Breathlessly by Heather Relken
On Earth, we call them the Skyscrapers, or Whalemen. Giant, 400-foot tall creatures that are generally docile but have a nasty habit of taking people home as souvenirs. I was terrified when that massive orange cyclops showed up in my part of town and reached to pluck me up, but…turns out they take really good care of their pets.
This place is a sanctuary. Bordered with tall walls and no escape, but the wilderness inside is a haven.
Too bad the colony of humans already living here hate my gay ass. Only took me a few months to decide to take my jelly mattress and fuck off to the sandy beachfront and live there for the rest of my solitary life.
Until Vano. A Væliāḷu, a race of amphibious people, is dropped in from the sky to live in the lake I’ve set up home at. Did I mean to fall in love with what is basically an alien merman? No, no of course not. But Vano’s an amazing man and it’s been a while since someone was so genuinely nice to me. And Væliāḷu have a physical reaction to falling in love, their bodies shifting to represent that life-bond they share. When his happened, I…I thought I’d found my soulmate.
Until Mri. A female of his race, but this one on her deathbed. She’s got hardly a month left before her body shuts down for good, some fucked up evolutionary trait deciding that because she hasn’t had kids yet she’s not worth keeping alive. Which means Vano has some massive, sudden responsibilities to take care of. But she’s the damn sweetest person I’ve ever met, and I’m not surprised we fell in love at first sight.
That doesn’t make her impending doom any easier to swallow, but if she’s able to have kids soon enough, then we’ll all be alright. Won’t we? We’ll be one big happy family right? Right.
As long as she gives birth before her body fails her.
This is the FULL-LENGTH story of the short excerpt titled “Breathless”, also available on Kindle & KU. As such, this story “Breathlessly” also features men loving other men, and those men simultaneously being in love with a woman.
This story features characters who have vastly inhuman anatomy and cultures.
Some readers may find the use of that inhuman anatomy strange and distasteful.
If you think you might be one of those readers, I recommend passing on this one <3
But if that’s the sort of thing you like reading about, then you’re in the right place!!!