laylah: a person wearing high boots and a sleeveless shirt lounging with a book open in hir lap (storyteller)
Laylah Hunter ([personal profile] laylah) wrote2013-01-13 12:52 pm

"Ivory Black, Flecked with White" in DSP's Snow on the Roof anthology

My next short story release will be available next month! "Ivory Black, Flecked with White" appears in Dreamspinner Press's Snow on the Roof anthology, a collection of m/m romance featuring older men. "Ivory Black" is a historical, established relationship piece:
Renaissance painter Felice has enjoyed Lucio's patronage, and his love, for years; neither of them are young men anymore. When the youthful good looks of Felice's latest model make Lucio jealous, Felice must find a way to convince his lover that in a painter's eyes, there is no conflict between age and beauty.

The anthology is available for preorder now on Dreamspinner's site, in ebook or in paperback. Once the book releases, on February 11, it will be available through all your favorite online retailers as well. :3

“Lucio,” Felice says, turning to greet him. “What brings you by this evening? I wasn’t expecting the honor of your company.”

“Do I need any reason besides the pleasure of seeing you?” Lucio embraces him and they kiss on both cheeks. “Perhaps I’ll say I wanted to see how your latest piece fares.”

Felice bows, a slight suggestion of the proper gesture. “My patron is always welcome to examine my work.”

Lucio steps past him to get a clear view of the canvas. “Hah! Oh, Felice, the cardinal will be furious.”

The cardinal is Lucio’s cousin, and there is no love lost between them; Felice knows that for the compliment it is. He smiles. “I endeavor to please my patron in all things.” There is mixed paint still waiting to be used, but such is life. He will not keep Lucio waiting. “Alessandro, we shall continue this tomorrow.”

“What? No,” Lucio says, waving the idea away. “Don’t stop on my account. Weren’t you just complaining of losing the light? I would never forgive myself for interfering with your masterpiece.”

Masterpiece, he says. Felice’s ears burn. He likes to think he is talented, yes, and he could never bring himself to abandon his work—the play of light on shadow, the beautiful alchemy of coaxing colors into harmony with each other—but the creation of a true masterpiece seems to float always just out of reach. One more canvas, one more year of work, one more search for the perfect inspiration. Just a little more, and then he’ll be able to make something truly lasting.

He clears his throat, brushing the frustration away. “As you wish, my patron. Alessandro, if you please? And this time, do hold your position so I can capture the shadows correctly.”

“Of course, signore.” Alessandro slouches back into position, resuming the attitude of the beautiful, melancholic saint. His shirt hangs off one shoulder, exposing the exquisite shadow beneath his collarbone; his eyes have a spark in their depths that makes Felice’s heart leap, and he can only pray he will capture that image on his canvas.

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