Sweet & Scary Flash Fiction Blog Hop:


Here’s mine, called “A Lifetime Away from You,” and it’s a clip from a story which needs an overhaul. It’s always been a favorite scene of mine. Hope you also like it!

“A Lifetime Away from You” by M. LeAnne Phoenix


Kaiyu remembered hearing the shōji slide shut as he sat up in bed, a slow smile stretching across his lips as his nose caught the scent of breakfast and tea. His eyes turned to the disarray of the bed and surrounding room, and he bit his lower lip as he remembered the heat of the night. We made love all night. All night was I inside him… I will teach him how to take me, too! He slipped from underneath the coverlets, reaching for his pyjama bottoms and robe. The bamboo cool beneath his feet, he ran his fingers through his hair and stretched, listening for a much beloved voice.

Glancing down at the mat next to the door, he saw only his boots. Rasmus’ were conspicuously missing. Lifting his gaze to the landscape, his brow furrowed as he scanned the trees for any sign of his pale lover. “Where did you go?” he asked the wind. “Where would you go?”

A shout from the main house jerked his head around, and he rushed to the edge of the verandah to see Takeshi running hard in the direction of the glade. Kaiyu called out through mindspeak, Captain, what is it?

The answer came immediately. Your tiger is cornered. I go to help him. He is blind, Kaiyu-san!

Slamming his feet into his boots, Kaiyu took off running, following Rasmus’ scent to the glade, returned to its icy beauty… though now, it was stained with crimson, and he could not tell on sight what was blood and what was blossoms. A trail of blood led out of the glade, and he followed it, finding the struggle had moved to the forest just beyond Nakamura clan borders. He heard the sounds of fighting as he neared, Takeshi joining him, his eyes concerned. I smell blood. I smell a lot of blood. Someone is hurt.

Kaiyu’s eyes flashed. You better hope it isn’t Rasmus or there will be hell to pay.

Takeshi nodded. From both of us.

They emerged to find Rasmus standing on shaky legs, his arms up to protect his injured face, opposite a creature from forbidden Nakamura family lore. It stood tall, taller than Kaiyu, bearing undeniable leonine features, hollow eyes, and claws stained red with Rasmus’ blood. Kaiyu noticed Rasmus’ head did not face his opponent, though his body did. He responded to the creature’s vicious attack with deadly force, repeatedly slamming a hidden makeshift weapon down into its eyes, growling, “An eye for an eye, fucking bastard!”

Kaiyu blinked, realizing what his lover used for a weapon: the broken wire frames of his glasses. Ras is blind. He hurried to catch Rasmus when he stumbled back from the body of the Child of the Sun. Rasmus startled, going on the defensive, but Kaiyu shushed him, “Shhhhh… Ras, it’s me, it’s Kaiyu—” His voice died in his throat when his love turned his face to his.

“Kaiyu?” His hands, covered in blood, reached up to feel his face. “It’s dead, isn’t it? I killed it?”

“Oh, Rasmus…” Kaiyu looked over at Takeshi, who nodded at him from the creature’s side. “Yeah, you killed it. We gotta get you looked at—“

“An optometrist is kinda out of the question. Don’t think they have a prescription to fix this—” Rasmus gave a dry laugh, hissing when Kaiyu lifted him into his arms, alerting him to other wounds not so visible. It’s hard to see through all the blood. How the hell did Rasmus—barely three months of training—best a Child of the Sun? I don’t know many samurai able to do what he did, and he did it blind! He glanced over at Takeshi, saying aloud, “You will be all right?”

“I will take care of the body, dispose of it properly so its soul will return to the good King of Cats, then I will follow. Get him to the daimyō, musuko. He will know what to do. Perhaps he can restore him.”

Kaiyu nodded, whirling and fixing his mind on his father. He staggered as his icy surroundings faded and the clean lines of his father’s verandah came into view. Relief flooded Kaiyu when Nakamura Ryuichi wrapped his arms around him, asking, “What is it? What happened to Rasmus-san?”

Kaiyu sank down to the floor. “He defeated a Child of the Sun, Oto-san. It took his eyes and I don’t know where he isn’t bleeding from! Chichi—I-I don’t know what—”

Nakamura Ryuichi pressed a kiss to his son’s temple as he knelt beside them. “I will teach you this. Hold him, he is losing consciousness and you must calm him.”

Kaiyu kissed Rasmus’ forehead, whispering, “Stay with me, Ras. Stay with me, stay with me forever—”

His father placed his hands together over Rasmus’ prone body, intoning a low note, drawing them apart, fingers splayed as energy stretched and grew like glowing gossamer between his hands until he’d created a web large enough to encompass his lover’s head and neck. Dropping it over Rasmus’ face, he started again, making one next large enough for his torso, one for each leg, and one for each arm. The tone changed to a lower note as he clapped his hands together, yanking them apart to slam them onto the web, sending a blast of energy bright enough to cause Kaiyu to squint as he felt it pulsing through Rasmus’ body. He couldn’t see what the light did to his lover, but he knew his father would do nothing to hurt Rasmus. As the light dissipated, so did the web, drawing back into Nakamura Ryuichi’s hands. The blood gone, still the clothing remained destroyed, and when Kaiyu cupped Rasmus’ cheek, it roused him, causing him to blink as he smiled sleepily, covering his hand with his lithe one. “I went back for my glasses—”

“Do you have a spare pair, Rasmus-san?” Nakamura Ryuichi interjected. “If so, you will need to rely on it since you used your others as a weapon. Quite ingenious, I must say, musuko-chan.”

The amber orbs widened as they met Kaiyu’s wet jade. “A weapon? Whaaat?” He rubbed his eyes as he remembered. “Oh, wait… I did. I used them—” Rasmus pushed his face into Kaiyu’s chest, shuddering. “I don’t want to remember that… that creature. It looked like something out of a horror movie.”

“They are extremely rare. There were only seven recorded on the planet,” Nakamura Ryuichi divulged. “It is unlikely you need worry about seeing another. Do you hurt anywhere or did I restore you completely, Rasmus-san?”

Kaiyu helped his lover sit up, watching closely as Rasmus stretched, checking himself over before he answered, “Everything seems okay. I don’t feel any more pain, things are just a little blurry—a lot blurry, actually.”

“Ranma-kun, take him to your chambers. I will send food and tea to you. Takeshi, please accompany them.” Nakamura Ryuichi pressed a tender kiss to Rasmus’ hair. “I will come to check on you shortly. I must report this incident before I come to see you. We must all be alert; it has been long since a Child of the Sun has been sighted.”

FINIS… for now. 🙂

Author: M. LeAnne Phoenix

M. LeAnne Phoenix would tell you that the worst time of her life was the two years that she attempted to take off from writing. If you asked her to explain exactly why she did such a thing, you would most likely get the mad attempt to arch an eyebrow like her dad and then a shake of the head as she told you it was unlucky to speak of such things. Suffice it to say, it will never happen again! Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas in the mid-1970's, Ms. Phoenix was young and wild (and even free!) during the crazy wondrous decade known as the 1980's and the even crazier but now grungy decade of the 1990's. Music is second only to the muses that live and breathe to fill her mind with beautiful men, and music always helps them to tell their stories. She is never without her iPod or her computer no matter where she goes, although, she does like to hike and take pictures of the sky and the moon, and even the occasional shot of the sun through the branches of a tree. An avid cat lover, Ms. Phoenix has been owned by many throughout her life, though her current owner is one Gypsy Jo, who really would like for her to step away from the keyboard and pay her some attention! After all, hasn't she earned it? M. LeAnne Phoenix can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mleannephoenix. As this is her first real foray into the professional world of writing, there will be more social media to come.

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