Kat is a horror author with writer's block; that is until her hunky best friend provides some sexy inspiration. Could he be the vamp of her dreams?
Bite Me by Imari Jade: (GLBS - M/M)
Beck Griffin had no idea what he was getting into when he accepted the offer to move into a stately New Orleans' mansion with three gorgeously pale men. But all it took was one kiss from Tristan Armont to make him forget all the spooky stuff he saw.
Mist and Midnight by Tori L. Ridgewood:
Stalked by a cruel and relentless vampire, Charlotte is on the run. Fleeing the city, the powers of magick her only protection, she couldn't afford to fall for the hot modern prospector Pike Mahonen. Can she avoid temptation in a small town, to keep them both safe?
Lahaina Noon by Sara R. Feldman:
Hawaii is paradise if you're just a tourist. For those who call O'ahu home, that gorgeous view is just another commute. Even if they're vampires...on Lahaina Noon.
Mine Tonight by Olivia Ritch:
Rane DaViedes does not need a beating heart to fall for the mysterious dying woman, but Cara Martindale's true identity can tear them apart.
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Click the story title to view each excerpt:
"Vampgasm, It Was A Dark and Horny Night" by Megan Hussey
"Mist and Midnight" by Tori L. Ridgewood
"Lahaina Noon" by Sara R. Feldman
"Mine Tonight" by Olivia Ritch
"Bite Me" by Imari Jade
Vampgasm, It Was a Dark and Horny Night
by Megan Hussey
“It was a dark and stormy night….”
Kat Maise sat before her computer screen, contemplating what just may be the lamest first line in the history of her literary career; mayhap in the entire history of the written word.
“To use yet another tired cliché, I might as well just throw in the proverbial towel and go back to writing my master’s thesis.” With a heavy sigh she leaned back, settling her rubenesque form in the cushions of her crotchety desk chair. “I just wasn’t cut out to write the Great American Bloodsucking Erotic Vampire Novel.”
Although an honors journalism student at Bennett College in Tampa, Florida, Kat always harbored a secret dream to become a paranormal romance novelist.
“Kind of like the dream I once had of morphing into a fluorescent pink unicorn with roller skates for feet.” The 22-year-old tugged with self-conscious fingers at her short dark pony tails. “And the one I entertained of becoming a back- up singer and backstage towel girl for Duran Duran.”
Heaving a second resigned sigh, she rose to her feet and crossed the length of her modest apartment, headed straight for the comforting confines of her basic camp bed.
“Maybe I can dream a good story,” she yawned, stretching her arms high above her head.
Her troubled meditation was disrupted by a knock at her front door; one that froze her in her footsteps.
“Who could it be at this hour?” she groaned, adding more loudly, “Who is it? If you’re not in possession of a pizza, some chocolate, or a hot novel idea, enter at your own risk.”
An answering chuckle resounded from the opposite side of the door, warming her with its deep, honeyed tones, and with its familiarity.
“It’s just me, Princess.” She immediately recognized the signature greeting of Vince Tobin, her best friend and frequent study buddy. “May I come in, or is it too late?”
“I repeat.” Kat flung open her door to reveal a tall blond man in a button down shirt and prim black slacks. “Got pizza? Got chocolate? Got an earth-shattering but oddly relatable concept for the next paranormal best seller?”
She grinned as her dear friend swept her up in his arms, pulling her to him in a big warm bear hug.
“Sorry dear.” He chucked her chin. “All I have is a coupon for Nella’s Burgers.” He arched his eyebrows, charming her with the twinkle of his azure eyes. “Care to join me for a midnight snack?”
“Top notch idea!”Kat engaged him in a playful high five. “A Double Heartburn Inducer Burger—with extra ketchup, of course—should give me all the inspiration I need.”
Mist and Midnight
by Tori L. Ridgewood
When the train slowed and shuddered to a halt without any warning, Charlotte was able to stop her artist’s portfolio from sliding off the vinyl seat opposite with one rapidly and strategically placed foot. Protecting her prints and unfinished work took highest priority, which was why she whipped one long limb, clad in a thinly banded silk knee-high sock out from under her, before thinking to grab the slim-line smart phone that just as swiftly rocketed onto the floor. Bracing the portfolio more firmly with her grey calfskin satchel, she cursed softly as she reached down to find her hopefully still-intact phone and her knee-high Marc Jacobs black suede and leather button boots.
Charlotte craned her neck when she bobbed upward from her search, trying to see through the patches of early morning September mist outside the 360 degree concave plexiglass window. A sign made bleary by the fog read North Bay. She sighed with frustration, and then again with growing anxiety, chewing on her upper lip. Only a few hours remained of the long journey north from Toronto, where she would finally be safe from the malevolent being following her every move and they were stopped again!
The loss of momentum did nothing to ease the nagging feeling that something not right, not natural, was still lurking just out of sight. She shivered, finally locating the mobile under the adjacent seat. Checking its functions, she gave up for the moment on her boots to fish instead for hand sanitizer and a lipstick. After removing floor grit from her fingers, she began to carefully reapply colour to her lips—the light plum shade would do nothing to protect her from her stalker, but somehow made her feel better, like psychological armor.
The light outside the passenger car was dim enough still that the glass beside functioned as a mirrored surface. It also enabled her to unobtrusively scan her surroundings, while she cast a search-and-protect spell around herself. Just as the magick dissipated, rippling into the air, without detecting any immediate peril, her eyes caught the amused gaze of a man in a dark brown jacket. Pausing, before slowly putting a final coat on her full lips and pressing to blot she registered not only that he was scanning her in return, he was grinning appreciatively at her—and holding her boots.
It was no wonder her guard went up, with a man like this nearby. Of course, he wasn’t nearly as threatening as the vampire who’d stalked her from the shadows for over a year, but he was putting her on edge, just the same. How long, exactly, had he been observing her before she’d noticed him? Long legs clothed in clean, worn denim led to a battered, dark chocolate brown leather bomber, straining over broad shoulders; the high shearling collar was opened, exposing a collarless blue linen shirt.
His grin widened as she turned and he held up her Marc Jacobs. Charlotte was startled by the beautiful strangeness of his eyes—silvery grey irises bordered by a fine line of deep blue. For a moment, she wondered how it might feel to touch the mahogany hair curling slightly over his forehead and just under his ears, to brush her palm over the dark caramel stubble on his jaw—would it feel deliciously coarse and masculine, or soft and velvety like a cat? He ran the tip of his tongue over his upper lip, and Charlotte shivered with a sudden wave of longing, bringing her back to herself. She couldn’t afford to fall for anyone, she knew, or even to have a friend—it was still too dangerous. Swallowing the unintentional reaction, she narrowed her eyes, and held her hand out for the boots.
by Sara R. Feldman
The apartment could have been subterranean for its darkness – only a dim golden nightlight illuminated it – but I could hear the roar of engines outside. At a lower frequency, their vibrations thrummed through the air and the bed I lay on, battling the low wine of the air conditioner for the privilege of distracting me. The city awaited the falling of night, and so did I.
“Oh, sweet darling, why won’t you be rational?” I never had much of a persuasive attitude, not even when I had body heat and a heartbeat, but now all I had was my fearsomeness...and that wouldn’t work for my silly, darling, delicious, frail little human protégée.
“I want to do it the real way,” Kristin said, and placed one soft finger on my lips. It felt scorching to me, but I left it there. It was scorching in a good way, and I thought I’d miss that feeling. “I know, I know,” she went on. “You’re all modern now and do it all clean and clinical. I guess I have to put up with that, but I want my last living memory to be of the darkness flowing from your fangs. You can give me that, at least, right?”
I pulled away from that tempting finger. “Haven’t you fainted enough times?” I asked. “You’ve started blacking out every time I feed from you. You know we’re pushing the limit, doing it way too often. We should just get the transformation done before I actually...harm you.” I didn’t want to voice the thought that had crossed my mind on the beach last night, as I raised my mouth from her lovely, salty, slightly sandy wrist...realizing, as the hot red glow faded from my mind, that the little human was limp in my arms. For that one horrified second I thought I’d killed her with my ravenous hunger, killed her for real, forever, in the shadows of Waikiki Beach. And then I’d heard the rustling of her faint breathing, far too faint. I’d drained her more than I should have, but not beyond redemption.
Hours later, our protector was making a great deal of splashing from the bathroom, and I was ignoring my curiosity as to how she could be splashing so much while taking a shower. Jowita hadn’t appeared very happy when Rasmus told her to stay here, but she was just going to have to put up with it. I wasn’t going to stay alone in the apartment with Kristin, but I also wasn’t going to let her go home alone...or let my sire steal her from me. Rasmus had wanted to take her away, I could see that, but he was kind enough not to force the issue. I would have if I were him—he must have been dreading the worst after he got that frantic phone call I’d made after I carried Kristin home. Though the streets weren’t empty even at four in the morning, my speed and intimidating hairstyle must have stopped any who saw us from questioning why a Goth woman with a Mohawk was carrying an unconscious girl in a swimsuit.
He’d brought the human blood, and had somehow gotten Dr. Booth out of bed, but he’d also brought the transformation kit. It scared me to know he thought it might have reached that point...that I’d reached that point. That she was going to die one way or the other, and the best we could do was to make it our way. Of course, it wasn’t anywhere near that bad, and Rasmus was kind enough to get the needle out of her arm before Kristen woke up. As far as she knew, she’d fainted when I fed off her on the beach, and I’d panicked and called Rasmus, who had merely brought Dr Booth as a precaution. Nothing was said of the bags of O negative he’d hastily disposed of, nor of the items in the underused cupboards of the little one-wall kitchen.
“I want it to be a surprise,” the human said as I ran a finger over the tattoo on her neck. The little bat perched atop the ‘A’ appeared to flap its wings as Kristen moved her head. “So don’t just suggest doing it tonight. Not that I’m getting cold feet, but I want to get to wonder when you sink your fangs in... I want to wonder if it’s for the last time.”
I snorted, thinking I didn’t want to wonder that again. And of course, that was when the moment was ruined. The intercom buzzed loudly, and I rolled off the bed with a sigh. If those stupid daywalkers were paying a visit just to be sure I hadn’t killed Kristin...no, wait, it would be that stupid daywalker. Nerea was still on the Mainland.
“Why is there a car in my parking space?” a woman’s querulous voice demanded when I picked up the handset.
I sighed. It wasn’t a suspicious daywalker; it was just my parking-space subtenant. “I don’t know, Mrs Wise,” I said as politely as I could. “It wasn’t there when I came in this morning.”
“Well, it’s there now!” she snapped. “Aren’t some of your weird friends over? It’s a big black limo done up to look like a hearse, and a note on the windshield says you have the spare keys.”
“A hearse?” I demanded, feeling slow fury start to bubble. How many times had I told Conrad to find his own parking if he wanted to ditch the car in Waikiki? My parking space was a valuable commodity, not something to be mooched when he took the fancy, and the spare keys were only meant for a genuine emergency.
“A stretch limo with blacked-out back windows,” Mrs Wise said. “It’s diagonally parked across three spaces.”
“Wonderful,” I muttered. My space was the end of the row; apartment 402 next door was currently empty, but the next space belonged to 301 below me. I knew for a fact the only reason the Hondas would have an empty parking space at this time of day was if Airi had gone shopping after taking the kid to school. That meant she could be back at any moment, and then I’d be in real trouble.
“Yep, it’s Conrad’s car,” Kristen said casually, her voice muffled. I turned to see a bulge in the weighted blackout curtains over the big glass doors on the street side of the apartment.
“If you could give me a moment,” I said, “I’ll call the car’s owner and tell him to get it. My brother-in-law thinks he can park here whenever he wants to.” I wondered if referring to Conrad that way was correct for the current cover.
“I’m not waiting!” Mrs Wise shouted. “I’m illegally parked, I’m roasting standing out here, and I have ice cream in my cooler. Why can’t you come down here and move the thing yourself?”
by Olivia JadeChapter One
Cara was so cold. And she could not stop the blood running down her legs. Baby Evan was shivering and whimpering and the cold was taking her mind and pulling her away, down into the dark of the alley.
* * * *
His babe was mortal. Rane DaViedes knew his daughter was completely human the moment he touched her. He also knew her mother was dying. Rane had smelled too much blood not to know when it flowed freely and dangerously out of the living. Sela was dying and she had given him a human daughter. The baby was his, alone, tonight.
The tiny, pink, slim female with the raven curls that had come from every generation of the DaViedes fit snugly under his arm. Rane drew her out of the birthing room. It would be a terrible place this night. The midwife had already signaled to him to find a means to feed the child. The goat’s milk would have to do until he could find a human woman to substitute for her mother. The lovely Sela would not survive the night and as much as he had admired her, she was lost to him. Baby Livia was his responsibility and as he slipped her into the waiting cradle, his thoughts tonight were only of her.
* * * *
Vampires smelled blood. Rane was drawn to the impoverished alley like moth to flame. He saw the female slumped on her side with the dead child cradled in her arms. Rane knew death like he knew blood. The child was gone, the wraith barely living, frozen, and blood-soaked.
Rane saw the pool of blood at her bottom and knew what had happened. She had given birth in an alley, in winter, in the slums of London. He had smelled her from Surrey. She had been trying to live then trying to die for some time. She was about to win…or lose…her battle.
Rane scooped up the girl and the dead babe and carried them to his waiting horse. He had chosen conventional conveyance this night, in London, in case, just on the chance that he had found someone. This scrap of a girl, who had clearly just given birth, was an answer to his need.
Rane, the vampire of the night who ruled London, mounted the midnight black stallion and the slight form of a girl moaned as he shifted her into position in front of him. He would not hurt her. He needed her. Rane would ask the girl to serve him as wet nurse to Livi. She would never have to know who or what he was. Rane could pay her a kings’ ransom. It was clear the girl was in need. She could recover from her ordeal comfortably and safely at Darkthorne and he would help this mother bury her dead child. If she did not come with him, she would have no means or place to lay her dead. There could be no better deal for her.
by Imari Jade
(GLBS - M/M)
“Good evening, everyone, and welcome to New Orleans, Louisiana. The time is now eight p.m. on this lovely Thursday. The temperature outside is a balmy ninety degrees. We hope you enjoy your stay in the Crescent City and thank you for flying Delta Airlines.”
Beck Griffin unfastened his seatbelt and stretched his arms and back after sitting for a few hours on an airplane from Alexandria, Virginia. He rose, stretching the rest of his lean five feet ten inch frame. First Class or no First Class, sitting for extended periods of time still took a lot out of him. And flying at night was for the birds. He was a day person and usually getting ready for bed or in the studio composing songs, or watching some reality show on television about this time.
He reached up and pulled the elastic band from his hair and the locks cascaded down his shoulders. He pulled it all together neatly and replaced the band. He wanted to make a good first impression and didn’t want anyone to see him with mussed up airplane hair. Beck grabbed his carry-on bag from the overlay and followed the rest of the First Class passengers out of the plane, past the stewardess who had been smiling at him since he boarded the plane. He found his way down the walkway and then into the terminal of the Louis Armstrong Airport.
Beck stepped into the men’s room to empty his bladder, surprised by how neat and clean the place was. After taking care of his need he washed his hands and dried them under the warm air blower. Beck checked out his appearance one last time. He supposed he should have shaved. Tristan, he learned, liked things neat and orderly and probably wouldn’t like the mustache and goatee he’d been attempting to grow since the beginning of his senior year in high school a little over a year ago. Oh, well, tough. He left the men’s room and walked toward the baggage claim to get the rest of his luggage. Hundreds of people in every imaginable race passed him. Several young high school girls dressed in green and white checked uniforms smiled at him as he walked by. Beck smiled back.
Don’t even think about it, a voice said inside his head. Beck looked around, shrugged and made his way to the pickup counter for his two suitcases. The rest of his things had already been shipped and should be waiting from him at Tristan’s place
Tristan Armont, his benefactor, godfather and his father’s best friend had been a part of his life for as long as he could remember. Though he’d never met the man, they had communicated over the years through letters, emails and telephone conversations. Tristan had supported him financially and mentally since the age of one and now he was finally going to get the chance to meet him face to face.
Beck had been raised by his maternal grandmother after his parents died and she told him that Tristan wanted to raise him but she insisted that he stay with her until he was old enough. She rationalized it all by saying that Tristan, being a single man, didn’t have time to change diapers and wipe noses since he had several businesses to manage. Life with his grandmother hadn’t been all bad. She taught him lots of things about life and responsibility, and she could play a good game of chess. The only thing she wouldn’t do was discuss his parents or what happened to them. She mentioned she’d talk to him about them on his eighteenth birthday, but she died a week prior to it.
Tristan couldn’t make it to the funeral but he sent someone to handle everything and to get his grandmother’s affairs in order. He also sent specific instructions that Beck was to close up the house and get to New Orleans as soon as he could.
Beck looked around the crowded terminal for Tristan after he got his luggage…not that he exactly knew what Tristan looked like. His grandmother did mention that he was tall and brooding, whatever the hell that meant. He didn’t see anyone who could fit that description, but he did spot a young man around his age holding up a sign with his name on it. The young man was blond and nice looking, and just a little shorter than him. Beck walked over.
“Master Beck?” the young man asked.
Beck nodded. “And you are?”
“Isaac Winslow, your driver,” the young man answered. “I’m also Master Tristan’s driver.”
Isaac wore a dark blue chauffer’s uniform with a dark blue cap and black shoes. He had a southern accent and a tenor sounding voice. He wore his blond hair short and he had pleasant blue eyes. Skin as pale as talc and long blond lashes added to his good looks. They were around the same build too, but Isaac was slimmer and a little less muscle.
“Please follow me.” Isaac picked up both of Beck’s heavy suitcases like they were feathers and headed out of the terminal.
Beck had to walk fast to keep up with Isaac. “How long have you worked for Mr. Armont?” He’d talked to Tristan thousands of times and he never mentioned that he had such a young driver.
“About a year,” Isaac answered as the doors leading outside opened to allow them to exit.
The heat hit Beck in the face as soon as he stepped out. “Darn, it’s humid,” Beck replied as Isaac led him to a stretch white limousine.
“You’ll get used to it,” Isaac said. He put the luggage in back, closed the trunk and walked around to the passenger door and opened it for Beck.
“Thank you,” Beck said noticing how close Isaac stood by him.
“What are you wearing?” Isaac asked.
“Cologne. What is the name of it?”
“I’m not wearing cologne,” Beck replied.
“Then why do you smell so good?” Isaac asked with a smile.