Part Two of our queer dark switchblade-and-sorcery novel, Those Who Create and Destroy, is here, with a new chapter free to read every Monday and Friday!
In today’s new chapter, “A Gentleman Caller,” a visit from Hunter leaves Cyrano shaken and wondering whether he should finally turn to someone for help.
Download the full Part One free for e-reader, for those who need to catch up.
“A Gentleman Caller”
story by Mabel Harper & Emrys Webb
written by Emrys Webb
Cyrano paused with his hand on the refrigerator door, glanced at the microwave clock. Took into account that it was and had been, for as long as he could remember, fourteen minutes slow.
There was no way Hunter hadn’t figured out by now that Cyrano wasn’t coming to the club tonight.
He surveyed the contents of the fridge (mostly fast-food leftovers), decided he wasn’t hungry after all. Shuffled back over to the kitchen table. Clambered into the chair in front of his laptop and pulled his legs up.
Leaned his cheek on his fist. Moused around on Reddit, not comprehending anything he read.
I should have just gone.
He wasn’t sure why he hadn’t. Cyrano didn’t understand a lot of the things he did and didn’t do these days. Sometimes he wanted to see Hunter so bad he felt a literal ache in the pit of his stomach. Other times, he wanted to skip town—run away somewhere Hunter could never, ever find him.
And that was without even factoring in Jules. The last thing Cyrano had expected was to like the eccentric, widely hated whiz kid who’d leapfrogged way more senior people, including Cyrano himself, to the top of the department. While he was among the few who actually respected Jules’s scholarship, Cyrano had expected to find the Grand Philosopher himself pretentious, remote, and self-absorbed. But, as it turned out, Jules was someone you could really talk to, in a way you couldn’t most people. He was so direct, so quietly observant, so nonjudgmental that he made you feel…safe.
Which made him the polar opposite of Hunter.
Cyrano clawed a hand through his curls, pressed his knuckles to his lips, stared blankly at the screen.
Hunter is going to fuck me in the ass if I turn my back on him now.
He jumped at the grating sound of the apartment’s old electric-bell doorbell.