QSFer Kelly Jensen has a new MM sci fi book out in the Aliens in new York series: Purple Haze.
Six months have passed since Dillon and Lang crashed into each other on a crowded street in New York City, changing the course of their lives. Now they’re living together as a couple, happy, in love, but not quite ready to say the words out loud.Dillon is about to embark on a new adventure-opening a private art school housed in the brownstone left to him by his father.
Lang… Lang is becoming ever more aware of the futility of his mission: being caretaker to his clan’s future when his clan might not survive the war with an opposing faction.When a flashbulb outside a nightclub on New Year’s Eve temporarily blinds Dillon, the course of their lives is set to change again.
Dillon’s perception of how the world works is going to be forever altered, and Lang will have to decide between his mission and the man who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible.
It will be up to both of them to chart a new direction, one that holds the balance between being human and alien. A course that might require sacrifices neither of them is willing to make.
Constellation nightclub was not Lang’s ideal environment. The place teemed with people and the buzz of dozens of conversations—none of which he could follow over the vigorous music. The lights playing across the dance floor were almost too bright for his sensitive retinas, and the pattern they made didn’t always match the music. Lang kept trying to find the beat, only to have the lights yank him off course.
But every time he caught the happiness shining from Dillon’s face, the noise and confusion faded into the background.
Dillon danced next to him, eyes closed, chin tilted up. His purple hair appeared black under the lights and was long enough to hide his face in a rhythmic sweep as he dropped his chin and swayed. Dillon turned, lifted his head again, and… shimmied. That might be the right word. His legs and feet shuffled left, his hips jutted right. The movement was more poetic than that, though. Dillon flowed with the music, his lanky frame rippling with energy.
Dillon was the beat, and he was beautiful.
Six months ago, Dillon had been somewhat innocent of his true origins. The neglected child of a Wren scout, Dillon had come to New York to collect an inheritance. A week later, he discovered the grandfather he adored had actually been his father—and an alien from another solar system. He’d discovered there were possibly more aliens in New York than truths, and Lang was one of them.
Six months ago, Lang had been a lonely Skov scout, bred and trained for the task of preparing a new home for his clan. He’d not heard from his people in nearly eight years when he, too, discovered the city was brimming with aliens—enemies and allies—and a plot to displace him and his clan forever. Dillon had been the only one who cared enough to help him fight back.
The very least Lang could do in return was try to enjoy their night out. Find the joy in the music that Dillon did.
Sometimes, though, Lang wondered if he would ever be enough for the bright spark that was Dillon Lee. If their meeting hadn’t put Dillon squarely on the path to disappointment. He shook his head. Tonight was not a night for such thoughts.
Dillon captured Lang’s hand and gave his fingers a squeeze. “Dance with me!” he shouted over the music.
Lang tried again to find the beat. To ignore the disparate waves of sound and color, the conversations that had nothing to do with him.
Dillon bent close to Lang’s ear. “Pretend it’s just you and me.”
Still holding his hand, Dillon began to sway again, the beat snaking through his limbs in a way that appeared completely natural—as though he’d been born to dance. Lang let the rhythm travel from Dillon’s hand to his. Closed his eyes and waited for the beat to move through his skin and infect his blood.
It wasn’t that Lang didn’t want to do this. He didn’t want to be awkward, either.
He wanted to have a good time… to move, to feel free in the way only music and sex seemed to allow.
Lang’s hand jerked. The driving beat pushed into his arm. His hand jerked again, matching the notes skipping across his shoulders and down the other side of his body. Lang let his posture soften and relaxed his torso. Swayed—slower than the beat, but still in time. Then it was simply a matter of jumping in, as one might when skipping into a turning jump rope. Waiting, watching. In his mind, he pictured the high-low arc, paired it with the tempo of the music, and jumped.
Then he was dancing.
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Kelly is the author of ten novels–including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke–and several novellas and short stories. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.