Release Date: July 30, 2009
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher Link: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1202
Blurb: Welcome to Damon's, the hottest club in town -- the must-go place for every single gay Elf (or Human) around. Alyan's life has gone down the tubes. After a painful breakup with his long-time lover and boss, he's shut himself off, trying to mend his broken heart. His sister, however, has other plans. Meredith's not willing to let Alyan wallow in self-pity any longer. Deaf to his protests, she drags him to Damon's big Friday night event -- speed dating. Alyan's trying to play along, but he's really not interested in a one-night fling. No matter how many years -- or lovers -- have passed, something always brings him back to Damon's. Not something. Someone. The man who's everything Alyan is not -- confident, charming and charismatic. What Alyan truly wants is the owner of the club, Damon himself. But he'd better get a move on, before he ends up with a Troll.
"I don't want to go out."
Meredith sighed, breezing into his room as though Alyan hadn't spoken. "Sweetheart, it's been weeks. Of course you want to go out."
"I'm pretty sure I don't."
Meredith stopped in the middle of his bedroom, grimacing and scrunching up her nose at the smell. "Jesus Christ, did you let a Dwarf in or what?"
Meredith snorted. She tied up her long, wavy dark hair in a ponytail and threw the window open, taking a full breath before rounding on the bundle of covers on the bed. "I swear between you and Lairi, I need a goddamn holiday." She paused and made her way to the bed, gingerly. "I hope you aren't naked under that duvet because I'm about to pull it off."
Alyan groaned, trying to scramble for the sheets, but Meredith was quicker than he was. She yanked it all off, balling it up and stocking it under her arm with a smug smile. "This was due for washing two weeks ago. Now follow me. There's a shower with your name on it."
"Go away," Alyan muttered miserably, burying himself in the pillow. He loved Meredith, he did, but he wasn't in the mood to play games.
"No, I will not, not until you become an active member of society again." She sat on the mattress, her voice gentler now. Alyan peered at her from under the pillow, his eyes bloodshot and sad like those of a kicked puppy. "You can't mope forever."
Alyan begged to differ. "It was forty-two days ago," he mumbled. "Not forever."
"That's still an impressive chunk of time to drink oneself stupid."
"I haven't," Alyan said morosely. That was true. Alyan might have had his heart broken, lost the job opportunity he'd been working on for the last few years, and become the topic of gossip amongst pretty much the whole community, but he was still an Elf. It took more than a brutal end to a relationship for alcohol to have any effect on him.
Which, by the way, sucked pretty hard.
There were times when Alyan craved to just shut off his mind and let go. Even though he wouldn't admit it to Meredith, he envied humans and their ability to separate themselves from their pain, numbing it until it was reduced to a dull throb.
No such luck for him. All his memories were still standing pretty sharp in his mind's eye.
"Come on, go shower and rejoin the immortals." Meredith prodded him, standing and picking up discarded clothes as she went. "I'm going to start your laundry, and you better be all sparkly and shiny when I get back."
Alyan sighed. It was pointless to argue with her. His sister had always known how to kick ass, even when they weren't yet living in the human world and he was still the 'older' one.
He stood and wobbled to the master bath, where most of Sellion's possessions were still standing around like lonely ghosts. He really should start cleaning up the shattered remains of their relationship and box them all up with a no-return ticket. He could totally do it. He could take the higher route and flip him the bird from a distance. That was respectable, and if he did that, maybe people would forget the screaming match he had with the CEO of EnterPrise and the walk of shame that had followed.
Alyan shook his head with a grimace and stepped under the blistering hot spray of his shower with a pained hiss. He did realize the bridging of Elven and human culture was much needed, especially in this day and age, but he felt increasingly nostalgic towards the times when they hadn't need to trudge the same path as the mortals. One good thing to be said about humans, though, was that they forgot fast. Soon his and Sellion's break up would be old news, and life would go on as usual for everyone.
For everyone but Alyan.
A sudden knock on the door startled him, and he nearly slipped on the wet shower tiles. Soap suds trickled down from his hairline into his eyes.
"No jerking off. Save the juice for later. We're going out."
Alyan groaned. "I'm not Lairion. I don't do post-break-up rebound sex."
"You need to see something besides these four walls." Meredith pushed the door open, her tall, lean figure distorted through the glass panel of the shower. "I mean it. I'm not letting you drown in your own self pity any longer."
"Meredith, I'm doing fine."
"The state of your place says otherwise." She tossed some clothes on the counter by the mirror. "Get dressed."
"Don't I get a say in the matter?"
She walked out. Alyan turned off the taps, yelping when, as usual, the last trickles of cold water dripped down his back. Maybe his sister was right. It had been long enough. Also, he strongly suspected that the pile of mail growing inside his door was mainly composed of bills he had been ignoring. Soon it would be time to start looking for a new job. One that possibly didn't involve his boss screwing him over to the point of breaking his heart.
He toweled his hair dry, facing the mirror for the first time in forever. He'd hand it to Meredith, he did look pretty crappy. His eyes were circled with dark purplish bags that didn't belong on the fair skin of an Elf. His usually sleek chocolate brown hair was hanging damp on his forehead in an unruly, messy mop.
Decidedly not fit to be seen in public.
Meredith poked her head in again. Alyan was just too used to her doing that to bother covering himself up. "Get a move on, will you? I told Damon we would be there soonish."
What in the blessed name of Galadriel! Damon was not part of the bargain. "I'm not going to Damon's!"
"Yes you are, and you'll like it. Get dressed. The pruney look doesn't suit you at all."
Alyan was too busy gaping at her retreating back to follow orders.