London, January 1349. One lone apothecary engages in a futile battle against the rising tide of death brought on by the Great Pestilence. But there is something different about this man. In fact, Dr. Drake Stilson is there for a very specific purpose: find Henry and ensure he survives the worst of the epidemic sweeping the Western world.
Now if only Drake knew which Henry. This is far from the first time Drake—an employee of The Oracle Group, a military and scientific organization dedicated to correcting the damage done by people messing around with time travel—has been sent to a distant time and place, expected to do the impossible. Yet this is the first time he’s felt as if the battle is lost before it has even begun. Surrounded by fear and loss, Drake is on the verge of surrendering to the inevitable when disaster strikes.
Despite being partners in work and life, Jens rarely sees Drake. He would love to ask Drake to quit his job, but can’t bring himself to be that selfish. This latest assignment, though, is stretching them both to the limits. And when Drake runs into trouble, Jens’s world begins to crumble. Now he has to figure out how to get himself to the right place and time to save Drake and bring him safely home.
Genres: Gay/Science Fiction/Futuristic/Time Travel
Heat Level: 3
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (23k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...“I feel stupid,” Drake declared. He tugged on his brown and tan doublet. It felt too tight and short, and these shoes…gah. He’d always thought the men looked like idiots in the pictures, and now he had to wonder what insane person invented this particular style. It was fop met clown met God-only-knows-what.
“Stop yanking on it,” Jens admonished.
Drake stuck the accompanying hat on his head. It was too big, and that damned feather kept flopping into his eyes. “I can’t—”
“Don’t do that.”
When Drake would have bat at the feather again, Jens snagged his hand. “You look great.”
“You could say that with a little more conviction.”
“No, really. The Reproduction Department does marvelous work. If they say you’ll blend in, then you will.”
“Then every man in 15th Century Spain looked ridiculous.”
“Do you have your emergency kit?” The technician interrupted their budding argument to ask his question for the third time. Drake resisted the urge to punch the squirrelly little fellow.
“Yes. And my order packet. And an extra change of clothes. And everything else that the lady in Quartermaster shoved into this handy little bag.” Drake held up said bag and shook it in the direction of the irritating tech. The Quartermaster Department apparently doled out supplies for each mission from a detailed manifest that they wouldn’t let him see, and they stubbornly refused to divulge who put said manifest together. Drake would have insisted, but Jens had shoved a hand over his mouth, gave a huge fake smile, and hustled him out. Apparently no one argued with the Quartermaster—or QD as Jens called it. He insisted Drake “make nice because they hand out the chocolate.”
Jens laughed. “Go easy on the poor guy, Dray.” He draped one arm over Drake’s shoulders. “They always hover first time out.”
Drake got a little thrill at the nickname. He’d never had one before. “Sorry. I’m nervous, and I always get snippity when I’m nervous.”
“Snippity is for eighty-year-old virgins. Relax, they break you in easy around here. A couple hours and you’ll be back. Think of it like a test run.”
“A test run thousands of years in the past.” Drake bounced a little on his feet.
“Not going to Australia, so let’s not imitate a kangaroo, eh?” Jens pulled him to one side for a little privacy. “You’ll be just fine.”
To Drake’s shock, Jens tugged him against that solid body and kissed him. It wasn’t a little peck, either, but a long and steamy encounter.
Drake lost himself in the touch and taste. The pack dropped to his side unnoticed as he tucked his hands around Jens’s neck. “Damn, you taste good.” He broke the kiss, licking his lips.
“Hmm. Keep that in mind.” Jens rubbed Drake’s back with his big palms. “I’ll be waiting...”