Book Title: His Wild Flower
Author: L. Grey S.
Cover Artist: Tjota Art
Release Date: December 28, 2021
Genres: Dystopian Sci-Fi/cyberpunk, Boys Love
Tropes: Enemies to lovers, slow-burn
Themes: Good vs Evil, courage & perseverance, redemption
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 80 600 words/ 324 kindle pages
This is a standalone book for now. It concludes, but there’s an open-ended silver lining in the epilogue.
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited
There’s ugliness in beauty, but there’s also beauty in ugliness…
We may be monsters, but we are each other’s monsters…
What is destiny? Do we have the power to change the course of our lives, or are we forever bound by fates formulated by the algorithm of being?
And coincidences – are they merely fluke occurrences or are they the results of a planned chain reaction?
That is the story of a man who has run away from his past, and another who is running from himself. Pursued by their own demons, the unlikely pair collide fiercely with judgements and misunderstandings. From enemies to lovers, the pair journey on a path to discover truths that they have been denied. But are they ready to face them?
Who is the hero and who is the villain in their story?
And what is their destiny…?
Looking at himself in a half mirror, he tightened his fist and the arrowhead punctured his palm. Staring at the bident tattoo on the left of his chest, he trembled and a tear rolled down from his eye. Savagely stabbing the arrowhead onto it, he carved and mutilated the ink of his past.
Covered in blood, he squeezed his built body under the tight shower, clumsily hitting the on button. Standing naked under running water, he lifted his chin, parted his lips and tasted the chlorine water. The ravishing man ran his thick and rough fingers through his drenched hair.
Blood drained like scarlet before waterfall from his mutilated wound. Unfazed by the stinging pain, he smothered soap over his sculpted torso, crimson bubbles dribbling down his rock-hard chest to those iron abdominals. Attached to his body were a pair of athletic legs and a perky derriere. Wrapped with unsightly scars, each told stories like cave paintings. He brushed his callused fingers over them.
Out of the shower, he raided the minibar. Cracking open a few miniature vodka bottles, he splashed them over his mutilated wound and roughly dressed it before swallowing a handful of painkillers, complimentary of hospitality Alice. Breaths slowing down, his lids turned heavier.
* * *
He peeled open his swollen lids. Painfully tied to a chair with barbed wire, he noticed he was restrained by his own signature Shibari knots. He chuckled to himself; only one madman would mock him with such atrocity.
He heard footsteps approaching. Pricked by thousands of pins and needles, his body went into shock when ice-cold water was splashed onto him.
Laughing sinisterly in a familiar coarse voice, the man beside him smacked Marcus’s cheeks and whispered, ‘Time to wake up, my sleeping beauty.’
His throat tightened: Marcus was voiceless. A sudden punch to his jaw sent a back tooth catapulting out of his mouth. Falling to the ground, Marcus spat out metallic tasting blood between his teeth.
Holding Marcus’s arrow-tipped blades to his throat, the man sneered, ‘How could you, Sheng?! You traitor! I’m going to take away everything you cared about!’
Hah… that’s me…
I am Sheng… I was Sheng…
Faint knocks from a distance distracted the man.
* * *
…they were getting louder. Slowly lifting his lids, Marcus was unsure if he was still dreaming. Stumbling to the door, he was greeted by Alice with breakfast.
Taking one look at the tray of mush, Marcus asked, ‘What’s this?’
‘The Director told me to bring this. High-protein mashed beans with a side of kale salad and toast.’
‘Ugh…’ Repulsed by the unappetising meal, Marcus took a slice of toast then chucked the tray on the desk and pulled a long hoodie over himself to venture outdoors.
Hospitality my arse!
Guided by his lens, Marcus left the heavily guarded building with his head down and scouted around Downtown. He felt as though he had walked into a science fiction movie.
The bustling Downtown was buzzing with flying drones and patrolling robots. Autonomous vehicles were driving themselves seamlessly and accordingly. Transportation capsules were travelling at super speed in transparent tubes which was around Downtown, surrounded by cloud-height skyscrapers.
Still trying to adjust to his new upgrade, Marcus’s cornea lens was being bombarded with relentless data, holograms and augmentations along with all the data from the Solar users. Dazed from experiencing the overwhelmingness that Stig had warned about, he kept bumping into people who were engrossed in their Solar devices. A migraine began to pound against his skull so he turned the lens off.
He wandered into a park. Sitting on a park bench, burying his head against his knees, he rocked desperately to try and force the pain away. A concussion had his brain mixed up, and he gasped when he suddenly flashed back to a pair of bloodstained hands.
I’m a coward. Everyone is dead and I’m still breathing. I failed to rescue them.
Guilt… Marcus was tormenting himself with it. He was nothing but a lone wolf prowling in a foreign land, purposeless and meaningless.
He took a deep breath… and ended up choking himself with a pungent stench of drunkenness. Passed out beside him (at ten in the morning) was a man hugging an empty bottle of champagne at ten in the morning. With thick, scruffy hair over his face, Marcus could not get a good look at the intoxicated person. Missing a shoe, shirt unbuttoned, half undone tie – the man clearly had had a bit too much fun.
The drunk propelled his guts and Marcus sprang away nimbly like a ninja. Holding his breath from the awful stench on his hypersensitive nostrils, Marcus caught the drunk before he rolled into his own sick. Laying the drunk down, he draped his hoodie over the man.
About the Author
Little Grey Soul
Eye for Beauty,
A Boys Love devotee,
A storyteller of fictional fantasies.
Root of the East,
With a voice of the West,
Blending them makes writing Best!
Little by little,
Grey celebrates the middle,
Soul behind my writing is for you to unriddle.
Rating: 3 stars
*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*
This novel was a mixed bag for me. Some aspects I really enjoyed and others I did not.
The premise itself immediately drew me as I was intrigued at the idea of algorithms dictating the fates of the main characters rather than their own freewill. The backstory to the world was well-layered and had many depths, but unfortunately this is part of the problem. There were vast pages of info dumps, which made very heavy and confusing reading. I really struggled to understand what was going on in some places because of this. It also contrasted against some other scenes between the main characters that desperately needed more depth but were over so quickly that they ended up falling flat.
The characters of Ares and Marcus were interesting, and they are well suited to each other. They each have a backstory that intertwines and reinforces the main theme of the novel. They are supported by a well-developed cast of family, friends and foes, but I did feel that there were almost too many characters and I had trouble keeping up with who was who and their own motivations.
The ending was poignant and fitted the overall novel well, but I would have preferred a little more closure than we were given, but this may have been because there will be a sequel.