GENRE: Gay Fantasy Paranormal Erotic Romance Anthology
LENGTH: 258 pages
Does true love really exist or is it just a fantasy? In this collection of gay erotic romance by best-selling author J.M. Snyder, travel through time to Colonial America, visit a dystopic near future, or take a walk on the wild side among beasts, devils, and vampires. Each story embraces homoerotic love that transcends the ages and defies even death itself.
Contains the stories: A Haunted Love, Devil of a Night, Hunted, Inked in Blood, The Last Thing on My Mind, Lover's Cross, and Persistence of Memory.
EXCERPT FROM "Persistence of Memory"
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
The word races through my mind, looking for something to connect with, but it's been so long since I've heard or even thought it that I have no concept of freedom anymore. Even now it amazes me and I can't stop to think about it or I might freeze and then they'll catch me and I'll lose this wind rushing against my hot skin, this grass swishing against my legs, this burning in my lungs as I run. I can't stop, not now, not until the smoky buildings that block out the night sky are just bad memories. Not until the steel fencing that looms in the darkness is behind me, miles in the past, and the alarms that ring around me, raising the guards, are muffled screams I hear only in nightmares.
When the first shouts cry above the klaxons, I jump for the fence. Even though I know it's deactivated, I half-expect to feel its electric bite as my fingers fold through the chained links. How long will it take someone to realize the current has been cut? Long enough for me to vault over the top, I hope. With moves I've rehearsed over and over again in my mind, I climb to the top of the fence, risking a glance back at the armed guards who begin to pour from the building. The hard echoes of boot heels on concrete ring through the courtyard, and the first shots ping into the night as I reach the top of the fence. There's no wire, nothing keeping me in, nothing but the way they tried to break my spirit and drag me down.
But it was all a lie. Everything -- from the moment I came here, I've been living a lie, their lie. And I almost believed it. Almost.
My hands close over the steel rod at the top of the fence and I'm free, I'm free ... Below me the guards are shouting at each other, their guns aimed at me, the shots loud around me in the night, but I'm almost free --
Pain explodes through my leg, flames licking across my thigh like a wildfire, and in a graceless heap I tumble over the top of the fence. I can't catch myself in time; my hands scrape helplessly against steel as I fall. When I hit the ground, pain shoots up my back, balls into fists behind my eyes, and punches my mind so that I can't think, can't act, can't breathe. The voice in my head tells me to stop, stand still and await directions, wait for the guards to take me back.
Back inside, back in there. My body is numb, listening to the reasonable, bland voice I've heard since they imprisoned me. The voice that tells me the lies. The voice that keeps me from being free.
The dull scrape of steel on concrete as the gate opens goads me into action. Like one of their bullets, I fling myself into the dark of night, stumbling across the tall grass, heading for the trees and underbrush beyond. I've measured the distance in my mind; I've calculated the steps. But I hadn't counted on the pain eating away at my leg, gnawing on my bones like a hungry mutt, and as I run I try to shake it free from my body. I tell myself I don't feel the blood that drenches my pants, I don't feel the ache in my head. I don't feel anything, I don't think, I don't even breathe anymore, because each breath is labored and gasped, flames that burn down my throat and sting my lungs, filling them like a dragon's bellows. I just need to get to the trees, lose myself in their growth and then I'll be free.
A word I almost forgot existed. A concept I told myself didn't apply to me. The alarms fade in the distance, and the angry shouts of the guards become lost in the rustling branches I push aside as I tumble into the woods. I let the word roll through my mind, looking for something to define it, something to cling to.
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