Can you tell us something about the characters of your book?
Of course! In fact, I can do better than that.
Meet Micah and Angel, main characters of Love Starved, a couple of years before their story began. (A drabble, 1 000 words.)
Too old for shooting stars
Micah stepped out onto the balcony and stared at the expanse of the night sky with a happy sigh. Far below, the surface of Lake Calhoun shimmered in the moonlight. The Minneapolis skyline loomed in the distance, solid and familiar, golden with lights.
It was chilly out here, the early September air crisp and deliciously clear twenty floors above ground, and Micah shivered in his shirtsleeves. It was easy to ignore the discomfort in the magic of the moment, though. Here he was, on his first night in his amazing new apartment, and he was going to appreciate this moment properly.
Behind him, his grand new living space was littered with boxes that the moving company had brought in this morning, still untouched. Micah had been at his office until almost midnight, finishing up a security report for a new client, and he was too exhausted to do anything but pull out the bare essentials tonight. But it was Friday, and he only had to go in for a half-day tomorrow, so that left plenty of time in his weekend to unpack and settle in. For now, he just wanted to revel in the fact that this gorgeous, spacious place was his. Well, it wasn’t his his, he hadn’t bought it, but it was still a far cry from the tiny one-bedroom he’d lived in since he graduated.
Who would have thought he’d end up here? Here, in this penthouse apartment; here in a classy building with security, in the expensive part of town? Certainly not him. Not when just two years ago his little company barely did well enough for him to make ends meet. Not when a few years back he’d almost given up this dream, ready to settle and work for someone else , just to appease his then-boyfriend.
Now, his seminars were booked for months in advance, and he was thinking of hiring a couple of people to help with the security tests and analyses on a steady basis. He was suddenly making more money than he knew what to do with. That was something he hadn’t expected to achieve pretty much ever.
Micah smiled into the night as he imagined what his eighteen-year-old self would have thought of it.
Though, truth be told, his eighteen-year-old self would have been more concerned with his romantic life. He would have seen the apartment and the successful career and the money as steps towards something else – towards a relationship and a family, towards a house and a husband and a couple of pets. His eighteen-old-self, closeted and lonely in his small town life, had stared at the night sky for hours, watching for falling stars to wish for a happy future where he would have freedom and friends and most of all, a man who would love him.
How naïve was that?
He’d tried that romantic dream, once, and it was nothing like he’d envisioned it. So through years of trying and heartbreak, through hard work and perseverance, he’d arrived here. And it was better than he could have ever imagined at eighteen.
Micah looked at the sky, smiling softly. He saw no falling stars, not in the brightly lit city, but that was okay. He didn’t need any. He was living the dream already.
Angel stepped out of the hotel lobby and gathered his coat tighter against the September night cold. The sky was clear above him, the air chilly, but still pleasant. It was probably one of the last nice nights before fall began in earnest.
His muscles ached as he walked, but there was a calm, content feeling spreading through his chest; a feeling that hadn’t always been associated with work. Tonight went well. Three hours of playing the role of a perfect submissive, in accordance with a very detailed scenario his client had sent him, and now there was a thousand dollars in his account and satisfaction of a job well done settling in his bones.
He was getting good at this. A natural actor, as a few of his clients had told him already, he actually enjoyed planning and preparing his encounters so that they fulfilled the customers’ secret fantasies. It was easier to have a focus point, to feel like he was catering to a deeper need rather than just being a warm body to fuck. Maybe he should specialize in that.
It was Friday, and the streets near his apartment building were still busy even this close to midnight. Students passed him by on their way to clubs or parties, laughing and talking, some already drunk. They barely gave him a second glance for how well he blended in. Little did they know that barely an hour ago, he’d been naked on his knees in front of a middle-aged businesswoman in a leather corset, who was wielding a quality leather flogger and had paid him for letting her “punish” him. When people looked at him, nothing said “expensive escort.” The red marks on his back didn’t show, and they would disappear by tomorrow anyway, but the money in his account would not, and neither would the financial security his encounters provided.
This life may not be what he’d wished for when he’d watched shooting stars on clear summer nights in his sleepy little town, years ago. But this was what he had; it was good, and getting better. He was in the city he’d always wanted to live in, he was working towards his goals, and he was doing what he had to do to make a difficult situation better. The future was wide open, and he would get there.
There were no shooting stars here, no lying on the hood of his jeep in the middle of empty fields with his head full of hopes and dreams. But that was okay. Dreams changed to accommodate real life; he was pretty sure that was what adulthood meant. He’d grown out of believing in the magic of shooting stars.
He had to find different dreams now.