Saturday, July 5, 2014

Query Kombat 2014 Adult Co-Champion

 Lara Rectenwald

I live in Pittsburgh with my husband and two cats, Chicken and Duck. I hold a B.A. in History from Baldwin Wallace University.


Adult Championship Entry

Entry Nickname: Lavender Marriage
Title: The Well-Adjusted Household
Word Count: 86,000
Genre: Adult Upmarket Fiction


Ben has been called a lot of things: doctor, husband, father, deviant, liar. His wife Alena calls him friend and her brother Iain calls him lover.

They live in Prohibition-era Pittsburgh and booze isn't the only thing that's illegal. Homosexuality is a felony and Ben and Iain don't care to spend the next ten years behind bars. Luckily, their sham marriages to Alena and her paramour Margaux are the perfect cover.

In public, they are the wealthy and powerful Blackburn family, heirs to a steel fortune. But behind closed doors, they are an improvised household of artificially conceived children and secret passageways between bedrooms. Everything is orchestrated. Nothing is as it seems.

When a conniving maid discovers their secret, Iain and Ben are arrested on charges of sodomy and homosexual behavior. The men and their constructed family are put on trial and it is up to their wives to convince the world of their “innocence.”

Their reputations, their fortune and the custody of their children all depend on this one, grand lie. They are well-aware that the truth will not set them free.

First 250:

“On your right!”

The bicycle appeared from around the corner while Ben was lost in thoughts of covalent bonds and chemical reactions. There was no time to avoid impact. His beakers hit the pavement first, followed by his face.

“Jesus Christ, I've killed him. Hello? Can you hear me?”

Ben rolled to his back, coughing from the impact. “Left. You were on my left.”

“Pardon?” The cyclist hovered over him, surveying the damage. “Goodness. You're bleeding.”

Ben sat up slowly, poking at his cheek where a shard of glass had lodged. His vision was blurry, though his spectacles were still somehow perched on his nose. Perhaps he had been concussed.

“Please, let me help you.” The young man grabbed Ben's arm and pulled him to his feet. “I do apologize. I've never run over anyone before.”

Ben dusted off his trousers, struggling to keep his temper in check. “I find that hard to believe, sir. Furthermore, I–” The words died in his throat as he took in the full visage of his assailant. He was beautiful, with an easy smile and grey eyes. “I, um, my class...” Ben gestured to the mess of books and glass on the ground, struggling to regain his train of thought.

“Your class?” The young man leaned in closer, inspecting Ben's wound. “I'm afraid you have blood all over you.”

He smelled lovely, like Eau de Quinine. Ben exhaled sharply. “Be that as it may, sir–”

“– it's Iain, actually,” he laughed.

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