Once Upon a Time in Vegas

Cover - Once Upon a Time in VegasTitle: Once Upon a Time in Vegas
Pages: 105
Release Date: 2015
Published by: Changeling Press

Anteros, the god of long-term relationships -- and vengeance for the lovelorn -- is Eros's younger, not as well known twin.

Hoping to knock his baby brother off his moral high ground, Eros shoots both Anteros and Seneca, a prostitute, with a potent lust arrow. A night of wild sex is sure to leave Anteros too ashamed to defy his big brother for years!

Problem. Seneca, the well skilled and expensive sex care provider Eros chose, happens to be a single father and the only male siren in existence. It gets worse when, with the help of The Fates, Eros's lust arrow is turned into a pure love that leaves both men shaken and unable to cope.

You see, the sirens are under a curse never to feel love, and the god of long-term relationships does not do one night stands...

What happens next? Only Vegas knows...

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"Get a haircut, you hippie."

"I'm out." Anteros threw his hands in the air as he rose to his feet. Disgust was plain on his face as he stared down at his older brother.

The ne'er-do-well was in another drunken haze, hefting a golden goblet to his lips--filled with Uncle Den's best brew, no doubt. His state of disarray was shameful, his feathers ungroomed, his short blond hair a tousled mess that looked like it hadn't seen a comb in days.

"No, wait." Eros, better known by his government name, Cupid, struggled to sit up from his ungainly slouch and waved at his younger brother. "Wait. Just a minute..."

"What do you want, Eros?" Anteros ran his hands through his hair before turning to face his twin, frustration clearly showing in the lines of his body.

"I just wanted to, you know, check your plans for the day."

"The day?"

"My day."

"Your day is not really your day," Anteros pointed out, wrinkling his nose as his brother squawked in indignation. "It is not, Eros. It is a day for people to bless the stupidity of a Roman priest who was marrying people against the wishes of the army and got beaten to death and his head chopped off for his troubles."

"You would bring that up," Eros groused.

"It is the truth." Anteros pointed at his brother. "So you need to stop acting all high and mighty. It could have just as easily been Aphrodite day. They just needed someone to represent young love."

Eros cut him a side eye and a nasty smirk before he sang to him, "Jealous, much?"

"Right..." he drawled, shaking his head sadly. "I am so out of here." Anteros turned away, shaking his head at his brother's antics. "I don't even know why I bother."

"Because you love me." Anteros blinked as his brother just popped up in front of him. The blond bastard had a habit of doing that. Anteros stared into green eyes that were nearly identical in shape to his silver ones and blew out a breath.

"Just because I love you doesn't mean I have to like you."

"But you do," Eros interrupted. "Like me. You can't help but like me. You find joy in my youthful antics."

"I find that you need to grow the hell up, Eros. We've got work to do."

"Valentine's Day work."

"Valentine's Day work," Anteros agreed, running a frustrated hand over his face. "Now if we could get down to the work portion of the evening..."

"You need to loosen up." Eros grinned, all happy and boyishly charming now that he was getting his way. "It must be hard to concentrate when you are in -- well..." He waved his hands at Anteros's suit, and the younger brother looked down at what he was wearing.

"What? What's wrong with my suit?"

"It's a suit, for Zeus's sake."

"It's Armani," Anteros growled, running his hands over the wide lapel of his jacket. It was tailored to fit his form perfectly. The cut of it emphasized the broadness of his shoulders and the narrowness of his waist. The sleeves were long enough to present just a bit of cuff, and he knew the contrast between the white silk dress shirt with its subtle red stripes glowed next to the rich cotton jacket. The two-button vest was cut low and presented the perfect framework for his red silk tie. The pants were cut to hint at the power of his thighs and calves as he moved and were long enough to cover his matching black-and-white socks. His Stacy Adams shoes were polished to a high glow, and his silver bow-and-arrow cufflinks and tiepin accessorized his outfit while giving him a handy place to store the props of his office.

"It's a suit." Eros threw his hands up as if he didn't understand why he was being cursed with a brother in a suit. "How do you let your wings breathe? Come to think of it, when was the last time I saw you with your wings out?"

Eros got that strange look in his green eyes, and Anteros recalled years of brotherly bullying that usually wound up with him being slapped around, nuggied until his hair was in knots, and somehow made the butt of everyone's jokes for weeks on end.

Anteros backed up slowly. "They breathe fine." He spoke softly so as not to rouse the green-eyed monster his brother could become. "At night when I am home."

"I bet you did something to them, didn't you?"

Anteros groaned softly to himself, wishing he had some way of diverting his brother's attention from his wings. It has always been a teasing point for Eros, the condition of his beloved baby brother's wings. Ares, when he chose to show them, was possessed of a magnificent set of black raptor wings. Their father was a hunter, a predator, the leader of the house of aggression -- the only house to bear wings -- and it showed in his every movement and in the elegant flap of his vivid black wings.

As his son, Eros had a set of ash-gray wings that were very much like their father's, but tempered with the influence of their mother. Eros's wings were more like owls' wings -- silent, deadly, and powerful.

As a god of long-term love and vengeance for love-forsaken, you would think Anteros would have a set of wings that combined long-term and violence... like a hawk or at least a buzzard. But no. Much to his dismay, Anteros was possessed of a magnificent set of butterfly wings.

"Butterfly wings can be dangerous," his father had explained to him once as Anteros sought sanctuary from Cupid's teasing in his father's hall. "Some of them are poisonous and they will eat you, given half the chance. Yeah, butterflies can be little corpse-suckers and they swarm -- oh, how they can swarm. Butterflies are really badassery in a frilly, colorful package." Anteros remembered the evil look he shot his father while seated on his knee, which prompted his first archery lesson.

"If anybody fucks with you about your wings, shoot iron in their asses and see how well they fly when I kick their asses off this hunk of rock we call home."

His dad was an awesome dad, but his older brother... "I know you did something to them, Anty. Come on and let big brother check and see." Not so much on the awesome scale.

"Back away, Eros." He didn't like the glint in his brother's eyes at all. Anteros moved farther back, which had the unwanted effect of moving him deeper into his brother's Las Vegas penthouse, and tried to avoid Eros' grabby hands.

"Come on, little brother. Let me see what you did. I bet you tried to paint them black again."

"I was three!" Anteros growled.

"And you were so adorable too, paint spraying all over Mom's bedroom when you tried to get away from our nanny and your bath..."

"Back away, Eros." The bare-chested idiot was drawing closer, his own wings flapping happily as he set out to torment his favorite target.

"You may as well let me see, little brother. You know you are not getting out of here until I see for myself."

"I didn't come here for molestation," Anteros roared, done with playing games. He was not going to back down from his brother like he had so many times in the past. He was fully grown, an adult, and a fully mature god in every way. He was not going to let Eros rule him.

And it was a scant five minutes later that he found himself frozen and chained in the middle of Eros's living room, his suit in tatters around his feet while his brother coaxed his wings out of the pocket space where he had them hidden and into full view.

"There we are." Eros chuckled as he tugged at one of his brother's silvery pink wings. "That wasn't so hard, was it?"

"That was a new suit!" Anteros roared, his curls flopping in his face, his chest heaving as he struggled to shake himself free of his brother's magical bindings.

"You can't win, Anty." Eros laughed, tugging Anteros's delicate-looking wings out to their fullest, making him twitch in aggravation.

As evil as Eros could be, he never hurt his brother's wings. In fact, he'd kicked the asses of a lot of little godlings who teased him about them. Eros reasoned that since Anteros was his twin brother, created just for him, only he could torment him. So he teased, and he bullied, but he never really did any physical harm. Still, it was frustrating as hell that even after all these years Anteros couldn't overpower Eros.

"It's not my fault people seem to be going for raw sex and quick hook-ups instead of a long-lasting marriage, nowadays," Eros went on. "It's just the way the world works."

Anteros grumbled, tugging at whatever invisible thing was holding his wrists above his head.

"Divorce rates are high, little brother, infidelity is on the rise."

"Maybe if you were more careful about where you shoved your arrows..."

"I've never had any complaints." Eros smirked.

"No, because they save them all for me," Anteros snarled. "Every one of them, every low life, philanderer, whoremonger, and slut-sanctioned heartbreak victim winds up screaming at me for vengeance. And I give it to them however I can, and you just go on to make more."

"Not my fault," Eros denied, pulling a wing over his shoulder to delicately finger his feathers back into place. "Not all of them are stung by my arrow."

"And the ones who aren't follow the example of the ones who are."

"Then they shouldn't get caught." Eros winced as he plucked a feather, and then snapped his fingers, magicking up a pot of ink and some paper. Dipping the feather into the crystal pot and using it like a quill, he began writing.

Themes: Bisexual, Pansexual & Gender Non-Conforming, Elves, Dragons & Magical Creatures, Gay, Magic