren and Jere became very different people. (M/M)

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Jere’s curiosity had gotten the best of him. The man who kidnapped him seemed to have two gifts, an amazing rarity, and despite those powers, he was helpless to do anything for the boy on the table. Jere moved over to the unconscious boy, feeling the pull to heal outweighing his fear of his captors. It appeared that a spray of bullets had caught him in his chest and stomach, and the fact that he was alive was a near miracle.

He felt someone behind him, and a painful burst of heat struck the back of his neck.

“If you damage him, I will make you suffer until you forget your own name.”

Jere closed his eyes, focusing on being professional, on saving this kid’s life. He was terrified, but the need to heal was stronger. More than his chosen career, it was his gift, his passion, something that worked with every part of his body. “Sir, he needs immediate attention. Please, I can heal him.”

“Do it.” It was an order, but there was a hint of apprehension. The man obviously cared deeply about the boy.

Jere obeyed, partly out of fear, partly out of compassion for human life. It was complicated, it was dire, and his physical and psychic resources were tapped already. The setting was less than ideal, but Jere forced himself to block everything else out. Admittedly, he was more comfortable blocking everything else out; healing was familiar, a refuge he could hide behind. Time passed, until he felt himself swooning in and out of consciousness as he finished, collapsing not to the floor, but to soft arms that carried him off. He wasn’t sure if it was real or not.

He woke up sometime later in a strange bed, and thought for a minute that he had had a terrible alcohol dream, about being kidnapped and beaten up and—

He sat up and the bruises on his stomach reminded him that it wasn’t a dream. He fought back nausea for a moment, then spied a wastebasket and heaved water and bile into it. Jere was on his knees, wiping tears from his eyes when he heard a voice behind him.

“Well done, doctor.” It was the man, the man who had taken him.

“What did you—”

“Shut up!” The voice boomed, and Jere felt himself shrinking. “Come with me.”

The man turned on his heels and walked, and Jere followed. He saw no other option, and since he seemed to be stuck here anyway, he was interested in finding out what this man wanted with him.

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