Tuesday, August 30, 2016

(14) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

Hear pounding on a door somewhere in the building. Not unusual. But go to check anyway.

I see a dude at Del’s door. Not his pimp. Him I know. This dude’s not happy. Keeps pounding, shaking the door handle. Finally gives up. Passes where I’m standing in the shadows. His hands gloved. His face a picture of frustrated rage.

I watch him. Memorize his face. Watch him leave. I’d follow but not with Del upstairs and hurting. Go back to my room.

Del’s moaning again. Flailing around. I grab him, hold him tightly. He struggles. His eyes open but it’s not me he’s seeing I think. For such a tiny thing, as hurt as he is, he packs a punch. I rub my jaw.

“Damn, Del, chill.”

He finally sees it’s me. Curls against me. Crying. Shaking. 

I wait him out. He calms—some. Get him water, his pills. He sleeps again. This goes on all day. Late into the night.

Then he wakes. Aware now. Looks at me. Tries to smile. “Thank you.”

I shrug. “Welcome. How you feeling?”

“Like hell. But I’ll live.” He frowns. “How long?”

“Twenty-four hours, give or take. Want to talk about it?”

His turn to shrug. He winces. “He did a job on me.”

“Fucking right he did. Why?”

“His thing. Likes beating up male hookers. But I didn’t know that when I got in the car. He said he wanted a blow job.” He looks down, scowling. “I got on my knees. He grabbed my head and slammed it into the dashboard. That’s all I remember till I came to in a room. He’d tied my hands and looped the rope over a hook on a post. He was standing there, smiling.”

Del shivers. I take his hands. Holding them. “You don’t have to tell me the details.”

He nods. “Needless to say he beat the shit out of me. Then left telling me he’d be back soon. I was scared, Trev, really scared. Everything hurt. But I had to get out of there.”

Sunday, August 28, 2016

(13) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

Blood. Smelling it as I come into the building. Seeing it staining the filthy floor. Following it to the huddled body curled in a dark corner. It’s hard to recognize him. Beaten. Bruised. Bleeding.

I think it’s Del. Delano. One of the hookers who live and work here. I’ve seen him around. A tiny thing, pale, too thin, always tired looking. But still he always gives me a smile and a few words of greeting. More than I give him.

First temptation—ignore him. Not my business. But. Kneeling to see if he’s even alive. A small groan tells me he is.

He needs help. I start to call for an ambulance. Feel a hand barely touch my arm. “No,” he whispers, his eyes pleading, fearful. I nod, pick him up, carry him up to my room. Settle him on the bed. Go to get a washrag, dampen it, come back to sit on the edge of the bed. Washing away the worst of the blood.

He’s unconscious again, moaning softly though. His body is as battered as I had thought, from what I can see of it. Someone did a job on him. Poor kid.

Wait. Me, feeling sympathy? No way, no how. Finish cleaning him up. Need to get him out of my bed, my room.

Instead, take him to my miniscule bathroom. Fill the tub with warm water. Strip him down. Fuck me. He needs a doc and bad. The hell with what he wants. Put him in the bath. Hold him there as I start to make the call.

“Please,” he moans, eyes trying to focus on me. “He’ll find me, kill me.”

“Who?” Delaying the call for a moment.

“The john. I got…away.” His eyes close again. “Escaped. Cab. Home.”

“Does he know you live here?”

He shakes his head. Barely.

Taking a deep breath. “You might have internal injuries that could kill you.”

“Better…if…” His voice goes silent, his head falling forward.

I catch him. “Why me?” muttered as I hold him, carefully washing him. Washing away the blood, the dirt. From his body, his hair. Lift him out. Dry him off. Take him to the bed. Find a shirt of mine to put on him. Pull the sheet over him.

Then, sure he’ll be out for a while at least, leaving. I know a quack doctor. Not far from here. He’ll be better than none. He’s not happy when I knock on his door 'til he answers. Agrees to come with, though.

An hour later I know Del’s not broken, just battered. The doc gives me pills for his pain.

Now I sit and wait for him to wake.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Now available - The C21 Box Set

C21 Box Set
NOTE: This is a box set. All the stories in it are available for sale as single ebooks.
C21 is a covert operation comprised of good men and women who ended up on the wrong side of the law. Now they have a chance to track and punish criminals to whom the law doesn't seem to apply. In this gay erotic romance box set by best-selling author Edward Kendrick, meet three of C21's newest recruits.

Contains the stories:

Dylan's Dilemma: When Dylan accidentally kills his ex-lover, he knows he's in trouble. Then he meets Mars, who offers him a solution -- join C21. There he learns his ex was an arms trafficker and goes undercover to bring down the rest the gang. Things get interesting as he becomes involved with both C21 and Mars. Can their relationship grow before the work they do tears them apart?

Sean's Predicament: A professional thief, Sean is caught breaking into the home of C21 handler, Jonah, who makes him an offer he can't resist. Join C21 and put his talents to better use. Teamed with Ken to destroy a phony adoption racket, Sean fights his growing interest in the man, certain it won't be reciprocated. Is he right? Or will they become more than just partners while stopping a gang of jewel thieves?

Tate's Quandary: What's a C21 operative to do when his partner is kidnapped? In Tate's case, he unwillingly hooks up with Van, an FBI agent and his ex lover, to rescue Gwen from Barone, who runs a prostitution ring they are trying to shut down. Can Tate and Van put aside their past, to find Gwen and stop Barone? Or will working together only destroy the last vestiges of what they once felt for each other?

Friday, August 26, 2016

(12) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

Rage. Anger, despair, grief, guilt. Especially guilt.

But you know that. I told you.

I didn’t tell you what guilt does. It eats at you, consuming you.

I thought I’d free myself of it by killing my enemies. Each one slain a bit of redemption. A lessening of my blame in Nora’s death. Our baby’s death.


I cross the country. Finding the Vampyres. Butchering them. No easy death for them now. Every cut bleeds them, slowly. I find some where they rest. Capture them. Subject them to every horror I can imagine for them.

I do it for her. For our child.

Yet every pain I inflict on the bastards I feel myself. In my gut. In my mind. In my soul. It’s me I’m killing for abandoning them.

Nights of penance. Days of remorse. Sleep a dreaded thing that brings no peace.

I wander the streets. Gaunt. Hollow-eyed. Grim featured. Even those that live and work in the hidden corners, the dealers, the punks, the street people, turn away when I approach. I am the leper, the anathema, more feared now than those I hunt.

Finally I am back in the Big Easy. The city of sin that I once embraced whole heartedly. I find a flophouse. Populated by the worst of the worst. Pimps and hookers. Druggies. Petty thieves. And I am lower than any of them.

All I have left are memories of one night, one day.

And my sword. The symbol of what I am.

Killer incarnate.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

(11) Trevor Wallace - Dhampir

Rage consumes me.

I stalk the streets. How could she? Why? Why didn’t Nora wait? Talk to me?

I want to kill. Someone. Anyone. All these humans, going about their daily lives. Uncaring, unfeeling. And she lies dead. Our child. Dead.

I brush by a man. He turns, irate. I grab him, hand to his throat. Slam him against the wall. His terror answers my rage. I want him to suffer the way I am. Hands pull me away. My growl is feral as I face them. The ones trying to save him. They back away. I snarl low, turn, look at him. Grab him again, fist raised to beat him senseless. Hands drag me back again. I struggle until...

His fear shatters me. I realize it’s not him I hate.

It’s me.

It’s her. For doing this.

It’s me. For abandoning her. My fault. If only…

If only I’d been there. If only I’d cared enough.

What kind of beast am I?

I walk the streets. Despair consumes me. Guilt.

Day after day. Seeing her everywhere. Seeing mothers with their babies—everywhere.

Night after night. Dreams. Of her. Nightmares. Of her. Her pain so deep. Abandoned. Alone. No one who cares. Touching her stomach, knowing life grows there and no one cares. I see her, sweet, kind, scared, alone.

My fault.

Their fault. Those who I am destined to slay. Creatures. Vampyres. If they didn’t exist she would be alive. If they didn’t exist my mother would be alive. If they didn’t exist I would be human.

I wouldn’t have left her to search for them. Abandoned her. Alone.

My fault. Their fault. Our fault she’s dead.

Rage consumes me.

They must die.

Then, perhaps, this guilt I carry will lessen. Never leave me but, maybe, be bearable.


Monday, August 22, 2016

(10) Trevor Wallace - Dhampir

Two nights now I’ve been by Nora’s place. No lights on, no sign of her. Walking the Quarter now, looking for her.

I know it’s been a while. Didn’t mean not to visit. But my job comes first. Always.

The chicks and guys are out in force tonight. All sizes. All shapes. All totally not what I want or need. Where is she?


Back to her place. Checking again. Name’s still on the mailbox, on the buzzer.

She give up on me? Possible. Probable I guess. For the best I think, for both of us. But.

Settle down to wait. Sitting on the stoop. Standing, pacing. Watching the sky turn pink as the sun comes up. Where is she?

A voice, a tap on the shoulder. Spinning around to look up into the face a man. Landlord he says. Tells me to move on. I tell him why I’m there. He shakes his head.

“She’s not here anymore.”

“Do you know where she went?”

He looks at me. Decision made. Hand on my shoulder. Words soft, sorrowful. “She killed herself two days ago.”

I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut. Double over, trying to assimilate what he’s saying. Look up at him again. “How? Why?”

He sighs. “Slit her wrists. She left a note. I overheard the cops talking bout it. She was pregnant. Alone. Loved someone but couldn’t find him. You?” He looks at me. “I guess it was too much for her. I’m sorry.”

“Sorry! You’re fucking sorry? She dies up there. Murders our kid. All you can say is ‘Sorry’?” I’m on my feet now. Wanting to kill, destroy. Him, someone, anyone. Me. Pound my fists on the wall. Not his fault. Mine. Mine.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

(9) Trevor Wallace - Dhampir

We make love several times until she falls asleep, wrapped in my arms.

I don’t understand. Don’t get my feelings. She’s just another woman. Not even particularly pretty. I don’t even know her, know much about her. But still she touches me somewhere deep inside.

When I’m sure she’s fast asleep, I move silently from the bed. Dress. Look down at her, brush a strand of hair from her face. Bend to kiss her forehead.

Go to get my coat and sword. I have my job to do. I have no time for this. Don’t need to get involved with some chick. Good fuck. Better than good. But that’s it.

On the street I pause, looking up at her window. “Good-bye,” I whisper. Then move on.

I go to the park where I last saw the pair of Vampyres. The early morning sun glows through the haze. I walk to the building. Find the entrance. Enter. No one stops me because no one’s there. Too early.

But late enough my bastard prey should be asleep. Now to find where. Searching. There has to be someplace below. Unknown to the humans. Moving outside to where I saw them vanish. Smiling coldly when I find it. But how to get in? Frowning. Back inside. Searching again. There.

Entering what is unknown to the owners of the building. Only Vampyre or Dhampir would have seen. Following the broken steps down to the lair. Empty. Caskets open, abandoned. How mythically typical.

They must have sensed me following last night. Wily bastards. If I had come in here it could have been my life lost.

The search starts again tonight.

For the next few weeks all my time is spent searching for the pair of Vampyres. Seeing them twice in all that time. Following. Finding the places they lead me to empty of the creatures the next morning. Mockingly empty.

All my nights are consumed with the hunt. I change residences soon after the start of it. And change again. Not taking the chance that they have followed me as well. Rented room to rented room. Collapsing into bed. Bone tired. Sleeping only to get up and start the hunt again.

Finally they slip up.

The young one, the fledgling, must be getting impatient. He manages, somehow, to get away from his sire. I follow. He culls a willing chick from the crowds on Decatur. Leads her to the darkness by the river. Following. Sword drawn. Foolish woman screams. He silences her. My luck, not hers. Ashes, blood, his, hers. You can’t save them all. Her body into the water. It will turn up someday. Probably.

Back to find the sire. No luck. But I’m patient. I’ll find him.

A week later. He shows—foolish Vampyre—on Royal. Invisible, hunting just as I am, but for a different prey. Doesn’t he realize I’d be looking for him? Creature of habit. It’ll be the death of him.

Tailing, this time not loosing him. He finds a victim. Male. Must have entered his mind. The man walks as if in a trance 'til he finds an alley. Vampyre right behind him. Doesn’t even go visible, just attacks. He must be starving. Doesn’t realize I’m there 'til it’s too later. Or doesn’t care. Thinks he can handle me when he’s finished. He tries. Drops the man, turns. Grinning, fangs bloody. Thinks I’m human I suppose, because he tries to enter my mind. One dead bastard Vampyre. Leave the man where he fell. Alive, barely.

Hunt over. Till the next one.

Time to find release. Start to troll the Quarter but none look…appealing. Male or female. I need to find Nora. No. Yes. Damn it. Not good. But I do.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

(8) Trevor Wallace - Dhampir

She’s there. I smile, crossing the street. She looks up, sees me, smiling then looking away. Embarrassed maybe?

“Can an old friend buy you a drink,” I ask as I take the seat next to her.

She shakes her head.

“Come on. Just one?”

“I’ve…” Her eyes meet mine. “I’ve had too many already,” she says timidly. She turns away to stare at the band.

“Then do you mind if I have one while we listen to the music?” I put my hand over hers, squeezing it softly.

“Of course not.” She glances at me again. “Are you sure you want to be here, with me, again?”

Why is it that this shyness, this hesitation in her, makes me feel protective all of a sudden? She’s just another chick. Fuck this. I start to stand. Change my mind. Wave the waitress over to order a beer. “Of course I do,” I tell her after the waitress leaves, smiling at her.

She doesn’t smile back. “I bet you don’t even remember my name.”

“Nora.” That surprises me. I did remember.

Now she smiles. “And you’re Trevor, but you prefer Trev.”

“I do.” I turn to pay the waitress. She glances at Nora then back to me before brushing against me as she turns to leave, giving me that come-on look that available females do so well. I give a small shake of my head and turn back to Nora. “Is the band any good?” She nods.

We continue to sit there, making small talk as we listen to it. And they aren’t too bad. Loud, but that gives me a reason to move closer to her so that we can hear each other talk. I rest my hand on her waist lightly, feel her shiver. Lean to whisper a comment to her. She shivers again. But when I pull back she puts her hand tentatively on my thigh and I cover it with my own.

The band’s set ends just as I finish my beer. I look at Nora. “Are you ready to go?”

“Yes,” she replies softly.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

(7) Trevor Wallace - Dhampir

“Thought you were a tourist,” I mutter under my breath as I watch the woman.

I’ve been trolling the Quarter. Keeping a watch out for my enemies. One lives here—Vik—but him I know. For now we have an uneasy truce. But rumor has it that there is a pair that has chosen this area as their hunting grounds. The Quarter and further north around the cemeteries. Vampyres are usually territorial, so these two are probably sire and fledgling. Explains their hunting together.

While I'm looking, I spot a woman I’ve known in, as they say, the ‘Biblical’ way. In other words I screwed her a couple of times. Assumed she was a tourist but you know what they say about assuming.

Now she’s sitting at a table close to the open doors of a club on Bourbon. Sipping a beer on and off as she listens to the music. Still plain, nothing eye-catching, but nice enough that I think of approaching her again.

I lean on the wall of a building across the street. Eyes flitting between her and the passing crowds. Not really looking for a fuck tonight but not against having one either if my search doesn’t net me my prey.

I see movement down the street. Okay, oxymoron or whatever you call it. There’s always movement on Bourbon. But this particular sighting can’t be seen by anyone but me. Dhampir power as I think I’ve explained before. One Vampyre, old, not ancient. Look around for his partner. Spot him further down. Time to play hide and follow. Hope they lead me to where they rest during the day.

Sometimes this job is a fucking pain, because now that I can’t pick her up, I really want that chick. The not so cute one that’s in the bar. Cursing under my breath at inconsiderate Vampyres I push off the wall to follow.

Second star on the right, straight on 'til Never Never Land. Or some such.

Following the Vampyres actually, and not to some mythical land. Just to wherever they sleep. I hope. They’re crafty bastards but that’s a given. Not sure they know I’m here. They shouldn’t but as I said, one’s older. Not ancient but no youngster either.

Through the Quarter. If they had been hunting, I was too late to stop them. Damn it! They’re heading north. Maybe to St. Louis #1, maybe not. A bit too obvious, even for one of them. And a pair? No.

Veering off. Heading east. The park? They don’t strike me as the camping out sort. Not the way they’re dressed. But then there are a couple a buildings there. Anything’s possible. Especially in this park that still hasn’t really been totally cleaned up since the hurricane, from the look of it.

Gotta give them points for ingenuity. Observing from a distance as they begin to circle one of the buildings. I know they’re making sure no one’s watching. Bit early for them to be heading to their resting place but maybe they’re well fed. Bastards.

I circle with them. Then, in a split second, they're gone. I note the place. Tomorrow. Killing time. Tonight, what’s left of it, return and see if the young lady’s still there. If so I just might get lucky again.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

(6) Trevor Wallace - Dhampir

Bastard Vampyre’s not here. But he’ll be back. He has his house here.

So, to kill time, I hunt for another of the damned creatures.

Strange. Interesting. I see a Vampyre who doesn't seem to be hunting. Not sure why.

I’m heading into an alley. Shortcut from A to B. Ahead of me is the non-hunter. And another Vampyre. They're fighting each other. A battle royal, with swords no less. Wasn’t aware they were weapons of choice for many besides me.

The one, the dark-haired one, finally prevails and the other Vampyre turns to dust. Finally aware that I’m there, the winner salutes me. Walks away.

Hell if I know.

Ashes, dust. Guess it doesn’t really matter as long as that’s all that’s left. But the dark-haired one. Why do I have the feeling he’s one of the good guys? He’s not Dhampir.  He's Vampyre. Of that I’m sure. But whoever heard of a good Vampyre. Not me. Maybe a feud between them. Works for me, I guess. One less Vampyre works, no matter the reason.

Still, I follow him to his lair. Leave it at that for now. I have to go after the one I'm looking for. His house is still empty when morning comes. But he’ll return, of that I’m sure.

* * * *

I finally run into the feuding Vampyre—as I think of him—again. Turns out that's exactly what he is. Sort of. His name is Vik, and it seems the one he dusted tried to kill his lovers. Yeah. Two of them. Of course, as far as I'm concerned they're his ghouls, but he calls them lovers. Semantics, I guess. Anyway, we talk and, hell, he figures out what I am and doesn't seem to care. Yeah, he tries to convince me he isn't evil. That he feeds, but from bagged blood. I tell him if I catch him feeding from a human… He gets the message.

I leave the Vampyre’s house, stopping only long enough to assure his lovers he's still alive.

Why didn’t I kill him then and there when I had the chance? Hell if I know.

I will say, that Vampyre has a way with words, I’ll give him that. Do I believe half of what he said? Not really. But I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt for now. Till I can work some of what he told me through my mind. Figure out if any of it’s true or not.

One thing he talked about I know for a fact is the biggest lie ever perpetrated on a gullible species to keep them subjugated—be they human or otherwise. Love.

Lovers, yes. There are plenty of them out there. Clinging to each other so they have a safe sex partner. Someone to help raise the kids they might produce by accident or design in the process. But there’s not a one of them that wouldn’t walk away in a heart beat if something better came along. Lovers, but no love.

Women especially are known for that. Sucker you in by flaunting their bodies. Or pretending to conceal them to make you wonder what’s there. Look at the ones trolling along Bourbon. Or any other street of its kind in any city in the world. Pay them enough they’ll do anything you want. Except give a damn.

There isn’t a female out there that won’t take a man for all she can get. Enslave him with her wiles. Make him need her. Make him think she’s a femme fatale and an angel all rolled up in one. And then use him till she’s drained him dry. Women are just Vampyres, only in a nicer package.

And we know how I feel about Vampyres. Too bad I can’t deal with women the way I do with them. But the law sorta frowns on that. Ask Bundy. So I fuck them and move on.

Speaking of which. That one looks ready and willing. And I could use some tension release after the night I’ve had.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Out today! 'It Takes a Photographer'

It Takes a Photographer
Quint and Clay Art Crimes #5

Olivia is a photographer working at Rory and Lou's art gallery. While taking pictures at the party Clay and Quint throw to celebrate the adoption of their son, she captures what seems to be a murder in the building behind them.

Lou and Quint take it upon themselves to investigate--unofficially at first--with the help of Rory and Gideon Monahan. When they find out the presumed victim is alive and denying anything happened, they dig deeper. Things heat up as Rory goes undercover to try to learn the truth while the others delve into the backgrounds of the people involved and Olivia finds more photos relevant to the case.

Now all they have to do is find out what the photos really show, and if what looked like a murder may be even more than it seems.


"He's beautiful," Trev said, tentatively touching the baby's cheek.

Quint smiled proudly. "We know. Beautiful, handsome, cute, um..." He glanced at Clay, who was holding their son.

"Sweet, darling, adorable?" Clay kissed Jamie's forehead.

"You do know," Zack pointed out, "until he gets a little older, some people will think he might be a girl with that name."

"Blame his mother," Quint said, glancing fondly at Amanda's niece, who was sitting a few feet away. "Wendy found it in some romance novel and insisted it had to be his."

Wendy nodded. "My first gift to him. My second was giving him to you and Clay to adopt."

Rory joined the small group at one end of the building's rooftop patio above Quint and Clay's loft. "I can't think of a better gift for everyone concerned. They'll be great parents."

"Thanks," Quint replied. "For damned sure, we're going to try."

Clay wagged a finger at him. "And your first step is not swearing in front of Jamie." That earned him laughs from everyone within hearing range.

All of Quint and Clay's close friends were gathered on the patio to celebrate the finalization of Jamie's adoption that morning. Amanda, the manager of Clay's gallery, was the reason that the adoption had happened in the first place.


Eight months earlier
"Okay, do you want to tell me why you're in such a funk," Clay asked Amanda. She'd been wandering around the gallery, straightening paintings for the past hour, looking as if she'd lost her last friend.

"It's my niece, Wendy," she blurted out. "She's pregnant."

"That's wonderful."

"No it's not. She's sixteen."

"Okay. That's not so wonderful."

"Tell me about it. My sister is..." She shook her head. "Wendy kept it a secret as long as she could." Amanda smiled wryly. "It wasn't that hard at first, given that she's always been on the plump side. Anyway, she finally told her parents, and they're furious."

"Oh boy."

"They threatened to kick her out, so I volunteered to let her stay with us until the baby's born. She arrives in the morning."

"What about the father?"

"She won't say who he is." Amanda sighed. "I'm not sure she knows. She's...a bit promiscuous. I hate to say it, but I suspect that's because she's not thin and svelte the way most of her friends are, so she sleeps around to prove to herself she's got some worth."

"That's sad, but, unfortunately, it happens." Clay gave her a hug. "You'll survive this. At least the gallery's closed tomorrow, so you can get her settled in."

"One blessing."

"Is she planning on keeping the baby?" Clay asked.

"I don't know that she's made up her mind yet. If you want my honest opinion, I hope she puts it up for adoption. She's got her whole life ahead of her and being tied down, raising a child..." Amanda shook her head.


That evening, when Quint got home from work, Clay told him about Wendy. He had an ulterior motive, other than just filling his partner in on his day. Recently, they had been dancing around the idea of adopting a child.

"There are hundreds, thousands, of kids out there who need families," Quint had said at one point, "and too few people willing to adopt them. We could. We're stable. We're old enough to get what it takes to bring up a child."

"You're serious," Clay had replied, surprised, but maybe not as much as he could have been, knowing his caring detective.

Quint had shrugged. "I know I haven't said anything until now, but I've been sort of thinking about it. If you don't like the idea..."

"It would be a big undertaking. Not something we should just jump into. That said, I think it's a wonderful idea."

When Clay finished telling him about Wendy, Quint understood immediately where he was going with the story. "If she does plan on putting the baby up for adoption--"

"Are we ready to step in? Maybe?" Clay smiled. "No, not maybe. Definitely."

That was all it had taken. It hadn't been easy at first. They'd met Wendy a week after she'd moved in with Amanda and her husband. The girl was sweet--and scared, not at all surprising as far as Clay was concerned. She had spent the next two months--before the baby was born--vacillating between keeping it and letting them adopt, after she'd accepted that they wanted to.

"I have no problem with it being you," she'd said more than once. "It's just--"

"A mother's love. We understand."


It was a bright, sunny spring day when Wendy delivered a healthy baby boy. Quint and Clay were there, along with Amanda. When they walked into Wendy's room, she was lying with the baby in her arms, looking exhausted but elated.

She's going to keep him, after all. Clay's spirits sank.

"His name is Jamie," she said softly, looking up at them. "Do you like the name?"

"It's beautiful," Quint replied.

"Then you won't change it, once he's yours?"

Clay shook his head, barely able to get the "no" past the lump in his throat.

Quint, being Quint, was a bit more practical. Pulling up a chair, he sat, looking between Jamie and her. "Are you sure?"

She nodded. "It took a long time to make up my mind, but he deserves a real family, not a sixteen-year-old single mom." She stroked Jamie's head. "I had plans, before this happened. I still do. College. A job. Maybe I'm being selfish, but that won't happen if I have to take care of him, too. I couldn't give him the life he deserves."

"You're not being selfish," Quint replied. "You're doing what's best for both of you." He smiled. "Of course, I'm a little prejudiced when I say that."

Wendy managed a weak laugh. "You might be, just a bit, but that's okay. Do you want to hold him?" When Quint nodded, she handed Jamie to him.

Clay watched Quint holding Jamie for the first time, and tears came to his eyes at the look of love in Quint's expression. He knelt beside them, taking one of Jamie's tiny hands in his, and he felt the same love flood him. "Welcome to the world," he said softly. "We'll do our best to make it the world you deserve."

(5) Trevor Wallace - Dhampir

Not in New Orleans tonight. Another city, another time zone. Same prey.

Dark. Duh. The Vampyres only come out then. I only hunt then. Another ‘duh’ statement.

This one’s cagey. Seems to know someone’s after it. Me. But it doesn’t know it's me. Stays invisible. Seeking a victim.

I stalk, closing in. It senses me. Turns, looking. Puzzled.

“Dhampir?” it asks.

“Yes,” I answer. Closing in, sword in hand.

It vanishes.

Older one, I know that now. Too late for tonight. But I’ll get it. Him.

Next night. Same thing, searching, finding. This time more careful. Send in a second pair of eyes. A rat that I control easily. Follow it at a distance as it follows the Vampyre. Watching through its eyes.

The creature finds a victim. Lures her to a killing spot. As he bites, feeds, she writhes in pleasure. I sense, smell her arousal. His concentration is on her. Hers on him. Mine on my sword as I draw it. Then on where I will use it first.

Move in stealthily. He screams as I slash the blade down his back. Blood wells out through the gash in his shirt. Whirling he attacks, nails ripping at me, his strength despite the wound immense. But he begins to weaken even as he tears flesh from my arms. Silver sword. His wound won’t heal.

Despite pain, I grip the sword in both hands, thrusting up as he forces me to the wall. Almost disemboweling him. He doubles over, clutching his gut, trying to hold himself together. The sword flashes down.

I watch as his head rolls. Plunge the sword into his heart. Smile in victory as his body turns to ashes.

The girl, his victim, watches in horror. Trembling, crying. Until I take over her mind. Change her memories. The bites on her throat from the Vampyre’s feeding almost healed. Lead her back to a safer place. Watch her walk away. One less victim of the bastards I hunt.

Now to rest, perhaps find someone to keep me company before I do. And then back to New Orleans. I have business there.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

(4) Trevor Wallace - Dhampir

Bloody but unbowed as they say. And two less bastard Vampyres on the planet.

Washing up. Going hunting again. This time for a bed partner—male or female. 

I stroll the streets of the Quarter heading towards Bourbon. Tourist babes. Dressed in next to nothing. Same with some of the guys. Eyeing me like I was prime rib ready for the eating. Not what I’m looking for.

Stroll by the skin joints on Bourbon. Cheap ass sluts flaunting their wares. Short shorts too tight, tops barely covering what they think are their assets. Drunk men trying to hook up with them. Almost drooling. Catch the eye of one I made it with a month or so ago. She winks. I shake my head. Talk about overpriced, used piece of flesh. Once was more than enough.

Decide maybe what I want is a plain girl bed partner this time. I like them. They appreciate it more. Don’t seem to want anything but to feel like they have some worth for at least an evening. Smiling wryly to myself. Makes us two of a kind I guess. Note to self, screw that. I’m worth ten times any screwed up chick. I do something with my life besides spread my legs for any man willing to fuck me. OK, that didn’t sound quite how I meant it because I'm into men, too, but…

Back to the hunt. See a chick dead ahead. With a couple of her friends who are hanging on the arms of strutting males. She looks…lonely. The homely one. Stuck as a fifth-wheel now. They hit the next bar, order drinks. Then the couples take to the dance floor.

I slide into the empty seat next to Miss Plain Jane. Intro myself. Get her name. Begin the seduction. She’s shy, skeptical. Touch her arm. Stroke her shoulder. Whisper in her ear. Score. She comes with me. Still unbelieving that I chose her. But willing.

I treat her good. Fuck her soundly. Make sure she enjoys it. Her night to remember in New Orleans. Kiss her soundly come morning and send her on her way.

Monday, August 8, 2016

(3) Trevor Wallace - Dhampir

“Stupid bitch,” Muttered as I watch the Vampyre in his tail suit and flowing cape lure the buxom blonde down a long, torch-lit corridor to his lair.

Why the hell am I watching this? Boredom I guess. It’s not quite dark yet. I have time to kill. A bad movie can help. But who writes this dreck? I’ve yet to meet one of the creatures dressed like that. Wait, I take that back. There was one.

Long story shortened. Heard about this particular Vampyre from a guy I’d screwed a couple of times. Punk wannabe into pillow talk. Bane of my existence but in this case it paid off. Told me about how one of his friends had changed recently. Real pale, loosing weight, didn’t want to hang out like he used to. The dude put it down to anorexia. Said it was 'cause this guy had a new man. Probably wanted to impress him by loosing a couple of extra pounds and overdid it.

I perked up. Not that way, though he was good in the sack so it wasn’t unthinkable. But right then I was more interested in this man his friend had met. He told me I could probably see him that weekend. Some grand opening bash. Fancy-yancy thing. Knew his friend was going to it with his new man.

So I rented a tux, the whole nine-yards. Did it up right, and went partying. There he was, easy to spot. Dressed to the nines like I said, the twink hanging on his arm. He was an older one. Sensed my presence. Shucked the twink then headed out. Most damn Vampyres are cowards when it comes to dealing with my kind.

I caught up with him easily. Laughed when he tried to enter my mind and stop me. Not doable—not to a Dhampir. He tried the usual tricks to escape. Went invisible, like that would fool me. Dhampir here, we can see them even then.

Short and sweet now. Killed the bastard. Was tempted to cop his cape. It was classy, but bloody. Not worth the bother to get dry-cleaned. They ask too many questions or look at you strange and call the cops.

That was my one and only run-in with a stereotypical movie Vampyre. Gotta give some writers creds though. Occasionally they get it almost right. Now if only humans would believe.

Movie’s over now. Time to go hunting.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

(2) Trevor Wallace - Dhampir

After mom died—that very night in fact—I did the only thing I could think of to stay out of the clutches of both the Vampyres and the authorities. I’d heard horror stories of kids put into the damned system, shuttled from foster home to foster home when they had no family. Never loved or cared about. If mom had family I never knew them. She never mentioned them, had no pictures, no stories.

Anyway, as I said, I did the only thing that came to mind to keep my freedom. I torched our house. Packed my clothes in my backpack, took what little cash she had in her purse, and then set the place on fire. Watched it burn. Mourned my mother in my own way. Asked whoever had forsaken her in life to take care of her in death, and then began hiking.

I ended up two towns away by the next evening. Bought a decent meal with the last of my cash, found a safe place to sleep for the night, had nightmares that would follow me—forever, I think. The next morning I took off again, hungry now and penniless. Hit a bigger place after hitching a ride with some old lady who felt sorry for me. But not sorry enough to give me any cash. Lived on the streets there for a while, moved on. Crossed half the country that way by the time I was sixteen.

My powers, the one thing I got from my bastard of a father, grew as I did. So did my sense of how to live in this world. Take what you can from who you can. Women were the easiest. They trusted, they fell for the boyish charm that I’d learned early on how to use. When I hit sixteen, I found out that if you bullshit the gullible guys enough, you can have a warm bed, three squares and all the sex you want, if that’s your thing. Guess I was lucky, or maybe it was my Vampyre genes, but I never caught anything.

By the time I was twenty-one I was jaded. I knew what people were like and hell, I used it to my advantage. See above and then some. 

I was also full of hate. I didn’t like my life and I knew who to blame. Vampyres. The one who brought me into being—the ones who murdered my mother—and all their kind. It was time to fulfill my destiny. Time to be what I was. Time to seek out and kill every last one of them. Five hundred, even two hundred years ago I could have made a living hiring out as a Vampyre hunter. For all I know maybe I still could. But I don’t want money for it. Just removing them from this planet is payment enough for me.

Back to turning twenty-one. To celebrate I hunted down my first Vampyre. Not as hard as it sounds, if you’re a Dhampir. We can see them, tell them from humans, easily, even when they know they’re being hunted and go invisible. I found one, followed him, killed him while he was busy feeding on his victim. Damned sucker didn’t even know I was there. Let the chick flee and then cut his head off. No more Vampyre, not even a suggestion he’d been there. Ashes to ashes and all that crap.

By the time I was twenty-five I’d honed my craft and learned to hunt them down where they slept. Got me a special sword. Short, silver, works like a dream on the bastards and is easy to hide. Got me a good ride too. Picked it up cheap cause it was old. Fixed it up, runs like a dream. None of that ‘let’s let them hear me coming’ crap. She’s as silent as can be. Stealth. The only way to go.

It’s been a few years since then. I’ve done my share of ridding the world of the creatures. Done my bit to pleasure a lot men, and sometimes women, along the line too. They still believe the line of bull I hand them. Still fall for the charm—though these days I’m finding it harder to be charming. The women are good for only one thing, to be under or on top of a man depending on how he likes it. Yeah I’m a chauvinist, not denying it. But that’s still the truth. Anyone who’ll believe my line of shit deserves what he or she gets. A good roll in the hay and then hasta la vista baby. I’ve got better things to do than try to woo someone. Either they want it or they don’t. If they don't, there’s a lot more where they come  from.

So that’s me in a rather large nutshell. Dhampir, Vampyre killer, full of hate, no room for anything else. Oh yeah, one more thing. I did find my father. Killed him slow—real slow. Ever bleed a blood sucker to death? There’s a certain kick you get from that, or I did—with him. Might have to try that again sometime on the right one. One who deserves my special attention. And I think I’ve found him.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Release day for 'Truth or Lies?'!

Truth or Lies?
When Wade comes to in the basement of a remote cabin, he has no idea who he is or why he's there. All his memories are gone, possibly the result of blows to his head. After escaping from the cabin, he sees his picture in a newspaper--but without his name--which gives him a clue to where he should begin looking for answers.

Answers that involve the police--who know his name, as he's done jail time--and Abbott, a government agent he seems to have worked for. Apparently he was involved in a robbery as part of a sting to capture one Dunstan Parker, a man Wade seems to hate. Intent on finding out why, he searches for Dun.

When he finds him, Wade gains more answers. But are those and the ones he's gotten from Abbott the truth or lies? Can he learn the truth--and survive if he does?

He raised his head and looked around, wondering where the hell he was. One thing he knew for certain... It wasn't anywhere he recognized. Dim light revealed... He presumed it was a basement from what he could see. One with dirt walls and floor, no electric lighting. More like pale moonlight, he thought, coming through a window high on the far wall.

It was then he realized two things. One, he was tied to a chair, his hands lashed together behind it, his ankles restrained to the metal legs. Secondly, he had no idea who he was. That scared the shit out of him. Not that being restrained and--he looked down--almost naked, exactly made his night. But not knowing his name or why he was there? Yeah, not good. Not good at all.

As he contemplated his dilemma, he thought he heard movement behind him and started to turn to look. He let out a yelp when someone grabbed his hair. A second later his hands were free and something was dropped on the floor by his feet. Then there was the sound of the person rapidly retreating before he could get a glimpse of them.

Bringing his hands forward, he flexed his wrists and shoulders. They ached. He figured that was probably from him having been restrained in one position for a while. His chest hurt as well, as if someone had pounded on it, although it was too dark for him to see if there were bruises. He peered down at the floor. His...captor?...rescuer?...had left the knife they'd used to free his arms. He bent, picked it up, then sliced the ropes around his ankles.

He staggered to his feet, grabbing the back of the chair to remain standing, his mind whirling with questions. Who am I? Why am I here? Where is "here"?

He looked around the basement. It was small and empty, except for the chair. A flight of rickety-looking stairs led up to a door. Gripping the knife in one hand, wishing he was wearing more than a pair of briefs, he made his way to the top of the stairs then tested the door handle. To his relief, it turned. He eased the door open an inch, peering through the crack, expecting at any second that someone would discover he was trying to escape.

Nothing. No sounds. No movement. He opened the door wider. There was light, although not much more than there had been in the basement. He stepped into what turned out to be a kitchen--one that hadn't been used in quite some time, he decided, from the layers of grime on the counters and stove.

He was thirsty and starving. Going to the sink, he turned the tap, getting a trickle of water. He scooped some into his hands and drank, immediately spitting it out. The taste was beyond foul. He searched the cupboards. Empty. The same with the ancient fridge.

Across from him was another door. It opened onto a second room, vacant except for a battered sofa and chair. Off to the right was what had once been a bedroom, if the mattress on a metal bed frame was any indication. There was also a tiny bathroom. "More like a shower room," he said under his breath, since that's all it held, other than a sink and toilet.

Above the sink was a cloudy mirror. He tested the light switch by the doorway, not really expecting it to work. To his surprise, it did. He closed his eyes against the glare from the ceiling light. Hardly a glare, he realized when he opened his eyes again. It just seemed bright compared to the dim moonlight coming through the windows in the other rooms.

He swiped his hand across the mirror to remove a film of dust, then stared at his reflection. The face he saw there wasn't one he recognized, although common sense told him it was his--too long dark hair, hazel eyes, full lips, the beginnings of a beard and mustache, which told him he'd probably been a prisoner for at least a couple of days, if not more.

"Who are you?" he asked his reflection. "Who am I?"

He saw what could have been dried blood caking the hair at his right temple. Turning the tap gave him a dribble of rusty water. A soiled rag hung on the towel rack by the shower. Dampening it, he scrubbed his forehead, wincing at the resulting shot of pain. The rag was rusty red when he looked at it, proving it was blood in his hair, not dirt or something else.
So I was hit, probably knocked out, at some point. Attacked? No shit. He ran his hand over his head and found another tender spot behind his ear. They wanted to make sure I was out, whoever "they" are.

Stepping away from the mirror, he checked his body--not hard to do, considering what he was wearing or wasn't wearing. His wrists and ankles were abraded from the rope that had been used to tie him to the chair. There were deep bruises on his upper body but no wounds. Got those when I fell, after they knocked me out? Or did I put up a fight? Since he had no memory of what had happened, he could only guess at that.

"Clothes," he muttered, wondering if he'd find his...or anything he could wear. His own would be preferable, since there might be a wallet with ID in a pocket, he hoped.

A search of the place turned up nothing but a pair of gray coveralls in the bedroom closet. They fit, although the shoulders were tight and the sleeves and legs were too short by an inch or more. "I ain't glamorous, but it's better than nothing." He went back to the bathroom to get the knife, which he'd left by the sink, putting it into one of the coverall's side pockets.

Figuring he was as ready as he could be at that point, he went to the back door off the kitchen and stepped outside. The first thing he saw was trees--lots of them--surrounding a barren backyard. Turning, he looked at the place where he'd been held captive. It was a rustic and very dilapidated cabin. But then, he'd sort of figured that from the interior.

"Where the hell am I?" he muttered, "In the middle of nowhere?"

It seemed like it, from what he saw as he walked around to the front of the cabin. Trees surrounded it, leaving only a few yards of dirt between it and them. He frowned, then squinted at what might be a narrow lane leading through the trees, just wide enough to accommodate a car, if the driver was careful.

"In for a penny," he said under his breath, starting down the lane. It was dark, the full moon above the trees fighting a losing battle to light his way. He trod carefully after stepping on a stone--reminding him he was barefoot.

It seemed to take forever before he came to a two-lane, badly paved road.

Now, which way? There has to be civilization somewhere, and maybe I'll recognize something when I get there. More to the point, maybe someone will recognize me. Then I'll at least know my name.

After a quick eeny, meeny, miny, moe, he headed right, staying to the edge of the road, in case a car came along. No such luck, he discovered, when he followed the twists and turns as the road meandered through the forest on either side. One thing he did figure out... He seemed to be going downhill.

Eventually, the moon set. It occurred to him since it had been behind him when that happened, that he must be moving eastward. Not that that tells me anything.

He was about to give up and turn back the way he'd come, when he thought he saw a light ahead of him. He hurried toward it, stopping when he saw it was a sign for a gas station--a closed one, at the moment.

At least they might have a restroom and snack machine. Right now, he had no problem with the idea of breaking into either or both.

As he got closer, he saw what he needed most--the restroom. After taking care of his most pressing needs, he washed his face, finally getting rid of the blood in his hair. He dried it with a handful of paper towels, gulped down some tap water, then went in search of something to eat. Luck was with him. There was both a soda machine and one with snacks. Looking around, he saw a good-sized rock and used it to get into the machines. "Hell of a meal," he grumbled, after going through two packs of cheese and crackers and a can of orange drink. Still, it was better than nothing and it helped sate his hunger.

It was then that he noticed a newspaper machine inside the front door of the station. The security light above the door gave him just enough illumination to see a photo on the sidebar of the newspaper's front page. It read Have you seen this man? He had, just moments ago in the bathroom mirror.