A writer and web development freelancer, I. A. Ashcroft lives in the mountains of Colorado alongside family and his constant feline companion, Potato. Ashcroft has published two original sci-fi/fantasy novels, is hard at work on the third in the series, and has been writing for fandoms for over a decade, loving stories that emphasize unlikely bonds, mythology, magic, and hope in the darkness. In between storytelling efforts, he enjoys cooking, fiddling with technology projects, and rolling dice with friends while wearing funny hats.
Story Title: Harmony
tags: be gay do crimes, bipoc character, homosexual character, meet cute, mlm, transgender character, non-graphic sexual content
(note that we’ve been doing a tag overhaul on this and all our stories, so the tags in these posts may end up tweaked, mostly to be sure we’ve standardized the language throughout this anthology and across our other publications)
Magic wasn’t something to be flung about; it could weave in ways unpredictable. But what Toby called on now was a simple, harmless sigil. Quick! Discreet! Nothing that would call the attention of the Guild. Harmony, he traced over the paper cup with his forefinger and thumb, so the flavors within would meld precisely the way they were meant to.
A glimmer flared from the paper’s surface. Then it was gone, and the casting was done. Caleb would love his coffee and forgive all… hopefully.
“Here you are,” Toby said with his most friendly smile. “Sorry for the extra wait.”
The proffered beverage was taken. Caleb closed his lips carefully around the edge, sampling the brew so smote with caffeine it might launch another soul into space. “Mm,” he said neutrally, nodding with what might have been approval.
Then his expressive eyebrow rose. Pearly teeth glimmered in a smile. Toby’s stomach dropped somewhere near the vicinity of his ankles, and he could only smile back like enthusiasm would make the sun rise faster to save him.
“Thank you,” Caleb said, popping a dollar in the tip jar. His eyes peeled away ever so slowly as he drove off.
Looks like Caleb sees something about his barista that he likes. What might it be?