The best part of the M/M Romance Group’s DRitC event, is that as writers, we’re not alone. As we work on our prompt stories, we know that there are hundreds of writers around the world doing the same! Not to mention the event staff, beta-readers, formatters, quality control, moderators … I check the LOR author support thread regularly, but when I need a writing boost, I like to go back to the prompts and see what other writers are doing. There is something magical at seeing an idea fleshed out and taking on a life of its own, often in unexpected ways! As the deadline draws nearer, I thought I’d share some of the prompts that get me most excited about the event!
Today, I’m writing about Penumbra’s prompt, claimed by Sera Trevor.
One of the first to be posted, Penumbra’s fantasy prompt caught my attention immediately. A feisty prince, an arranged marriage and the element of forbidden romance in the character of the loyal but lower-class friend … There is so much you can do with that! Fortunately for all of us, Sera Trevor saw the potential, snatching up this gem at once. Sera’s already proven that she rocks fantasy — her DRitC story for last year, Consorting with Dragons, was nominated for Best Fantasy and Best Love’s Landscapes Story in the 2014 Member’s Choice Awards. But you don’t have to take my word for it! Sera has given me permission to share one of the excerpts she posted from her WIP:
King Olan nudged Theryn forward. “May I present my son, Theryn, and Sir Atrum, his higard,” he said.
As Theryn reluctantly stepped forward, one man from the Soltaran delegation moved as well. He was dressed the most richly of all, adorned in gold and silver silks. He wore bright white gloves. His hair was like like a flame, looking gold one minute and red the next depending on how the light hit it. He was fair of face, although his neat goatee gave a masculine strength to his features. He crossed the room, his piercing blue eyes never leaving Theryn for a moment, as if he was afraid he’d disappear if he looked away. When he arrived at Theryn’s side, his gaze traveling up and down Theryn’s body, considering him. Without looking away, he beckoned to his entourage. Two men stepped forward. One was clearly a servant. There other was an older gentleman with a bushy black beard. He was dressed in a long, red robe, over which he wore a fur trimmed black coat. On his head he wore a tall, square black hat. He carried a scroll in one hand.
“Well?” Prince Lyar asked.
The old man squinted at the scroll, then at Theryn. “Yes, he fits the description. Brown of hair and green of eyes — ”
“ — fair of face,” Lyar finished for him. He smiled then — a pleased, crooked grin. Atrum disliked that smile. He disliked the way he was looking at Theryn, his gaze so possessive and unwavering. But what could he do?
“Do you want further confirmation?” the old man asked. Lyar waved his hand in assent. The servant handed the old man a long stick and two stones.
“This will only take a moment, Your Grace,” the old man said to Theryn. “If you would hold these, please.” He pressed the stones in Theryn’s hands, who accepted them with bewilderment. The old man waved the stick over his head, then around his right shoulder, down his side, and back up again the other way. The stones glowed a bright white.
Lyar and the old man smiled at each other. “Yes, it is he at last!” the old man cried. “But perhaps we can see a demonstration, just to put all doubts to rest?”
“Would you mind, then?” Lyar asked Theryn. Theryn simply stared at him, unmoving. “I’m sorry,” Lyar said after a moment. “Perhaps I was unclear. I would like to see a demonstration of your Light ability.”
Theryn shook his head, as if coming out of a stupor. “No,” he said.
Lyar cocked his head. “No? Why ever not?”
“Because I am not a dog, brought here to do tricks for you,” Theryn said, his voice rising. “Nor am I a cut of meat at the market, to be poked and inspected before purchase!”
“Theryn!” King Olan roared. “Apologize to the prince!”
Lyar waved his hand. “No, he’s quite right,” he said. “Forgive me. I have been unconscionably rude. Perhaps we can start again?” He gave Theryn a little bow. “I am Lyar, Crown Prince of Soltara. And I have spent the last ten years searching for you.”
“What do you mean?” Theryn asked.
In response, Lyar removed one of his pristine white gloves. He put his hand on the table beside him. A moment later, the smell of smoke wafted through the air. When he pulled his hand away, a dark mark was left in the wood. “Heat, but no Light,” he said. “To receive the full power of the Sun, one must have both.”
“And that’s what you want me for,” Theryn said. “My ability.”
“It’s more than that,” Lyar said. “The stars themselves have spelled out our destiny.” He snapped his fingers at the old man. “Here, allow my astronomer to show you the charts…”
“I am not interested in your charts!” Theryn said. “And your god is not mine. I will marry you because my father made an oath, and I made an oath to him. It has nothing to do with destiny.”
“I suppose we’ll have the rest of our lives to debate that point,” Lyar said mildly. “Now, a demonstration, please.”
Theryn threw up his hand. A blinding light flashed directly in Lyar’s eyes, who stumbled backward with a cry. “There you are,” Theryn snarled. “Are you satisfied?”
He turned to walk away, but Lyar caught him by the arm. His face was contorted with fury. Theryn let out a cry of pain as smoke began to emit from where Lyar was grasping him.
Atrum reacted without thinking. He lunged forward, grabbing Lyar’s arm and wrenching it away from Theryn. The moment he touched Lyar, something very strange happened. He couldn’t quite explain it. It was as if he were momentarily… negated. The world fell away; there was nothing but the two of them standing there, gazes locked. Lyar seemed just as stunned as Atrum.
Atrum couldn’t say how long it lasted. He let go of Lyar’s arm. As soon as he did, he became aware of the commotion surrounding them — Lyar’s own guards had rushed forward, weapons drawn. King Olan was screaming for Atrum to stand down. The astronomer and Belvar’s voices sounded as well as they tried to keep the peace.
Sera has definitely captured the attitude of Penumbra’s prince — and more besides. I am dying to know what Lyar’s charts tell him about Theryn, and what exactly happened when Atrum grabbed Lyar. She has shared more excerpts on the discussion thread. I really recommend checking them out! There are some extremely steamy moments between Theryn and Atrum, and Lyar making a bid for the spotlight.
If, like me, you feel like you cannot wait for June and the LOR stories to start being posted, you can visit Sera at her website Sera Trevor: M/M Romance, In and Out of this world. Her story from last year, Consorting with Dragons is free to read, and I am excited all over again for Curses, Foiled Again — seriously, vampires and witches? Soon is not soon enough!
I have two more LOR posts planned for the near feature, but with so many prompts posted, it is entirely possible that I have missed something amazing. Feel free to share your favourites with me, I’d love to see them!