Today I am so pleased to welcome Leta Blake to Joyfully Jay. Leta has come to talk to us about her latest release, Angel Undone, and to share an exclusive excerpt. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Several years ago, an old friend came out to me as gay. He’d been closeted, even to himself, for most of his life and now, at the age of forty, he was ready to say that, yes, he was gay. Or bi. Or gay. He wasn’t quite sure yet, but he knew he wasn’t straight.
In the course of our conversation, he talked with me about going to a gay bar one night to “prove it” to himself. He got picked up by a much bigger guy in his forties and was taken home by him with expectations that a lot of things were going to happen between them. But, when it came down to it, my friend wasn’t prepared for the emotions he’d experience being touched tenderly by a man for the first time, and he related how grateful he was to the man, whose name was Michael, for being so kind to him, for holding him, and for not making fun of his tears.
My friend said, “It was stupid for me to go home with a stranger like that for my first experience with a man, but he was so good to me. It was like he was an angel and he’d come to protect me.”
About six weeks after that, I saw a call for a small publishing house asking for angel stories of around 25,000 words for an anthology. I remembered my friend’s story and realized that there was something in it I wanted to work with, but from the point of view of the man—or angel—who came to save him.
In the end, the anthology was never published and my story was returned to me. I sat on Angel Undone for several years, unsure what to do with it, when it hit me last month that I could simply release it. Nothing was stopping me except for my uncertainty about its reception.
So here it is. The story inspired by the man who was so kind to my friend. It came out more blasphemous than I intended, probably, with a helping of religious side-eye for good measure, but I still love this story and hope that you will too.
Michael smiles at Asher. “I’m not going to walk away until I know you’ve gotten home safely, so feel free to say all the disparaging things about yourself that you’d like.”
“Why do you care?”
“It’s what I do.”
“Caring about strangers in bars is what you do?”
“Tonight, caring about you is what I do.”
Asher pulls his hand away and slumps back against the slick vinyl of the booth. His eyes focus fully on Michael for the first time, a sober gleam beginning in them. “Why aren’t you creepy? I should find you creepy.”
“Because I’m not.” He misses Asher’s fingers, and he reaches out for them.
“See? That—that should be creepy. I should be entirely disturbed by you right now.” Asher’s hand slips into his own again, and Michael shivers, feeling a little more eager than he should. “You come over to pick me up, and when I’m a freak, you don’t go away. I’m drunk, so I have an excuse. But, you’re not. Or are you?”
“No, I’m not drunk.” And Asher has a point. What is it about his vulnerability, his social awkwardness that makes Michael want to cuddle him closer than his average mission? Why does he want to comfort Asher to satisfy himself and not Father alone?
“So, what’s wrong with you?”
“Oh, where to start with that question?” Michael deflects. “I have a particular weakness for Jewish men. I’ve mentioned that already. But, let me ask, why are you trying to scare off the same men you’d like to screw?”
Asher blinks rapidly, licks his lips, and says, “So, you came over here because you want to screw me?”
“Yes.” Michael is surprised by how much want plays a role already. It often does once the time comes, but he’s here to protect Asher from making a terrible mistake, not get off on his mission. And yet Asher’s vulnerability is stirring something deep inside him. It makes no sense—vulnerability is on display before him every moment of every day, and yet something about Asher’s dark eyes makes his cock thicken.
“I don’t get it. You saw me over here, in a corner and you thought, ‘I’d like to screw him’? So you came on over and asked to take me home?”
“I believe that’s how it’s done.”
“Is it?” Asher sounds at a loss now, desperate and worried. “Is that how it’s done? With girls it’s…it’s never as simple as…it’s not like that.”
“It depends on the girl,” Michael says, taking another swig from the beer he stole from Asher. “But usually, no, it’s a bit different for women than it is for men.”
“The stuff our fathers taught us about them, the things their fathers taught them about themselves, the lives their mothers lead, the lives their grandmothers led. Culture. History. Religion. It all adds up.”
“My father taught me this was wrong. Two men together.”
“Your father and my father should meet. They’d probably have a lot to say to each other.”
“But if it’s wrong—”
“I never said it was wrong.”
“—how can it feel so right? And how can you be so easy? A look across the room, and then you ask to take me home.” Asher’s lashes fall to his cheek. “What do we do when we get there?”
Michael’s dick throbs and lengthens down his pant leg as he imagines how beautiful it will be to witness Asher awakening to his lusts, and he surrenders to the unusual thrill of helping him accept them.
Asher’s voice is breathy. “How does this work? Would we fuck? Do we even kiss?”
Wondering what Asher’s soft, drunk-loose mouth will taste like, he moistens his own lips in anticipation.
Asher leans forward, his heart pounding, and his pupils dilating. “Would you take me to my bed, or just fuck me on the stairs, or on the sofa, or the floor?”
“What would you want me to do?”
“I’m not the one auditioning here.” He smiles wryly, flirtation floating over his face. “You’re seducing me, remember?”
“That was my answer, Asher. I’d do whatever you wanted me to do.”
Asher’s heartbeat quickens and Michael’s pulse thrums. Human flesh is so responsive. A sharp surge of want pierces him as Asher says slowly, “But I want to hear what you want to do. To me.”
What he wants? It’s never even a question. He does Father’s bidding and he protects humans. There’s rarely room to indulge his own desires.
Michael tilts his head and studies Asher’s eyes, the vulnerability twisting in them despite the demands of his words. As Asher’s gaze darts away, he seeks deeper, finding the hum of anxiety and fear, hearing the murmur could be a rapist, and the hungry denial of lust. It’s a wound he wants to heal, a sweetness he wants to pull up and nurture. Yes, Asher is a flower and Michael wants to watch him bloom. The image flushes him with desire and the words come easily.
“I’d kiss you while I undress you.”
Asher’s lashes flutter and his cheeks darken.
“I’d take my time with your mouth, find out what you like—gentle and slow, or rough and insistent.” Michael flicks his tongue out to wet his bottom lip and Asher’s eyes follow the movement. “I’d kiss your chin and your eyelids while I unbutton your shirt. I’d listen to your breath—does it hitch when I touch my lips to your collarbone, or do you like it better when I kiss just behind your ear?”
Asher sits very still, his pupils dark, and his lips parted, staring at Michael helplessly. He spins his words with a warmer energy, letting them pass to Asher and fill him. “I’d slip your pants off, but leave your boxers on, and then I’d ask you, ‘Do you want my clothes on, Asher, or off?’ and you’d say—”
“Off. I’d say I want them off.”
Michael shudders with pleasure at Asher’s insistent tone. “Good. I’d start with my shirt, too. Undo the buttons all the way down. I’d unzip my pants and slip them off. You’d see I’m not wearing underwear.”
“By that time I’d be hard. Is it okay if I’m hard from kissing you and seeing you naked?”
“Yes,” Asher says softly.
It feels so good to talk about what he wants, to imagine Asher’s reaction to it all. The freedom adds an extra sweetness to his lust.
“Is it okay if I’m hard now telling you what I want?”
The click in Asher’s throat is loud as he swallows and nods his head.
“I’d leave my shirt on my shoulders, something for you to take off later if you want, but I’d leave it so you’d know I’m not pushing you.” He’ll never push Asher. He’ll only make it so good for him. So good for them both. The way Father intended sex to be.
A well of joy warms his gut, a protective heat that he’ll share with Asher, healing him, making him whole. Tonight, he’ll prepare him for a future where love can find him. A curl of jealousy slips up into his gut, confusing and unacceptable. He lets it slide away, hoping Father doesn’t notice it. “It’s up to you decide how far we go tonight, Asher.”
“I’m so drunk. I’m not sure I can get hard. I should be hard right now.”
Michael thinks he’s picking up the slack, his cock full and balls tingling. He normally doesn’t get carried away by his own seductions, but Asher is delicious in a way he can’t resist. He considers reaching out to Father, ask him why Asher’s like a tide pulling at him, but he doesn’t want to lose his chance to feel this. Whatever the reason, he’s willing to go under with Asher’s tide, see how it feels to surrender to it.
“Who wants to screw a limp-dicked drunk?”
Michael wants to rub his hands all over him, shoving away the layers of sadness and guilt, revealing the soul beneath. He settles for squeezing his fingers. “It’s okay. Let’s say you don’t get hard, Ash. I’ll hold you, kiss your mouth, and touch your nipples with my tongue.”
“I’ll touch you everywhere and I’ll let you explore my body with your hands and mouth.” Michael wants to transport them to a bed now. “I’ll rub my hard dick against your hip, but I won’t come—”
“I want you to come.”
“Then I’ll come for you.”
Michael smiles and rises the table. “Do you want me to take you home now?”
“Yes,” Asher whispers, letting Michael tug him up. “I want you to take me home.”
The Archangel Michael is tired. He fought wars and shoved his brother Lucifer out of heaven all before the Dark Ages rolled around. His role as protector of Israel now encompasses all of humanity, and while he performs his job perfectly, there’s little personal joy in it.
Until one night in a bar when he meets Asher.
Michael isn’t sure what it is about the vulnerable, self-deprecating Asher that calls to him, but something about the restrained depths of Asher, his gentle smiles and encyclopedic knowledge of flowers, tugs at Michael in a way that can’t be denied. Too bad romance isn’t part of his mission.
Facing an eternity of perfect submission to God’s authority, rebellion stirs in Michael. Questions of free will, angelic vocation, and the role of love and lust demand answers that just might cost Michael his place in heaven.
Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.
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