DEMON ARMS

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CHAPTER 1: SCENE 1

Wylie’s fingers twitched. He was ready to maul someone for a cigarette. His first burglary was already off to a shit start, and given how their luck was going, they’d all be dead or in prison before the night was out.

They were a small crew—four in total—but Wylie felt like the van was filled to the brim. He was crammed in the back with his boyfriend, Beck, while the other two guys sat in the front. Wylie stationed himself on top of the wheel well, which gave him a clear view of the windshield and the gate blocking their way. His head brushed the roof and his back was cold against the wall, but he refused to move unless absolutely necessary. Every scrape of his sneakers on the grit covered metal floor made his teeth buzz and body tense.

What the fuck was taking so long? He wanted out of this damn tin can. Hell, he just wanted out. Out of this night, out of this initiation. The only thing keeping him from snapping was the dark. It was easier to keep it together when no one could see how close he was to losing his shit.

“Damn it… No,” Adam hissed from the passenger-side seat in front of Wylie. The self-proclaimed hacker clattered away on his mini keyboard while muttering at a small, burning blue screen. The teen was so short his head barely cleared the back of the seat, and he hummed a caustic, nervous tune that did nothing to disguise his growing panic.

Wylie took a steadying breath and tried to block out the electric scent of fear filling the small, confined space. The little tech-wiz was taking too long. Adam reeked of anxiety and showed no sign he was even close to breaking through the security system. For all he knew, the kid had turned chickenshit and was trying to wait out the clock.

Ten minutes. Wylie’s eyes darted to the display on the dashboard when it flashed. Twelve minutes. The air grew heated the longer each second ticked and nothing changed. Wylie could smell the lingering scent of oil and stale blood beneath the annoying, fang twitching flood of testosterone. Diego was flipping. Their asshole leader for the night hadn’t said a word since they parked, but Wylie’s nose revealed the rage building in the silent gangster.

This was a bad idea. A monumentally dumb fuck idea. He seriously should have taken that last smoke before they left.

“Is this happening?” A warm hand grasped his arm, and Wylie held still as Beck pressed his chest up against his back. Hair tickled his cheek when Beck leaned over his shoulder and peered at the clock on the dash. “Shit, our timetable is going out the fucking window.”

Beck turned toward him but his gaze failed to find Wylie in the absolute black of the back of the van. Wylie’s pupils expanded, and shapes and colors began to reveal out of the darkness. He focused on Beck and his gaze traced his boyfriend’s familiar features and slipped down to the smooth line of his throat. This was a mistake. Beck was too idealistic, too fucking sweet for this gang bullshit. He had never spent a day out on his own and didn’t know shit about the real world.

Wylie bent forward and his lips brushed Beck’s ear. “We can still back out. No one needs to know we came out here.”

Beck shuddered, but it was only from the heat of Wylie’s breath on his skin. He turned his head and their noses bumped. It was surreal, and Wylie felt half a predator as he watched Beck’s limited human eyes blink uselessly in the dark. Beck fumbled and his palm found Wylie’s neck and moved up to his face. He rubbed along the peach fuzz of Wylie’s crew cut to the back of his head, and pressed forward so they wouldn’t be overheard.

“Don’t be dumb, baby. This is our ticket out of this bullshit. Once we make this score, we’re in.”

“B, getting into the gang is only going to lead to more…” Wylie trailed off when an angry growl tore from the driver’s seat.

“Come on, you little fuck. Hurry up!” Diego slammed his fist on the dashboard, and everyone jumped.

Adam’s incessant humming silenced with his yelp, as did the clicking of keys as he tried to steady his shaking hands. His voice was timid and small once he finally spoke. “I’m almost…”

“You said you were a genius. That this would be done in five minutes, tops,” Diego snarled accusingly. He turned in his seat and towered aggressively over Adam’s diminutive form. “Hurry the fuck up, you little shit, or I’m dumping you dead in some back alley where the freaks like the guy in the back will eat your fucking flesh. Crack the gate!”

Wylie gritted his teeth. He wasn’t a freak, and he sure as fuck wasn’t a cannibal.

“It’s not the same system Roth gave me the plans for,” Adam whispered from where he was cowering in his seat. “There’s another element I’ve never seen before. I think I’ve almost hacked it.” His narrowed shoulders scrunched tight as he hunched over his small computer. Adam ducked beneath mouse brown hair to hide from Diego’s glare and refocused on the screen.

“Hey, freak, you paying attention back there?” Diego threw his heavily tattooed arm over the seat and turned his aggressive stare to the back of the van. “You’re going to break us through the gate if the kid fucks this up. You might also need to beat the shit out of the little bitch if it turns out he’s screwing us over.”

Wylie tensed as his gaze fell on Diego’s brutal expression and blind eyes. He was ready to smash the guy’s face in. The gangster was as mean as a junkyard dog and twice as foul. Wylie might be the only one in the crew who could transform, but Diego was all human and still managed to be as despicable as it got. Everything about this situation was setting Wylie on edge, and it started all the way back when Diego showed up half an hour late to the heist and nicknamed him freak.

“Yeah, none of that’s happening,” Wylie said with far more apathy than he felt. “Unless the alarms are down, we’re not leaving this van. We signed up for a robbery, not a fucking suicide mission.”

“You little shit.” Red flushed across Diego’s tanned features, and his chest puffed like a jacked up frog about to explode. His hand gripped the top of the dividing seat and the vinyl creaked in his powerful grip.

Wylie carefully unwound from Beck and nudged him behind his stronger form just in case Diego lost his shit and started punching. Being saddled with three nervous, untested teenagers for a gang initiation probably wasn’t Diego’s highpoint of the week either, but Wylie wasn’t about to throw his life away over the gangster’s explosive temper. He’d rather fuck it up in the driveway before a crime was committed, than have it turn to shit when they were balls deep in the mansion.

“Listen here, you fucking freakshow.” Diego stabbed a finger in Wylie’s direction, but he kept enough self control to stop from reaching into the dark and losing an arm. “If you don’t want to end up dead tonight, you do as I fucking say. That goes for all of you. This isn’t some pussy high school playtime, and I’m not going back to prison over you dumb fuck kids. If any of you…” There was a sudden rattle of metal, and Diego whirled in his seat to peer out the windshield. Adam beamed when the wrought iron gate blocking the driveway shuddered and opened smoothly on motorized tracks.

“Halle-fucking-lujah,” Diego growled in relief. He seemed to vibrate as he slammed his hand on the key and the van roared to life. Diego showed thin restraint as he put the vehicle in gear, hit the gas, and they glided through the gate opening.

Wylie took a steadying breath as his gut clenched. There was no backing out now. Whatever happened, they were locked in.

“We’re in,” Beck gasped in excitement. He fell against Wylie’s shoulder to peer ahead through the windshield. The sprawling mansion came into view, and Beck’s breath heated his cheek when he sought out his mouth. If Wylie’s response was more tepid than usual, Beck didn’t mention it. “This is it, baby. This is our fucking future,” he whispered between quick, hungry kisses. “We’re finally going to be free.”

Wylie sealed their lips together just to silence Beck’s optimistic spewing. Running with Roth wasn’t going to be freedom the way his idealistic boyfriend envisioned. It was just another bunch of fucked up, hypocritical adults who used kids while calling it family. Doing illegal shit at the same time didn’t make it any better than all the other bullshit families Wylie had gone through. It would be money, though. Serious money that could buy him the future his fucked up arms stole.

Beck’s hand drifted down, and Wylie jolted when fingers fumbled for his zipper. “B.” He pulled Beck’s arm up and shot his boyfriend a smoldering look he couldn’t see in the dark. “Quit being a pervy kink. Focus.”

Beck rolled his eyes and with a wicked grin, threw himself into Wylie’s lap. He wrapped around his boyfriend’s muscular form and kissed roughly up his neck and jaw. “Don’t be that way, baby. We’re going to fuck tonight. We’re going to ace this shit, and you’re going to come over to my place and fuck me with those studly arms out.”

Beck rocked his hips against him persistently, and Wylie growled softly. Damn it, his dick definitely dragged him into all kinds of trouble when it involved a tight piece of ass like Beck. “B, you gotta take this seriously.” Wylie peeked an eye to the front of the van as Beck’s lips slid a hot path along his throat. “You know my arms are dangerous. One wrong move, and my scales could slice the flesh from your bones.”

“I don’t care. You’re arms are crazy hot, and we’re totally doing it,” Beck whispered breathlessly. “Tomorrow morning, I’m telling my parents to go fuck themselves. No more evangelical school. No more sick fuck Reverend Clark. No more pretending I hate dick. You’re going to move out of that shitty group home where they treat you like a monster, and life is going to be fucking perfect.” Beck’s lips found Wylie’s in the dark and crushed him in a desperate kiss.

Beck was totally fucked up and Wylie wasn’t complaining. He wrapped his arms tight around Beck’s narrow hips, squeezed his ass hard, and pulled him up into a deep kiss. Sneakers scraped the metal floor as Beck straddled Wylie’s thighs, and his palms slid hot paths over his chest and back.

Wylie broke from the kiss and grabbed the hand trying to get under his sweatshirt. He pulled Beck tight against him and pressed his mouth to his ear. “Just promise me you’ll watch your back tonight. If you get even a whiff of the cops, you run.”

Beck glanced toward the front of the van and turned back to whisper against Wylie’s cheek. “Dude, I’m the freaking lookout. I can’t just run.”

He was so fucking naive. “B, you don’t owe these crazy fucks any…” Wylie fell silent as the darkness flashed and light dazzled his night vision. Wylie hissed and covered his face with his arms. “Shit.”

Wylie stayed hunched until the blinding pain throbbing behind his eyes began to fade. An outdoor lamp illuminated the driveway where the van rolled to a stop in front of a garage. Diego cut the engine and silence descended. Wylie squinted up to the front once his eyes adjusted and met Diego’s dark glare.

Wylie bristled and pushed back from Beck. He didn’t like Diego, he didn’t trust him, and he sure as fuck didn’t want his eyes on him when he was sucking face with his boyfriend.

Diego didn’t say anything as he pulled a packet from his pocket and jammed a piece of gum into his mouth. Wylie gritted his teeth when he realized it was Nicorette. The fucker. “Alright, kiddies,” Diego drawled as his gaze moved from Adam’s pale, anxious face, to Beck’s excited smile, to Wylie’s defensive glare. “Remember, the owner flew south to some fucking island, and we’re the professionals called in to check on a busted pipe. Easy.”

Wylie pursed his lips. They didn’t have a toolbox or a sign on the side of the rusted out van painted in matte black finish. Anyone who saw them would see three wannabe thug teenagers and a career criminal, not fucking plumbers.

Diego didn’t look concerned with the plan as he jabbed his thumb at Beck. “B, you’re on lookout. I want you at the door with your ear on the scanner for signs of cops. No matter what we’re lugging, you don’t leave that post until it’s time to go. As for you, you stupid shit.” He grabbed Adam roughly by the head and shoved him toward the door. “Get your scrawny ass out. We need someone to tag the stuff worth grabbing. Don’t fuck it up.”

Adam scrambled to keep his computer from falling while avoiding Diego’s touch. He didn’t dare look up as he shouldered the door open and slid down the seat until his sneakers reached the pavement.

Diego’s dark eyes burned with hostility when he turned to Wylie, who hadn’t moved yet. “Freakshow, you’re with me. Alright, you stupid fucks, let’s rob this shit.”

Hellcat is published and live!

Okay, so this story was initially meant to be a quick Halloween erotic short. Grump nerd is grumpy. Witch moves in and her familiar molests grumpy nerd. Grumpy nerd overwhelmed and seeks to find witch to be free from horny Hellcat. Grumpy nerd realizes it’s love, the end. Hellcat became so much more—lol, but still has those roots. XD 101,000 words. It’s actually amazing when I think of the journey this book took. It transformed more than Sean and Soot did. There will be a sequel, one I plan on focusing on once Sorcerer Slayer is done. I’m already rereading what I’ve written so far with Sorcerer Slayer and getting ready to go forward! Whoot! ARC reviewers, Hellcat is now in your section of the website if you’re interested in reading and reviewing. And for anyone who picks up Hellcat, please review. It doesn’t even have to be nice XD but I think people are really going to like the book, and I’d love to hear how you feel about it. I’m trying something totally new and daring for the sequel, which I mention in the parting at the end about TJ, and I’m a little worried that current readers might have a big ‘fuck no!’ reaction. @[email protected]

Patreon

I finally started a Patreon! This is a ‘tip jar’ scenario. Basically you pledge as little as a $1 a month and you get access to whatever is written for Patreon. My main focus will be Demon Bonded. I’m going to put the Coven Saga episodes up there that are already written this weekend… maybe all the Demon Bonded, actually, to catch everyone up... and then go from there. Oh, and I have a Liem story brewing—his own book, pretty sure by the time it’s done. He’s going to fall for a total bitchy, wild demon once he starts training with other apprentices. A total hate to love thing. I’m so excited about it. I really want to use Patreon as an excuse to update Demon Bonded monthly. These books might not be published or fully edited in that time, but they will be there to read and more Demon Bonded will be written faster because of it. There is a lot of vagueness on what Patreon’s adult guidelines are. They say fiction is fine (they mention Game of Thrones) but at the same time say individuals talking about rape they experienced could get them banned (wtf?) I’m having a lot of trouble understanding what the fuck their ‘line’ is. So I have a feeling all the content I have for Patreon will end up on a new section of my website. No membership filter at all, not even the free one, just a simple wall of ‘I’m an adult and allowed to read this button.’ It will be completely funded because of donations through Patreon, but the content will not be on their site to ensure I stay within their guidelines. I will use Patreon to let patrons know that something new has been posted and the links to it. I think this is the safest, smartest way to deal with this instead of relying on Patreon to know what the fuck their morality lines are. I’m so fucking sick of morality. Amazon has started a new algorithm, pretty sure, and they’re dumping gay romance into erotica in droves. The Demon Bonded books are one by one suddenly in erotica and no longer linking as a series, and I think this is just the beginning. If you’re wondering what having a book pushed into erotica does for authors, well, please feel free to read the ranting below.

Amazon Is Kinda Homophobic, Censorship, And FOSTA/SESTA

US citizens can fill out a very easy form and email your representative immediately to demand they stop FOSTA/SESTA Yes, this is after the fact, but it’s important to continue to have your voice heard. There is also a petition going around but it has some weird email block, so I don’t know how effective it will be. Okay, so what the fuck is going on? A quick catch up for those who had lives and didn’t know Congress was voting to steal free speech away in the name of stopping sex trafficking, here are a few links. How Congress Censored the Internet Congress Just Legalized Sex Censorship Authors of LGBT romance have been noticing their books being dumped into erotica all of a sudden on Amazon. This isn’t a new problem, but it has suddenly amped up hardcore. Most annoying for me personally, I just spent 6 months writing Hellcat, just did the last jaunt of editing, formatting, requesting ARCs, and still need to do a shit ton of promoting (after a little break. @[email protected]) I thought part of that promoting would be with an Amazon ad. I’ve only used an Amazon ad once before. It was for the release of My Broken Angel all the way back when I had all my books in KU. I made good money that month—it was actually the month where I thought I would be able to make a living being an author. I finally ‘made it.’ Then KU broke, pages stopped being counted, and I threw the subscription site together to save my ass. I was hoping a break from Amazon would give me a clear head for business when it came to their platform. Unfortunately, they took one look at Hellcat and placed it in the erotica category when it’s romance. Oh, Hellcat’s not hearts and kisses and tears instead of cum romance, but this is a love story. And love is obsessive and full of ownership, and in the beginning when hormones are strong, there’s a lot of sex. Sex is a part of being alive. It’s actually the only reason any of us are alive. Our parents all had sex. If people stopped having sex, humanity would die out in a generation. Sex = Life. Sex isn’t shameful; it’s actually pretty fucking important. My plans to have an Amazon ad are ruined. I cannot advertise Hellcat on Amazon because they have classified it as erotica. Erotica is not allowed to have ads on their platform, or on Bookbub; pretty much anywhere that readers go to find books outside of Instafreebie—Instafreebie is damn cool on that front. When people browse the gay romance section, there will be no potential that Hellcat will pop up on the side under Hot New Releases to help promote the book. The last week, bestseller status and ranking were stripped from erotica books, and although it has returned, there is no way to know for how long. I first discovered how erotica is treated differently (outside of having my books banned) when Demon Arms ended up in erotica for months. I tried everything to get the book moved back; keywords, categories, changing the blurb—was the word ‘screwed’ being considered sexual to Amazon? I had no idea. Nothing worked until I contacted Amazon directly and demanded they move it back. They gave me no explanation as to why it was moved in the first place. You guys know Demon Arms, where the main characters don’t even touch for 50,000 words into the book? What the fuck happens when I publish Sorcerer Slayer? Does it just end up in erotica because I’m on some list with Amazon for writing erotic books now? Everything I write must automatically be hidden away and prevented from being advertised? Or is it because it’s gay, and gay books focus on sexuality so they must be dirty in Amazon’s eyes? I’m fed up, and I’m worried about my future as a writer. I put a lot of work into Hellcat, a lot of love—I love this book! It’s fun, it’s quirky, it’s sexy and just a wild ride. I have never pushed myself so creatively, and I feel like it’s a turning point for me as a writer. I grew in this book. My settings and world building were fleshed out and fun and I want to keep pushing myself. This book was a joy (even when it was frustrating as fuck! XD) I’m seriously hoping Amazon doesn’t go the next step and ban Hellcat completely, because Amazon does that too. They not only prevent authors a fair share in making money off their books they deem are ‘erotic,’ but they also remove books they don’t think are allowed to exist at all. Subjects that I find again and again in straight fiction are banned from LGBT. You can blame it on an algorithm, but a human being made that algorithm. Humans are in control of why Amazon chooses to discriminate against the books they do and chooses to ban the books they do. This week kicked my ass as I pushed myself to get this book out, and this was the final blow in a lot of ways to have Hellcat publish straight into erotica next to books about fucking the neighbor’s wife and Daddy porn. I love erotica, don’t get me wrong, but this book doesn’t belong there and how the fuck are readers going to be able to find it? How is erotica—beautiful, sexy, fun erotica—going to be able to compete against novels crafted with complex storytelling in mind? Now they’re not just competing with other books made to titillate, they’re competing with full-blown romances that are seeking a completely different mood from a reader. There is a reason we have genres, and it’s not to discriminate against books no matter how Amazon treats erotica, but to help readers find what they’re looking for. This is what happens when censorship of fiction occurs in a ‘free’ market. There will be no boycott that will fix this, there will be no petition or outraged cry. And I’m not saying that just because many people are still so full of shame when it comes to sex, so they dumbly nod their heads when they see free speech censored in the name of morality. No, I’m saying this because Amazon is a trillion dollar company and they don’t give a fuck. They don’t have to give a fuck. They are protected by the law while individuals are not protected from being discriminated against because of America’s ‘Obscenity Laws.’ Authors talk about getting together and making this giant see reason because ‘erotica makes Amazon money,’ and I just have to laugh to myself. It’s not going to change unless Amazon chooses to stop discriminating against sex in fiction, and whatever is driving it isn’t business oriented. They don’t care about the money. Amazon has been removing erotic fiction for nearly 10 years now; they don’t like sex, especially gay sex. Amazon is literally defining the gay romance genre by what they allow to exist. What they don’t want suddenly disappears from the market and hey, apparently that’s business. They decide what people want and what they’re allowed to read. In a truly free market, customers decide what is written. If something is popular, more is made. That’s why erotica will never disappear, btw; people like stories about fucking. It’s very popular like sex in general (and I know sex is popular cuz hey, we got billions of people on this planet who got here through sex.) That’s why we’re seeing the shifter craze move away from the vampire craze. But hey, those who like vampires still have that option because no one came along and said ‘No, vampires aren’t allowed on Amazon.’ That would be insane, never mind dickish as fuck. But that’s what Amazon does. There are authors who try to trick the system and they’re made to feel ashamed because demanding free speech and equality is ‘breaking the rules.’ I fear it’s only going to get worse with SESTA/FOSTA. It’s waiting to be signed by Trump (pretty sure it hasn’t been signed yet @[email protected]) and I can’t imagine he won’t. He has so many morality groups screaming in his ear. Some were literally calling him the second coming of Christ. Religion has deep pockets and he’s a bought man. Certain groups who have pushed this bill claim it’s the first step in removing pornography from the Internet, and yes, erotica is considered pornography which is why it’s being segregated from the other books and/or banned entirely. The ‘I know it when I see it’ rule for obscenity applies in the US, and Amazon ‘sees’ it in this case and they don’t want others seeing it. As platforms make an effort to protect themselves from the liability this bill opens up, anything in regards to sex on the Internet will become harder to access or host. Why? Because there is no way to know when someone is talking about sex, be it simple conversation, or in fiction, or in jokes, if it is or isn’t connected to sex trafficking in the real world. So, a quick reality check. Sex trafficking can’t happen on a computer. No one can reach through the screen and kidnap someone or save them, for that matter. You cannot be sexually assaulted by a computer; you cannot be coerced by a computer. But the Internet is being held responsible for sex crimes existing in the real world by saying the Internet ‘enables’ sex crimes. The same way ‘having a penis enables rape’ in the minds of some individuals, so men = rapist. This is not a logical jump, but people are illogical all the fucking time. It may sound ‘responsible’ until you look deeper and realize it’s just people on a morality kick looking to save the world from sex crimes by punishing the existence of depictions of sex on the Internet. Congress ignored the expert testimony that this bill would in fact harm those trapped in sex trafficking by forcing perpetrators away from the Internet where it’s harder to find and rescue victims. It makes platforms liable, meaning businesses will be less likely to contact authorities if they see a crime to protect their livelihoods. It also makes it extremely unsafe for consensual sex work by removing the Internet buffer when looking for new clients. Sex crimes don’t need a computer to happen. Humanity has a long history of being terrible to each other, and the Internet is very young in comparison. This bill takes a safe place for free speech away, as well as correlates sex with crime in an attempt to erase sex from the Internet with the mentality of just in case someone bad is doing something bad, the Internet has to be stopped.

Will the Internet be changed over this?

It's up to the Internet. Craigslist shut down their Personals Section already because of the liability that individuals might be being exploited and the perpetrators using the service. Reddit is erasing community after community. I have a bad feeling that this new surge in Amazon erotica hunts is just the beginning in their need to ‘protect’ people from fiction, and who the hell knows what will happen once the bill is actually signed. But I am not a fortune teller. It’s very easy to shine a light and squish a bunch of objects together and say the shadows mean something. It’s the same type of leap in logic that intelligent, well-intentioned human beings use to insist it’s the Internet’s fault for sex trafficking. Reality is reality, now is now, and there is no way to know how each platform will deal with this new bill. There’s no way to know if the bill will be signed—but again, it seems unlikely that it won’t be. Congress already voted away the rights of Americans, and they’re supposed to be paid to do the exact opposite. I host with Dreamhost, btw. I selected them from the very beginning when I was looking for a web-hosting service because I knew some of the things I write would be considered controversial and I didn’t want to be arrested. There are states in the US where people are in jail for drawings. Not even photos—and no, I don’t think a photo is a person, or that a person can be exploited by someone looking at a piece of paper or screen, just so we’re clear. In this modern, supposedly forward, technology-rich society I am a part of, people are being jailed over ink on a piece of paper and pixels on a screen because morality is fucking-over reason. Dreamhost was not only accepting of adult content, but they actually spoke up against censorship, and that struck a strong cord with me. I don’t believe what I do is wrong on any level, and I wanted a hosting company who understands that. That still doesn’t mean if these laws pass that Dreamhost will be able to keep strong against them, but I have high hopes they’ll at least try. When Trump took office there was a huge outcry for morality, and it has been repeated again and again. Many people think they’re calling for basic decency on how we treat each other while blindly trampling on the rights of others and self. I think many want decency, and I wholeheartedly agree we should all seek to treat each other how we would wish to be treated (unless you’re a masochist. XD) But when people are caught up looking for control, looking to make what seems like a monstrous situation be sane and reasonable, they make really shitty decisions. The Patriot act was a wonderful example, and I’m sad to say this country didn’t fucking learn. As much as I point out if you don’t want to be shot by a gun, don’t surround yourself with guns, I still support the 2nd amendment because I understand the right to be allowed to defend yourself. I don’t think that right needs to be at the expense of the lives of others, but it is still an innate right to live and survive. You will die—we all die—but what living organism wouldn’t fight to stay alive? It is a choice, like all choices, and who is anyone to take that choice away? This bill will take away the ability to say whatever the fuck you want on the Internet. Posting nude images of yourself might be subject to so many questions that platforms may remove them completely just to make sure the subject of the image isn’t being exploited sexually. Writing fiction might be decided by platforms to encourage sex crimes and be removed with creators facing criminal liability. And if that seems insane, again, there are people in jail who have never committed a crime against another human being, they just viewed and downloaded something from the Internet. Each platform will decide their ‘line’ to protect them from prosecution over the actions of individuals on their site. There is no way to know how far they will go. There’s no way to know if we won’t all wake up tomorrow and have erotica erased completely from Amazon. I’m not saying this will come to be. I just have a very active mind and too many things to squish together to read the shadows. It won’t stop me from writing—I’m really not interested in doing anything else. XD I have yet to give a fuck about the morality of a bunch of tight-asses who can’t distinguish reality from fiction. But this is also my job where I’m seeing this storm brewing over what I do, and yeah, I’m worried. :/ Blah. It’s a choice how to react, how to feel, and ultimately, to decide if this is going to change the way I exist in the world. I’m choosing no. Platforms may cave, they may break, but any lawsuit taken into the courts—the courts who sent word to Congress to try to stop the passing of this bill because it infringed on the 1st amendment—will support free speech. Eventually. So if it all goes to shit, we gotta hang on and still live the way we want to live. Platforms are making a choice to react. It’s up to us to choose to follow their lead and be forced into the shadows, gutters, and closets, or stand the fuck up and live life to the fullest. This might sound weird and random, but I actually went through Hellcat in the final edit and erased God from it. There are these phrases I use that I grew up with, and I realized here I was still unable to escape that brainwashing on this level. I don’t want God in my fiction. I don’t want God in my life. We do not need some concept of judgment of every action done defining if an individual is worthy of being alive or not. If you take away God, humanity still exists free to make choices and be empowered by their actions. If you take away sex, humanity is literally dead and extinct. I want to keep the one that brings life, and it’s all sexy fun. ^^

Mated To The Demon Prince: Hellcat #1

Sean knows what those wicked, hellfire eyes want. Him, on his knees, taking every finger, tongue, tail, and tentacle. This is what being corrupted by a demon feels like. It’s the only explanation. Sean’s not supposed to have fangs or know magic, damn it. And this bs where he’s horny and begging all the time? No, not freaking happening. He’s just a nerd—a hot, gay, totally panicky IT specialist—who needs to find a solution to his destroyed business, asap. He doesn’t have time for whatever weird this shapeshifting demon is into. Soot can’t just claim him whenever he wants, over and over again. He’s about to be homeless! If Sean doesn’t save a witch from a dragon, it’s game over. But he’s changing, turning into someone he doesn’t recognize. He’s not sure if he can play hero, not even when Soot abducts TJ, Sean’s painfully straight crush, to the top of a tower full of witches, gargoyles, and one very pissed off dragon. TJ doesn’t know who to fear more, the demon prince or whatever it is Sean is turning into. There has to be a way out. Stealing a 3 million dollar hellcat isn’t a binding contract to be a sex thrall, no matter how much his demon master disagrees.

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After one too many bad breaks, Jimmy Nelson decided to pack up and hit the road seeking a fresh start in California. However, he did not expect the offer of a lifetime that landed directly in his lap. You see, Jimmy met a most intriguing man at a very random, deserted, and out of the way rest area. This handsome stranger was all too eager to take a willing student under his wing for one sensual encounter that would awaken buried desires. Come along for the erotic journey when two paths collide for a rest stop rendezvous…    

Monthly Freebie - Heat

I’m leaving Heat up over the weekend while I get the new Patreon aspect of the site sorted out. All the Demon Bonded books, past and present will end up on this part of the site and likely will replace the monthly freebie with updates to the Demon Bonded serial. We’ll see how it goes. <3

Mated To The Demon Prince

Sean knows what those wicked, hellfire eyes want. Him, on his knees, taking every finger, tongue, tail, and tentacle.

This is what being corrupted by a demon feels like. It’s the only explanation. Sean’s not supposed to have fangs or know magic, damn it. And this bs where he’s horny and begging all the time? No, not freaking happening. He’s just a nerd—a hot, gay, totally panicky IT specialist—who needs to find a solution to his destroyed business, asap. He doesn’t have time for whatever weird this shapeshifting demon is into. Soot can’t just claim him whenever he wants, over and over again. He’s about to be homeless!

If Sean doesn’t save a witch from a dragon, it’s game over. But he’s changing, turning into someone he doesn’t recognize. He’s not sure if he can play hero, not even when Soot abducts TJ, Sean’s painfully straight crush, to the top of a tower full of witches, gargoyles, and one very pissed off dragon. TJ doesn’t know who to fear more, the demon prince or whatever it is Sean is turning into.

There has to be a way out. Stealing a 3 million dollar hellcat isn’t a binding contract to be a sex thrall, no matter how much his demon master disagrees.

101,000+ wrds, First Published March, 2018.
Heat level: XXX

$2.99


WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MATED TO THE DEMON PRINCE

 Jamie A. on April 1, 2018
on March 31, 2018
on April 1, 2018
WOW! Holy cheese curls!!! This book is scorching hot and makes you thrive on every word. I loved it!! I there were more stars available I would check each one.
READ AN EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE

Was it possible to go crazy listening to the man who owned the sexiest lips ever? Even if he was talking nonsense at the time, TJ was still the sexiest man Sean ever had the annoyance of arguing with.

“Just one kitten. He’s so small, he’s like half a kitten. You’d barely notice him.”

Crazy. TJ was going to drive him crazy. “There’s no way in hell.” Sean decisively typed out a string of code and hit enter. “No.”

“Please, man?” TJ whined over the wireless headset Sean was failing to ignore. “He has nowhere else to go. I swear, once you meet him, you’ll totally fall in love. He's the cutest little ball of fluff. And his eyes! Oh, Sean, if you saw his eyes, I just know you'll love him.”

TJ was his friend of forever and an all-around animal lover. Sean usually didn’t hold it against him until moments like this. Moments which were growing more frequent as TJ decided he was lonely and needed an animal friend to brighten his days. Sean didn’t need a cat; he needed a boyfriend. A hot, sexy, preferably fur-free boyfriend who didn’t meddle in his life.

“Stop calling me from work trying to get me to adopt one of those four-legged beasts.” Sean squinted at the nearest of his four computer monitors. “I have enough problems without adding a kitten into the mix. Do you even understand what their fur will do to my setup?” He had three computers dedicated to IT work, and he couldn’t risk them being clogged up by fur, or fleas, or whatever the hell the little beasts covered themselves in. Pets. Why the hell would TJ think he wanted a pet?

TJ, who worked at the local animal shelter, didn’t even pause at Sean’s bitchy tone. “I'm sending you a picture. Once you see him… Ha.” The sounds of a digital camera snapping filtered through his headset as TJ chased down the prospective kitten.

“Leather couch. I have a fucking leather couch,” Sean growled determinedly. “Do you even know how much the blinds on my windows cost? I’m not letting some little clawed monster near my Egyptian cotton sheets. It would be a fucking disaster.” There was no way in hell he was taking in a mangy cat. He didn’t care if it was a baby and it needed a home. He hated pets, and he most certainly hated fur. “I’m allergic,” Sean added in the hopes of stopping the conversation flat.

“Liar.” TJ snorted derisively, only to hiss a moment after. “Oh, claws are not for hugging, little guy. Shit.” The sounds of him struggling with what Sean could only assume was a monstrous kitten with ten extra claws filled his ears. “I emailed you the photo,” TJ returned after a moment. “He's adorable. You have a huge fucking apartment and no one to enjoy it. Stop pretending rooms are for things. Love him, and take him home, and stop being a miserable bastard about everything.”

Sean closed his eyes and took a deep breath. The only person he wanted to take home and love currently wouldn’t shut the fuck up and leave him alone. He never should have answered the phone.

Sean’s computer chimed. It was his personal computer, the only one not currently being used to remote into a customer’s hard drive for virus clean up. Damn it. Sean sighed as he rolled his chair to the side and woke the computer from its screensaver mode. He paused and licked his lips when the desktop image appeared. It was a closeup of a hot, short haired man being spit roasted by two buff guys cut mostly out of the shot. It was no accident the hottie in the middle looked just like TJ. Sean spent hours photo-collaging the image to ensure TJ looked as depraved and ruined as possible.

“Well?” TJ prompted excitedly as the silence stretched on.

Sean inhaled sharply and pulled his hand up from where he was unconsciously reaching for his half hard dick. “I don’t want a cat.”

“Just because you don’t like pussy doesn’t mean you can’t like a kitten,” TJ teased cheerfully. “Come on, look at him. He’s adorable. You know you want him.”

Sean grunted at the bad joke and opened the email reluctantly. A pair of bright, blue eyes surrounded by gray fur glittered back from the screen. “I’d have preferred a dick pic. It's hideous.” Sean clicked the email closed and rolled back to the other monitor while TJ wailed dramatically. Seriously, you’d have sworn he physically assaulted the gray, ugly beast. Although not much larger than his fist, the kitten had a squashed nose and a ridiculous amount of fluff. It looked like the sort of thing Sean might mistake for a giant roaming dust ball when vacuuming. Probably even by accident.

“His eyes, Sean. He has the soul of a poet,” TJ insisted.

Sean rolled his own thankfully poet free eyes toward the ceiling. “Will you stop it already? I don’t want a pet. I don’t have time to feed kittens, and exercise them, and give them, you know…” he trailed off with a wave of his hand.

“Basic human companionship?” TJ supplied flatly.

“Attention,” Sean grunted. “Pets are a time suck. All they do is want food, then they poop the food, and sometimes they sleep. All the other time they want stuff from you. They’re just like people. There is nothing of value in any of it.” Living alone was much better. Easier. Not to mention, if he got a kitten, TJ would come over all the time.

Sean bit his lip and slowly rolled back to the other computer screen. His eyes fixed on the image of TJ being fucked senseless by two faceless men with big dicks. A cat could be the perfect excuse to get TJ to visit more. He could pretend the fluffball was sick or needed training. It could lead to them playing on the floor with TJ all sexy laughs that demanded kisses and blowjobs…

Sean shook his head roughly and reached down to squeeze his hard cock through his sweatpants. Bad. Very bad. TJ was his friend, his completely straight friend. TJ was his shy, sweet, straight friend Sean kept promising to himself he’d stop thinking about sexually. Just… Fuck, but just look at him! TJ was so hot, so unassumingly sexy with those flashing brown eyes and plump lips. He had that hot Latin lover look but with none of the confident swagger. No, TJ was impossibly shy, and it made Sean want to do things to him. Dirty things. Mean things that would have TJ begging him to stop all while cumming a river.

Sean clicked to a folder on his desktop. He teased his tongue over his teeth as he opened up the first of many nude images he had of men who looked suspiciously close to the same build and face of his sexy best friend. He was such a cockslut. Get TJ on his knees in front of a dick, and he would totally be a cockslut…

“This is exactly why you need a pet, Sean. You have no fucking clue how to share your life.” TJ’s voice took on a quality Sean tried very hard to block out as he gave a few experimental tugs on his cock. “You seriously need to get away from your computers before you forget how to talk to people. If you give them a chance, they might even like you.”

“They shouldn’t. I’m a fucking bastard and you know it,” Sean muttered. He closed his eyes as he held onto a mental image of TJ with his ass cheeks spread open, and his fluttering pucker waiting for his tongue, his fingers, his cock. If TJ even knew half of what he thought about when it came to his straight best friend, he would never talk to him again.

“Bullshit,” TJ snapped. “Sure, you say some stupid stuff, but that’s it. Everyone says stupid shit. People like you, Sean. I like you, and I happen to be an amazing judge of character. You should come out with me and some of my coworkers. We have a thing every Friday. It’s super chill, and I know you’d have fun if you gave it a chance.”

“I can’t go out,” Sean said a little too harshly. Fuck, he was so hard. Actually having TJ talking in his ear while he was playing with himself was beyond hot. It really didn’t matter what he was saying, just that it was him. The sound of TJ’s breath, his voice was all Sean needed. He could easily imagine TJ in the room, kneeling between his thighs with those perfect lips of his wrapped around his cock.

Aw, fuck. Sean wriggled in his chair and spread his legs wider. With one hand he pushed his pants down his hips, and with the other he reached in and pulled his hard cock out. Sean held his breath when TJ’s voice returned and washed over him.

“I know. I’m not asking you to actually leave the apartment. I was thinking we might have it at your place.”

“Oh,” Sean murmured as he stroked down his rigid shaft. Fuck, this was such a bad idea. “You want it here?”

“Don’t say no right away. Just hear me out,” TJ rushed on. And fuck, didn’t it just sound so fucking good to have TJ try to convince him to fuck him? To take him, and show him what being with a man would be like? Sean bit his lip and tried to drown out what his friend was actually saying.

“They’re really friendly, really nice. Some even help to train the service dogs, so they understand, you know, about people not all being the same. No one would judge you…”

“Uh huh,” Sean whispered as he clicked to another picture. This one was of a TJ lookalike with his hard dick hanging out of a pair of tight white briefs. TJ’s expression bordered on despair, and Sean made the image smaller so he could see the desktop screenshot of TJ being double teamed at the same time.

“And if you got to know people, maybe you’d be more compelled to want to go out, right? I mean, you can’t want to just stay in your apartment forever.”

“Right.” Sean breathed out slowly. His head tilted back as he thrust into his warm palm. “So right. TJ, could you just…?”

“What? What’s wrong?”

Sean grinned as he reached for the bottle of lube he kept in the desk drawer specifically for browsing porn. “Nothing. Just wondering how many dogs humped you today.”

“Fuck off, you ass. They’re just very enthusiastic to see me.”

“Yeah, but how many?” Sean snickered at TJ’s angry growl. He was forced to bite his lip and fight a moan as his lube-slick fingers wrapped around his cock. Fuck. Fuck, he wasn’t going to last like this. Talking to TJ was far more interesting when he could masturbate. “Two? Three? Seven?”

“Damn it, Sean. I’m trying to have a serious conversation with you. This is important. It might be life changing for you.”

“Uh huh.” His eyes fluttered shut as he slowly fucked into his hand. “So… you were saying?”

TJ huffed as he tried to regain his train of thought. “Damn it, okay. I just think it would be good motivation, something positive to make you want to go out into the world.”

“A kitten?” Sean asked with brows furrowed.

“No, having friends over. That is, well, meeting my friends, making friends, and, you know, getting to know people. I think it’ll help you want to leave your place.”

“TJ, driving me out of my apartment isn’t really… Oh.” Sean’s breath skipped as his balls tightened. Fuck, he was already close, so fucking close. He licked his lips and tried to pull back from the edge. He didn’t want to come yet. TJ in his ear was too fucking sexy to rush.

“Sean?”

Hell, if he said his name like that one more time, he was going to blow. “Hold on a sec. I’m trying to focus.”

“Oh. Sorry.” TJ gave him a beat but just couldn’t seem to stay silent for long. “You sound out of breath. Tell me you’re not freaking out over this. I don’t want to freak you out. This is supposed to help, you know?”

“Uh huh. Eight…” Sean murmured as he stroked his cock from base to swollen tip. He squeezed around his sensitive head and slicked his palm in a tight twist before sliding down his shaft again. He was well aware how breathless he sounded and was too far gone to care. He wanted to fuck TJ. He wanted to fuck him hard, relentlessly, until he was crying his name. “Nine.” He glared at the computer screen where his slutty TJ was sucking cock like he was made for it, begging for it. Sean stroked his throbbing length tighter and wondered what TJ’s ass would feel like gripping around him, riding him, as he took every inch of his cock. “Ten.”

“So, what do you think?” TJ prodded, oblivious to how Sean was fading in and out of the conversation.

“How many was it?” Sean chuckled when TJ swore in his ear. “Eleven.”

“Dude, I’m serious. This is… Why are you counting?” TJ’s voice, if possible, became angrier. “Are you exercising right now, you asshole?”

Sean groaned and threw his head back. “I’m seriously trying,” he lied shamelessly as he thrust into his palm again. “Twelve.” TJ would be tighter. He’d be tight, and the noises he’d make being opened by his cock would be loud, desperate. His. Sean’s breath stuttered, and he stilled the rocking of his hips and tried not to give in to the delicious pressure building. “Fourteen,” he shuddered.

“You forgot thirteen,” TJ muttered. “Let me know when you’re done and can actually focus on me.”

He was focused. He was so focused his balls were going to turn blue. “You’re an attention whore,” Sean whispered. He wondered if TJ could hear it, the hard, hungry part of him that wanted him to be his whore. He wanted him always on his knees, waiting for him, TJ’s body his and only his.

“No, I’m just trying to have a conversation,” TJ shot back. “Do you remember those, man? You know, where you don’t stare at a computer all day?”

“I’d go stir crazy… fifteen… if I just sat in front of a computer all day.” Sean’s gaze slipped from the tip of his cock dripping precum, up to the image of TJ with his mouth wide open and full of dick. “What, you want to come to my gym? I’d let you come.” He’d let TJ cum as many times as he wanted. He’d suck him until he was begging for release. He’d fuck that tight hole of his and his mouth; TJ’s lips were made for fucking. They were so plump, so fucking red and perfect for drizzling cum all over…

“Maybe,” TJ mused as the sound of a cage closing echoed over the line. “Free is always good. Gym memberships are so expensive in the city.”

Sean squeezed his eyes shut as a vision flashed in his mind of TJ bent over a weight-bench in a pair of skimpy shorts tangled around his sneakers. TJ’s face and shoulders were bright red, his caramel toned ass and thighs rock hard and wet with sweat. The moans he made were so perfect as he took Sean’s cock and every hard, demanding thrust he pounded into him.

“Fuck.” Sean grit his jaw tight, and his head fell back as his entire body jerked in the computer chair. He came with a drawn-out growl as hot, milky streams of cum pulsed from his tip and splattered onto his sweat drenched stomach and flexing abs.

“Ha, you know, on second thought…” TJ chuckled awkwardly, the sound nearly drowned out by barking as he passed the kennel. “I don’t want to tell you what you sound like, man, but it’s obscene. Pornographic. I hope you go to the gym alone, or people might get the wrong idea.”

Sean, who covered his hand over the mouthpiece of his headset to keep from letting TJ hear the many swears he was cursing as he tried to recover his breathing, returned to his counting in a more even tone. “Twenty… Twenty-one…”

“You’re so full of shit,” TJ exclaimed. “You’re at fifteen, tops.”

“Do you want to count?” Sean’s grin felt too tight on his face as a familiar depression sank around him. It was a dream, a lie of his head. It was always going to be a fantasy even with TJ’s voice whispering in his ear. “What exactly are you saying?” Sean reached for the box of tissues he kept in the same drawer as the lube and wiped the cooling cum from his stomach. “You think when guys do pushups it sounds like they’re fucking? Pervert.”

TJ snorted. His voice was a little too high-pitched when he retorted, “No, I think when you do pushups it sounds like you’re cumming. Totally different, you deviant.”

Sean stared moodily at the ceiling, his mind still full of images of TJ acting like a hungry cockslut for him. Not real. Fuck, it wasn’t ever going to be real. Sean ran his fingers over his chest and thumbed his nipple through his t-shirt. “Just how often do you think about me cumming, straight boy?”

“Gah, stop being gross! I said it sounded. Sounded! I didn’t say I was thinking about it.”

“Right, right. My mistake.” Sean gave TJ enough time to think he let it drop, then added in a low voice, “You’re thinking about my dick right now, aren’t you?”

“Damn it!” TJ yelped while Sean chuckled darkly.

“Hey, you’re the one bringing up fluffy pussy and cum jokes. You’ve got a filthy mind, TJ. I swear you called me just so you could have someone to traumatize.”

TJ’s breath hitched, and all the laughter drained from his voice. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”

“For fuck sake,” Sean growled. “What, you think because I can’t leave the building, I can’t handle a dirty joke?” His voice was edged with an anger sourced straight from his own guilt. He was jerking off to the sound of his best friend’s voice while TJ—fucking perfect prince TJ—was worried he hurt his feelings.

“You know I would never…” TJ’s words were so slow and cautious, Sean couldn’t bear to hear them. Fuck, he was such an asshole. The things he wanted to do to TJ felt like a sick, demented disease he wasn’t ever going to be free of. He couldn’t have him. He wanted him, and he was never going to have him, and he was just fucking everything up no matter how much distance he tried to put between them. Why the fuck did he keep doing shit like this?

“Sean?” TJ called worriedly. “I said I was sorry.”

“Stop. It’s fine. I’m just fucking with you,” Sean snapped, desperate to have the conversation drop. “Stop acting like some virginal princess who can’t handle a dick joke. It’s just a fucking joke.” Sean groaned internally as he heard the callous words tumble from his mouth. Fuck, he was just digging a hole straight to Hell at this point. He was such an asshole. TJ was a virgin and so fucking sensitive about it, and still, still the perfect fuck was focused on trying to make sure Sean’s feelings weren’t hurt. Shit, why couldn’t he stop being such a dick?

Sean went to pull his pants up, and his gaze fixed on a droplet of cum he’d missed. His eyelids grew heavy as he thought of TJ licking at his skin to clean it. He’d hold it, savor it, a spot of pearly white on his red tongue. “You thirsty?” Sean asked. He couldn’t stop himself even now, even after having once again said something totally shitty to his best friend.

“Uh, a little, I guess,” TJ answered, his tone subdued. “Why, is my voice weird? I was shouting at one of the dogs earlier. It slipped its leash and booked it straight for the street.”

Sean closed his eyes and bit his lower lip hard. TJ sounded like he was sucking cock. He sounded like he was waiting for cum to be dribbled onto those perfect lips of his. He sounded like he was panting in his ear, inches away while touching himself.

“About the cat…” TJ was definitely more subdued. He was being cautious, tiptoeing around him, and Sean hated it.

“The pussy?”

TJ paused, and this time the awkward silence didn’t fill with laughter. “You know what I mean.”

Sean did, and he took no joy in harassing TJ over it. For whatever reason, TJ was a glutton for punishment today and still hadn’t hung up. He’d been calling him every day now. Sean wasn’t exactly sure why, but maybe he was really worried about the ugly little cat.

“The kitten. He’s a boy, for one. Not that you can tell when they’re so little.” TJ’s tone changed as he tried to lighten the mood like the upstanding, unattainable, perfect being he was always going to be. “He needs someone to love him, Sean. He’s all alone in the world and, well, when I see him I think of you.”

Sean sighed heavily. “Thanks, that totally makes me not want to slit my wrists. Care to throw in how I suck at dating and will never be happy as well?”

“Fuck—Sean, that’s not what I meant!” Sean was pretty sure he could literally hear TJ’s heart crack through the headset. “I want to bring the kitten over so you can meet him. What are you doing today?”

“Jerking off. All day,” Sean said without humor. It was probably true. He couldn’t stop thinking about TJ. Getting away with masturbating while on the phone with him sure as fuck hadn’t helped anything. TJ heard him cum. TJ heard him cum, and even thought he heard him cum. Fuck, yeah, he could totally jerk off to that for an entire day.

Sean sat up and tucked away the tissues and bottle of lube as he waited to see if his rude comment had pushed TJ to hang up or not. “When’s a better day?” TJ persisted, the stubborn fuck, his voice obnoxiously cheerful.

Sean grinned bitterly. “You ever think maybe you’re crowding me, man? I’ve got a shit ton of work to get done.”

“Take a break,” TJ snapped, and all the pleasantries stripped away. “I haven’t seen you in weeks, dipshit. It’s not like you have anywhere to go.”

Angry swearing. The perfect prince was close to breaking. Sean stood from his chair and headed for the kitchen. “Oh, are we throwing that in my face now? Maybe if you spent more time dating instead of worrying over my pathetic ass, you’d be laid by now.”

“My fuck—Sean! No. Giving a fuck about you is not worrying, first of all. Second, you are not pathetic, and I’m so fucking sick of you saying shit about yourself like that.”

Sean rolled his eyes. He should have insulted the cat. TJ was less likely to go into lecture mode when he wasn’t saying truthful as shit stuff about himself. “Uh huh, yup, I’m a perfect angel. You’re right, I’m brilliant. Genius. Yes, I’m a genius.” Sean kept his voice a bored drawl even as agitation tensed his muscles tighter and tighter. He hated this. He hated this more than TJ trying to get him to make friends like he was some pathetic outcast on the playground.

Sean stalked back into the living room and paced as TJ angrily rattled off all the many reasons he wasn’t a piece of shit while Sean continued to treat his best friend like a piece of shit.

“Are you done?” Sean asked when TJ finally took a breath.

“No. You’re an asshole,” TJ added sharply. “You’re totally being an asshole right now. You’ve been acting like an asshole for ages, and I’m sick of it. Stop being an asshole, Sean!”

This was when he was supposed to ask TJ something embarrassing that would send him over the edge and hang up with the declaration of never talking to him again. It was on the tip of his tongue, but Sean couldn’t bring himself to actually say it. If he were a decent human being, he’d just tell him. He’d tell him he loved him. TJ could have a nice cry about how he could never love him back, and then—only then—would it be a promise that TJ would never, ever talk to him again. Because, for whatever fucked up reason, TJ kept coming back no matter how shitty Sean acted.

Sean sighed dejectedly and threw himself into his chair. “Fine.”

“W-What? Wait, what?” TJ stuttered in shock.

“Bring the cat down,” Sean grunted. “Just don’t expect anything. I need order, and a fluffball will only fuck up everything. Not to mention litter boxes are totally disgusting.”

“Please, not having a litter box is way grosser,” TJ joked half-heartedly. “Uh… okay, then.” He managed to not sound happy even though he’d gotten the answer he wanted. Sean was far too used to that tone. He worked hard to make sure TJ wasn’t happy around him.

Fuck, he hated his life.

TJ coughed nervously. “Sean, about Friday. I really do think it would…”

An odd sensation weighed the air around him, and Sean blinked as the hair stood up on his arms. He looked up nervously as the lights faded and buzzed through the apartment. “What?” Flashes suddenly sparked and cracked alarmingly around the room, and he jumped out of his seat with a yelp. “Fuck!”

Sean whirled around, turned back to his computer, and stared in growing dread as the project he was working on for the last two hours flickered strange, glowing symbols.

“Oh, fuck. Mother fuck, no. No, no, no!” Sean grabbed at his hair as sparks shot up all around his computers.

“What… Sean? What a… his…?”

Sean twisted the headset off his ear so he didn’t have to hear TJ’s static confusion. This couldn’t be happening. Hours of work gone. Hours.

The flashing abruptly stopped, but Sean’s work screen didn’t return to normal. A single, large symbol stretched across the otherwise blank screen.

“No.”

He reached forward and clicked the monitor power, but nothing changed. The symbol remained on the screen, an obnoxious purple burning toward hot pink the longer it glowed. His mind whirred, and Sean crossed the hardwood floor with large strides to the windows. He shoved the blinds aside and peered down with dawning horror at the moving truck out front of his apartment building. “Aw, fuck. This can’t be happening.”

Spirit Movers. Fucker.

“Sean, what the hell is happening? Why is my phone screen glowing purple?”

TJ’s voice finally jolted Sean back, and he twisted his headset into place. “It’s a witch. A witch is moving in.”

Wonder what happens next? With a paid membership you can read it all. Become a fan and start saving.

SCENE THIRTY-ONE

“What? Where?” Sean twisted as he blinked out of darkness, and the world came roaring back into existence around him. “Soot? What the hell was that?” He clutched Fides’s arm tightly while he tried to stop the rocking of the room. “Where are we? Oh.”

They were home. Ferdinand squirmed in his arms, apparently more calm being swallowed up by the darkness and spit out than Sean was just yet. He let the kitten down and looked around the living room of his apartment. Sean absorbed the destroyed furniture, broken glass, and shattered window in silence. “Oh, fuck,” he sighed, and his shoulders slumped. He was home and the place was a total mess.

With a dejected expression, Sean turned his gaze to TJ. He was still held over Fides’s shoulder, and Sean stepped behind the demon to see his face. TJ was in a deep sleep and looked serene and peaceful even in the uncomfortable position.

Sean couldn’t help but smile. They were home. He leaned forward and gently kissed TJ’s forehead.

“We’re safe, right? I mean, that guy didn’t follow us?” The idea of that witch hunting them down over Divia’s death felt very real after seeing his anger. Sean took a step away and looked around his apartment with a new purpose.

“We haven’t been followed,” Fides assured calmly. “There is no way for a human to track shadow travel. They can lay traps at the end, but they cannot follow us through the portal.” He lifted TJ from his shoulder and carefully held his lax body in his arms. “Come. He will need rest for the transformation.”

Sean couldn’t get the witch’s angry glare out of his mind, and he slowly followed Fides while searching the apartment for any signs of danger. Magnolia’s apartment was right above his. Her showing up had seemed so insane, so circumstantial, but Magnolia had proved to be full of plans and dark intentions Sean could have never guessed. Could she have booby trapped the building? Had she left something to track Fides, or any demon who might step near her place? She had already installed a cage for humans and demons alike; who really knew how long she had access to the building before she moved?

“What if she comes back?” Sean caught up to Fides at the bedroom door. “Magnolia lives here. At least, most of her stuff is here.” The movers may have even brought the magical elements in if the regulators had finally shown.

Fides didn’t look concerned. “She’d be a fool to step into my den, if she even lives.”

Sean blinked at the mention of a den. “What, you don’t think Magnolia’s alive?”

Fides nodded and shoved the bedroom door open. It was dark within, but Fides had no issue seeing as he stepped inside. “If that was Divia’s brother, he has lived as long as his wretched sister.”

“Oh.” Sean crinkled his nose from the powerful, musky scent that lingered in his room. He scowled when he stumbled and tripped over broken furniture. “Damn it. So, you think he’s as bad as Divia?”

Fides grunted a yes. “Demons live long because of our natural lifespan. Thralls live long because you are changed to be more like us. Witches, on the other hand, live long because they steal the life force from other magical beings.” Fides wrapped a steadying tail around Sean when he stumbled again, and he guided him through the mess. The broken light bulb of Sean’s table side lamp started to glow as Fides fed a current of magic into it, and the darkness abated. “The witch siblings have been killing together for long years, and the brother appears more youthful than the dead sister. It is very likely he will kill Magnolia for us in his greed for energy.”

Sean licked suddenly dry lips. A part of him felt bad for Magnolia, and he swiftly pushed the feeling aside. Magnolia’s death would solve all their problems. With her gone, no one would know who Sean and Fides were, or how to find them. “If she dies, all the spells will be removed from you, right? There will be no way to track us?”

Fides inhaled sharply and didn’t reply. Instead he busied himself and placed TJ among the strewn sheets and comforter on the bed.

“Are the spells off you?” Sean pressed worriedly. “I don’t even know how I was able to let you speak. I could have blasted your throat off, for all the skill I have in this.” Sean’s concern only grew when Fides wouldn’t meet his gaze. He reached out and pressed a hand to his the demon’s shoulder. “Are you in danger? Are we in danger?”

“I don’t know,” Fides finally answered. He kept his head ducked down and his face was obscured by his long dreads of hair. “If Magnolia is dead, the spells should all lift. But I don’t know enough about human magic. The witches use incantations and nonsense words and it’s very different from our power. We know to take the wands from the witches so they can’t be used against us, but that is the extent of most knowledge. We have sent those to discover these secrets, but none have returned.”

Fides lifted his head and turned to meet Sean’s worried gaze. “Many have died. If they are not captured and sold, they are drained for their power and killed. I hoped to change things, but…” he trailed off with a defeated sigh.

Sean thought he might understand. “It’s a one-sided war. You’re not battling an army; you’re battling a bunch of opportunists who see you as a resource to get more power.”

Fides nodded at his insight. “There is no fortress to storm, no organized enemy to defeat. Entire villages of my people are systematically picked apart by a mere handful of these witches. I thought coming here would reveal something, some sort of source to all this madness. I thought…” Sean’s hand slipped into his, and Fides paused to stare down at their entwined fingers. “I did not come here to find you.” His eyes burned over Sean as he tugged him closer and wrapped tail and tendrils around his form. “I’m seeking my lost people. I’m seeking a way to seal my realm from this world. I never thought to find a mate. Certainly not two. Certainly not humans.”

Sean arched as he was pulled closer, and Fides slid hands and tentacles down his body. “Yeah, well, ditto,” he said breathlessly. “Out of all the things I was planning to do today, none of this fell into it.” He bit his lip and smirked. “I couldn’t have ever anticipated someone like you, you annoying little sootball.”

Fides grinned fiercely, surged forward, and kissed Sean’s lips until they were swollen. When he pulled away, Sean could read the want in his eyes, and damn him, he couldn’t help but return it.

“Come, we must prepare.” Instead of throwing him down and fucking him like Sean expected, Fides instead unwound from the press of his flesh and took him by the hand.

“What?” Sean blinked at the uncharacteristic restraint of his demon lover, and then stumbled as he was tugged away from the bed. “Soot, wait.” Sean quickly let his hand go, afraid he was going to tumble and crush the kitten who apparently followed them into the room. “Crap,” Sean muttered as he watched the little gray fluffball daintily pick through the debris on the floor. He didn’t have a litter box. No toys. Damn, no food.

“What are we going to feed you?” he asked down at Ferdinand, who completely ignored Sean to paw distractedly at a crumpled shirt.

Sean huffed and glared as he looked around his ruined room. “Damn it, Soot. Just what the fuck was this all about?” He waved his hand around the mess and turned toward Fides. “You can’t possibly live like this, so don’t you dare bullshit me. No one can live in such a mess. It’s disgusting. And what the hell is that smell?” Sean wrinkled his nose as he got another whiff of the powerful, musky odor wafting from the bed. “Did you seriously piss in here?”

Fides breathed in deep and grinned on his exhale. “Scented. This is our mating place, and all must know.” His eyes blazed with lust as he looked at Sean. “My scent will keep competing mates away to ensure a successful breeding. No demon would dare cross into this space without knowing they face the deadliest of consequences.”

“What, like tripping and smelling gross?” Sean wasn’t impressed as he took in the damage and internally counted the hours of work it would take to clean the place and repair the wall. He couldn’t have TJ living in this mess. He’d break his leg the second he got out of bed. And given a chance, Sean was pretty sure the kitten would think his entire apartment was a litter box if something wasn’t done soon.

Sean’s eyes fell to a flash of dark red, and he reached over and pulled one of his favorite band t-shirts from the pile. He refrained from swearing, and he shrugged out of his shredded shirt and pulled the soft tee over his head. After the bedroom, he still needed to clean the living room, and the huge hole the demon left in the kitchen wall. He’d need a damn construction crew just to keep up with Fides weird kink of breaking everything just to get him angry.

A sparkle lit Fides’s eyes when he turned, and Sean paused, wary to find he was being watched. “It’s my favorite shirt,” Sean warned the longer Fides stared at him. The response was far from encouraging when Fides flashed sharp fangs, and his gaze moved hungrily over Sean’s body.

“Many of my kind cover in red to attract mates.” Fides stepped forward, and something snapped under his foot as he crowded Sean back until he was flush against the closet wall. “Usually, it is in the blood of our enemies.” Fides pressed his face to Sean’s hair and inhaled his scent. “This is still enticing.”

Sean swallowed hard as lips teased along the sensitive flesh of his neck. “Good. I’m not really the bathe in the blood of my enemies type.”

“I’ve noticed. You’re the yell and demand until you get your way type.” Fides grinned against his flesh. “Also extremely enticing.”

Sean couldn’t tell if he was being insulted or seduced. It was hard to think clearly with so much heat flooding him, and Fides’s hard body pressed to his. “You said we needed to prepare for something?” Sean panted out.

“Yes. The den. We must prepare.” Fides sounded just as distracted as him, and his mouth trailed a hot path down to the hollow of Sean’s throat. He suddenly grunted, and his head reared back. Sean blinked at him, and the two of them looked down to find Ferdinand at their feet. The kitten had pounced on Fides’s tail and was gnawing his needle sharp fangs into the whip like appendage.

Sean’s eyes widened, and he went to shoo the kitten away. Fides killed a dragon, and the stupid fluffball didn’t stand a fucking chance.

Fides was faster, and Sean held his breath when the demon’s tail twisted and wrapped around the little kitten. “Don’t hurt him,” Sean insisted. TJ would kill him if anything happened to the fluffy thing.

“Be calm.”

The kitten hissed ferociously when Fides scooped him up. Ferdinand dug claws into Fides’s flesh vengefully when he was placed on his shoulder high above the floor. He clawed and twisted around his perch while Fides grinned and scritched behind his twitching ear. “Baby,” Fides cooed as the kitten pawed at his swaying tentacles.

“That’s not…” Sean stared as Fides insisted on cuddling the kitten, who seemed more interested in sinking fangs into him than anything else. “He’s just a normal cat, not a shapeshifter. Not food,” Sean added nervously. Just what the hell did Fides eat?

Fides didn’t seem particularly upset when one of his tentacles was gnawed on by the little beast. “He’s a baby, and he needs space.” Fides looked around the bedroom and pointed to the wall he broke when last there. “The walls must come down.”

Sean was still trying to process whatever bizarre friendship was happening between Fides and the kitten. The prickly thing seemed almost happy to be on the demon’s shoulder. “What?” Sean shook his head as Fides’s words sank in. “No way in fuck. Soot, people live here. I live here. You can’t just go knocking walls down.”

Fides raised an eyebrow and walked over to the wall that connected to the guest room. Sean groaned into his palm when the demon slammed his fist against the wall and made a second large hole in the drywall.

He really needed to stop telling Fides what he could and couldn’t do. Every single time, the demon was quick to show how easy it was. “What the fuck, man? Why do you hate my apartment?” Sean snapped in frustration. He couldn’t afford any of this.

Fides tore his hand down, and the wall pulled apart in dusty clumps. “It’s unsuitable for our needs,” he said simply. “We need far more space. I want the entire floor, perhaps the complete building for defensive purposes.”

“Soot, no! There are families here. You can’t just kick them out of their homes. Damn it, and stop putting holes in the wall!” Sean stalked over, only to yelp when his foot slipped on the mess. His knee buckled, and he fell straight down to the floor. “Fucker.”

Sean blinked up to find Fides staring down at him with a concerned expression.

“I have decided. I’m claiming this building.”

Sean fought his stupor and glowered. “I think I liked you better when you were silent, you arrogant ass.”

“I fear for your safety.” Fides wrapped his tail around Sean’s torso and lifted him to his feet. “The transformation can be trying, and I don’t want you to be harmed.”

Sean’s face went red. “I’m not some weak…”

“You aren’t human anymore,” Fides continued more seriously. “The both of you will no longer be welcome by your people.”

Sean’s breath left him in a rush. “That… that’s not an excuse to kick so many people from their homes.”

“And if you become crazed with the mating fever?” Fides tugged him closer and ran his thumb along Sean’s pointed ear. “If your uncontrollable magic decides to flare out and strike the nearest weak human? What if you become murderous to even scent a stranger near your mate? You don’t know the many things your transformation may bring. You don’t know how to protect yourself right now, but I do.”

“I…” Sean didn’t know. He hadn’t had a moment to think of the consequences to everything that happened the last few days. He barely had time to think at all. He wasn’t human anymore. He was an accomplice to the murder of Divia, and possibly Magnolia if she ended up dead, and he might be on the hit list of a witch he didn’t even know the name of.

Sean pulled away, and his gaze fell to where TJ was asleep on the bed. “Wouldn’t it be better to move us instead? We should find someplace safe.”

“No,” Fides grunted. “The witch’s things are here.”

Sean turned back, surprised by the answer. “Why do we need…?” Fides’s stubborn expression gave him pause, and Sean fell silent. He really didn’t know anything about what Magnolia had done to the demon, or what Fides wanted in terms of revenge. The witches had hunted the demons down. Sean hadn’t just been mated, he had ended up in the middle of some sort of war between a bunch of crazy witches and terribly violent demons.

“Okay. Do what you want,” Sean said heavily. “Just… Just promise me you’ll keep TJ safe. That’s all I care about.”

Fides’s violet eyes seemed to burn as he stared at Sean silently for a moment. “You are my mates. I would die for you.”

Sean swallowed hard. The intensity of Fides’s statement had the hair prickling on his skin, and he was certain the demon meant it. “Yeah, but maybe you could just, you know, live and keep us all from dying?” he offered wryly.

Fides’s lips twitched into a smile. “If that’s what you wish.” Without another word, he turned back to the wall and slashed claws down.

“Soot!” Sean yelped. “Destroy other rooms. Leave my place out of this!”

Fides turned back with his hair coiled gently around Ferdinand to keep him from falling from his shoulder. “What? We need more room for the baby. Much more.”

Sean just stared, at a loss. “The kitten? He’s not a baby. Not, well, really.” Ferdinand was a baby cat, in a squashed nose, prickly way. Sean wasn’t actually sure how much room the little fluffball needed.

“No, the baby,” Fides stressed. He tilted his head as he looked at Ferdinand and then back to Sean. “Perhaps two. I wasn’t expecting two mates. The transformation process usually results in a child.”

“W-What?” Sean sputtered. There was no way he heard that right. “What the fuck does that mean? You do realize I’m a man, right? TJ and I are men, Soot!”

Fides merely shrugged while Sean flustered for something to say. “I’m a demon prince, my pet. Such things usually don’t keep me from getting what I want.”

“Prince? You’re a fucking prince? What?!” Sean fumbled, and his hands shook as he sought something to lean on. He wasn’t hearing this. None of this made sense. “Are you fucking with me, right now?” he demanded. He was mated to a prince? He was mated to a prince who thought he was going to bear his child? What the fuck was happening?

Fides’s eyes glowed twin flames as he placed the kitten on the floor. He crossed the short distance and pulled Sean into his arms. “I can fuck you. I’m always happy to fuck you.”

Sean jolted as he was pushed up against the wall, and Fides kissed down his neck hungrily. “Soot, I’m serious. I can’t handle anymore insanity.”

“Not being inside you makes me insane,” Fides insisted as he pushed Sean’s shirt up his chest and twisted his nipples roughly. “Come, we will mate now and fix the den after. We will need spears and debris in the halls to keep from being surprised by any who step into the den. We will create a perimeter around these two rooms to secure the mating and birthing area. We’ll then need another layer of traps around the perimeter of the apartment, and then the floor itself. The windows will need fortifying, but I have a magic for that.”

Fides pulled away to grin down appreciatively at Sean’s hands. “My magic is not like yours. You have human magic, and it’s very powerful. It will be a great addition to protecting our family in this strange realm. You will know more about your customs, about the dangers. Together we have everything we need to keep our family safe.”

“Soot… I’m a man.” Sean’s brows twisted the longer Fides stared at him. “I can’t have babies. We don’t…” He couldn’t believe he was even having this conversation. “I’m a man,” Sean repeated, unable to find anything else that would make sense while surrounded by such insanity.

“I find your shape pleasing, whatever it may be,” Fides assured him, as if Sean were revealing an insecurity instead of a blatant reality that he was male and couldn’t bear a child. Sean thought to protest, but there just didn’t seem much point. Fides would discover it eventually. His apartment would be destroyed, likely the police would be involved once the demon started kicking people out of the building, and maybe then, finally, Fides would see reason.

Sean’s shoulder’s slumped and he grabbed Fides’s hand. “Just remember your promise, okay? No matter what happens, we take care of him.”

Fides leaned forward and licked his tongue along Sean’s lips. “We will be together forever. I shall protect us all.”

“Okay,” Sean panted out. “And this prince thing? What exactly does…?” It was impossible to think straight with Fides trying to twist his nipples sore. Sean groaned when his mouth was pried open by a tentacle, and Fides’s tongue plunged in to stroke the hot cavity. His cock rubbed against Sean, free from his skintight clothing and dripping with precum. He was already rock hard, and Sean shuddered in white hot lust despite his frustration.

“Damn it, we’ve been over this. Don’t pull your dick out when you’re kissing me.” Sean went to push him away. “Soot, I need some damn answers already. All we do is fuck, and there is so much I don’t understand.”

“If you knew how perfect you feel when you take my dicks, you’d understand my dilemma,” Fides growled shamelessly as he humped against Sean’s pinned form. “Each time we mate, I’m reshaping you, making you mine. I want my cock to mark you on the inside of that tight, perky ass of yours.” His hand slapped down on the side of his ass, and Sean cried out from the hot sting. “I have so much for you. A starving slut like you needs all the cock and cum you can get.”

“Hell.” Sean’s head fell back against the wall and his lips parted to take the four fingers Fides thrust into his mouth. He moaned heatedly around the digits as tentacles wrapped around his chest, neck, and hips, and his pants were pushed down his thighs and off his legs. It was a squirming wave of heat and friction as his erection was encased in firm coils and his cheeks spread open by the multiple tentacle tips. A thick one pressed against his pucker, and Sean jerked and jolted when he realized Fides had plumped up his tail into a thick, dripping cock while they’d been talking.

Seriously, the demon was a damn deviant.

Fides groaned as he pressed against Sean’s entrance and fluid smeared the sore flesh. Sean’s soft gasps grew in intensity as tentacles teased at his flesh as well. “That’s it. Show your master how you take everything I gift you.”

Sean’s tongue stilled from where he was licking Fides’s fingertips. His eyes cracked open and glowed green in the dim light of the bedroom as he pulled his head away. “Master?”

Fides was unapologetic as he palmed over Sean’s ass cheek and spread him wider. “You are still a mere human, pet.” He licked Sean’s lips and teased along his tongue. “Humans are so backwards, weak, and easily corrupted. We have been at war with your witches for many centuries. It is difficult to let some things go.”

Sean reached down, his hand held determinedly between the press of their bodies while he mulled. “Am I your mate, or am I your slave? Do you think you own me?” he asked. Sean was half afraid of the answer. It wasn’t like he ever had an opportunity to talk to Fides about what all this fucking meant to the demon.

Fides chuckled at the serious expression Sean was wearing. Sean’s glare did nothing to dim his wicked smirk. “My pet, you are well aware I own you.”

Sean flushed, slammed his hands on Fides’s chest, and pushed him back. The demon, as usual, refused to budge. “You crazy, son-of-a-bitch! No one owns me!”

“I own your body, including that nasty tongue of yours,” Fides continued evenly, and his eyes sparkled in the face of Sean’s rage. “I own your dick and every drop of seed it releases. I own your sweet, clenching hole.” He palmed up Sean’s chest firmly and rubbed over one of his aching buds. “I own your cries, your yells, and every whimper and tremble and gasp you make.”

Sean groaned and grasped the tail that was again trying to push between his cheeks. He was only more pissed off by how hot he was getting. This shouldn’t turn him on. Fides thinking he was actually his sex thrall was messed up. “Damn it, Soot, I’m serious. I’m not a fucking pet. I’m a person.”

Fides grin slipped away, and his expression grew serious as he stared down into Sean’s angry green eyes. “You are my mate, and I am your master. I have made you in my image, and if I wish for you to be my pet, then you are my pet.” He pressed a slow kiss to Sean’s grimace. “Right now, I wish for you to shudder in release and make those cries of yours I enjoy.”

Sean growled furiously. “I am not your… Ah. Ah, fuck.” Sean fell silent with a gasp as Fides thrust his tail forward and it pushed into his already stretched hole. The cum that hadn’t been cleaned free leaked down and coated the shaft and long tail. “Damn it. This is not the proper way of things,” Sean muttered. He couldn’t focus, and his head fell back as pleasure hit him in overwhelming waves, and Fides’s cock slid in deeper.

Hell, he wanted it. He always wanted it when Fides touched him, and nothing else fucking mattered when he was buried deep inside him. Sean gave in and rocked, trying to get Fides deeper inside him. He needed to feel him along every inch of his channel.

“That’s it. I know what you need, pet.” Fides lifted Sean up into his arms, pulled his shaking limbs around him, and carried him to the bed. Sean barely noticed they were moving, his focus consumed by the tail fucking deep inside his hole while tentacles wriggled, pulsed, and slender tips began to probe at his filled entrance and push inside.

“Oh fuck… oh. Oh!” Sean cried out. He buried his face against Fides’s neck as tentacles suddenly plunged into him. The tendrils sought out his prostate and assaulted it with tormenting touches. “I can’t. I… I… Soot.” Sean’s claws tore into Fides’s flesh, and his back arched as tears streaked hot down his cheeks. It was good, so good, and way too much. Slick thrusts took his hole, wet with all the cum Fides left in him and the fresh spurts of fluid. It was a twisting, wiggling knot of flesh Sean couldn’t comprehend as he was taken completely, and lost to the overwhelm of being filled.

Sean couldn’t understand how he could keep getting off, but his orgasm was already approaching. Not human. He really wasn’t human anymore.

Sean cried out as his body jerked and he came. His cum splattered between his and Fides’s hard bodies. Sean shook uncontrollably, and his limbs trembled as Fides placed him down on the bed and pinned him in place with his tentacles. Violet eyes burned into his as the thick cock inside his passage began to thrust in earnest as it sought release. Sean moaned weakly, his face flushed and body trembling as his hole was taken relentlessly.

“Do you feel it? Your body changes shape, welcomes every inch of me,” Fides rumbled breathlessly as he watched Sean squirm and take his tail cock. “You are my mate. You are meant for this.”

Sean didn’t want to agree, no matter how good Fides felt inside him. He held his breath, and bit back a fresh cry when he felt Fides’s cock swell and pulse inside him. It was so much. He kept filling him with so much of his cum, Sean wasn’t sure if he wasn’t made of it by now.

Fides groaned and sank down, careful not to crush Sean or TJ as he stretched out on the bed and caught his breath. Fides tail continued to plunge slowly into his aching hole, and his tentacles, although looser, refused to release Sean completely as they caressed his sweat covered body.

“Do you think I cannot sense your desire?” Fides murmured as he pressed his mouth to Sean’s ear. “Your body cannot lie to me. You know you are meant for this, the same way I am meant to spill all my seed when you touch me. We belong together, my mate. One soul in two bodies. Three,” he amended as his gaze flickered to where TJ slept beside them. “Together we are one.”

Sean glared half heartedly as he waited for the room to stop spinning. “I’m not calling you master,” he finally muttered. Fides could think whatever the fuck he wanted, but Sean had no intention of being a sex thrall. He wasn’t owned. He wasn’t.

“It’s enough your body knows who you belong to,” Fides rumbled agreeably as he kissed the corner of Sean’s lips. “You respond to my touch, my gaze, my voice. Even now, your heart races to feel my against your skin.”

Sean huffed. The answer was beyond annoying, partially because it was true. His body was a total slut for Fides, and it was impossible to deny it when wrapped up in his tentacles and feeling those slender tips explore his flesh.

Sean sighed as Fides pulled him into his embrace, and he hooked his knee over the demon’s thigh. “You sure I’m not just hard for him?” Sean said a little spitefully as his eyes fell on TJ.

Fides tilted his head, and a tentacle cupped Sean’s face to guide him back to his gaze. “If you are, that too is also mine. He is a gift from me to you. Now everything you feel for him will also be in gratitude for what I have given you.”

The devious fucker. Sean shook his head and laughed incredulously. “You’re out of your mind.”

“If I am, then I am your mad prince, and you must follow me into the same wild decent. I order it,” Fides murmured against Sean’s lips as he kissed him deeply. “You are mine. My mate. My love. I will kill for you. Fight for you. I will slay any who dare try to separate us. You will always be mine.”

It was possessive and insane, and everything Sean needed to hear. He moaned and tangled his fingers into Fides’s hair as he pulled him closer and opened to his tongue. “I’m not calling you prince, either,” he insisted between hungry kisses.

“You’re infuriating,” Fides growled and plundered Sean’s mouth relentlessly as if he could somehow convince him. His tail gave a twitch in his channel, and Sean gasped and glared that the demon would play so unfair. Sean swiftly twisted his hands into Fides’s tentacled hair and wrenched his head back.

“You’re mine just as much as I’m yours,” Sean insisted breathlessly. “If you know that you own me, then I know the same. You’re my sex thrall, you total perv.”

Fides’s violet eyes glared down at him, and his lips parted in pleasure when Sean pulled his hair tighter. “If that is what you want of me. I will give my mates whatever they need.”

“Then I guess we have an agreement.” Sean released his hold and cupped Fides’s face. The demon was beautiful, and he felt his chest clench painfully as he stared at his features. Sean leaned up and pressed a soft kiss to Fides’s lips. “My prince.”

Fides’s eyes widened and his cheeks flushed to have won. “My love.” Fides surged down and hungrily kissed his chin and throat while Sean laughed huskily. TJ, oblivious to it all, slept peacefully beside them.

Sean may have already lost himself in a wild decent of madness, and he didn’t fucking care. He had everything he wanted, and he wasn’t going to let anyone take it from him. TJ was his, Fides was his, and even that prickly fluffball was his. So what if an entire building of people had to move? Sean had his perfectly wonderful riffraff family, and he was done losing.

Now, he just had to convince TJ. Really, what was the point of magic if you couldn’t have everything you want?

Hey babes,

Welcome to this week’s story. This may turn out to be a fever-dream, I warn you now. Perhaps an essay. I want this to tell the variety of perception, the way we filter reality and forget that the filter has more power than the intention. But the fever keeps coming back. Pretty sure it’s the flu. I added a month to every subscriber to the website cuz I don’t want to freak out about being sick and stressing. Also, I think it’s a good excuse to allow myself to tackle the final draft of Hellcat without feeling overwhelmed. Life happens, so enjoy your free month of reading The Library while I write complicated and potentially meaningless essays about reality. XD (Don’t forget, Heat is free this month!) I love it, though. I love the art of perspective. It’s everything I use to create a false reality out of words that is familiar enough to compel an emotional response. It’s also what allows me to read critical reviews directed at my work and not be held back, not feel pain, not identity with it at all. It’s where I can take the side of what some might think is a selfish monster and show that a belief system is the only reason they feel that way. This is everything I do on so many levels from writing, to living in the world, to overcoming PTSD and autoimmune and allergies. This post is about empowerment for every single person on the globe. This is going to be a long newsletter. Most of you are used to me talking about pushing boundaries when it comes to censorship and erotica, etc; this newsletter is about mental boundaries concerning reality itself. I hope you enjoy it.

Morality Is A Concept, Not A Fact

So, to start, I don’t believe in right and wrong. When I write characters and jump perspective, they all feel like they’re thinking the ‘right’ thing when you see through their eyes. This is because right and wrong are perception that only exist in the mind. Morality is a man-made concept to define how we want the world to be, while we dismiss how the world actually is. There are those upset about last week’s post who believe right and wrong are facts, and they would like others to be punished for fitting into the ‘wrong’ category they have defined. Having an opinion that differs from these individuals is enough to be in their ‘wrong’ category. Yes, a thought—a simple thought—when in the filter of morality can define someone as ‘wrong.’ That’s the whole basis of shame right there. When a morality filter is placed on something like body image or sexuality to define someone as ‘wrong.’ Some people are so caught up in their emotional pain, they think my choice to type on my computer is an attack on individuals personally to ‘prove they are wrong.’ Sorry, there. I don’t actually know you exist. You don’t actually know I exist. If you would like to prove you exist so I find your argument 100% fact, please send me your name, birth date, phone number, social security number, bank account and routing information, and a current photo ID. Now, I can’t process this information without $120, but if you’re willing to make a direct deposit to my Paypal… Sorry, couldn’t help myself. XD Bad, Sadie. Bad. Am I not being serious enough? Whoops. I remember not too long ago (I’m 35, for those wondering) I had expressed to my boyfriend of about 8 years now that it was more hurtful to be blind to someone else’s pain, than it was to hurt them intentionally. I likened it to walking and missing the fact you were crushing someone beneath your boots—how cruel! Ignorance was, in my mind, more intentionally cruel than intentional cruelness. This is about the most irrational statement I have ever made in my life. Not knowing you’re hurting someone is a deliberate attack on them? Madness. It was an irrational belief, and I once believed it wholeheartedly and expected people to conform to that idea. Surprisingly enough, they did not. XD But I can understand where that feeling comes from even if I don’t live my life by it anymore. I didn’t want my pain to go unrecognized. I certainly didn’t want to hear that people could step on my feelings and not be punished, even if they were blind to what they did. That wasn’t fair! Some people are extremely angry about all of this. I am not one of those people. You can try to make me angry. You can hope I’m watching the screen while you’re pouring your righteous rage into your keyboard. It won’t do any good. My feelings come from within me and it is my choice how I want to feel. That people are blind to their choices when it comes to their feelings, beliefs and actions is what this week’s newsletter is all about. It’s what last week’s newsletter rant was all about. Did the angry people miss the point? Shocked. They’re trapped in their perspective, and whooo, it just makes them charming to interact with.

For Those Who Believe Words Hurt You; Brace Yourself For A Wakeup Call

I make a habit to question ‘reality.’ Most of the world as we see it is a story instead of real. We experience it in our heads, and things in our heads aren’t actually real. To be exact, everything I read on my computer is text on a screen. Everything. That’s all it is. Sometimes it’s on a bigger screen, or a smaller screen. Sometimes I’m in my bedroom or grocery store or beside a loved one. Sometimes the screen has images, still and/or moving, and audio of a voice or music. On that screen are replications and interpretations of life. Nothing on a screen is real. Now, I understand people would like me to be very upset by the words and images I see on these screens, these replications of life. I, on the other hand, work very hard to not be outraged over the things that flicker across my computer screen. I do not always succeed in this endeavor. :D It is an amazing challenge considering the political upheaval that keeps ending up on my screens, the end of the world certainty, earthquakes and fires and extreme range of human suffering just waiting to be known in my mind. But all I must do is step away from the screen and realize my life is not changed. The world is not in the screen. My cats know; unless a mouse pointer is zipping around, they don’t look at screens at all. There’s nothing real on a screen to a cat but motion. So, what is in my computer, or television, or phone screen if not reality? My perceptions of the world. There is no one there but me staring at symbols and images and hearing sound while I choose to interpret a story out of it all. When I am sane and rational, I can see this. I can see that the things on a screen are no more than light and shadow that my brain interprets as ‘real.’ What happens when I’m not being rational?

A Rational Reaction To An Irrational Situation

Have you ever seen a dog go from calm and relaxed to suddenly alert and angry? It starts barking and growling aggressively for no reason. You can’t figure out why until you realize the dog is looking at the television screen. Usually the dog is fine; it doesn’t even seem to notice the TV. But sometimes it hears a noise or sees a shape that reminds it of something in the real world, and the dog reacts. It freaks. There is suddenly someone in the room when before there wasn’t. Danger. This dog is acting in a rational way to an irrational subject. All these reactions to protect its territory from a potential intruder makes complete sense. It’s what the dog perceives as an intruder that is where we define the situation as irrational. It’s just a sound, it’s merely a shadow on a screen. The dog is believing a ‘story’ of reality instead of actual reality, and that is where it all goes crazy. Eventually the dog uses its other senses to realize that there isn’t something alive in the room, just a screen. Once the dog realizes there is no scent of an animal, no dimension to the character on the screen, no actual being as a source to the noise, the dog calms down. It stops caring the screen exists because the dog knows there is nothing real on it. Humans, on the other hand, have a much harder time differentiating fantasy from reality. They look at screens—the way you’re reading my words on a screen this moment—and think that what’s happening in the text is real. They react to that belief, be it through emotional response or physical. Some completely forget that the things on the screen are just imitations of life, and they spend most of their time thinking about what they see there. Why should I be upset over anything I read on a screen? What would be wrong in my brain that I would feel outraged and emotionally distressed when I’m aware I’m safe in the world and that the contents on a screen aren’t real? Reacting would be irrational. I know it’s irrational because I used to have PTSD, where I felt like I was in danger all the time when there was nothing actually there to harm me.

PTSD Is A Perception Disorder

What should help to understand the context of last week’s rant is that I’ve had PTSD since a toddler. What is PTSD? Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. You’ve probably heard about it with veterans of war. Mine is actually sourced from childhood abuse. Basically, it’s when the brain gets trapped in an emotional and chemical loop as part of a built in survival mechanism. This survival mechanism exists to keep you aware that danger can occur and you need to be ready. Except, PTSD disregards that the event that sent the brain into this coping response is no longer occurring. The chemicals continue to flood the body until the body breaks down, unable to produce the stress hormones that keep it alive. Or the brain finds it all too unbearable and seeks death. So while your body thinks it’s fighting for its life for years on end with no actual danger in sight, it is literally killing itself. I spent over 30 years with my brain and body chemistry insisting constantly that I was moments from being attacked. Every day. It didn’t matter the beauty around me, the safety and freedom, the fact that I was an adult in a world of my choosing. I was trapped in my brain and it was a horror show. I learned to break free of that chemical survival response occurring in my body—years of IFS therapy and mindfulness, well worth the time spent—and the key of it had to do with changing my thought and belief patterns. It was the only way to become free of what my brain was insisting was ‘real,’ even though I could very well see reality was completely different. What I found fascinating was once I removed the damaging belief system, the chemical system began to calm without the constant messages from the brain triggering the body to ‘fight, flight, freeze or submit.’ The stress hormones were being released in response to the thought patterns. And once the chemical response calmed, it became easy to see the addictive nature of thought patterns and how thoughts create chemicals in the body that we perceive as emotions. Emotions are responses to thoughts, not to events. The thoughts may have nothing to do with the actual situation at hand, but usually something from the past. An example: A little while ago, my brother went to the doctors to get help for a cold and they prescribed him antidepressants. I freaked out. How dare they prescribe him a psych med that could harm him and diagnose him while he had a fever! Something needed to be done to keep doctors from throwing pills at people without any fucking research! It was an intense reaction, one that had me upset for days. What I was reacting to wasn’t the situation of ‘my brother was prescribed antidepressants,’ but my thoughts about the situation. Part of my thoughts had to do with my memories of how being prescribed antidepressants led to me considering suicide 10 years ago. It was an extremely unpleasant, confusing situation that lasted for a year as I kept waiting for doctors to ‘fix’ me like they promised, while their medication kept making me crazy. These thoughts and beliefs, which I refer to as emotional software, had more power over my perceptions of the world than the fact that my brother is not me, is absolutely responsible for his choices, and no one has forced him to do anything. You can hand anyone a pill, but it is their choice to take it. When I came back to reality and realized this, the uncomfortable emotions and my need for ‘something to be done’ alleviated. I could see rationally again, stop wasting hours to days worrying over a moment long gone, and move on with my life. I had mental associations that worked as triggers to pull me from the reality of the world and trap me in my mind when it came to that situation. Emotional software. Some of these triggers were words like SSRI and doctor. The words themselves were triggers for the concepts held only in my mind. When I think of the word doctor, I’m thinking of every experience I ever had with a doctor—or at least one really shitty experience. It’s extremely hard to see reality when I’m trapped in memories and thoughts that can pop up in a moment because of one concept.

A Rational Reaction To A Perspective Disorder

Remember the dog example? So, to give you an idea of what PTSD would be in the same sense, imagine a puppy is sitting, minding its own business, when a man walks by and trips over it. This puppy experiences extreme pain, and thinks it’s being attacked as this much larger being tumbles and crushes the dog beneath his weight. The puppy survives this, but doesn’t move past this event mentally. The survival process has kicked in—the need to fight, flight, freeze or submit—and all those chemicals are pumping through the system sending associated messages to the brain of danger, danger, danger. But the off switch is never flipped. The puppy’s behavior changes. It’s alert, afraid, watching every corner; there’s no way to know where the danger will come from. But the puppy remembers: man. A man was what fell on it, so man = pain. The dog is aggressive/afraid toward all men from that day forward. It doesn’t matter if a man never hurts the dog again. If the PTSD switch isn’t flipped off or the perspective changed, the chemicals will continue to flow and the dog will react to its emotional software of man = pain. If this dog’s behavior is observed by other dogs, lets say puppies of its own, and they keep hearing this message of man = pain, those dogs may take up this belief and change their behavior to match even though they never experienced the PTSD triggering event of the first dog. But if separated from the first dog, and allowed to make mental associations on their own, these dogs may become free of the man = pain concept far easier because they’re not experiencing the same chemical responses in their body and brain as the PTSD dog is.

PTSD On The Brain

I have lived both the trapping of the mind in PTSD and the process of breaking free. I still have a brain that can require my constant awareness. 30 years of a PTSD molded brain (and there is no way to know if my brain would have been different without PTSD) has revealed an addiction to thinking—this post is a total clue of that, btw. XD Long ass addiction to hearing myself type. A neurotic need to say things the ‘right’ way when I know no such thing exists. @[email protected] I have an addiction to patterns, such as video games and mind puzzles (2048 and suduko were favs). I have felt addictive properties in digital painting and the need to reach a ‘balance’ on the screen. My brain catches on these simple things that other people can just ignore completely. I have a chemical addiction to opiods. I have had 3 opiod pain pills in my life, and it was the second pill when I knew it was an addiction. It is awareness that allows me freedom, otherwise I would be a victim to every screen, every pattern, every pain pill a doctor insists ‘one won’t hurt.’ That’s how I ended up taking that 3rd opiod, btw. I had an infected tooth pulled during emergency surgery and the nurse swore up and down one isn’t addictive, it’s just pain relief. I put myself in danger to please a perceive ‘authority’ because a part of me wanted that pill more than it wanted to accept the reality of my body chemistry and dependency. I have a body and brain set up to be dragged into false realities, and I don’t believe I’m unique in this. It can be easy to see with a chemical dependency or even a screen based pattern. Thinking? Feeling victimized by everything? These too are addictive behaviors. In humans, a concept can become emotional software depending on our emotional associations. This is a survival trait. Think of the first time you touched something that burned. You can’t feel that pain anymore, but you may have a memory of pain associated with that thought to prevent you from grabbing a burning branch. If that feeling memory is so strong you wince, your heart races, or you truly feel you’re experiencing pain, you’re looking at your emotional software taking over. It’s the difference of some people experiencing vertigo when they look off the side of a cliff while others don’t. When we choose our perceptions—the ‘meaning’ of events—and they become our beliefs, we are choosing how we are going to emotionally respond to something. How we emotionally respond usually results in how we act. So, if you find you’re unhappy with your actions—such as staring at a screen ruminating for hours on end—the best place to start is to look at the emotions that spurred you to that action, and then deeper, to your beliefs of the world where the source of those emotions spring from. I don’t delete emails anymore. My inbox fills up with thousands of emails and I don’t bother to spend hours to ‘throw them away’ because I realized my need to have the inbox empty was dumb. Now I just don’t care and it’s wonderful. The key in all this? By being aware of what we choose to believe, we are less likely to freak out over life and react in ways that harm self or others. When we do freak out, we have a way to discern and unravel the thought patterns that lead to the unwanted responses. When it comes to PTSD, awareness resets the emotional software back to a more logical, less reactive insanity.

Sanity Is Subjective

Someone described me as a psychopath because I don’t reflect their value of pain back on this issue. On any issue, actually. I believe pain has no value. I believe nothing has value, but instead, our perspectives give value to everything. Seeing as it’s clear this person perceives actual pain to be in words on a screen, the rational of their accusation doesn’t really hit home for me. I find it completely irrational that someone would put perceptions above reality. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen—I lived it for years with PTSD. People have murdered, committed genocide, enslaved other humans, overthrown and forced religious beliefs on others all because they placed perception above reality. The Nazis believed that their beliefs of the Jewish people justified mass murder. There are politicians in the US who believe it’s acceptable to discriminate against LGBTQs because of their beliefs about the norms of sexuality. The belief that a gun might prevent murder is currently being held over the reality of people murdered by guns. Believing that the things in your head are real—more real than the actual world—doesn’t really show as a sign of emotional stability. From this vantage, it looks like these individuals are so out of touch with reality, they can’t even discern it from their own minds. Mob mentality is very good at validating reactionary emotions and justifying them over real life consequences. All it takes is a bunch of voices raised in anger, and all the rational voices to be silent for a mob to win. So, as a hopefully rational voice this week (just ignore the fever XD,) I choose to not be silent and instead attempt to open closed minds.

Morality And Pain Are Beliefs

The point of the PTSD perspective here is, when I was ranting last week, I was taking all the experience I have in my life and really saying to myself, ‘Gabrielle, this is how you avoid falling back into the brain-fuck that is PTSD and addictive thinking. Do not fall back into believing pain has value, because if you do, then rape, abuse, neglect, foster care, survivor’s guilt, and all that self-esteem insanity will have to be placed back on your psyche’s metaphorical shoulders and carried to define everything you are. Pain cannot be your identity, it cannot be your psyche. It is unbearable to live that way. It will destroy you. This is how you free yourself from pain. Do not value pain, but release it and get on with your life.’ If you’re reading this and actually have PTSD, I’m sure you’re thinking about running away at this point, if you haven’t already. I understand. You don’t want that answer. You don’t want that freedom. I mean, you may tell yourself you do, but then you’d have to face all the things you hate about yourself to get it, right? You’d have to face the shit that happened, the way you reacted to the shit that happened, the way you believe you are the shit that happened. It was all ‘wrong’ and there is no way to fix it. You’d also have to deal with all the people who want you to believe that pain is important, that it’s more important than actual reality. They’re really fucking loud about it. PTSD can make you really loud about pain being valuable, because PTSD tries to define a human by pain, by the avoidance of pain, by the pushing through of pain, by the numbing of pain and disassociation so that the inflicted person can continue to cope while still not returning to reality. In seeking to avoid pain, you are still defining everything by pain. It’s flight instead of fight, but it’s still a pain reaction. In contrast, accepting pain and realizing it has little value outside of informing you not to repeat an action, allows you to release your obsession with pain and move on. Something the rabidly angry people reading things that ‘hurt’ them are not learning as they seek to repeat their pain and inflict it on those who disagree with their opinions. Those who value pain intend to inflict or avoid inflicting it. They believe pain is so important, they want to inflict it to prove how important it is to feel that way. They believe pain can live in words, so they hurl words hoping to strike and scar. At the same time, they interpret words to do the same—even words that were never intended to harm anyone. For those unaware, Hitler was horrendously abused as a child. There are many brutal dictators abused as children; it’s a common theme. The effects of PTSD on the brain can turn a person into a rigid being of beliefs and rules that demand others to fit into those rigid rules so that the PTSD individual can feel comfortable in the world (as comfortable as the disorder will allow.) They create strong ideas of morality, right and wrong, and then demand others to stick to those concepts. Now, you might think ‘how the hell could Hitler and his followers ever think what they were doing was right?!’ Perception. Their morality was as insane as going ‘my genetics make me superior to you, so I am right and you are wrong, and I’m allowed to murder you.’ Life is perception. Both sides of any war believe they are ‘right’ and it doesn’t stop the murder. Morality is a mental concept used to justify atrocious action all the time. Fun thought: if you feel like something should be ‘right,’ and you actually *force* others to follow that belief to make it so, you’re being an intolerable dickbag. It might not be full out oppression or genocide, but it’s really not a habit of behavior to encourage. Social constructs and interactions are agreements among independent people, not rigid laws and fact. Freedom from PTSD comes with acknowledging that morality exists only in your mind. If you believe that there is a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong,’ and that you must be one of the options, you will likely suffer with PTSD until you die. Your brain will keep trying to create rigid ‘rules’ about how the world can only be *this,* and if you are *this,* you’ll finally be okay. (Ex. The world is dangerous but if I am alert and prepared, I will be safe.) Your brain will forever cycle, trying to come to terms with the traumatic event that put you in that state, while also trying to define you and the world by morality and sense. It’s impossible. People are not events. We are not actions. We are not moments in time or thoughts. We are not the things that happen to us, or the things people call us, or the things we want and achieve. We cannot be wrong, and we cannot reach being right. If you find you are ‘right,’ you are in a rigid belief system that isn’t real and cannot last. It’s all a big perception mess that feels real in the head, because PTSD insists it’s real. PTSD needs you to believe the thoughts in your head are real for PTSD to continue.

Intention Means Nothing To Perception

If my intentions actually mattered in the big sway of things, it would be far easier to communicate. But it is perception, not intention that has power over the human mind. What do I mean by that? Well, if you jlijj hiohiol oihh hoihow eerf… As you can see, my ‘intention’ to explain can be limited by your perception of the meaning of words. We need a common language. Not just English, in this case, but common. As an author, I follow a trend of ‘dumbing down’ my words. I don’t think the term really suits, though. I like to think I’m avoiding uncommon, unnecessary words that might slow or stop most people as they go to look up what things mean. As an erotic author of darker subject matter, you’ll also find a lot of profanities in my word pool. One, because I swear like that in real life, so it’s a natural replication of my speech. Two, because if a reader becomes offended by words like fuck (my favorite curse word, btw,) I don’t have to worry about them getting to extreme concepts that will surely offend them far more. This can work against me if I really want a reader to stay and read, which is why I’m holding back on swearing for this post. There are other things just in my writing style that could prevent anyone from fully understanding. When I write informative statements—a technique I learned in school for essay writing—there can be a double-edged reaction. Some people will find the way this post is written to be persuasive, decisive, and to the point. Others will find it condescending and pretentious. Not even for the content (although surely that will be a reason,) but because of the way I make statements as if they’re facts. Some people want to hear ‘maybe’ or ‘please’ or ‘this is only my opinion’ or a million wishy washy statements to ensure that these simple words aren’t attacking them. It will be very difficult to reach through such perspectives because already the language barrier is so great. I’m putting words on a screen and a reader has already decided the way the words are arranged is wrong. Explaining my intentions still can’t mean they’re understood or even had an effect. I can tell you that in my rants, I have no intention of hurting anyone. I can point out how I choose not to name or link anyone in this situation because even in my fun rants, I choose to be responsible with where I direct potential shrapnel. I understand real life consequences can come from insanity on screens. I have no interest in creating more drama, more pain, or singling anyone out. Those who want pain will find it without me. I just want to remark with my opinion of things. But in sharing my opinion, I do my best to act as responsibly as I perceive it to be, because I don’t want to be shitty toward people while they’re freaking out over things on their particular screen. What I think is shitty is different from what you think shitty is. Tomorrow, that definition may be completely different from today. Nothing I can do about it. We are all different with different beliefs and perceptions. So when I say something, be it in person or on a screen, I understand my words aren’t interpreted fully the way I intend. They’re read the way each individual perceives. I can do my best to express myself, but it will never be as powerful as whatever is going on in the mind of who is reading my words. You know, if they can get past me writing fuck all the time. XD Here are a few examples of words that can be perceived strongly even though they’re just symbols on a screen. Cunt. Rape. Aids. Scam. Victim. God. Torture. Cancer. Traitor. Molestation. Trump. Slut. Mother. Failure. Prison. I could go into racial slurs but I feel the point is made. Earlier I mentioned Doctor and SSRI. These are symbols on a page—mouth sounds when spoken—but the power of these words lives in the mind of the person perceiving them. The power is the concept you hold when you think of these words. These concepts are part of your emotional software. You might believe, ‘No, these words mean the same thing to everyone because it’s fact!’ I recommend you listen to a foreign language you aren’t familiar with, and find some mouth sounds that sound suspiciously like these mouth sounds and yet don’t mean the same thing. Your brain will still have the reaction as if they are the words you know. Perception is stronger than intention because intention comes from outside us, while perception is our filter on everything that is let in. No one can see outside their filter, but they can attempt to adjust that filter to see things without their emotional software.

Reality Is Defined By The Mind

If I never saw another screen again, the Internet would cease to exist for me. Everyone on the Internet would cease to exist. The only reason I might think they are still out there would be because I would have memories of interaction. If I realize those memories are just thoughts in my head, or those memories are forgotten, the Internet would no longer exist to me. This is the power of perception. Our world is defined by our minds. I stress ‘defined,’ instead of suggesting reality is actualized by our minds. For example, allergies. I am allergic to over 20 different substances, many of them mold. Mold is very prominent in foods, especially grains, as well as houses, buildings, growing on the lawn, etc. It’s everywhere. For the most part, I cannot see the substances I’m allergic to, therefore I cannot prove that they exist outside of my random reactions. When I first discovered my severe health problems were rooted in allergies, I felt victimized. I had the perspective that the world—nature itself—was trying to kill me (or at least keep me very sick.) It took a while for me to choose a new perspective. The one where I acknowledged that the world hasn’t done anything; my immune system has decided to target certain substances in the world and freak out. I was doing this. My body is doing this. Now, does that stop me from being allergic? Not really. Reality is reality. But it allows for a completely different set of reactions and actions based off of my perspective. I no longer needed to obsess looking for ways to isolate from allergens or feel depressed because nature hates me. I could instead look into improving my immune function through supplements and allergy shots, and be conscious about how I feel when I breathe around things I fear might have allergens. The immune system is connected to stress levels, so to keep from having my body freak out over inert substances in the air, I decided to work on my brain not freaking out. My perspective allowed me to have a different path, one that has made living with allergies and an autoimmune disorder (when the immune system attacks the body) far more bearable than the dramatic soap opera I had initially conceived it to be. Seeing as autoimmune disorders tend to go hand in hand with PTSD, there could be more than just a belief that being calm has calming results. PTSD is a battle in the mind about what can be real and part of self. Autoimmune is a battle in the body about what part is the body and if it should be attacked. Theoretically, when you stop attacking yourself in your mind, you may set a standard with the rest of your body to stop attacking itself. When you walk away physically from something, but you can’t let it go, it’s because your mind is fixated on something not actually there. While one person can turn a screen off and never think of the contents on that screen again, someone else can turn a screen off and spend sleepless nights thinking of the contents on that screen. They might spend hours arguing in their head, not eating, snapping at their loved ones, ruminating over and over again day after day. ‘That thing I read or saw… That thing. It’s doing this to me. That thing is making me crazy. If only I could understand it. It needs to make sense. That person who wrote that thing—they’re the ones who did this to me! They hurt me. They need to pay.’ The choice to fixate is what makes people lose touch with reality. The need to understand and define the meaningless traps us in a world of beliefs. I would know; I’ve been there. But hey, let’s explore. Let’s have a look at that asshole who made you do that thing you didn’t want to do. Let’s meet an author.

An Example Of A Greasy Salesman

Who do you perceive me, the author of this post, to be? I can choose to offer a different perspective in the hopes of changing how you see me. Like, the fact I’m covered in butter right now! Head to toe, salted and everything, butter. I’m avoiding salicylates because of my allergies. Did you know you can have a histamine response without an immune response? That means you can have the same symptoms of allergies, just without the immune system going crazy. So, since salicylates are in just about every fruit and most plants we eat, and plant based oils are in all my body lotions, I’m slicking up with butter until I find something better. It smells delicious. XD Now, did that paragraph force you to go out and buy butter, or research allergies and histamines? Are you covered in butter right now to see what it’s like? Do you actually know for a fact I’m covered in butter? There is no way for you to know, (but I am! XD) What if I told you Sadie Sins is offering a limited edition body lotion based off of my new butter research, and if you preorder now, you too can be buttery and histamine reaction free? What if I said, if you don’t preorder, I’m going to send mobsters to your house to force you to try my buttery concoction whether you like it or not? (I know, intriguing. Where would I get a bunch of buttered up mobsters to slick you up against your will? Are they hot? Naturally. <3) I know, it all just seems so silly when it’s butter. What about if it’s a book? What about if it’s for my cat and dog who both need life saving operations asap? (My cats are fine, btw, no worries, and I don’t own a dog.) I could say absolutely anything to try to persuade someone to send money my way. I can say anything at any time. It’s just an arrangements of symbols on a page. They could have been placed there months ago or a moment. Words are everywhere. But what are you doing when you’re reading those words? Well, what do you do when you interact with someone on the street? You perceive to the best of your ability. In the real world, you believe your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, touch, and brain are all working correctly to paint a picture of reality of the person in front of you. On a computer screen? All you have is your brain and eyes, sometimes ears. When you choose to trust someone, you aren’t choosing to trust what you know about them. You’re choosing to trust what you believe you know, while ignoring what you don’t know. Some people, like myself, choose to trust while accepting that we don’t know for certain that anything is true or real. You may have thought differently of me with that little butter example—like I’m weird, possibly very slippery atm. Quirky. A manipulative asshole. Whatever. I can’t control how people think or what they do—I can’t control if people continue reading. You could have walked away already because no one is obligated to read what’s in front of them. If they feel obligated, that’s a perception in their mind, not a reality. What if you look at the date of this post and it turns out to be a week in the past? A month? A year? Is everything in this post a lie now because, hey, a year from now I may not be covered in butter? The text said I was in butter, so it must be true. What if a year from now, it comes out in Buttergate to reveal that no, I have never slathered myself in butter. Only margarine! (Margarine likely has salicylates, so I don’t recommend it.) You have been mislead. You have been betrayed. Or, you know, you got sucked into a story and lost track of reality, because you forgot everything you’re reading is just words on a screen. Everything on your screen is a story, an imitation of life. I readily admit I do not know the world. I’m still discovering parts of my own brain and psyche; how can I know everything and be certain of its validity? How can I know anything without the filter of my brain? My brain defines my reality. I can only trust that how it’s defined is real, and part of that trust is understanding that what is before me might change in an instant to reveal something more accurate. It’s acknowledging that a computer screen is not a human being. That a drawing or photo is not a human being. That the written account of someone’s past is not a human being. A corporation is not a fucking human being. If you would like to prove to me without a shadow of a doubt that you are indeed a real human being and be awarded a certificate to validate your existence, please send me naked videos of yourself. Keep it sexy. I’m afraid my email has a processing fee of $50 for every mb of data sent, so first initiate a direct deposit of $1000 to my Paypal, and I’ll refund you whatever is left over once the videos are received… I know, I can’t help it. It’s funny to me. Lol. You can either be at my very whim, hostage to the things I choose to write on my computer, or you can admit you are the only one in control of your actions. Considering I’m not rich, I’m pretty sure when I say ‘give me money’ it doesn’t force anyone to do anything. (But please, feel free to prove me wrong. That’ll show me. Hardcore.) We all have the choice to walk the fuck away from the screen. We all have the choice to disengage our minds from the screen.

The Insanity Of Humanity

If I believed people were victims, then I would be blaming victims. Victim is a concept of the mind; a person can’t be a concept. I’m pointing out that there is a choice being intentionally ignored because people want to see someone be punished for what happened. A righteous ending to an angry, ‘unfair’ story. They want a sacrifice, and they will find as many as they can to make them feel like the world makes sense. If the world made sense, genocide wouldn’t exist; wars wouldn’t happen; sexual attraction, skin color, and belief systems wouldn’t be a justification for murder, oppression and imprisonment. We wouldn’t seek out and attack each other for differences of opinion. Chain letters wouldn’t have ever been a thing—seriously, don’t get me started on this wanton choice of insane belief. Annoying as fuck madness, chain letters. If you disagree, forward this newsletter to twenty of your closest, dearest friends before April 1st, or a gremlin will hide inside your closet and turn all your clothes baby-poop green. I swear it’s true. My cousin’s, neighbor’s, best friend’s father-in-law knew a guy who saw it happen. His clothes were gross. Don’t risk it! The world does not make sense, at least, the world created by human perception. The need for sense and reason comes from humanity, not reality. I cannot change it; I can only point it out. The same way I cannot change that pain is a perception that lives only in the mind.

Prove Your Pain Is Real

Can you? Can you even find your pain? Can you hold it up and show it? Can you let someone borrow it? What about a thought? Can you prove thoughts are real? Yes, you can describe and write a thought down or speak one, but that’s not a thought, that’s just an imitations of a thought. Thoughts aren’t symbols on pieces of paper. Both thoughts and pain live in one place; the mind. Phantom limb pain is where a body part that is no longer attached is perceived to tingle, twitch, move and/or hurt. This is not a haunting by a limb; this is an indication that body sensations are all translated and defined in the brain to the point that we don’t need a body to believe we have one. It’s why certain drugs can stop pain; not because the wound or injury is gone, but because the perception of the pain is disrupted. Pain feels real. That sensation occurs in the brain and is translated as being in the body, but it ‘feels’ real. Emotional pain can also feel real. You have a brain capable of recreating the sensations of an actual limb that is no longer attached. The brain is wondrous, but it can also trap you in a delusion depending on if you believe your emotional pain is real. PTSD is a disorder that works with body sensations and chemicals to make an individual believe that thoughts of pain are actually real. That’s a good sign that even brains not inflicted with PTSD have a system in place that can create this illusion. PTSD is just the lack of finding the off switch when it comes to a built in survival mechanism. That means the biological machine you’re living in has all the systems in place to make you believe pure illusion. You don’t have a body sensation to interpret a source with emotional pain. But once emotional pain is defined in the brain, the body/brain can release a chemical cocktail to insist that what you’re feeling is actually real. All emotional pain has to cling to is the mind’s belief that what you’re feeling is real and important. It’s a choice many people don’t think they have control over. They do. It is completely up to you to decide if the pain—the hurt, the anger, the outrage, the need for justice—if any of it is actually important and worth feeling pain over. You may be asking if it’s right or wrong to no longer have huge, reactionary emotions to everything around you. That’s a morality judgment reserved for those who need to feel like there are rules and meaning to keep the world and society in order. If you can trust that you can exist in this world pain free (or at least, pain less) and not be someone who goes out and murders for kicks, then that trust is enough. You never knew the real world to begin with. Right and wrong never existed. If you honestly think that belief in morality is the reason you’re not a murdering psychopath, well, good luck with that. You might want to forget everything you just read to keep from murdering everyone you know including yourself. Clearly you’re not in charge of your actions (this is sarcasm, just to be clear.) It’s just you and your brain in all this. There is no one to trust but yourself, so you might as well place it there.

How Do You Really Know Reality?

Can you look at another human being and truly know if they are thinking, if they are feeling? When you look in the mirror, can you see your thoughts and emotions? You can see someone move and interact with their environment. You can watch someone stare at a screen for hours and hours on end, living in a false world in their head stimulated by images and text on a screen. But do you know if brain activity is occurring? What if the muscles in their face are paralyzed and there is no facial expression to go off of? Have you ever seen a thought? You’re reading a reaction to my thoughts, but this is not a thought, only text. Can you grab someone’s happiness and hold it? What about pluck someone’s depression from their shoulder? It is absolutely your belief that defines if you perceive other people to be the same as you on an emotional and intellectual level, because there is no tangible way to truly know. I choose to assume that everyone is my equal, capable of doing the things I do. I choose to assume that my senses aren’t lying, and I’m truly living in a human body, on a planet, surrounded by other humans. Not to get too Matrix here, but this is a choice of belief because all we have are our perceptions. I can point out that screens can’t be lived in, but they are creating a perception of reality because of the brain. The brain is capable of creating layers of reality, and there is no way to know if our perceptions are honest to actual reality. Our brains are the only reason we can perceive to have senses in the first place. Everything we know, everything we see, all comes from our brain. I’m not a Flat-Earther, but the movement bring up an interesting point of perspective. Unless you can use your senses to fully perceive something, you can never truly ‘know.’ The scale of the Earth is too large to honestly know if it’s round through human senses. We know because we create tools to measure, compare, map, photograph, math, etc, etc, but to the human mind, our reality is still only what we perceive through our senses and what we choose to believe. Sometimes those senses can be ignored completely to be replaced purely by belief so things make ‘sense.’

Identity Is Crafted Through Beliefs

Last week’s newsletter was never about the author and what they did or who they were. It was how I felt about the reaction from the community. I’m not defending or blaming anyone; that author made every choice he/she/they made. Every person has their line of what they think is appropriate, but just because my line is different doesn’t mean I’m going to condemn someone for their line. I have seen this line everywhere, but it’s this particular community that takes it personally. People tell stories all the time. People get swept up into things all the time. I was commenting on the community—the same group of people who bought into the false identity in the first place, and who are now buying into the ‘pain must be avenged’ story. The community who keeps looking for justifications to feel hurt, while ignoring the pattern of behavior they’re perpetuating. How frustrating to know it will continue because people don’t want to see the part they play. How frustrating to realize anyone could accuse any author for not being ‘real,’ and ruin years of work. I cannot prove to you I am real. How do I know that? Because you cannot prove to me you are real. (But if you really want to prove it, send money to… XD) We are going on belief and trust here, and for all I know, you’re a Russian spy bot that signed up to my newsletter. Yes, all 6000 of you. *suspicious glare* Perception of reality in this modern world has revealed to have real world consequences. The harder that perception is clung to, the easier it is to make someone act against their own interests as they buy into a story and lose track of their behavior. I’m not just talking financial consequences, I’m talking cults, road rage, self harm, stopping the activities you love because someone wants you to be different. It’s very easy to blame the trigger, the words on the screen or the author of those words, but it’s your actual actions in response to your beliefs that are the defining key in these scenarios. I watch people continue to feed the behavior of turning intangible pain into concrete vengeance, instead of stopping and learning and being responsible for their beliefs. I feel connected to the MM and LGBTQ community. It is this connection where my emotional software lies on this subject. A part of me identifies with the community and the genre where there are so many readers who love MM. I see pain here. I see a disconnect from reality as people keep screaming their pain at absolute strangers, demanding they stop hurting them. I feel invested and want to see the best for the community, even as I know that is completely up to the individuals within the community. I see the rigidness of belief in identity the community clings to as the source of a lot of drama and pain, not to mention the justification of these witch hunts as they seek to punish those who don’t fit their expectations. I do not say this to be shocking, or condemning, just honest to my experiences. I have never been discriminated against outside of the LGBTQ community for my sexuality. I have been discriminated against within the LGBTQ community repeatedly for my sexuality. This is a community obsessed with identity based on gender and sexuality, and how those things appear in the body and the world. But gender is a concept. Sexuality is a concept. Attractiveness is a concept. The need to escape these concepts is forcing these thoughts to be important in some people’s minds. It’s just in the mind, but people keep defining themselves and others by these concepts. Identity becomes integral for this community when identity doesn’t even exist. In the same way the PTSD brain is obsessed with pain as value, so too does the community obsess with the pain of not being allowed to be who they identify as. It is an obsession. While others can change their clothes and be allowed to be exactly who they are—or someone else completely as they choose—those obsessed with identity must reaffirm all identity again and again, labeling, defining, insisting others cannot be really be who they are because *insert rigid defining rule that everyone must follow or leave.* The details become so important. The concepts define and trap humans in their perspectives, and try to prevent them from moving and being free. This is not everyone in the community. This is not even the majority. It’s easy to notice the loud, critical voices and define them as an entire group—especially when they’re being really loud. But communities are groups of people who identify as similar in particular aspects, so these rigid beliefs of identity are more prominent within the community than those who hover at the edges or step away to be independent. In the need to escape, to be allowed to be free from being discriminated for sexual identity, certain individuals act in ways that discriminate against others for their identity. That rigidness can push others out. Grand example: Veganism. A concept when forced on others can becomes so overbearing, people want to escape. Vegetarians aren’t ‘good enough,’ and meat eaters aren’t allowed to exist and need to be educated or removed completely. Not all vegans are like this, but the ones who are so caught up in the identity define the negativity of the entire concept of Veganism. Last week I expressed my frustration with this pattern of behavior in the community. What was heard, on the other hand, well. That’s where perception trumps intention. I’m sure I wasn’t as clear as I’d prefer with the fever—and the fact I was ranting XD—but that is the way of communication. I can express myself to the best of my ability, but if no one else can read English, the message is already lost.

The Weight Of The World

I can tell from some comments, there are individuals who would rather I consider the events that brought these reactions into being in the author situation, instead of focusing on the community’s response. They want to tell me a story so that I will feel the same emotions of outrage, because they feel these emotions are important and justified. Some think I’m uninformed. Clearly if I were informed, I wouldn’t feel the way I do! It’s just impossible, right? I’m informed, but it is still a story to me. I will not debate the right and wrong of punishing all of humanity when Eve gave Adam the apple; it’s a nonsense story that has no meaning on reality. I won’t get caught up in the morality of eating meat when we live on a planet where every organism consumes organisms to live. Reality is reality, and only things that happen now are real. Many things don’t happen, but we believe they do. Many things happen that we will never know. Do they require our emotional response when they have never reached our knowledge? Why does knowledge of an event require the same pain as an event we actually experience? Why is that illusion of pain so important that every imitation of life requires it? Let’s say a terrible event was filmed. During the filming, only the person with the camera saw it. This event only existed in reality for one person for that one moment. But when that film was shown, shared across the Internet, and repeated for years, the replica of the moment then lives in the minds of every single person who viewed and felt pain to know it could have existed. One moment of pain that could have been allowed to slip away, instead becomes a devastation across nations and generations with no end, carried in the minds of billions. What if it turns out the film was actually fiction? The event was staged? Does it matter, when the response is the same and people believe that pain is real? If it’s perceived as ‘real,’ people feel obligated to respond as if it’s real. Does the perception of pain make you obligated to feel pain? I say to be free, no. There is enough pain in our actual lives without carrying the pain of the entire human race, past, future, and fantasy. Today can never be today if we’re carrying yesterday’s pain in our hearts. This isn’t some sort of hypothetical; this is a requirement in the modern world. People watch the news all the time and it’s filled with images of tragedy and pain on a loop. We’re dealing with dictators who send out absolute lies to populations including films of fiction, and insist it’s all real. Fox News is a perfect example of lies sold as reality to a nation. I’ve never seen the state news of North Korea, but it’s a false perspective fed to an entire population. We call Reality TV reality when it’s absolutely bullshit. We are living in a complicated world of perspectives, one that will be growing more confusing, more difficult to distinguish between reality and perception as our technology improves and lines keep blurring. There is no changing that reality is filtered through our minds. Our perspectives are our individual reality. If we cling rigidly to our perspective, we will forever be battling with the inconsistencies as someone stands beside us and sees a new view. Even though an individual’s perspective is his/her complete reality, it actually does nothing to change the reality that individual is perceiving outside of ‘meaning.’ Reality will continue to change, grow, degrade, shift, adjust, adapt. We must be as malleable as the perception of reality itself, or we may end up killing each other to prove the world is a globe instead of flat. You can carry all that pain you perceive with you, or you can realize that the events you view and read don’t require your emotional distress. Until you can disengage and realize you have a choice in your beliefs and actions, you won’t be able to truly understand the nonsense of the author situation. I understand some think their feelings are what’s important, but that is exactly why they can’t see past them. Those emotions and the concepts attached to them have become more valuable than the situation in their minds. Which is why they are filtering reality through those emotions to create a perception of the world where the emotions are valued above everything else. That emotional software is unique to that individual, yet they’re trying to define reality by it for everyone. It makes it hard to find common ground. It makes it so someone can’t even express a difference of perspective without the individuals emotionally invested feeling the need to make that opinion disappear. It makes it so the people who feel that their pain is more valuable than all else must ensure it doesn’t happen again—something that is completely impossible to do, btw—and act in ways that restrict and harm others to ensure that intent.

Ego Death

While it can be easy without PTSD to step back and take stock of the situation and realize things aren’t as first appeared, PTSD requires far more. It requires the complete tearing down of reality depending on the individual and how deep the ‘triggering event’ is associated with concepts. For me, it required ego death, one I experienced fully for about a day and a half. I lost about a month or so of writing as I slowly rebuilt back into a more relatable being (subjective, I’m sure! XD) But for a while there, I was completely unhinged from what most people would perceive as reality (or, as Wendy calls it—love this term!—consensual reality.) I read a passage about ego death and my brain had a moment of, ‘wait, that’s possible?’ and bam. PTSD memory released and the absolute rewriting of my emotional software. All because my brain perceived it was ‘allowed’ to change. Everything was bliss, funny, interesting, including my own emotions. You think my response to this author thing might sound callous? I was laughing at the mudslide victims in California for not leaving their homes when there were forest fires. The fire didn’t get them, but the damn mud did when one was way more expected and seen! What a ridiculous joke, life. To ‘argue’ online was to do it while laughing at the amazing sensation of the emotions I would feel. My bf thought I was being patronizing or funny as fuck depending on the subject. We laughed so much those days because nothing could hurt, nothing could encroach on my perspective of reality and taint it with fears of the future or mental concepts of the past. It was freedom. It did, unfortunately, make my writing very difficult. All the rules—there are so many rules! You don’t even understand all the stupid concepts we call rules—time, language, symbols, speech patterns and mouth sounds. Ugh. So much bullshit. I didn’t want to care, I didn’t want to write sentences at all or polish anything. I just wanted to throw words at the screen and let them stick. An idea was enough, damn it! Lol, but Hellcat sucked. That first draft had no ego, no character life, and I realized I needed to don that ego persona again to write those characters with a more genuine feel. There is always the possibility that the persona of Sadie Sins can be slipped off and folded up when I stop writing. It’s expected, like any performance artist. But I also know the same is true of Gabrielle. Ego death was just a matter of slipping that persona off as well and realizing for everything I can do to write a character, I can write myself into being. And who is anyone outside of me to say I can’t? They have no control over who I can be. Some people find this concept to be freeing, the realization that you are not the accumulation of everything that happened to you. When you have lived through ‘horrors’—be they real or in your mind—it is very easy to identify self as events or actions or thoughts or wants. Freedom from that identity is bliss. Others may find the concept of ego death enraging. They need their pain and suffering to have value because their identity needs value. They need to feel it all, and for others to feel it, and for every single human on this planet—before, now, and after—to conform to their beliefs of the world. One perspective demands people to change or disappear to make one human being happy. The other perspective asks you to accept the world as it is, and who you are in the world as a choice. We think the events of our lives do this, that they define us, but really it’s our perceptions of what we value. We choose to pluck from the hours and years of past footage, add in values and beliefs and costumes, and go ‘this is me.’ And let me just say, how interesting a choice to seek all the misery and decide that is who you are instead of all the beauty.

The Dangers Of Rigid Thinking

The reason I came to this mindset was because I wanted freedom from PTSD. I had a severe perception disorder that caused physical and psychological damage in my life, and required so much more to break free than just touching a screen and going ‘oh, that’s just a flat surface with symbols on it. Stop freaking.’ The level of perception change I went through is unusual (to the best of my knowledge.) That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek to open the mind and adapt to the world as it is. There is a danger to perceiving rigidly when the world is malleable. One is the reason I brought the whole thing up—being scammed. How many people have invested thousands into educational courses or business schemes only to discover ‘it’s a scam?’ They’re not getting what they perceive their money and time is worth. How many keep with it, still pouring money in because they ‘invested?’ They feel they gave their time and money and belief and they can’t back down now. They believe they have to make it work, or it proves they’re a failure or a chump. How about cults? I just explained in this newsletter how reality is purely our perception. Do you think I’m the first person to figure that out? This truth is absolutely exploited by every religious institution out there (not to mention marketing company.) The more insidious are the ones who tear down the boundaries of ‘reality’ and then tell their followers what the only reality can be. They grab the brain when it’s malleable, and then they give their followers a rigid belief system that they lock in. It can start right in the cradle for ‘religions’ or at any other point in your life. Adults are not immune to rigid perceptions; quite the opposite. Suddenly you’re out millions of dollars, acting like a maniac on television while promoting your latest movie and praising Xenu. Or you’re promoting to all your followers on social media that the Earth really is flat because you can’t see the curve when you’re in a plane. Or that the Illuminati, a race of lizard people you haven’t met, is actually real because text on a screen said so. Or that it’s okay to murder someone over a drawing because they insinuated that it was a representation of Muhammad. What about suicide and cyber bullying? There is an extreme rage, and an even deeper sorrow as the mind tries to comprehend what could drive a youth to take their own life. When you believe the cruel messages, you’re lost to them. When you give your self esteem over to the worst voices you hear or read, and choose not to walk away, you’re allowing so much pain to define you, forge you, and ultimately destroy you. No one makes you engage, no one makes you define self by the voices of others. We need to understand perception and our choices, because we make irrational choices when we fail to see reality. This is not a morality definition on suicide (or any of the examples above.) I truly believe suicide is the ultimate choice of self and no one has a right to interfere. But to allow that choice to be made not from a place of acceptance of death, but to escape perceived pain can be absolutely mind boggling. If this is the only existence you perceive, why fill it with so much unbearable misery that you must erase from life completely? Ego death for a rebirth and you can have a whole new life instead of stopping it all. You may not want to be the person who has a mental concept that the noise a car makes as it pulls up beside you means that the other car wants to run you off the road and you need to drive dangerously in response. You may not want to believe the water you’re drinking is safe—even though it totally doesn’t taste right and it lights on fire—but ‘an authority,’ the gas company said it was fine. You may not want to keep paying on a car loan you can’t afford just because you think you’ll have ‘failed’ or be ‘worthless’ or have ‘broken a promise.’ Don’t be the dumbass killing celebrities because you think The Catcher In The Rye is talking to you! It’s not necessarily what people believe that leads to irrational or dangerous actions. We all believe things that can’t be proved and may never be. It’s that some believe so completely, that they ignored the basic instinct to not harm or be harmed. Consider a mouse still and content in a field, and a cat that doesn’t sense it across the yard. But when the mouse perceives a danger, perceives it *must* react, danger, danger, danger, and goes bolting out to avoid that mental concept of danger, the cat sees and pounces. It’s the same with the gun debate in America. The mental concept that a ‘gun will protect me because I don’t want to be shot’ is raging against reality. All guns do is shoot. That’s what they’re designed for, shooting bullets to hit things. If you don’t want to be shot, don’t surround yourself with the things that shoot. What life are you trapping yourself in right this moment? Are you allowed to have fun? Are you allowed to pursue the things you enjoy? Do you deserve to suffer? Do you need to take an hour to ensure your hair and makeup is perfect or you’re not a valuable person? If you don’t make $20 an hour, are you a complete failure? If your loved one doesn’t read your mind and acknowledge your emotions, do they hate you? Do you spend your days writing erotica but perceive that the world thinks you’re weird/wrong for it (I fought this belief a good year while telling myself I was winning.) The only way to break free is to realize you’re doing it to yourself. You’re choosing to believe these ideas have value, and as such you must logic your way out of them. You need to strip it away instead because there is no value to be found. It can be difficult to see reality past the emotional software. I truly don’t know if it’s harder for those with PTSD or without, because I have only ever had one brain. But I do know you can be inflicted with a perspective disorder all the way back to the beginning of your life, and still find a way free. You don’t have to be trapped in your brain and the painful concepts you unwittingly create. You can open your mind and see that the real world is still the real world, and your thoughts about it don’t fuck it up or save it. Reality remains reality and you remain you.

A Note Of Compassion

Some of you smarties might be pointing out, ‘Sadie, if you’re so fucking with it, why were you ranting last week?’ Lol. Well, it’s fun, for starters. Because I’m a human being and wonderfully imperfect. It took me stopping, realizing I was perceiving an entire movement of pitchforks over some bitchy posts on the Internet about an author I don’t even know—although I liked one of his/her books. Nice sex scenes—and then I reacted like an angry mob was coming after every author out there and I needed to defend. Rawr! Partially because I’m well aware of how impossible it is to really know someone and how these techniques, such as pen names and ghostwriting are so commonplace in the writing community. Partly because I failed to stop and take a step back and remember just because a few voices on the Internet are saying shit doesn’t mean anything. Like, legit. No offense, but someone bitching in a review about one of my books is not a book written. A minute to bitch verses hours/days/months to write a book? Yeah, I’ll let you know when I care. People bitch all the time, and it’s only if you listen that it even has an impact. We pay people to listen—looking at you, Congress—and they still don’t bother. But I had made a choice to listen. I read those little sordid details of ‘why this mattered!’ and I projected that concern of ‘you people are fucking delusional’ into the future and had a nice rant for the sake of all my author friends and for myself. I know, very mature of me. I also yell at the television for being dumb. (One of us is dumb and it’s probably not the two dimensional TV. XD) This again comes back to the morality and value concept. I can choose to feel shame for fucking up by reacting to my emotional software—even though ‘fucking up’ is also just a concept and no one can actually fail. I can choose to ignore what I did, and steam forward while insisting rigidly that everyone should see things my way. Or I can accept that I’m human, I do things, and sometimes I would rather not do things. And it’s not the rant I would want to undo—it was a good, informative rant. I’d rather have not had the perception that a bunch of humans who I innately care about would forever continue to rail at invisible demons in their heads and blame it on the authors who are very good at crafting similar demons with words. I trapped these people in my mind as being trapped. I don’t want them to be trapped, so I need to stop seeing them that way. It comes down to compassion. I have compassion for self and for everyone I perceive. It’s not always seen, but the intention is there far beneath the messiness of emotional software and erratic reactions.

There’s Nothing In The Dark But You And Your Mind

If you find my rants entertaining, know I find ranting to be an entertaining way to spend some time. XD But my rants are short, they pass as fast as it takes to write them out, and I return to the real world because that’s where I want to be. What you’re reading is just an echo of my thoughts. For those who want to live in their computer screen thinking that is the real world, that is where they want to be and it will be very hard to understand each other because of it. I don’t believe the world in the screen is real. I don’t even know if you actually exist; you’re no more than text on a screen to me—but you’re seriously awesome text, just saying. Whoot, sexy font. XD It is your belief that I am real that makes me real to you. Otherwise, you would notice all I am is text and a few images on your screen, and actual people are more than that. You supply my existence for you with your belief. For all you know, this post is years old and I’m dead. I will leave last week’s rant there for those who need to say whatever it is they feel compelled to say. You will not be challenged by me, you will not be questioned, persuaded, embraced, asked to change or be judged. I will not be your witness or your conflict. I promise you silence as you vent, which I realize I should have offered from the very beginning. You are alone with only yourself and your perceptions every time you sit in front of your computer, and this is no different. You have only yourself to understand, insult, convince, struggle against, and ultimately forgive. It can feel very cathartic to bitch online and state your beliefs. I know I enjoy it. XD I see your pain. You may want me to see your anger or your intelligence, but I see your pain. Truly, I hope you find peace. We’re all trying to cope with the fact we’re alive. Some people find the way to cope is to throw themselves into the details, to swear up and down if they find some value in it all, everything will be okay. They will ‘do’ something, they will ‘be’ someone, and the world will change. They want control. They tell themselves things they can never know the truth of to make it through another dark night, then distract themselves with all the shiny bright things in the light. It’s fine. Cope. Scream at the world for not being within your control. I know plenty who have gone to their graves still screaming at the world instead of embracing and loving the moments they have. It wasn’t ‘wrong,’ just very lonely. I choose freedom from pain while others cling tight, and it’s perfectly fine. I don’t need to protect you from your minds because you are not victims—no matter how many people would like me to believe you are too dumb and incapable of making choices. I will not take responsibility for your reactions and your feelings because they are yours, not mine. The way I conduct myself is by my belief systems, not by any social obligation to conform to perceived norms. You’re still the one in control of how you feel and act. If you don’t feel in control, I suggest mindfulness. It’s very calming and makes the world interesting instead of full of pain. Two sources that helped me greatly and eventually led to my current perspective is Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle. This post was about empowerment for every single person on this globe. If you find it to be otherwise, if you believe what I’m saying leaves people behind, leaves them victimized and broken while others are allowed to live the way they want, that is a belief you need to look inside and question. Because if you don’t believe you have an innate right to decide how you want to see the world, then you don’t believe others have that right or ability. The human race is moving day by day closer to globalization, a reaching and connecting with absolutely different cultures with different belief systems all seen on an array of screens. It is very easy to feel ‘superior’ when we see a culture different, one where people act against their own interests, or more specifically, against our interests. It is only through malleable perspectives and responsibility of reactions and actions that we’re going to find common ground and keep a balance. America is still battling perceptions from moments far into the past, such as slavery and gender/race/sexuality inequality. How long will the human race carry every mistake and pain instead of finally moving forward fresh and free? I hope your interpretation of my words is remotely close to my intentions. As for your reactions to that interpretation, well, I have no way to predict or control any of it. The text on the screen means absolutely nothing without a human mind to read, and as such, it is yours to own. I am merely the intention who wrote it. You are alone in your mind with your opinions and perceptions of pain. If you want to continue living in that pain while deciding it is meaningful and worthwhile to suffer, that is your choice completely. Just know it is a choice, and at any moment you’re allowed to feel differently. Peace.