Excerpt from Vampires of Noctra: Blood Bounty

Vampires of Noctra: Blood Bounty

#MM #pirates #bdsm #historical #vampires #darkfantasy #erotichorror #gayerotica

VON1_BloodBounty_smA 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.

EXCERPT

Donté stroked his tongue over Vasily’s bulging pecs, tugged on a nipple, chewing at it lightly. Vasily’s cries crescendoed and dropped, rose again and again, like surging waves lapping at the hull of the Night Stalker. Needy, in delirium, far removed from reality.

Donté’s fangs sank into the supple muscle of Vasily’s chest and the young man cried out, spurting his seed into Donté’s hand. The vampire supped on his youthful, vibrant lifeblood, his cock still buried in Vasily’s ass.

Extracting his fangs, Donté swirled his tongue over the puncture marks, leaving faint red indentations in his wake. He studied Vasily’s chest, admiring the tracks decorated across his warm human flesh. Every sailor in the vampire captain’s crew sported the vampire piercings upon their skin, each crew member having been personally handpicked by either Donté or Donté’s vampire sire, Captain Sterling Savoir, to serve as members of their respective crews.

Human, well-mannered, beautiful young men, all committed to serving the vampire masters of Noctra Island.

Donté traced the piercings, listened to the thundering heartbeat, the shallow breaths of his lover for the night. This was the second time he’d fed from Vasily in less than a fortnight and he would savor tonight. The young man’s blood was too rich, too addictive. If Donté fed from him once more before the next full moon, he was likely to draw the young man too close to the crossover. He dared not take the chance.

Easing his still hard cock from inside Vasily, Donté lifted from the bed and walked over to the table. It was early yet, hardly a stroke after midnight, and he planned to savor his young sailor until the first misty fingers of dawn cut through the night. At the rate Donté was going Vasily might not last if Donté didn’t slow down. Sips only, no more than a pint of Vasily’s blood or he’d push him too close to the edge. Donté poured some of the finely aged French burgundy into a goblet.

He took a moment to glance up, pinning the other bound man on the opposite side of the room beneath a hard stare.

“Do you see what you’re missing?” Not quite all of his crew were as well-mannered as he liked. “You could have been where he is, Velvet, if you hadn’t disobeyed my command.”

Velvet, a gunner’s mate of unique precision and fortitude, was stretched out, hands manacled high above his head, his hard cock and heavy balls harnessed, a lead weight swinging with each surge of the ship, two more weights tugged at his distended tits.

Velvet was as beautiful as any of the men on the ship, and most of the time he listened to orders. Tonight called for discipline in Velvet’s case. A hair trigger temper requiring a strong hand, he’d been less than humble, so certain he’d be the one to entertain the captain tonight. Well, Velvet was entertaining the master all right, but not in the way the rebellious young sailor expected.

Donté would not tolerate jealousy, or assumption, among his crew. The captain treated all of his mates equally and he would not have any of them attempting to usurp his authority and causing dissension on the ship. One day, Velvet would learn his place. Or else spend more time on the wall than in the captain’s bed.

Donté sauntered over to Velvet and trailed his cool fingertips over the man’s sweat-soaked chest. He hefted one of the weights in the palm of his hand and then allowed it to drop away. Velvet’s long drawn out hiss as it dragged against a tit satisfied Donté that the action reminded the man of his unhappy state.

Dropping forward, Donté razed his sharp teeth over Velvet’s flesh. Lines of red tracked his path. But he didn’t sink them into Velvet’s flesh. He didn’t feed.

“Please, Master, I’m sorry for what I did. I’ll never do it again.”

“I wish I believed you, Velvet. But this isn’t the first time, is it? Not even the second. You’re smart enough to make first gunner, but your temper and lack of self-control are your downfall. Be thankful I didn’t turn you over to Margan and have him assign you to the bilge pump tonight—wallowing in stinking water for a night might teach you a lesson. That might have been a more fitting punishment. We’ll see what a night of discipline on my wall will do for your manners.”

Donté swung away, ignoring the pleading look in the beautiful sailor’s whiskey-colored eyes. Swift discipline and heavy bondage was the only thing Velvet understood. For at least a short time. Sterling handled this one with a firmer hand. Sterling would have had him strapped to the main mast, a discipline wedge shoved up his ass, and a hundred lashes to stripe his back. Donté’s master, Savoir was a much sterner taskmaster when it came to discipline. Unfortunately, Sterling and the Black Star hadn’t been due to leave Noctra for another month and, as usual, this beautiful gunner had gotten Donté to agree to take him on. Velvet’s blood was some of the richest among the human residents of Noctra, and his skill with the cannon exceeded by few. If only his temperament better aligned with his name, they all would be much happier.

Yet both Sterling and Donté liked a challenge now and then, which is why Velvet was allowed to remain. Velvet might be a bit of a scallywag in many ways, but he was just too luscious to exile…or kill. Donté walked over to the big white cat lying on a stretch of crimson and cream Persian rug in a corner of the room. He leaned down to pet the huge Bengal outcast.

“You’ll keep him in line, won’t you? Too bad he doesn’t have your understanding of self-preservation.” The snow-white, almost totally stripeless tiger leaned into the stroke of the vampire. Few animals on the mainland accepted the touch of a vampire. But Khan was different—he was as cursed as any vampire, and his connection to the vampire was unique.

Donté turned his attention back to Vasily still stretched out on the bed, eyes closed. Picking up the goblet, Donté moved back to his lusty donor for the evening. Gently lifting Vasily’s head, he tipped the goblet and allowed some of the wine to trickle into his mouth.

Vasily’s eyelids fluttered opened and he gulped at the wine until the goblet was empty.

“That’s better, sweeting. The color is returning to your face. Are you feeling more yourself?”

Donté set the goblet on the nightstand and picked up the wet cloth from the mauve-colored porcelain basin and bathed Vasily’s stomach and flaccid penis. Returning the cloth to the bowl, he leaned toward Vasily and pressed his lips to the young man’s mouth. Vasily’s lips parted and Donté thrust his tongue deep inside. The rattle of the chains binding Vasily to the bed bled through the needy moans as the sexy young sailor shifted and arched, begging for his master’s touch. Donté heard a whimper from the other side of the room. Then a deep, warning growl from Khan. Donté ignored Velvet. There would be time enough to decide what to do about him later. For now, he was simply a decoration on his wall, reminded of his place by Khan.

“Would you like something to eat before we continue?”

Vasily gazed up at him with worshipful eyes. “Whatever you want, Captain.”

Donté couldn’t help smiling. Vasily was a good boy and very respectful. A week of serving on the Night Stalker and Vasily had no qualms about turning his back on his past life. Of offering his blood and service to the Noctra vampires.

Donté rose and stepped to the table at the center of the room where a tray of food rested. He didn’t partake, but he had to maintain the strength of his two human lovers. He picked up a thick slice of bread and a small wedge of cheese and returned to the bed. He hand-fed Vasily slowly, punctuating each serving with drugging kisses in between until his sweet supplicant finished the bread and cheese. By then, Vasily’s cock was thick and hard, bobbing against his flat abdomen. Yes, he was revived and appeared more than ready to serve his master once more.

Donté picked up the oil to prepare Vasily’s passage once again. A snarl curled his lip when a knock sounded at the door. Donté glared at the root of his irritation. Who dared to interrupt? Swift punishment would be exacted for the defiance of his standing orders…unless it was an emergency. He set down the bottle of oil to the side and rose from the bed.

“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?”

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My Fate, My Destiny – an excerpt

My Fate My Destiny

#gay #erotic romance #contemporary #paranormal #gothic

Sequel to My Soul He Seeks…
myfatemydestiny_medAfter their first introduction in Ternekill, and through the sharing of an amazingly emotional paranormal experience, Byron Shepley and Ravol Nova have remained lovers for two years. Finally, Byron has come to terms with his relationship with the mysterious Terne House and his unusual ability to connect with spirits of the past.

But circumstances change when Byron is abducted by Ravol’s fierce enemy, who will use Bryon to bring Ravol to his knees. On a night lit by a full moon, Byron may finally get his wish to witness Ravol transform from human to beast—but it may be his last wish, as two beasts clash in a life-or-death struggle. Byron may be in for more than one surprise before the night is over.

Yet, revelations may not just be about Ravol, but about Byron, too, as he comes face-to-face with what may be not only his fate, but his destiny. Can love save them, or will his fate destroy them both?

Amazon Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CXLWS75

 

EXCERPT

My attention is all on Ravol now. He comes over me, his body presses me deeper into the bed. His kiss, deep and hungry, transports me, sends the familiar zing of recognition throughout my body. As he lifts my hand, the gold cuff with the strange markings on my wrist rattles because the chain is still attached. He kisses my palm, nips at the heel with sharp teeth. His lips are slippery against mine. Blood of his prey?

“You could make me like you,” I say, just as I’ve said a hundred times before. “I’m ready. It would be easier.”

“No,” he answered sharply. “You will never be like me. You know what you would be. Just like that pelt that’s spread before the fireplace in the music room. Is that what you want?”

“But I’d be with you. You’d teach me to control the instincts. I’ve read the stories. There were some who survived and who controlled the madness.”

“I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” He leaned down and kissed me fiercely, stifling my words, and at the same time drawing blood as his sharp tooth razed my lower lip. Ravol licked it clean and then he grabbed the tube of lube from the nightstand and squirted the gel into my ass. This was about urgency, as I knew his blood was still running high and hot. His lust was always so intense when he returned to me. Ravol used his fingers to stretch me, to get me ready to take his big prick. Firm, long fingers that reached deep inside me. And then he was over me, dragging my legs wider, lifting me as though I weighed nothing at all. My arms dragged against the chains binding me. The gold cuffs scraped my wrists, the familiar tendrils of pain clawing up and into each digit of my finger, each hand wrapped around the length of chain binding me to the headboard.

And then my attention was diverted as Ravol pressed his big prick into me, stretching me even more. Pain screwed up my arms, shoulder joint to wrist, as I twisted and writhed beneath him. He stretched my ass as the head popped past the ring, fitting so sweet and familiar inside my channel. Coming home, and I couldn’t help smiling at the stupid thought. But it was true. We fit together, heart, soul, and body, the way two lovers should. I just wished I could reach down to stroke my cock, which was hard and needy. Pre-come leaked down my dick as it slapped against my belly, the liquid crawled across the bulging veins, down to drip into the dark wiry nest covering my groin.

I arched up and Ravol pushed in deeper. He grabbed my hips, his fingers digging into flesh, bruising my hipbones. I’d have more bruises when we were finished. My arms stretched taut above my head were still fastened to the headboard.

Ravol rose to his knees above me. He levered my hips, then drove deeper into me, fusing us together, his cock inserted into my ass. He shimmied farther up the bed, closer to the headboard, pushing me back and then drawing me up and into his arms. His cock split me wide. His arms around me, soothed me. Then his mouth to my lips claimed me completely. I melted against him. He owned me body and soul.

The cold, frigid air swirled around us. I dropped my head back and looked up into his eyes. “Francesco is here,” I said.

He nodded. Then he claimed my lips again in a savage kiss, his tongue—his long tongue—thrust deeply into my mouth, stopping the words, cutting off all thoughts beyond being owned by this man. Even Francesco’s chilly presence couldn’t dampen the heat of my passion.

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Don’t miss, My Soul He Seeks.

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My Soul He Seeks – EXCERPT

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Blurb:

#gay #erotic romance #contemporary #paranormal #gothic

Tonight two men are fated to meet, Ravol Nova, a Spanish flamenco guitarist, and Byron Shepley, an auction house researcher. On a dark and stormy night, at Terne House, one man may trade his soul for passion and surrender; and another man, with a dark and secretive past, may find the redemption he’s been seeking for so very long. What dangers may they greet when these two men finally come together, as they both come face to face with destiny?

EXCERPT:

There are always times when a choice can be made, and then there comes a time when the window is closed and the choice is taken out of your hands. At this moment as I sat there across from Ravol, I knew I had an opportunity to leave and instead I chose to let circumstances carry me along. As I watched he placed a hand on the curved top of the guitar case.
“You’re not interested in checking to be certain the guitar is what you expected? That it’s undamaged?” I asked. I found it hard to believe that a man would pay $50,000 for a guitar and yet be so uneager to look at it.
He stroked the top of the case with his long, elegant fingers. So pale, almost white. Nails manicured perfectly. I remembered his grip as he held my hand for longer than necessary. I found myself wanting to feel his hand upon mine once again. Perhaps I had moved to free myself a little too quickly. Or maybe not quickly enough.
“Heinrich and I have known each other a long time. He is an honest man. I assume he’s a fair employer as well.”
I nodded. Sometimes a little ruthless, he wasn’t a man to accept less than perfection, but I couldn’t say he wasn’t fair. “Yes, he’s a fair man.”
Heinrich was Heinrich Morgan, the owner of the auction house where I worked. At some level I was surprised that the two men would be on a first name basis. Is that what had brought Ravol to Ternekill?
Ravol stroked the dark case’s stitching with a rhythmic motion. Hypnotic for me. I couldn’t seem to take my eyes off his hand. The look of it almost drew me up and across the room, a magnetic force I’d never encountered before. I have to admit it left me breathless. Breathless and horny.
“How long have you worked for Heinrich? I understand from my conversation with him on the phone, you’re fairly new at the auction house.”
I nodded again, finding it difficult to focus on the question. His hand curled around the curve of the case and he stroked it with his fingertips. Slow, so riveting. I began to sweat. It was getting damned hot in here all of a sudden. I shifted uncomfortably in my chair. Was he taunting me to see how far he could push me? The fire in the fireplace seemed to roar and crackle, burning brighter and hotter than before.
I knew, without being told, that I was out of my depth with this man. He was no crony, no college friend, that I could flirt with playfully, and walk away unscathed from a night of steamy down-and-dirty sex. I was way out of my league.
Finally, I tore my attention away from his hand, from the way he flexed his fingers, the smooth look of his skin. Of the thought of him stroking my cock, gripping my balls. Away from the thought of those long, long fingers sliding into my ass. I couldn’t help wonder exactly how far his fingers could reach inside me.
I brushed a palm across my forehead. So damned hot in here I could barely stand it. I wiped my hand on my pant leg, rubbing back and forth.
“I think I should be going. That rain, you know.”
“Soon. Ramon will be bringing you something to eat. And some coffee to warm you before you leave.”
“I think I’m warm enough. By the way, thanks for the use of the dry clothes.”
He nodded rather regally. “It is nothing. Ramon is very resourceful. He leaves no detail unattended.”
“He seems very…thorough.”
“He is that.”
“Has he been with you a long time?” I asked, wondering if they were lovers.
“Yes. A long time.” Had he been with Ramon before his lover had been killed?
I turned to look at the stained glass walls. They glowed as brightly from this side of the glass as they did from the hallway. On this side of the panels the red glass seemed to shine far more intensely than the other colors. And those lofty, powerful angels with their black eyes, appeared to glare down at me.
“Ramon says these panels came from your home in Spain.”
“Yes, they did. I had them shipped here. Heinrich put me in touch with someone who could restore them to their former beauty. He did an excellent job. I was very pleased.”
I couldn’t help myself, perhaps it was the historian in me, or just that I needed to distance myself from Ravol. The man’s personality was strong enough to make anyone’s head spin. I stood and walked over to one of the panels, staring up at the black-winged angel with the glowing sword. I reached out to trace the silvered lead, zigzagging my index finger along the channel. “Beautiful work,” I murmured. “Sixteenth century?”
“Fourteenth,” he said from right behind me. I never heard him cross the room. “I understand you were a history major in college.”
“Yes,” was about all I could manage. I wanted to turn around, but I didn’t dare. I knew if I did, I’d do something I shouldn’t.
“And you were on soccer scholarship.”
“Yes. Until I busted up my knee.” Just then said knee began to throb. “I-I—”
“Tell me,” he said softly. “It must have been a great disappointment to you to lose the scholarship. Things like that change us. We set a path for our life and then suddenly everything alters. Just that quickly.”
Then slowly I did turn to face him. He was a tall man. And he was a beautifully dangerous man with a strange, sad and bloody history.
“You’ve faced loss,” I said. “A lot worse than my knee injury. But we recover, don’t we?”
His expression told me little. I stared at his mouth, his sculpted lips. They looked too perfect. His eyes kept me mesmerized. Kept me from moving away. I saw the flash of pain come into his expression. It flitted quickly and then the look of anguish was gone as fast as it had appeared.
“Yes, I have known loss.”
“I’m sorry. Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything,” I said.
“It was a long time ago,” he murmured, even as he lifted a hand to cup my jaw. His thumb, long and shapely, caressed my bottom lip. I caught my breath and tried to steady myself. The man was intoxicating. Was he really making love to me? We’d only just met and yet—and yet, his touch seemed familiar to me. I welcomed it. And I didn’t want to leave.
Someone cleared his throat. The realization that someone else had entered the room broke the trance. Ravol dropped his hand away and stepped back. The shock of sudden disconnection had me reeling just for a moment. The ghostly sensation of his touch still warmed my jaw as I watched him turn to Ramon.
He didn’t seem embarrassed by being caught flirting with me. Maybe they weren’t lovers after all. Maybe they were just a man and his servant. I found myself hoping that was the case.
“What is it, Ramon?”
“The river has taken the bridge out. I just heard it on the news. And they say the power has gone out in town. There’s some concern about flooding and they’ve put the town on alert to evacuate. Mr. Shepley won’t be able to leave tonight.”

Blood Bounty – an Excerpt

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, while 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 comes to know this licentious crew and their magnetic leader…until he comes under the supernatural, relentless spell of the Night Stalker.

EXCERPT

“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 Donté, the vampire captain saw confusion swirling within the blueness of his pupils. “No. I-I thought–”

VON1_BloodBounty_smAh, revelation swept through Donté. “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.”
Donté 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?”

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

“What happened to the others?”

Donté 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.”

Donté watched as Skye swung the axe from his shoulder and dropped it to the deck. Donté 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.”

Donté’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. Donté’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, Donté 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 Donté against the rail, as he took control of the passionate kiss. He thrust his tongue between Donté’s lips; his determined hands cupped the vampire’s cheeks, facing down the danger of such a predatory master.

If Donté 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.

Donté 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 Donté’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.”

“Your blood?”

Skye smiled. But it was a strange look of mastery to the expression. “Your marks will never mar my flesh, Donté Lucienne. But perhaps my marks will decorate yours.”

Available on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LRK9JVC

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…”

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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.”