Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Heidi Cullinan for taking the time to talk with us today.
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Publisher: Wilde City
Hal didn’t hear what else he said, because his headache came so fast and hard he passed out again.
When he came to, he was on the floor in a heap. Morgan was kneeling in front of him, holding the cup. Hal looked at it, not trusting he could look at her without passing out again, and that was why he saw the golden coin he had dropped slide very subtly from her hand into the bubbling liquid.
“Do you need help to sit up?” Morgan asked.
“No.” Hal pushed himself up carefully, keeping his eyes down. “Sorry—I can’t look at you. It hurts. It hurts when you talk too. I don’t understand—I’m really sorry.”
“That’s not your fault,” she said gently. Sadly. She lifted the cup. “Drink it slowly,” she said, pressing it to his lips. “It’s very hot, and it will feel strange in your throat.”
Hal wanted to draw back, but he knew they were being watched and that resistance would mean trouble for them both. He glanced around, but they had all apparently given him a clear path. Because I’m going to blow up, he remembered.
Just drink the potion, he heard her whisper inside his head. I have a plan. I’m going to take care of you.
Hal relaxed. Her voice wasn’t wrong inside his head, and it made him feel better at once. He wished he could speak back to her, but he felt so chaotic, and to be honest, he was scared. Terrified.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
He felt her hand touch his cheek gently. “I’m the one who should apologize.” And I will, soon. But first you must drink this, because they are watching. I know you have no reason to trust me, but I promise you, I won’t let harm come to you.
It was funny—Hal hadn’t even considered that he shouldn’t trust her until she brought it up, and even then, he found he wasn’t worried about her deceiving him at all. He didn’t know why. All he knew was that he had this picture in his mind of somewhere soft and safe and private, and of Morgan there with him. He reached out and took the cup in his hands, placing them over hers, and drank.
It tasted fizzy, spicy, bitter, and slightly of orange. It reminded him of some soda he’d had as a kid, red and bright and strange, except there wasn’t anything sweet about this. It was very hot, and it danced all the way down his throat into his stomach where it continued to burn. He felt the coin slide into his mouth with the last of the liquid, and then he stopped, spitting it back out into the bottom before handing the cup back to Morgan.
The crowd, on the other side of the lights, began to cheer.
Hal blinked and tried to look at Morgan again—he found, actually, that he could look at her now, but she was blurry at first. His stomach felt hot and strange, and the heat was permeating through his body, into his bloodstream, and from there to everywhere. His fingers were hot. His brain was hot.
His penis was hot and, in fact, was becoming quite erect. He wasn’t just hot. He was aroused. It was like his entire body was an erection. Hal glanced down at himself, alarmed, and he started breathing fast.
Morgan stroked his arm in a gentling motion. “It’s all right. I’ll give you some ease in a moment. Just try to breathe through it.”
Hal shut his eyes again and did as she said, but it was hard. “I feel weird,” he said, panic rising. I feel like I could pound nails with my dick. Into concrete.
“The first stage is heightened arousal,” she said. “We need to keep you in the first stage. The second is petrifaction. The third is explosion.”
But the coin, I’m fairly certain, was part of the spell against you that changed how you viewed me. It should buy us some time, and it will help me get us out of here.
Hal saw the safe, warm place in his mind again, and he nodded.
“Take it out!” someone shouted from the back. “Suck it until it blows up!”
Hal opened his eyes again and looked at Morgan in silent question. He could almost see her now, and his headaches were gone. But something was still wrong, and it wasn’t just her voice. She looked the same, but she looked different too. He couldn’t put his finger on what it was, but something had changed.
Morgan smiled sadly and touched his face again. “Ignore them. They just think it’s funny to watch us fuck, especially since you could blow up at any moment, as far as they know.”
Hal was breathing hard now. He was still repulsed by the idea of doing anything sexual with Morgan for the benefit of these monsters, but the potion was making that more of an abstract objection than a specific one. He shifted against the hard bulge in his jeans—they were still undone from what she had started earlier, and he was pretty sure the tip of his penis was visible over the waistband of his underwear. He didn’t even care. He was about, in fact, ready to reach down and start jerking himself off.
Morgan leaned in closer, her dark eyes fixed on Hal’s face. “I’m going to have to play with you a bit until the spell builds up enough for me to use it. I’m sorry.”
Hal shook his head. “It’s okay—” He hissed and then gave up and grabbed himself. “I’m sorry. I don’t like to be like this. Not public. I would do it differently.” He couldn’t stop himself from adding, “Especially with you.”
Morgan looked so sad. “Hal, I’m afraid you wouldn’t do it at all with me if you could truly see. But there’s no other way out now. For that, I am sorry.” She leaned forward and pressed a kiss against his jaw. “I can still project for you. Later, if this goes the way I hope it will, I can even change.”
I don’t want you to change, Hal wanted to argue, but then she was nibbling on his ear and sliding her hand beneath his waistband, and he could only gurgle and then pant. He closed his eyes again and fell forward against her, first nuzzling, then kissing her neck. She smelled so good—like fresh air and something spicy. Woman, man, whatever—he didn’t care. For the first time in his life, it wasn’t an issue at all.
She pulled his cock from his jeans, took it into her hand, and Hal moaned into her ear. Then he heard the catcalls from the audience, and he tried to draw back.
Morgan held him in place. Just a bit longer, she whispered in his mind as she trailed her mouth back up his jaw, toward his mouth, nibbling on his chin. Hal groaned and opened his mouth over hers. He heard the hoots and jeers and calls for them to fuck faster in the distance, but he ignored them, which the potion was making it easier to do with every passing second. God help him, but he would fuck her right here, right now, he was so goddamned horny. She tasted so good. He suckled on her tongue, loving the way she shivered, and he did it again as he ran his hands down her sides. He slid his hands over her breasts, trying to take them in his hands. For some reason this didn’t quite work, and it confused him. Then the heat surged in his blood, and he didn’t think anymore, just grabbed her nipples and squeezed them hard.
She gasped and then rocked against him. The crowd roared.
Hal pushed deeper into her mouth and lifted a hand to run it up the inside of her thigh.
She stiffened. Wait! he heard her cry inside his head, but he didn’t wait, didn’t stop, because he couldn’t. He slid his hand under her skirt and—
The heat was still pounding inside him, trying to override, but his brain was shutting down everything now, trying to process this, trying to write the program over until it made sense, but there was no logic there, not now. Hal let out an unsteady breath, shifted his hand, and then froze again.
It was still there.
Morgan drew back, wincing and blushing. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
The crowd was laughing, and clapping, and hooting—horrible, horrible laughter that was all at, none with, and it cut almost as hard as the contradiction of what Hal’s brain knew and what his hand knew too. He blinked and pulled back, looking at her again. Really looking.
But with every passing second, he knew he was wrong, that he had been wrong all along. He could see all of her now, not blurry, not masked, not even veiled by his previous conviction. He saw what he could not see before, for whatever reason. The subtle angles. The definition of the shoulders. The flat chest. The Adam’s apple. It all went together like pieces of a puzzle, cinched into place by what Hal had, unquestionably, felt beneath Morgan’s skirt.
Morgan was not a woman. Morgan was a man. He was saving a prince after all. He had been attracted to a woman, yes, but not really, because this woman was a man. He was making love, in public, to a man.
Out? Oh yeah. He was out. To a room full of cruel strangers who wanted to see him blow up.
To Morgan, who he’d just called a girl, in front of everyone.
Hal stared at her—his—face, got lost in the confusion, and forgot to breathe.
Construction worker Hal Porter knows he’s nobody special. But when strange events draw him into a magical world, he becomes the only man who can free Morgan, a lonely, long-enchanted shape-shifter. Whether he feels he’s worthy or not, Hal is the hero Morgan has been waiting for.
However, Hal’s task becomes personal as he and Morgan fall in love. Now, to save Morgan and give himself the happily ever after he’s always longed for, Hal will need to do something far more daunting than face Morgan’s captor or finally come out of the closet…
He’ll have to believe in himself.
This title has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.
About the Author:
Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and ten-year-old daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.
Heidi Cullinan has kindly offered one lucky commenter will win their very own eCopy of Hero.
Contest will end 7 days from original posting date (or as stated on the Rafflecopter) at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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