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From Muser Brent Archer we have the following writing challenge...follow the author name links for more on their writings here at MuseItHOT:
Setting: a warm, cozy fire in and isolated cabin with snow falling outside. Give us a quick story with some of your favorite characters.
The scent of cinnamon wafted from the iron stove as the fire crackled merrily. Outside the window in the desolation of the Montana winter, the snow drifted gently to the grown. Shawn Templeton snuggled back into his lover Mark Jennings' embrace as they watched the flames dance about the hearth.
“Think the hot chocolate is ready yet?” He kissed Mark's muscled arm as it slid over the blond hair covering his chest.
The man beside him shifted, craning his neck to glance at the stove. “Probably. I can smell the chocolate. The cinnamon you brought from New Bismarck sure scents the room nicely.”
“I'll get it.” Though reluctant to leave the warm man beside him, Shawn leaned forward and pushed himself to standing. With a glance and a grin at Mark, he took a moment to savor the dark-haired man's form. Dark brown waves swooped across his forehead. The black swirls of hair on his chest and the trail leading into the red and green plaid briefs covering his hips continued along muscular legs to top of sturdy feet. “I never get tired of looking at you.”
Mark returned the grin. “If we weren't about to have some chocolate, I'd give you more to look at." He lifted the band away from his waist only to let it snap back against his skin before Shawn could get a proper look.
“Tease.” Shawn moved across the cool planks of the floor to the small kitchen of the cabin and snagged two cups from the cabinet. With a quick stride, he reached the stove, happy for the warmth of the stone before the iron grate.
Giving the pan of chocolate a quick stir, he sniffed at the rising steam. Spice and sweet wafted from the metal. Perfect. He lifted the pan from the iron cooktop and poured the chocolate in the two mugs.
After setting the pan into the sink, he returned with the two ceramic mugs to where his lover lay, handing Mark the two mugs.
Mark's eyes lit up. “I get both?”
Chuckling, Shawn joined him on the rug in front of the fire. “Now, now. Don't be greedy.” He took his cup from Mark and sipped the sweet, hot liquid. The chocolate danced over his tastebuds, as the warm sugary drink made its way down his throat. “Delicious.”
With a slurp, Mark sampled the chocolate. “I agree. Just the right amount of spice."
Shawn set the cup onto the floor and rolled on top of Mark. “I think the spice is about to commence.”
Laughing, Mark took a final sip of his chocolate and placed the cup next to Shawn's. He planted a kiss on Shawn's lips. “Okay, cowboy. Saddle up.”
Check out Halfway Out of the Dark at MuseItHOT to enjoy more of Mark and Shawn's story.
“I could get used to this.” Jairo Silverthorne sighed and sipped from a steaming mug. “You do this every year?”
“Every winter, yes.” Joy Lyons-Morgan chuckled as the image of Jairo romping through the snow in front of the Rocky Mountain cabin her father’s family kept. “We light the fire and drink hot chocolate after playing in the snow. Usually, it turns into a huge snowball fight before we come inside to thaw.”
“I’m not a fan of the white stuff.” Jairo grumbled, sipping the drink, then sat the mug on the end table and burrowed under the blankets. Their toes pointed toward the blaze…his slowly disappeared underneath. “It’s too cold.” His voice muffled from beneath the piles of blankets.
“You big baby.” Joy laughed and set her mug on the table, tugging at the top edge of the thick covering to find her mate. He tugged back, refusing to be exposed.
“You don’t know what it’s like living on a tropical island and being dumped in the middle of this frozen stuff.” Came his mumbled complaint. “That shit is cold.”
“It’s just frozen water crystals.” Joy giggled and pulled at the blanket until she could see his face. “It really isn’t that horrible, baby. Honest. Snowball fights and building snowmen, it’s just another way to pass the seasons. Most of the world has more than one—two seasons, we have all four.”
“You’re just saying that. Like this is normal, natural.” Jairo pulled the edge of the thick blanket back over his head. “It’s not normal or natural.” His voice once more muffled.
Joy shook her head and scooted down under the blankets, face-to-face with Jairo. Smiling, “As soon as the travel restrictions from the snowstorm are lifted we’ll head back to Calanthia. Promise.”
Jairo dark silver eyes narrowed suspiciously then softened and returning her smile he said, “We have plenty of time for me to grow accustomed to these strange practices of winter.” He shuddered and made a face before moving his arms around Joy and pulling her close. “I promise to give each event a try. For you, my heart.”
Joy sighed as Jairo kissed her gently. Closing her eyes, she pressed her ear to his chest. Listening to his heartbeat, she knew he meant what he said. Boy, is he in for a surprise when he hears thunder snow for the first time.
Keep an eye out for Alix's new story bundles coming soon.
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Remember, if you have a question or anything you want us to muse about just drop me a line at MuseChrisChat@gmail.com