Neutral End

Story ending is neither happy/positive nor sad/tragic.

The Night Rules by

Giles and Aidan are childhood friends who grew up together but went separate ways. Aidan is a successful, nominally straight, businessman; Giles is a sex worker, risking himself with unpleasant and sometimes unstable clients to pay his rent. A lifelong bond holds them together, restricted to an occasional night’s passion by strict rules Aiden requires to protect his public image. One night though, as Aiden sleeps off the evening’s sexual adventures, Giles makes a decision that changes everything for the two of them. (M/M)

Backdoor Politics by

Kamal is a by-the-book mercenary and hitman who keeps to himself, dealing with the brutal politics of the Bosnian underworld. He has very few ties to the world around him since the war that left him broken and betrayed by his lover. An encounter with a fellow mercenary, whose job it is to kidnap the son of the only man Kamal ever loved, leads Kamal to do something irrational. In an isolated cabin in the mountains of Bosnia with his hostage, Kamal follows the well laid-out plan of his predecessor, but somewhere along the way things get personal. The boy in his care becomes more than just a stand-in for his father, but a job is a job and Kamal is a professional. When questions and tensions begin to mount, Kamal begins to put the pieces together for himself, and doesn’t like what he finds. Can Kamal get his revenge and the boy or will he have to settle for one or the other? (M/M)

The Most Perfect Sin by

The English Civil War has ended, King Charles I has been beheaded, and radical ideas are spreading. Tobias Coppe, member of a notorious religious sect, The Ranters, is preaching in the Flask Tavern in London. In the midst of a lewd act, Tobias is interrupted by officers from the army. He escapes arrest by hiding in the bedroom of a chaste Puritan maiden, Chastity Clarkson. The Ranter sees her seduction as a challenge, but will he be successful? Never was religious discourse so sexy!

A Last Touch of Grace by

Matthew O’Dallan was separated from his childhood sweetheart Iphigenia Haworth when his parents promised him to the Church. Years later, Iphigenia finds her way to his parish. Their old bond hasn’t weakened—in fact, maturity has made it in some ways stronger than ever, adding lust to their longtime affection. She remembers the old promises they made each other, and before God, she is ready to keep them. And although he knows that it’s a sin, Matthew can’t help but find in her temptation the chance for a last touch of grace. (F/M)

Love is for the Living by

The zombies have arrived, and Blaine needs to escape. He’d always thought of his London neighborhood as a place of safety, but then his infected neighbors tried to eat him. Blaine packed a bag and fled through growing numbers of shambling, voracious monsters–people, he had to remind himself, they’re people–toward his family in Bristol. He would surely have died without the turn of luck that brought him Commander Andrew Peterson. Together, they face the horrors and adversities of the apocalypse, trying to protect their loved ones, and—if they’re lucky—find love for themselves. (M/M)

Fool’s Gold by

When Anne Delahaye, captain of the pirate ship Merriment, is lead to a chest of coins with unusual markings, she assumes that she’s been cheated. But when she learns that the coins may be the key to a strange cave where desires become reality, she goes to find out for herself. What she finds there brings up memories and desires of a life she thought was gone. (F/M)

Hera’s Punishment by

The marriage of Zeus, king of the gods, and Hera, his queen, has always been stormy. Eventually something had to give, for not even divine will could be tested so long and so cruelly without a reckoning. When Hera came to Zeus’ chambers, he suspected her passion was too good to be true. It was. Soon, Zeus was bound and helpless before his angry wife. When the king of Olympus got free, Hera’s Punishment would be legendary. (M/F)

 

Echoed Embrace by

Annalise Montgomery has spent her last year of college plagued by a phantom lover. Never knowing when he will strike, she lives in fear that when she should be working she will suddenly find herself flat on her back, down on her hands and knees, or up against a wall. She cannot stop him. When she learns that he is having sex with her twin sister but that she is feeling every stroke, she decides to confront the real man—in the flesh. (F/M)

 

Precious Metal by

Hector’s life as a cyborg, after an accident that left him with a mechanical arm and metal jaw, shouldn’t affect his sex life—but his partner, Kay, can’t bring himself to be intimate with a man who’s half-machine. Hector needs to find a way to convince Kay that LanceCorp didn’t replace the most important part of him—his heart. (M/M)

 

Fires of Edo by

Edo, Japan Isamu, hailed as the veteran of 500 fires, has spent 17 years as a machibikeshi, protecting the delicate paper-walled homes of Edo during windy monsoon season. Ryo, the water dragon etched on his skin, has been a source of comfort throughout this time—and an object of longing. The chief of the brigade wants the aging Isamu to retire, but Isamu fears that if he does, the great dragon will no longer be interested in protecting him.