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Monday, 26 December 2011

Sessha Batto

Promoting our very own 
SESSHA BATTO

Sessha Batto
About Sessha
Sessha turned to writing full time after a twenty year stint in video production editing, scripting and creating motion graphics. Her first novel Strength of Will is currently being edited for re-release. Her short story Wintersong is included in Dancing in the Dark: An Anthology of Erotica. Her Celtic fairy tale Amadan na Briona is part of eightcuts gallery's Once Upon a Time in a Gallery exhibit. Her short story The Poetry Game is included in New Sun Rising:Stories for Japan, an anthology for tsumani relief. Originally from Belfast, she lives in the States with her husband, son, very old cat and too many swords.
Shinobi: Struggle for Balance - the exciting conclusion to the Shinobi saga.
What price freedom……when fear and self-loathing threaten to upend the hard fought struggle to find meaning and safety in a world fraught with danger.Yoshi seeks time and space, only to find himself once more at the mercy of power mongers and despots. When Makoto finds him, Yoshi is broken in more than body. Near death, his spirit recedes to find safety within, locking out all who care.
They say time will heal…
…but the path to acceptance is never easy, the roadblocks many and none will emerge unscathed as Yoshi embarks on a … Struggle for Balance.

Excerpt:The Fourth Gate - Winds of ChangeTakahashi Yoshi shut his eyes and concentrated, rearranging his view of the world as he contemplated the changes the last few months had brought to his life. On the surface, of course, things seemed much as they always had been. Perhaps that's why he was having such a hard time reconciling all that had happened.
A crack and a hiss made him turn toward the source of the sound, the corner of his mouth quirking as he realized it was merely logs settling in the fire. He curled more tightly into the warmth of the large body slumbering behind him. I never would have guessed the intimidating head of covert operations was a cuddler. His smile broadened as he lingered on the memories of the brief and tumultuous relationship he found himself in.
When Makoto had uncovered the truth behind his duties, Yoshi had expected condemnation. After all, he was the shadow wolf of the Takahashi clan, arguably the strongest shinobi in the shuudan. And a whore, the voice in his head was quick to point out. After years of hiding the truth, all his secrets were now stripped bare in front of the one person he wanted to impress. Of course, he would have figured it out, I can't hide anything from him. The master interrogator was too skilled at his craft to deceive for long. Still, it would have been nice.
The lanky shinobi cautiously shifted, not wanting to wake his slumbering lover. At least, I think we're lovers, Makoto said he wasn't going to leave me, Yoshi reassured himself before returning to his contemplation. If he were to be honest with himself, at least, it was something he'd been avoiding from the moment Makoto had pulled him, half dead, from the clutches of the Yakuza who'd been his last client.
I wish he hadn't seen me like that. Somehow, Makoto was able to look beyond his sordid past. When he'd been kidnapped the interrogator had worked tirelessly to get him back. The shadow wolf suppressed the shudder racing through him at the memory of his treatment at Kenta's hands.
Nothing's ever simple though. Now came the nearly insurmountable task, to get past the relationship he'd formed with his rescuer. The past he shared with Kazuki had kept them together until the spell-caster's death. Now that he was back home he could only hope that Makoto would be as forgiving of his willful actions as he was of those out of the shadow wolf's control.
****
Tatsuya smiled as he crossed the enclave on his way to the Shuhan's office. It was a pleasant change to see people taking their time to socialize as they went about their business. The knowledge that they were no longer under the threat of imminent attack had worked a kind of magic on the inhabitants, freeing them up for more normal pursuits.
By the time he reached the administration building he was whistling under his breath, and he took the stairs two at a time.
“Brother,” Tatsuya greeted the Kobayashi no Shuhan, leader in the shadows of Kobayashi shuudan.
“You don't have to call me that,” Daisuke protested.
“Okay, half-brother,” the clan head conceded. “He would have been proud to have one of his sons following in his footsteps, you know.”
“Pardon me for not getting excited,” the current Shuhan muttered. “He didn't acknowledge me while he was alive. Why should I care if he's proud of me in the afterlife?”
“You're right,” Tatsuya agreed. “I wasn't thinking. I'm here to report on the treaty negotiations.”
“Please tell me there weren't any surprises? Takahashi-san led me to believe that he was agreeable to the terms.”
“Everything is as we expected. I never would have thought Kobayashi and Nakamura shuudan would be allies. After all, Kazuki founded his alliance for the sole purpose of wiping us out.”
“I believe we have Yoshi to thank for that. Apparently he and Nakamura-san became very close. That's one thing our so-called father did for us, at least.” Daisuke sighed heavily, feeling, yet again, the weight of the web of secrecy the shuudan's existence depended on. “It is unfortunate that Kobayashi-sama's 'proclivities' nearly led to our destruction. We are truly lucky that Yoshi is able to move past the abuse he suffered at his hands.”
“I still find it hard to reconcile the man I knew as father and the pedophile those papers describe,” Tatsuya insisted. He waved his hand dismissively, as if wishing the contents of the Shuhan's office to vanish. “If I hadn't had confirmation in his own writing, I don't know if I would have believed it.”
“How did Yoshi seem to you? I expected you back days ago.”
“He didn't come out of his room for a week. Hideaki said he was mourning. When he did... well, he seems the same as ever.” Tatsuya shrugged before crushing out his cigarette and lighting another. “I keep expecting him to suddenly start acting differently. Now that we know what's been going on, I mean.”
“I imagine our shadow wolf's fondest wish is for everyone to forget they ever heard about his history. I've been cross-checking the records. Our dear father not only abused Takahashi-san, he bartered his body for treaty concessions. Even worse, he lent him out as a reward to our allies. Rin really was just following in his footsteps.”
“There's nothing you can do about it now, Daisuke. Yoshi's back home where he belongs.” Tatsuya tried, and failed, to hide the smirk threatening to break out on his face. “I spent the afternoon shopping with Takahashi and my wife. Apparently he had a date with Sasaki-san this evening. Judging from how nervous he seemed I think he's happy to be back.”
“Souta spent the afternoon coaching Makoto. Hopefully their dinner was a little less demoralizing than their last encounter.” The Shuhan frowned at the thought of losing the shadow wolf's skills. Unfortunately there was nothing he could do to smooth out the strained relationship between the two men. As frustrating as he found it, there were times where one needed to be patient and just let things run their course.
“Well, if my wife has anything to say about it the evening will be a huge success. You'd think it was our relationship she was trying to salvage.”
“Between your wife and my boyfriend they don't have a chance,”
Daisuke chuckled. “Get out of here, I'm sure Mayu is waiting. We'll have dinner in a couple of days.”
As soon as the door clicked shut behind Tatsuya, the Hokage's lover separated himself from the shadows, shrugging off his cloaking illusion and flopping down in a comfortable chair. “I wonder how the big date went?”
“I’m sure you’ll get a play by play in the morning, Sou,” Daisuke assured him.
“But I want to know now,” the assassin whined.
“I know you do. But if you interrupt them Makoto will kill you, and I don’t want that,” his lover chided.
“Oh, they’re not having sex,” Souta declared.
“And how do you know that?”
“I told Makoto not to.” The assassin shrugged. “I said it would be best to go slow.”
“And you honestly believe he's going to pass up a chance to sleep with the man he's been pining over on your say so?” The Shuhan arched a brow in disbelief.
“Yup,” came the smug reply. “He trusts my judgment.”
“Why?” Daisuke wondered.
“I snagged you, didn’t I?”

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