Audiobook has arrived! The one for A Boy and His Dragon has, I mean. A Boy and His Dragon at Audible
(Confession: I get the giggly squeals when I try to listen to my own words being read out loud. I am blushing right now.)
In other news, it occurs to me that those not into the geeky online things might not realize what AUs are. I write a lot of AUs of my own characters, usually in unedited little snippets to amuse the people who follow me on Tumblr. For example, I posted a short Bakery AU of Ray and Cal from Some Kind of Magic
for Kristi P for Valentine's Day. An AU is a story set in an alternate universe from the one in which the original story is set. I tend to still consider AUs Original, in a sense, (because change one fact about a character and you change the character) but it's not really a point I'd argue because mostly AUs are supposed to be fun. :) Though to make it even more confusing, sometimes I just label them "crackfic"... which they basically are. A cracky, nutty version of a story you already know.
I mention this now because every once in a while I will read a comment from someone very confused or someone will remind me that not everyone is a giant geek like me and so people don't always speak my language. If anyone ever doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about, feel free to ask me
so I convert you to a giant geek too.
Anyway! AUs. I love my characters and I love variations of them because it's interesting to see how a slightly different background can entirely change the way a story would go. I tend to write fuzzy little AUs just to make me smile but if you want to know more about them, may I suggest Wikipedia
? (Obvious caveat that Wikipedia is Wikipedia and always open for debate and editing.)
(Oh my though, modern AU of My Man Godric
in which Godric is the head of security for a rich, old, noble family and Bertie is the public scapegrace, always in the tabloids, usually caught staring adoringly at Godric. It's really quite embarrassing. And I still think about that AU of Play It Again, Charlie
in which Will gets to know Charlie while he's still recovering in the hospital. I think about that one when I need some angst.)
I forgot my point. I guess, just... look at these idiots. Ray the baking werewolf and Cal the besotted customer
This was originally an unedited Tumblr post. Original notes have been left in.
(I bet he makes savory pies and quiches filled with ham and croissants rich with butter. I bet someone else normally makes all the sweet, delicate things, like someone else normally works the counter. But one day Penn, who runs the register and does their books, has to go do some family thing with her mother and since it's a slow day she tells Ray he has to come out to help customers if anyone rings the bell.)
He was right in the middle of preparing the beef for some spicy mini beef pies, done Louisiana style, when someone rang the bell and it didn't put him in the best mood. He only had so much time to get some prepared for their lunch rush. He'd ask Murphy to go deal with the customer but Murphy had a special order of lemon tarts to complete. Someone had ordered them at the last minute. Ray was not fond of people who made huge, demanding orders at the last minute. Penn tried to remind him that business was business, but some customers needed a basic understanding that their bakery was not a McDonald's. Things took time, even with the occasional magical assistance.
In his nose was an irritating mix of lemon and onion which did not improve his mood as he pushed through the bat-wing swinging doors that led to the main room. He knew there was a frown on his face but he couldn't be bothered to care.
What did make him pause was the reaction from the fairy waiting by the counter.
"Oh, a face like that should not be scowling so," the fairy remarked, tilting his head back to study Ray with wide, swirling eyes of brown and purple and green. The colors made Ray think of Mardi Gras, and King's Cake, and frosting.
Ray didn't usually care for frosting but for a moment he licked his lips at the imagined taste of sugar. Then the fairy spoke again. "Then again the frown suits you. You're a were, aren't you? Maybe fierce is exactly how you should look." The fairy was not subtle in looking Ray over, but then they never were.
"Can I help you?" It came out a lot crankier than it should have. Penn would have had something to say about that if she'd heard it. Ray shrugged it off and didn't apologize or explain his frown. The fairy would forget about it in a few minutes anyway once he got some sugar.
He was actually pretty low-key for a fairy, with much smaller wings than usual, as if he was part human. He even had a shirt on, unbuttoned to reveal a bare chest glowing with health and sparkles, but still a shirt.
Ray headed over to the pastry counter after a moment's hesitation. The fairy wasn't going to want anything savory and he probably wouldn't want a whole cake, but a box filled with individual pastries was always a fairy favorite.
"So you're finally out here." The fairy's gaze darted to Ray's apron, coated in flour as well as hints of blood from the meat. "Oh, Ray," he realized out loud and then stopped. He twirled his wrist and looked slightly guilty as he explained. "Penn talks about you."
"She does?" It was not what Ray meant to say at all but he fought off a blush and stared back at his winged admirer as impassively as he could. The fairy--half-fairy, smiled at him. It was possibly the kindest smile Ray had ever seen.
"Penn is wonderful," the fairy offered with that same beaming smile. Ray thought Penn was wonderful too. She had never once scoffed at a werewolf living in a city and working as a baker. He loved Penn. He had no idea why he'd frown harder to hear that the fairy liked her too.
"She thinks the world of you, you know." The fairy leaned forward, putting his slender hands gracefully along the top of the glass case, sending glitter raining down the lace doily underneath the display of cupcakes that Penn kept out to tempt the lunch crowd. Ray realized his hands were also on the glass counter but couldn't remember having moved forward. Yet there he was, the glitter almost close enough to touch him.
He could hear Murphy swearing at his crust in the kitchen but the sound seemed far away, drowned out by his own heart in his eyes and the rapid, hummingbird beat of the fairy's heart right in front of him. He inhaled, noting a new scent, like fresh caramel and cinnamon, overlaid with a desire that somehow surprised him despite the fact that this was a fairy, and fairies were, well, given to showing desire openly and often.
"You talk about me?" Ray could not believe himself. He didn't know what had come over him. If anything he was known for not talking. Now he was asking stupid questions in a hoarse voice and he felt hot, hotter than usual, hotter than the kitchen at its busiest.
The fairy danced from foot to foot as he nodded. "I asked her and she was only too happy to talk about you."
Ray blinked. His head was swimming. His vision seemed to sharpen on the increasingly bright cloud of glitter around the fairy. He thought the fairy's mouth was the most beautiful mouth he'd ever seen. He considered whether, being half-human, the fairy might like one of his pies, or at least a croissant. Ray would fill it with dark chocolate and dip it in cream if the fairy would prefer it that way. Ray would feed it to him himself, anything to keep him smiling and happy.
He shook his head but the scent only got stronger, like crisp meringue and caramelized pears.
"You see," the fairy began again, leaning in and staring at Ray as though Ray was one of the bon bons on the shelves below, "I catch a glimpse of you from time to time, and you and your frowns are the shiniest thing I have ever seen. But you never come out. Not once. Not ever. And then Penn said--"
"Yes?" Ray was growling and too distracted to be embarrassed about it.
"Penn said she'd make you come out. As a favor to me. And to you. She said, 'The wolf needs to indulge his sweet tooth' and grinned and told me to come in today."
"And you remembered?" Ray couldn't keep the surprise out of his tone.
The fairy's smile was only a little saddened by his rudeness. "When it comes to what matters, Ray, fairies remember everything."
"And I matter?" Ray took another long breath. Hope was sweet and light like powdered sugar. He didn't know what that meant.
The fairy danced in front of him again, though wriggled might have been a better word. "You matter so much I put on clothes," he offered, wrinkling his nose in a way that made Ray feel even warmer.
"I wouldn't have asked you to do that," he murmured, only to hitch his shoulders at the fairy's delighted laugh.
"I knew I would like you, Ray." It wasn't something Ray should argue with. Weres also tended to like or dislike others immediately, although based more on scent than any "shininess".
"You don't know me," he argued anyway, inhaling so much want/want/want that he pulled at his apron. He wanted to lean closer so he did, forgetting lemon and onion in order to breathe in blackberry jam and spiced peaches and rosewater. There was a sweat too, human scent, man scent, and the combination made him flush. The fairy smelled like the best things in the world.
"That's easy enough to fix, isn't it?" The fairy stuck out his hand. "I'm Cal.
His hand was warm. His glitter was like being sprinkled with chocolate dust. And he smiled when Ray brought his wrist up to his mouth....
Still fierce Ray, but not nearly so, er,
dickish about fairies
uptight because he isn't a cop and doesn't have all those pressures on him. I imagine they were almost kissing by the end of that encounter and on a date/screwing shortly afterward. Maybe they make it through one date first. Then everyone at the bakery has to deal with Ray, ridiculously in love and Mated. Aw.
To sum up, I am weird. I write weird little things. People can always write me and ask me what the hell I'm doing if it's too weird. :) Also, SHINY NEW AUDIOBOOK!
(Also, apologies if this really is obvious to you. I just noticed several comments from confused people recently and didn't want them to continue being confused.) :):):)