This conversation between Spencer and Sissal takes place after the events of The Nut Job and A Message from the Home Office. (Both stories are in the Foolish Encounters anthology.) **HERE BE SMALL SPOILERS** We join our principles in Sissal's office on the Yervath home world:
Spencer: *peeks in doorway, holding bottle of nice Scotch* Are you sure it's safe to come in?
Sissal: *looks up from his screen* That depends. Does that Scotch come with an apology?
Spencer: Yes? It all turned out well, didn't it? If I had known neurotic pipsqueaks were your thing.....wait *looks at self in glass* Let's not go down that road. *coughs* Yes. I apologize. *holds out bottle*
Sissal: *shakes head with a chuckle and lets Spencer pour a glass* Richard is not a neurotic...well, he's not a pipsqueak...oh, screw it. He may be those things, but there's more to the little guy, you know.
Spencer: *side eyes Sissal* I'm not sure I believe you. *hands over tumbler, pours for self* But you're not dumb so I'll take you at your word, ole pal.
Sissal: *takes a sniff and a sip* Ah, that's lovely. Very smooth. He's not my usual type, I know. But those little horns are adorable. And he does have other...assets. I hear you had an...interesting last run?
Spencer: Assets? Hmmm. I see. Ah. Yes. *cringes* The nut job. Yes. We ran into some interesting characters. A Sasquatch hunter was waiting for us. *sighs* Humans.
Sissal: How awful! I know humans can have strange reactions to things, but running into the dangerous ones is a rare thing. Bikkas all right, then?
Spencer: If you say so. *tail twitches, takes a sip of drink* He survived. Thanks for asking. Raijin helped us escape. I hear you're finally in the clear yourself. It will be good to have you back in the quadrant, though I do not envy your replacement.
Sissal: *shrugs and sips* It's usually a short-term posting. Usually. Unless the Home Office has found someone else they need to exile. Why didn't you come to me for help if you were having trouble? You know that's what the OIL is for planetside.
Spencer: Yes. Well, we *ahem* had some complications getting back to the ship, so we weren't able to call for help. Also, I wasn't sure if you would eat me or not. Rccred had only been there a couple days…
Sissal: Hmm, yes. At that point, it was probably a wise decision. Mithuanaen probably would've looked like a tasty snack those first few days. And yes, even I get angry once in a while.
Spencer: *points paw, shakes* See, it wasn't just us! Did you know Rccred tried to take my chair? Did he tell you that? *looks at door*
Sissal: *sputters, trying not to chuckle* Did he? Was it a regulation issue or a construction spec issue?
Spencer: *crosses paws* Yes.
Sissal: *loses battle and laughs* Oh...I'm sorry. I know how you feel about your chair. But it is a little over the top, you know. More like a throne than a Captain's chair.
Spencer: *narrows eyes* Your point? It is my ship. But if Rccred has gotten in with you... Has he loosened up? I'm not sure I can handle him on my ship again, Sis. Not if he goes after my chair. Though Raijin might be able to do something about Rccred. Hmmm. Yes.
Sissal: *frowns at his scotch* He was under a lot of stress, Spence. Lots of things you didn't know. Probably would've been dangerous for you if you did. It's all over now, though. He's much better these days. And if he were on your ship, I'd be with him, you know.
Spencer: All right. I can accept that. I am glad he managed to clear you of those bogus charges. It's about aywath time. *taps claw against table* I suppose you could always carry him away if he breaks out his level again.
Sissal: *snickers* Yes. We've had a talk about the level. And the photometer.
Spencer: Excellent. *claps paws together* Did I tell you about the chair I made for Raijin? He looks so pretty in it. The platinum reflects his black pelt nicely.
Sissal: Did you? I need to meet this Raijin of yours. Did you register him? Are you certain he understands what all this means, being your, ah, pet? I'd hate to think any of this was done without his full consent.
Spencer: *picks at something on jacket* He's registered. All paperwork filled out, signed, and completed. He was conscious when he consented. Yep.
Sissal: *raises eyebrow* Spence, you know that's not right. I won't intervene unless I have to, but you need to make sure everything's on the up and up here.
Spencer: *sniffs, tail twitches* Raijin says he likes his chair. *waves paw* It's a leaf. It's made to look like a weed he likes to smoke. There's a PVS and a lighter. I put controls on it because he thought there should be some. We pretend they work for his sake. The chair even has a sucking machine he calls Hookah he enjoys, though I'm not sure what purpose it has quite yet. It relaxes my human, though.
Sissal: *gapes for a moment* Raijin smokes... Spence, is your new human, ah, rather calm most of the time?
Spencer: Hmmm. Yes. Yes he is. Quite complacent. I get to pet him lots. He grows his weeds too, in the greenery. It makes him happy.
Sissal: *rubs hand over face* Well, ah, hmm. I suppose there are more problematic human types to pick up than a pothead.
Spencer: *sips Scotch* His head is no pot, Sis. I assure you it has the matted fur of an Imaldian. Bikkas thinks some of their genes may be expressing themselves again.
Sissal: *nods and decides not to explain* I've wondered that myself about humans. You know...we have to visit Richard's mother tomorrow. Do you think I can borrow some of Raijin's, ah, plant matter? It may prevent Richard from having an aneurysm.
Spencer: *Smiles* Oh yes. Raijin has made himself quite an enterprise, but for a friend he is more than happy to share. He also grows "Shrooms." Would you like some of those as well? *sips on scotch, tail twitches* I really don't understand why one would eat a fungus.
Sissal: *shaking head and chuckling* Oh, Spence, you need to learn more about humans. And you also need to be careful the bio-matter regulators don't get wind of some of this. Especially if he's selling.
Spencer: *Ears perk* Ah. Really? Hm. I shall investigate, but I do prefer my human happy. I will make sure he, uh, stays out of trouble. I finally have the Pecan harvesting site. I don't want to lose that.
Sissal: *pats Spencer's arm and holds out glass for more scotch* Good. Congratulations on the pecans. And let me know if you run into any bureaucratic issues. I may be retiring from the service, but I do know people still. *winks*
Spencer: *pours scotch* Yes. Yes, I will. Congratulations again! I will miss you, but you've earned it, Siss. Are you going to follow Rccred?
Sissal: I will. We're to be officially mated in a few weeks. Pending his mother's approval. Or even without her approval. We're both adults.
Spencer: *eyes gleam* Is there to be a ceremony?
Sissal: Of course. Probably something big and flashy if mother likes me. Or small and intimate if she doesn't *laughs*
Spencer: *laughs* The boys and I will be there. May I offer the happy couple food and refreshments for the ceremony as their mating gift?
Sissal: I'd be honored if you did. Thank you, Spence. That's very generous.
Spencer: *raises tumbler* You’re welcome. To old friends.
Sissal: *clinks glasses* And new adventures.
Spencer: *sips* New adventures.
Amy Lane, Angel Martinez, Elin Gregory, Freddy MacKay, JC Wallace, Tali Spencer & Tinnean
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Release Date: April 1, 2015
An accident, a chance encounter, a thought blurted out, a boat blown off course, a change in direction that suddenly runs into the line of fire – the smallest misstep can change everything. These foolish encounters are the moments around which lives pivot and sometimes spin out of control. Join us for tales of imprudent choices and bad decisions that can lead just as easily to hilarity as they can to tragedy.
About the authors:
Amy Lane has two kids in college and two kids in soccer, and four fur-babies up in her business as she writes. She, her Mate, and her brood live in a crumbling crap mansion and squander their funds on movies, travel, and joy.
While Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres, she writes both kinds of gay romance – Science Fiction and Fantasy. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author's head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.
Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and has been making stuff up since 1958. Writing has always had to take second place to work and family but now the kids are grown up it’s possible she might finish one of the many novels on her hard drive and actually DO something useful with it.
Historical subjects predominate. She has written about ancient Greek sculptors, 18th century seafarers but also about modern men who change shape at will and how echoes of the past can be heard in the present. Heroes tend to be hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow.
There are always new works on the go and she is currently editing a novel about spies in the 1920s, finishing one set in 6th century AD England and contemplating one about the Second World War. Any excuse to buy more books!
Freddy grew up in the Midwest, playing sports and running around outside. And honestly, that much has not changed since Freddy was small and throwing worms at other kids, expect worm throwing has been replaced with a healthy geocaching addiction. Freddy enjoys traveling and holds the view a person should continually to learn about new things and people whenever possible.
Freddy's contemporary LGBTQ book, Incubation: Finding Peace 2, won 3rd Place - Best Gay Erotic Fiction in the 2012 Rainbow Awards. In 2013, Freddy's story, Internment, tied for 3rd Place - Best Gay Fantasy in the Rainbow Awards. Freddy's steampunk/SF story, Feel Me, was a Finalist and honorable mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards for SF.
JC "Jake" Wallace started writing from a young age, but took a break for marriage, kids, and college (in that order). A few years ago, he rediscovered his passion and ventured out into the brave new world of publishing. He now has several novels and short stories published. At night and on the weekends, Jake writes about all things men, believing there is nothing hotter than two men finding and loving one another, whether for a night or forever. An avid reader of M/M romance, Jake loves a good twist of a plot, HEA, HFN, or tragic ending. He also writes what his bestie calls HUNK (Happy Until the Next Kidnapping). In his daytime hours, Jake works with individuals with autism and behavior problems. He is owned by a beautiful partner, three kids, two grandchildren, two dogs and one cat. He lives in the Adirondack Mountains in Northern NY.
Tali Spencer fell in love with writing at an early age and never stopped. Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college, enjoyed a series of interesting careers, and raised three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to medical research, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.
Tinnean has been writing since the 3rd grade, where she was inspired to try her hand at epic poetry. Fortunately, that epic poem didn't survive the passage of time; however, her love of writing not only survived but thrived, and in high school she became a member of the magazine staff, where she contributed a number of stories.
It was with the advent of the family's second computer – the first intimidated everyone – that her writing took off, enhanced in part by fanfiction, but mostly by the wonder that is copy and paste. While involved in fandom, she was nominated for both Rerun and Light My Fire Awards. Now she concentrates on her original characters, and recent novels have received honorable mention in the 2013 and 2014 Rainbow Awards.
Where to find the authors:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/freddy.m.mackay, https://www.facebook.com/amartinez2, https://www.facebook.com/amy.lane.167, https://www.facebook.com/Tinnean, https://www.facebook.com/jcwallacebooks, https://www.facebook.com/elin.gregory, https://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FreddyMacKay, https://twitter.com/AngelMartinezrr, https://twitter.com/amymaclane, https://twitter.com/jcwallacebooks, https://twitter.com/ElinGregory, https://twitter.com/tali_spencer, https://twitter.com/tinneantoo
Other: https://www.facebook.com/rainbowgoldreviews, https://twitter.com/LGBT_Reviews
Tour Dates & Stops:
Carly’s Book Reviews
Bayou Book Junkie
MM Good Book Reviews
Hearts on Fire
Rainbow Gold Reviews
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
Bike Book Reviews
Prism Book Alliance
BFD Book Blog
Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance
Inked Rainbow Reads
Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews
Foxylutely Book Reviews
3 eBooks of Foolish Encounters
$10 Gift Certificate
$15 Gift Certificate
An eBook copy of They Come by Night by Tinnean,
An eBook copy of Snow on Spirit Bridge by Freddy MacKay
Choice of eBook from Angel Martinez's backlist
Choice of eBook from Elin's Gregory's backlist
Surprise prize from Tali Spencer
Choice of eBook from JC Wallace's backlist