The Head and the Heart by Lisabet Sarai
Fiction is driven by conflict. In romance as in any other genre, conflict is what moves a story forward and energizes readers to keep turning the pages,
In the most basic sense, conflict is a gap, clash or discrepancy between some desired state and the current situation. Conflicts can be external – anything from accidents, emergencies or real world threats to differences in social status or culture between two protagonists that act as barriers to their relationship. Conflicts can also be internal – lack of trust, feelings of inadequacy, or a misunderstanding of another character’s motives. In either case, readers crave the satisfaction that comes when the conflict is resolved and the gap is eliminated.
My new M/M novel Quarantine features both external and internal conflict. The world in which Rafe and Dylan live is full of physical risk. The bad guys are very evil indeed. In addition, psychological and emotional issues separate the lovers. Rafe has been taught that gay men are dangerous and disgusting. Somehow he has to reconcile these beliefs with his irresistible attraction to Dylan, one of the prisoners he’s supposed to be guarding. In fact, in Rafe’s case, he’s in conflict with himself. His head tells him one thing, while his heart (and his body) send a very different message. He’s confused and suspicious, torn between rationality and arousal.
The X-rated excerpt below offers an example.
When love is forbidden, the whole world’s a prison.
Dylan Moore will do anything for freedom. Seven years ago, a gay plague spread to heterosexuals, killing millions and sparking brutal anti-gay riots. The Guardians rounded up men who tested positive for the homogene and imprisoned them in remote quarantine centres like desolate Camp Malheur. Since then, Dylan has hacked the camp’s security systems and hoarded spare bits of electronics, seeking some way to escape. He has concluded the human guards are the only weakness in the facility’s defences.
Camp guard Rafe Cowell is H-negative. He figures the lust he feels watching prisoner 3218 masturbate on the surveillance cameras must be due to his loneliness and isolation. When he finally meets the young queer, he discovers that Dylan is brilliant, brave, sexy as hell – and claims to be in love with Rafe. Despite his qualms, Rafe finds he can’t resist the other man’s charm. By the time Dylan asks for his help in escaping, Rafe cares too much for Dylan to refuse.
Dylan’s plan goes awry and Rafe comes to his rescue. Soon they’re both fugitives, fleeing from militant survivalists, murderous androids, homophobic ideologues and a powerful man who wants Dylan as his sexual toy. Hiding in the Plague-ravaged city of Sanfran, Dylan and Rafe learn there’s far more than their own safety at stake. Can they help prevent the deaths of millions more people? And can Rafe trust the love of a man who deliberately seduced him in order to escape from quarantine?
“You look like you’re feeling hot, Rafe. Why don’t you take off the monkey suit? You know I’m not contagious.” Dylan kept his voice low and even, as though he were trying to reassure a frightened animal. “Make yourself more comfortable. Don’t worry, nobody knows we’re here together. I blinded the spy eyes. And there’s no electricity anyway.” He stepped forward again. This time Rafe held his ground.
“Keep away from me, faggot!” Despite Rafe’s glare, this sounded more like a plea than a command. Dylan set the candle down on the rail separating the generators from the aisle. He closed the few feet of distance between them.
“Let me help you,” Dylan murmured, pulling the zip on the suit down to Rafe’s waist.
“Get your filthy hands off me!” Rafe yelled. But he didn’t move as Dylan opened the suit all the way down to his crotch. Dylan resisted the temptation to reach inside and stroke the erection he knew he’d find there. Instead, he pushed the garment off Rafe’s shoulders. The slithery fabric crumpled around Rafe’s knees.
“Relax,” said Dylan. “Sit down.” He seated himself on the bench, the polished wood cool against his bare buttocks. Like an automaton, Rafe did the same. The black man kicked off the biohazard gear. For a moment they simply stared at each other.
Dylan felt his nipples tighten and his cock lift under the guard’s scrutiny. It really was lucky the guy was so attractive. It made everything easier.
He could read the emotions shuttling across Rafe’s face. Hell, the guy was an open book. The anger was mostly gone. Now fear, guilt and lust battled it out on those noble features. Dylan sat quietly, holding Rafe’s eyes, his cock growing harder with every passing second. Rafe’s nostrils flared. He breathed through his mouth, panting as though he was running a marathon. His gaze flicked down to the rod of flesh rearing up from Dylan’s groin.
“What do you want?” he asked finally, his voice almost a whisper.
“You know what I want. You.”
He leaned forward, brushing his lips across Rafe’s. The other man started. Dylan seized the guard’s shoulders and pulled him into a fierce kiss. Rafe did not resist. In fact, he opened his mouth to allow Dylan’s questing tongue inside.
Exultation flared in Dylan’s heart. Still devouring the guard’s mouth, he slid his hands down Rafe’s massive biceps and then over his solid chest, pulling at the Velcro that kept the shirt closed. The guard’s skin was smooth, warm, and moist with sweat. Dylan’s fingers skimmed over the patch of tight frizz between Rafe’s breasts, then fastened on one fat nipple. Rafe gasped, grabbed Dylan’s head, and deepened the kiss.
This was almost too easy. Dylan cupped the huge bulk of Rafe’s erection, trapped inside the tight trousers. “I want to see you naked,” he said, close to Rafe’s ear. “Please, baby…”
Rafe abruptly broke the embrace. Damn. Had he moved too fast for the homophobic guard? Rafe turned his broad back to Dylan and shucked off his shirt. Dylan licked his lips at the sight of the muscles shifting in that sleek, chocolate brown expanse. Rafe kicked off his boots then yanked his pants down to his ankles. Finally he peeled off the gloves and tossed them onto the concrete floor.
When he faced Dylan again, his eyes were glowing coals. His cock rose like a pillar of basalt between his powerful thighs. His abdomen rippled as he sucked in breath. He was magnificent, like some ancient god. Dylan wanted to worship him.
Sinking to his knees in front of the naked guard, Dylan kissed the glistening bulb of that formidable cock, tasting soap and sweat. He was about to swallow as much of that engorged length as he could manage when a heavy hand gripped his skull. “No,” Rafe commanded. “On the bench. On your hands and knees.”
I want to thank Raine for having me as her guest. This post today is part of my Quarantine blog tour, which will run through the 24th of July. I’ll be giving away an ebook to one commenter at each stop on the tour. So leave a comment – and don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you!
I’ll also be choosing one commenter from the entire tour to win the grand prize – a $50 All Romance Ebooks gift certificate. Meanwhile, all comments at my own blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com) during the tour will also go into the drawing for the gift certificate.
You’ll find the schedule for the tour in my July newsletter: http://www.lisabetsarai.com/news.html
Check out my intense trailer Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.! And if you’re interested in getting your own copy of Quarantine, just go to Total-E-Bound (http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?P_ID=1725)!
Bio: More than a decade ago LISABET SARAI experienced a serendipitous fusion of her love of writing and her fascination with sex. Since then she has published four single author short story collections and seven erotic novels, including the BDSM classic Raw Silk. Dozens of her shorter works have been released as ebooks and in print anthologies. She has also edited several acclaimed anthologies and is currently responsible for the altruistic erotica series COMING TOGETHER PRESENTS.
Lisabet holds more degrees than anyone needs from prestigious universities who would no doubt be embarrassed by her chosen genre. She loves to travel and currently lives in Southeast Asia with her highly tolerant husband and two cosmopolitan felines. For more information on Lisabet and her writing visit Lisabet Sarai’s Fantasy Factory (http://www.lisabetsarai.com) or her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com).