A little about me: I’m a teacher and a mother of two small children. When I’m not teaching or parenting, I’m writing. When I began, I heard the quote that your first million words don’t count. I never planned to reach a million words, but when I did, I just kept going. This year I hit three million.
My partners are all queer, so that must make me queer too. Just kidding! I’ve been out as bisexual, polyamorous and kinky to pretty much the whole world since the mid-90s. Although I primarily write stories with polyamorous and BDSM themes, this novella is nothing but sweet vanilla geek m/m erotic romance.
Chase Parker never imagined he'd run into his high school adversary, Mitch Ramsay, on a commuter train. Four years can do a lot to change a person, like Mitch developing a fascination with Italian poetry and Scrabble, or playing defense for the Detroit Red Wings. One thing hasn’t changed, however: Mitch is still in love with Chase, and he’s not going to settle for less than everything from Chase in return. While the history they share isn’t all positive, apologies and honesty might give them a second chance at happiness.
The sushi restaurant was packed more closely than the train. They ended up sitting at the bar, watching the chefs make their astonishing creations. There was Mitch’s hand, right there next to his, holding his cup of tea. Chase watched the hand until it moved away, unzipping his jacket and sliding it off his shoulders, and -- he choked a little on his tea.
“You okay?” Mitch asked, a little concerned.
Chase decided it would be better to say nothing, because "oh my god your arms" was about all his brain could come up with. He was pretty certain he could never span Mitch’s bicep with his two hands, but “can I squeeze your muscles" was another thing he couldn’t ask.
“What’s that on your arm?” he finally managed.
Mitch smiled wryly. “That’s part of the crazy, I guess. Here.” He pulled back on his right sleeve, revealing the lower edge of a tattoo. Even without seeing the whole thing, Chase could tell it was an elaborate, photo-realistic tattoo of a bear. He reached up with one hand and pushed the sleeve up higher, trying to see more of -- the tattoo. He was looking at the tattoo.
Tattoos, by definition, are transformative experiences. I’ve used them to heal profound hurts, to reclaim my body after trauma, to celebrate hidden parts of me and to manifest the aspects of myself I most want to flourish. Twenty years later, I adore every one of my tattoos (even the one I drew myself that really isn’t so pretty) and I can't wait to get my next one.
In the story, Mitch has two very different tattoos, each evoking a part of his personality. My wonderful cover artist, Aaron Anderson, did a good job of evoking the more fabulous of Mitch’s two tattoos. You’ll just have to imagine the bear on his hunky arm!