Saturday, November 29, 2014

27 - ‘Come gentle night…’

“You never told me how you were turned,” Kemp said as he and Owen walked the path along that edge of the river that had become their favorite place to meet and be together.

“Not much to tell really. I’d just turned nineteen and decided to celebrate. I was living at the dorm since I didn’t have a car and wasn’t about to commute every day. Long story short I went out with a couple of friends and got totally plastered. Since the girl and I weren’t old enough to go into a bar her boyfriend picked up the booze and we went to the park. As near as I remember it I wandered off and passed out. Maybe they looked for me and gave or they just said the hell with it. Either way they weren’t around when I woke up so I started walking back to the campus. And got attacked by what Rikard said were a pair of rogues. He showed up and got rid of them but not before they’d pretty much drained me so he took me back to his place, finished the job and turned me to save my life.”

“That’s painful from what my brother said.”

“Big time. Hurts like hell, but better than being dead I guess.”

“What about your folks? I take it they don’t know. OK, stupid question, of course they don’t.”

“No.” Owen sighed sadly. “They think I ran away. We were having problems, which was another reason I lived on campus. As a result I told them I’d rather celebrate my birthday with friends, not them. We had a fearsome fight about that and they threatened to stop paying for school. I knew they wouldn’t really do that but…” He shrugged. “So anyway when Rikard found me and all, he sent one of his people to clear out my room of my belongings.”

Kemp wrapped his arm around Owen’s waist, giving his a tight hug. “Probably for the best. I mean that he made it look like you’d flown the coop.”

“Yeah I know but I miss them despite how things were at the end.” Owen turned, resting his hands on Kemp’s hips as he looked at him. “Do you miss your family?”

“A lot sometimes, other times not so much. I didn’t have much freedom when I was living with my father. He was afraid his enemies would find out what I was and try to kill me, even though I was blocking it all. OK, that’s not quite the whole truth, I was also afraid that, if and when I was no longer able to block my abilities, I’d attack my father and Leif even though I knew they weren’t evil.”

Owen frowned. “If that was the case, I mean if attacking any vampyre no matter what comes with being a dhampir, why haven’t you killed me?”

“Because it doesn’t come with being a dhampir, despite what I had thought. Leif tried to tell me that but I was afraid. I mean all I could think was what if he was wrong? It wasn’t until I met Trevor that I learned I could make a choice. And,” Kemp smiled, rubbing the pad of his thumb over Owen’s lips, “how could I kill someone as beautiful as you?”

Thursday, November 27, 2014

26 – ‘Come gentle night…’

Why me? Why did I make myself Kemp’s keeper? Need my head examined for sure.

Seems the kid has taken up with a fledgling vampyre. Talk about the blind leading the blind. Ok, so maybe not quite the right analogy but you get my point.

First this vampyre plans on feeding from Kemp apparently. Then they confess undying infatuation. And then the vampyre’s, umm Owen’s, Sire decides he needs a meet with me. Someone’s been talking out of turn that he even knows about me. Kids!

So we meet. Dancing around each other at first as he doesn’t trust me any more than I trust him. Turns out he’s not such a bad dude as vampyres go. Puts me in mind a bit of another vampyre I happen to respect. He’s no happier about the union than I am. Though I suppose it’s not a union quite yet from what Kemp’s told me. More a friendship inching its way towards something deeper if the kids have their way.

It was funny. It seems like Owen’s Sire didn’t know his Child was gay until this came up. Big secret from everyone 'til Owen told Kemp. Anyway Rikard, that’s the Sire, wants this thing stopped. Told him that was up to him. Hell Owen’s his Child. He says it’s up to me 'cause I’m Kemp’s mentor. Yeah like that gives me any rights.

Finally met Owen the night after this big ‘discussion’. He seems like a good kid. Shy as hell but not willing to let his Sire dictate to him. Gave him points in my book with that despite the rest of this mess. Had a long talk with both of them then told them it was their choice but if they screw up they’re on their own.

So we’ll see what happens.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Release Day for 'You Belong to Me'!

Corey Byrne loves his family—as long as he only has to see them once a year. Since he’s not out to them, it makes things… tense. Returning to his job at a homeless shelter after Christmas, he finds someone has left him a very expensive present. Soon, he begins to get messages from the anonymous gift giver. Then Corey’s friend Brad is murdered in Corey’s apartment and undercover detective Scott Reed is assigned to protect Corey. 

As they work together to find the killer, they realize they’re starting to care about each other. However Scott is unwilling to act on his feelings unless Corey comes out to his family and coworkers. As the threats from the stalker intensify, Corey is forced to admit that love is too precious to hide from. Perhaps now is the time to be honest about who he is and accept the possibility of love in return—before it's too late.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

25 - ‘Come gentle night…’

Kemp was tempted to tell Owen’s Sire, “Because I said so,” but he decided that would do nothing to defuse the situation. “I was trained well. I would never kill a vampyre unless I knew it was righteous.”

The elder vampyre shook his head. “Words, merely words.”

“I’m still alive father,” Owen said defiantly, “and I’ve been with him for the last hour or more. He had more to fear from me as I tried to enthrall him so that I could feed.”

The vampyre’s eyebrow rose in amusement then. “I presume you were a bit surprised when you couldn’t, my child.” Not waiting for an answer he returned his gaze to Kemp. “You’ve only recently come into your abilities. Why?”

Once again a smart remark almost passed Kemp’s lips but he hastily stopped it. “My father, obviously, and my brother are vampyres and good people.”

“Do tell. And just who would they be?”

Kemp told him and the vampyre nodded. “You father is somewhat notorious in his belief that none of us should ever feed from an unwilling source.”

“Yes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him with anyone but a ghoul. My brother on the other hand is like Owen. He’ll enthrall, feed, heal and then wipe the donor’s memory.”

With the talk of feeding Kemp could feel Owen’s tension and need grow. He took his hand, squeezing it gently, hoping to give him an anchor of sorts for the moment. Owen looked at him in surprise but didn’t try to pull away, instead holding on tightly as he took a deep breath to control himself.

None of this escaped the elder vampyre’s gaze. “I think we should leave your ‘friend’ and take care of your hunger,” he said softly but firmly to Owen.

Owen turned to Kemp. “Will I, can I see you again?”

“Tomorrow night? You know where I work, oh wait, no you don’t.” He told Owen the name of the club. “I get off at two in the morning. Meet me there?”

“I will, I promise.” Owen shot a quick look at his Sire and then kissed Kemp’s cheek before going to join him.

Kemp grinned happily, touching the spot Owen had kissed. “I’ll see you there.”

Monday, November 24, 2014

A wonderful review for 'The Hit Man Cometh'

'The Hit Man Cometh' received a wonderful review from Multitaskingmommas Book Reviews

The book is available for early download from Totally Bound - - and 'officially' arrives December 12th.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

24 - ‘Come gentle night…’

“Yes, I’m a dhampir. And before you ask, no I’m not going to slay you. You’re too beautiful.” On impulse Kemp brushed a lock of Owen’s hair back from his face, surprised and somewhat relieved when Owen didn’t pull away.

“Beautiful?” Owen looked a bit nonplused by both the word and the touch. 

Kemp chuckled despite himself. “All right, maybe I should have said handsome.”

“No, I sort of like that you think I’m beautiful. No one’s ever said something like that to me before.”

“Are you serious? Where the hell have you been hiding out that no one told you how fantastic you are?”

Owen shrugged. “I was just never, well you know, very out there at all.”

Kemp grinned. “So this is the first time you’ve ever let anyone know?”

With an embarrassed smile Owen nodded.

“Why me?”

“I don’t know. Just, you seemed, I felt, I looked at you and… I don’t know. I just…” Owen stuttered to a stop, turning away. “I should go now.”

“No you shouldn’t,” Kemp told him firmly, catching his shoulder before he could walk away.

“Owen, move away from him now,” a voice barked out of the darkness surrounding them.

“Oh hell,” Kemp and Owen said at the same instant.

“Now,” the voice ordered, “before he tries to slay you.”

Instead of doing as he’d been told Owen moved closer to Kemp, placing his body protectively in front of him. “He won’t hurt me father.”

A tall, dark-haired vampyre stepped into view, his clawed hands curled at his sides. He looked at each of the young men separately for a long moment before asking Kemp “Is this true dhampir?”

Kemp nodded as he tried to find his voice. “Yes sir,” he finally managed to get out.

“Why should I believe you?” The vampyre took two long steps forward.

Friday, November 21, 2014

23 - ‘Come gentle night…’

For the first couple of minutes after they left the club Kemp and Owen just walked, saying nothing but somehow comfortable in each others presence none the less. There were very few people around now as they strolled toward the river front—other than an occasional tourist couple wandering their way back to their hotel. 

“I love this time of night,” Owen said softly, “Nobody to bother you, just the stars and the breezes.”

“And the guy you picked up at the club,” Kemp responded with a chuckle.

“And him.” Owen stopped to look at Kemp, his eyes taking on a slightly feral gleam.

‘Oh hell,’ Kemp thought, backing away even as he met Owen’s gaze.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” Owen purred, reaching out to trace a finger down Kemp’s cheek. Then he frowned, abruptly pulling his hand back.

“You’re not going to feed from me either.” Kemp sighed deeply. “And here I thought you wanted me for me, not for my blood. I should have known better.”

Owen’s eyes widened in surprise. “You know what I am?”

“I knew the moment I saw you.” Crossing his arms over his chest he stared at Owen. “So I’m just dinner for you, nothing more. You had me fooled for a while.”

“No! I mean, well at first I thought so and then, well, I thought maybe not because as weird as it probably sounds I feel drawn to you but then the hunger hit and…”

“And I stopped being a person again and just became supper on the hoof.”

“I’m sorry,” Owen whispered. “I wouldn’t have hurt you, you wouldn’t even have remembered. My father taught me that at least.”

Uncrossing his arms Kemp leaned back against the wall behind him. “You’re Sire you mean. How long ago were you turned?”

“Six months ago." Owen paused, then asked, "Kemp, why are you taking this so…so easily? I mean I know you’re not a vampyre.”

“I’m half vampyre, if that tells you anything.”

“Dhampir.” Owen’s face paled even more than it had been already.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

22 - ‘Come gentle night…’

Kemp bit his lip as he looked into the deep jade eyes that seemed filled with desolation. “I was planning to leave,” he replied. “But… Yeah, I can stay for a bit longer.”

“May I join you?”

Nodding slowly Kemp retook his seat, pointing to other chair. “Please.”

“My name is Owen,” the young man said as he sat down.

A closer look at him told Kemp that Owen was nearer to his own age than he’d thought at first glance. “I’m Kemp,” he replied.

Seeming tongue-tied now Owen, just nodded. Kemp smiled, asking if he’d like something to drink and then realized there wouldn’t be anything here that Owen could drink other than water. So he wasn’t surprised when Owen told him a glass of ice water would be nice.

After flagging down the waitress to order that and another soda, Kemp turned back to Owen again, uncertain what to say. He finally went for the proverbial, “Are you a local or a tourist?”

“A local. I’ve lived here, well, forever it seems.”

Kemp repressed a frown, wondering if he meant the literally or figuratively. He didn’t sense that Owen was old or ancient, something he was able to do now sometimes. “I’m new here myself. Only been here about a month.”

“Do you like the city?”

“Very much. It’s so different from Seattle. Much more alive and exciting and accepting.” OK, that last was a dumb thing to say. If he’s just lonely and looking for someone to talk to he’s liable to leave now.

Owen chuckled softly. “Very accepting, thank goodness,” he said before practically grabbing the glass of water from the waitress as she set it down in front of him, taking a deep drink. Then he asked, “So what do you do? I mean do you work or go to school or what?”

“I work at a club down the street. What about you?”

“Nothing right now. I was going to school but things changed and I’m at loose ends.”

He’s a fledgling, Kemp thought in a moment of enlightenment. He probably has no idea what I am. “Do you live at home?”

“I live with my father,” Owen replied, glancing around nervously, his hand gripping the glass so tightly Kemp was afraid it would shatter.

Taking a guess Kemp said, “And you’ve snuck out tonight to come here.”

“Something like that, yes. It gets…lonely, being all by myself most of the time while he’s off…working.”

“Do you live close to here?”

“Sort of. We have a house on the far edge of the Garden District.”

“I’ve heard of that though I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet. I hear it’s a ritzy part of the city.”

Owen shrugged. “Parts of it are pretty fine. The rest is just houses and such.” He seemed to be getting more and more jumpy as he sat there, tapping his foot on the floor while his fingers played back and forth over the edge of the table.

He needs to feed. I should stop talking and let him go. But he didn’t want to. Not yet. There was something about Owen that seemed to call to him, which was insane. They were enemies even though Owen apparently didn’t know that.

Suddenly Owen was on his feet. “I have to go. Father’s waiting for me at the river front. He worries if I’m late.” he said.

Kemp didn’t say anything for a moment. That clashed with what Owen had said just a few minutes ago—that he’d snuck away from the house. Then he stood as well. “I’ll walk with you, at least part of the way. That is if you don’t mind. I mean…”

“I…alright, maybe just for a couple of blocks.” Owen looked shyly at him. “I’d like that.”

Monday, November 17, 2014

21 - ‘Come gentle night…’

Slowly but surely Kemp’s abilities grew stronger as the days passed. The scariest, yet most exciting one in his opinion was being able to know at a glance if someone was a vampyre and being able to see them even when they were invisible. It was exciting because he could—scary because just knowing didn’t tell him anything about them.

“That,” Trevor had reiterated, “is when you have to make a decision based on their actions. With most, like the two last night, it is quite obvious that they need to be terminated with extreme prejudice. As I’ve told you before, when in doubt check them out.” He’d chuckled after saying that. “Sounds like an advertising slogan but none the less true.”

After two weeks of lessons and nightly walks around the Quarter with Kemp before making certain he got back to the B&B without problems, Trevor told him that he considered Kemp able to handle himself on his own. Kemp had his doubts still but figured there was no recourse if he didn’t want to seem like a weakling in Trevor’s eyes. And that he was not willing to do. So he’d mustered his courage each night after work, checked his knives, and made the long walk home by himself. And so far he’d been fortunate and not run into any of his enemies, although once or twice he’d felt them in the area. When he did he would stop, trying to sense if they were in the process of attacking a victim. After getting nothing that said they were he’d moved on. He still wasn’t quite ready to go up and introduce himself so that he could ask if they were predators or just out for a stroll.

Tonight when he left the club he paused, debating whether to head straight home as always or stop to check out the band at a club farther up the street. He’d heard through the grapevine that they might be looking for a back-up singer. Not that he had the experience that would make them consider him if that was the truth but what the hell, it wouldn’t hurt to at least see if they were even any good.

They weren’t bad he decided as he sat at the rear of the room listening to them. Nothing to write home about but better than some he’d heard in the past. Once their set was over he leaned back, sipping his coke while eyeing the other customers. It wasn’t a gay club per se but he could tell it drew its fair share of men on the prowl. And right now he would almost welcome one of them coming on to him. He’d been celibate since he’d come to the city, between work and all his training, and was ready to end the long dry spell.

So when he saw a jade-eyed, dark-haired young man at the bar eyeing him he started to smile back. His smile froze unborn when he realized what the man was. Pushing back his chair he stood, uncertain whether to leave or approach him. The choice was taken out of his hands when the young man moved swiftly across the room to stand by his table.

“I was hoping…” The young man hesitated, “Are you leaving?”

Saturday, November 15, 2014

20 - ‘Come gentle night…’

Kemp snorted as he checked Trevor’s refrigerator. “Milk, beer and various science projects that were probably once foods of some sort. When’s the last time you actually ate in?”

“Before Del left town I think.” When Kemp looked at him inquiringly Trevor elaborated a bit. “She was my lady friend. Well maybe still is but that’s yet to be decided. She got a scholarship to go to an excellent art school up north so she’s not around now. Probably won’t be for a couple more years.”

“Do you miss her?” Kemp asked as he scavenged the cupboards for something to work with.

“Yeah I do but this is what she wanted. She’s damned good but needs…more.”

Discovering the makings for spaghetti sauce and an almost full box of noodles Kemp set to work. “Why didn’t you go with her, not that it’s any of my business.”

“Because this is my city, my home, my house. That and a lot of other mixed up reasons that,” he smiled somewhat sadly, “I’m not sure either of us really understood. They were just…there.”

Kemp nodded, stating with the wisdom of a nineteen-year-old who had never been in love or close to, “Shit happens I guess.”

“From the mouths of babes,” Trevor said with a wry laugh as he watched Kemp mixing things together in a pan before putting it on the stove to cook—along with a pan of water to boil for the noodles. Leaning back against the counter he told him, “Tonight after you get off work we’re going on a little walking tour of the area.”

“Vampyre hunting?”

“Yes, but only to see if you can spot them.”

“You make it sound as if the city’s crawling with them.”

“It's a locus for them so yeah it is. Well more than a lot of other places. Not certain quite why though some claim that it began with the Ursuline Convent and the tales of caskets filled with vampyres in its attic. I can tell you there aren’t any there now, although it’s quite believable it was their original point of origin here. But that’s a story for another time. Just trust that they are around in abundance.”

“And to think I came here to get away from trouble,” Kemp said with a rueful smile.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

19 - ‘Come gentle night…’

“Damn it Kemp haven’t you ever been in a fight where you had to use weapons?”

Kemp shook his head. “I…no, Trev, never. Why would I?”

Trevor sighed. “Have you ever been in a fight period?”

“Well, no. My brother tried to teach me to defend myself but in the end he told me it was pretty hopeless.”

“I don’t get it. Not to be an ass about it, but with your height and build, and given your life-style I’m surprised you’re still in one piece if you can’t take care of yourself out there.”

Kemp smiled ruefully. “I run fast.”

“Yeah well from now on you have to get that solution out of your head. Trust me no matter how fast you can run, even now with your new abilities, a vampyre can still run faster.” Trevor tossed Kemp the knives he’d relieved him of a few moments earlier. “Sheath them and let’s try this again.”

“Better,” Trevor said an hour later, wiping the sweat from his forehead. “You got a few good strikes in. Put them away for now. I’m starved and you have to be at work in an hour.” He watched as Kemp crossed the room, obviously intending to put the silver-bladed knives back in the case Mycroft had given him. “What do you think you’re doing?” he asked.

“You said…” Kemp looked at him in confusion.

Trevor chuckled. “Obviously I have to be a little more specific. I meant put them away on your body where they belong. Get used to having them with you at all times except when you’re sleeping, and then you keep them where you can get to them quickly.”

“Under my pillow?”

“Only if you sleep like the dead because if you don’t you’ll run the risk of cutting the hell out of yourself. Under the mattress, in the drawer of your bedside table if you have one, and Kemp, once you decide where, then you practice getting to them fast.”

“Yes, sir.” He put them back in their sheaths before asking, “Are we eating here?”

“If you’re willing to risk food poisoning, I’m a lousy cook.”

“I’m not too bad at it, if you have anything to work with.”

Trevor refrained from making any snide remarks about his domesticity, merely nodding. “Not certain I do but have at it.” He pointed to the kitchen.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cover Reveal - L'histoire de François – Vampire

L'histoire de François – Vampire
Immortal Angst - Book One


Since his turning in 1022 young spy, François, has hated all humans. And yet, in 1347, he falls in love with one, only to be betrayed by Giles who tells his liege lord that François is a vampire. The lord blackmails François into spying for him. Years later, François gains his revenge on Giles through his son.
In 1876 New Orleans, François joins forces with Vasile, a master of the city, to take on human vampire hunters. Then Vasile’s human lover dies and Vasile turns to François for comfort. Will love ensue, or is François destined to always be alone?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

18 - ‘Come gentle night…’

Kemp looked at the shop and then at Trevor. “A voodoo store?”

Trevor nodded as he opened the door. “Owned by a friend of mine with special talents. It’s the perfect front for what he does.”

“If you say so.” Kemp looked around at the shelves filled with bottles labeled with strange names, dolls---made of wood, Spanish moss and maybe other things he didn’t really want to think about---candles and ritual kits. “But I thought we were coming here to get me a weapon.”

An older man stepped out from behind a curtain at the back of the shop and Kemp froze, sensing vampyre. He relaxed slowly as he realized the man was a dhampir.

“Trev,” the man exclaimed. “Damn I haven’t seen you in like forever. How goes it man?”

“I’m still alive, which is more than I can say for a handful of our enemies. Mycroft, this is Kemp. He’s sort of my... protégée I suppose.”

“Mycroft as in Sherlock Holmes’ brother?” Kemp asked with slight laugh before remembering his manners. “It’s nice to meet you sir.”

“You as well, young man, and no, not in reality,” the man replied with a grin, “The name is the result of having a mother who was a fan of Conan Doyle. I consider myself lucky she didn’t name me Sherlock. That honor went to my brother.”

“And your sister is Irene?”

“If I had one she probably would be.”

“Wait a minute, you have a brother?”

Mycroft nodded. “He’s quite human. I’m the outcome of mother’s liaison with a vampyre, although she says she didn’t know that’s what he was. It was a bit of a shock when my abilities began manifesting themselves.”

“And your father…”

“Is no longer around, though that’s not my doing. He ran afoul of a pair of vampyre hunters long before I could have gone searching for him.”

Looking between Trevor and Mycroft, Kemp said with great sincerity, “I guess I was lucky. My father is one of the good ones. He married my mother and they’re living happily ever after as the saying goes.”

“If I’m not being too inquisitive has he turned her?”

Kemp shook his head, saying, “No,” and leaving it at that.

Mycroft didn’t probe further, asking instead, “To what do I owe the honor of this visit, Trev?”

Sunday, November 9, 2014

17 - ‘Come gentle night…’

“This should be safe enough,” Trevor said as he and Kemp climbed the fire escape to the roof of the building. “I doubt anyone will see us up here.”

Kemp had gotten off work an hour earlier. After four days on the job he had settled in to it. It hadn’t taken him long to figure out how to politely avoid the come-ons from customers who didn’t understand that the people working at the club were not up for grabs. Even if Sinclair hadn’t made it well known to his employees that this was not their personal meat market, most of the men who worked for him wouldn’t have used it as that anyway. And Kemp was no exception. He liked the job and the people and, quite honestly, was not looking to hook up with anyone at this point.

“So why up here, other than the visibility issue?”

Trevor smile was cheerfully malicious as he pointed to the wide gap between two of the roofs ahead of them. “We know you’ve got the speed and the strength, that’s inherent within our kind. Now we’re going to test if you have the guts to use them in an emergency situation. You told me about how you fled from those killers by taking to the rooftops. What if they’d cornered you and your only escape had been to leap from one building to the next.”

“I’d be dead,” Kemp admitted.

“Exactly. But now that shouldn’t be the case.” Trevor crossed the roofs to stand at the edge of the last one on their side of the alley.

Kemp trailed after him, stopping by Trevor's side to look down at the alley several stories below them and then at the distance between where they were and the roof across from them. “And you think I can get from here to there by jumping?”

“I can. You should be able to.” Trevor moved back a few yards, paused and then sped to the edge again, leaping forward into space. Seconds later he was on the roof on the opposite side of the alley beckoning for Kemp to join him.

“Screw this,” Kemp muttered, wondering who was crazier, Trevor for expecting him to do this or himself for even considering that he’d try it. He walked slowly back to where Trevor had started his run, took a deep breath, and raced forward. The moment he got to the edge of the roof he panicked, slamming to a stop. Looking across he saw Trevor shaking his head, an amused smile on his lips.

Kemp flipped him off and went back to the starting point. Gathering all of his new resources into him he concentrated on where he wanted to land. Moments later he was pushing off the edge of the roof, sailing across the wide gap. A gasp left his mouth as he teetered for what seemed like forever on the edge of the far roof before hurling himself forward onto his hands and knees.

“Now that wasn’t so hard was it?”

The glare Kemp shot Trevor said it all as he scrambled to his feet.

Friday, November 7, 2014

16 - ‘Come gentle night…’

Two days after Trevor had saved him from the vampyres, Kemp was sitting on Trevor’s sofa, watching as the dhampir paced back and forth in front of him.

“You’re still fighting this,” Trevor said, obviously trying not to growl.

“I’ve been blocking it for so long…” Kemp told him in an attempt to explain why.

“That’s no excuse. Close your eyes and reach deep down inside you. It’s there; you just have to find it.

“If I reach any deeper I’ll come out the other side,” Kemp muttered in frustration.

“Whatever it takes kid,” Trevor barked out. “You can’t save the world if you hide from the truth of what’s within your grasp.”

“I’m not a superhero,” Kemp said angrily. And his brother’s words came back to him suddenly. ‘No, but you have a duty to use what is at your command.’ “You sound just like Leif. He said almost the same thing to me, though not in the same context.”

Trevor cocked an eyebrow questioningly.

“I, umm, witnessed a murder and the killers came after me.” He told Trevor what had happened. “That’s sort of why I’m down here now.”

“Human’s or vampyres?”

“How the hell would I know? They stabbed the man to death, they didn’t drink from him.”

“You would have known Kemp, if your senses had been awake. Like you’d have known before they showed themselves the other night that there were three vampyres close by. They knew that you were a dhampir just as I did. You’re broadcasting it without realizing it. So you’d better get a handle on that or the next time you’ll be a dead one.”

“Wait a minute, you knew? They knew?”

“Exactly, although I don’t think they realized that you have no control over it yet.”

“Well that sort of sucks.”

“You think huh? So settle back, concentrate, and see if you can get in touch with the dhampir half of your being.”

Kemp nodded slowly as he leaned his head on the back of the sofa. Closing his eyes he tried once more to focus all his thoughts on finding that part of him that made him more than human. He envisioned himself walking down a long, dark street as he searched for his enemies. Figures came towards him, his father, his brother, but he brushed past them, somehow sensing what they were but knowing they were not his prey. As he did he felt something stir and change deep inside of him. Maintaining the vision he continued moving, searching each person as they appeared, reaching out somehow in an attempt to know what they were. “There,” he whispered as he suddenly knew which one was vampyre.

His eyes flew open and he stared at Trevor. He saw, sensed, and understood in an instant that the man standing in front of him had vampyre in him as well as human. “I did it,” he said softly. Then he chuckled. “I think you scared me into it but it worked.”

Thursday, November 6, 2014

'The Housemate' arrives tomorrow!

The Housemate

What do you do when you find out the man of your dreams may just be a creature out of a nightmare? That's what Ryan must decide when he invites Adrian to be his housemate.

He heard it again. An agonized scream coming from somewhere down the hall.
The first time it happened Ryan was certain it was part of some horrible nightmare whose details he couldn't remember. Still, feeling stupid but not wanting to take a chance that might have been real, he called the police. They came, searched the house from cellar to attic then told him in no uncertain terms that he was the only one in the house besides his cat, Constable.
"And no sign of forced entry," the lead officer said. Then he'd grinned knowingly. "Of course it could have been a ghost. Old houses are supposed to have them you know."
"And secret rooms and graves in the basement. Yeah, yeah. Trust me there's nothing like that here, including ghosts," Ryan had replied sarcastically. Not the best way to make friends with the cops he'd realized seconds later when the office scowled at him before turning on his heel and leaving with his partner right behind him.
So the next time Ryan had heard the scream—two days later—he went on his own search, starting with the other bedrooms along the hallway. There was no sign that anyone had gone into any of them since the cops had been there. He could tell because a fine layer of dust covered the furniture. Meaning I'd better get out the dust mop. Or not. I don't use these rooms, or half the others in the house, so why bother for a bit of dust?
The house was large. Much too large for one person. But he'd inherited it when his aunt had died at the ripe old age of ninety-five. Since he'd been about to be kicked out of his apartment for non-payment of rent, he'd figured he could do worse than move into a place that wouldn't cost him a dime. Especially since along with the house he'd also gotten a fair amount of money. It was being held in trust—doled out sparingly by her lawyer—but it was enough to keep him in food and pay the utilities if he was frugal.
The third time he'd heard the scream he searched again with the same results. Whoever or whatever was causing it hadn't shown their face. He was beginning to wonder if it was his imagination. Or—best case scenario—there was air in one of the ancient water pipes and the sound of it escaping just seemed like a scream.
That had been two days ago. Now it was happening again. With a sigh, and a grumbled, "Can it, would you?" he rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. 

* * * *

Adrian pounded his fist into his open hand in frustration. What the hell will it take to make him move out? Do this every damned night?
He paced back and forth, tempted to scream again out of pure frustration. He wanted the guy gone. This was his house, not some ne'er-do-well punk's who thought he'd fallen into the gravy. Nope, wrong way to put it. Was riding the gravy train? Yeah. Whatever. It was still his home and the fact the man had inherited it wasn't fair. Not at all.
He knew he could enter the man's mind and order him to leave. But that would be tantamount to treating him like a slave. That he was unwilling to do under any circumstances. Ever.
"If only Ms Abigail had other family," he grumbled. "Some nice old-maid sister or niece who would take care of the place. But no-o-o she didn't, and so she willed it to what's his face. The out-of-work… punk. Ryan whatever."
Twenty-to-one he doesn't know which end of a broom to use, if he even knows what one is. And a vacuum or a dust rag… Of course I could do some cleaning I guess, but then he'd know I was here. Not good. Not at all. 
Adrian glared at Ryan's closed bedroom door, tempted to open it and shout "Boo". He resisted only because he really didn’t want the guy knowing he had a housemate. Instead he went back to the windowless room hidden behind the wall at the end of the hallway.
He'd helped built the house, and secretly put in the wall—which shortened the length of the second floor by eight feet—just before the Civil War. It was his wedding home, and as a stationmaster for the Underground Railroad he needed a place to house the escaped slaves who made it to the town of Kennett Square until they could safely continue their journey north to Canada and freedom. He'd done such a good job with it—and with the stairs that led from the room down to two secret entrances in the basement of the house—that to this day no one had found them. Now he resided in the room—as he had since his 'death'. At night he took advantage of the rest of 'his' house, either visibly or cloaking his presence as the situation warranted.
The house had remained in the family to this day. Fifty years ago Ms Abigail inherited it when her parents had died. She was the stepdaughter of Adrian's son Michael, who had had no children until his second marriage. And those children were only his because he'd adopted them after marrying the widowed Mrs Bella Connors. Adrian had died before Michael was two and the ownership of the house had passed on to Adrian's wife, and then to Michael when he was of age, thus remaining in the possession of the Devoe family until Ms Abigail willed it to Ryan, who was her nephew by way of her sister, Michael's other, younger, stepdaughter.
I suppose he's family too, damn it. Even so, he has to go.