Ancient blood runs deep and it’s much colder!
Layne Indigo’s existence abounds with extremes—men, women, his own bloodlust, and death. Especially death. He’s a supreme stalker of not only humans but his kind, vampires, some of which are so audacious he relishes ending their lives. Adding to his troubles, he becomes enamored with a cunning woman who hates vamps more than anything and Layne can’t let Emerald “Esme” Franklin out of his sight.
Carnage amongst both species has Layne uncertain of his ability to continue as a member of The Triumvirate that rules over vampires. One thing he is sure of after Emerald surrenders her virginity—Layne wants more. Until Esme belongs to him, Layne won’t stop.
A Multicultural M/M/F Vampire Romance
“She yanks your chain because she believes you have no interest in her.”
“Don’t remember seeking companionship or advice, Cayson.”
“You require someone’s counsel. Your best friend, Julius, is busy courting your inamorata’s mother, so you’re stuck with me.” Cay’s eyes remained glued on the couple at the bar. “Jesus.” Cayson adjusted his cock. “Except for Jack I’d be all over that. He’s magnificent.”
Layne grunted. “You tread close to death.”
“And which would I be dying for?”
Stretching his legs, slouching further into his seat, Layne turned to look at Cayson. Studying his protégé, the only vamp privileged to digest his blood aside from Julius, he smiled baring sharp fangs. “Both.”
“Hot damn, you mean a man…”
“What do you want?”
“Jack is in his office going over accounts and we couldn’t help but feel your displeasure.” Cayson Covett’s mate, Jackson Reynolds, owned Curtain’s Shadows as well as one with the same name an hour away in Charlotte, South Carolina. Vampires frequented both clubs in the wake of Jackson’s hunter cell disbanding. “Why didn’t you keep Esme in New York until she met your criteria to be set free?”
“She missed Curtain.” Layne felt Cay attempt to break his shield. “You know that’s not going to pan out. Ask what you want to know.”
“I spent a lot of time at your side learning to stalk strays and hunters.” All vampires knew Layne to be an extraordinary stalker and he’d trained many including Cay. “Aside from Julius you never gave a damn about what anyone wanted.”
He returned to observing the couple. “Did you not benefit from my kindness?” Attacked by an ancient undead creature, Cay’s lover had been near death before garnering two votes needed from The Triumvirate to gain salvation. Cay wasted no time turning Jack who soon after admitted his gayness along with declaring love for Cay. Both men grew up in Curtain and bore not only sexual discrimination, they now carried another label—monster.
A different world yet prejudice still reared its grotesque head.
“I can never thank you and Julius enough for allowing me Jack.”
Layne had turned one vampire in his lifetime, Julius Talmane who, before becoming one third of The Triumvirate, made Cayson. Layne smiled recalling the exorbitant fee his friend extorted from Cay’s racist father even though Juls would have done it for nothing. The council needed a fledgling with compassion to temper both factions’ desire to kill. Cayson, dying of cancer, met all requirements. He and Julius had come to care for the young vampire whom they imbued with enough strength to conquer fiends from either side of the equation—undead or human. “I don’t need thanks every time we meet.”
“What do you need?” Cay searched Layne’s face. “Why haven’t you taken her?”
“Not your business.” Why, indeed? Layne asked himself that same question every single day since the night he snatched Emerald away from everything she knew. He fingered a bullet hanging from a heavy chain around his neck. Fabricated from holy wood and fired from specially made weapons, it could destroy some vamps. Emerald had fired it at Layne after a ruckus between a hunter and some stray vamps that interrupted a celebration a few months ago in honor of Covett Petroleum’s newest oilrig off the coast of South Carolina. “When did you last enter a holy place?”
“I’ve made piece regarding my relationship with the Lord.” Cay nodded toward Layne’s hand. “I’ve wondered how you wear that thing so close to your heart.”
“Are you afraid of it?”
“We’ve had a conversation about fear.”
“We discussed Jackson’s fear regarding his sexuality many weeks ago behind your home. What are you most afraid of?”
“Losing Jack and living alone forever.” Cay shrugged. “Loss of my religious ideas.”
“Why did you let your beliefs go?”
“I don’t relish dying in a church surrounded at every turn by holy wood.”
“You only lose what you give away.”
“Not sure what the hell you’re talking about.”
“We take life, shit, we live on human blood but if we are to survive it’s important for our undead nation to remember we are also children of God.”
“Layne, are you okay?”
“I’m going to rip that motherfucker’s heart out and bury it so goddamn deep, the devil won’t find it.” Layne snapped his fingers and vanished with the male vampire who had dared touch Emerald in tow.
Growl and roar - it's okay to let the beast out. - J. Hali Steele