This gay steampunk romance follows the globe-trotting adventures of young Mayport Titus, the sole scion of the Titus Chocolate fortune. Mayport’s father, an adventurer and entrepreneur, established the intercontinental chocolate trade using sugar from India, cacao from South America, and a factory in New Amsterdam, before he and his wife were lost when their airship went down over the ocean and left Mayport orphaned. Now determined to make his own way in the world, Mayport attempts to resurrect his father’s old airship, The Dutch Process, with the help of Thiervy, an intimate school friend who happens to be both a pilot and an engineer. Together Mayport and Thiervy not only rebuild the ship, and revolutionize the moribund chocolate industry, they bring a new way of doing things to the world.
But their partnership will be tested. Love between men is not sanctioned in society, punishable by death for airshipmen, and kept behind closed doors in the genteel Confederate society that they enter when centering their new business in the American South. And both men are haunted by their fathers’ legacies of madness and violence. What sacrifices will Mayport make to protect those he loves? And what will he find when he finally flies his ship to that worn spot on his father’s old wooden globe?
Chocolatiers of the High Winds is a rollicking romance in classic adventuring style, punctuated with passion and sweetened with chocolate. The ebook edition collects all 50 chapters of the web serial that ran on circlet.com from 2010-2011, and also includes one bonus chapter featuring a new erotic scene between Mayport and Thiervy… and more chocolate!
H.B Kurtzwilde lives in the wet, sticky, mosquito-ridden depths of Florida. When not busily avoiding alligators, he scribbles out futuristic and paranormal fiction, as if this is any way for a grown person to behave. His works include Phoberia, Guide to Survival, and Sea Turtle Inn, among others. Drop by his Livejournal or his personal blog athbkurtzwilde.circlet.com to say hello, or to make a donation in support of his artistic efforts.
Hot excerpt under the cut…
Chapter 3: Salvage
Mayport was deeply into a study of Cully’s rutters when the sound of a siren whooping high above the warehouse broke his concentration. He knew what it was from hearing it all over the ports when he was traveling. This was the first time he’d heard an anchor-line warning in the still of the countryside.
He put the books away as a high-pitched alarm descended somewhere out in the fields. The strobe threw crazy patterns against the walls, then the light and noise ended in an anticlimactic thud. He hurried to the window. With the anchor strobe cut off, he couldn’t see where the ship might be beyond the trees.
He opened the window and leaned out as he heard the thrum of the anchor line drawing taut. A disk like a pale moon slowly descended from the skies. In its glow, he could just barely make out the shape of a salvage barge hovering on the edge of the trees.
Mayport grabbed his coat and hurried down to the front door. He was halted by an arm catching him mid-stride. “Friends of yours?” Cully asked over the roar of the barge coming in to anchor.
“He might still be, if I’m nice enough to him,” Mayport said. “I guess we’ll see. It’s only a barge, so they’ll need rooms. I guess they’ll just have to live with the mess too, while they’re here.”
“Your buddies have scared the daylights out of the farmers, and probably the cows too,” Cully said.
“You ought to be singing praises to Heaven. You’ll be going home, if I have my way. This little hidey hole might be a treasure trove, but it’s no good to me out in the middle of nowhere.” Mayport pushed his way to the door and hurried out ahead of the captain.
He ran to the edge of the trees and climbed atop the stone fence as the flat-bottomed airship came to rest on the grass. The red and black bladder of the sail began to lose volume as soon as the barge was on the ground. A familiar figure leaped over the side and hit the ground running.
Mayport ran to meet Thiervy halfway, hardly protesting when he was hugged near to breaking. He had half-expected awkward greetings and apologies. Instead he had the warmth of a trusted friend in his arms.
“I brought the craftsmen you need,” Thiervy said. “The cost will be something else again. Father will take that barge back from me if I show my face in New Amsterdam after this. I’ll have to squeeze you for all you’re worth, or he’ll beat me to a pulp for taking off with it.”
“I hope you do,” Mayport said, and leaned in tight against his thigh.
“I will, but later,” Thiervy said. “Is that your captain? I thought he would be all tan and… um…”
“He hardly leaves the house,” Mayport said. “No guests or occasions. I don’t know why he leaves the light on. You’re the first one to visit since I’ve been here.”
“He must be quite mad, after being alone in this wilderness for so long,” Thiervy said. “Anyway, it’s too dark to show you my treasures. Is dinner over already?”
“No,” Cully said before Mayport could answer. “Young Master Titus’ guests will soon be welcomed in style. Would you and your crew like a beer while we wait, Mister…?”
“Thiervy,” he said. “Joseph Thiervy, pilot first class, but here as a shipwright. It’s an honor to meet you, sir.”
“You’re too young for a pilot,” Cully said. “Where did you certify?”
“Charlottesville,” Thiervy said. “I was at a rustic kind of school when I met Master Titus, but Father didn’t like me coming home smarter than him. He brought me out and apprenticed me instead. Either way, I’m not much younger than most pilots. I’d better be a good one by now, or Father will have my hide for a coat.”
“Don’t call me Master Titus,” Mayport said, not liking the teasing tone. “Why don’t you both go ahead and see about beer? I’ll stay and bring the crew on.”
Thiervy let go of him but reluctantly. Cully turned and marched away into the shadows, with Thiervy tagging at his coattails and chattering a mile a minute. Mayport shook his head in amusement over his friend. The crew came down in good order, and were glad to hear news of beer.
Cully had thrown open his second-floor lounge and had lined the bar with foamy glasses. Thiervy was leaning against the bar looking quite satisfied with himself. Mayport went over to get his own beer.
“Victory already?” Mayport asked.
“Within hours at most,” Thiervy said. “Or would be, if I wasn’t preoccupied. Don’t worry for him. He’ll get his turn if he wants it with me.”
“He’s much in need of it, I think,” Mayport said. “I have to be as lonely as he is. I would have taken after the locals by now, but they’re mostly milkmaids and think too much of me. Where’s the fun in that?”
Thiervy laughed, and slid closer to Mayport’s side. “So. What do you need a shipwright for?”
“I don’t need one,” Mayport said. “I’m a spoiled brat and want one. Who’s going to stop me?”
“You’re fooling nobody,” Thiervy said. “You’ve had me haul out supplies and craftsmen for a Hollander class vessel. You’ve found your lost ship somewhere around here. I didn’t see her on my way in.”
“She was never lost,” Mayport said. “She’s been completely disassembled, or so our captain claims. We’ll have to sort through the junk Father left behind and get what value we can from it.”
“Then you’re not really just being a spoiled brat,” Thiervy said. “You’ve got plans. I know you’ll go back to New Amsterdam even if you’re facing a judge. Cully might not let you go home if he knows the truth of what you’ve run away from.”
“He’s no more than a merchant, trying to get his cargo and head home,” Mayport said. “I know he’s as suspicious of the chairman as I am. I can’t prove I’ve been robbed if I don’t go back to make my case. If I manage to remain a free man, I’ll need Cully more than ever.”
“I’m sure he’s open to persuasion,” Thiervy said. “Better let him alone for a while, so he can get curious about what we’re doing.”
“You’re the one that has plans for him, not me,” Mayport said. “Happy hunting.”
Thiervy ambled away to meet up with Cully again. The two of them stayed close through dinner. When rooms had been prepared, Cully personally conducted Thiervy to his quarters.
Mayport stayed up to play host to the rest of the crew, glad to make them feel at home. Cully certainly looked better for the company and the attention he was getting. Thiervy was sure to be better company than Cully had been getting in recent weeks.
Mayport made sure all the little details on their guests were handled, then went back to his own room. Only then did he realize he had spent all evening with his buttons undone and hair in a mess, with his pencil and pen shoved in among the tousled locks.
“You look as crazy as you are,” Mayport told his reflection.
“You look delicious,” Thiervy said from the bed.
Mayport tried to hide his surprise. “Finished with Cully already? I thought you had stamina.”
“He only wanted to tuck me in,” Thiervy said. “He’s a gentleman. I shouldn’t have been surprised.”
“Good thing I’m not one,” Mayport said. He pulled his shirt off and turned to face Thiervy. “I hope you don’t expect me to behave.”
Thiervy lifted the blankets back, revealing his perfectly nude body. He had gained quite a lot of muscle since the last time Mayport had seen him like this. He smiled at that familiar invitation and peeled out of his pants. He dove into his soft bed and wrapped himself in Thiervy’s embrace.
He leaned in and claimed a deep kiss as he slid his knee between Thiervy’s legs. Thiervy moaned into their kiss and rode eagerly against Mayport’s thigh. Thiervy grasped at Mayport’s ass, dragging him closer until his cock snugged down into the narrow curve of hip.
Thiervy tried to push Mayport over onto his back. By pure strength, there should have been no contest. Mayport stiffened his spine, then sucked hard on Thiervy’s lower lip. Thiervy’s whole body relaxed into Mayport’s arms as he was pushed back against the pillows, letting Mayport have the control he wanted.
Mayport plunged his tongue into Thiervy’s mouth again and again. He thrust his cock in a steady tease until Thiervy grasped his ass and pulled him down harder. Mayport laughed into their kiss and rode faster.
“I’ve never seen you so desperate,” Mayport panted against Thiervy’s lips. “Should I flip you over and make a proper welcome? You feel like you’re on fire.”
Thiervy worked a hand between them and clasped their cocks together in a rough grip. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Do you think of it often?”
Thiervy’s thumb curved around the head of Mayport’s cock and toyed with the slit until Mayport yelped and twisted his hips. He leaned down hard and held still until Thiervy quit messing around, and began to stroke in earnest. Then he leaned in and caught Thiervy’s ear in his teeth, holding him still for the ride.
“Do I think of you squirming on my cock?” he growled. “Sweating, just like this? Begging for more? Desperate to satisfy me?”
“Yesssssss,” Thiervy hissed as he arched his hips up and drove harder against Mayport’s shaft.
“It never once crossed my mind,” Mayport lied.
Thiervy gave a surprised laugh, then pushed Mayport off him. He pulled the blankets down and Mayport stretched out on his back. He got comfortable against the pillows and tucked his hands behind his head, watching Thiervy in a rare moment of indecision.
Mayport spread his thighs and rolled his hips, letting his cock wag this way and that. Thiervy pounced like a starving man, pressing his wide-open mouth to Mayport’s balls and licking all over. Mayport groaned and rocked his hips higher, chasing the heat of Thiervy’s lips and tongue.
Mayport kept his gaze fixed on Thiervy’s mouth as it turned red and puffy with his suckling. Thiervy lapped at and kissed every inch of Mayport’s shaft. Then he dabbed his tongue at the head, lapping up the drops of fluid there.
Mayport reached down and fisted his hand into Thiervy’s thick, dark hair. He tugged only a little, and Thiervy opened wide to take him in deeper. He kept steady pressure on Thiervy’s hair while Thiervy bobbed his head up and down, swallowing and gasping as he licked and sucked.
“Come on, you can take it deeper. You out of practice or something?” Mayport arched his hips, thrusting his cock in a little deeper into Thiervy’s mouth. Thiervy yelped in a muffled sort of way, but managed to take what he was given.
Thiervy wrapped his hand around Mayport’s balls and tugged gently, easing their tension as Mayport thrust deeper. Mayport held Thiervy’s head steady and fell into their familiar rhythm. He thrust just deep enough to feel it was too much, but not so rough as to overwhelm that generous mouth.
Mayport gasped and moaned as his cock seemed to swell and throb. Thiervy squeezed less gently at his balls and Mayport yelped. He twisted them both over onto their sides and hooked his leg over Thiervy’s shoulder, pinning him easily for the taking.
“Touch yourself,” Mayport said, breathless as he drove faster into the yielding grasp of Thiervy’s throat. “Let me see. Do it!”
He felt Thiervy shift around, then his cock was vibrated by a lusty groan. He lifted his head and could see Thiervy tugging roughly at his cock. Thiervy was staring up at him, though his eyes were glazed with pure and burning need.
Mayport reached down and traced the curve of Thiervy’s lips with his thumb. The tender flesh stretched and relaxed as Mayport slid in and out. Thiervy groaned, then somehow managed to smile around Mayport’s thrusts.
Mayport groaned in answer, whole body going tense as he pushed in deep, then froze as raw pleasure welled up in him. Thiervy swallowed and swallowed, throat milking Mayport’s cock. His balls quivered then he howled out his satisfaction as he came.
Mayport jerked and jolted as he poured all his need and lust down into Thiervy. “Swallow it, oh fuck, so damn good!”
Thiervy groaned as he gulped, then his whole body shivered between Mayport’s thighs. Thiervy broke out in goose bumps all over as he pumped his come onto the sheets. He leaned back, releasing Mayport’s cock with an obscene popping noise.
Thiervy kept his mouth open, and Mayport saw the last of his seed being swallowed down. Then Thiervy grinned, extremely pleased with himself. Mayport pulled him up onto the pillows again and dove in to kiss that swollen smile.
They clung together for long, breathless moments. Then Thiervy sat up and made to crawl out of the bed. Mayport caught him by the arm and tried to pull him back down.
“I can’t,” Thiervy said, and pulled away.
“But we were just getting started,” Mayport protested.
“I agree,” Thiervy said. “But for tonight, we’re done. My crew is here. I have to be in my own bed if they need me.”
“What are you so afraid of?” Mayport asked. “Why would they care?”
“They wouldn’t,” Thiervy said. “You’re the one that seems to care so very much. Don’t be so demanding. You don’t really want me to sleep here anyway.”
Mayport pulled the blankets up and got comfortable against the pillows. “I wasn’t planning on sleep.”
“I know you’re not, but I am,” Thiervy said. “There’s work tomorrow, even if you sleep through the whole morning. That wreck of yours will never fly if you keep me preoccupied.”
“I wish you wouldn’t be so practical,” Mayport said. “You’re more fun when you’re being irresponsible.”
Thiervy finished pulling his clothes on and came over to kiss Mayport. “I promise to be extremely impractical with you very soon.”
Mayport felt his mouth pull down into a pout. “I can tell I’m going to have to compete with a boat for your attention again. I should have remembered that before I had you come out here.”
“Yes, you should have,” Thiervy said. “You’ll understand better once you have one of your own. Are you sure you’re not interested in telling me where we’re going?”
“New Amsterdam to start, but I hope it’s only a beginning.”
Mayport rolled over onto his side and propped his head on his hands. “Apparently, there’s a place called May Port somewhere in the south. I could show you on a globe, but that’s the most I know about it. There’s something there that my father knew about, hence my ridiculous name.”
“I never thought your name was ridiculous,” Thiervy said. “It sounds nice to me. Like a safe haven, someplace I’ll always be welcomed.”
Mayport smiled. “You’ve got that much right. I’m glad you’re here. I need somebody to be practical for me, even when I fight against it.”
“Don’t count on me for that,” Thiervy said. “If my working hours weren’t at risk, I’d have you tie me to that bedpost and carry on for the rest of the night.”
To read the rest, download the ebook today!
Chocolatiers of the High Winds is a rollicking romance in classic adventuring style, punctuated with passion and sweetened with chocolate. The ebook edition collects all 50 chapters of the web serial that ran on circlet.com from 2010-2011, and also includes one bonus chapter featuring a new erotic scene between Mayport and Thiervy... and more chocolate!
Also available in paperback!