Test, Allies, and Enemies–A Hero’s Journey Plot Point Featuring an Excerpt from Tam Lin: A Modern Queer Retelling

With a hero’s journey style plot, after your protagonist steps out of their ordinary world and into the new world, they’re going to meet some people along the way. These are little mini adventures that will give your character tools for the ultimate challenge. They’ll get pieces of advice too.

This is an excerpt where Tom gets some valuable advice, he’ll need to heed later.

When they were finished, Fergus pushed to his feet, offering Tom a hand. He took it readily. Suddenly the two men were standing a breath away. The tour guide reached around Tom to wrap a belt with a decorative sporran and cinched it. The younger mans’ breath caught when those same strong and nimble hands lifted to his cheeks. 

Gazing into his eyes, Fergus murmured, accent thick as the heat between them, “Ye dinna ken what ye do to me when ye look at me that way, do ye?” 

“Show me.” Tom rested his hands on Fergus’s narrow hips, parting his lips in invitation and closing his eyes. 

One, two, three breaths and nothing happened

Yet, the heat of Fergus’s ragged breaths fanned his face. 

Tom opened his eyes. “Am I misreading this?” He knew damned well by the poke against his hip he did not.

Fergus pressed into him. “Ye ken yer not. I want to kiss ye something fierce, but Aoife will have both our heads fer holding up the tour.”

A peal of rich, musical laughter, turned both their heads.  “If the tables were turned and I had that fine man in my arms, I’d not care if you were waiting or not, Fergus. Leave me out of it, you coward.” Aoife bounded into the room threading her arm through Tom’s, tugging on it. Tugging him away from her husband. The sudden shock of the hard and firm body to the soft and pliant one pressed against his side was titillating. Again, he pictured himself on her, melting into Aoife. 

“My Fergus was smitten with you from the first moment he laid eyes on you, but he’s a shy one.”

“What about you?” Tom braved to ask.

She made some Irish sound of disgust as they entered the hallway, Fergus close behind. “You look at my man like he’s some Highland clan chieftain with a castle and riches, but you look at me like a scullery maid you want to tup and be done with.” 

“I–I wouldn’t dream–I wouldn’t assume.” He had dreamed. He had a clear picture in his mind of how he’d like to make love to her.

She lowered her voice, “You dirty boy, you sent me the image so clear I could scarcely tell it was your fantasy, not my own.”


“My big thighs snug around your thin hips, my calves urging you on while you have your way with me.” 

 Shit. That’s exactly what he pictured. Tom blinked. “I–I. Sorry. What?” 

She snorted and glanced over her shoulder. “Tell him Fergus.” 

“Aoife can see every image that pops in yer head, and I–” Fergus tapped his ear. “I can hear yer thoughts as plain as if they came out yer mouth. Don’t tell me Ariel didn’t warn ye of our gifts?”

“Hush about it now. The others will hear. And mind how you speak. The Americans won’t understand you,” Aoife warned. She then released Tom’s arm, taking her warmth and lemongrass scent bounding down the steps with her. 

Unwilling to let her go and desperate to apologize for making her feel like meat, Tom took two bounding steps before a hand clamped onto his arm, yanking him back. 

A look of harsh warning filled Fergus’s erstwhile serene face. “Didn’t Ariel warn ye? Never chase anyone or anything through a door, lad. Ye never ken what’s on the other side.”

Written material ©Tammy Deschamps

Photo by BRUNO EMMANUELLE on Unsplash


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