An excerpt from Julius Juliet:

She pulled up in front of her parents’ small house an hour early.  Aden would be coming for dinner; Zilvie hadn’t seen her older brother since July, and was looking forward to meeting his new boyfriend, Darren.  She was excited for this  holiday season. 

They had all been in the kitchen, trading cooking tips and offering recipes, when the doorbell rang.  Aden went to answer, and quickly returned, shaking his head slightly.  He whispered to Zilvie, “Your husband’s here – but you need to go see him first.”

Zilvie went out to the foyer, and stopped.  Julius – all six feet and three inches of him – stood grinning at her.  His long dark wavy hair was piled in loose curls on his head, and held back with a sparkly headband.  His long beard had been braided into a series of tiny ropes, each bearing small flowers.  He had taken a great deal of effort to apply makeup: bright cherry blush on the beardless part of his cheeks, extensive cat’s-eye liner outlined in black and green, intense emerald shadow on his eyelids, a dark oxblood lipstick defining a pout.  He sported red finger nails, as well as numerous bangles that clanked together when he moved his hands. 

He had managed to squeeze his thick frame into a dark flowered fit-and-flare dress; the simple silhouette covered him from neck to mid-thigh, and topped a pair of patterned leggings.  Bright red sandals completed the look. 

Wisps of chest hair peeked out from the jewel neckline of the dress, accentuating the thickness of his beard.   The pearl earrings he had borrowed from Zilvie’s jewelry box were barely visible.


One by one, the others gathered behind her, silently.  Julius greeted everyone, briefly introducing himself to Darren, who stood a bit back from the rest.  After several tense seconds, Glen, Zilvie’s father, broke the silence: “What the hell is this?”  

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