QSFer TN Tarrant has a new gay fantasy out, book three in the Whispers From a Hidden World series: “Kiran.”
Kiran was once a member of the proud Mortrei Clan before being disowned. Now Nameless, he’s doing fine. He has steady work, he can live and dress as he pleases, without fear. All that is missing is a partner, but he’s not even sure he wants one.
Caerwyn Morgan has a good business, a good life; nothing for him to complain about really, beyond his mother’s increasingly desperate matchmaking efforts. Then he walks into a bar, hiding from his mother’s latest attempt, and everything changes.
Kiran and Caerwyn are barely getting to know each other when Kiran’s past comes to the fore, forcing Kiran to make a decision Caerwyn may not be able to accept.
Caerwyn wasn’t happy when the phone woke him up early Sunday morning. It had been five before he’d gotten home, between hanging out at the bar in the club again, then joining Kiran and the others for breakfast again. He and Kiran had flirted a lot, and talked some more. He looked at the clock. Eight in the morning.
“Caerwyn, make sure you dress nicely for church, there’s someone I want you to meet,” his mother said.
“Mom, I’m not coming to church today. I didn’t get to bed till five.” He sighed. “Mom, you’ve got to stop trying to fix me up with every girl you meet.”
“Well, how else are you going to find someone to marry and carry on the family? By the time your father was your age, he had three children, Caerwyn,” his mother replied. Getting grandchildren was one of his mother’s goals in life, and she was after him and his sister to provide them sooner rather than later.
“Mom, I’ll get married when I meet the right person, I promise you, but not a single one of these poor pathetic girls you’ve been shoving at me is the right person,” Caerwyn said. Maybe he should just tell her he was gay, but over the phone wasn’t the right way to do that.
“You’re just being too picky, Caerwyn, all of them have been perfectly nice, decent girls.”
“Mom the last one is so desperate for a husband that’s she’d marry the village idiot just to keep from becoming a spinster. She didn’t have a single opinion of her own, at least not as far as I could tell, because she was afraid to disagree with any of us. God, can you imagine how boring that would be?” Caerwyn asked as he sat up.
“Why were you up so late?”
“I was out at a club, then I went to breakfast with the staff.” He yawned. “We were out pretty late, Mom. Can we argue about this later?”
“This wouldn’t be an argument if you would just settle down with a good girl, not go chasing after these bar tramps,” his mom sighed. “Well come to dinner tomorrow, the whole family will be there.”
“I can’t tomorrow night, Mom, I have a date, with someone I met the other night. I could come to dinner on Tuesday though, maybe bring some cheesecake?” Caerwyn replied. Cheesecake was one of his mother’s weaknesses.
“Well that’s more like it, just bring her with you, that way we can all meet her. Where did you meet her, she’s not some bar slut is she? Who’s her family, what’s her name?” His mom threw out the questions so fast he couldn’t answer.
“I can’t do that, Mom,” he hedged. As much as Kiran might dress as a woman, he was very much a man, there was no hiding that, not that Caerwyn would want him to.
“Well why not? Are you ashamed of your family?”
“Of course not.”
“Are you ashamed of her?” Bonus points for Mom, she sounded as mad about that idea as she did about him maybe being ashamed of his family.
Caerwyn sighed. He wasn’t going to lie to his mother, but over the phone wasn’t the way to tell her the truth. His parents had the right to be able to see his face, and he theirs. “Mom, I’ll be there in an hour, okay? We need to talk.”
“What’s the matter, has something happened?” his mother asked, concerned.
“No, Mom, but we need to talk face to face, not over the phone. I’ll be there in an hour, alright, just let me get showered.”
“Well I guess we could miss church, if it’s that important.”
“Yeah, Mom. It’s important.” They hung up and Caerwyn rubbed his eyes. Over the last few days, he’d come to realize more and more that he couldn’t keep avoiding this conversation. He just had to hope for the best. He picked up the phone again and called Grace. “I’m headed over to Mom and Dad’s. I’m going to tell them.”
“I thought you were going to wait until you were in a serious relationship before you did that?” Grace replied. She knew how much he had debated with himself over the years about telling his parents he was gay.
“Yeah well, Mom doesn’t seem willing to let up on throwing every single female she gets her mitts on at me, and then I told her I couldn’t come to family dinner because I have a date tomorrow and then she told me to just bring her…”
“And you aren’t going to lie to Mom,” Grace finished. “Want me to be there?”
“No, I don’t want you catching the fallout, if it’s bad,” Caerwyn replied.
“Well I’ll just go over to your house, and wait, so I’m there if you need to talk after,” Grace paused for a moment. “Try not to worry, Mom and Dad love you.”
“Yeah, I know, but will they accept that I’m gay?” Caerwyn asked. “I need to move it. See you after a bit, Gracie.”
Caerwyn smiled as he headed for the shower, the childhood nickname reminding him of simpler times.
An hour later, he sat down at the kitchen table with his parents, who sat with him in their Sunday best, and cups of coffee.
“Now what’s this all about, Caerwyn?” his father asked. He was a big man, like Caerwyn, but a back injury had left him unable to work construction anymore. The settlement from the company he’d been working for had made sure the house was paid off and they were comfortable, but his father struggled with not being able to do the physical labor he loved. He helped his brother out sometimes with drafting and overseeing projects, but it wasn’t the same.
His mother was small, like Kiran, and was the quintessential housewife and mother, calm, loving and stable. She looked at him closely. “Is this about the girl you met the other night?”
Caerwyn took a deep breath and dove in. “It’s not about any girl, Mom, Dad. It’s about the fact that I don’t like girls in the first place.” He sighed as he looked at his parents. “I’m gay.”
Both his parents looked shocked, then confused. “But, those girls…” his mother began.
“I met with them to make you happy, Mom, and because it was polite to at least meet them. I mean, heck, you never know, strange things happen all the time, but nothing, ever. A couple have even become friends, Mom, but I was never interested in any of them. That’s why I’ve been asking you for years not to waste their time. There was a long time I tried to be interested in women, but I’m just not.” He held his breath as he watched his parents. His heart dropped as he watched anger overcome shock on his father’s face, and confusion set in on his mother’s.
His father stood up, went to the front door, opened it, and indicated he should leave. His father didn’t say anything, just glared. He looked at his mother, but she wouldn’t look at him at all.
He didn’t say anything as he walked out of the house he’d grown up in, past the man he’d loved and admired all of his life. He let the numbness settle in as he got into his car and drove away.
Grace was waiting when he got back to his house, and from the look on her face, his mother had already called her. She reached out and hugged him, tucking his face into the curve of her neck. “I’m sorry they didn’t take it better, Caer. Just give them time, I’m sure they’ll come around.”
As she held him, he finally broke down and cried.
TN Tarrant is a hard-working single mom living in the wilds of Wyoming, who enjoys embarrassing her child with bright red lipstick prints to the forehead, and photographic proof that a wild Pikachu roams the house. When she isn’t embarrassing her child, or hunting, killing and dragging groceries home through the snow, she loves to write romantic stories with hot lovers. She suffers from a love of extremely bad jokes and has a tendency to inflict them on innocent bystanders.
She has recently been accused of developing an unhealthy yarn addiction, merely because she has bought enough of the stuff to start her own store. She notes that this does not keep her child and others from enjoying the products of that yarn addiction in the form of scarves and blankets. Other issues facing this poor soul are the continuing threats of books and nail polish overtaking the entire household and burying her amoungst themselves. We won’t get into her child’s rocks…