A homoerotic vampire novel
Physician Andras Maddock will never shun the sin eater Owen. How do you ignore someone you love? Owen is stunned when Andras saves him from a gruesome death at the hands of vampire. How did the ordinary man kill a vampire who possesses supernatural powers?
Dagan, Dark Lord of the Underworld, vows to take the sword from Andras, the one weapon that allows the vampires to tolerate sunlight. There’s also the matter of his father’s death, and Andras will pay.
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Moonlight slanted through the pine trees, and in the stillness of the forest, the ocean roared in the distance. Occasionally, Owen stumbled on a rock, quickly regained his footing and followed the silver ribbons down the narrow path.
“The forest holds danger and mystery,” his tad always said.
From the inflection in Andras’s voice tonight, apparently he felt the same. The man had tried to warn him without alarming the servant. And he’d tried to tell Andras he couldn’t spend another night under his roof hungering for his touch.
A fluttering of giant wings to his left brought forth a shocked gasp, and another stumble. He fell to his knees as the moon ducked behind a patch of clouds and pitched his world into darkness. Through the black mystery of the forest, he narrowed his eyes and searched for the airborne creature. When the skin at the nape of his neck prickled, he wished he’d taken Andras’s advice and stayed in the stables. The scent of horse dung would have been preferable to the fear anchoring him to the forest floor.
His tad’s voice echoed in his ears. “A vampire cannot enter a private dwelling unless the occupant grants him permission. Most long tooth attacks occur outside the abode in isolated areas at night.”
Get up, Owen, ye dolt! Run! Ye have got to make it home!
Clambering to his knees, he stilled when a brilliant flash exploded in the clearing ahead. Beneath a canopy of evergreens, a beast appeared in his line of vision. Nay, it was not a predator of the forest but an upright human form. Shrouded in billowing black, his white skin shone like a beacon under the inky sky. Terror seized him as the phantom advanced at a foot-dragging pace, the undercurrents of death heavy in the morbid air. The ghoul’s eyes crazed with bloodlust, his long white fangs descending, he circled him.
Owen’s throat constricted with fear, yet the specter’s ageless features and hypnotic eyes immobilized him. Time ceased to exist and his immortality rushed forward. Death clung to his pores; he felt it surround him like a black shroud.
Lladd amser. His father’s words for killing time lashed about him like a hard rain. He knew someone would die again soon, but never suspected the someone would be him.
In the breath of a heartbeat, a new shape burst onto the scene, exploding through the bracken with lightning speed. Without pause, the newcomer lunged, the flash of his sword powerful and true. Metal met metal in a timeless dance of deflect and parry, only to meet time and again beneath the shadowy moon.
A peal of laughter bounced off the trees. “Well done, Andras. Someone has taught ye well.”
His name fell from Owen’s lips on a whisper. “Andras?”
The scene played out before him like an act from a Shakespearean play…except the characters obviously knew one another.
Andras gave no answer to his enemy’s false compliment, but rather countered with a vicious upward slice toward his groin. The being lunged with a heavy thrust and sliced open Andras’s shoulder. Owen focused on the torn fabric of his jerkin, waited for a stream of blood to arc through the vaporous air, and groaned when it failed to appear.
Vampire against vampire, their bodies whirled and twisted in a maelstrom of flesh and bone. They thrashed and tumbled on the ground only to continue the fight moments later in the branches of a massive oak.
Paralyzed, Owen watched with his heart in his throat.
Long fangs gnashed and an anonymous bloodcurdling scream rent the air. Still it didn’t end. Blades clanked beneath moonbeams and then Andras pirouetted with the agility of a jungle cat. Time ceased to exist as he brought the claymore up high above his head. On the downswing, the mighty blade keened its death knell and severed the long tooth’s head from his neck. The demon’s limp body tumbled from the branch and landed three feet from Owen. Gray smoke rolled from the creature’s open cavity, his body recoiling like a giant serpent’s tail in the last throes of death.
Owen clutched his abdomen and retched. Long seconds later and fighting off waves of dizziness, he lifted his head and stared into the ghost-white face of Andras Maddock. Bent at the waist, the physician gasped for precious air, yet kept his keen sight on the periphery of the clearing.
Owen followed his gaze with sickening dread. Were more long tooths waiting to attack? And who or what was Andras?
“Can ye walk?” Andras said jumping from a low branch of the tree with the sinuous grace of a cat. He holstered his sword in the scabbard about his waist.
“I suggest we leave. Now.”
“If we remain here, more will come, and I can’t fight them all.”
Andras straightened and studied him with narrowed perception. “‘Tis certain.”
He fought through the rising panic and looked at Andras’s shoulder. “No blood again.”
“Aye, but ’tis the least of our worries. I’ll explain soon if we live long enough.”
Mesmerized by the voice and in shock over the scene played out before him, Owen looked into the cold, lifeless eyes of the dead man. “Vampires here in Pembrokeshire?”
“I could ask the same: a sin eater in our midst?”
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