Gay City Vol 4: At Second Glance
Co-Edited by: Eric Andrews-Katz and Vincent Kovar
Cover Design by: Garth Meske
List Price: $15.95
I believe that many happy readers will devour the book, cover to cover, within hours.” ~ Shaun Knittel – Seattle Gay News
Included: Betrayed With a Kiss
“Is it true you were friends once?” Yoshua asked. The question brought an instant silence. The brown eyes studied him quietly.
The words hung in the air, supported by the thickness of the void that followed. Loudas opened his mouth to protest, and closed it with only a heavy exhaled breath.
“It is true that we were,” Loudas stammered, “close once.”
Yoshua cleared the distance between them. He reached out and took both of his hands in his own. “As close as we are, my beloved?”
“The boy Marcus Serrilius saved then is nothing compared to the man you know now.”
“Then go to him,” Yoshua asked. “Ask him to help us. I am afraid of what I have seen if I cannot turn from this path.”
“Rabbi,” Loudas whispered. “The Father is at your side, there is nothing to fear.”
“I am afraid!” Yoshua confessed, collapsing into his arms, and clutching desperately to him. “I have heard the howling pain from the Hill of Skulls. I have heard the prayers that go unanswered as the men that say them are nailed to the Roman trees. I do not want to die!” Yoshua clung tightly to Loudas, clutching so close as if to pull him inside himself, and make them one. “I know I should be brave. I should trust my Lord as my followers trust me, but I feel only fear. I have begged the Father for another path, but He has not answered, and has forsaken me.” Yoshua shouted between gales of tears. “Please! If there is any other path to take: if there is any way to keep this poisoned wine from my lips, please show me! I don’t want to die!”
Loudas held the shattered man against his shoulder. His body felt each sob wrack through Yoshua’s flesh, shaking him into fearful convulsions. But his own body was cold with numbness, fearful of what he was seeing, and fearful of what he knew he had no other choice but to do. His love for this man was unaltered, but Loudas felt the strength of his faith fail him as it washed away like a cold rain.
“I will seek him out,” Loudas said in a numbed whisper. “I will find Marcus Serrilius, and I will ask him to help.”
Yoshua’s sobbing quickly subsided. After a few coughs, he found his breath and regained control of his body. Taking hold of Loudas by both shoulders, Yoshua leaned back and looked his most beloved directly in the eye.
“Are you sure you can convince him to help me?” Yoshua asked without hesitation.
Loudas looked into Yoshua’s brown eyes and felt a new wave of cold numbing his body. The great teacher he once idolized was nothing more than a broken man before him. “I will persuade the captain,” Loudas said as he felt the air being choked from his body. He forced the answer from his mouth before the phantom constrictions about his neck prevented him from speaking. “I will promise him…anything.” And he knew there would be no forgiveness.