Nightingale – an excerpt

From the Journals of the Viadine…

They Walk the Earth Among Mortal Men…

The Fallen, having descended to earth, vulnerable to all manner of earthly pleasure and sin, were barred forevermore from Heaven. Easily seduced by the beauty of humankind, henceforth they divided, light and dark, order and chaos, lovers and destroyers of mankind. Being now branded as the Phratry, or Brotherhood, of the Fallen—henceforth eternally earthbound, divided and marked as Viadine and Diadune. Thus fashioned from the ashes of desolation a choir of men, offering a measure of serenity and renewal for those who seek order and light—henceforth known as the Gios of the Nightingale—men gifted with the voices of angels, poignant reminder of an existence now lost forever to the Phratry of the Fallen…
— Rahuael, First Chronicler, Viadine Secretorum

Nightingale_banner

An earthly balance is at stake. Nothing happens by chance. And fate, here on Earth, will demand its bloody tribute no matter how high the cost…

The thirst for deliverance and absolution are transformed into explosive flames of forbidden passion when a mysteriously charismatic masked man encounters a brilliant and handsome composer. Their lives are intertwined with those of two others, and only the ultimate sacrifice will satisfy the greedy appetite of fate…

Retribution is his only desire…Fabienne Brunetto, a 17th-Century castrato of amazing vocal talent, is brutally attacked by a twisted enemy. But agonizing death is not his destiny. He is saved by Annatoly Constantine, the immortal hand of a brotherhood of fallen angels devoted to protection, balance, and order on Earth. But Fabienne bears the scars of his terrible encounter, and his song has been extinguished forever—at least until a rite of redemption can come to culmination. He must wait two hundred years before his hunger for deliverance can fully be sated.

Wounded and shamed…Annatoly Constantine, whom centuries before was also a man, is the protector of the Gios of Nightingales, a choir of immortal voices created to soothe and heal the world. Annatoly has always been destined to lose what he loves, never able to fully offer himself to a lover. Until Carne Giraint, a gifted composer, appears in his life, making him yearn for something more, something exquisitely forbidden.

A composer marked by the cursed blood of his ancestors…Carne Giraint is a mortal of extraordinary talent, tapped by the brotherhood of angels to accept his destiny as composer to the gios. Carne’s greatest passion has never been ignited until he encounters a masked man known to him only as Maître. One night of fiery desire leaves him ravenous for the touch of Maître, a man he cannot forget.

A greedy man willing to give his soul for power and money…Dandrae, a slave to the dark beings who seek to alter the course of Fabienne’s and Carne’s destinies, is tasked with quashing Carne’s mystical gift for composition.

An earthly balance is at stake. Nothing happens by chance. And fate, here on Earth, will demand its bloody tribute no matter how high the cost…

EXCERPT

Carne removed the mask and tossed it toward Maître, who deftly caught it, caressed it, and then gently set it aside. Carne stood poised in the firelight, completely vulnerable, his cock thick with arousal, the sheen of pre-come glazing the tip, his balls heavy.

Maître walked to Carne. He circled slowly, minutely inspecting Carne. Carne’s nerves stretched taut as his desire mounted. Would he find Carne lacking? Maître completed his inspection and returned to face Carne. With his gloved hand he cupped Carne’s testicles, weighing them, stroking them.

“Lovely,” he murmured.

He slid his hand up Carne’s erect shaft, brushed over the engorged knob of his prick. “Precious. A set of manly jewels to be prized by any lover. I wonder, have you the fortitude of a well-hung young stallion as well?” The hue of Carne’s cock deepened, the flesh stretched and hardened, his balls already drawing up close to his body at Maître’s handling and obvious appreciation. With his fingers curled around Carne’s erection, Maître drew him forward. Carne could feel the unyielding presence of the mask against his cheek.

“You like being ordered, don’t you? You like men.” His voice was a steamy intimate whisper against Carne’s ear. “My touching you is arousing. How many men have you been with, Geraint? And women? Have you a patron among them?”

There would be no prevarication. This man, in some supernatural way, would peel Carne’s secrets from his soul. And Carne couldn’t stop it from happening, he could do none other than yield himself. “I-I think you know my preference, Maître. I think you know it well enough.”

His mother had thought it was the music tutor who had ruined him. She blamed herself for Carne’s eccentricities. But Carne had known from an early age, when he’d secretly watched the actors changing backstage, when it had been the men who he fantasized about, not the women. He had understood his predilection for men before his mother’s latest lover had seduced him. But he never told her the truth before she died of consumptionNightingale_sm in the poor house. He never absolved her of her false guilt.

“But the women give you fine jewels, don’t they? Little gifts because you please them so very much. They yearn for you to spend time in their bed, they are eager for you to sleep with them, to show them even more of your secret magic. To ply your command of… instrument in a much more personal and intimate fashion.”

“Yes, but I don’t give them what they want. I’ll sire no bastards. Ever.” He was never going to subject a child to what he had suffered. And since he had no plans to marry, nor a desire to lie with women, he offered them no encouragement to pursue him.

“So maybe they want me more because of it. But the men. They can be even more generous than the women.” Perhaps so generous because they sought to assuage their guilt for wanting him instead of the beautiful actresses for whom he composed his arias to make their voices shine.

“They can also be more brutal. Is that what you like about them?”

Carne didn’t respond right away. It was that, but there was more as well. “Not all of them are brutal,” Carne finally responded.

Now available on Amazon.com

Currently a #kindleunlimited selection

 

Visit my Patreon site and gain exclusive access to maps, worldbuilding,

character profiles, preview WIPs, ARCs, and much more.

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…”

 

RunToGround_banner

Now available on Amazon and, for a short time,

as a #kindleunlimited selection.

 

Find more exclusive information and to stay informed of what’s coming next, access to ARCs, backstory, maps, worldbuilding, WIPS, and more, visit my #Patreon site…

 Become a Patron!

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

 

bloodbounty_banner

Excerpt: Blood Bounty, Vampires of Noctra

bloodbounty_banner

“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.”