Welcome to TnT Confidential! Today I'm incredibly honored to have talented author Tali Spencer coming in for a visit with her fantastic novel, Thick as Thieves.
Playing With Size
One of the things I’ve always loved to play with in stories is a size differential between the main characters, especially when they’re a couple. With M/F books this is easy because it’s built into reader expectations: An afternoon spent in Romance forums discussing the ideal hero would convince anyone that no man under 6 ft. should even attempt to pursue a woman.
Size differentials are alive and well in M/M also. Just consider how often a big strong alpha male is paired with a slim, lithe smaller man. Better yet, size difference is a staple of heroic fantasy. One of the reasons hobbits are fun, or Hagrid in the Harry Potter books, is because the size difference between these and other characters creates opportunities.
For Thick as Thieves, my recently released M/M sword and sorcery romp, I deliberately set out to play with size. First off, the characters were born out of my love of giant barbarians who team up with smaller men, usually thieves. Just take a look at this picture of a pair of classic fantasy heroes: Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Talk about a size difference! I knew I could have fun with that.
When I created Vorgell, I made him big. Really big. He’s tall and muscled and picking a fight with him is a bad idea. As a contrast, I created Madd to be small, lithe and pretty—but he’s definitely no pushover. He’s just unlucky. The fact that both men attract bad luck is what puts them in a cell together.
Throughout the book I have fun with their size disparity. The initiating event of the story is that Vorgell falls under the influence of hallucinogenic berries and fucks himself with a unicorn horn. It’s absurd to begin with—and even more absurd because he’s so big and strong. That the episode has made him horny as hell because unicorn horn is an aphrodisiac brings out all kinds of stereotypes for play and exploration. Is the big man necessarily always on top? What assumptions do we—and the characters in the book—make about a man based on his size? And do giant cocks really belong in tiny orifices? Maybe that small man doesn’t want to find out.
After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.
Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.
Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.
“Put me down, you son of a she-ox!”
“Quiet,” grunted the brute. What was his name? Virgil? Vogull? “The Baron’s men are probably chasing us.”
“I think we’ve got enough forest between us and them for you to set me on my feet. I have two legs… I can walk!”
“You couldn’t even stand before.” That said, Vorgell—yes, that was it—stopped running and, putting his immense hands on his captive’s waist instead of his thighs, lifted him down. A long way down.
Madd’s legs, numbed by the tight hold on them, immediately buckled, and he lurched against his rescuer. Vorgell reached a brawny arm out to pull him tight against his towering body packed with muscle so dense Madd felt as though he’d just slammed against granite.
“What’s your name?” Vorgell helped him stagger forward until the blood returned to his limbs. “You might as well tell me. I already know you’re a blighted sorcerer.”
“Maddog. Madd will do.” His name was little enough to share, and the man could have left him to the soldiers—or the baron. Even the ringing in his ears and the pounding pain in his head was not too great a payment for getting away from that man.
“Here, sit down.” They’d come to a clearing thick with fallen moss-covered tree trunks. Vorgell helped ease him down onto one of the logs. “You took a nasty blow.”
“Why help me?”
Vorgell’s lips, the lower bloodied and swollen, slowly parted over large, white teeth. There was no mistaking the bulge in his trousers, or the sloppy, tattered fabric stretched over that twitching snake.
Madd groaned. “Fuck me, you’ve got to be kidding.” His head hurt, magic-laced blood tainted his mouth, and this man was suggesting he might want to ride a unicorn-enhanced stiff prick?
“It’s not my fault you’re pretty, and small—”
“I’m not small,” Madd pointed out, that being something of a sore point. “I only look small because you’re huge!”
“Which puts me at an advantage. Among my people, you’d be one of the men who keep men like me happy.”
Madd knew well enough what that meant. He’d been keeping the baron happy for months. Unfortunately, his attempt at reversing the screwing, so to speak, had not quite worked out as planned. Sure, he’d ended up in a cell and plotted a clever escape, but all that had gotten him was the company of a sex-crazed barbarian and the man’s impossibly large and erect cock, which Vorgell had freed of its tattered coverings and was displaying to him in all its glory. His tongue went silent as he stared. That cock might be a monster, but it was also magnificent… rosy, long, and thick, with a luscious, big head poking free of the foreskin and glistening like the jewel on a scepter. The only way that knob could be any shinier would be if he’d been licking it.
He was utterly mesmerized; it came as a shock to hear Vorgell still speaking to him earnestly.
“You don’t know what it was like, carrying you, feeling you all warm and nice, and the whole time all I could think about was your sweet bobbing ass. I don’t even like magic users, not usually. But you completely enthrall me. I can’t fight it anymore. Take your clothes off, or I’ll—”
“Keep your hands off my clothes!” He yanked his straw-flecked cloak tight to his body. “And you’re not getting that thing anywhere near my ass!”
“I don’t think you can stop me.” Vorgell lunged, and Madd dove headfirst off the fallen log and into a hollow filled with last season’s crumbling leaves. He barely registered the barbarian’s babble. He was frantically searching the surrounding trees, trying to find a moon oak. “You’re too little to overpower me, and I overheard the baron’s mages saying magic wouldn’t work on me, because of the unicorn horn in my blood.”
Screw me, he’s right. The giant stood over him, lust burning in his eyes. His cock dripped so heavily it looked as if he were watering the forest floor. Madd narrowed his gaze and muttered a spell. Maybe he couldn’t work magic on the unicorn-crazed oaf, but he could damn well enchant a tree.
With a resounding crack, a jug-sized burl broke from the trunk of a nearby moon oak and flew through the air. It cracked just as loudly when it slammed into Vorgell’s head. The big man blinked, staggered three steps—an amazing feat, considering—then dropped in a heap.
Madd rose, brushing leaves and litter from his cloak, and pondered his fallen nemesis. Vorgell was still breathing and, given the magic in his blood, would recover quickly. Until then… yes, Vorgell’s cock was still at full mast. Madd smiled. He could definitely do something with that, but he would have to be careful. Magic, even in the form of a lusty and beautiful cock, could be dangerous.
Tali Spencer fell in love with writing at an early age and never stopped. Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college and enjoyed a series of interesting careers including respiratory therapist, airport executive, and raising three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to Lebanese cookbooks, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.
Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
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