Beautiful Beast by Roe Horvat
Kevin used to hold himself back, trying to keep his less conventional desires to himself. With Joakim, he feels free. It’s almost as if Joakim can read Kevin’s subconscious, touching the right places at exactly the right time, and whispering the most shameless things…filthy, and oh so satisfying.
Falling for Kevin is easy. Joakim can feel it happening and he’s powerless to do anything about it. With every touch, his desire grows. Men have chased him for his money and status before, but Kevin doesn’t seem to care about any of that. Maybe this time, Joakim should let himself fall, and hope the landing will be soft.
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An Excerpt from Beautiful Beast
Joakim recognized him immediately. Kevin’s heart-shaped, plump lips stretched in a careful smile; he was stunning. There weren’t good enough words to describe the man’s angelic face. Light blue eyes, big, round and sparkling, with long lashes. His nose was small and perfectly straight, cheekbones high and sharply cut, jawline soft and boyish, even though the thin lines on his forehead said he must be closer to thirty than twenty. Kevin had an exquisite face and an exquisite smile.
He moved like the dancer he was, drifting gracefully among the people in the crowded restaurant until he stood close to the tall table Joakim waited by. He blinked nervously, and those full lips parted. Joakim wanted to suck on them, see if they turned a darker shade of red… And he was just sitting there, gaping like a fool. Realizing his mistake, he jumped up from his seat to welcome his date properly. The chair scraped on the floor, making an awful sound over the sultry music in the restaurant. Joakim winced.
“Sorry,” he said. “Hi. Hello. Lovely to finally meet you properly.”
“Hi,” Kevin said and smiled a shy smile, which would have buckled Joakim’s knees if he hadn’t been leaning on the table with one hand.
“Hi,” he repeated dumbly. Then he had to laugh. “Sorry, I’m just…” He gestured helplessly at Kevin and shook his head. He’d spent the past few days telling himself it was nothing. Just a lark. But now the beautiful creature that had been following him in his dreams was here in the flesh, and Joakim floundered like he never had before. Could he at least stay coherent, for fuck’s sakes?
“What?” Kevin said, perplexed. He looked down, perusing his own body, probably looking for stains or an open fly.
“No! God, no. You look great. I’m just a bit stunned, that’s all. I’ll put myself back together in a minute, I promise.”
Kevin only looked more bewildered.
“Sit down,” Joakim said decisively. “Sit, and we’ll have a drink. I definitely need it.”
Kevin chuckled, still puzzled, and sat opposite Joakim at the tall round table. The chairs were as high as bar stools but more comfortable with plush armrests. Joakim couldn’t help but follow the lines of Kevin’s body with his gaze as the man settled into his chair, all long, slim limbs and graceful movements. He was dressed casually, in light beige chinos, tight over his sculpted thighs and calves, a blue button-up with a fine pink flowery print, and a silver-gray jacket. His clothes and movements had that subtle feminine flair Joakim always admired. It spoke of courage and honesty, of being comfortable with your true self. Combined with the shine of his blond, windswept hair and his milky skin, Kevin shone in the dim restaurant like a fucking supernova.
Joakim was still staring. Say something normal. Anything! Joakim only thought of telling Kevin he was the most gorgeous being he’d ever seen in his whole damned life, but he stopped himself. Other than that, nothing came. First date, dammit. You’ve done this hundreds of times. Get a grip.
Kevin was nervous now, fiddling with his sleeve, and he looked at Joakim from the corner of his eye. Joakim realized that in order to restart his brain, he needed to look away. Tearing his gaze away from Kevin was painful, but Joakim managed to steer his attention to the bar. Look, there are glasses and shakers. Bottles. Personnel. A bartender. Say something normal.
“They have cocktails, but there’s also sake. They’re known for their great sake selection. Or Japanese beer? Lager?” And now he was rambling. Jesus! After an epic dry spell, I finally meet a man I actually want to impress, and that’s when my intellect decides to take a day off? Really?
“Sake sounds great. I haven’t had sake in ages.”
“You’re in for a treat. They’re quite busy, so we might have to wait a tiny bit longer, but the food is worth it.”
“I trust you,” Kevin said with a soft smile, and Joakim’s brain scrambled again.
“Wow, I can’t even look at you,” he blurted.
Kevin’s eyes widened. He blinked, obviously at a loss as to what to say and jumping to the wrong conclusions already.
“No! Shit, sorry. Not like that. I… your face is very distracting.”
Still confused, Kevin parted his amazing mouth to speak, but Joakim intercepted him. “You are beautiful, Kevin. Gorgeous. And it’s messing with my head a little. I’ll be fine in a minute. I better stop babbling before you run away.”
“I… erm. Thank you?”
Joakim had to laugh at the sincere bewilderment of the man.
“Let’s order some sake,” Joakim said, trying to climb out of the hole he’d managed to dig himself during the first two minutes of the date.
“Yeah. I think I need a drink too,” Kevin said in a perfectly natural voice, and Joakim thanked all the gods and all the elements and Kevin for saving him from lethal embarrassment. Joakim could talk about food and sake without saying something stupid. He was almost sure he could.
About Roe Horvat
Queer fiction author Roe Horvat was born in the post-communist wasteland of former Czechoslovakia. Equipped with a dark sense of sarcasm, Roe traveled Europe and finally settled in Sweden. He came out as transgender in 2017 and has been fabulous since. He loves Jane Austen, Douglas Adams, bad action movies, stand-up comedy, pale ale, and daiquiri. When not hiding in the studio doing graphics, he can be found trolling cafés in Gothenburg, writing, and people-watching.
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