Perth Shifters 2
Omega Aodhan Donne has buried his past, his life revolves around his chocolaterie, Little Star, a place where he creates sweet and happy memories. Demisexual, and used to being shoved in the friends category by the time he falls for someone, he throws all his energy into creating romantic moments for others in his store, neglecting his needs. His highlight for two years has been the man who visits his shop every Tuesday.
Beta Thomas Wilson is an historian who believes the past should be unearthed, working as the curator at Western Australia’s only shifter museum, educating children and adults about shifter history. Quiet and hard-working, he allows himself to visit Aodhan at Little Star once a week, as a treat.
When Aodhan decides he wants to get know Thomas better, he offers him a window into a complicated history that influenced the lives of shifters in the whole of Australia, and faces the possibility of Thomas learning too much about his dark past.
After deciding to take it slow, their unconventional relationship becomes a whirlwind, sweeping them up together and blowing open the doors hiding their painful pasts. They couldn’t face their truths alone, but if they’re willing to face them together, Aodhan and Thomas may get the love they’ve always yearned for.
When Aodhan returned, he tangled his fingers together, then reached past Thomas to take his coffee and bring it over to the table. He picked up the Reserved sign himself, and Thomas followed, placing his briefcase down by the chair he always occupied, before sitting.
‘I’m a little alarmed,’ Thomas said.
‘It’s nothing like that. I didn’t want to be interrupted. That’s all.’
Aodhan cleared his throat, then cleared it again, then shook his head like he was exasperated with himself. He shoved his fidgeting hands beneath the table, and Thomas saw his forearms tense, his shoulders bunch.
‘Aodhan,’ he said, at a loss.
‘No, god, look at me, I’m making you worry for nothing. Honestly, it’s nothing. But I want to be honest with you.’ He shook his head again and sighed. ‘There’s a few things about me that other people might think of as strange. Whether it’s how I paint my nails. Or how I think gender is stupid, at least for me. It’s also that, I’m- Man, I imagined this conversation would be a disaster and even what I saw in my head was smoother than how this is going.’
He placed one of his hands on the table, his fingers tapping restively. Thomas reacted without thinking, reaching up and placing his hand over Aodhan’s. The fingers stilled, and Thomas thought he was being too forward, breaking the rules, but Aodhan just stared at the place they touched.
Thomas felt Aodhan’s smooth skin, the alternating heat and coolness; heat from the coffee machine, coolness from being in an air-conditioned shop that was designed to protect chocolate from the elements. He wanted to trail his fingers up Aodhan’s forearm, and with how agitated he seemed, Thomas wanted to hold him. In that moment, he didn’t care about how scared he was of repeating whatever he’d had with Chris, he just wanted to hold him.
‘Tell me,’ Thomas said.
‘I like you.’
Thomas blinked at him, fingers tightening helplessly on Aodhan’s hand.
‘I know it’s stupid,’ Aodhan said in a rush. ‘I know it’s too late. I know it’s been two years. I’m not even what you’re looking for, I’m sure of it. I’m demisexual, but it’s not even that, because most demi people- Okay, I don’t know most demi people, to be fair! But on the internet, it sure seems like I’m an odd one out among people who feel like odd ones out. It was really nice when you thought I was normal, honestly, please tell me to shut up now.’
‘I like you, too,’ Thomas heard himself say.
Aodhan’s eyes snapped up to his. ‘I mean I like you as more than a colleague-friend.’
‘Yes.’ Thomas couldn’t help smiling at that. ‘So do I.’
Perth Shifters Series
The Gentle Wolf
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Pia Foxhall is a queer, nonbinary and disabled Australian author who lives in the most isolated major city in the world – Perth, Western Australia – with two rescue cats. Much of their time writing is spent working on the Patreon-supported Fae Tales serial, a dark fantasy BDSM erotica epic that has been in production for many years. They’ve always been fascinated with all types of trauma recovery stories, and they like their character’s comfort to be earned, and the growth to feel real.
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