Saturday, February 16, 2019

It's release day for 'Burke and the Vampire'!

Burke and the Vampire
 
GENRE: Gay Paranormal Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 40,506 words


What would you do if you awoke from a coma to discover you could sense vampires? Burke didn't believe such creatures existed until it happened to him. Horrified, but accepting what he now knew was the truth, he vowed to eliminate them, destroying any who he could tell were not benign.

Vampire Reynaud has been charged by his King to find the person they've dubbed The Hunter and end his existence before he kills more of their kind. The problem is, how can he find one human in the masses living in New Orleans? It turned out to be easier than he anticipated, although he didn't know it until events transpired that revealed his new, human, friend was the also The Hunter.

Will the saying opposites attract prove true, or will these two men who have begun to care for each other be torn apart by their differences?

EXCERPT:
"How the hell do I find one special human in this mass of humanity?" Reynaud said under his breath as he surveyed the throngs of people wandering up and down Bourbon Street Friday night.

It was well after midnight and he had been at it, cruising the Quarter, from the moment the sun had gone down. He'd seen enough humans misbehaving -- primarily because of their propensity to drink the night away -- to make him glad he was no longer one of them. He hadn't been since his turning soon after arriving in the New World from France in the late sixteen-hundreds. He had been part of an expeditionary force, ending up at the encampment known as 'Port Bayou St. Jean'. There, he had met and fallen in love with Jean de Bellisle, who would soon become his Sire in order to save his life after a battle against the natives who populated the area.

Finding out that Jean was a vampire had been a shock, but not an insurmountable one because Reynaud did love him. What was almost insurmountable was Jean vanishing soon after Reynaud's obligatory year with him was up. A year during which Jean taught his Child what it took to exist as a vampire. While devastated at the loss of his lover, Reynaud had no choice but to continue on. He had witnessed the founding of Nouvelle-Orleans a few years later, becoming one of its unknown citizens. Then he had met Antoine, who had taken him under his wing. Despite the fact that he was thousands of years older than Reynaud, the two vampires had bonded, forming a friendship which had lasted through the years. When Antoine had become the King of the territory -- which was comprised of Vieux Carré or the French Quarter, and everything between it and the western edge the Garden District, including the Central City -- he had made Reynaud his second-in-command.

They had weathered many crises in the ensuing years but none as strange as the one they were facing at the moment.

Are you even out and hunting tonight? Given what little they knew of The Hunter's habits, Reynaud was fairly certain he had to be. Finding him, however, was another thing. His plan was to approach someone and lure them to a dark corner or hidden courtyard, making it appear as if he was going to feed from them. If he was lucky, and he hadn't been so far, The Hunter would see him and follow. All Reynaud needed was a glimpse of the man before vanishing -- hopefully without getting shot in the process.

That hadn't happened. No one had followed him during his four attempts this evening. He had released his supposed prey, wiping their memories of him first.

"Fuck it," he grumbled. "This is an exercise in futility." A necessary one, he knew, but still frustrating.

Deciding it was time to get off the street and relax for a while, he changed directions, heading to Dauphine Street and a two-story gay club he liked in the Quarter,. Beautiful men, perhaps dancing with one. Not that he would do more than that. Humans were not safe when it came to hooking up. They wanted to know more than he was willing to reveal -- such as why he would only be available after dark. Keeping the existence of vampires a secret was not only a necessity; it was the law, set down by the vampire council thousands of years ago and followed to this day. A rogue who broke it was summarily executed, along with any human who knew what they were and threatened to reveal their presence.

The main room of the club was alive with sound and activity. He stopped at the bar long enough to order a glass of wine then headed upstairs to what was called The Pub. He got lucky, finding a just vacated table on the outside balcony where he could watch both the street and the men mingling or dancing in the pub's interior. He could have remained inside but he enjoyed being out there in the fresh air, away from the odiferous, crowded streets where he had spent most of the night.

Leaning back, he sipped his wine while comparing the merits of several lone men seated at the bar. None piqued his interest enough to want to ask them to dance, but he could wait. Who knows who might walk in, and I'll miss them because I was too impatient to stay? 


Safe Harbor - 6


Kurt put his hand on Bobby’s shoulder to still his rocking from foot to foot as they waited for Daniel to come down to get them. He caught a pair of the officers eyeing the teen with jaundiced looks, so he was glad when he saw Daniel come to the door to let them through. For an instant the look on Daniel’s face when he saw Bobby was less than welcoming, before he smiled tightly as he led them to the elevator.

A couple of minutes later they were all seated in a small office, Bobby’s foot bouncing nervously.

"Daniel," Kurt said in preface, "this is the young man I told you about."

"Sort of figured." Daniel turned his gaze to Bobby. "You have information about the girl’s murder, according to Father Kurt."

"Yeah, but, well, you’re not going to like it." Bobby kept his eyes fixed on his hands which were clutched in his lap.

After a long moment of silence Daniel said firmly. "I won’t know that until you tell me." 

Too jumpy to keep sitting, Bobby started pacing the room as he talked. "So a couple of nights ago I was up on a roof umm…"

"Leaving a bit of art work on the side of a building?" Daniel almost smiled.

"Huh?"

Daniel pointed to Bobby’s hands where there were still traces of spray paint from last evening’s foray.

"Shit!" Bobby stuck his hands behind his back.

Kurt chuckled. "Don’t worry, Detective Denton has better things to worry about than your artistic talents. Go ahead and tell him, Bobby."

"Yeah right, so anyway I’m up on the roof, getting ready to bed down for the night," he shot a look at Daniel, "when I heard voices. So I took a look-see ‘cause I didn’t want any unexpected visitors to my domicile." He smirked then continued. "There’s two men down there with Minnie and Scooter and they got the two of them on their knees and I knew what was going to happen but there’s nothing I can do so I wait, figuring it would be over soon and everyone would split."

"Did they?"

"Yeah. The men got off then they tossed Minnie and Scooter in their car.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Safe Harbor - 5


Bobby hung carefully over the edge of the roof five stories above the street, spray paint can in his free hand as he added the final touches to a small piece on the side of building. It wasn’t his best work but he was still satisfied enough with it he would add his tag, ‘Prizm’, which he did a few minutes later.

When he finished he put the empty cans in a plastic bag to dispose of them in a dumpster on his way out of the area. Then he leaned back against the low parapet while he let his adrenaline high abate. As he did he considered whether to return to the shelter or not. Father Kurt had put the word out he wanted to talk to him. The question was did he want to talk to the Father.

Father Kurt was one of only a couple of adults Bobby actually trusted. In and of itself that was unsurprising, but… Bobby ran a hand through his thick hair in frustration. He trusted the Father but it went further than that and therein was the problem. Every time he saw the man his libido went into overdrive. It was the reason he only spent time at the shelter when the weather got beyond bad and into downright miserable. If Father Kurt had been just an ordinary man Bobby would have come on to him long ago but he wasn’t. He was a priest.

Sure he’s not Catholic but he still wears the collar even though he dresses in jeans or sweats, like he doesn’t want us to forget what he is.

Once, on impulse, Bobby had checked up about priests on the main library’s computers. He’d found out that Episcopalian priests could have sex and marry and all that. Even more, there were actually gay priests in the church.

Not that it makes a damned bit of difference ‘cause for sure Father Kurt ain’t one,  Bobby had though morosely as he had shut down the computer and gone to find a vacant chair in the reading area where he could maybe catch some sleep.

"Better get moving," he muttered to himself as he stood and gathered his stuff. "Last thing I need is to be busted right now…or ever." He chuckled as he made his way across the roofs to a fire escape and hustled down to the alley. Before he actually jumped down the last few feet he made certain no one was there he needed to worry about seeing him. He spotted a couple of kids huddled together in a doorway and was tempted to warn them to move to somewhere safer then shrugged. If he warned every kid he saw he wouldn’t have time to do anything else, like make a few bucks so he’d have cash for a couple of decent meals.

Landing quietly on the balls of his feet in the alley, he quickly got rid of the evidence of his graffiti work in a dumpster then headed to the street and the nearest corner. At this hour of night the pickings would be lean but there was always someone trolling for a blowjob. He just had to make it clear he was available to service them.

An hour later he was twenty dollars richer. Not a fortune but it would get him a burger at the local all-night diner and leave him something for his next meal. He saluted the tried-looking waitress when he entered. She saluted back, as she always did, and then slid a menu in front of him after he took a seat at the counter.

"So how’s my favorite customer today?"

"Tired, hungry, homeless, Nance," he winked at her, "the usual."

She nodded. "You could always try to find a real job you know."

"So you tell me every time I come in, and maybe someday I will but for now it’s not in the cards. Besides, I like my freedom."

"Prizm, damn." She shook her head, took his order, and left after pouring him some coffee.

"There’s a lot to be said for freedom," he murmured, snagging the newspaper someone had left behind. He scanned the first few pages until a small article caught his eye. "Shit," he growled.

Now he knew why Father Kurt wanted to talk with him. "No way, not how." Yeah he’d wanted to know what happened to Minnie if the Father could find out, but dead, murdered. He was sure the Father wanted him to tell the cops what he’d seen.

'Yeah, sure detective, I saw two of your guys forcing her and Scooter to give them blowjobs before they shoved them in their car and took off.’

That would go over well. Not!

But… Bobby stared at the article about Minnie’s murder. The last line jumped out at him. She wasn’t the first. He sighed deeply, knowing then what he had to do. Not until later though, because first he needed to eat and, well, it was too early anyway. He checked the clock over the counter. Four a.m. is way too early for sure. Father Kurt wouldn’t be awake. So eat, find a place to catch some sleep, and then…face whatever comes next.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Safe Harbor - 4


"Daniel, it’s Kurt. I have a question for you if you’ve got a couple of minutes."

Detective Daniel Denton leaned back in his chair, tucking the phone between his ear and shoulder. "I bet I even know what it’s about, the street kid who was found dead in the pond. Right?"

"Right. Do you have an ID on her?"

"Judith Martin, sixteen, a runaway from out west."

"Her street name was Minnie."

"So she was one of yours."

Kurt sighed. "As much as any of the kids are mine I suppose. She and a boy named Scooter stayed at the shelter for a few days during the bad weather but left a day or two before she was killed." After a moment’s hesitation Kurt said, "I gather she’s not the first one."

"She’s not. There have been five others so far, three girls, two guys, all street kids. According to the ME all of them had been forced to perform fellatio on their attacker, and from the condition of their mouths and throats more than once. And the guys were sexually assaulted as well. They were all beaten to death afterwards."

"Was there any physical evidence, like sperm in their mouths or rectums?"

"Unfortunately no. Whoever did it used condoms, and the bodies were dumped in ponds, which washed away whatever trace evidence there might have been." Daniel tapped his pencil on the desk thoughtfully. "Kurt, why the sudden interest other than the fact she’d stayed at your shelter?"

Kurt paused before replying. "She was with someone, another street kid called Scooter. They were tight so it’s possible you’ll be finding his body as well."

"Unless he’s the perp."

"He’s not."

Daniel’s instincts kicked in. "Kurt, what aren’t you telling me?"

"Okay." Kurt took a deep breath. "I need to talk to someone first, but there might be a witness to Minnie’s, and Scooter’s, abduction for lack of a better word."

"Who?" Daniel barked out.

"I won’t tell you until I’ve spoken with him. He’s another of mine and very leer of the police. And, well, there’s reason he should be at this point. Look, I’ll get back to you as soon as possible."

"Kurt," Daniel growled, but Kurt had already hung up.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Safe Harbor - 3


"Father Kurt?"

Kurt stopped on his way to the shelter’s kitchen, turning to see which kid was calling him. "Yes, Jackie?"

"Did you see the news?"

"No. Why?"

"They found the body of some girl. She was here last week." Jackie looked both excited and scared.

Kurt shook his head, his mouth tightening. "Which girl and where did they find her?" 

"Aw hell, Father, I didn’t catch the name. I just recognized the sketch they showed. She’s short with sorta blah brown hair. She and Scooter were hanging together."

"Minnie. Damn it!"

Jackie looked at him in surprise. "Father, you shouldn’t be swearing."

"Sorry, but sometimes even priests get pissed off." Kurt thanked Jackie for letting him know about the news story then hurried back the way he’d come, going into the community room where the television sat on a table along one wall. Over the protests of the kids watching it, he flipped through the channels looking for the all-news one.

"You trying to find out about Minnie?" one of the kids asked when Kurt finally found the right channel. When Kurt nodded the kid told him, "She was found in a pond outside the city, just like that other girl a few weeks back."

"What other girl?"

"Damn, Father, don’t you listen to the news? A girl who used to crash at one of the squats was found beaten to death two, three weeks ago, and now Minnie. Same thing almost."

"Any boys or just girls?"

"Just girls that I heard about."

Another kid spoke up then. "There was a guy ‘bout a month ago. Maybe not connected but he was beaten too and left in the duck pond, and the news said he’d been messed with, like you know…" The kid glanced around and lowered his voice. "Like someone fucked his ass."

Kurt frowned. "That was in the news report?"

"Yeah. Well not like that. They have some fancy way of putting it but for sure I got what they were meaning."

"Okay. Thanks. You all can go back to your regularly scheduled programming now. Which had better not be something…"

"Yeah, yeah, Father, we know. PG all the way ‘til the littles are in bed."

Kurt chuckled as he left the room. "You got it."