“I don’t see what the problem is, darling.”
I looked at my mother and tried to convey how angry I was with a simple look. I was obviously failing at it as she was giving me a look of confusion. Finally, I said “You can’t just make a human!”
She let out a little laugh. “I don’t see why not. Men have been doing it forever.” She held out her hands to either side of herself and shrugged. “I don’t see what the problem is.” She said again. “You said that you didn’t have a date for the prom and the prom is tonight, so I made you one. Simple as that.”
“Mom, I can’t go to prom with a fucking robot.”
“Language, please. I did not raise a heathen, Kieran.”
“You’re forgiven. What’s the problem with taking a robot to prom? A lot of the other kids you know have robots with them at school. What’s the harm?”
“Yeah, but those robots are for carrying their bags and keeping track of their calendars. Some of them use the robots to transmit their telephone calls, so it looks like they’re actually talking to someone.”
“Well, the least you can do is go and look at him. He’s sitting all pretty for you in your bedroom. I thought you could use some private time together, to get acquainted with one another.”
“Ew, Mom! That just sounds gross!”
“Well, I did think of everything. And I mean everything, darling. He has the most realistic flesh going on the market for androids. Real hair and teeth. The eyes are a new development of mine. They are so good, you would swear that they are real, but you should go see for yourself! I’ve already named him; I hope you don’t mind. I figured it would be less weird that way if he already had his own name.”
Despite myself, I was curious. “What did you name him?”
“I had to think hard about a name. I mean, it makes the whole personality, don’t you think? I mean, what kind of man would you be if I had let your father name you Ernest? You’d be an Ernie and you don’t at all like one. No, I think not.”
I shrugged. “I like my name.”
“Of course you do, I was the one that named you, thank goodness. I loved the way you looked, all your dark curly hair and your dark black eyes. Kieran seemed the name that was made for you.”
“I know. I was a little dark one.” That was what the name meant in Gaelic. I had always liked that. It made me feel special.
“Well, I named your date Neirin. It seemed appropriate.”
“Why?” I asked. “What does it mean?”
“It means ‘surrounded by light.’”
I gave my mother another look and must have mastered it that time because she raised her eyebrows at me. I raised mine right back. “Seriously? You called him Neirin? I can’t go around calling him that. It doesn’t sound natural.”
“Well, it’s too late,” she told me. “The name has already been programmed into his memory banks and his circuits.” She gave me a tight-lipped smile. “There’s nothing you can do about it now. The least you could do is thank me, darling.”
“Yes, most mothers wouldn’t able to make their son a perfect boy to date. I have. Instead of a thank you, you look at me like your face is having a spasm.” She let her smile stretch out into a real one this time. “Go say hello, darling. He’s waiting for you.”
“Where did you put him?”
“Where else, silly boy. He’s in your room.”
I stifled a groan and trudged up the stairs, both excited and anxious by what I would find in my bedroom waiting for me. I had no idea what to expect, really. My mother had gotten famous for inventing a bunch of shit that changed the world as we knew it into the world we know now. Some of the things she invented helped the human race survive the schism.
I knew that I should be proud, everyone told me how proud I must be of my mother; but to me, she was still just my mother, the woman who had rocked me to sleep and had read me bedtime stories. I knew she was smart, but occasionally her smarts got in the way.
Like now, there was a guy waiting for me in my own bed. Who wants their mother finding them a date? I mean, my coming out of the closet was sort of a non-issue. My mother always knew that I was gay. I never had to tell her I was gay, she just knew.
I had tried dating, but pickings in my high school were slim. There was only one other gay kid and he was so far into the closet; I don’t think he would ever leave. My friends set me up with guys that they knew, but it never went anywhere. They either wanted too much from the first date, or otherwise they wanted nothing to do with me. Most guys don’t want to go out with a guy who is gay and disabled. One of them even asked if what I had was catching.
“You can’t sacrifice parts of yourself to make a man happy,” my mother would tell me. “Believe you me, I know. I did that for years and now I have you, so it worked out for me in the end, didn’t it darling?”
I sighed and went up my stairs. I wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. I would meet the robot named Neirin, tell my mother it was a no go, and that would be that. I took a deep breath and let it out and then opened my door.
Sitting on my bed was the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen. I felt my mouth go dry and my dick get hard. This is not starting well, I thought.
“Hello!” Neirin said. “How are you, Kieran? Our mother tells me that it’s okay for you to see me naked like this because that way you’ll get to expect the merchandise.”
Ugh, God, no! “Mother!” I called down.
Her voice came from below. “Yes, darling?”
“You couldn’t put some fucking clothes on him?” I shouted.
“I thought it was easier this way! And darling, all the equipment works!”
Blarg! I sighed. Well you can’t say that life with my mother wasn’t eventful, I thought. I stepped into my bedroom and closed the door behind me.
I didn’t know what to say yet. I didn’t really have any personal interaction with androids. Yes, there were the ones that handled the cafeteria at school and one of the librarians was an android. Ms. Anna always recommended the most amazing books; having a brain filled with every book in the library gave you that kind of skill.
I’d never really had a friendship with an android, unless you counted Ms. Anna. I was always in the library and she was very kind. All the other kids had their android butlers and servants and they carried on talking throughout the day, but did any of them think of them as a friend? Now here I was, looking at the hottest boy I had ever seen in my life and I was hard pressed to see him as an android.
“I can tell from your pheromones that you are sexually aroused. Would you like to initiate the fornication sequence now?” Neirin said.
Oh, boy! I thought.
He looked at me with a bright smile on his face and the most gorgeous golden eyes I’d ever seen. They were topaz in colour and when I looked into his eyes, I could see what looked like bits of the galaxy reflected back at me.
Shit, I thought. I was done for. He was still looking at me waiting for a response, so I had to say something. “No, no, that’s okay. That’s all right.” I took in a deep breath and tried not to look at everything that was offer. It was really hard not to do.
“Do I make you uncomfortable?” Neirin said. He rose from the bed and came toward me in fluid movements that showed off every muscle in his body. Neirin was perfection. It was easy to forget that he wasn’t human. “I can hear both your breathing and your heartbeat have accelerated. Would you like me to give you a relaxing massage?”
“Fuck no!” I said. I took a deep breath. “I mean, no thank you.”
I could see Neirin’s eyes moving as his brain tried to work out what I had just said. Then he smiled. “Oh, so I have not made you uncomfortable, but I have excited you? That is very good new, Kieran. I thought that you didn’t like me.”
I liked the way he said my name, drawing out the name as if it were some sort of spell. I smiled, blushing. “No, I like you very much.”
Neirin grinned and reached out to touch my right cheek but stopped before he made contact with my skin. “I like the way you blush. Your mother installed blush enhancers in my skin.” His eyes whirred again, and I saw my reflection splitting and shifting like a kaleidoscope in his irises. He tilted his head to the side. “Do most humans base their perception of like based solely on a person’s physical appearance?”
His question hit me hard. “Yes, I suppose they do.” I said.
“Do I pass your assessment of my physical attributes?” I nodded and He smiled. “If you like me now, wait until you really get to communicate with my internal drives where my intelligence is located.”
I let out a small laugh. “How about you say, ‘Wait until you really get to know me.’” I said
“Is that not what I said?” Neirin said quizzically.
“Yeah, it is, but it just sounds better.”
“Of course. Understood. Now, we have to get you naked.”
I nearly jumped from shock. “I’m sorry?”
“Well, your celebration is tonight, and we have to make sure your clothing fits you appropriately. I will tailor them as needed so that you are prepared for the evening ahead of you.”
“Oh, well, could I just look at the tux?” I asked. I was nervous being naked in front of any guy; the fact that he was an android didn’t matter.
Neirin gave me a soft, reassuring smile. “I want to make sure that we are wearing compatible dressings. I want to show you at your best. It’s what I was programmed to do. I also want to make sure that you have had an application of atom dust. I would hate to injure you.” He said.
I knew that this was the dust that a human had to be covered in before they could touch an android or be touched by one. There was something in the electricity that ran under their surfaces that would harm us if our skin made contact with theirs without the atom dust. Years ago, humans who had touched androids were left with part of their bodies burned out from the electric force that ran within an android.
Human’s only had to be covered in the atom dust once; the dust fused to the human’s skin and remained there, though it was invisible to the human eye. It meant that the android could touch a mortal all they pleased. Something in the dust disrupted the electricity and made it safe for mortals to touch an android. This was especially true for the places that catered to those who wanted to buy an android for an hour or two of sexual fun. There were variations of atom dust that were very big in the sex trade. Thankfully, Neirin held up a regular bottle: a fine black powder speckled with gold flakes.
“I’d like to apply it now.” He said. Neirin looked pointedly at my pants and I could have sworn he gave me a wry grin.
I sighed and shucked off my clothes. I stood there naked and waited for the laughter, for the insults, for the mockery. I didn’t swim because people would always make comments about my legs and how I stood. I waited, but the insults didn’t come. Instead, I saw Neirin’s eyes and his smile widen. He actually shone brighter. I wondered if his shine was the equivalent to a robot pheromone.
He motioned for me to go over to my bed and I did so, laying down on it and trying to relax. My heat was beating a million times a minute and being naked like this in front of him was just making me more nervous.
“Try and relax, Kieran. This will only take a moment.” Neirin’s voice was calming and I could smell sandalwood.
He uncapped the bottle and let a small amount fall into his left palm. He put the bottle down on my dresser and stood at the end of the bed. “Now I will blow you.” He said.
I let out a loud snort and a bark of laughter.
“Did I say something humorous or uplifting?” He asked.
“I’ll explain later.” I told him.
“Shall I commence?” He asked.
“Yes, please.” Lying in the bed, I tried to calm myself and slowed my breathing.
He held his palms together, cupped as if holding water. He blew into them and we both watched as the black dust rose into the air and slowly fell upon my skin. When the atom dust touched my flesh, there was a crackle of electricity as the electric charges that were within my body and blood bonded with the dust. My body was covered in a black film for a moment, as if it had been dipped in black dye, and then the black tint began to disappear from my skin.
“Is that it?” I asked.
“Yes, it is.” Neirin said. “Did you want help robing yourself?” He asked me.
“Nah, that’s all good.” When I stood, I stumbled and lost my balance. I was about to fall when I felt Neirin grab hold of me. He stopped me from falling into my dresser. “Thanks. Good thing we used the dust already, huh?”
“Indeed. Are you all right? Do you need help walking? I’m sorry if I provided you with too much excitement.” There was real concern in Neirin’s voice and I blushed because of it.
“No, no I’m okay. Just lost my balance.” I said, slipping into my clothes. “It happens all the time. It’s nothing to worry about.” I sighed inwardly. Why did my body always decide to act up when there was a hot guy around?
“Your mother informed me that you sometimes have difficulty walking. Here, I manufactured you something.” He took something out from behind my bookshelf. “I do hope you would like to utilize this. It’s a cane I made for you out of titanium and silver. I hope you like it.”
I took the cane in my hands. It was lighter than any other cane I had ever used and more beautiful than any I could buy. There was scrollwork etched along its length to look like the vines of a plant. “I’ve never held a more beautiful cane.” I said honestly.
Neirin looked pleased with my response. “It has a few special attributes, much as you do.” He said. “Here,” Taking the cane from me, Neirin pressed a button and the room was filled stars made out of light. They pulsed and twinkled on my bedroom walls as if they were the real stars, plucked out of the sky. He pressed the button again and the stars faded gently. “Your mother told me that you liked things that sparkle.”
I laughed and took the cane when he held it out to me. “Thank you. This is beautiful.”
“It also matches your tuxedo!” There was excitement in his voice and his eyes widened and the light within them grew brighter. “Let me attain it for you!”
Neirin went to my closet and pulled out the tuxedo. He turned back to me and had the tuxedo draped over his arm, as if he were showing me the finest fabric. The tuxedo was made in a silver-gray material that shone in the soft light of my bedroom. He came closer to me and I smelled sandalwood and something citrusy.
I looked more closely at the tuxedo and could see silver threads woven throughout it. They mimicked the vines that covered the cane. I ran my hands along the fabric and as I did so, I saw the vines and leaves light up as if they were made of stars wherever my hand had touched them.
“I made the tuxedo respond to touch and movement. I know you like to sparkle but it’s not too ostensions.” He gave me a small grin. “It’s just enough to enhance your natural luminescence.”
I nodded, unable to speak. “Thank you. This is beautiful. Did my mother help you make it?”
He shook his head. “No. I made it for you Kieran.” He said.
I didn’t know what to say. No one aside from my mother had ever done something so selfless for me. Unsure of what I really wanted to say, I just nodded.
Neirin smiled as if he understood my confusion and nodded, too. “You really must get dressed, Kieran. It’s almost time for your celebration. This will be wonderful. I’ve never interacted with people before, aside from mother and yourself. What are people like? Do they have certain rituals that they preform at celebrations like this? I’ve been searching my knowledge and intelligence banks and can only find videos of people moving in a rhythmic formation. Is this a ritual of some kind?”
I let out a laugh. “It’s called dancing. We’ll try it. But you’ll need to do something first.”
“Oh yes! I have to pin dead flowers to your lapel! I saw that in the videos! Why do humans partake of that ritual? Is it to honour the recently deceased?”
I laughed again. “No, not quite.” I said. “You’ll have to get dressed, too. We can’t have you going to my prom like that.”
“Is there something wrong with my appearance?” Nierin said. “I realize that I don’t have the shyness that most mortals do.” He gave me a grin. “I thought you liked me this way.” He held his hands out like a model, showing all of himself.
“Well, you could, but you did mention something about matching tuxedos. It would be a shame to miss out on that.”
“You’re quite right! We need to sparkle simultaneously!”
I gave him a grin and went into the washroom to change into my own tuxedo. While I was getting dressed, I wondered how old Neirin was. I mean, I know he was just made, but how old was he? Did he have an age built into his memory? Did he even have memories? What did he remember before today?
I looked at myself in the mirror. I had to admit it, I looked handsome. I felt good, too. That was a new one for me. I normally avoided looking in the mirror if I could help it. I didn’t find myself attractive.
There was a polite knock at the door and then Neirin came in, dressed in a dark blue tuxedo that caught the light like stars. Whereas my tux shone when I moved, his just shone. My mouth hit the floor as I took him all in. He looked taller somehow, more present than he had before.
“Are you distressed by my attire?” He asked me.
“No, I’m not. I’m just gobsmacked.”
“Well, how could that be when I did not hit you?” He tilted his head and looked at me with concern. “I would never do that.” He said softly.
“What I meant to say was you’re beautiful.”
His eyes widened slightly, and he smiled and I watched his cheeks redden. “Thank you.” Neirin said. “No one has ever told me that before.”
I did something rather impulsive before I lost my nerve. I leaned forward and kissed him quickly. I drew back and watched Neirin’s cheeks turn even redder.
“Thank you.” He said
“You’re welcome.” I said. I was shy around him for some reason. I wanted to tell him everything and nothing at the same time.
“Are you boys dressed yet?” My mother called out. “Come on downstairs so that I can take your picture!”
Neirin gave me a smile and held my hand as we made our way to the stairs. It was only as he released it so that we could take the railing that I noticed I liked the feel of it there. I don’t know what that said about me, but I didn’t care.
We went down the stairs and I watched as my mother took pictures using a fancy tripod. It held the camera still in the air and adjusted itself for light and movement so that it could take better pictures. I knew this was another of my mothers’ inventions. The camera produced pictures that would capture a moment and, when developed, would play that moment back in hologram format. Even I was sometimes blown away by how much of a cool geek my mother was. I would never tell her that though. Wouldn’t want it to go to her head.
“Don’t you two look amazing!” She gushed. The camera turned at the sound of her voice to take her picture and my mother stopped and posed for the camera. Then she made a shooing motion at it. “Take pictures of them, not of me!” She scolded it. The camera did as she asked and turned back to focus on Neirin and myself.
“Do you love the suit and cane that Neirin made for you? Oh, do your boutonniere! Here, I had them made from moonflowers!” She gushed handing us two flowers that shone with a small warm light that was really a reflection of the moon.
My mother got between us and pulled us closer to her and I could smell her Chanel #5 perfume. She had bought it by the case years before the shchism and who knew how many bottles she had left. She always told me “Just because the world has changed doesn’t mean we have to let go of everything, darling!”
The camera turned to us and made sure we were properly lit before taking several photos. I had to admit I was getting into the spirit of things. Seeing Neirin look so dashing in his blue tux that sparkled as if it were made of sapphires didn’t hurt either.
Neirin looked at the boutonniere with confusion. “I don’t understand,” He said. “Why are we pinning dying flowers to our tuxedos?”
I shrugged. “It’s tradition.” I said, pinning his boutonniere to his tuxedo jacket. The soft light coming from the flower made the blue of his tuxedo shine even more.
He copied what I did and pinned the other flower to my tuxedo coat, my mother’s camera clicking all the while. I smiled when, his hands shaking slightly, he finally pinned the flower in place.
“I don’t want to ever hurt you.” He said.
I blushed and wondered at what an android’s concept of pain was. Knowing my mother, she would have made sure that Neirin had some understanding of it. I wondered if, like people, robots and androids are taught to cause pain. “Thank you,” I said. “I know you wouldn’t.” My mother would have created him that way, but there was a sincerity in his voice that went deeper than how he had been created.
“Now I don’t want either of you being worried about the time tonight.” My mother said. “You darlings go on and have fun and dance the night away.” She pinched both of our cheeks and ushered us to the door.
“Now I’ve told Johnson to wait for you in the parking lot of the school, so you don’t have to worry about taking a Zoomer home, okay darlings?”
“Thanks mom.” I said. “For everything.”
“Don’t need no thanks other than you two going out to have some fun. Now go on and enjoy yourselves!” She let the picture click a few more photos and then followed us to the front door. Johnson, our android driver, was sitting in the front seat of a fancy intergalactic limousine. It was painted a dark and shiny black and sparkled just like our suits.
“Oh Mom!” I said breathlessly.
“Well, I couldn’t send you out to your prom in a normal hover car, could I? Now go on, have fun, boys!”
Johnson got out to open the door for both of us and we slid into the back seat. Everything was new and the leather interior glistened. The car rose into the air and I could feel the thrusters start to warm up. Neirin took my hand and squeezed it. “Are you okay?”
“I’ve never flown before.” He said. “I’m a little nervous.”
I never thought I would hear an android say those words. What did they have to be nervous about? “It’s okay. I’ve got you.”
“Just keep talking to me while we ride, to keep me calm.” He said.
“Okay, here’s a question. How old are you?”
“Well, how old are you?” Neirin asked.
“Well, physically I look like I’m eighteen. However, emotionally and mentally I am far older given the amount of knowledge that I have within me.”
“The concept of time doesn’t apply to you?” I asked.
“It would appear not.” He said, giving me a soft smile.
“So, I’m going on a date with an older guy?” I said. “That’s pretty cool.”
“I’ve seen things about this in my intelligence drives. Tell me, why are men called after different animal species?”
I gave him what I hope passed for a quizzical look. “I don’t follow.”
“Well, men are either called chickens, cubs, bears or wolves. I don’t understand the significance of the naming system. Aren’t we all just men? As far as I know, men don’t defecate in the woods like the animals do. Why would they want to be labeled as such instead of human?”
I let out a snort and then couldn’t stop laughing. Every time I thought I had it under control, I would back at Neirin and the confused look on his face and lose it all over again.
“I don’t understand why that is so humorous.” He said.
I caught my breath and gave his hand a squeeze. “Don’t worry, I’ll tell you when we have more time. It would take a while to get into it.”
“Did I upset you?” He asked.
“No.” I told him. “You make me happy.” As soon as I said the words, I knew that they were true. Neirin didn’t look at me with judgement, only with kindness and an endless curiosity. The concept was new to me.
The limousine set down with a soft thump and then Johnson was there, opening the doors. “You both have a lovely evening, sirs.” He said. “It looks to be quite the party going on. The brightness of the celebration leads me to believe that this will be a joyous evening for you.”
This was more than I’d heard Johnson say in all the years I’d known him. “Thank you, Johnson. That’s beautiful.” I said.
“My pleasure, Kieran. I will be waiting for both of you when the night is done. Enjoy yourselves now.”
Johnson was right. The lights were blinding. They were being shone into the sky and there was what looked like glitter within the light that was shining in different colours. My high school had been decorated using hologram technology so that it looked like a giant castle from medieval England rather than the fortress of solitude that it normally was. The castle itself looked as if it had been made of light so it lit up the evening around us. I appreciated the effort that they had gone to but couldn’t help thinking of Henry the Eighth and all the blood that had fallen during that time in history. It seemed like a good parallel to the high school experience.
Neirin squeezed my hand. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I can feel my heartrate beating faster and there is heat building in my armpits and my groin areas.” He looked at me with worry written on his face. “Do you think I’m coming down with something?”
I squeezed his hand and brought it up to kiss his knuckles. “It’s all good. You’re just nervous. It’ll be okay.”
“Nervous?” His look of confusion intensified. “I’ll have to look that up in my intelligence drivers to find out how to combat it.” He said. “I just want your friends to like me.”
“It’s all good. I don’t have many friends, so you have nothing to worry about.”
We made our way towards the shining castle and I saw people I knew from school milling around the front of the building, having an e-cigarette or a couple shots of whatever their poison was before heading inside the school. One of them stood out for me, a Lothario named Clyde. He was one of the resident school bullies that picked on the less popular and the less fortunate. Every school has one.
“Hey!” He said loudly. “Look at the faggot cripple!” He called out. Clyde sauntered over to me. “Got a fancy cane so you won’t fall today? How much did you have to pay your date to come with you?”
I saw a flash of red sequins and my best friend Annik was there by my side. “You leave him the fuck alone, Clydesdale.” She said. “Come on honey, let’s get you and your hot boy a drink and then you can tell me all about him.”
We went to move away from Clyde but Neirin stayed where he was. “He did not have to purchase me for any sum of funds.” Neirin said. “I come with him willingly as I was made especially for him. He holds my heart in his hands.” There was a look of anger in his eyes that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
“Made for him?” Clyde said. “You sound like a fucking robot.” Clyde gave me a dark look of unrest. “Fucking pussy.” He took a swipe at my cane and I wasn’t expecting it. I went falling to the ground and Annik was there right away to help me up.
Neirin lurched forward and grabbed Clyde by the tie he was wearing. Pulling Clyde closer to him, Annik and I watched as Neirin’s eyes began to light up with an ethereal light. It was different from the light that came from the flowers or the light that shone from the castle in front of us. It was light that was filled with movement. If I looked closely, I could see something moving within the light. Moreover, the light was being projected right into Clyde’s eyes. Clyde’s eyes kept getting wider and wider and his face grew more and more pale.
The light turned off as if Neirin had clicked a switch and he let Clyde fall to the ground in a heap. Clyde edged away from Neirin and wrapped his arms around himself. He rocked back and forth softly and began to whimper. “This is what is waiting for you.” Neirin said.
Turning to me with a smile, Neirin took my hand. “Should we go inside and partake of refreshment? I could really partake of a soothing liquid beverage, couldn’t you?”
“What did you do to Clyde?” I asked him. Annik looked at him with wonder written on her face.
Neirin shrugged and it seemed such a human gesture. “I simply showed Clyde what was possible if he continued on the path that he is currently walking upon.”
“You showed him the future?” Annik asked.
“In a sense, yes. I took some licence creatively and placed a photo of him in a film that I watched about a detention centre for criminal boys. That is the eventual path that he is on right now.”
Annik turned to me and hugged me. “I love him already. Let’s go dance, bitches.”
Neirin turned to me with confusion. “But I am not a female dog. Is that what she is inferring?”
“It’s sort of a term of endearment.” I told him.
He shook his head. “You mortals are so strange. I would find being compared to a dog in heat an insult rather than a endearing turn of phrase.”
Annik and I laughed, and we walked into the shining medieval castle. I saw others that I knew and waved to them. We grabbed celebratory champagne a sipped at it as we moved towards the dance floor after I had folded up my cane and tucked it inside of my tuxedo coat. Annik’s boyfriend Markus came up to us and said hello and then went to whisk Annik onto the dance floor.
She turned to me and mouthed the words Have Fun and gave me a wicked smile. I knew she would want to hear more about Neirin later.
Neirin and I went to set our glasses down and an android whisked by with a tray to take the glasses away. Neirin stared after it with a look of pensiveness on his face.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
“I doubt I could pull them out of my head and give them to you.” Neirin said. “And shouldn’t a thought have no monetary value not having any physical form?”
“It’s a figure of speech. I mean, tell me what you’re thinking about.”
“Oh, I see. Well, it’s only that I’m lucky.”
“How do you figure?”
“Well, that android was programed to pick up waste and refuse. That’s it, that is its sole function. Whereas my sole function is to live and thrive and love you. I’d say that I came out with the better option.”
The music started and he took me in his arms. Neirin danced beautifully. “Did you take lesson?” I asked him.
“No, your mother downloaded videos and programing into my intelligence drivers so that I would know how to dance with you.” He said.
“Oh.” I said, resting my head on his shoulder. We danced like that until the song ended and during the beginning of the next song. I held onto him and wondered when the last time was when I had felt so safe with another man. I didn’t think I had ever felt this way.
The song ended and a fast tune began, one that sent the lights around frolicking, as if they chased each other around the gymnasium. Looking into Neirin’s eyes, I saw only love there. My heart was somewhere in my throat. The whole room around us disappeared and I could only see him. My heart only saw him. I took a deep breath and spoke. “What happens when this night ends? What happens tomorrow?”
The room around us erupted in holographic lights and it was as if the stars themselves had come to dance with us. “Tomorrow? Why don’t we consider that particular predicament when it arrives at 5:35AM, Eastern Standard Time?” He said. “Right now, I just want to hold you in my arms and dance with you. Would that be all right? Or would you like to get right to the fornication? I can smell your pheromones.” He gave me a cheeky grin.
“Neirin, did you just make a joke?” I asked him.
“Maybe I did.” He smiled warmly.
I looked at him and fell into his eyes that were somehow brighter and more beautiful than the stars that filled the room. As I danced with Neirin, I wondered at the fact that this android was more human than most of the other people I knew. I thought of his kindness, his generosity and the light that came from him
I danced with him and held him close and wondered what would come when the night was done.
Check it out! It’s the cover to my upcoming novel, Love and Lemonade. It’s the third book in my Lemonade Series with Lust and Lemonade and Life and Lemonade preceding it. Isn’t it gorgeous? The cover artist Nathan Caro Frechette did an amazing job!
Here’s the synopsis for the book:
Blaine and his friends haven’t always been lucky in love. They’ve stumbled throughout lust, hoping to find their hearts desire, or at least a good lay. They have made their way through life, stumbling a few times, and have finally found their way to comfort and acceptance…Or have they? There are all kinds of love in the world and Blaine and his friends will have to find the love that works for them. Sometimes, the rose of love has thorns. Thankfully, love heals all wounds.
It will be available in the fall of 2019! I can’t wait for everyone to find out what happens!
To get ready for the release of Love and Lemonade, why not read the other books?
You can get Lust and Lemonade from Renaissance Press here:
And you can get Lust and Lemonade from Amazon.ca here:
You can get Life and Lemonade from Renaissance Press here:
And you can get Life and Lemonade from Renaissance Press here:
Signed paperback copies are also available!
In the meantime, come and have some lemonade with me!
When my life was
at its lowest point,
I found you.
You came to me
and gave me so much love
when I had none
at least not for myself.
My life was darkness
when I met you,
and though you were black as night,
you filled my life
with a light brighter
than the sun.
I named you Tula.
The name meant
The Fearless One.
It described you perfectly
as your spirit
lived beyond your body.
You brought so much light
and so much love
to my life.
You taught me to be fearless
as I worked
to put my body back together.
You taught me to defend myself
against those that
would hold me back.
Just as I needed you,
you also had need of me.
Tula, you were so small,
but you were never vulnerable.
Just as I saved you,
you saved me.
You gave me back the light
that had been missing
and my spirit connected
During that dark time,
you gave me something
to live for,
something to care for
Thank you for what
you gave me.
Though you are
now far from me,
I carry you in my spirit
where a piece of you
Grace Quinn has lost herself.
After she finds her fiancée sleeping with another woman in their bed two, her world comes apart. She has become the caregiver for her controlling and demanding mother, Cora. Bedridden, Cora rules the house with an iron fist. Lost within herself, Grace has also become a shut in and is pretty much agoraphobic, afraid to face the world.
Thankfully, the one place she can go, when she is able to escape is her job at Cohen’s Convenient Storage Company. There, she works for Betty and Larry helping them with the business and going through storage lockers that were late on payments. Nice and simple; safe. Betty always had tea and a big piece of babka cake waiting for Grace when she showed up to work.
Grace’s life changes when Larry has her begin to go through Unit 28. It’s one of the things that Grace most loves to do, digging into the past and cataloguing for sale or disposal. Grace loves discovering the items that people left in storage. Grace loves to see what she will discover. She thinks nothing of it until she opens Unit 28; it’s like she’s stepped into a dream.
Inside Unit 28 was an Aladdin’s cave full of ornate and vintage items: jewelry, paintings, clothing, all of it pristine and well kept. In fact, the unit looks as if she has stepped into a bedroom from the 1950’s. Taking a look at the paper on her clipboard, she learns that the unit used to belong to Constance de Donato.
Within Unite 28, Grace finds Constance’s old diaries and starts to read about her. She asks Larry if she can take photos of the diaries so that she can read them at home. Constance is a kindred spirit to Grace. They both have controlling mothers; they have both lost their loves and lost themselves.
However, what Grace doesn’t know is that all stories have an ending and hers is just beginning and that sometimes when we are most lost, we find exactly what we are looking for…
I loved absolutely everything about this novel. Alex Brown never fails to deliver books that not only evoke emotion. Grace and the people that fill the pages of A Postcard from Italy feel like real people by the end of the novel. During most of it, I wanted to reach into the pages and give Grace a big hug.
I also love how Alex Brown continues to go places that others don’t in women’s fiction. She pushes the envelope and always leaves me spellbound by the emotions and subjects that she puts into her novels. A Postcard from Italy deals with agoraphobia and taking care of an elderly parent, two subjects that I’ve never come across in women’s literature. She always manages to write stories with subjects that go beyond the genre and the books become a genre all of her own.
Brown’s writing is always superb, but in A Postcard from Italy, she has gone above and beyond. When the book switches from the small and lovely town of Tindledale to Italy and the sights that it holds, it was like I was there. She describes the sights and sounds, smells and tastes of Italy so well that I feel like I’ve been on holiday, the book is just that good.
A Postcard from Italy had me all wrapped up in a mystery, in human drama and in the truths of the heart with enough babka cake to keep anyone happy. Wonderful and captivating, this is her best novel yet. I can’t wait to see where Alex Brown takes us next!
I’m firmly convinced that Alex Brown doesn’t merely write; she creates magic.
I’m thrilled to announce that my memoir, Little Yellow Magnet, is now available as an audiobook! It’s read by the incredible Tony Armistead and I’m so thrilled with how it all sounds.
You can get your copy from Audible by going here:
Or you can download it right to your mobile device through Audible!
I am so excited about this. It’s the first time one of my books has been released in Audio!