Being online is difficult for me right now, but as today is the first day Light in the Dark Night is available on Early Release, I’m here to give you a taste.
If you read the short story Everyday Miracles, which was part of the One Pulse anthology Dreamspinner Press put out in September to raise money for victims of the Orlando shooting, you are already somewhat familiar with Reverend Jonathon Neiland and Councilman Court Brecker. But if you haven’t, here’s a few paragraphs from the very beginning of Light in the Dark Night. Meet Brecker.
Court Brecker strode out of the office building and took a deep breath of the crisp autumn air. Fall in central Washington State meant rain and rain was coming. But at that moment, it was a crisp fifty degrees and an Indian summer breeze drifted by. A small smile quirked up the corners of his mouth as he walked down the street toward the car park.
Life was good. His business was booming. Things had calmed down on the city council and they dealt with the same inane problems they were used to. True. Todd Crelon was still being a jerk, but that seemed par for the course. The flack he’d received for passing the application for the Paul D. Regelo Center for LGBT Youth had died down and he only received the occasional glare about it.
He wondered how the shelter was doing and if Jonathon had received enough items once they were official. Not that it was any of his business. All he’d done was make phone calls to his philanthropic friends and suggested that would be a good place to put their money. A couple times he had thought about calling to find out, but had elected not to. None of his business.
The gravel that lay in the cracks of the pavement crunched under his boots, a welcome sound that with how fast he walked, came across as a backbeat. It was so constant and predictable that when he took a step and the sound changed, he paused and cocked his head. What was that?
Before he could step back and see, he heard the odd sound again, this time without the gravel crunch. It was a sob. “Please… don’t….” The voice was tearful.
“Give it up,” snapped a male voice with a huge nasal tone to it. “Scum like you don’t deserve to own anything. Now give it here.”
Action precipitated thought as Brecker strode toward the voices, his shoulders stiffening with each word he heard. When a third voice joined the fray, he broke into a jog. “That’s not even a phone! If you don’t have anything worth stealing, we’re gonna have to take something else to make this worth our while.”
At a run by the last word, Brecker darted around a business and into a thin alleyway. On one side was brick. On the other, a chainlink fence that was green and thick enough nobody could see through it. Trash and the scents of human and animal waste filled his nostrils but he ignored it as he took in what was in front of him. Two mangy males stood over a huddled figure halfway down the alley. One of them held a battered rucksack while the other was kicking the figure on the ground.
“Stop,” Brecker demanded as he strode toward them.
Reverend Jonathon Neiland gets his wish a decade in the making and finally the Paul D. Regelo Center for LGBT Youth is up and running. He knows things will never be easy, but then he never expects them to be. All he asks is that the Lord be on his side while he takes care of his kids.
Court Brecker has been through his own brand of hell and strives every day to be the best he can be, but he never expects to find a runaway on the streets, nor to take him to Jonathon’s center. Never one to get in too deep with anyone or anything, to his surprise he finds himself enjoying his time both with Aiden and Jonathon. They develop a deep friendship and for the first time in his life, he has someone to rely on who also relies on him.
While Brecker tries to understand the new feelings he’s battling, Jonathon runs into more and more stress, especially when Aiden is removed from the shelter forcefully. He’s never doubted that the Lord has a plan for them and when they are attacked from without and everything seems dark, He opens the door to show them the light.
Check out the other wonderful WIPs this week -who knows, maybe there will be some whips as well 😉