Haevyn and Emotional Cost

 

Haevyn_smIn Quentopolis women have been relegated to secondary status in many cases. Women of the working class society, lead very difficult lives. The Elite are treated more as pampered dolls, cosseted and spoiled, to be seen but not heard, with some similarity to that experienced in the 19th century. Yet, as with any society, there are some who do not tow the line, who break from this suffocating sort of bondage.

There are women–some surviving by their wits and intelligence, some by courage and an adventurous spirit–these are women who strive to break free. Some, like Silver from the first book in this series, end up paying a high price, including human and personal freedom. For some, such as the courtesan madam, Violette Goldswan, they wield their power through different, more shadowy avenues. And some, like Haevyn Breina, will attempt to rise through the more public ranks, clawing their way to a position where they have a chance of gaining societal acceptance as an equal, and gaining respect in the more demanding arena of this male-dominated society. None of this is accomplished without emotional cost. None of these women face and accept the challenges of this rather brutal society in quite the same way. For Haevyn, the rewards are worth the steep price. She does not back down from doing what must be done.

In Quentopolis, sexual relations and sexuality are very open and accepted parts of this society. For some it is about pleasure, for some it is a tool to rise through the ranks. Sex is used for negotiation; it is also a shared bond between friends. And it is also an art form, highly prized by a nobility class known as the Dominatae.

Haevyn Breina is of the Moondown Water District working class. Her parents were killed in a factory fire, leaving the care of her younger brother, Bhrett, in her hands. Responsibility came to her at a young age and she accepted it, along with every hardship and payment that security demanded. She gave up her virginity to a higher purpose and though it left her bruised and battered, she has never regretted her choices. When a brand new arm of the Regulate opens up to females, she jumps at the chance, even though strictly speaking the Compsociate Branch is considered by many to be simply a finely labeled government sanctioned army of courtesans in service to the upper Regulate officers. Haevyn accepts the challenge determined to rise within the ranks, but it is not without additional damage to her psyche.

Her lover and friend, Grisha, has served as her anchor, her “calm, safe haven” throughout her life. A simple fisherman, he is far distanced from the machinations of the political arena. But Grisha, more wise than Haevyn realizes, knows there is more that his lovely, wounded lover needs than the warmth and healing of his loving embrace. He knows very well how close to the edge she really is. But so is his other lover, an expatriate Orictan warrior by the name of Entreus.

In any world an emotional cost must attach, though all creatures deal with trauma differently. Some will splinter, some will rise to meet the challenge of adversity and fashion it into their strength. Some bear an anger or rage–they try to ignore or funnel through some other channel. Entreus funnels his rage and frustration through the illegal Cockrage events. Haevyn tries to bury her anger beneath a veneer of tightly-held control. Grisha knows this about each of them and has a sense of their needs.

How these three people adapt, grow, and hopefully heal is at the emotional core of this story. The journey is complicated by a very dangerous and deadly enemy to the city-state whom they must battle.

This is the world of Humanotica. Read an excerpt from “Haevyn,” the second book in the Humanotica series…

Read an excerpt from Silver, the first book in the Humanotica series.

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Haevyn buy links:

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078C51G5Z
Smashwords Buy Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/816536
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Silver buy links:

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074PB91BV
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Smashwords Buy Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/772872

 

Talent Scout – an excerpt

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BLURB

(#MMM #vampires #darkfantasy #BDSM #erotichorror)

Two vampires hunt for entertainment-and dinner-on a dark, seductive night. Yum-yum… Vampire blood games require a unique sort of “talent scout.” Claud plays front man for the powerful Silas, ferreting out tasty treats to satisfy the ancient master he adores. And Silas likes to add a special twist to their blood hunts. But it’s not all games, since Claud knows his days as Silas’s lover could be numbered if he fails in his task, and he loves Silas too much to take a chance on failing him. Now, Claud locates tonight’s main dish–a young, handsome hustler named Jimmie. Will Claud’s choice of human playmate “live up” to Silas’s expectations and provide an evening of adventurous, entertaining passion, the vampire way?

EXCERPT:

I entered the darkness of the compartment, the rhythmic rumbling of the train beneath my feet as it winged its way along the tracks. I thought it was taking me home, but in fact, it was leading me to a place far more exciting. Silas turned to look at me from across the small compartment. I know it was small, but in that moment as his hypnotic gaze attached to mine, it seemed far larger.

“Close the door,” he said softly, although I did not see his lips move, it seemed I heard him inside my mind. It was a request I could not refuse.

Once the door was fastened, I remember hearing the snick of a lock and vaguely wondered how it had been accomplished, because I certainly hadn’t been the one to engage it.

Before I could blink, he was on me, spinning me, pressing his lips to mine, driving me back against the door. My mind was a blur, my cock hard as rock, and I could feel his granite length against me as he molded me to him.

I couldn’t catch my breath, nor did I want to as I sucked him inside me. He was pushing at my jacket and then ripping at my shirt, baring my chest, securing my arms above my head.

“Will you be mine, Claud? Only mine?” he whispered into my ear, then nipped the cusp. I felt a trickle of blood slide down my ear. It never even crossed my mind to be curious as to how he knew my name. Nor in the heat of that instant did it matter.

He looked down at me as I stood imprisoned by my own clothing and his bottomless black gaze. I slowly nodded. I remember his smile, the glow in his black eyes that now seemed so very red, so very bright in the dusky, humid closeness of that cabin.

I say he looked down because at that moment he seemed to have grown much larger, dominating me completely. “Then you’re mine, boy. Tonight you belong to me.”

I couldn’t utter a sound. It was as though my vocal chords had been cut off. I felt myself falling, drifting into darkness, and I was only partially aware of what was happening, yet helpless to stop it. Even if I had wanted to.

I felt my eyelids drift closed and my head dropped to the side exposing my neck, and in a sense I was offering myself to him. I no longer felt the coldness of his skin, only the heat of my need to be taken by him.

I felt his wet mouth at my neck, his teeth scored across my skin, down my chest, and settled at a peaked nipple, sucking it deep into his mouth.

I never felt so consumed before as his mouth traveled over my body. I was in a hypnotic trance, a puppet awaiting the commands of the master puppeteer. Something locked my hands above my head, drew me up so my feet no longer touched the floor. I dangled there like a hunter’s prize buck ready to be flayed and dressed. And I loved it. I loved the sense of helplessness. I was so hot and hard I couldn’t stand it.

“Open your eyes, boy, and look at me.”

Slowly my lids raised and I gazed into his glowing eyes. I should have felt fear at what I saw there, but it was far from fear what I felt. Far from it. My heart beat faster. I was mesmerized.

“Do you want me to possess you? You must tell me. I must hear the words.”

Were there any words beyond yes? None that were in my vocabulary at this moment.

“Take me, Silas. Fuck me. Let me suck you. Do anything you want to me.”

I saw the smile reach the corner of his lips, his eyes glowed brighter, casting a red aura across my dangling body. His eyes were glittering black diamonds shaded with crimson–a light that seemed to shine from within, remote and bottomless, and I felt myself falling into them. Dizziness swept through me and I felt the world spinning around me, faster and faster. And there was nothing I could do to stop it. This forceful man held me within his grip and was free to do anything he wanted to me. With my permission.

I swayed with the motion of the train, my arms stretched out, my wrists bound above me. Silas undid my trousers and shoved them down my legs. The brisk air assaulted the heat of my body. He touched me, stroked me, drove my lust higher and higher. Somehow my clothes were gone and I hung there, naked.

Red leather straps appeared just above my knees. Straps with rings. A leather collar gripped my throat, chains dangling. I couldn’t begin to fathom how the bindings had gotten there. I didn’t care. He lifted first one leg, pushed it back, drew the chain behind my back, then bound my leg in place and then he bound the other in the same manner, opening and stretching me. My cock bobbed and swayed with the motion of the train. My weight, bearing down upon my bound arms, was painful.

“Very nice, Claud. Very nice indeed. Do you still want to give yourself to me?”

I could feel the stretch on my thighs, the freedom of my cock, the constriction of the leather restraints. My heartbeat quickened. The pain in my bound arms was almost more than I could stand. Each sway of the train bore down on me. I wasn’t certain how much more I could take. I so wanted to come. I wanted him to touch me, to stroke me. To fuck me.

“Yes, Silas. Do it.”

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075YRV7Z1
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Run To Ground – An Excerpt

A 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 loriRunToGround_medc 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…”

Purchase on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077SQKKK2

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

 

 

Silver – an excerpt

 

Humanotica, Book 1

Silver, born female, is now an owned gender-mated trinex thanks to the edicts of the Politico Judicalati and time imprisoned at the Factorium. She must choose between her charismatic power-elite, secretive owner, Minister of Acquisitions & Antiquities, Lel Kesselbaum, and a seductive revolutionary, Entreus, a humanotic who tempts her with freedom.

Not all is as it seems–allies who may be traitors, lovers who are more than they appear. A power-mad government, a machine known as the Elite Logical Life Core that uses human intelligence for its knowledge source. The Factorium that acquires humans as research fodder for their experiments and then spits them out when they are of no further use. Sex used as a tool to unearth enemies and traitors, and intimately align allies. Love that is not simple, relationships that are dangerously complex. This is Silver’s highly-complex world.

One misstep in the fight for freedom could mean death for them all.

 

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Excerpt

I stand in the center of the bedroom, naked and awaiting his attention. It is always Kesselbaum who dresses me for an outing. He never allows me to do it myself. A garter belt and cream-colored silk stockings sheath my flesh. Open pantalettes beneath the trousers. There is a wide-lapeled jacket to match the trousers. Lilac corset laced tight as it would go, flattening my breasts.

My hair is plaited in two braids that are then bound tightly to my head with hairpins. The shoes to grace my feet are masculine and black shiny leather.

“Turn,” he says once I am dressed.

The suit fits well, the jacket tapered. For now, my femaleness is imprisoned and shrouded.

“Violette likes her packages brightly decorated. She’ll want to take her time unwrapping you.” He nods. “Yes, you should please her.”

“She has something you want very much,” I blurt out, unable to stop myself. Is that an edge of jealousy to my tone?

It surprises even me.

“What did you say?” he asks in a very measured tone. I have overstepped and I know it. I also know I hit the mark. This is a barter arrangement. Most likely there is a boy at the dominia’s household who my master particularly wishes to sample. And I am the payment.

I bow my head and drop to my knees as quickly as I can. “My apologies, Dominor.” Discipline administered by my master will only make the day harder to bear. More painful. It has been a long time since I have endured punishment. They are just words, as I do not feel particularly apologetic right now. For my own well being, it is best I shield my thoughts.

“Apology accepted. I will not reprimand. Violette would not be pleased to have some of the edge of her play taken from her. But overstep again or cause me to lose face with her and you will suffer my…displeasure.”

I shudder to think what form that might take. Pushing him will not help me. I must endure.

“Come along. The carriage should be ready. You don’t want to be late for your appointment.”

I lift to my feet and follow him out of the bedroom. We make our way silently down the staircase and out the front door.

coppermanA first view of the carriage and two always takes my breath away. The humanotics are huge, copper-skinned males. Their oiled flesh gleams beneath the heat and golden light of the sun. Long black hair intricately plaited in one braid, the tip painting the curve of strong buttocks. Muscles bulging, thick, pliant black leathers for the most part their only adornment. The smallest triangles of modesty leather cover their huge, bulging erections; a slender strap of rolled leather nudges close, fitted neatly between the creases of their glorious ass cheeks; a narrower line of leather circles perfect, lean hips.

I remember when Master bought them the year before. I had accompanied him to the auctions. They had been rough, unkempt and untrained, but Kesselbaum apparently saw the promise of increased investment in the pair. A year of hard training has melded the set of twin humanotics into an amazing, eye-catching team many are envious of.

Part of their duties is to maintain the light carriage in perfect, polished and well-oiled working order. It is a copper-colored, burnished, sturdy metal to match the team, almost more chariot than carriage, with intricate decoration, yet different in that it is open at the front rather than the rear, with room enough just for two to sit comfortably on the black-velvet cushioned bench. This light carriage was not so sturdily constructed as to engage in a fast race. This one is designed for flashy show, for a slow amble along the lush green perimeter of the Terraverda the promenadeThoroughfare. A finely manicured, grassy perambulatory path has been incorporated into the elite areas of Quentopolis for just such a purpose. It is maintained in pristine state by residents of the workhouses. People hungry for survival tend the paths in the blackest hours between midnight and five to maintain the pathways in perfect harmony for those who could afford to use them.

Kesselbaum’s hand on my arm is firm as he assists me into the carriage next to the well-appointed driver dressed in a livery of black velvet and silver. It is the rare occasion when my owner sends me off on my own. Two residence protectors trail us on foot.

Kesselbaum steps back. “Remember what I said, Silver. Perfect service.”

I gaze down at my hands, in some part afraid of what he will see in my eyes.

“Yes, Dominor.”

As the carriage pulls away, the humanotics trotting in perfect synchronicity, we circle out past the main tall iron gates of the well-manicured grounds of the dominium. For an instant, I feel a surge of adrenaline shoot through me as I inhale a brief moment of fragrant freedom. But quickly the manacles of ownership settle back into place as I watch the copper pair harnessed to the carriage.

Their muscled buttocks ripple with the momentum, thighs sculpted and thick. They are so very male—sleek and powerful. Oiled skin sheens with sweat as they mount the path to Morganelle Hill. The one on the left tosses his head and sunlight glimmers across the blue-black gloss of his hair. The team is truly eye-catching.

I see the colorful outline of the Luminary gleaming brightly at the crest of the hill. And I can’t help but wonder what awaits me at the mansion. The only comfort I can take is that I know it is forbidden for me to be displayed or used in the public rooms. As I understand the laws, with a dominor’s permission, any Dominatae may request the service of another Dominatae’s chattel, but only for private service, not public. The law is clear on the use by those of the Dominatae ruling class, and I may not be forced to serve someone who is not of the Dominatae. There is little comfort in that knowledge, but at least it offers some level of safety for chattel of the nobility.

The carriage pulls to a halt at the main entrance of the Luminary, and a liveryman helps me from the carriage and escorts me up the steps to the house. There is rarely a time when I am not escorted in some fashion. He knocks on the door. The clock in the city tower chimes one o’clock precisely as the door is opened and I am handed over to a human female servant dressed neatly in a simple black dress and white apron. I hear the jangle of the carriage as it pulls away, most likely to be tended to at the elegant stable at the end of the street. And then the heavy door is closed, muting the sounds of the street. The silence engulfs me, a whisper of skirts, the tinkle of light laughter, the scent of woodsy incense, as I follow the servant up the gold-carpeted staircase.

Now available on Amazon.

 

 

Excerpt: Blood Bounty, Vampires of Noctra

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“Why?” he asked Skye, pointing to the blood and hair-encrusted axe.

Skye shrugged. “It seemed the thing to do at the time.”

“Do you know what they are? What they were?”

This time when Skye looked at Donte’, the vampire captain saw confusion swirling within the blueness of his pupils. “No. I-I thought–”

Ah, revelation swept through Donte’. “The axe was for me, wasn’t it?”

Skye looked him square in the eye. “I thought you meant to kill all those people. You’re a vampire, what else was I supposed to think?”

“My reputation. They all think the vampires of Noctra sail the seas in search of victims to gorge our thirst. Isn’t that right?” Skye’s hands tightened around the axe handle.

“What else are we supposed to think? Vampires trail a heavy reputation of killing in order to appease their hunger.”

Donte’ started at him for a long time. His instincts told him Skye had been sent here to kill him. So why did he hesitate to have done with Templeton right this minute?

He nodded to the axe. “Well, here you are. And here I am. So why don’t you finish the deed you’ve come here to do?”

“How do you know I was sent to kill you?”

Donte’ shrugged. “You wouldn’t be the first.”

“What happened to the others?”

Donte’ looked back across to the other ship. “A few are now part of my crew. The others,” he looked down at the water. “A few have found everlasting peace or hell, depending on your perspective.”

“You’re a vampire. You have everlasting life.”

Donte’ watched as Skye swung the axe from his shoulder and dropped it to the deck. Donte’ looked down at the discarded weapon and almost felt a twinge of regret. What he wouldn’t give to have all of this done and over with. There was so little he found pleasure in any more. So many lovers dead, so many of his crew sacrificed. He felt the first heat of dawn’s fingers against his neck. All he had to do was remain on deck and it would be over with once and for all. He looked at Skye.

“You could have killed me tonight. My focus was on the undead on the ship. My men might have thought it an accident in the surge of bloodlust and they would have let you go.”

“Yes. That’s true.”

“So, why didn’t you?” He was curious to know the young man’s answer. There was something that intrigued him about Skye Templeton. This was a strong, intelligent man, rather unlike the rest of his crew. Most of them had spent their lives following the orders of others. But not this one. He definitely felt a strong attraction for the man–and it was more than his blood. Yet, his attention was drawn to the purple vein pulsing in Skye’s neck.

“I won’t become part of your food stores, Captain.”

Donte’s attention refocused on Skye’s face. “Do you think I need another?” He swept an arm in a semi-circle. “I have a crew of men more than eager to quench my thirst. Willingly. Do you think I need you?”

There was something indefinable in Skye’s expression. Donte’s attention turned to his mouth. Templeton meant to hold himself apart from the rest of his crew. But there was an element of desire and yet defiance in the way he held himself. A flagrant challenge to the vampire captain to force the young man’s submission. “You will yield to me. Eventually.”

Those beautiful lips curved into a smile. A tongue slipped out to wet the elegant fullness. Suddenly, Donte’ swooped forward and possessed them, curling a hand tightly into the long blond locks. Taking what he wanted, tasting the sweetness of strong defiance in the young merchant’s kiss.

Skye pressed forward, off-balancing the vampire, pressing advantage, forcing Donte’ against the rail, as he took control of the passionate kiss. He thrust his tongue between Donte’s lips; his determined hands cupped the vampire’s cheeks, facing down the danger of such a predatory master.

If Donte had a heart that beat, it would have drum rolled a fast and furious pace as desire roared for Skye Templeton. He pulled free from Skye’s lips and stumbled away. He put the weakness that consumed him down to weariness from the night’s battle.

Donte slid his tongue over his lower, engorged lip and felt a trickle of blood and wiped it away.

“You challenge what you have no understanding of,” he said. He fought the desire to have this human in his bed right this minute. Bound to it, supping from him at his leisure. Or hanging on his wall, the bite of metal binding him in Donte’s presence. There was something in Skye Templeton, something so different and so desirable. So forbidden.

“I’ll give you what you need, my captain, all in good time.”