Bookmarked by smoosh
18 Sep 2021
You could do so much worse than Castiel. The guy’s sharp as anything, brilliant dry humour, and you know he’s good looking.”
“You marry him then.”
“I probably would, if he was on the list and not promised to you.”
Shattering glass muffled Dean’s reply.
“So, you do like him?”
It's no secret that the royal and patrician families of the Commonwealth marry for duty, not love. Crown Prince Dean Campbell should be the same, except he's half Hathern mercenary and Ghost Runner. He's also a staunch believer in free will. Prince Castiel Shurley isn't delighted at the idea of marriage either. He's happy commanding his battlecruiser, The Seraph. But he will do his duty and marry Dean because the King, and the Commonwealth command it. Going to neutral territory to get to know one another should have been easy. But with oracles declaring theirs is a God ordained love, ex-lovers and would-be lovers going after them and Dean's Ghost Runner reputation catching up with him, getting to know one another isn't as easy as it sounds. Can Dean and Castiel learn that duty and love aren't mutually exclusive?
Dean Winchester’s been camp manager of a science research station on the Alaskan tundra for thirteen years. Dean likes his job; fixing the camp trucks, troubleshooting the generators, keeping clueless undergrads and NSF bigwigs from walking into grizzly bears or getting lost in snowstorms — it’s all in a day’s work. It keeps him pretty busy, and this year his brother Sam's visiting too, so he's even busier. So it’s really not any of Dean’s business when some weirdo antisocial ornithologist sets up a tent a few miles away, a dark-haired blue-eyed guy who’s doing a “very long-term" study on birds or wings or something, and who never, ever takes off his big lumpy backpack. But then the new guy starts dropping by camp for coffee and... well, he’s not officially part of camp; he's not Dean’s responsibility; he’s really not Dean’s problem at all, but when a strange blizzard comes sweeping in, Dean gets worried and goes to check. Thing is, Dean's spent years in the sweeping vistas of the Arctic. He knows all about the midnight sun and the northern lights, the ice caves and avalanches, the rough-and-ready Haul Road truckers and the even rougher-and-readier wild animals. But even so, what he finds is much more than he bargained for.
Castiel had spent the last seven years living in his isolated cabin in the woods. It's where he chose to be, with his magic bound and his only visitor his childhood friend Charlie who refused to stop worrying about him.
He wasn't happy there, but it was where he deserved to be, and that wouldn't change, no matter what Charlie said.
But then one day a wolf collapsed in his garden, injured and scarred and covered in blood, and Castiel knew he couldn't just leave it to die. When he came back from a walk the next day to find a human in his kitchen, with the same scars and injuries as the wolf, and nowhere else to go, Castiel realised what must have happened, and despite knowing better, he allowed the familiar to stay with him.
Little did he know exactly how much of his life his new friend would change.
Castiel Shurley, pen name Castiel Novak, was once a confessional poetry wunderkind. Now, though, he’s 34 and hasn’t published a new collection in almost seven years. He can bemoan the vagaries of writer’s block and the challenges of parenting a teenage son while teaching full-time all he wants, but excuses aren’t going to impress his agent, his publisher, or his tenure committee. He’s in serious danger of becoming a washed-up literary fluke before even seeing middle age.
At the end of his rope, Castiel repairs to his sister Anna’s vacation home on Lake Pend Oreille, hoping a change of scenery will ungum his creative works. On one of their first trips into town, Jack strikes up a conversation in the parking lot of the local grocery store with the most beautiful man Castiel has ever seen, and that’s when Castiel feels it: his muse coming back after a half-decade of dormancy.
No matter what, he has to see this man again somehow. Too bad he has no idea who he is.
Bookmarked by smoosh
16 Sep 2021