QSFer K.S. Murphy has a new MM fantasy romance (bi, gay) out: Trust With Glittering Eyes.
Life has been going well for Travis Grayweaver recently. The Grand Council of High Magick hasn’t summoned him for anything. For a witch without a Guild, he’s still getting plenty of work. And best of all, he’s spent the last six months falling more and more in love with his best friend Niko, a rambunctious and playful cat familiar, who happens to love him back.
Tonight, they’ll be celebrating the Yule with lots of candlelight and a feast for two and a festival in town as they honor the start of winter and wait for the sun’s return. Only Niko’s been acting a bit off lately, obviously keeping something from Travis.
Travis is trying to be patient with him, but this thing from Niko’s past might be more than he can handle. Old demons and long-kept secrets will be revealed, but can the love they have for one another endure these revelations during the longest night of the year?
Sequel to Watch with Glittering Eyes
Warning: Mention of past abuse.
Get It At Amazon | Publisher | B&N | Kobo
Travis wanted to run over there, gather Niko into his arms, and ravage him right
on the table. From Niko’s position—relaxed, enticing, inviting with his legs slightly parted and heat in his gaze—he thought the same.
Which was why Travis found it terribly difficult to say, “Get off the table, please.”
Shoulders falling, Niko frowned, confusion furrowing his brow. Even his ears deflated some.
“But…” He glanced around, likely searching for a reason for Travis’s request
since Niko frequently sat on the table. “Why?”
“Because.” Travis went over there and placed his hands at either side of Niko’s
waist. “I’m trying to get supper ready.” He leaned in enough to bump Niko’s forehead with his own. “I probably would have started earlier but someone wasn’t here to help me with everything else that needed to get done.”
“Goodness.” Niko laid a hand over his heart. “How incredibly selfish of them.”
“They’re very selfish. Also arrogant and vain, completely self-centered.” He
lowered his voice to a soft murmur. “And between you and me, they’re not even very cute.”
Niko gasped, dramatic and over the top, eyes huge and jaw dropped. Not from all
the other things Travis teased him about but the very insulting insinuation that he wasn’t cute. The scandalized look on his face alone was worth the teasing. And whatever consequence followed.
Fuck, Travis loved him so much.
“How dare you!” Niko scolded. “I’ll have you know I’m very cute. Positively
adorable, in fact. Now.” A claw tipped finger slipped under Travis’s chin, pricking him slightly. Enough to feel it. Not enough to hurt. “You take that back, Travis Grayweaver.”
Though he tried to remain stoic, he couldn’t help the burst of laughter that
rumbled through his chest. Niko was too cute for his own good. And Travis’s. He kissed the tip of Niko’s nose.
“All right, Nikolai,” he murmured. “I take it back. You’re very cute.”
Travis gave him an amused smile. “And positively adorable.”
Claw retracting, Niko fit a small, tender hand to Travis’s cheek. His thumb
caressed the corner of his mouth.
“Good, human. See? And they say you can’t teach an old man new tricks.”
Travis scoffed. “Who says that? And you’re older than me.”
Only technically. Biologically, they were relatively close in age, though Niko had
been born first. Familiars, however, aged and matured differently than humans. There was no real way to pinpoint his exact age.
“Everyone says that.”
“No one says that. The expression is ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’.”
“Yes, I am aware. I’ve improved it.”
“I see. Maybe you’d like to be the one in charge then, hmm?”
Pink splashed across Niko’s cheeks. They knew Niko’s preferences. For Travis’s
big muscles to hold him down. To hear the steely dominance in Travis’s voice praising him for being good.
“I suppose not all the time,” Niko said. “But it’s nice to order you around
“You always order me around.”
Shrugging a single thin shoulder, Niko pulled out a saucy smirk and said nothing
to refute that.
“Brat,” Travis said, and grazed his fingers over Niko’s thighs, adding heat to one
hand and a freeze to the other.
Niko, clearly not expecting this, jerked upright with a high-pitched kitten yelp. His
tail puffed to twice its normal size. His ears stood up straight. Diamond-shaped pupils dilated, he looked torn between being excited and being startled, dick not only twitching, but coming alive.
Oh, Travis loved that tone of voice. His proud and stubborn kitten, all meek and
mild. Hot and bothered. On the verge of submission. Travis leaned in close. Ghosted his lips across Niko’s without ever actually giving him a kiss.
“Get off,” he whispered, “the table.”
Travis pulled away so abruptly it made Niko stagger a bit. Dazed and confused, it
took another moment for Niko to catch up to what happened.
“That…was…unfair and entirely cruel. I hate you.”
“No,” Travis laughed, “you don’t.”
“Well, I didn’t. In fact, I loved you up until a moment ago. Now, I hate you.”
“If you get off the table without me having to tell you again, I’ll make it up to you
Head tossed back as though the request was the worst possible thing in the
world, Niko groaned.
“Fine, fine.” He made a show of sliding off the table. Sensual. Teasing. Swaying
his hips as he crossed the room for the steps that led to their loft bedroom. “Spoilsport.”
Eyes rolling, Travis smiled to himself and got back to work. Right when he got to
the stove, a pair of arms wrapped around Travis’s waist. Another thing he loved. The feel of being held by Niko. Safe. Protected. Cherished. Even though Niko barely came up to Travis’s shoulders, it still felt right. Like he’d move mountains and bend waterfalls and grab handfuls of stars from the night sky to keep Travis from feeling any pain at all.
The same could be said for Travis, of course. He’d go to the ends of the earth
and give Niko the moon and even relinquish all his magick if it meant keeping him
happy and safe forever.
“You’re right, you know,” Niko murmured, pressing a kiss between Travis’s shoulder blades.
“That’s always nice,” Travis said, smiling. “What exactly am I right about?”
“I don’t hate you. In fact, I love you, human. Very much so.”
The stove-lid rattled, bringing ashes to life, when Travis slid it into place with the lid lifter. Remaining in Niko’s embrace, he turned to face him. No longer naked, Niko wore one of Travis’s old, much-too-big-for-Niko sweaters. One blue sleeve pushed up to his elbow, the other over his hand, it fell right above his knees and hung loosely around his neck. Adorable. Unquestionably.
“I’ll happily be right about that,” Travis said. “Forever.”
K.S. Murphy, a bi/pan enby nerd, was born and raised in New York with their rather large Irish/Italian family. Over the past decade+, they’ve been a cook, a professional cleaner, a teacher, a nurse, a chauffeur, a photographer, and a librarian for their two mini-humans. One of their favorite things about writing is creating a world that readers will want to see and touch and know more about. In their spare time, they enjoy superheroes, epic space adventures, magical worlds, happily ever afters, and thunderstorms.