The Elder Man by Katherine Wyvern

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SKU 978-0-3695-0158-5
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Uncovering and divulging an outlandish conspiracy will put a hard bump into any journalist’s career, and Armin can only blame himself when he’s dispatched from Frankfurt’s skyscrapers into the depths of rural France on the unglamorous job of writing about a cobbing workshop.

Natural building is messy, dirty, and sweaty work, but it has its consolations. For example, Van, the greying but undeniably hot master cobber teaching the workshop. Sure, the man is a hopeless tree-hugger, with embarrassing notions about ancient folklore and religions, but he’s still worth a week-long fling, right?

When Van is revealed in all his majesty and power as a long forgotten forest god, however, the week-long fling might well become entangled with eternity, on the edge between life, death, madness, and immortality.

Be Warned: m/m sex

 

Excerpt:

Armin started undressing there and then and pulling at Van’s clothes.

“Um, can I brush my teeth at least?” asked Van, laughing.

“Nope.”

Van found himself dragged bodily toward the bedroom. He was still wearing his jeans, which were unbuttoned and sliding down to his knees. He couldn’t stop laughing.

“Okay, okay, I’m right here,” he said between kisses. He tried to either shed his trousers or hold them up so as not to fall flat on his face on the hard stone steps, but he didn’t manage to do either because Armin was all over him like an octopus.

They finally stumbled up the corridor and through the bedroom door and into the bed, and Van found himself pinned down with his ankles tangled in his jeans and Armin’s hand in his crotch, inside his boxers, and his head lodged awkwardly between two pillows.

“Look, honey,” he said, “I’m all yours. But I need to … let me…” He writhed about under Armin’s panting body and finally managed to kick off those damn trousers and then get rid of his underwear.

“Shit, things were easier when we wore nothing but a loincloth and a bit of paint.”

Armin sank his face into his neck, laughing.

“You say these stupid things all the time. Like you are twenty thousand years old or something.”

“Um, well, give or take…”

“Shut up,” said Armin, kissing him deep and long, rubbing the front of his body on Van’s. Armin was buck naked and already hard and ready.

Goodness me, what have I done to this young man? he thought.

Van had a passing recollection of the day Armin had arrived, so downcast and subdued and almost paralyzed with shyness. He smiled in the dark and arched to meet Armin’s body, feel his cock on his own.

Van knew that if he got another rough ride like yesterday, he’d need painkillers to get through the next day.

He was on fire to love Armin again, to share everything, every ounce of flesh, to the bone, and if it had not been a workshop week, he’d have let himself be fucked blind again and spend the day in bed tomorrow, come hell or high water.

But with the last day of the workshop looming, he thought this eager young buck needed to be steered in a different direction.

Hell, am I really growing old? he thought. He didn’t feel old, least of all with Armin’s quick young body in his arms, but perhaps he was not quite as supple as he used to be. That’s the trouble with a middle-aged human body. Damn this mortal flesh.

 “Would—you—let me…” he whispered in brief bursts between hungry kisses, and he ran a finger deep in the crack of Armin’s butt. The young man arched into his arms, his back quivering.

“Yes,” he said, half word, half breath, before pushing his tongue into Van’s ear, as if words were not enough to express his longing.

“You can suit yourself if you like,” Van whispered, lying down flat on his back, inviting Armin to straddle his body.

“Oh, I like, I like a lot,” whispered the young man, smiling and palming Van’s cock to gauge his erection.

 ****

Armin

He was quite happy to fuck or be fucked, but he had never done both with the same man. He was amazed and enchanted and almost a little humbled. Jonas had been an absolute bottom, and it was at least two years since Armin had had anything in his ass not made of steel or silicon.

He fumbled around, switched on a bedside light, and opened that little surprising drawer again. He rolled a condom down Van’s cock and slathered it with lube.

Armin kissed him and stroked Van hard again and lowered himself by degrees onto his lap, moaning softly as that warm, slippery living glans parted his ring by degrees and then slithered inside his body, such an intimate intrusion that he almost wept with emotion. It was so easy to fuck and be fucked that one could easily forget what an incredible disclosure of love and trust it could be. He took a long breath, and another, pleasure and pain and emotion clashing for an almost unbearable minute. Then the pleasure washed over him in mounting waves at every careful, deepening thrust as he filled himself with Van’s length and his own cock grew stiffer and bounced softly on Van’s stomach. After the crazy hurry and urgency of just a few minutes earlier, he had to pace himself, give his ass time to adjust around the girth of Van’s cock, and move slowly, with infinite tenderness, for himself, and for Van. It was really, really difficult.

Van seemed quite happy though.

“Oh, honey,” he said, dreamily. He lay quite flat, his arms over his head and a lazy smile on his lips.

He was not so much fucking him as letting Armin take his own pleasure out of him, offering himself to Armin’s need. Armin wondered if he was always so … not submissive exactly, but giving.

He went a little crazy inside as he worked his ass in waves and tight circles on Van’s hard cock, rooted onto his body, spread wide and full inside and hard in front, all at the same time. It was so much pleasure all at once, almost too much, and yet still not enough. He wanted to say something absurd like, Take me hard, please yourself, fuck me like a whore, but he had never gotten the hang of delivering dirty talk with any panache, and the mere thought made him laugh a little. Van stirred and smiled tenderly, caressing his thighs and gently digging his thumbs at the base of his cock, kneading, so that Armin’s erection stiffened and rose a little higher.

“What’s funny?” he asked softly.

“Nothing,” said Armin, but he was still smiling, delirious with happiness. 

Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 8 ratings)
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5/5
Joyfully Jay
Written by Veronica on 1st Jun 2020

Van is a natural builder with a rural preserve estate in the Dordogne region of France. He hosts sought-after workshops on his property to teach people how to build homes and buildings from cob—a mixture of straw and clay mined from the earth. Workshoppers are also guests in the cob cottages handcrafted by Van and dotted on his land. They eat from Van’s gardens and use the outhouses and live sustainably for the week or two, aiming to take Van’s lessons and share them. Most of Van’s students are friends of former students—lots of word-of-mouth within the green building community. Armin is a young, introverted freelance journalist who pretty much lost his career and relationship because of an expose article he wrote. The spin has made him a laughingstock, in fact. With his reputation in tatters, Armin’s aunt sends him to Van’s workshop in her stead. Arriving from Franfort, Armin’s sickly and prickly, recovering from an illness. He’s half-dead, pimply and appearing like a scarecrow on a diet. So, Van sends him out to collect duck eggs for a late supper omelet. Armin is immediately horrified by the rustic living—there are three cob outhouses! And wildlife all around. Yet, he’s also captivated by Van, older and sexy with it, who is both enigmatic and engaging. Armin is sure Van is partnered with Allie, who helps runs the workshops, and whose son adores Van like a father. Allie once fell hard for Van and moved on when Van made it clear there would only ever be friendship between them—even when her husband died mere months before their son’s birth and Van became a temporary surrogate father. They have a long-time and intimate friendship, but that is all. And Armin is glad for it because there is something electric happening between himself and Van. This story begins with a confusing prologue that claims it could also be an epilogue. And I think I might have liked it better in the end than the beginning. But that’s also my personal preference. The book is really a delight with intense descriptions of Van, Armin, and Allie who take most of the turns narrating. I had never heard of cob houses before opening this book, but I feel a bit inspired about it now. The green living, green building descriptions were really tight and engaging, especially through Armin’s skeptical eyes. He’s attracted to Van, and yet he’s challenging him on his constant conservation. It’s a nice give-and-take and the tension continues to climb. Armin notices the bas-relief details within Van’s personal space—a repeating pattern of The Horned One, or The Elder Man, a primeval god of the earth and seasons. Van uses Armin’s inquiries to share some of the legends of the Elder Man and bolster his reasons for sustainable living. Armin’s curiosity isn’t relieved, it’s piqued, and it leads to some dirty sexytimes. Think: that pottery scene in Ghost, not porn. Van is interested in Armin, recognizing the spark he’s been seeking for a long, long time. It’s hard for him to fall though, expecting Armin will be on his way at the end of the workshop. They can’t stop the building rapport and instead of becoming bittersweet, the men just let it ride. Once Armin decides he wants to stay, Van shares his biggest story of all. This took the story from reality to a bit of metaphysical, a touch of the supernatural. The blurb sort of gives away the game, and the prologue reveals the end, and yet I still liked the steady and methodical build from attraction to romance. I found myself enchanted, much like Van’s cob-building proteges. It’s fun and awesome and inspiring and uplifting. The mix of interesting characters allows their tidbits of backstory to bring the focus wide and let both Van and Armin ruminate on their odd society. One of the ladies thinks she can woo Van, which makes for a bit of potential romantic conflict. Van himself admits that he’s “open-minded” not gay, per se. When we learn about his history, its easier to see this is just reality, not convenience. I really liked this one, reading far later into the night than I could generally justify. It’s just a little spicy-sexy, but the themes of green, sustainable living were as engaging for me as the romance. I’ve never been to France, but you can bet I was looking up cob houses in the Dordogne on the internet thanks to the evocative storytelling.

5/5
ABSOLUTELY CAPTIVATING
Written by Sue on 21st Apr 2020

This is a story like no other I've read in a long time. Completely captivating and intriguing. Van is a natural builder who teaches others his way of building strictly from nature. Armin is a young man who is struggling in his own world. The description of this setting in the book sounds magical. You could almost see nature peeking around every tree. Feel the sun, watch the world awaken. The Author just gives this setting a beautiful, natural vibe that is so refreshing. You can imagine the clay and twigs under your bare feet. The characters are all so interesting. I absolutely loved this book. It's very deep but nothing about it is dark. It gives you something to think about and just to contemplate the possibilities. I found it beautiful and fun. It gives me a new way of looking at a dragonfly. I HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!!!!!!

5/5
Who Wants A Vacation In the French Countryside?
Written by Christine Porter on 21st Apr 2020

This novel is a complete delight, and the cure for the quarantine blues--or any blues, really. It's a gay shifter romance if you want to reduce it to bare bones, but there's noting bare bones about The Elder Man. This is a richly told tale, full of sharply-observed local details, natural building (cobbing), and endearing, well-drawn characters. Armin is a free-lance writer whose career— and complexion— are on the rocks, a stressed-out, iPhone-bound city boy who comes to the French countryside to write about the natural building workshops given by Van, a charismatic gent quite a bit older than he. There’s also a pizza oven that looks sort of like a dragon, a conspiracy theory, mythology, magic trees, antlers, and mud. Lots and lots of mud. There's a child character, Michel, who will steal your heart. And the world's sweetest tale about dragonflies. The love scenes are hot--and even cosmic. Van's charisma turns out to be...well, no spoilers. My only criticism was that The Elder Man wasn't longer! I wanted to spend more time with these folks, even when I was sure of the happy ending. This book has true soul--along with brains and steam to spare. I’d love a sequel!

5/5
A Beautifully Written Departure from Typical Romance
Written by JMH on 21st Apr 2020

This beautifully written book is as much a meditation on life as a romance - which I find refreshing, as the characters are vibrantly real and fascinating, and Van's perspectives so simple and yet profound. Though I confess I am not about to decamp for his lifestyle, he has a lot of points you can ponder regardless. The romance is part of an organic whole in a way that fits perfectly with the themes. If you want something which makes you think, something different than your typical romance novel, and you like realism and beauty over high drama, this book is for you.

5/5
Enchanting m/m story
Written by Ceit Kelly on 21st Apr 2020

Really enjoyed this magical novel. The language and images are vibrant and poetic and I hope more people pick this up and enjoy it. It’s a little like an m/m version of Nina George’s ‘Little Breton Bistro’. Very much focussed on the people with minimal ‘action’ more about nature and natural magic. A wonderfully quiet and uplifting read.

5/5
Magical realism at its best
Written by Katerina Ross on 19th Apr 2020

If you want a feel-good read, that’s the right choice for you. The setting, a place in Dordogne, is so vividly described that you get the feeling of being present there, surrounded by sentinel trees, fragrant herbs, dragonflies zooming around the garden - and the element of magic is subtly interwoven into all this. Also, the characters are hugely likable, including minor ones, especially Jade the hound :) And I can’t but mention the scene of painting skin with wet clay - it’s sooo erotic and beautiful!

5/5
Who Wants A Vacation In The French Countryside?
Written by Aletta Thorne on 18th Apr 2020

This novel is a complete delight, and the cure for the quarantine blues--or any blues, really. It's a gay shifter romance if you want to reduce it to bare bones, but there's noting bare bones about The Elder Man. This is a richly told tale, full of sharply-observed local details, natural building (cobbing), and endearing, well-drawn characters. Armin is a free-lance writer whose career— and complexion— are on the rocks, a stressed-out, iPhone-bound city boy who comes to the French countryside to write about the natural building workshops given by Van, a charismatic gent quite a bit older than he. There’s also a pizza oven that looks sort of like a dragon, a conspiracy theory, mythology, magic trees, antlers, and mud. Lots and lots of mud. There's a child character, Michel, who will steal your heart. And the world's sweetest tale about dragonflies. The love scenes are hot--and even cosmic. Van's charisma turns out to be...well, no spoilers. My only criticism was that The Elder Man wasn't longer! I wanted to spend more time with these folks, even when I was sure of the happy ending. This book has true soul--along with brains and steam to spare. I’d love a sequel!

5/5
Beautifully Written, Organic Love Story
Written by Jessie on 15th Apr 2020

With the world as chaotic and troubling as it is right now, this book was a nice, soothing break. It is as much a meditation on life as a romance - which I find refreshing, as the characters are vibrantly real and fascinating, and Van's perspectives so simple and yet profound. Though I confess I am not about to decamp for his lifestyle, he has a lot of points you can ponder regardless. The romance is part of an organic whole in a way that fits perfectly with the themes. If you want something a little bit different, with gorgeous imagery and unique characters, and without contrived high drama, this is for you.