Twin Ménage – my dream challenge
As storylines go, ménage is always more challenging to write. Oh my, how I love a challenge. Twin ménage adds another layer of complexity. With Pryor and Tristan Davies from my new sci-fi erotic romance, Double Take, it was important to me that they have distinct personalities, yet share a common thread that made them believable as twin brothers. They move differently, use different phrases, and see themselves and the world differently. They love their woman differently. But their differences balance each other – well, most of the time.
Like most brothers, Pryor and Tristan don’t always get along, though they would do anything for each other. Of course I could never take sides in their arguments; I love them both way too much. And I don’t know that my readers will want to either. Still, it would be really fun to know which one is everyone’s favorite twin.
Pryor is charming and adventurous—a bit arrogant, but he would call that confidence. With all of his swagger, he’s also a mediator who has a level head; always sorting out the best options to get things done. Tristan is more guarded and a lot more serious. He doesn’t have his brother’s gift of gab, but he’s sensitive and loyal, with a genius IQ that makes up for his sometime’s brutish behavior. Neither of them is perfect. In my opinion the perfect hero doesn’t exist, not in real life. In my books I write heroes that is perfectly human; which means they screw up … a lot. Then they’ll go to the end of the earth to make things right.
Here’s an excerpt that gives us a pretty good look at their contrasting personalities:
Tristan did what he could to busy himself with his portable. The low hum of a solar generator blew in the circulated air.
He was ready for them. The cochlear implant waited in its protective case for Pryor to arrive with Shannon. He’d studied the simple technique for positioning it properly, practiced on Pryor the last time he was in the dark zone. The thought of putting it into Shannon’s ear wasn’t the reason he’d lost his place for the fifth time in the spyware code he was working on. After two long years, she would be right in front of him in a matter of minutes.
So many times he tried to tell himself that he was crazy—that he’d imagined the way she looked at him during those last days in her apartment. He tried to shake it off—the excitement, the anticipation. But he’d been thinking of nothing else ever since Pryor messaged him that he was bringing her.
And then the door, sliding open with a rasp of the deadbolt, told him that his wait was over. His radio buzzed; a relic recovered from an old hardware store that worked on rechargeable batteries. The old technology had come in handy with no danger of tracing their short-range transmissions. Not like the messages to the city he had to encrypt and rout through a false address. Private Gerhardt’s voice was crystal clear. “Sergeant Davies is on his way up.”
“Copy.” He paused a few moments before asking. “Is he alone?”
“No sir, looks like he brought you a present. Damn nice if you ask me.”
“Damn nice, indeed,” Pryor agreed with a smile and a hug for his brother as he entered the second floor loft were Tristan waited for them. Shannon trailed shortly behind him, looking like liquid silk. “I got her here safe and sound bro, you can stop worrying.”
When they separated, there she was standing in front of him with a body that made his mouth water and a face…that was unfamiliar.
He was silent for a moment, just taking her in. “I barely recognize you, Shannon.” Almost everything about her had changed. Her eyes, however, now hazel, held a familiar softness. “I have to say it’s strange seeing you look so different.”
“Don’t get me started on strange, Tristan. Besides, now we’re finally on equal ground.” Her snarky tone was familiar too, just like he remembered. Shannon took a stutter step toward him, looking unsure but determined.
Oh fuck it. He grabbed her and hugged her tight to him, wrapping his arms around her with muscles flexing. His heart melted at the feel of her in his embrace, the way it did when he’d held her that one time in her apartment the night before it was all over. Now he wasn’t sure how she’d react, if she would push him away and curse him out for being so forward. He needed to feel her so badly that he didn’t care. He had to take the risk.
But she didn’t pull away. She rested her head on his chest and squeezed him back, her blonde hair smelling like memories, her body fitting perfectly in his arms. He wanted to kiss her—wanted at the base of his core to sweep his tongue into her mouth and taste her. However, it wasn’t the time or the place for that. Despite his urges, he pulled away.
“I’m glad to see you, Shannon.”
“Me too, Tristan. I wondered if I’d ever see you again. Even though now it’s like I’m seeing you for the first time.” She touched his shadowed chin, lightly dancing over the sandy brown stubble with the tips of her fingers. “Thank God your hair is longer than Pryor’s or I wouldn’t be able to tell the two of you apart.”
Tristan smiled at his brother. “We are like night and day, Shannon. No matter what our genetic code says.”
“Besides, I think I’m just a tiny bit better looking,” Pryor joked while Tristan shook his head.
“What did I say? Night and day.” He crossed the room and navigated by the stacks of crates in his way.
“Is the last shipment from Canada still on target to arrive tomorrow?” Pryor asked, pushing the lid from a crate and inspecting one of the long-range riffles he found inside with a keen eye.
Tristan walked back to them with the implant in hand. “No word of delays. I’ll message you when it arrives.” He held the tiny cochlear implant in its sterile container and showed it to Shannon. “Are you ready for this? Pryor explained about it, didn’t he?”
“Yes, I think I understand. You’ll put that in my ear so I can hear you talking to me. But why is that necessary?”
“You’ll need direction, Shannon. We don’t expect you to be able to do this on your own. With this implant we’ll be able to hear what you hear and speak to you so that no one else can detect our voices.”
“I hope there’s a way to turn that thing off. I mean no offense guys, but I’ve got to have some privacy.”
Tristan shook his head. “Not exactly. It will be intact until it’s removed.”
Tristan put his hand on her shoulder and appealed to her senses.
“Shannon, this is for your safety. Pryor will only be a word away if you need him, no matter where you are, and I’ll be able to pull some strings from my portable if you get into a pinch.” He raised an eyebrow. “Are you OK with this?”
“Yes, I’m good.” She pressed her lips together and Tristan breathed a sigh of relief. “Just do me favor and announce yourselves when you’re listening in on me.”
“Shannon, once I put this in your ear, we will always be listening. We’ll have the same implants.”
“So I’ll be able to hear you too?”
“Both of your voices in my head day and night?” She huffed with a dry chuckle. “How long before I go insane?”
Pryor spoke up with a grin, “Don’t worry, it sounds a lot like the TV being on in the background.”
“And it shouldn’t be for long. We intend to have you in front of that processor in two or three weeks, tops,” Tristan sounded confident, though he and Pryor both knew this whole plan was a long shot. He pointed to an old dinette set nearby, another of the relics left behind when the building was flush with people going about their everyday lives. “So, take a seat. I won’t hurt you. It just tickles a little.”
“Wait, Tristan,” Pryor said, closing the crate he’d been inspecting and pulling up a chair to the table. “We need to talk for a second before you plug us all in.”
Tristan didn’t like the sound of that. Pryor was always one to tackle things head on and Tristan didn’t relish being ambushed. He flashed his eyes at Pryor with concern, taking a seat, albeit reluctantly.
“We are really close now, everything has led up to this moment and we need to make sure nothing will stand in our way.”
Tristan nodded his head. “Of course, Pry. What are you getting at?”
“We don’t have time to play coy here, so forgive me, Shannon, for being blunt, but this has to be said.”
“Spit it out, Pryor.” Tristan’s patience was wearing thin.
Pryor looked at him directly in the eye. “You were right. I find her really fucking irresistible. It’s just impossible to pretend that I’m not into her—to you, Shannon.”
Tristan took a breath and Shannon looked back at Pryor with eyes wide and sharp.
He continued, filling the silence. “And Tristan, we already know how you feel about her.”
Shannon found her voice, “Wait, we do?”
Pryor rolled his eyes. “Listen, we don’t have time to tiptoe around this. Let’s just get it all out there on the table so we can figure this out.”
Tristan finally spoke. “Shannon isn’t one of the playmates we sometimes like to have fun with.”
She raised her eyebrows. “We?”
Pryor answered her unapologetic. “Yes, Shannon, he said, ‘we.’ Tristan and I have similar tastes and there’s never been a shortage of women to indulge them.”
“At the same time?” Shannon sounded shocked.
“Yes, if that’s what they liked.”
“I can’t believe you’re going into all this with her.” Tristan folded his arms.
“Sorry for breaking it down so raw, but this isn’t some kind of fairytale, Tristan.”
“Fuck you, Pryor.”
“Hold on.” Shannon stood up. “Would either of you be interested in what I have to say?”
She had their attention. “I didn’t come here to be a distraction and I definitely don’t want to make problems between you.”
“You won’t,” Tristan said, dropping his head to draw imaginary figure eights on the table. “Come between us, that is. Pryor and I have seen to that. Since we’re seventeen and the first time we both fell for the same girl.” The pit in Tristan’s stomach was growing. He was as uncertain of her reaction as he was convinced of what Pryor would say next.
“It’s either both of us or neither of us,” Pryor told her with a shrug. “There it is, Shannon—another line in the sand.” He reached out his hand and she pulled hers back.
Tristan tensed. “Don’t push her, Pryor. This is a lot to digest.”
“I know it is, but either way, we have to set the ground rules and minimize this distraction as much as we can.” He extended his hands to her again, palms up with invitation. “If this was another place and we had all the time in the world to sweep you off your feet, believe me, we’d both be giving it our best shot. But Shannon, this is war—a matter of life and death for innocent people every single day. We have to focus, be at the top of our game, and unless we know where we stand with you, that will be damned near impossible.”
Tristan watched as Shannon eyes darted from his face to Pryor’s and back again. He wished this could be easier, that what Pryor was saying wasn’t true. From the moment they cooked up this plan, Tristan knew the risks. Shannon was exactly the kind of woman that Pryor would find attractive. She was strong-willed and stubborn and sweeter than she gave herself credit for. How could Pryor have ignored the very things that Tristan found so captivating? He’d seen this happening all along. If he was honest with himself, he’d even known it would come to this. There was no way Tristan could navigate his feelings in the midst of so much uncertainty. Nor could he expect Pryor to just bottle up his desires and keep guessing about whether Shannon felt something too. It was risky, but they needed to know. Either she’d give them the freedom to show her how they felt or shut them both down before it was too late.
Check out the trailer for my latest release, Double Take, out 8/3/12. After a warm reception for my m/m/f By Surprise, I’m ecstatic to have the chance to share another ménage, via Etopia Press. Stay tuned for more ménage from me in the future. I’m hooked!
Alyssa Turner is every woman and like no other. The one who stares into space while standing in sensible shoes at the supermarket, and you wonder what she might be thinking.
Few things make her smile like the rush of creativity, she’s addicted. When she isn’t writing, she’s cooking dinner or washing the clothes … or dreaming up her next delicious scene.
She writes for Xcite Books and Etopia Press, with two full-length epublications currently available. Her debut publication was a short in Best Women’s Erotica 2011, edited by Violet Blue. More shorts selected for print anthologies in 2011 from Xcite Books and Cleis Press, with the illustrious editors, Miranda Forbes and Rachel Kramer Bussel.
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