This is a male/male VAMPIRE full-length novel.
Here's the NEW - Never before seen excerpt from Chapter Two:
Set-up: Owen is beginning to suspect that the man he's loved from afar as a vampyre.
Dragging his feet through town, Owen had difficulty keeping up to Maddock’s brisk pace. The man had speed, he’d allow him that. By the time they reached the bottom of the steep knoll, Owen drew a deep breath and gathered his strength. A lack of sleep and the unsettling aspects of his duties contributed to his weariness.
Andras led the way up the rugged crag, looking over his shoulder now and then to see if he followed. Owen lumbered up the hill—he could only think of it as lumbering compared to Maddock’s graceful strides—and focused on the moonlit path, matching Maddock’s every footprint with one of his own. He had an uncanny feeling the nimble doctor would have reached the summit by now if left to his own devices.
An owl screamed overhead, shattering Owen’s concentration. He lost his footing, clutched a nearby branch and groaned when it slipped from his grasp. Tumbling backwards, his knees rolled over his shoulders in rapid succession and swallowed up the ground he’d just ascended. A dull thud reached his ears and a white-hot pain shot through him when his head made contact with the rock he’d used as a stepping stone minutes ago.
Finally coming to an abrupt halt, he lifted his battered body into a sitting position with a moan that seemed to come from outside his body. He looked up and imagined a cloaked hunter riding through the night sky. Wavering between lucidity and the dream world, Maddock’s dark visage floated before him, powerful and sure. His dazed brain registered the improbability—how had the man appeared so suddenly?
The stars shifted and then a black veil enveloped him.
* * *
Owen awoke to strange surroundings. A heather-scented pillow comforted his throbbing head and fine linen bed sheets rustled beneath him. Surely I’ve died and entered heaven.
“No, you haven’t left the earth, Owen. I brought you into the manor after the fall knocked you senseless.”
His pulse beat a painful rhythm near his temples when he snapped his head toward the voice. He hadn’t said the words aloud, he was certain of it, and yet Andras knew what he’d been thinking. He rolled his legs toward the edge of the bed and attempted to rise.
“Do not leave that bed, Owen! You took a hard blow and I’ve stitched the torn flesh at the back of your head. You must remain abed for the day.”
He didn’t want to stay in Maddock’s house. It reminded him of everything he lacked in life . . . and everything he desired, notwithstanding the mere presence of the man left him weak-kneed and tongue-tied.
“I can’t stay; I must return. . . .” The room spun and he felt his eyes roll back in his head.
Maddock bolted from his chair beside the bed and eased him back onto the pillow. “You’re safe here, Owen. No harm will come to you.”
A shiver coursed through him.
“You tremble. Is it me you fear?”
He shook his head.
“What then? Why do you tremble?”
“I’ve never stayed in such a fine abode and feel well out of my element.” He couldn’t meet that smoky gaze, dear God, not now when he felt so weak, so vulnerable. “I’ll keep my promise and stay in the stables until Mistress Davies passes.”
Maddock hadn’t withdrawn his hand from his shoulder. “Tell me true, Owen, is it me you fear?”
Ignoring his question, he asked one of his own. “What time of day is it?”
“Midday.” Andras answered abruptly and stared into his eyes for a long moment.
“Why are the curtains drawn? Why do you never allow sunlight in?”
“You were sleeping, and after a head injury ‘tis best to keep the patient calm, the room dark.” He removed his hand from his shoulder, reached for a glass of water on the oak table near the bed and handed it to him. “You should have an ample amount of liquid if you’re able to stomach it.”
“Your hand didn’t bleed.”
“When you pulled the stopper from the pint of milk, your hand smashed into the jagged glass and tore your skin, yet there was no blood.”
He stood back, his gaze locked with his. “You’re mistaken. I assure you, the wound bled.”
Andras’s familiar scent—a virile woodsy aroma—wafted over him, wreaking havoc on his befuddled mind.
“Whatever your overactive imagination has conjured, are you certain your fear of me doesn’t stem from another source?”
Fighting a numbing fatigue, Owen struggled to process the question. Duw help him; if the man could read his mind, any answer he offered would be disassembled in a heartbeat. “What other source?” he finally managed, his pulse launching into an erratic tempo.
Maddock’s handsome face lost all expression. Owen recognized the man’s ability to mask his emotions, a skill he also possessed. “Forgive me; this is not the proper time for this discussion.” He ran a hand through the ebony strands at the side of his head and blew air out his lips. “I’ve prepared a tincture to help you rest.” Pulling a vial from his vest pocket, he popped the stopper with his thumb and handed it to him. “Know this, I’d rather cut off my hand than harm you.”
Owen rose to an elbow and sucked in a short breath. The tremor running through him was so intense the vial shook in his hand. He’d never been important to anyone except his father, never dreamed he’d hear such words from Andras’s lips. Fearful his voice would crack under a response he put the bottle to his mouth and downed the bitter liquid. Then he eased his head onto the pillow again, acutely aware of the stitches at the back of his head.
Andras remained at the foot of the bed, his dark form growing blurrier by the minute. The potent remedy warmed Owen’s stomach and spread out to his feather-light limbs. His eyes grew heavy and the sound of footsteps heading toward the door came to him through a tunnel.
He surrendered to the blessed world of forgetfulness with Andras’s words echoing in his ears, ‘I’d rather cut off my hand than harm you.’
* * *
Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter here: KETA DIABLO. I give three free books away every month.