Chapter 3 is now live and I should shed some light on a few things:
1. If it's not apparent by the end of the chapter, Brad is not as crass or crude as he may seem. Beneath his psychological and physical issues, he's actually a very intelligent and strategic guy. He's pushing for Beau to stay in the house to protect him for more than the stereotypical "you're my future boyfriend" angle in romance fiction. He's fine with Beau not wanting him and still wanting to protect him from Gary. Beau is attracted to him and wants him, but Brad doesn't know that for sure at this point.
One thing I felt that Beauty and The Beast/La Belle et La Bete needed in a translation from fairy tale to modern fiction was a better Non-Ownership/Stockholm syndrome situation for the protagonist to remain with the Beast. The french novel had Belle's father being indebted to the Beast, while the Disney version had the Beast imprison Belle at first. While I could have gone full BDSM mode, I chose to be more inventive with the scenario.
2. Gaston behavior is upped from how he's portrayed in Disney versions, but while people in the past would just shrugged it off as "boys will be boys" with his aggressive pursuit of lovers. I took a much darker approach to his sexual aggression. When I noted my story would be "dark" as a tag, I wasn't joking. He represents the greatest issues of modern society, a character of "Too Big to Fail" within an individual that allows predators like him to thrive and prosper as people try to rationalize circumventing justice and social order to make the world work.
3. I've looked around for a while and I have not found anyone using Lion to reference a prideful protective hairy gay blond man (like Bears, cubs, Otters, Wolves, Unicorns, and Twinks). Maybe I am being original by creating a whole new gay sub-type definition. If any reader knows of an author, who has adopted that title, I would like to know. Otherwise, consider me to be the first to use the term Lion, to describe a proud protective hairy gay blond male.
4. One of the interesting things I remembered working in corporate, even 5 years ago, there was a fear of being recorded in secret meetings. I kid you not, at high-level executive meetings everyone had to remove everything in their possession not just phones, but also pens, wallets, jackets, belts, and any personal accessories in case recording devices were hidden inside. Unless you absolutely needed it like dress shirt, pants, socks, and underwear, you couldn't bring it in. That's one of the fears of the 21st century, too many people have been caught in these kinds of compromising conversations. I consider prior experience and apply it to Beau's setting, if done like they did, it can also be used as a form of intimidation, metaphorically stripping you of any protection, while giving you terms you cannot deviate.
I hope I've earned the tag of "Dark" among my readers, there's love there between Beau and Brad, but it's not going to be easy between them, nor are the issues they face going to be simply solved with "True Love's kiss".
Edited by W_L