Please join me in welcoming the ever-fabulous Holly Day to Stories That Make You Smile. Holly is here today sharing some insight into her wonderful new Gay Paranormal Romance, One Would Be Enough. Read on to learn a bit about the story, including an exciting exclusive excerpt!
Hello, everyone! Thank you, Addison, for letting me drop by again. I hope you’ve all had a good start to the year.
Like everyone else, I’m trying to come up with a plan for the year only to realise there is no way we can plan for anything when the world looks like it does. I have no idea how much I’ll be working on my day job. I work at a mushroom farm, so not the most common job in the world, and we mostly deliver mushrooms to restaurants. Restaurants aren’t doing great now, so in extension, we’re not doing great. But what are you gonna do?
The less I work at my day job, the more time I’m given to write, so I’m trying to be grateful for that instead of worrying about not making any money LOL.
The story I’m here to talk about today is a paranormal little tale called One Would Be Enough. I wrote the main part of it back in October and wrapped it up at the beginning of November.
In 2021, I published 12 stories, one per month, and it was something I never thought I’d be able to do. So when I’d submitted my December story and went looking for days – I write stories about crazy holidays – in January, I saw Make Your Dream Come True Day, and thought it was perfect. Is there any better way to start the year than to make your dream come true?
Since we’re talking fiction, it’s not really my dream that came true. My dream is pretty much the same as Teo’s, though.
One Would Be Enough is about Teo and Jerico. Teo is an ordinary human whose dream is to be financially independent. He’s not after richness, but to be the master of his own life – think the F.I.R.E. movement – and he is there. Twelve years of hard work and living on a tight budget has allowed him to buy his dream house. What he didn’t know when he bought it was that his next-door neighbours are werewolves.
Jerico is a werewolf who left the pack many years ago. They wanted him to mate with a female, and he refused. Now the pack is in a financial crisis which will be solved if only they can get Jerico to mate the female he was meant to mate with. They need the dowry. So they kidnap Jerico in an attempt to force him to accept the mating. And since they want Teo’s property, they kidnap him too to try to scare him into selling.
The result of this is that for the most part of the story Teo and Jerico are locked up in a dark room in a basement.
I liked writing this story, but it’s different from how I normally write. My stories are often quite action-based. I have to remind myself that my characters need to eat and sleep and can’t just hop from one plot point to the next without any downtime.
Here it’s different. They can’t go anywhere, they can’t do anything, they can’t even see each other, all they can do is talk in the dark. But it was an adventure in itself to write.
Teo Solace has worked hard to achieve his dream of owning a house. But he didn’t know he would become next-door neighbor to werewolves or that refusing the pack’s demand to sell the house to them would end with being kidnapped.
Jerico Franklin left his pack sixteen years ago, and he never planned to return. By refusing to mate with the female his father picked for him, he believed he was doomed to live the rest of his life as a lone wolf. He didn’t expect to wake up in a dark cellar with a human by his side. Jerico shouldn’t care about the human, but when he learns his former pack intends to kill Teo to take over his house, he knows he has to find a way to get them out of there before he loses control of his wolf.
Teo never believed he’d care for a wolf, but spending days in the dark with nothing but Jerico’s voice to cling to shifts his perspectives. Humans are a dime on a dozen. One more or less shouldn’t matter, but Jerico would’ve lost himself in the dark if it wasn’t for Teo. For how long will Jerico be able to keep Teo safe from the pack? For how long can he keep him safe from himself?
Oh, fuck. Teo was locked up with a werewolf. Jerico was nice enough so far, but what if there was a full moon soon? Did they change when there was a full moon?
As far as he knew, he’d never met a shifter until he moved up here, and his experience was that they growled a lot, but he hadn’t seen them shift. So maybe they only did when there was a full moon.
“When we’re being close to someone, we grow addicted to their scent. It’s more, but a connection is formed over time, and I refuse to tie her to me.”
Teo couldn’t say he understood. “But… If you’d grow addicted to her, wouldn’t you want to… you know, have kids with her?”
“No. Packs are built on scent connections, and I would consider her part of my pack, but I would never see her as my mate.”
Teo scrunched his nose. “I don’t understand.”
“It’s hard to explain, but I’d see her as a sister, and yet the pack would demand we’d sleep together.”
“Yeah, and imagine if you had to hook up with a guy every day.”
Not hard, but… “Every day? No one gets it on every day.”
Jerico snorted. “If you’re with your mate, then you would want to.”
“I’m human, dude. I need time off.” He bumped his leg, trying to lighten the mood. “They think if they keep you here, you’ll mate with her?”
Teo couldn’t imagine marrying a woman. He and Mae went on dates, but platonic ones. He wasn’t into women, and she wasn’t into men, but sometimes it was easier to play along with the heteronormative expectations—especially when you were in the south.
Jerico sighed. “I’ll weaken pretty fast. Shifters need to eat regularly and a lot. Our metabolism differs from yours. If they withhold food for some time, I’ll start slipping.”
A chill slithered down Teo’s spine. “Slipping how?”
“Change, give into urges, things like that.”
He hardly dared to breathe. “And it would mean?”
“I don’t know. They think I’ll kill you, I’m not sure.”
“Not sure! I’d feel a lot better if you were plenty sure.”
Jerico chuckled. “I left here sixteen years ago. I’ve been without a pack for a decade and a half. Not many wolves would survive that many years without having a connection to someone. We’re addicted to closeness.”
Teo held his breath. There was so much pain in Jerico’s voice, he wanted to carry some of it for him, but he knew nothing about shifters and had no idea what to say to make things better.
“They’re betting on me, my wolf, still considering this my home, and you an intruder. Most shifters would, and I suggest you don’t find yourself in a similar situation in the future, but of all the shifters to get locked up with, I’m your best bet. I’ve lived and worked with humans for a long time. I don’t feel threatened. Not to mention, you smell nice.”
“Damn, I should have washed off properly when I went to the bathroom. The woman barged in on me, though.”
Jerico snorted. “It’s not if you’ve washed or not. I mean your natural scent, and they placed you here so your scent would be in the room when I arrived.”
Teo frowned. “Why?”
“To be honest, I think the one who came up with the plan missed a few vital points. Most points.”
Teo would agree, only… “I don’t understand.”
“Hugo, the one who stayed in the room with me when you went to the bathroom, told me that by keeping you here before me, your scent would be in the room—which it is—and it would trigger me since you’re an intruder.”
“I’m an intruder?” Teo couldn’t believe this shit. He hadn’t asked to be here. He’d bought his property fair and square. He’d saved and slaved for years, had worked several jobs, lived on a tight budget, ran all the numbers a zillion times, slowly worked his way toward fulfilling his dream. He wasn’t intruding on their land; he wasn’t imposing on their ways or cultures. All he wanted was to have his house and live his life.
“No, that’s the thing. By putting you here before me, they made me the intruder.”
“What?” Damn, they were stupid.
“I don’t think they understand. They think I refuse to mate Azura due to some rebellion against the pack.”
The information spun in Teo’s head. “I’m not following, and I’m damn hungry. Do you think they’ll give us any food soon?” As soon as he’d spoken, his belly growled.
“I fear they won’t. Have some water.”
Teo didn’t want water. He was freezing, and he was hungry, and apparently, he was locked up with a werewolf who’d eat him soon.
Strangely enough, Jerico didn’t scare him—yet.
According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.
Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.