An Excerpt from Run To Ground

Run To Ground

(#darkfantasy, #MM, #shapeshifter, #werewolves, #eroticromance, #secondchance #kindleunlimited)

Blurb:

RunToGround_medA savage and passionate breed of mythic wuv. Two men—alpha and mate, fight for their clan, and their lives, and to reclaim the passion one threw away when he left. Loyalty might be earned, but could trust be regained? There are no half-measures in the world of the Zhalazti. One will rule; one will submit. A new pack will arise. It is the law of their species and all will obey. Submit or die.

Tallin Undine, human-made savage wolfish creature. He was once human, now wuv-beast—a creature ruled by the moon—made through moon-madness and savagery, his human family slaughtered. It is a continual struggle to hold on to some bit of his humanity. Scarred by his former lover, a Zhalazti Luminarian of noble and ancient heritage, during a rite of passage, who then abandoned him, Tallin has clawed his way to some measure of standing. But now the vaida, his Zhalazti clan chief, his accepted alpha, has been killed, and the security of his adoptive nation is at risk. His mission—to bring back the man who must battle to claim his position as rightful chief against a Negraluna cursed usurper to the position. One problem – Emmanuel Grimshaw is the very man Tallin does not want to see again. It was Emmanuel who mated him so long ago, and then left Tallin to pick up the pieces of what was left of his life. But Tallin has little choice.

Emmanuel Grimshaw, of the Zhalazti Natasia, a Luminarian, born of full-moon royal heritage, walked away from his clan, his mate, because of the savageness with which he claimed, and maimed, a man he loved, when he was too young to control his beast. He’d gone in search of his humanity, and a way to tame the wuv within. But when Tallin unexpectedly arrives, any peace he thought he’d found with his human companion, Niles, vanishes. And it isn’t long before Emmanuel’s beast within rises and in a savage mating, he reclaims Tallin—binding him, once again.

Zhalazti wuvs, like no other; a mysterious nomadic tribe—not the werewolf of loric myth. Descendants of a Sumarian god and his consort, who birthed the gods of the underworld, and evil demons. Emmanuel will do his duty, but not without the human stray, Tallin, at his side. A battle for survival and love is about to begin. Who will triumph?

EXCERPT:

All things were dead in the garden, curled up, brown, brittle. Except there was a certain beauty to it in the thin veneer of frost that covered everything. From wilted brittle vine to defeated rose. The crystalline sparkle made it seem as though one stood in a vastly different world than that of human.

Tallin had waited. Upon his arrival in Vienna he’d taken rooms at a hostelry on the outskirts, near a densely wooded area, allowing him freedom to run when his animal urged him to flee the confines of the city. Mostly it occurred in the twilight hours. But it was early morning now as he stood in the garden, behind the elm waiting for Emmanuel to emerge. Having watched him for the last three days, Tallin had discerned his routine.
A smoke in the morning in the garden, to the university for lectures until mid-afternoon. Home to fuck his pet and take tea, not leaving the house again until twilight, and then off to the opera or some social event. Home again at two or three in the morning to fuck his pet again, before turning in for a few hours of rest. Emmanuel rose early, his pet later, obviously exhausted by the long grueling schedule Emmanuel set for them each day. So this was the best time of day to catch him alone. Today Tallin would confront him and then he would know what his next move must be.

He pulled out his pocket watch, flipped it open to check the time, closed it and repocketed it. Any moment now and Emmanuel would step out into the briskness of the winter morn. Being Zhalazti, the chill would not affect him keenly as it did humans. Nor did it affect Tallin in quite the same way. In fact, their kind thrived in the colder climes.
He scented the smoke of the cigar before he actually saw Emmanuel emerge from the house. Dressed in dark trousers and a white shirt unbuttoned at the neck, black leather shoes polished to an unmarred shine. His shirt sleeves were rolled back to reveal his dark, densely pelted arms. He turned away from where Tallin stood at the corner of the garden and stared up at the lightening sky.

He took the cigar out of his mouth, released a line of smoke into the cold stillness. Still a fine fashion of a man as he stood astride. Broad shoulders stretching the white shirt to its limits, tapering to narrow hips, muscular buttocks and thighs—a measure of the beast that thrived in his Lunaria blood. This morning he looked…human. More so than he ever had back in France. He looked almost tamed, so refined. A gentleman. Perhaps even more charismatic and seductive than Tallin had ever seen him.

“I know you’re there,” Emmanuel suddenly said. “You might as well come out of hiding. I can smell you. One does not mistake the scent of wuv blood—even if it is diluted blood.” He spun around to face exactly where Tallin stood. Tallin stepped out from behind the tree. Emmanuel’s eyes flashed, his focus going immediately to the eye patch and the scars on his face. Tallin didn’t flinch.

Emmanuel nodded. “I thought it was you. Why are you here, Tallin? I’m not returning. I’ve found some balance here. Some peace.”

“With your jijo? I take it he serves you well.”

Emmanuel’s eyes flashed angrily, a growl erupted from his throat. “Leave Niles out of this. He’s human and he’s fragile.

Tallin stepped more fully into the garden. “I know exactly how fragile humans are. I do recall something of their humanity.”

Emmanuel lifted the cigar to his lips and studied Tallin silently for a long time. The tip of the cigar glowed orange as he sucked. Tallin recalled Emmanuel’s special skill at sucking.
“You still have a fondness for cigars.”

Emmanuel released a cloud of smoke to meld with the frigid air. He set the cigar on the edge of the table he stood next to. “You should know. You were the one who stole the first box from Shiri. Have you lost your fondness for savoring fine things?”

“I have tempered somewhat.”

“I heard you have been named a captain in Hirmes’ war pack. You have come far in a short time. Few possessed ever—”

“Survive as long as I have?” Tallin said mildly. He should have died in the rite of passage but he hadn’t. He’d lived and thus gained some measure of respect. Of course, he’d not survived without cost.

“I wasn’t going to say that. We both know the reason humans are made wuv. It’s no secret,” Emmanuel said.

“Exactly. I was trained for it, wasn’t I? Treated little less than a slave—humans—jijos—were treated better than I was. But rikos are the expendable ones, aren’t they?”

“I helped you train, Tallin. I wanted you to survive, you know that.”

Tallin smiled bitterly. “What you did was give with one hand and take with the other. I never really knew where I stood with you until the hunt. Then we both knew, didn’t we?”
Emmanuel spun away. “Why are you here? Everything you speak of is in the past. It serves no purpose in bringing it up now.”

Tallin tamped down the beast and the memories. His wounded eye itched, the scars on his face throbbed with the memory. “Hirmes is dead, Emmanuel…”

 

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Now available on Amazon and, for a short time,

as a #kindleunlimited selection.

 

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New Year, New Content, New Site. Now Live

I heard about the #Patreon site several weeks ago and decided to explore it.  Adventure and research is part of the game when it comes to writing.

I have been contemplating over the last few months the best way to share a lot of what I do creatively. I had some ideas, but couldn’t quite get to the point I needed to get to and then a writing friend of mine pointed me in the direction of #Patreon.

There are so many changes in the publishing world these days, I’ve lost my three main publishers, and things are in flux. How do I proceed? I want to share what I write, but what might be the best way to do that in an organized fashion?

Perhaps today it isn’t just about creating and sharing the final product, but in sharing the process, and the life, and digging into the brain and environment of a writer. Perhaps, especially when a lot of worldbuilding is involved which allows for the creating of involved backstory, character development, mapmaking, language development, and so much more.  There’s story writing, there’s writing craft, there’s the writer’s journey. Being someone who outlines and storyboards, there are writing templates I use, processes I’ve developed for character creation, for worldbuilding. And then there’s the whole experimental writing I like to do, mixing genres, worlds, etc. I like to play with words, with experiences, with environments, with what-ifs.

So many people see writing as foremost a business. But that’s not where I originate from. For me, writing is not strictly something I do, writing is who I am, and a storyteller is what I have been from as far back as I can remember.  There isn’t a separation. The business of writing is a necessary part of that, but the writing comes first.

This technology age that we are currently in is now allowing writers to share so much more of themselves and their writing. It’s no longer just selling a book, it’s selling a world, an environment, a place of being and becoming.  Making choices in this dizzying social world of how to be available, how to share, how to take the writing journey into the world of a business endeavor is a tricky journey.

We make many stops along the way in a writer’s journey, some end up being vacation spots, temporary living quarters, an exploration of possibility.  Being on that journey has taken me to #Patreon and a slightly different way of share my world and my stories.  I hope you get a chance to stop by and check it out. The journey starts here: https://www.patreon.com/darcyabriel

Run To Ground now available on Amazon and a #kindleunlimited selection.

Tallin Undine was once human, but is now a wuv-beast, a creature of the Zhalazti clan, ruled by the moon, and made through moon-madness and savagery. With his human family slaughtered, Tallin continually struggles to hold on to some bit of his humanity. After being scarred by a former lover, Tallin has clawed his way to some measure of standing. But now, hRunToGround_medis clan chief has been killed, and the security of his adoptive nation is at risk. His mission is to bring back the man who must battle to claim his position as rightful chief. Yet there’s one problem—Emmanuel Grimshaw is the very man Tallin does not want to see again, who savagely mated him so long ago, then left him to pick up the pieces of his life.

When he was too young to fully control his inner-beast, Emmanuel Grimshaw claimed—and maimed—a man he loved. After fleeing his clan, he’d gone in search of his humanity, and a way to tame the wuv within. But when Tallin unexpectedly arrives, any peace Emmanuel thought he’d found with a human companion vanishes. And it isn’t long before Emmanuel’s inner-beast rises and he reclaims Tallin, binding him once again.

Now, Emmanuel will do his duty, but not without Tallin at his side. A battle for survival and love is about to begin. Who will triumph?

Hot Satin & Blood-Red Silk, an excerpt

Temperature high here today is set for 48F. Let’s see if we can heat up the week by starting with an excerpt from “Hot Satin & Blood-Red Silk.”

Hot Satin & Blood-Red Silk

Olivia once yearned for love and the perfect marriage. She thought she’d found it when HotSatinandBloodRedSilk_smshe wed sweet, handsome Ethan, never dreaming his romantic demeanor masked an abusive demon. Through her dreams, Olivia found the courage to leave him. Now, on a cold Valentine’s night, still recovering after the divorce yet feeling empowered once again, Olivia enjoys her freedom from love, with no wish to share this otherwise romantic evening with anyone. But freedom comes at a cost, and Olivia’s frozen heart and hungry soul possess a thirst for something she’s afraid to name. In answer to the call she cannot deny, Martin, her vampire mentor, finally returns to claim his chosen mate. And Olivia is more than ready to pay the price for her darkest passions, and to gain immortality. Karma can be a bitch–just ask Olivia’s ex-husband. But will her bargain with a vampire bring her everything she desires on Valentine’s Day?

Excerpt

It was a decadent display with scatters of black lace inset at the most provocative places. Olivia reached out to touch the molten creation, wanting to convince herself it wasn’t made of liquid fire, the way it shimmered beneath the lone spotlight above.

She closed her eyes as she absorbed its ethereal texture, imagined what it would feel like sliding against her own skin. But reality broke through. When would she ever have the nerve to wear something like this? Why would she want to? It was a garment meant to entice, and that was something she had absolutely no interest in doing. Her glance landed on her hand, on her ring finger, which still showed a shadow of the ring she’d once worn. Alas, she let her hand fall away and the silken mass drifted back to embrace the shapely leg of the inanimate model posed on the dais.

And yet, Olivia couldn’t bring herself to turn away; her feet seemed glued to the spot. She imagined the look of the man she would be willing to don such a sinful garment for. The perfect man–the embodiment of all she had once fantasized about. Before she’d met Ethan. Before he’d dashed all her dreams with the first punch to her stomach.

A whisper of an image formed inside her head. She tried to shove it away. Her skin grew hot at the thought of the touch of her fantasy lover. For the first time in many months her pussy grew wet at the thought of a man touching her. She fought against the image, tightened her thighs, tried to force the sexual heat back into its frozen compartment.

Try it on, Olivia. You’d look beautiful wearing it. Wearing it, and nothing else.

Olivia whipped around, searching for whomever it was that had spoken in that European-accented, sexy voice.

She saw him standing near the jewelry counter. It had to be him. Exquisitely dressed in a black suit, a white silk shirt. Pale skin, glossy black hair, mesmerizing black eyes. Her heartbeat quickened as she met his gaze. Recognition was just beginning to claw its way to the surface of her mind.

Ethan had been blond with light blue eyes and an all-too-easy smile. This man was nothing like Ethan. Ethan had never looked as dangerous as the man staring back at her from the other side of the store. Ethan’s rages had come out of nowhere, always catching her off guard. This man–no one could ever take for granted. Everything about him screamed dangerous.

Predator.

Run, Olivia, run. Her own voice screamed inside her head.

Too late.

The dressing room, Olivia. Go there now.

She knew him. She recognized that voice. Her whole body recognized that voice, not just her mind. She couldn’t help responding. Primed like Pavlov’s dog. This man was inside her mind. Not a new presence, but one that had remained in hibernation all these many months, the memory shielded from awareness.

He hadn’t said a word. She never saw his lips move. And yet she felt compelled–compelled to go to the dressing room. Compelled to do as she was told. Without question.

“Closing time in fifteen minutes. Please complete your shopping and make your way to a cashier.”

Olivia heard the announcement, but it seemed to bear no relationship to her. Instead she moved toward the dressing rooms. None of the sales clerks stopped her. None of them looked at her as she passed them. She focused on making it to the farthest cubicle from the activity in the store.

Silence. Barely a whisper of sound. Perfect.

Olivia slipped inside, closed and locked the door, shutting out the last vestiges of the voices of the clerks and the echoing footsteps of straggling customers in the store. She closed her eyes, took a deep shuddering breath, then opened them again, and stared into the mirror, gazed at her own reflection. He didn’t have to tell her. This was it. She’d waited a long time. Slowly she removed her clothing.

Olivia dropped her purse and then her gloves. Her coat followed. Her black cotton shirt, her black and white checked wool skirt, her white nylon slip.

She stared at her reflection in the mirror–at the lacy white bra and matching satin bikini panties, the nude colored pantyhose. She took inventory of the scars at her hips, her shoulder, her thigh. The slender expensive gold watch on her wrist. A gift from Ethan after her last stay in the hospital for her broken shoulder. She heard the loud chiming of the antique clock at the center of the store. Cinderella came to mind. Time no longer mattered. She didn’t shudder when a cold draft of air skimmed across her skin, like ghosts trampling across her grave. Her nipples puckered. Excitement mounted.

All of it, Olivia. Every last piece.

She lifted her chin, straightened her shoulders, glared at her reflection. No fear. Never again.

Her pussy was still wet, soaking the satin of her panties, her lips engorged with blood, sensitive and puffy. It had been a long time since she’d felt this aroused. A very long time. Olivia’s heart was still safely frozen, but her body–her body was on fire.

 

Now available on Amazon (currently a #kindleunlimited selection): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075DHNZKB

 

 

Eternity – an excerpt

In the end he begged to serve the demonic vampire who made him. Maximilian Wolffe was unwillingly turned vampire in 1570. A brutal master should always beware of what he creates.

He claimed her as his servitess. In 1872 Venice, Max and Claudio hunt the streets of Venice. What Max finds is not what he expects–a woman to equal his passion. He claims her and then one day, abandons her. To save her. The memory of his vampiress may be the only thing that saves him from the beast within.

And now he’s back to claim what is his.

 

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EXCERPT:

Lena pulled back the black curtain and looked out the window. Torchlight illuminated what looked like a courtyard beyond the thorn-entwined wooden gate that was being raised by a couple of long-toothed, big furry beasts.
“I still can’t believe there are such creatures as werewolves. Over the years, you’ve certainly turned my belief system upside down, Max.”

“These wolves have been sentries of the land surrounding the castle for centuries. They have served the Conastrata descendants since the castle was built. And they keep the vampire hunters away. A very useful species.”

The horses’ hooves clattered over the cobblestones as they entered the courtyard.

“How old is this place?”

“It dates back to the fifteenth century, constructed in medieval times.”

“Kind of like you.”

She heard him chuckle. “Yes, I guess you might say that.”

Finally the carriage came to a halt in the courtyard. Max waved a hand, the door opened, and he stepped out and then he handed Lena out.

Tonight her gown was in shades of gold and black shot through with crimson thread, split at the front. Rubies had been sewn into the black overskirt. Red lace at the bodice barely concealed her dusky nipples. The caplet and underskirt were gold. Beneath the black silk corset and a multitude of black, gold, and crimson petticoats, she wore no undergarments, no bustle. And she felt decadently bare and wicked beneath the voluminous skirt and petticoats. Her thighs were slick with anticipation as the silk and lace rubbed against her skin.

“I need time alone with you, Max.”

A head taller than Lena, Max looked down at her as they awaited Claudio and Werner’s arrival.

“There’s no need for secrecy here, my dear. You may be quite shocked by the openness of the festivities. The body is to be admired and enjoyment of the flesh is to be openly worshiped.”

“You mean, there is no privacy?”

“As much as you would like, cara. Or as little. I have kept you rather sequestered since turning you. It all may be rather overwhelming for you at first.”

“I think I can handle it. I’ll just follow your lead, darling Max.”

Just then Claudio’s carriage clattered into the courtyard and came to a halt. Claudio stepped from the coach. The vampire was dressed quite elegantly in midnight blue velvet and silver. As he stepped down he tugged on a thick silver-colored chain.

Lena’s jaw dropped when she saw Werner. Oh, she’d seen him naked before, but never like this.

“He let you do that to him? It is Werner, isn’t it?”

“It is. He had no choice. He’s a servitor, he does as I say. As a human there are certain rules to follow. He has the smell of human. If he doesn’t want to end up in another vampire’s coffin, he’ll do exactly as I say. Isn’t that right, pet?”

Werner’s head was completely encased in some sort of black hood. Lena could see his eyes. And there seemed to be a slit for his nose, but there was a buttoned closing over his mouth. All he could do was nod in answer to Claudio’s inquiry.

The hem of the hood was attached by silver rings to a wide iron collar. There were strips of black leather crisscrossing his chest, and decorative chain hanging from a wide leather belt that seemed to serve little purpose. And more straps, with rolled leather edges, running up between his legs, displaying his softened penis.

Cuffs of iron encircled his wrists and ankles, and chain looped through them, soaring upward through the iron collar. The collar was decorated with slender, curved pieces of iron interlaced in a woven pattern. All of the chains seemed to come together culminating in the leash that Claudio held in his hand.

Lena was shocked to see a brand at the center of Werner’s chest that looked quite sore. “What is that? When did you do it?”

“My mark. I should have had him marked long before this, but since we haven’t attended any type of formal gathering, I didn’t think it necessary. Max and I have tended to circuit away from formal vampire affairs in the past. But nevertheless, the brand was accomplished last night. I have used herbs to cement it and help it to heal quickly. You will find all the servitors marked here. Servitors require a great deal of attention. You should think long and hard before deciding to acquire one.”

“As if I would.”

“You never know. One of these dedicants may just appeal to you.”

Lena slid a glance to Max. She couldn’t imagine doing to anyone what Claudio had obviously done to Werner. She glanced again at Werner.

Attired as he was, made him look…anonymous. The depilation was a surprise, but this was far more shocking. Anonymous was the only word she could think of. Indistinct. And yet—

She walked to Werner and reached out, then hesitated, first looking at Claudio. For the first time she found something intriguing about her husband. Was she changing that much in her tastes?

“May I?” Some undefined instinct made her ask permission to touch Werner. Even though technically the man was her husband. And he was a baron. Looking at him, one would never think of him as nobility in his present condition.

“Of course, my dear. What’s mine is yours.”

 

Now available on Amazon and currently a #kindleunlimited selection

Foreplay Enticement – Vampires of Noctra: Blood Bounty

Just a bit of refresh on the “meat” of Blood Bounty

A vampire with a raging thirst for human blood and erotic pleasure; a man with a secret mission to find and destroy the undead.  But lusty midnight passions defy logic.  Boundaries and duty hold no sway on the decks of the Night Stalker.

Captain Dontè Lucienne is the vampire captain of the Night Stalker.  His crew is human.  Men who serve the vampires of Noctra, providing sustenance, as well as loyalty. They are fighters as well as lovers, and devoted to their vampire masters.  They would destroy any who tried to kill their captain.

Skye Templeton is a man on a dangerous mission.  Plucked from the swelling seas by the crew of the Night Stalker, he’s exactly where he needs to be. Will he come out alive?  Or end up as fodder to the lust of the vampirate captain?  His duty is clear—at least until he come to know this lusty crew and their magnetic captain.  Until he comes under the supernatural, relentless spell of the Night Stalker.

Mix  a rescue at sea, a vampire captain, a handsome virile pirate crew, one lone vampire hunter, some nasty zombies, some seductive BDSM, a big boat, and a vast sea.

“Enter,” he roared with the force of a fierce gale. After a moment of hesitation, the door slowly opened. It was Jupiter, his first mate, who edged his way into the cabin. He looked straight at the captain, neither sliding a sidelong glance toward Velvet, nor toward the bed where Vasily, his second mate, was stretched out.

“Permission to speak, Cap’n.”

Donté waved a hand in the air. “What is it? This better be important.”

“We’ve spied someone in the water, sir. The men are about to bring him on board. I thought you’d want to be informed.”

All of Donté’s crew had preternatural eyesight—one of the dark gifts of human service to the vampires of Noctra. Although the black sloop skimmed through the ocean in the dead of night, it might as well have been daylight for their sharp eyesight.

“Does he look promising?” Donté dressed quickly, donning a pair of black breeches and then pulling on a white linen shirt.

“Hard to tell, sir. He was a ways out. Margan send two men out to retrieve him. Looks to be a survivor from another downed ship.”

Was there any other kind this far out to sea? Most of Donté’s crew were survivors from sacrifices to the dangerous, unpredictable seas. Many on the very verge of drowning or being eaten alive by hungry sharks, or worse. Men who’d been thankful for the captain’s beneficence in saving them from a fate far worse than their untimely death in the surging waters.

There’d been a storm the previous night, which might cause a ship to founder. Donté straightened after pulling on the second black leather thigh-high boot.

“Have Liam see to my men, Jupiter.” He glanced over at Velvet. “Leave him for another hour and then release him. In the meantime, take gentle care of Vasily. I’ve fed well and he may be light-headed. I don’t want him up and around before he’s recovered.”

Jupiter nodded. “Yes, Cap’n.”

Donté returned to the bed, leaned down, and kissed Vasily. “Another night, sweeting.” Then he strode out of the cabin, along the passage and headed to the main deck.

As Donté stepped onto the deck Margan and Onyx hauled a very bedraggled man onto the deck with help from several of the sailors. The stranger collapsed against the railing, salt water splashing onto the deck. It was hard to tell much about him considering the exhausted state of the man, but from first glance he certainly looked…intriguing.

The crew made way for the captain to get through. Several of the men held torches, providing a soft glow of light. Donté nudged the half-drowned man with the point of his well-polished black boot. The eyelids of the young man splayed out on the deck fluttered opened. What stunning blue eyes, was Donté first thought. Clear and sparkling like the sea, framed with long sooty lashes. Yes, definitely worth an interrupted hour of his time.

The young man staring up at Donté looked shaken, yet alert.

“What’s your name, lad?”

Donté saw his pink tongue dart out to wet his lips. “Templeton, sir. Skye Templeton. I was on the merchant ship, Topaz, heading back from the West Indies when a storm hit.”

Skye. Donté liked the sound of the name. He dropped down onto his haunches and studied the young man carefully. He pushed back a thick lock of wet hair and Skye shuddered.

“Well, you’re safe now. We’ll get you back to land. What sort of goods were you carrying?”

“Spices, and silks, Captain. All gone down with the ship.”

“So, you’re a merchant then? Or were you perhaps one of the crew?” By the looks of his damaged and wet clothing, he was a gentleman of some means. Even wet they seemed to be a cut of fine quality material.

The look in Skye’s eyes faltered, his glance swiftly taking in the men hovering around, and then flitted back to the captain. One hand moved to his hip. A reflex action. At another time there might have been a pistol, or a sword, perhaps.

Donté’s curiosity was aroused. Was the young man just a merchant, or something more? Skye allowed his hand to drop away. Definitely not a stupid man. Very much a man of some intelligence—and caution. Donté liked that. He had a feeling it might be a bit of a challenge getting this young man to submit and join his crew. As a connoisseur of fine human flesh and blood, just by looking at the self-professed merchant, he bet the young man’s blood was a very expensive vintage of life-giving fluid. Definitely a prize he was not going to toss back to the sea without further careful examination.

Donté straightened to his feet and held out a hand. Skye seemed to consider for a moment and then hesitantly accepted the offer, and Donté easily brought him to his feet. Inches separated them. He could feel the heat of the young man even through the wet, clinging layers of his clothes. He smelled of the salty ocean, of youth, and vitality. Exhausted to be sure, but Donté had a feeling it wouldn’t take much to get him back on his feet.

Donté held his gaze for long moments. The quiet night was broken only by the creaking of the ship and the flapping of the sails in the strong wind. His gaze dropped to Skye’s finely defined lips, traced over the tightly stretched pale skin highlighted in full lunar ambiance and warm firelight. His blue eyes were shadowed, dark half-moons beneath them. If it hadn’t been for that—

Skye stepped away and the spell was broken. Donté could sense the young man’s wariness. But he appeared interested. Maybe intrigued might be a better word.

“Onyx, take our exhausted friend and assign him a berth below. And find him some dry clothes. Check with Nathan and get him something to eat.” He turned back to Skye. “We’ll talk later.”

Onyx stepped forward. “Aye-aye, Cap’n, right away.” He looked at Skye. “Follow me and we’ll get you settled.” He headed toward the companionway that led to the lower decks. Donté watched Skye stumble after him, then he turned back to the rest of the crew.

“Back to work. The night’s still young.” The rest of the men quickly dispersed.

The hold overflowed with bounty and he’d planned to head back to Noctra soon. Maybe a few more days out might not be such a bad thing. It might serve him well to search the area for any other lost souls. Or evidence that a downed ship really had existed.

But right now he had two other sailors who deserved his attention. There were still a few hours left to the evening. He might even release Velvet and allow him into his bed. Donté felt rather pleased just now with the addition of young Skye Templeton. And he was hungry.

His men would not let Skye Templeton out their sights until they could gauge the young man’s intentions. They might try to fuck him for the fun of it, but they would fight to the man to protect their vampire captain. One thing Donté knew he could count on was the loyalty of his crew.

Play hard, fight rough, and yield to their vampire master. Would he gain another willing supplicant? Only time would tell.

Donté opened the polished wooden door to his cabin. Vasily had been unchained and was sitting up on the edge of the bed a glass of wine in one hand and a wedge of cheese in the other. It appeared Liam was just about to attend to the gunner chained to the captain’s wall. Velvet was still bound, his cock deep purple, hard and bobbing, the weight still dancing above the floorboards, his nipples clamped, his body stretched tight, blood pulsing thickly through every fiber. Donté could hear the thundering beat of his heart.

“Thank you, Liam. You may go. I’ll attend to Velvet.”

“Yes, Cap’n.” Without delay Liam left the cabin. Donté watched him leave, admiring the breadth of his shoulders. Another excellent specimen of manhood attached to his crew as his gaze dropped to the sweet, tight ass of the man as he walked out the door. He should make better use of the young carpenter, who happened to be particularly adept with his hands.

As the door closed Donté turned to look at Vasily. His heartbeat was strong as well, not quite as thunderous as Velvet’s, but still sounding fully recovered from his earlier…exertions.

They were both beautifully angelic in their own way, with more of a fallen angel appeal. Both with silky, black braided locks that dusted their shoulders, and bronzed skin from long hours of work on deck during daylight.

Donté took good care of his human servants and they glowed with health and vibrancy. He took great pride in the humans who served him. Loyalty was not something that could be bought or beaten into men. Respect was earned. His men gave trust and loyalty because he respected their humanness. But he ruled his ship with iron command.

It had been a long voyage and everyone was ready to get back to Noctra. Just a few more days and he’d give the order. But not just yet.

He gazed hungrily at his two beautiful young men. “Shall we continue, gentlemen? I suddenly have a voracious appetite once again and I’ll need both of you to satisfy my thirst.”

Vampires of Noctra: Blood Bounty. Now available at Amazon

 

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