Monday, March 21, 2011
Now this, Lamar thought, is one weird-ass dream. Normally his nocturnal fantasies involved beaches at midnight and hot, sweaty male bodies writhing and coiling to the beat of steamy salsa music. Lately his dreams had taken a turn for the chaste. Since he’d started dating that sweet-assed but closeted Jamie, as a matter of fact.
Take now. As usual, in his dream he and Jamie had left the orgy and gone for a walk on the beach. Jamie liked strolling barefoot through the surf, and Lamar enjoyed watching him. Especially since the longer they walked, the more of their clothes dissolved, until both were butt-naked and damp with salt spray. At this point Lamar would make a move toward his lobo rojo, but the damn mutt would shift into wolf and scamper away. Then Lamar would awaken, stare down at his dozing (and dressed) cuddle puppy, sigh, and head for the bathroom to take care of business alone.
Not tonight, though. Tonight the wolf ran off just as things were getting interesting, as usual. Lamar set off in pursuit. He was tired of waiting around for Jamie to make up his mind. Jesu Cristo, dating Jamie was practically like being celibate.
Then all of a sudden the beach was gone. He was wading through a meadow of ankle-high flowers. The sun was up, and bird song had replaced the salsa beat. Lamar looked around. The hell? His dreams were never this Disneyfied. Had he wandered into his lobo’s vanilla fantasies by mistake?
He spotted Jamie up ahead, still in wolf form. He had settled in beside a –
Oh, for Quetzalcoatl’s sake. Lamar planted his fists on his hips. “Chico, you gotta be funning me. A unicorn?”
The unicorn inclined her horn in Lamar’s direction. “Hello, Lamar. Won’t you join us?”
“Sorry, sister, I’m not your type. I haven’t been since I was fifteen. Tell me I’m dreaming, please.”
“You’re dreaming,” the unicorn confirmed. She sounded amused. “So are you, Jamie. I sensed your conflict and thought I could help.”
Lamar looked at Jamie. The wolf’s fur had gone bright red from snout to tail-tip. So that’s how he blushes in his dreams, Lamar thought. He looked really pretty that color. “Help him, me, or us?”
“Both of you, but mostly him.” She brushed her horn tenderly through the red wolf’s fur. “You and I have been acquaintances for far too long, I think.”
“So you really are … ?” Lamar snickered and shook his head. “And here I thought you were just playing hard to get. Chico, that’s harder than I like it.”
“You don’t get it.” Jamie was human now, just like that. Hey. Dream. “It wasn’t fun for me growing up. I used to get beat up regular for – for wanting to love somebody. And my family – hell, forget it. There ain’t many red wolves around. We’re expected to … breed. With shes.”
“Horrors.” Lamar pretended to fan himself. “So what? You’re ditching me for Gypsy? I don’t think her tiger will like it.”
“Knock it off. I ain’t running out on you. I been talking to Lyssia here for awhile. Almost since I got to Montana. Since I met you.” He ran his hand through the unicorn’s mane. It looked like it would feel like silk, like Jamie’s own hair when he bothered to comb it. “Been trying to get my head on straight.”
“Straight,” Lamar said. His gut did a nosedive.
“Not that kind'a straight. I’ve had a chance to be me since I got here. Ain’t been whupped for it, and nobody seems to care. So I think … ” He patted the unicorn’s neck. “No offense, but I think I want to be me with him. Y’understand?”
“Of course I do.” She nuzzled his neck affectionately. “I approve. You two are good for each other.”
“You do?” Lamar said. “I’m seriously poaching on your territory here. You’re good with that?”
The unicorn shook her mane. “It isn’t purity of body that draws us. It’s purity of heart. Of love. You always get that wrong.” She nudged Jamie toward Lamar. “You go enjoy yourselves now.”
“Hold it,” Lamar said. “Tell me this is Jamie’s dream. Tell me I haven’t fallen so low I’m having dreams about unicorns.”
“It’s your dream. Specifics would spoil it.” She laughed and galloped away.
Lamar woke in a sweat with the sheet bunched up to his chin. Jamie jerked awake at exactly the same moment. “What the hell?” they said in unison.
They stared at each other. “Did you just -- ?” Jamie started.
“Did you -- ?” Lamar shook his head. “No more tequila and nachos, ever. Oh shit.” He glanced at the clock. Better that than show Jamie his face just now. “It’s going on 7. We gotta get to work.”
“Yeah. Listen, I been thinking.” Jamie blushed again. He was the prettiest blusher Lamar had ever seen, and now the reason made sense. “Y’know, we been together a while now. I think we should ratchet things up a notch. What say we have dinner tonight? A real dinner, not that takeout scat you eat all the time. My treat. I’ll even cook. Show you what real food’s like.”
“You can cook Mexican?”
“I said real food. And maybe after we can … ”
Would you look at that blush. It’s a wonder the sheets didn’t catch fire. Lamar mussed his bed-rumpled hair. “Make the place unicorn-proof?"
“Dunno if I’m ready to go that far just yet. But hey, who knows? I get enough beer and gumbo in me, I turn into a wild man.”
Yeah. He could just imagine Jamie’s idea of “wild.” Hey, might be fun. Hell, would be fun, once Lamar got him heated up. Salsa music pounded through his mind. “You got yourself a date there, chico.”
# # #
Nick was up and waiting for his first of many cups of coffee to brew when he happened to glance out the window. He heard the hoofbeats and figured some horse-shifter was out for a morning gallop. His jaw dropped when he spotted the unicorn cantering up the street. It passed in a blur of flowing mane and a hide that shimmered like a rainbow. By the time he’d rubbed his eyes and refocused, the creature had vanished from sight.
He stared, but the beast did not reappear. Finally Nick said, “Nah,” and reached, somewhat desperately, for the coffeepot.
Posted by Pat C.