I had a rough night full of bad dreams last night, and it's left me irritable and tired. My husband took me downtown, so that I could cash in two of my "roll up the rim" wins for us to enjoy guilt-free sugar and caffeine while he ogled a giant crane putting an HVAC unit up on top of a very tall building.
The bad mood lessened, but didn't really leave, and I've been quiet for most of the day. I read for a couple of hours - which always helps turn my mood around - and found that the next story up for consideration from Raising Hell suited my mood perfectly.
"One Night, Then Another," by Max Reynolds
Gabriel is a young man trying to educate his way out of a squalid piece of the city, and building up funds to pay for the classes turning quick tricks. He tries to avoid his alcoholic mother, his abusive brother, and wishes very much that they - and the whole council building they lived in - would just go up in flames. He meets a hot man on the dance floor who takes his mind off his troubles by filling it with lust instead, and things take a turn for the darker.
There are two seductions going on in this story. One is the obvious lust-inspired seduction that Gabriel finds with the stranger. The other, though, is the seduction of having an easy way of getting rid of the dirty parts of his life and turning his back on those things he wishes would just go away. Both play out in an equal tempo, and the end leaves you in little doubt of both satisfaction and the cost of satisfaction.