So excited to announce that my Charity Sip (or short story) is out with Torquere Press!
This year the theme was Leather Bound, which was left open to our imaginations, and the chosen Charity is NOH8. As my editor said, only I would call a story Dead Cow Pants. But hey! That's what the werewolf in question calls them.
Here's all the relevant stuff ;)
Returning from a foray into the world beyond pack lands, Shay is heartsick and skinny. His best friend Dar knows he just needs confidence, and thinks leather pants will do the trick. Shay might just the only werewolf on earth who doesn't like leather. Is there anything Darius can do to get Shay to wear dead cow pants?
And here's a wee bit to get you going!
“I don’t like leather, man.”
“What?” Darius raised an eyebrow, crossing his arms over his chest. “You’re a werewolf. How can you not like leather?” That was, like, enough to get a man kicked out of the paranormal creature club. Dar loved the advent of the modern age so you could say things like “paranormal” instead of beastie or thing that goes bump in the night.
So much more classy.
“I said, I don’t like leather. It clings, and it smells like dead cows. I don’t wear dead cow pants.”
Lord, but Shay was a weird one. They’d been friends since they were pups, but Shay had always been a cipher, and he’d left right after they’d come of age, right after Darius had realized he wanted Shay more than he wanted his next breath. So, it had come as quite a shock when a gaunt, shivering Shay-wolf had shown up on pack territory a week ago with nothing but the fur on his back.
Shay had been recovering for a week, sleeping off whatever had happened, and now Darius was trying to find clothes that fit that lanky, too-skinny frame. Leather was a fantasy of his, so why not?
“Dead cow is a nice smell.”
“If you say so.” Shay wrinkled his nose. “I think it’s ghoulish. Who wants to be a wolf in cow’s clothing?”
“Well, how about sheep?” Darius dropped the pants and held up a wool sweater.
“Do you have anything synthetic?”
“I have denim and jersey, I guess. Jeans and t-shirt.”
“Nothing will fit me. You’re ginormous.”
Dar sucked in his gut instinctively, wishing Shay would tell him how hot he was, not how not he was. “I’m not that big.”
Shay gave him an incredulous look. “You’re tall, broad, and amazing.”
“Oh. Well, you’re too skinny by half.”
Shay chuckled. “I underestimated how hard it would be without the pack.”
“It’s not easy to go your own way.”
Something hard and bitter flashed across Shay’s face. “Yeah. The pack sets it up that way, for sure. I guess I should be glad Kallan was willing to take me back.”
“Kallan is tough but fair,” Dar murmured, defending their pack Alpha. He’d never understood why Shay had left in the first place. What had driven the silly beast out of the pack. It hadn’t been Kallan. The man understood all kinds of wolves.
“Sure. Sure. I’ll just take sweats if you have any.” Shay wouldn’t look at him now, and he pressed his lips together to keep from saying anything else.
The guy had been through enough for a while. He didn’t need Dar to say I told you so.
“I’ll get you in a pair of leather pants someday, though.”
He handed Shay a pair of sweats, standing there until he realized the flushed cheeks and downcast eyes meant Shay would rather not take the robe off in front of him and put the clothes on. Again, weird. They’d spent days naked together as teenagers, testing out their shifting abilities. Maybe leaving the pack was like leaving the Garden of Eden. Maybe you got all self-conscious out there in the world.
Or maybe Dar was just projecting how much he wanted to see Shay naked.
Thanks for reading y'all! It's only 1.99 and it's for charity!