Farewell from the Bookshelf!
Please note that GLBT Bookshelf -- the community wiki which was the parent to this fiction blog -- went offline on May 31, 2016, after seven years' service to members.
All Gay Romance will remain online till the end of 2016 in order to give contributors every opportunity to recover materials uploaded here.
Many thanks to all who contributed over the years, and good luck to everyone in your future works!
No one would pay his debt price to gain him release from prison. So he sought to pay it himself by offering the only thing he could, his body. But one man would require more.
Convicted of helping to wage a campaign of terror against the lords who oppressed the commoners, the prisoner comes to realize the full implications of what he has done. All of his attempts to mend what he has broken will fail until he meets a young lord whose own struggles have just begun.
Set in an imaginary world based on Renaissance Europe, "Debt Price" takes the reader from the gritty punishments of prison life to the delicately balanced world of a farming estate, showing the slow healing of a prisoner who knows both what it means to be abused, and what it means to be the abuser.
This historical fantasy novella (short novel) can be read on its own or as part of Master/Other, a speculative fiction series exploring the dangers and sweet bonds of power.
This is a reissue of an older story.
To the right of him, sitting in a chair with his back to the youth, was a man. Slowly, like a shy beast creeping forward into danger, the youth walked toward the man. His heart was pounding so hard now that it was difficult to breathe. He could not see the man's face, but he could see the man's hand lying upon the arm of the wooden chair, and on that hand was a crystal ring.
He reached the chair finally, hesitated for a moment, then swiftly made his way round to the front and knelt before the man. After a moment he dared to look up.
The lord with the light hand was as he had been a fortnight ago: young and stern of face. He had over his lap a writing board and paper, and his left hand held a lead stylus. He was silent, looking down upon the youth.
"Lord master," the youth said softly, "I will do my best to repay to you my debt in any way I can." He placed his hand softly upon the inner part of the lord's thigh.
The lord recoiled as though a dung-beetle had run across his privates. He stood up, causing the chair to scream across the marble; the stylus broke in his hand and fell to the ground. His hand upon the writing board had turned white.
The youth, unaware that he was pressing his wrists together as though this might help, resisted the impulse to flee. Staring down at the ground, he whispered, "I thank you for paying my debt, lord master."
"Give your thanks to Hilder." The lord's voice was harsh. "He was the one who found the money for you."
The youth dared to raise his eyes to the crystal chain rising and falling upon the lord's heaving chest. The lord had moved several paces backwards, in the direction of the short flight of stone steps leading to the main door of the estate house. Still gripping his writing board, the lord said, "Hilder will take care of you."
And then he was gone, leaving the youth staring at where he had been, wondering who his new master was who would "take care of" him.
¶ Available as a DRM-free multiformat e-book (epub, html, mobi/Kindle, pdf, doc): Debt Price.