Friday, February 27, 2015

13 - The darkest night will pass…

Leif turned back to the pair of minions. “How the hell did you two fall for that? You may be young but you should be able to sense his age.”

The pair looked at Leif in confusion. “He told us…”

“He lied. Why, is anyone’s guess but he…” Leif spun around suddenly, fangs and claws extending. “Show yourself,” he growled.

“Who the hell is that,” Kemp asked, using his dhampir sight to look at the tall, mature vampyre standing invisibly a few yards from Leif.

“That, I suspect, is the real rogue, the real ‘Master’,” Trevor replied as he signaled for Kemp to move left while he stepped to the right.

The vampyre in question slowly materialized, a feral grin on his lips as he looked across the room at Trevor. “Finally, dhampir.”

“Do I know you?” Trevor asked, tilting his head quizzically as he looked at the vampyre.

“No, but you knew one of my Children, a very special boy that you slew without a thought. You and the lad beside you.”

“That sort of leaves the field wide open for guessing,” Trevor replied.

“Do not toy with me, dhampir. Khalid was my Child.”

“You did a hell of a lousy job raising him then,” Kemp spat out. “He was an abomination.”

“Silence, lad.” The old vampyre moved swiftly to stand beside the younger ‘rogue’. “Seth will deal with you once I have slain your…friend.”

“I think not.” Leif snarled.

“Are you defending dhampirs?”

“They offered their help to rid the city of these three,” Leif waved an arm to encompass the trio of young vampyres. “Apparently we were going after the wrong one.”

“But then so is he,” a disembodied voice said from high above them. “Stand down, Hakim, or regret that you came to my city.”

“Your city?” The old vampyre, Hakim, raised an eyebrow as he searched for the source of the voice.

“I reside here, therefore I consider it mine.”

As Rikard spoke a flash of flames appeared, encircling the vampyres. The three young ones froze in fear. Hakim however countered with flames of his own as he rose slowly up towards the ceiling of the building, still trying to locate Rikard.

Leif smiled tightly, signaling to Trevor and Kemp to deal with the youngsters. Then he moved swiftly to one side of the building and with a thought sent large hunks of debris hurling up towards Hakim to distract him.

The two minions hesitated a moment too long when the ring of fire died away. Trevor was on them, sword swirling. Kemp approached the vampyre Seth a bit more cautiously.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

12 - The darkest night will pass…

From their vantage place in the shadows of the park across the street from the abandoned building, Trevor and the others watched and mentally searched for the rogue and his minions. The fact that no vampyre could shield itself from a dhampir would give them the edge they just might need if the rogue was as powerful as they thought he might be.

And that, Kemp had decided even though he hadn’t voiced it, was a very big ‘if’. Why would someone who was supposedly so powerful remain in hiding? Every vampyre he’d ever run into, and that included the good ones as well as the bad, were more than willing to let others know what powers they had. Be it for their own protection, to make others fear them, or out of bravado to show off, they rarely concealed what they were capable of doing. And yet this rogue had apparently never been seen except by the two vampyres who called themselves his minions.

All right, so presuming he really is a Child of Khalid’s as Rikard and Trevor believe, that does not mean he’s strong. At least in theory. Khalid was undoubtedly the kind of vampyre who reveled in how many he could turn and make his. Just suppose this rogue is using his heritage to make others think… His thoughts were interrupted when Rikard let them know that the rogue and his minions had arrived.

“Leif and I will enter first as planned, Trevor. You and Kemp follow once we have their attention.”

With that said Rickard and Leif vanished from sight. Trevor gave them to the count of thirty to arrive at their destination and then started across the street with Kemp close behind. Both of them had their weapons out as they slipped through the shadows to the rear of the building. Trevor signaled for Kemp to wait while he moved cautiously through the rubble of the destroyed section of the back wall. He was back moments later, murmuring so softly Kemp barely heard him, “If the kid in there is the rogue, then he was turned when he was your age.”

Kemp nodded, mouthing, “Do we go in now?”

Without replying Trevor moved stealthily forward. Taking that as a ‘yes’ Kemp followed, every sense on alert. As they entered the building they saw the two minions talking to Leif.

Leif’s response to whatever they were saying was a sharp laugh of amusement as he jerked his thumb towards a young, handsome vampyre who was standing a few feet to one side of the minions. “This is the fearsome rogue that you follow like a pair of pups?”

“Do you doubt it?” one minion hissed.

“Well, he is quite young, still almost a boy.”

The rogue took a step towards Leif. “In appearance, perhaps, but I am much older than I look.”

“The story has it that you’re two hundred and fifty,” Leif shot back.

The rogue smiled tightly, nodding.

Monday, February 23, 2015

11 - The darkest night will pass…

“Any place in the building where Trev and I can hide and remain unseen?” Kemp asked.

“Yeah, there’s a couple of good hiding places, or you could wait outside.” Leif said.

“Not happening,” Kemp growled. “He’s not going to come alone, if for no other reason than to show off to his minions that he can take down a powerful rival.”

“Another thing that’s not happening, is you coming along with us,” Trevor said firmly. “And before you try to argue with me, Kemp, think about it. Leif is family and you love him. If it looks like things are going the wrong way, your emotions could override you common sense. You try to jump into the fray and not only will you be endangering yourself but him. You’ll break his concentration and then he’ll be worried about your well-being as well as his own.”

“I disagree,” Leif said before Kemp could respond. “Kemp’s old enough now to know how to handle himself, and I think he’s wise enough to know not to pull some lame ass stunt to try to save me if he thinks I’m in trouble. He’ll be good back up. Almost as good as you, Trev.”

Doing his best to keep any note of pleading out of his voice, Kemp said, “I’m not the kid I was when you first met me, Trev. You know that. You’ve trained me well and I have good instincts, or so you say. I can’t stay behind and worry when I could be there to help if I’m needed.”

Trevor thought about what they were saying. Finally he said, “I’m still against this but you both have good points. However,” he looked sternly at Kemp, “you will do what I say, and if I tell you to get out of there you go without arguing.”

“Yes Sir,” Kemp replied seriously. “I promise.”

“Good.” Trevor tapped a knuckle on the table. “I’m trying to decide if we should find more back-up, just in case. Do you think Sinclair knows a vampyre or two who might be willing, Kemp?”

“Will I do?” There was a brief disturbance in the air and Rikard stepped into view. “I have a vested interest it dealing with The Master.”

“About time you joined us,” Trevor said with a chuckle.

“I should have known you were aware of my presence.” Rickard took a seat next to him. “Leif, it’s good to see you again, and in better circumstances than the last time.”

“Not sure they’re better but at least different.”

“Wait a minute.” Kemp looked at Rikard questioningly. “What do you mean you have a vested interest in the rogue?”

Before either Trevor or Leif could stop him from replying Rikard said, “Because he’s another of Khalid’s children.” When Trevor growled angrily, Rikard told him, “He has to know. Keeping it a secret won’t work because The Master, as he calls himself, will be quite certain to mention it once he knows Kemp is there. Better that Kemp knows it now and comes to terms with it.”

Leif put a hand on Kemp’s shoulder when he saw him pale in shock and anger.

Pulling away Kemp glared at him and then Trevor. “What did you think would happen if you told me? I’m not a child anymore but you keep acting as if I were. I won’t fall apart just because that bastard’s name is mentioned. And I for damned sure wouldn’t have gone off half-cocked to try to take out his fucking Child just to…to prove something.” He took a deep breath. “Is that why the rogue is here? Is he looking for us?”

“It’s a possibility,” Rikard replied. “We won’t know until tomorrow night.”

Sunday, February 22, 2015

'Surviving' is out today!


When Terry and Kel Coleman run from their abusive father, they end up in Denver. The day they arrive, they meet three street kids, Rudy, Snap, and Josie. The brothers move into the trio's squat where Rudy and the others teach Terry and Kel the ins-and-outs of survival on the streets. While that happens, Terry and Rudy are drawn to each other and begin a tentative relationship.

Then Kel is almost kidnapped by a man sent by his father to bring him home. Forced to leave their squat to keep Kel safe, they turn to a local pastor for help. Thanks to the pastor, the five young people may find hope for their future -- if they can survive the present. In the process, can the budding relationship between Terry and Rudy survive, or will it be torn apart by the life they're forced to live?

Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
    "How are you doing?" Rudy asked Terry the morning after the fight.

    They were alone in the squat, since at Josie's insistence she, Snap and Kel had gathered up all the dirty clothes and taken off for the Laundromat.

    "I've been better," Terry admitted. "But I've been a hell of a lot worse too so it's all relative."

    "Your head still ache?"

    "No. My arms and shoulders though ..." He thought it was better not to mention his legs did too, from all the running.

    Rudy nodded, going behind the sofa where Terry was sitting. "Lean forward."

    Terry did, groaning when Rudy began massaging his shoulders.

    "Am I hurting you?" Rudy asked, concern lacing his voice.

    "God no! That feels great."

    "Good. I never know for sure."

    Terry turned his head to look up at him. "You do this often?"

    "Not really. Just sometimes when we've had a long day I do Snap." He laughed. "Okay, that didn't come out right. I give him a massage while he takes care of Josie."

    Terry chuckled. "That could be taken two ways and one of them brings up images I'm not sure I want."

    "Good point." Rudy kept on, carefully working on Terry's tightly knotted muscles. When Rudy was finished, Terry sighed, half in relief because he felt better, half with regret that Rudy had stopped. It had been a long time since anyone other than Kel had touched him in a ... he supposed a personal way. With Kel it had been to clean him up after a beating, or to give him a quick hug when something good happened, the way brothers do.

    Terry was surprised when Rudy came around to sit beside him. At least until Rudy said, "Give me your arm."

    Grinning a bit, Terry replied, "I rather like it where it is."

    Rudy just shook his head. "You know what I mean." When Terry stretched out his arm, Rudy went to work, starting at his shoulder and moving down. Terry rested his head on the back of the sofa, savoring the feeling of Rudy's hands on him. Despite the reason behind it, it was almost sensual. When Rudy finished, he moved to the other side, chuckling when Terry immediately offered his other arm without even opening his eyes. "You like this, don't you?"

    "You better believe it." Terry frowned in thought. "You know, I don't think anyone's ever done this to me before. In fact I know they haven't."

    "Damn, you don't know what you're missing."

    "I do now," Terry replied with a smile. "If I had the money, I'd hire you as my personal ... umm ... masseuse?"

    "I think that would be masseur. And you wouldn't have to hire me. I'm quite willing to do it for free."

    Terry's eyes popped open with surprise. "Seriously?"

    "Yeah." Rudy smiled, saying, "Okay, lay face down on the sofa. Or better yet on the floor."

    "Umm, why?"

    "I'm betting your legs feel as bad as your shoulders did, from our being chased last night."

    Terry resisted gulping at the idea Rudy was going to massage his legs. That did not however stop him from doing as Rudy said. He rested his head on his folded arms, tensing when he felt Rudy's hands on his thighs. This was getting way more personal than he thought he could handle.

    "Relax," Rudy said softly. "I'm not going to do anything more than give your legs a rub down."

    "I know." Terry wondered when he said that if he sounded as needy for something more as he felt. I'm being ... stupid. He's just a nice guy who's trying to make me feel better after what happened last night. Physically. I mean ... easing aching muscles since ... Damn. The feel of Rudy's hands on the backs of his legs was erotic. Stop, he cautioned himself. Pretend it's Josie, or some girl I went to school with. Easier said than done. He almost sighed with relief when Rudy's hands moved lower, rubbing his calves. He finally began to calm down.

    Then Rudy blew it when he said, "This would have been better if I'd had you take off your jeans. Or not."

    "Yeah, umm ..." Terry managed to get out.

    Rudy leaned forward, his hands beside Terry's shoulders. "Turned you on, didn't it. Or at least I think it did. It sure did something to me. So ..." He kissed the nape of Terry's neck then got up. "Where the hell is a cold shower when a guy needs one?"

    They both heard the sound of approaching footsteps outside the door at the same moment, then a series of knocks.

    "That worked just as well," Terry muttered, rolling over and sitting up.

    "Big time," Rudy agreed as he went to lift the bar off the door and let Josie and the guys in.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

10 - The darkest night will pass…

“The Master?” Kemp snorted in derision as Leif finished telling him and Trevor about what had gone down.

Rather than meeting at Trevor’s house or anywhere else public, Trevor had suggested a small park hidden away in the recesses of a residential area not too far from the club where Kemp was working. Now the three males sat at a battered picnic table, their senses wide open to the possibility of any approaching vampyres.

“An affectation, admittedly, but we’re not going to take him lightly,” Leif stated. “The fact that no one’s cracked down on him—or can even find him, apparently—tells us he has something going for him beside luck.”

Kemp nodded. “He’s younger than you thought, which should give you the edge, and we’ll be there to back you up.”

“Just because he’s younger doesn’t mean he’s not powerful, especially if his Sire was old or ancient,” Trevor pointed out.

“Exactly,” Leif agreed. “I have more than the normal abilities for a vampyre of my age because of our father, Kemp.”

“Meaning if the King here is an ancient…”

“He’s old, but not ancient. You know that,” Trevor said in reminder. What he wouldn’t say was that the King was not the rogue’s Sire, and the vampyre who was had been extremely powerful.

“Anyway, Leif is older and better than this Master dude so hopefully after tomorrow night this will all be over.”

Leif laughed softly. “Nice to know my brother has faith in me.”

“Well duh. Even when I’m pissed at you I still know you’re better than most.”

“Only most?” Leif shot him a hurt look.

“Come on, you’re not father, so at least one vampyre tops you, and as a brother you’re the best one I have—that I know about anyway. And, well hell…”

“I was teasing you, you nut. I knew what you meant and I took it in the spirit it was offered.”

“Now that we’ve established that let’s get back to the problem at hand,” Trevor said. “The rogue is not going to show up unaccompanied. After all, he’s managed to avoid being captured so far, and that’s because he’s smart and wily. If his minion got back to him immediately after talking to you, Leif, then the rogue is undoubtedly already checking out the building to see how he can use it to his advantage.”

Leif nodded, drumming his fingers on the top of the table. “The building’s two stories tall and badly damaged with half the back wall gone. Most of the interior walls and the first floor ceiling are just rubble now.”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

9 - The darkest night will pass…

Leif was tempted to roll his eyes. This fledgling was truly an idiot to flaunt that to another vampyre. Instead he said quietly, “You belong to someone very strong then.”

The fledgling grinned. “I hang with him. I don’t ‘belong’ to him.”

“Ahh. I thought you called him your master.”

“See how much you know. That’s his title, what he calls himself, The Master.”

“Thinks a lot of himself then doesn’t he? Does he live up to that title?”

By now the minion had forgotten his prey. He dropped his hold on her to gesture as he told Leif, “He’s all powerful. No one dares to go up against him, even the so-called King.”

The woman, realizing she was free, tried to flee only to find Leif’s hand on her arm. He spun her around long enough to alter her memories before releasing her with the mental order to run. And run she did, not looking back.

“You let her get away,” the minion hissed.

“She wasn’t yours to feed from. As I told you, this is my territory.”

“And as I said, I don’t give a damn.”

“Do you think you can take me, fledgling?”

The minion looked him over before admitting that he probably couldn’t. “But The Master could in a heartbeat.”

Leif smirked. “Oh really? Big talk but I don’t see him here to prove your words.”

Boastfully the minion replied, “I’ll set something up for you. Name the place and we’ll meet you there.”

“Tomorrow night,” Leif said. He thought for a minute before deciding on a vacant building he’d checked out on Rampart St. He told the minion how to find it and then turned to leave. A moment later he swiveled back again. “If this master doesn’t show, the word will go out that he’s a coward and not something as fearful as he apparently wants our kind to believe. Enough said?”

“Oh yeah.” The minion grinned. “This is going to be fun, watching him destroy you.”

“We’ll see,” is all Leif said in reply as he walked away.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

8 - The darkest night will pass…

Two more boring, frustrating nights passed before Leif finally found what he was looking for. He’d stayed away from Kemp and Trevor---making contact only by phone---just in case the rogue or his minions were indeed watching Kemp. If they were they were definitely playing a waiting game. But then, if the rogue was searching for Khalid’s killers he probably knew that more than the pair of dhampir were involved, and wanted to find the others as well.

On the fourth night Leif decided to expand his search area. He crossed Canal St. to the casino and its environs—a prime source for victims he though. Catch someone coming out, lead them down towards the river with its many dark areas and dine to your heart’s content.

He had called it correctly on that factor, spotting two of his kind taking advantage of the location. Not the two he wanted, however. So he strolled on, searching.

And then he felt it, the signature of one of his targets. This time he had no intention of loosing him. Wrapping himself in darkness, masking what he was, Leif raced after him, dodging the humans that filled the streets. Bumping into one would only slow him down and scare the shit out of them, as he was invisible to the human eye now.

Turning the corner he saw his target halfway down the street, his arm around the waist of a woman while he steered her toward an alley behind one of the hotels. Leif slowed his pace as he followed them. The minion dragged his prey a few yards into the alley and pushed her up against the wall, clamping his hand over her mouth to mask her startled cry.

Leif dropped his shielding as he walked slowly towards them. The minion looked up and snarled before dipping his head, his elongated fangs pressing against the woman’s jugular. Reaching them just before the minion could bite into the woman; Leif said to him, “You’re poaching in my territory.”

The minion hissed angrily, gripping the woman’s bared throat tightly with one hand as he turned to tell Leif, “I feed when I want, where I want.”

“Then you are breaking the Laws,” Leif pointed out.

“The Laws?” The minion sneered. “We don’t follow any laws.”

“Oh really?” Leif shifted his stance, pressing one hand against the wall beside the woman’s head as he looked down at the minion. “What makes you so special?”

“The Master. He does what he pleases when he pleases and no one has the power to stop him.”

Sunday, February 15, 2015

7 - The darkest night will pass…

Leif strolled down the crowded street with all of his senses open and alert. The cop side of him had him instinctively looking for trouble from the human faction. His vampyre side was searching for the signatures of the rogue's two minions. Dressed in an old, tight pair of jeans and a torso-hugging black T-shirt, his military-cut hair back to its natural black rather than the Aryan blonde it had been dyed for a recent undercover job, he looked very different from the way he had the previous evening at the club.

He had chosen the area around the club for his first foray into finding the minions. His hope—and fear—was that they were indeed keeping an eye on Kemp and wouldn’t stray far from the area as a result.

Angry voices came through the open doorway of one of the clubs and he started towards them before realizing that it wasn’t his business to do anything. Not home, he told himself sternly. Not my job. But he did look around for the locals and saw a pair of cops on foot patrol watching the same doorway.

Moving on, he turned the corner onto a side street, heading to the alley that ran behind the various clubs and strip joints. A quick glance down it showed that it was vacant of anything that concerned him. A few loafers catching a smoke of the illegal kind, one pair of men getting it on in the shadows of a large dumpster, but no vampyres—minions or otherwise.

And so the night continued—long and essentially boring—but he was used to that. At one point he’d thought he felt the signature of one of the minions and started to track it. If it was the vampyre in question, he vanished before Leif could get to him.

Just before sunrise he was ready to call it a night. He spotted a young woman, a club employee he figured, heading down the nearly vacant street towards him, probably on her way home. As he watched her, he realized that with all he’d been doing he’d neglected to feed. He paused, turning to look at a poster advertising a new local band, until she came closer. He could sense her wariness and smiled at her, taking over control of her mind as he did so. After that it took nothing to lead her to the deep recess of a doorway and feed. When he’d finished, he wiped her mind of the memory, healed the wound, and sent her on her way.

Afterward, headed back to his hotel, where he called Trevor to tell him he’d had no luck. Then he sprawled out on the bed, after making certain the heavy drapes were tightly closed and the door locked and bolted. Soon he was deeply asleep.

Friday, February 13, 2015

6 - The darkest night will pass…

“Either that vampyre was a total idiot or he was playing me big time,” Trevor told Leif and Kemp once they were all back at Trevor's house.

Leif nodded. “From how it went down I’m afraid they were playing you. They made it virtually impossible for you to follow them.”

“Which means they know what both of us are, despite how that one reacted to you, Trev,” Kemp said. “That’s going to make it harder to find the rogue.”

“And that’s where I come in,” Leif declared, shooting a ‘don’t you dare say otherwise’ look at his brother.

Kemp nodded. “How are you going to do it?”

“As I said earlier, take to the streets. I know their signature now.”

“And become their best buddy?” Kemp snorted.

“No. I might actually play it the way Trev did and be indignant that they’re poaching. But then I’ll let them convince me that that’s the only way to survive around here. Actually, the vampyre population in this city is overwhelming. I’m surprised more don’t just do hit and runs like those three are.”

Trevor stopped his pacing to say, “What I want to know is why the King isn’t cracking down on them.”

“Another thing I can try to find out. It could be just as simple as the fact that he doesn’t care as long as they don’t make waves or the rest of the vampyre population covers up their kills."

“Or they have something on him and are holding it over his head,” Kemp pointed out. “I wonder…”

Trevor cocked a questioning eyebrow at him. “Spit it out.”

“What if the King is this rogue’s Sire?”

“Possible,” Trevor replied even though he knew that wasn’t the case.

“Whatever the reason, we still have to stop the rogue and his minions before they do something that can’t be covered up. The last thing we need is for more humans to know we exist than already do,” Leif growled.

Kemp chewed his lip before asking, “Do you want us with you, well tailing you from a distance in case you run into real trouble?”

“Thanks for the offer, bro, but I’m quite capable of handling anything anyone throws at me. They’re all younger than me which also gives me an edge.”

“Those ones are but what if…”

“Stop worrying. I’ll be just fine. I’ll start tomorrow night because it’s really too late to now.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cover reveal - Garth's Chronicle - Imortal Angst:Book Three

Garth's Chronicle - Immortal Angst:Book Three
Coming from Wilde City Press in the near future.

Very unofficial blub:

Garth's life is saved by a stranger who then vanishes. When they meet again, Garth learns the name of his savior. François. What Garth doesn't know—François is a vampire. Despite their mutual attraction, can they overcome their differences or are they fated never to discover that love conquers all?

5 - The darkest night will pass…

Following the minions is easy enough. Either they are idiots or they don’t care.

For a dhampir like me, resisting killing one of them is harder.

They split up after visiting another club. Whether by design or just my bad luck, one of them finds himself a victim. I have no choice. I have to follow and do what I can to save her without giving into the temptation to turn him into ashes.

Said minion isn’t a happy camper when I appear just as he's about to make dinner of the young woman.

“This one’s mine,” he says, raising his head from her throat to glare at me.

Guess he really is an idiot. A fledgling one actually since he doesn't know who and what I am. Just thinks I'm another vampyre. So I play into that.

“You’re in my territory,” I hiss.

“And I care why? We take what we want where we want. The whole territory idea sucks.” He laughs at his unintended witticism.

I don’t. “Move away from her. Do you want the King to know you are breaking his laws?”

“He knows. He won’t do a thing.”

Pretending surprise. “You’re shitting me!”

“Naw. He’s…” The vampyre shrugs. “Can’t tell you.” He bends his head to the victim’s throat again, his fangs grazing it.

I take two steps closer. He looks up again. “My territory, I get first feeding,” I tell him.

There’s a momentary hesitation before he rips into her throat, drinks deeply, and then shoves her at me. “She tastes good. Finish her off.”

As I catch her he vanishes from sight. Well her sight. Me—I watch as he runs down the alley. I’d follow but he’s left me with a half dead woman who needs healing. Pulling out my cell I call Leif.

Monday, February 9, 2015

4 - The darkest night will pass…

Leif leaned back, resting his elbows on the bar as he made a pretense of sipping the beer Trevor had bought him. “Do those two come here often?”

“This is the second time I’ve seen them here,” Kemp replied. “The first time they just came and went and never became visible. We’d just finished rehearsing and the club was about to open for the night.”

“They were here before opening? I don’t like that one bit.”

Trevor nodded in agreement. “Now that they’ve shown up again, I have to agree with you Leif. You didn’t tell me that bit of it, Kemp,” he said accusingly.

“Sorry. Yeah, they came out from the back, looked around and left. I thought they were just scoping the place out for future reference. If I hadn’t known they were the rogue's minions I’d have dealt with them.” He frowned, looking at his companions. “Why does it matter anyway if they’re hanging out here? We know they frequent the clubs in town searching for victims.”

Trevor shot a quick glance at Leif before saying, “If they know what you are Kemp, and they probably do, they may be taunting you by returning, daring you to come after them.”

“I suppose that’s possible, if they want to see if the ‘baby dhampir’ has the chops to deal with them. Gods I hate that nickname.”

“You’re never going to live it down until someone newer comes along,” Trevor told him, chuckling. “But seriously, don’t take them up on it. Follow them if the chance arises but play keep-away.”

“A chance like now,” Leif said as the pair moved towards the hallway leading to the rear exit of the club.

Trevor was on his feet even as Leif spoke. “See you both later.” When Kemp started to join him he said, “Sit, stay. I think you have another set coming up real quick anyway.”

Kemp started to protest until Leif gripped his arm to tell him, “You do. Like right now if the fact that the band is going on stage again is any indication.”

Torn, Kemp nodded. “Alright, but damn it…” He watched Trevor leave and sighed.

“It’s not like he was planning on taking them down, bro, so go do you thing. Besides,"—Leif grinned as he took out his cell phone—“I need more pics of you up there to send Father.”

“Alright, alright, I’m going,” Kemp laughed when his brother gave him a small shove towards the stage. “Bossy.”

“Always,” Leif agreed. “It’s the older brother’s prerogative.”

Saturday, February 7, 2015

3 - The darkest night will pass…

“Exactly what do you know about this rogue other than what you’ve told me?” Leif asked.

Just then one of the rogue’s minions became visible and stepped out of the shadows at the back of the club, homing in on a woman sitting alone at one of the tables surrounding the small stage.

“Kemp,” Trevor ordered, “go chat her up before he gets his hooks into her.”

Once Kemp had left the bar, Trevor answered Leif’s question. “He’s a young adult for starters, close to two hundred and fifty.”

“So he’s on the cusp of being middle-aged. Is that all you know? Any description at all?”

“I know one more thing.” Trevor glanced across the room to make certain that Kemp wasn’t going to be returning soon. He smiled slightly when he saw his protégé sitting at the woman’s table, the vampyre now back with his companion.

Leif caught him checking on Kemp and said, “Something you don’t want my brother to know.”

“Exactly. The word is that the rogue is a Child of Khalid’s.”

Leif blew out a long breath. “Now we know why he’s so savage.”

“Yes, savage and wily. He learned his lessons well unfortunately.”

“Tell me something if you can. Could he be in the city because he’s looking for Khalid’s killers?”

“Honestly, I’ve been wondering that myself.”

Leif nodded. “Should I invite Kemp to come home with me for at least the foreseeable future? Just to be on the safe side?”

Trevor snorted. “Lots of luck with that.”

“I figured as much. In that case I’m going to extend my vacation until we take down this rogue.”

Kemp overheard his brother as he came back to the bar. “You’re what?” he asked in surprise.

“Hanging around here to help you two. I can get the local vampyres to talk to me. Something neither of you has a ghost of a chance of doing.”

“Not with Rikard out of town at the moment,” Trevor admitted. “We may be discriminating in who we take out but they don’t know that.”

Kemp wasn’t at all certain he wanted Leif involved, but he had the feeling he’d be hard pressed to make him change his mind. He was going to give it a shot anyway. “You know the two minions probably saw you with us.”

Leif nodded. “Good point, but they’re younger than me and I’m shielded so they’ll think I’m just another human. However I will have to do something to alter my appearance before I start hitting the streets. I’ve been doing undercover work for the last year so I should be able to handle that.”

“You’ve what?” Kemp growled. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“And have you worry? I so don’t think so.”

“Does father know?”

“Yes, and he’s fine with it. I mean come on Kemp, it’s not as if I can’t take care of myself all things considered.”

“I… Yeah, I guess.” Kemp knew he could but he still wasn’t happy with the idea.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

2 - The darkest night will pass…

“You know,” Leif said after the applause had died down, “if it were me in charge Kemp would be the lead singer.”

Trevor chuckled. “Well you are prejudiced, but hell I agree with you. It’s not going to happen though, not in this club. The lead is the owner’s kid.”

“Ouch. Okay.” Leif smiled broadly when Kemp came over to stand beside him. “You’re damned good bro.”

“Thanks.” Kemp reddened slightly when Trevor added his praise to Leif’s. “Couple more years and maybe I’ll be singing lead, gods willing.”

“You will be.” Leif clapped him on the back and was about to say more when he saw Kemp stiffen. Then he felt it too, the presence of a pair of vampyres. “Any idea who they are?” he asked softly.

Kemp nodded, glancing at Trevor. The two dhampirs followed the vampyres’ movements even though the creatures were invisible to the human eye. As they ambled slowly towards the back of the club Kemp muttered quietly, “They’re minions to a rogue vampyre who came to town a week or so ago.”

“A rogue? Does Father know about this?”

“He does, and he’s not happy. Unfortunately this isn’t his territory and the local King doesn’t seem to give a damn.”

“I take it this rogue is hunting for pleasure.”

“He is, and viciously by all accounts.”

“Are you and Trev planning on doing something about him?”

Kemp nodded. “Once we find out where he holes up.”

Leif tapped a finger on the bar but kept his peace for the time being except to ask, “Why are those two here, and more to the point how do you know they’re his minions?”

Kemp said wryly, “Because they’ve been bragging about it.”

“Then why are they still walking around?” Leif growled.

Trevor turned to answer him. “They’re our only link to the rogue. He’s smart and very clever. He ignores territorial boundaries, hunting wherever he pleases, leaving his victims behind for someone else to clean up. So far the local vampyres have done that since, obviously, they don’t want the cops involved.”

“If that’s the case how did you two learn about him?”

“From my ex-boss, Sinclair,” Kemp told him. “He sometimes helps vampyres who need a safe place to stay for a day.”