Noah Abbott isn’t crazy, but most people think he is. When he was younger, Noah saw a something that still haunts his nightmares. A walking monstrosity like a giant made of swamp land -- a troll. Ever since that day, his life has been controlled by his fear of the things he sees. He’s stuck in a rut, working in a box factory after getting out psychiatric care. He gets a hand up when Christian, fellow deviant, decides to take their relationship a step further.
Noah can’t imagine his life changing any more than that, until he meets Hannah Regent, a girl who can see the goblins and trolls too. Trouble follows fast for the new friends, as the troll from Noah’s past rears his ugly head again and Noah’s lifelong question, why me? is finally answered. Noah’s not human, never has been. He’s an elf, and there’s a war going on that he’s in the middle of whether he likes it or not. With fellow elf Hannah, and the timely aid of the goblin king, Noah is about to set off on a real adventure.
He’s just not sure he’s the hero in this story.
As Christian escorted me up the stairs to my apartment, I was certain I had a few too many drinks. I stumbled over the stairs, and Christian caught me, holding tight to my arm henceforth on the way up. So, okay, more than a few too many. He leaned me against the wall next to my door and fumbled to get the lanyard from around my neck. He got dangerously close to my lips as he did so, hunched over me like a sturdy beacon of handsomeness.
He smelled like alcohol and aftershave. It was nice, sort of sharp and smelling of mint. The undertones of beer were all over me too, so that wasn’t exactly bothersome. He managed to get the key off, and the moment passed. I closed my eyes against desire as he unlocked the door and pushed it open.
I realized with a little giggle that I’d never let anyone in my apartment before. Christian took my arm and led me inside, closing the door behind us.
“You sleep naked, Noah?”
I managed another snort of laughter. “You said naked.”
He rolled his eyes. “That’s a yes then?”
I shrugged. “I usually sleep in my boxers.”
“Well, then I can imagine you wouldn’t appreciate waking up clothed.” He frowned at me and then gently helped me out of my shirts. “Can you get your pants off?”
I stifled another giggle and reached for my waistband, only to stumble and fall back onto my mattress.
“For heaven’s sake, Noah, you are not allowed to go drinking anymore.” He shook his head and knelt down to pick me up by the arm and the proceeded to strip off my pants, ordering me in short words to step up and out of the pant legs when he had them around my ankles. I did and promptly fell back onto the mattress.
He smiled. “You’re so full of grace.”
“Yeah, I know.” I scrambled up, proud of my lavender boxers.
“I didn’t know you had tattoos on your chest.” He placed a hand on my chest, tracing the sun on my left pectoral with a finger. It tickled.
“Yeah, I like tattoos.”
“I’ve got one myself.” He pulled up his shirt to expose his stomach, where above his navel was a squiggle of black.
“What is that?”
“It’s a -- actually, I’ve no idea.” He grinned, pulling his shirt back down. “I was a bit drunk myself when I got it.”
I laid a hand on his shirt. “Oh, I bet.” I hiccupped, and took a firmer hold on the shirt to ease my swaying.
He took note of my unsteadiness. “You should get in bed.”
We fumbled for a moment as he tried to get me into bed, and after a moment of instability, we both crashed. The pillows went flying in two directions with displeasure. I, however, was unseemly pleased with having Christian pinning me to my mattress with the warmth of him. My reaction -- not unexpected but surely unwelcome -- was understandable but embarrassing. I felt my face flush bright as the heat emanating from my boxers.
Christian pushed himself up, arms braced on either side of me as he looked me over with a raised eyebrow. “Well… Is that a banana in your pocket?”
I felt the flush deepen and stuttered something I never remembered.
He smiled, gently, “It’s okay, Noah.” With one hand bracing him, he ran the other hand over my chest, tracing lines of ink and teasing at my nipples. I let out a slow breath. This can’t be happening…I must be dreaming. He licked his lips, leaned his head down and kissed me. I felt like butter trapped in the heat of July. I was melting, I wanted to melt.
His fingers trailed down my flesh towards the band of my boxers. Ants marching to the beat of his drum. After long moments of his hand stroking the skin that made its home near the waistband, soft, tender skin brought to life with his touch, his hand slid inside my boxers to the quick of me.
I gasped, back arching away from the bed. He smiled, and kissed me again. “Eager little thing, aren’t you?”
I felt a moan escape my lips as his exploring fingers teased me into further passions. No one had ever done this for me. No one had ever…no one. “Christian. . .” I breathed.
“What is it?” He smiled. Oh, he smiled and his fingers danced.
“You know, you know, right?”
He smiled again. “I know, sweetheart, I’ll be careful.”
It’s my first time.I thought hard. My first time. Groping my girlfriend in the backseat of the car was years gone by and nothing further. Furtive kisses from relationships easily broken in the wards were nothing to this. No relationship ever pushed to this level.
Nothing, because in the end, I didn’t want anyone to see me.
Until Christian -- and way too many Jell-O shots.
I closed my eyes, and let him be my first.