Ahhh, it's been a three-day weekend here in the States, and I must say that I'd be quite happy if all weekends were three days long.
I had a story come out this month for Torquere Press' Birthstone line, titled Teaching Topaz. This little story is actually a sequel to a novel I wrote for Torquere called Keeping Karma, if you haven't read that one, check them both out. Here's a bit from Teaching Topaz...
Alex twirled some pasta around his fork and took a bite before responding. “Speaking of cats,” Alex mused. “Amy Lin was holding this little black one today. Know anything about that?”
Dylan wiped his mouth and took a long pull from his beer bottle. “Maybe.” His eyes twinkled. Alex recognized the mischievous look. “He was cute, right?”
“He was cute.” Alex stopped eating altogether and leaned back in his chair. “What were you thinking, though? We can’t have a cat here while Karma’s still around.”
The ferret heard her name from inside the cupboard and came slinking out with a plastic lid firmly clamped in her teeth. She crossed the kitchen floor with it and dropped it under the table.
Dylan reached down and picked her up. “Come here, you.”
Friend. Friend. Dylan play. Dylan.
“She wants to play.” Alex watched them together and smiled slightly. He had kept his talent a secret from Dylan for months, and when Alex had finally revealed what he could do, Dylan hadn’t believed him. It had taken a lot of discussion and demonstration to convince Dylan that Alex could not only understand animals, but hear what they were thinking. Sometimes Alex thought that Dylan still doubted him, but who could blame him? Talking to animals was something you only saw in stupid movies like Dr. Doolittle.
In any case, Alex didn’t really talk to them. Animals couldn’t understand him; it seemed to be just a one-way communication. He could hear what they were thinking, but not one animal had ever responded to Alex’s thoughts in kind.
“She always wants to play.” Dylan stroked Karma’s sleek white fur. “Or sleep.”
“Sleeping more and more, these days.” He watched as Karma lay in the crook of Dylan’s arm and blinked her eyes slowly. “So, about the cat.” It wasn’t like Dylan to avoid a subject, but he clearly was. “I can’t bring him home.”
There are many more animal shenanigans, plus some hot man-on-man action with a uniformed officer, in Teaching Topaz at Torquere Press.