Parasexual 5 is going pretty well! I’d say it’s about halfway written right now, maybe a little over half. And since we’re at that point, I figured it was time to release the sneak preview. Here is the first chapter of the story. And here is where you can access the first two chapters of the story, if you are a 1$/month patron or higher.
“Are you doing okay, honey?”
Alex jerked slightly as Brianna broke the silence that had settled over them and remained for, he realized, a good twenty minutes now. Only the quiet, peaceful calm of the ambient music she had started playing at some point during their trip had been audible. Though he had hardly realized it, thoughts running, sprinting through his head as he anxiously tried to work out exactly how he was going to manage the upcoming task.
Releasing his debut album, managing a four way relationship with three paranormal women, and even moving to a new city seemed to pale in comparison to what he was about to do: explain some of it to his parents.
He’d been trying to figure out what in the fuck to say to them the entire time.
“I’m kind of freaking out,” he admitted, looking away from the window he’d been staring out of, not really seeing the landscape flash by as they drove down the highway. The fact that they were driving on a highway wasn’t helping.
“I understand. Talk to me,” she replied, reaching over and taking one of his hands in hers.
Her skin was very hot. Side effect of being a werewolf, he had learned. And holy fuck did it make sex amazing. Alex stopped that train of thought, and much more easily than he would have at pretty much any other time, because he needed to focus, and that really highlighted just how anxious he was. He’d been exposed to more sex than he even thought possible over the past month, which had the paradoxical effect of not alleviating his sex obsession, but strengthening it.
“I guess I’m really considering how to handle telling my parents about...all of it. The moving, the relationship, my ‘career’ change, as if I even fucking had a career to begin with before this point,” he explained.
“And...I’m going to lie to them. That’s what I’ve been leaning towards since the beginning, that’s what I did in the beginning, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
“All right. What are you going to lie to them about?” she asked with a remarkably calm diplomacy. He almost laughed.
“The fact that I’m in a poly relationship. They...especially my mother...just wouldn’t get it. It’s too much. I’m also not going to tell them that you are a paranormal, or that I’ll be living with anyone but you. I’m also not going to mention what happened with Jeremiah. At all. They really would flip their shit. But moving to Thorne, living with you, trying my hand at being an ambient musician, I’ll tell them that.”
“And when they want to visit? Lapis will probably agree to hide or go out for the day, but Aurora won’t on general principle. Although I suppose we could rent out a fake apartment...”
“No,” he said, then sighed. “That’s a ‘we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it’, moment. They don’t really like to travel. If I have to own up to the open relationship with paranormals, I will, and I’ll stand by it, I’m not going to lie that far, because I’m not ashamed of you or Aurora or Lapis or anything we do together, it’s just-”
“I know, Alex,” Brianna said. She smiled, squeezed his hand gently, and then let go, replacing her own hand on the wheel again. “I wasn’t trying to imply that. I’m with you on this decision. I just wanted to know how far you wanted to take it.”
“...okay,” he murmured, and that seemed to satisfy Brianna for the time being.
He glanced out the window again.
It had been eight days since he had sat down in the kitchen of the lake house with the women in his life and made some decisions with them. Those had been eight great days. After the decisions had been made, it was like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders, from all of theirs really, and they had truly settled in to enjoy themselves.
There had been a lot of sex.
They had explored the town more, gone for long, meandering walks through the woods, along the coast. They had spent more time with the mermaids, and that had been just wonderful. Altogether, it was the vacation he had been hoping for.
Yesterday, they had packed up and headed home, and begun making plans.
There was a lot to do.
But something that Alex and Brianna needed to do before they could meaningfully progress was to wrap up their lives in Alex’s hometown. It should be a relatively easy affair, though that wasn’t what Alex had originally thought, given the fact that Brianna had a house to deal with. But, she reminded him, she had rented it, not bought it. Now, the rental agreement wasn’t up for about another year or so, and so she did have to talk with the person she was renting from, which was on their list of shit to do, but that was a lot easier than having to suddenly sell a house. There were a few other things to do, but those were the main ones.
Presently, they were driving Lapis’s car. She had been kind enough to let them borrow it, given the fact that they were moving. She was presently in her apartment, happily locked up and catching up on her work.
After getting her car and dropping them off, he and Brianna had hit the road immediately, given that they had a fucking long drive ahead of them. They’d made it a bit over halfway there and had stopped in a hotel for the night, fucked, slept, fucked again in the night and then in the morning, grabbed some breakfast, and hit the road once more. Now, they were almost to his hometown, perhaps half an hour from his parent’s house.
He wasn’t handling it too well.
And one reason in particular…
Alex flipped down the sunvisor and checked his neck in the little mirror there, frowning, gently rubbing the skin where Aurora had bitten him over a week ago.
“It’s fine, honey,” Brianna said without even looking at him. “You can’t even tell. There’s nothing there to see.”
He sighed. “I just want to be sure,” he murmured, twisting around a bit, looking at his skin from all angles. She was right, there was no hint of a wound there, though that was only because they had spent a few hundred bucks on a healing cream meant to speed up the process. That was something his parents absolutely could not see, because they wouldn’t understand at all, and would, in fact, flip the fuck out over it, because there was only one way you got those kinds of marks on your neck. Honestly, he felt bad about it.
He wanted more, and he knew that Aurora wanted more even more than he did.
But they hadn’t been able to share blood even once since the first time, although they had come very close a few times. Brianna had had to stop them more than once, watching them closely every time they had sex. It was bad because they both wanted it terribly. It was fucking intoxicating. Even now, he found himself desperately wanting to feel Aurora drinking his blood. He could really, genuinely see now how humans got addicted to that shit. It wasn’t really that the vampires were using magic on them, it was just that it felt like a fucking drug for both parties.
He sighed softly and flipped the visor back up.
“I know, love,” Brianna said. “Don’t worry. You’ll get those teeth just as soon as we get back.”
“I feel kind of like a freak now,” he muttered.
“Don’t. It’s good.”
“It’s...complicated,” he murmured.
“Tell me about it. Tell me what you’re thinking.”
He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “It’s like...I mean, there’s the kind of surface level weird feeling of the fact that I really like getting bitten by a vampire. That I want my blood sucked. But I mean, that’s something I’ll get over. That’s just, you know, societal pressure speaking. I don’t really care about that. Then there’s the next level down, the one that’s a bit more complicated. It’s...” he sighed again, looking out the window, “...more complicated.”
Brianna waited patiently. The landscape blurred past them.
“It’s a lot more intimate than I thought it would be,” he said finally. “I mean, I know Aurora warned me, and told me about it, but she was right: words really can’t do it justice. It’s one of those things that if you haven’t experienced it personally, then you really don’t know. You can’t know. It’s so...intimate! That’s the best, the absolutely best word, I can think of to describe it. And that would be complicated enough just by itself. But throw it in with the fact that I have you in my life and I love you, and now I have Lapis in my life, too, and we’re all dating and it feels...” He grimaced, looking down at his hands, “...it feels like...”
“What?” she asked.
“I thought you’d say that,” Brianna said. He was relieved to hear that she was calm. This had been bugging him for awhile now. “Alex...relationships are fluid. They change, and they’re different between people. Your relationship with Aurora isn’t the same as my relationship with Aurora, or our relationship with each other. This is something you’re going to learn as time goes on, and it’s going to be confusing and uncomfortable at times, but that’s okay. The thing that you need to hear right now is that I’m not jealous, or upset, about the incredibly deep connection you have with Aurora. I’m happy. This is clearly making you two very happy, and honestly I saw this coming. I knew Aurora would like you, and honestly, she’s going to fall in love with you.”
He blinked and slowly looked over at her. “You...think?”
Brianna snorted. “Duh, Alex. They both are. Don’t worry, this is going to be great. I’m pretty sure Aurora is most of the way to loving you, she’ll just need time. And you’re halfway there yourself, you’ll just need more time. Same with Lapis. Love...happens, Alex. You don’t get to decide that. No one does. Sometimes it’s absolutely the best thing in the whole fucking universe and sometimes it’s the absolute worst. In these cases, I predict it’s going to be the fucking best. It’s been the best for us so far, yeah?”
“Yeah,” he agreed immediately. “Yes, it has. I just...okay, yeah, I’ll put that aside for now, I think.”
“Good. Don’t feel like you need to rush anything, or hold off on anything. Just...let it happen. Let it become what it is in its own time. Although...I do have a bit of advice.”
“I think Lapis and Aurora both need to tell you. You needed to tell me, but I think they need to tell you when they’re ready,” she said.
“Okay,” he murmured, and thought that she was right. For their own reasons, they both did need to say it first, he thought.
A few more moments passed.
“Here’s our exit...you still wanna hit your parent’s place first?” Brianna asked as she turned off the highway.
He sighed heavily. “Yeah. Let’s get that out of the way.”
Looking up at his parent’s house, what had once been his house, where he had almost been forced to move back to, was now surreal.
It seemed impossible that he had only been gone a few weeks.
It actually felt like months at this point.
He supposed a lot had happened. Alex took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He made sure not to limp as he began walking up towards the front door with Brianna. Although his leg almost never bothered him anymore, unless he moved it in just the wrong way, and it was still a little stiff some mornings, sometimes he caught himself having a very slight limp even though his leg wasn’t bothering him at that time.
It was a strange side effect.
But before he could even finish getting up to the front door, it opened up and his mother was there, waiting for him.
“You’re home,” she said, stepping forward and wrapping him in a hug. “Thank God.”
“I’m fine, mom,” he replied, hugging her back, resisting the urge to either sigh or laugh. He’d always known his mother was kind of overprotective, but now, suddenly, it was like he was looking at all his memories of her with a new light, and he was realizing that it was somehow both worse than he realized and not nearly as bad as he thought. Given what had happened with Jeremiah, he actually got a lot of her paranoia. And yet, given all the bad things that had actually happened to him in his life...she worried way too much.
And, he realized, so did he.
“Yes, I see,” she said after letting him go, and she cast a quick glance at Brianna. “Come in.”
His father was hovering a little farther back in the house, waiting. He’d always been a lot more chill than his mom. Again, something he had always been aware of, but now it was something he was truly coming to appreciate.
They came into the living room and sat down on the couches.
“That was longer than you said it was going to be,” his mother said. “You said a week.”
“I said maybe two weeks, including time there and back, but I also texted you and let you know that I was going to be staying for longer. I was...having a lot of fun,” he replied.
“I see,” she murmured, then sighed. “I guess I’m just glad you’re back and in one piece.”
She heard his tone and immediately tensed and frowned. “What?”
He sighed, suddenly becoming impatient. He calmed himself, or tried to, reminding himself that she was only tense and anxious because she was worried about him, but more and more he was realizing that it was making him feel so...juvenile. Like she thought he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing. He didn’t think he had it all figured out, he wasn’t delusion, but at this point he had at least a basic grasp on keeping himself alive.
“I’m moving to Thorne,” he said, deciding that there was no way around it. He was just going to have to tell them and face the scrutiny.
“That seems...kind of sudden,” his dad said.
“Well, I’ve had several weeks to think about it. Honestly, I love it there,” he replied.
Alex watched his mother, waiting. She looked like a dozen different reactions had hit her all at once and they were clogged in her brain. Finally, she put on a very forced smile and looked at Brianna. “Would you mind giving us a moment with our son?”
Brianna just smiled. “No.” She squeezed Alex’s hand gently. “I’ll be outside, dear.”
“Okay,” he replied, and felt his anxiety spike. But he made himself relax as he watched her go. Probably what truly helped him relax was the knowledge that there was nothing they could actually do to make him stay here or not do this. He didn’t want it to have to come to that, he did love his parents, but he knew they no longer had any real power over him, as in legal power. But he fully intended to do this with their approval, even if it meant bending the truth and, in some cases, outright lying.
“Alex...why are you doing this all of a sudden?” his mother asked, growing serious and leaning forward as Brianna closed the door behind her.
“Mom, there’s no secret. It’s as it appears: I don’t like living here. I don’t like living in this city. I don’t like living in the conditions I’ve lived in. I finally feel...good.”
She sighed softly. “Alex, I’m not trying to burst your bubble, but...going on a vacation in a city and living in a city are two different things.”
“I know. I understand that. But I’m in a pretty secure position. Brianna has...a lot of money.”
“So, what, you’re just going to live off of her?” his mom asked.
“No. I’m going to make a serious attempt at being an ambient musician, like I’ve talked about for years now.”
His mother sighed again, more forcefully this time. “Alex, the chances of that actually working out-”
“Mom,” he said, a little more forcefully than he meant to, “what would you rather? Would you rather I work a job that I hate, and I mean hate, like I’ve been doing since I left high school, or would you rather I actually enjoyed my life for once?”
She sat back a little, looking surprised. He hadn’t meant it to come out that harshly, but he realized that he had actually been fucking miserable for a long time. He was coming to realize a lot recently.
“And if she leaves you? If all her money evaporates? If you’re stuck in this paranormal city?” she asked.
He sighed. “Then you get to come pick me up, and bring me home, and say ‘I told you so’.”
His mother frowned, then glanced at his father. Alex did as well. “You’re awfully quiet,” he said. “What do you think of this, dad?”
His father chuckled. “Alex, I think...you’re going to do this regardless of this conversation’s outcome. I can already tell that. And I can see a change in you since the last time we spoke, and I like it. Part of living life is taking risks. And this is pretty nuts, I gotta admit, but you’re in your twenties, Alex. That’s the time to do things that are nuts. Now’s the time to take a big chance and move across the country and try to follow your dreams. And it sounds like you’ve got a hell of a safety net with her. I think you two are lying about something, or just not telling us, but I also respect your right to privacy, and I think you’re smart, son. I think you’ve put some real thought into this. I think there’s a risk, sure, but you’ve gotta take risks. And this seems like a genuine shot at happiness, and I mean...what more could I possibly want for you than for you to be happy?”
“Well...thanks, dad. That means a lot,” he replied, a little surprised. He looked back to his mother, she was frowning at him still, though not so severely.
Finally, she issued a small sigh. “Just answer me a few questions, honestly. Look into my eyes and help me put these things to rest, will you?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“Is Brianna a paranormal?” she asked.
He swallowed, figuring she might ask that. His mom was sharp. “Yes,” he said.
She let out a huff of irritation. “What kind?”
“Holy crap,” his dad muttered, though he sounded a little awed.
“Is she...compelling you, in some way?”
Now he sighed, frustrated. “Mom, no,” he said firmly. “I’m doing this completely of my own volition. But...I can understand your hesitation, and your anxiety. I really can. I know there’s a lot of crap out there about paranormals. I met a lot of them out there in Thorne. She’s very in with that community, and not one of them tried to hurt me, or take advantage of me. They were kind to me. We just...had fun. I’m honestly finding at this point that I get along better with paranormals than with my own kind.”
Still his mother hesitated, and he decided to try and drive the point home harder. “Mom, outside of the two of you, Brianna and her friends have treated me with more kindness, and honesty, and respect, and compassion than anyone else in my life, okay? I know...this seems crazy. Like, I get it. This is a really big change, and it does seem kind of sudden. I’m getting used to it myself. But I’ve been unhappy for a long time, and I’ve mostly hidden it from you, because I wasn’t suicidal or incapacitated by depression or anxiety, I was just...waiting for my life to get better. And I’m tired of waiting. Surely you must have known some of how I felt.”
She nodded slowly. “Yes. I know. I’ve always done my best to help you, but...”
“But there are some problems you have to figure out yourself,” he said, and she nodded. “That’s what I’m doing. I’m figuring out how to be happy, how to build a life for myself. I honestly believe you want what’s best for me, and I understand that from your perspective, it might be difficult to take me at my word, because I probably still seem so young to you. I’m not saying I know everything, but...I am saying that this...feels right. And is, at least, worth trying.”
She looked at him for a long moment, then over at his father, who just gave her a small nod, then back to him. Finally, she let out her breath in a long exhalation. “Okay, Alex. I’m sorry...about my questions. I know it must seem terribly close-minded, but I’m not wrong to be at least a little paranoid. Paranormals do have abilities, and they have been known to take advantage of humans, and it’s just hard to...” she stopped suddenly, and looked guilty.
He laughed. “You don’t know how to say ‘it’s hard to see what she sees in you’ without making it sound like a massive put-down, right?”
“It’s not that I don’t see amazing qualities in you, Alex. You know I love you, and I think you’re smart, and honest, and kind, but she’s-I know she’s not twenty six, Alex.”
“You’re right. I asked her to lie, and I’m sorry. She’s in her fifties.”
“Holy shit,” his dad muttered.
“And she’s incredibly beautiful, and she’s a very accomplished werewolf, so why would she be interested in a shy, introverted, at best average-looking human from a small town? Believe me, I asked the question myself several times. Still do. I’ll admit, from the outside looking in, it does seem suspicious. But try to trust me, Brianna and I just...like each other. She really does like me. She wants to be with me because I make her happy.” He paused for a moment. “All I’m asking is that...you trust me on this.”
“You’re right,” she replied. “And your father is right. Of course I want you to be happy. Honestly, more than almost anything else, I want you to be happy. Safe, too, obviously, but happy. And this looks like it’s going to make you happy. Just...don’t forget to call every now and then, okay?”
He laughed, flooded with relief. “I’ll call once a week, all right?”
“All right,” she agreed.
He got up, and they hugged, and she cried a little, and he hugged his father. Then Alex went to his room and gathered the things that he wanted to take with him, which fit into a pair of suitcases, and he came back downstairs and hugged them again. They wished him good luck, reminded him to keep in touch, and then he was back out with Brianna.
“You seem happier,” she said as he put his stuff in the back.
“Yes. It went well,” he replied.
“Good.” She smiled, then she kissed him, and then they got into the SUV. “Come on, let’s go get the rest of this over with.”