Title: Bartender 1: A Shot of Justice, Neat
By Nix Winter
Rating: Young adult. Little to no sexual content
Genre: yaoi, gay, m/m, cyber punk, sci-fi
It will be available on Kindle and other outlets soon!
Note: This story has both manga and prose story in it. It's like a comic book, a new book always coming out. I really like both manga and prose... I'm probably better that prose than I am at manga, but there are some scenes that cry out to be one or the other!
Blurb: Sabine and Sebastian met as children. War orphans from an endless cycle of wars. The bond between them grew as they became men. Theirs was a love powerful enough to shake the world. One of them would become a world leader. One of them would become a war criminal and a political prisoner. In war and love, nothing is as simple as it seems.
Dirty blond, unevenly cut hair lay across his face. His skin seemed almost ashen against the bright white of the hospital sheets on his bed. Tremors shivered through his being, as if holding still were beyond him, no matter what chemical aids the staff imposed upon him. He lay on a white painted, cast iron framed bed, a threadbare sheet draped over his too slender form. He'd been a general once, at nineteen, a military genius in the shoes of an orphan painted over with the pride of serving his matron, his mother figure, the Sorceress of Blood. Mistakes were made. Feed a ravenous fire long enough and it will eat you too.
He knew these things because he'd seen the news and archive footage at his trial. He didn't feel like a war criminal. Leafless winter branches fingered the bars over his window, a thin window that let cold through , a taunting visitor that didn't really care about how many drugs he'd had with dinner either. He didn't know if the drugs made the voices under the cold stronger or fainter. At the trial they said the Sorceresses' forces had killed an estimated 23,651 people. He'd wondered if that last one had been an estimate or if it counted for himself. Whoever he'd been when he'd been in those bits of news footage, he didn't know that person, except to know that he loved the son of the opposition leader, the new president of Kalan. He had to have loved him then, because he loved him now. Those untouchable gray eyes had been the only think he'd known when he'd first woken up in the world, from wherever the war had left him when it ended.
Sebastian had been the driving force behind Sabine's defense. There had been four assassination attempts during the trial. The last had ended with a blast that cost Sebastian a leg. Of all the things that Sabine felt guilty for, at least that one he remembered.
Footsteps drew his attention to the doorway. Green eyes opened to a slit.
"Are you still awake," Lucy asked, as she unfolded a blanket over him. Lucy was an older woman, gray at her temples, an eyepatch over the eye she'd given to the civil war. She'd lost two son's and her mate in the war. Sabine knew this because the day shift nurse had told him.
Lighting from the rising storm flashed outside the window, pale gold catching on snow blond lashes. "Thank you, Lucy San."
"If you can't sleep, you can come with me on my rounds," she offered.
He umped, lips twitching very slightly.
"I brought you a sandwich," she tantalized. "Roast beef."
Green eyes snapped open, something of the predator who was one of the most successful military commanders in Kalan's history showing. "Roast beef?"
She smiled, nodded. "With a pickle. Get up, Sabine. I know you haven't been out of that bed all day."
He sat up, chin still tucked to his chest, tangles of ragged blond hiding his eyes. "They're scared of me in the day."
"Not without cause," she agreed, "But they'll never get over it if you hide all the time. It makes you mysterious and not the twenty year old young man that you are."
"Five years in limbo does not make you twenty-five." She repeated, a ritualistic tone in her voice. The ritual of pointing out his age meant more to her than to him. "You're still a boy. Where are your clothes?"
"Don't know," he said, shrugging. "I guess they went to the laundry. Doesn't matter."
She reached out to gently touch his face. "Of course it matters, honey. Here," she pulled the plastic wrapped sandwich from her scrub jacket pocket. "You eat this. I have a surprise for you tonight."
"Umm," he muttered, not really interested in anything other than the sandwich.
She moved to the window. He noticed the small flash of light, but didn't understand that it could have some meaning. The light flashed again, this time from outside the secure hospital. He looked up, chewing his sandwich more slowly.
"Eat," she commanded in a motherly way. "Don't wander off, Sabine. I want you to wait here for me."
"'Kay." the pickle crunched and he actually smiled at her. She smiled back.
Waiting wasn't hard. At least it wasn't hard until he'd finished his pickle and sandwich. The secure ward was quiet at night now. Every prisoner on the floor was dangerous. Some were violent, some were just dangerous because of who they were or what they thought or knew. Sabine really had no memories before the trial, just a feeling of longing and love for Sebastian, so life on the ward was all he knew. He liked the ward much better when it was quiet.
A light flashed through his window again. Green eyes narrowed. Old instruction from another life filtered through his thoughts, 'intercept enemy signals and communication'. Like any other bit of nonsense, he ignored it.