Earnest anti-gay evangelical Hubert dies in a freak accident. When a handsome angel named Bartholomew makes brazen overtures in the Afterlife, humble Hubert realizes his soul may have taken a wrong turn. But turning back to the straight and narrow isn’t quite as easy as he hopes it will be.
Wayward Ink’s newest anthology, Of Heaven and Hell, hits shelves today, and along with it my newest erotic short about finding Love after Death, “Sin to Get Saved.”
Hubert knows he brings shame on himself and on the Lord by being a queer — his Grandad and the pastor of his evangelical church tell him as much all the time. So when he dies in a freak accident, he’s as delighted as he is surprised to waltz right through the Pearly Gates, no questions asked. He even gets a beautiful angel named Bartholomew as his very own guide to the Afterlife. But when the angel makes brazen overtures, Hubert realizes his soul may have taken a wrong turn, and he beseeches Bartholomew to keep his hands to himself and help him find his rightful place in the Heaven he’s always heard about. And so they set out to explore his options, Bartholomew hoping Hubert will learn a thing or two along the way about the deeply personal definitions of Paradise.
Get your hot little hands on this story and ten others by your favorite Wayward Writers direct from Wayward Ink, on Amazon, or at ARe. Buy direct from Wayward Ink between now and June 21st and get 40% off during their First Anniversary sale, which makes the entire antho like US$4.20!
For an exclusive excerpt from “Sin to Get Saved,” read on!
The only stick of furniture in the room was a large wood-framed bed, piled high with pillows, each the same beige as the butter-soft sheets, which matched the beige of the black-out curtains to such a precise degree of boring that Bartholomew uttered a “Blah” faster than he could censor it.
“Really, Hubert? This color? For eternity?”
Hubert shrugged. “What I’d love would be purple,” he said. “It’s my real favorite color, but Granddad says it’s for girls. I saved up and bought me a pair of purple socks, but he wouldn’t let me wear ’em. He took me down to the Walmart, made me exchange ’em for brown ones. Then he wouldn’t let me wear them, neither. Said they reminded him of the purple ones. He gave ’em to the clothes drive down to the Church, said white socks was good enough for boys in his day, they was good enough for me.”
“Yeah, but Hubert, this is your heaven. Your granddad doesn’t want purple in his heaven, he won’t have it. Would you rather these sheets were purple?”
Hubert hesitated. He shook his head. Then he wrinkled his nose. Did he dare ask? “Maybe one of the pillows?” he squeaked.
Bartholomew spared an understanding smile. “Okay, we’ll start with one of the pillows. Which one?”
Hubert considered this. There were so many. Just like how the beds must be in a fancy hotel, he figured. “The one I’m gonna lay on, I guess?”
Before his eyes, the biggest, fluffiest pillow on the bed was slowly washed with the lightest tint of lilac, darker shades radiating in their turn from the pillow’s middle. “Say when,” Bartholomew counseled.
Hubert was riveted to the parade of purples across the pillow, and just when the deepest, most brilliantly royal hue hit the farthest corners of the pillowcase, he gasped. “Right there.”
Bartholomew nodded his approval and fixed the color with the flick of a finger. “Like that?”
Hubert’s eyes were alight like a little kid’s on Christmas morning. “I love it.”
Bartholomew smiled. “I do, too.” He reached for Hubert’s hand. “Let’s try it out, want to?”
Hubert had already flung himself into the air to frolic in the field of pillows when the phrasing of Bartholomew’s suggestion registered. “Let’s?” As in let us? “Try it out?” As in…? “Want?” Uh oh. He flopped onto the bed on his belly, but scrambled into a defensive crouch. “Wait…. Look….” he stammered.
Bartholomew had dispatched with his shimmery sheer shorts and was most assuredly standing in Hubert’s bedroom—the unlikeliest of places, Hubert’s life had taught him—in stark naked, chicken-house-chested, dazzling-curled glory. If Innocence fell into a rushing river of need on his way home from the gym, and then waded ashore, desire dripping off him in rivulets, he’d look almost as irresistible as Bartholomew in that moment, and it took a breathless and distracted Hubert a second to remember his objection. “Wh-wh-what are you doing?” he managed to spit out as Bartholomew crept closer to the bed.
Bartholomew stopped, confused. “But I… I’m just…. Isn’t this what you want? I mean….” No trace of conceit, merely a reminder: “This is heaven.”
“Oh no it ain’t.” Hubert rallied. If there was one thing Reverend Jarvis preached about more than the sin of same-sex simpatico, it was the Glory that awaited the Church members who devoted their lives to railing against it in Paradise. “Reverend Jarvis says heaven is a magnificent, eternal reward.”
Taken aback, Bartholomew gave his own body an exaggerated visual once-over. He turned slowly to highlight the hills of his behind, ran one hand over the swell of his chest, the other over the flat basin of his broad belly. Having been crafted by hand by no less an artisan than the Creator of the Universe specifically to thrill and delight Hubert, Bartholomew understood that his heavy cock spoke for itself; on behalf of the rest of his painstakingly perfected parts, he said, “Umm…?” He spread his hands, pulled a face: This ain’t exactly what I’d call a punishment.
But Hubert shook his head vehemently. “That there is temptation and nothing but,” he said, his finger ticking off every part of Bartholomew’s body Hubert would have liked to discover.
“Hubert.” Bartholomew smiled understanding and took two steps closer to the bed. “It’s only ‘temptation’ if you resist it.”