|Singing Up The Sun|
|Sunday, 17 April 2011 06:26|
Singing Up The Sun
Futuristic M/M erotic romance novella
Release Date: April 2011
For discharged soldier Dougaln, the Winter Holidays are simply a time of little work and no prospects. But when he hears a beautiful tenor voice during a stroll in the Reclamation Gardens, Dougaln’s dark days suddenly brighten.
Exiled from his people, Reynau travels from world to world sharing his people’s spiritual traditions and learning new one. For him, the longest night is a time to celebrate joy, ensuring that the new year brings happiness and light.
However Reynau refuses to be someone’s “secret” and Dougaln has too much to hide. Can a retired solider open up and let a young man sing the light back into his life?
"Reading about two men from completely different backgrounds coming together to seek the love they so desperately need is beautiful. Misunderstandings arise for these men and their own stubbornness gets in the way of what they want. Dougaln is ashamed of his station in life and Reynau is just not familiar with the different customs around him. It’s truly touching to how these men work together to try and come to the same end goal.
The clear tenor voice stopped Dougaln Chabastia in his tracks. An unexpected and sudden lump formed in his throat. Too many tours, too many acts of atrocity contrasted with the stark, masculine beauty of the man’s song. Other than the words in a language Dougaln thought sounded like Bimera, and yet held a lilting dialect the old and venerable Bimerans never used, silence reigned in the Reclamation Garden. Algae tubes, hydroponic plants, and the occasional fruit-bearing tree or bush created winding pathways and made it difficult to find the music’s source. Still, Dougaln moved toward the sound, drawn by some unspeakable need to find the source of the music and perhaps stand in its beauty.
The music continued, though the song had changed. What had been a slow, dirge-like tune shifted into something with a faster tempo. Pausing, Dougaln listened. The lump in his throat had subsided, though the music still moved him. So beautiful. So unlike the life he’d led as a Relacharan soldier. Too close to the lullabies his mother had sung to him as a child.
His footsteps brought him to the small courtyard where the singer sat. A lithe young man, his face obscured by tousled dark brown hair that brushed his bare shoulders. With the singer turned away from him, Dougaln could only follow the muscled lines of the young man’s back. Attraction, pure and primal, hit him in the gut. His cock hardened, a swift reminder that he’d been too long on assignment, and without a lover.
No more, not since… Dougaln stomped that line of thought away. No one except his commanding officer knew he wouldn’t return from the Winter Holiday break. With such a mishmash of religions and traditions, the Relacharan military gave non-deployed soldiers a two-week shore leave to try to accommodate them all. Though his family followed the simple traditions of The Lady, and the longest night of the year was the night she birthed the sun, her son, into the world, he hadn’t done anything except send perfunctory notes and gifts. Until now, he hadn’t wanted to.
Seeing this young man changed everything. The song ended, and the singer turned. With too-slender hands, he swept his hair from his face. Silver rings glinted in his nipples, and some kind of tattoo -- from this distance it looked like flames -- swirled around his navel. He pointed to the bench opposite him. “Feel free to sit. No one should have to spend the Longest Night alone.”
You were. Dougaln bit back the retort and sat. “I figured the gardens would be empty.”
“So did I.” The singer flashed a grin that damn near stole Dougaln’s breath.
Drawing on military discipline, he managed to sit, then looked up. Eyes of the darkest blue, like storm clouds on the horizon, stared back at him in a face that at once looked ancient and too young for this world. Or at least this station. No one came to Lanx Station if they could help it, and it’d been that way since the war.
“You know any songs?” The young man’s speaking voice rang with the clear promise of his singing one.
Dougaln shrugged. “None that are fit to share. And I sound like a rat being run through a meat grinder when I sing.”
The man laughed, and damn him, his mirth was musical, too. “It’s the Longest Night. Everyone sings up the sun. I’m Reynau Cossepor.”
Reynau glanced over his military uniform. “You’re Relacharan, aren’t you? On duty?”
Dougaln shook his head. “I’m Relacharan, but not on duty tonight.” He paused, then decided he didn’t need to explain his discharged status. “Singing up the sun? What’s that?” Changing the subject seemed to be the best thing to do.
“My people believe without the voices of her people, the sun will not rise. Of course, there are other things that we can do to encourage the sun, too. The important part is to be joyful.” The shy smile Reynau offered left little doubt as to what the joyful actions could be.
“Interesting tradition.” Dougaln tried to remember if he’d run across any worlds with such practices and couldn’t. Then again, he’d only been to a few worlds, and most of them pretty close to his own.
“Join in if you want. No matter how bad you sing.” With those words, Reynau returned to his devotion and began singing. The words weren’t in the common language, a hybrid of Relacharan and Bimera that most people spoke. The more Dougaln listened, the more the words seemed to escape him. And the more he wanted Reynau.
Maybe the young singer spun a spell around him, or maybe it was weeks of solitude finally weighing on Dougaln. He didn’t know, and frankly, he didn’t care. One song led into another, and then a third, finally this one in the common language. Though Dougaln didn’t know the tune, he quickly caught on and was singing the chorus low under his breath.
The song ended and Reynau grinned. “You don’t sound half bad. Do you know ‘The Spaceship Song’?”
Dougaln nodded. Somehow that one song had traveled from world to world, a rhyming ditty about space travel and how wonderful and exciting it was.
Reynau tapped his fingers against his knee then started the first verse.
The catchy tune drew in Dougaln, and soon his pitch matched Reynau’s. When the song should have ended, Reynau signaled him to keep going, then began a few lines later, turning it into a round. With him for company, Dougaln thought he sounded passable, maybe even good.
Finally Reynau ended the song. “The goddess will be pleased. She will hear that her people still carry on the old ways.”
“And who are her people?” The question popped from Dougaln’s lips before he could think about it.
“Who am I?” Reynau became serious. “I could tell you I’m the last of my kind. Or spin tales of a world ground to dust by internal wars. But I’m not. My people are the Murtru. We’re a mostly agrarian colony beyond Visk’sha’ran space. We’ve kept to ourselves, though there’s a spaceport and some travel. I’m what my people call a pengem. I go from world to world finding traditions and taking them our own.”
“Oh,” Dougaln said, mostly because he couldn’t think of anything else. “I’ve always been a soldier.” And that, he thought, explained a whole hell of a lot.
“A patri. We have those, too. Though they mostly guard at the spaceport and settle disputes between farmers over water rights or property lines.” A wistful smile crossed his face, quickly banked. “There’s no shame in being a soldier.”
“Didn’t say there was,” Dougaln snapped back. He pressed his lips together and glanced out the observation window. The station still orbited the dark side of the planet and wouldn’t emerge for a few more hours at a minimum. He could sit here and enjoy some company, and the song, or he could go back to his miserable hole of a cabin.
“We’re never ‘just’ anything. Patri, pengem, it doesn’t matter. Sing with me. This is supposed to be a night of joy, and I intend to fulfill my duties.” He shifted on the bench, turning sideways and crossing his legs before him. Resting his hands on his thighs, he began to sing again.
Dougaln listened. Suitably chastised by Reynau’s words, he couldn’t leave. At least not now, not when there was the possibility of something other than a cold meal in a square, metal box. The song sounded like something religious, and Dougaln battled the sensation that he shouldn’t be in the presence of something so reverent and intimate. It seemed like Reynau should be sharing this with others, not with him, alone.
Reynau paused in his singing, giving Dougaln time to fill the silence. A song, something he vaguely remembered, supplementing the words with humming when his memory failed. When he finished, another song came to mind, one that was usually sung in station bars, and surprisingly, Reynau joined in.
Share joy. It seemed like an odd, yet simple concept. Reynau leaned down and picked up a flask from the floor. He opened it, took a long drink, then passed it over to Dougaln. “It’s reclaim wine, but it’ll work.”
The pipes surrounding them, filled with murky blue-green and dark-green algae, made the thought of “reclaim wine” a bit stomach-turning. What the hell? They were to experience joy, and rumor had it a potent brew could be made by siphoning off the algae’s byproducts. He lifted the flask to his lips and sniffed. Not bad. He’d drunk worse while deployed. One sip sent the burn roaring down his throat and filling his body.
Already feeling the alcohol’s effects, he passed back the flask with a grin. “Not bad.”
“Thought so.” Reynau recapped the bottle and set it on the floor. “Now, we sing.”
|Last Updated on Thursday, 01 September 2011 04:17|