Edge of Desperation by Nat Kennedy
Assistant Professor Reggie Wolfe has simple goals: to help his engineering students succeed and to stop male Wielders from falling into Taint without drawing attention from the Bureau of Wielder Services. A select few can Wield the Nerve of the World. Women Wielders do so freely, without any repercussions. For men, it’s another story. They fight Taint and Corruption for the same power.
Reggie’s easy life upends when Kyle, a young male Wielder, lands at his feet, trapped in his Taint and pursued by the very criminal Wielder cults the Bureau is fighting. As the two work to control Kyle’s Taint, Reggie realizes he will do everything he can to help Kyle, even follow him into darkness.
Edge of Desperation is the exciting opening novella to the Wielder World series—gay urban fantasy full of magic, suspense, and dedication born of trial and blood.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 3 – PG-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
In the book, Dune, the Bene Gesserit were a group of women who had a special power, but when a man was born with the power, he was able to use it above and beyond the women. That was the initial spark to this story, what if in my female dominated world a man was able to use the power the same as a woman, or even have the skill beyond what a woman could do.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted a mix of personalities and moral compasses in my characters so they could interact in both positive and negative ways.
Reggie is my straight-laced, by the book professor who had a wild youth and was reformed. Wanting to help others is his driving goal.
Kyle is young still and not wanting anything to hold him back or pigeonhole him. He sees something he wants and goes after it. Personal interest over that of the greater good.
“Are you a student at the university?” Reggie asked the young man he'd found in the bushes at the park.
Kyle nodded, his sharp gaze considering. “Comp Sci. Junior. Name’s Kyle.”
There. Progress. Reggie leaned back in his chair, his own creaking under the change in pressure. “I feed you and you trust me?”
Kyle laughed. A breezy kind of melody that Reggie couldn’t help but respond to. His smile was automatic and his stupid roaming gaze was too. Reggie, you’re being creepy, he scolded himself.
“Yeah, well Reggie, maybe I’m like a stray dog. You feed me and I never go away.” He leaned into a lazy posture that suggested he owned the kitchen, the town, the whole world if he chose. Cocky little shit.
“Just don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” Reggie wasn’t sure when the tables had turned and this kid had taken control of the conversation. He had to regain some footing. “Kyle, I want you to know, you don’t have to join the cults. I know—”
Kyle’s hackles rose and his studiously casual slouch disappeared. “Oh come on, man. Please, no lectures this early in the morning.”
“Besides, I am not a cult member. That guy in the park was trying to recruit,” he drew out the word, “but I was having none of it.”
“Good.” Reggie felt the tension ease from his muscles. “Glad to hear it. And make sure you don’t Wield. Your Taint is pretty bad. If you go unconscious—”
“Reggie. Whoa, hey man. Chill.” Kyle’s expression darkened and Reggie was afraid he was going to lose Kyle if he kept pushing. “I can deal.”
“Dealing is different from succeeding.”
“You know—” Kyle stood up, “I don’t need this shit from you.” He charged down the hall to the guest room. Reggie cursed himself. He could not let Kyle fall. He scribbled his number—the one for the second phone—down on a post-it.
Kyle, fully dressed, marched towards the door.
“Kyle, wait.” Reggie reached out for him; Kyle jerked his arm away. “Just take this.” He stuffed the number into the man’s hand. “Call me if you need anything.”
Kyle glanced at the yellow post it, at the single set of seven digits, no name. He crumpled it up in his palm. “You can’t help me.” He walked out the door.
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