Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Backlist Feature: "Follow His Heart"

Content Warning: Multiple partner intercourse, twincest 

"Follow His Heart" is the third and final installment in The Sky People Trilogy


Tristan awakens on Torottu, but the portal wasn't meant for humans, and he's been near death since his arrival almost ten months ago. That's okay, though, because now that he's awake, he and Jinsu can start their life together. The problem? Jinsu has no idea who Tristan is—the return trip through the portal erased his memory of Earth, of their relationship, or Tristan himself. Winning Jinsu's heart again won't be easy, especially if Kelan, Jinsu's twin, has anything to say about it. Kelan loves Jinsu, too, and he won't be put aside for Tristan. Not again. Tristan knows his only chance for happiness—and the only chance for Jinsu and Kelan—is to follow his heart.


Tristan stood in what was surely the most massive throne room ever made. Thick round columns lined each side, spanning the distance between the floor and the ceiling like silent guards. The floor itself looked to be made of some kind of stone, but Tristan noticed that no one's feet made any noise on it, including his own. The wall on the left side of the room was not a wall at all, but a single long, large window. At the tops of the remaining walls, where they should've met the ceiling, were multicolored sheets of glass, reminding Tristan of stained glass windows, but with larger pieces and no soldered lead holding it all together.

In front of him, several feet away, was an ornately carved chair in which a thin, lanky man with shortly-cropped black hair lounged almost lazily—one leg crossed over the other, left elbow resting on the arm of the chair. Galdrin, he presumed. The only other color in the room besides the windows was the vibrant red of Galdrin's outfit.

The plump man bowed to Galdrin and took his place slightly to the right of the chair.

Tristan squared his shoulders and stood straighter, facing Galdrin head on, looking him directly in the eyes. He'd never met anyone with such a title—hell, he didn't even know the name of the mayor in the town he'd lived in—and he was a little uncertain what was expected of him. Now for his coup d'√©tat.

"Koma bon Jinsu?"

Hard to keep the smugness from his tone and off his face, especially when Galdrin's eyes widened like that and he sat forward just that much in his seat. "You know some of our tongue."

Well, so much for the advantage of surprise. "You know mine."

Galdrin inclined his head. "Somewhat. I am Emperor Galdrin."

"Where is Jinsu?" Tristan didn't care if Galdrin was God; he'd go through anyone to find Jinsu. Period.

"Would you like something to eat?"

"No. Where is Jinsu?" He took a step closer, but stopped when Galdrin leveled an glare at him that teetered on the line between imperial and deadly, and Tristan couldn't tell which side of that line it favored.

"A drink, then, perhaps." Galdrin gestured to a small table off to his right, several ornate glasses and a pitcher atop it.

Somewhat my ass. "Where is Jinsu?" Though truthfully, Tristan couldn't remember ever having been as hungry and thirsty as he was at that moment.

Galdrin gestured to the plump man. "You have met Berata. He is the healer who saved your life."

"And I'm grateful. Where is Jinsu?"

"What do you want with Jinsu?"

Tristan swallowed hard, wondering how much he should tell. How much did the emperor already know? Instincts told him to keep the details to a minimum, but what if the emperor knew everything, and this question was some sort of test of his honesty? Maybe that was why Jinsu wasn't there. Maybe they had interrogated him until he'd told them everything, and then they'd killed him.

Tristan took a deep breath and closed his eyes, trying to calm his racing mind. I've been watching too many bad movies. Best to tell the emperor everything. Tristan related his tale to the emperor, who kept his thoughts on the subject to himself—didn't utter so much as an um or an ah. He told the emperor about Jinsu's illness, and how they'd found the portal, how the journey had seemed to rip him apart, and how he'd awakened on the floor. He finished his tale, and the emperor sat back, rubbing his thumb along his chin, forehead wrinkled and eyes narrow.

"You present an interesting dilemma for me, Tristan."

"Listen, just take me to Jinsu and he can explain everything. I know you must not trust me or believe me—"

"Oh, I believe you."

"You…you do?" What the hell?

"Why would I not? You clearly know Jinsu, and of our world, you were found with him in the cave where our portal is located, and you can speak our language. The problem is not what I believe. It is what Jinsu believes."

"What do you mean?" The tiny hairs on the back of Tristan's neck stood up, and a cold dread crept up his spine.

"As I said, you present an interesting dilemma. There is a reason why our two worlds do not interact. Call it a failsafe. Your people might call it fate or a higher power. Do you know how long you have been here?"

Tristan shook his head. He didn't too much care for the emperor's ominous, Darth Vader tone, and half expected the character's trademark heavy breathing to follow everything Galdrin said.

"Going on ten months now."

"Ten months?" Tristan echoed, horrified. He'd lost ten months of time with Jinsu?

"Ten months," Galdrin confirmed. "You were near death when they found you, or at least they assumed you were." Galdrin glanced at Berata for a moment, then went back to scrutinizing Tristan, the glare of his icy blue eyes made Tristan want to curl into a ball and hide away. "There is no easy way to say this, and I have never had to break such news, so forgive me if my delivery is lacking. The fact of the matter is that Jinsu does not remember you. We do not know why it happens, but it is a side effect of the return trip for my people. The humans die…and we forget them."

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