Friday, December 31, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Martyr of the Flaminian Gate
Valentine's Day Story, released within the Heart And Soul Anthology (M/F)
February 12th 2011
A love that spans through the ages
In the times of the Roman Empire, it is declared that no solider would marry to distract them from battle, and their duties to their Emperor, Claudius Gothicus. Jacobus de Voragine hears these orders, but does not heed them. He seeks out a priest who would wed him and his love, Petronia. And that one decision of devotion causes them both unimaginable adversities. But there are some forces in this world not even the Emperor can circumvent. The priest, Valentio sees the good in the hearts of men, especially Jacobus. And gives him a chance of a lifetime: to love purely and freely, no matter who tells him he can’t.
Excerpt One (RATED PG)
269 AD, the Roman Empire
Valentio stared up at Claudius Gothicus from under the brush of his eyelashes with an unpleasant glint inspired from these indecencies.
The guard had forced the martyred priest to his knees, chained in shackles and presented to their ruler—though he wasn’t Valentio’s. The priest followed his faith in honour, love and God. But the Roman Emperor had deemed it necessary to eradicate what Valentio held sacred, and impose his own to replace it.
“Do you still persist in these foolish notions, Saint Valentine?” Claudius’s index finger danced along the rim of his wine-filled goblet. “Has your incarceration not been enough? You have had ample time to reconsider.”
The priest bit his tongue in an effort not to laugh at the label some called him, in all ignorance. A saint he may be considered—but none here had any idea what responsibility this imposed on him. Miraculous occurrences would always happen and missionaries like Valentio and those akin to him distributed some, but not all.
“I persist in nothing that is foolish—nor have I ever. I will not convert to your ways. If you so choose to follow in your own beliefs, fine. But extend me the same courtesy. I do nothing wrong.”
The guard around the Emperor laughed—with a clear fake ring to it. They did not wish to anger the very man who held their fate in his hands, the power to do unto them, as what was done in the priest’s position.
At least, some of them. A few among these strong and intimidating men had come to change their faith—no longer seeing Christianity as offensive: not like Claudius had deemed it. But they would not allow the Emperor to have this knowledge, for it would only get them prosecuted. Valentio did not hold them accountable for this.
No one but Valentio would be to blame for his predicament, whether that was true or not. He had given himself up in many ways, all to save another who proved himself worthy of his specific attentions.
“Valentio, I am fond of you—your fortitude and rigid loyalty. It is why breath still fills your lungs and your heart continues to beat beneath your breast. However, is it possible you like living your waning life in chains, in a blackened cell? Because until your dying breath and the last beat of your heart that is how you will stay, if you do not come to see my way of things. Do not mistake my charity in your recently continued life to be my foolishness. I will kill you without a second thought.”
Valentio felt the cold weight of the metal binding his hands and feet. No, he did not care for the atrocities and the belittling of being bound in such a way. There’d be little doubt it would be his impending death, if his soul-deep convictions remained unchanged.
Yet, none of it mattered. To alter such a thing would be to lie to one’s self about fundamental needs. And that was something he would never do.
It took everything within Valentio not to snarl and rail against the injustice of this. Why could Claudius not see there should be freedom in religion? That people should have a choice?
“Then so shall it be. I will not have another way of life, thinking and being forced upon me. I will not go against who I am to please anyone—nor will I find variance in who I am, just to survive a pitiful existence of dishonesty. I hold true to fidelity in my faith.” Valentio calculated his words, though near reaching the end of his rope. “Perhaps it is not me that needs to look inward and see who or what is wrong.”
Claudius’s eyes filled with anger. “You dare question my beliefs?”
“You question mine. One does not judge another, until one judges himself first.”
“I do not have to judge myself. I am ruler here—what I say is to be heeded as the utmost authority. You are trying my patience, and I will not have that. Do you wish to spend another fortnight in the cells below, perhaps to gain some common-sense before I decide what your end will be?”
“I will spend the time there—but I will acquire nothing but hunger and friendship with rats. There will come a time, Claudius Gothicus, that you will see my ways are not as depraved as you have come to believe. You will see damnation for what you have wrought—and it will not be me who kneels before you, manacled to what he values. We all have a higher power to answer. You are not and never been mine. I sincerely hope yours has more clemency than you do.”
Claudius laughed at Valentio’s words. “You imagine that the Emperor of the Roman Empire will genuflect before a mere priest of a Christian Church? Who has knowingly gone against my dictates and wed my soldiers? It is you, and only you who will be arbitrated for these heinous crimes against me.”
“Those soldiers have want of families—children. Do you not desire for them to broaden your domain, and strengthen your rule? It is not fair to deny them a most basic principle—something all men covet. They fight for you, give their lives for your campaigns. Yet you will not give them a loving touch waiting in their homes, when it causes you no harm?”
Claudius snorted with distaste. “They are my legions—borne to violence and bred with a devotion to protect my lands. That is a much greater good than siring a few brats—who along with their women will distract them from battle, taking their focus away from what ismost important.”
Valentio took the chance for a sideways glance to the guards—those same soldiers who were condemned to live out their lives alone, barring brief visits to bordellos and rare contact with females, whom cared nothing about them, except for what lined their pockets.
The priest’s gaze strayed upon one of those—but not too long—lest anyone notice.
Jacobus de Voragine.
No one could know they were still friends after all that had happened. All the horror and pain Claudius had put him through—all the agony Valentio allowed him to continue to visit upon him, while the priest plotted out the best way to bring about the events destined to the solider.
Even if it was the very last thing Valentio did—and more than likely, it would be—he would see Jacobus’s family restored.
“I have had enough of this,” Claudius said, his voice a strange mix of musing and anger Valentio did not care for.
He had been jailed by the Emperor and his actions for too long not to know this wouldn’t turn out well for him. His gaze strayed back to Claudius, while everyone else in the room held their breath in anticipation of what punishment would be handed out this time.
“Decide my fate. We all know in the end, you will do so anyway.” Valentio raised his bound hands to display this fact.
“And what do you think I will do?”
“Kill me for impertinence.”
Claudius Gothicus regarded his prisoner with something broaching respect in the face of what would come. “While tempting, that will not be today, Valentio. I think I will try one more thing before condemning you to such a conclusion.”
“And what would that be?”
“My loyal guard—those who always serve me without question, will take you out into the street and flog you to show my people what will happen when I am disobeyed. If you come out of it alive, we will convene again. To think of all your attempts to convert me will do you no good. I will teach you that it is better to listen than to ignore.”
Excerpt Two (RATED PG)
It was her. His Petronia in the flesh.
Her chestnut hair was sheared off, brushing her shoulders and gently curling outward at the ends. Petronia watched him like she didn’t know him, when all he wanted was to take her into his arms and hold her close.
To have thought her dead! And then to have the priest tell him all of that nonsense and being idiotic enough not believe him—to this! It was incredible, even to someone who had jumped damned near two-thousand years forward in time, just three days before.
Then Petronia snapped her fingers in front of his face. “You still in there?”
“Terribly sorry, my lady. My name is Jacobus de Voragine, and this is my daughter…”
“Aelia. We’ve met.”
“Do you know her?” Jacobus asked with hope. Valentio had promised she wouldn’t remember them at first, but something in her eyes said she wasn’t as ignorant as she put on.
A woman bustled past them, wafting Petronia’s sweet, seductive perfume his way. And that was all it took. His cock hardened for her right then and there. Thank the gods his pants were baggy enough to cover it! How would he explain it to her if she happened to look down and see his straining erection?
“No,” Petronia replied, an odd note to her voice, eyes downcast like she was uncomfortable. “But your daughter does look so familiar to me.” She shook her head, taking a half-step back. Jacobus held his breath, needing her to recognize them. “But I suppose many children took a like.”
Aelia looked up between them with a sweet, innocent expression before she took off into the aisles of clothes to play. His heart filled with joy to see her carefree and unburdened. It was hard to reprimand her and order Aelia back to his side when she wanted freedom she’s never had.
“Stay where I can see you!” Jacobus called.
Aelia giggled, weaving through the displays in figure eights, around and around again. He watched her, unsure what one would say to his unknowing wife.
“You sound so formal—dignified. And you stand so straight, like a general of some great army. Different from anyone I have met here.” Petronia said it as if it were praise. He turned back to her. “You haven’t been in Canada long, have you?”
“Only a few days. I come from a place that is so diverse in comparison to here. I am completely lost, despite promises on how easy it would be. There is so much to learn, and it’s quite overwhelming.”
“Aelia seems to have adapted.”
His breath held. “My,” oh, how he wanted to say our, “daughter has had to come to terms with a lot lately, and I am so proud of what she has accomplished. Her mother—died, I suppose.” Petronia’s brow lifted at that. “And then Aelia was cured of two maladies, only to be whisked away to this new land, where she knows nothing. I am pleased she does not struggle like I do, but I know it is still hard for her.”
* * * *
Petra winced at hearing the immense pain behind his words. Something about him tugged at her heartstrings, making her want to reach out to him and his daughter. Enough that she almost placed a comforting hand on his arm to try and dispel the darkness which had crowded his eyes as he stared off in the direction Aelia had gone.
“Children are resilient little people, who are capable of amazing feats.” Petra fidgeted, feeling nervous. Not of him per se. She just felt off-centre, like she’d known him forever and a day, but couldn’t recall a thing about him.
But that was impossible.
“Father!” Aelia called before she raced out of the store, back into the activity of the mall.
Jacobus launched forward to follow her, Petra close at his heels. His pace picked up as he weaved through the crowds, worry etching his features as the young girl stopped in front of greeting card shop. Valentine’s Day decorations adorned the windows in hues of red and shades of white. Pink streamers coiled across the ceiling in the store, with hundreds of holiday related items to entice the passersby to buy them for their loved ones.
“Are they not pretty, father?” Aelia pointed at the hearts in an array of Medias, which sat beside helium-filled balloons and stuffed animals. It was like she’d never seen anything like this before. “What are they?”
Jacobus’s stern appearance melted into affection at her excitement. “I don’t know. Decorations of some sort.”
“Haven’t you heard of Valentine’s Day?” Petra asked in surprise. But Jacobus’s confused look confirmed he hadn’t, not to mention that he winced at the reference. Why did he look so haunted?
“No. What is it?” His reply came out hoarsely.
Petra’s brow furrowed, wondering how best to explain it. She assumed it wouldn’t be as extravagant where he’d come from. Possibly, it would lean more toward the real origins of the date.
“Nowadays, it’s about buying gifts of chocolate, cards, stuffed animals and flowers to pass between lovers and school children, who pay twice as much for them.”
“But you know better, don’t you?”
“It is supposed to be in commemoration of Saint Valentine and the sacrifices he made. But today, too few remember that, only seeing flashy sales gimmicks.”
“And how do you know about this Valentine, if no one remembers him?”
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Erotic Paranormal Romance (Werewolves, Vampires and Zombies)
Three Flames, Boiling
What lies behind the façade isn’t always what it seems
Abigail claimed the land of North Vancouver as her own, sharing it only with a clan of vampires, the Jericho Coven, who accepted the werewolf into their territory without qualm. Within their numbers is one, Cyrus Jericho; a suave, brooding vampire who isn’t quite as he appeared. He declares Abigail for his own the moment they meet, despite the fact that another werewolf pack is in British Columbia looking to claim Abigail into their midst, no matter what they must do to see that goal complete.
Excerpt (Rated PG)
Cyrus stood alone at the bar when Ada walked back into the party with Dina and who he now assumed to be the party-planner, Abigail.
He liked to think himself suave and not so easily ruffled, but that single moment in time, both proved wrong. The moment he laid eyes on the she-wolf, he went weak in the knees and a fine sweat worked over his body.
And that was from across the room.
He stared at his hand that shook ever so slightly. And to make matters worse, Ada made eye contact with him and smiled, making a beeline straight for him with the wolves in tow.
It would be a very rough night.
“Cyrus, may I introduce you to Abigail Weber, the party-planner,” Ada said in a smooth voice that revealed nothing of her increased heart rate pounding in his ears, signifying her anxiety.
He discreetly sniffed the air, but what he came up with blew his mind. The wolf is in heat. When his mind filtered this information to him his cock hardened, making him crave the party-planner like nothing else. Not even the whiskey he treasured like a favored lover came even close.
The worst impact to his libido had to be how Abigail reacted to him. Her breath shuddered into her lungs, heart thumping and going far faster than Ada’s. Her hand curled around her black clutch, holding it tightly to her stomach, right over her womb.
Cyrus was thrilled to know he wasn’t the only one affected.
Her exquisite beauty! It rivaled and surpassed any female in the room, regardless of race. Even with her mask covering the top half of her face, he could still see it, the perfect lines of her face – and her body; it was enough to drive the sanest man mad.
“Hello, milyi,” he replied softly, and he swore she sighed at the sound of his voice.
“Ahh, Cyr, such a charmer,” Dina smiled gratefully.
Dina knew something he didn’t, though this didn’t surprise him. Surely a normal occurrence, one he had long since accustomed himself to. She was a strange animal, to say the least, but that was his Dina.
“You know him?” Abigail whispered to her friend.
“Very well. We have known each other for years.” Dina didn’t meet her eyes when she said it. Protecting him no doubt, as much as herself.
“Cyrus, I highly recommend you ask our Abby for a dance,” Ada asked – an order under the guise of a request. And keep an eye on our new friends. This most recent development, I am sure you have noticed by the state of your pants, has not gone undetected by them. I was foolish enough, not taking into account her going into heat. It will spur them on even more.
Then kick them out.
Cyr, the point of knowing what they do, and when they do it is still important to me. Abigail will fight to the death for her territory. And I outright refuse to leave her alone for this coming battle. Sabern wants her, badly. I can smell it on him. And while Abby is a strong wolf, she can’t take them all on, even though she will without thought or question. And if they threaten us, she will lay her life down in protecting our Coven for taking her in. I cannot stand that thought. I know there is much about your past life you have not told us and I do not pry now, but I have a feeling you are capable of adequately defending her.
Now that was definitely true. He looked Dina in the eye over Abigail’s head, seeing the cold expression she hid from everyone else, the feel of friendliness leaving her for a brief moment. Dina had full intentions of protecting Abigail. She cherished this rare, real friend in her life, and what these vampires didn’t know about his long-time companion, would and could, kill the rival pack.
And the same could be said about him.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
It’s finally happened! The FREE paranormal erotica series, Sara’s Story is now available in e-book on my website. This includes Book One; Suspicious Circumstances, Book Two; Unknown Worlds, and Book Three: Breaching Loyalty
To get your copy: CLICK HERE
Summary of Sara’s Story Books I, II, and III
Sara has led a hard life; her past plaguing her in ways a rational mind can barely conceive of—and this woman is by no stretch of the imagination balanced. She does the best she can with what she has, but fate just keeps throwing her hardballs. Learning that Suspicious Circumstancessurround the men she’s allowed in her life, Sara has to rethink everything she’d once believed in. She gets involved with a vampire of another Lower Mainland Coven, Loren Foxworth, who takes her to Unknown Worlds. Loren shows her the ways vampires of old follow, and Sara finds that she doesn’t care for them. She will go against powers far greater than her for what she feels is right. Sara seeks her own way in life, only to find that despite what she may do or which way she turns, some people would always Breach Loyalty.
Hope you enjoy!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Red's Return: Book One of Torrent’s Talents
Paranormal romance, Shape Shifter
Heat level: 4
For Red Hood, it's been a long journey to Grandma's house. Her escape to big-city life is not what she had expected; the hustle and bustle of metropolis has left her feeling alienated and more of a freak than she could have imagined. Torrent, the town where she grew up, on the other hand, has so much more to offer--friends, family and acceptance of her 'special' breed of talent.
Red quickly makes up her mind to return home. The warm embrace of her parents and grandmother are alluring, but the mysterious stranger she bumps into on the path to Grandma's might just sweeten the deal.
“Nice to meet you Red Hood, I am Ethan Wolfe.” Red started to laugh so hard, she almost toppled again. If Ethan had not been holding her hand and caught her under the elbow she would have. The tingling sensations in her fingertips from his touch had her sobering fast. She hadn't felt an instant attraction to a man in a long time. Ethan looked at her as if she had lost her mind.
“I am sorry, but the story of Little Red Riding Hood just popped into my head there. Red and the Wolfe?” She smiled. “My grandmother always told me the big, bad wolf was going to find me on the path and want to keep me for himself someday.”
Ethan smiled at her, a wide, hungry smile.
Red took another step back.
“Well I was on my way to my grandmother's house, so I think I had better get there. It was nice to meet you Ethan Wolfe.” Red took off at a brisk pace for her grandma's house.
Ethan watched Red Hood walk away from him, the wicked smile unwaning. Grandma always told her that the big, bad wolf would want to keep her, did she? Well Grandma did not know how right she was. Ethan was definitely going to keep her for himself and he was the biggest, baddest wolf around. Ethan licked his lips as he watched the gentle sway of Red’s hips as she walked away. He and his wolf had both smelled the scent of an orgasm on her hand. The thought of her pleasuring herself hardened his cock until it pressed against the seam of his zipper. He felt his palms sweat at the thought and a rush of heat throughout his body. He found her absolutely delightful—from the melody of her laugh, to the gravel in her voice, to the tiniest glint of passion and fear he had seen in her beautiful blue eyes.
She lives in the Sacramento, CA area with her husband and two boys. Working full time during the day, she writes at night and on the weekends to release the voices in her head. She is the author of the Torrent's Talents series and is working on a number of other projects as well. A lover of reading as well as writing, she is the co-owner of Sensual Treats Magazine, a free quarterly magazine that focuses on the romance of life, and the administrator of Siren Book Reviews.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Sara’s Story—the FREE paranormal erotica Series
Places to find it:
Free Download coming soon, and the summaries of each story: http://kaydenmcleod.com/freebies.php
To get the FREE e-book early, feel free to e-mail me at:
email@example.com for your copy!!
Paranormal Erotica (Menage; MF, MMF, MMMF, Anal)
Summary for the series:
Sara has led a hard life; her past plaguing her in ways a rational mind can barely conceive of—and this woman is by no stretch of the imagination balanced. She does the best she can with what she has, but fate just keeps throwing her hardballs. Learning that Suspicious Circumstances surround the men she’s allowed in her life, Sara has to rethink everything she’d once believed in. She gets involved with a vampire of another Lower Mainland Coven, Loren Foxworth, who takes her to Unknown Worlds. Loren shows her the ways vampires of old follow, and Sara finds that she doesn’t care for them. She will go against powers far greater than her for what she feels is right. Sara seeks her own way in life, only to find that despite what she may do or which way she turns, some people would always Breach Loyalty.
Excerpt One—Rated R—Sara’s Story, Book Three, Breaching Loyalty
The damned phone was ringing again.
I shoved my head further into a pillow to pretend it didn’t exist. Sleep…sleep was much needed. I never seemed to be able to get nearly enough of it.
I felt someone reaching over me to get the infernal contraption, to then drop it, swearing under his breath. The mattress dipped when he rolled off of the bed to retrieve the cordless. Or at least that was what it sounded and felt like.
To know for certain, I would’ve had to open my eyes, and that just wasn’t going to happen at this ungodly hour, whichever one that happened to be.
To confirm the time…ahh, screw it. Sleep. Now.
With no more phones.
Then my beloved pillow was ripped away, light piercing my clenched eyes. Groaning and rolling over a little, I blinked to see warm, brown eyes glittering at me.
“Morning,” Keoni mumbled groggily.
“It’s against the law to be morning. I declare it so.”
“Then why is the sun shining? I don’t know if it’s different in this part of the world, but where I come from that means daytime.”
“Are you always such a smartass?” I grumbled when he finished dragging the pillow from between my clenched fingers. Damn him.
“I try my best, and you’re teaching me more every day.” He grinned. “Yolie didn’t allow either of us speech often as she saw it as unneeded, so I’m severely out of practice. We weren’t kept for such things, though there were times she would speak to us.”
Ignoring yet another disturbing reference to his old life, I rolled over to stretch my body, my back arching ever so slightly. Loren’s mouth closed over my nipple, making me smile. My hand ran down his cheek as his warm, espresso eyes locked with mine, nuzzling me as his hand cupped the other.
Keoni’s tongue swirled over my belly, moving down to my apex, chuckling when my breath stopped. The tip swiped over my clit and I moaned for him.
My hand settled on Loren’s head, the other falling to the side of the bed where Adoniia caught it in his mouth, kissing one tip as he brought the phone to his ear.
It was always like that with my men and sex; instant and devastating. But then again, with them everything always was. All three had grown on me, in ways I had never expected before.
“Hello?” Adoniia yawned, and then it rang again, right in his ear and he jumped.
“Baby, you have to turn it on. Remember we talked about this.” I chuckled to myself. “The phone only works, after you press the green button.”
“Oh, right,” he murmured, pressing the key, and then placing it against his ear. “Hello?” he paused, listening. “Yes, this is he. Uh huh…what was that again?” Another moment. “You want me to do what?”
I watched every last change on his face, seeing emotions I’d hoped to have banished in my naivety. While I knew I couldn’t erase two-thousand years of his personal torture in thirty-days or less; in that one second, it was like we were back at square-one.
He allowed me to feel his growing concern, and something racing towards panic, but it was much more profound than such a weak word. I pushed Loren away, and climbed over Keoni to get to him. His hand gripped the edge of the mattress, other still clutching my hand, until all of his knuckles turned a harsh white.
I focused my finely-tuned hearing on what the person on the phone was saying. But I had to try and fight past his vulnerability that affected my own. He had come to depend on me on all levels, relying on my knowledge and how I handled things when something in the real world confounded him.
“You will be leaving this evening.”
Leaving for where? It was on the tip of my tongue to ask, but Loren’s slight body language told me he wanted silence, and I learned enough to pick up on the subtleties. When he stopped moving; it was absolute, until he was no more than a life-sized doll.
“But, I don’t know how to hunt,” Adoniia said quietly. “I have not been trained yet.”
My heart skipped three separate beats, each one providing an unsettling silence that stunted the aptitude for thought.
Adoniia spoke nothing but truth; he didn’t know how to hunt Rogues, no more than a well-kept pet for two millennia, with every need taken care for him. He still hadn’t learned how to survive outside of his habitat yet, without constant baby-sitting. Or at least that was my point of view. Those around me thought much differently.
“That doesn’t matter…”
Whoever it was would’ve continued, but Loren plucked the phone right from Adoniia’s ear, and sat up away from me. Whatever was going on, he knew exactly what was happening. I was lucky to even know half of it, if that.
His eyes were chillingly devoid of emotion, but only a testament to what he really was, and just how pissed he was about to become.
“Who is this?” Loren asked the question, however his tone told me all I needed to know.
“Hello, Loren,” a familiar voice titillated through the phone. My head cocked to one side, a sneer spreading across my lips. “This is Edgar, but of course you already knew that, didn’t you? You’re just playing around, I know. I’m so glad to…catch you while you’re free.”
“Cut the bullshit, Eddie.”
“You know better than to call me that. I come from a time when we didn’t shorten and degrade our given names in such a fashion. And come to think of it, so did you.”
“I only do it, because it pisses you off. And you know better than to call my residence. If you need me for something...”
“Oh but I want him, too. You’re going with him on this little escapade, out of town for a while.”
“What do you want with, Adoniia? The Cornwalls have many more able Hunters at their disposal, as does the Foxworths. We both know that, and I don’t understand why you would want the both of us...we aren’t even from the same Coven.”
I looked toward Keoni, the single calm person amidst the chaos that now made up our silent collective mind-set. My head was filled with his half-asked questions, and searching for the answers to accompany them.
He both understood, yet didn’t comprehend what challenges Adoniia would face in hunting a Rogue, who didn’t want to be caught or killed, especially with him being untrained in the ways of the Council. His Maker had gone to great lengths to avoid exposure to the establishment, and had completely succeeded in her quest to live unheeded by the many laws that made up the rest of our lives.
Why is this happening? I asked no one in particular, but Keoni was the one to answer with a rush of warm reassurance.
This Edgar is angry about being slighted, I believe. Over a few different matters, some of it I am not sure of. Loren is not telling you a lot I believe, though I am not clear on what it would be.
My eyes slid to the man in question, who hadn’t reacted in the slightest from the conversation with Keoni. He chucked sardonically in my head.
Your Loren has no clue that we speak. I would never allow that, never any that would cause you even the slightest bit of harm.
So you find need to hide us from him?
I do not think of it that way. He hides from you, but you do not possess the power to reciprocate. I just provide the means to level the playing field.
“Like what?” I said aloud before thinking about it. He didn’t answer, nor react.
“Is that your human thing?” Edgar asked with his voice thick with scorn.
Yea, he wasn’t my biggest fan. But not even he could contest my absolute clean-kill record, no matter what he thought of me. My stats were near-perfect, ranking right up there with any one of my brothers, and beating some of the hunting team’s totals from the surrounding Covens. I had the occasional ear of the Head of Canada, as an old-standing drinking-buddy, who ran in much the same circles as I. He actually asked my opinion over someone else’s, say like Edgar. But then again, I’d confer with a bug before this one.
“She has a name.” Loren growled. Adoniia’s wasn’t far after it.
“So? It does not mean I must use it.”
I flipped the phone off, and Keoni cracked a worried smile, but widened when Loren held his hand up, eyes pleading that I behave. He knew I could get carried away before I knew it.
Loren gritted his teeth, not responding right away while he gathered his thoughts. He really hadn’t been expecting this, but I was probably the only person in the room who didn’t know for sure if he were scrambling for a solution.
Adoniia was well schooled in carnal sin, but in almost all else, he was almost childlike in his quest to understand, to take everything apart to know what it did. And it wasn’t like we had hidden this fact from Edgar and his team when we approached them for registration from the ancients.
Had Edgar decided this because of that fact? I shook my head, to boot-fuck the stupidity that had suddenly come over me, infecting my rationale. Couldn’t have that. But it still didn’t stop my imagination running very vividly away from me.
Just because he can’t fight as well, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t win, my love. Adoniia is almost two thousand years old, as Keoni is. His power would wipe through almost any Rogue by sheer will alone. He isn’t like either of us, and even as a convert, he has shared Yolie’s blood centuries upon centuries exclusively. He is almost as powerful as Manuel, himself.
“You leave for Europe this evening. A very special assignment just for you, and one you will enjoy immensely, I assure you,” Edgar said gleefully. “This is a highly classified, dangerous mission. We will need…both of your expertise on this case. It is time those lollygaggers learn a time or two about who they consort with.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You think too much Loren, and do as you are told far too little, but because I am in such a good mood, I will throw you a bone. Just one word; Abellana.”
I wasn’t sure how something so frozen in time by his anger, could still anymore than he had, but he did. Something about the name triggered something deep within him, and I felt the malevolence simmering just below the surface.
“Say it again, at your own risk. Go any further, and it will be your death,” Loren said softly, between clenched teeth. “You know better.”
“It’s time you just do as ordered. Learn where your place in the pecking order is.”
“Don’t you dare speak to me like that, worm,” Loren thundered menacingly, but in complete contrast, sighed. No matter how much he hated it, he answered to the establishment the same as the rest of us. There wasn’t any point in arguing, when they could literally just break our will. “Then I will go, alone.”
“Tisk, tisk. This isn’t a discussion,” Edgar sang. “Or would you rather me send the convert? I could change my plans, you know. Did I mention I am in charge of this case, because the reasons for it being are living here, in Vancouver? I will call the shots, and you will kneel to my every wish. Or I will blow it all wide open. Understand?”
“Perfectly.” Loren grunted, looking at none of us, but we couldn’t exactly say the same.
I was in shock.
Perhaps if it had been another case, one not so close to my heart, I would’ve possessed enough intelligence to see the plot thickening to the point of suffocation around me.
And I was only at the tip of the iceberg of information, lying just out of my grasp, for now anyway.
Adoniia’s arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me backward, to press his cheek against my lower back. Some deep portion of my mind clicked, and it sunk in. There was nothing I could do about this, and no matter of whether Adoniia was of capable in theory, didn’t really make him able to put it into practice.
I had made him so many promises; safety, compassion and freedom. This one thing would take all of that away, placing him apart from everything he clung to while getting his bearings, including me.
“I will not allow Sara to go to Europe,” Loren replied, echoing my futile thoughts about Adoniia, with much the same savageness. “And you know damned well why.”
“Oh, not that convert,” Edgar said, sounding even more sinister. As if the little geek would have the balls in person. Only be on the phone would he dare to, where powers were near useless to most of our population. “That is tempting, and surprisingly enough, not a possibility I had considered until now. What say you Loren, do I send your little human bitch along with you for this task? She could help you, instead of her toy.”
I growled at the reference, much the same as Loren had of me. He looked at me strangely, and I swore I saw hurt there. Something I hated to witness, especially being the cause of it.
It was difficult sometimes to have so many men. Correction; it was very delicate to balance my relationship with Loren, and then Keoni and Adoniia, who went hand in hand. They were almost the same person, and I sensed they only put up with him, because of how I felt.
And then it sunk in who Edgar had meant…
“No, it can’t be Carl,” I whispered brokenly. That was even worse!
“Yes, I think that would be a good idea; for the newborn to accompany you, with the animosity toward you, and all.”
“It gives you great pleasure to piss me off, doesn’t it? Knowing that in a second, I would enjoy tearing your heart out, right from your throat.”
“Just as much, as you do purposely with me and my brethren. It is time for the payback. We will show you the strength of our control yet, Loren. We are moving in shortly, and will be neighbours. What do you think of that?”
“It will never happen. Manuel will do anything to see it not so, and he is a greater power than you will ever be.”
“There are ways around him.”
“And there are ways around you.”
“But this, Carl,” Edgar said. He obviously feeling, and succeeding that he’d gotten to Loren. “You wouldn’t care much in that thing gone. Would you? Most likely rejoice in whatever ended his pitiful, almost powerless existence. I just cannot see the point for why your most recent obsession with the female gene-pool thought him worthy of our existence. But then again that thing is perverse, unnatural, and I am not the only one to think so.”
“She’s a vampire, just like us,” he replied tiredly, like this was an overdone argument, one that I obviously didn’t hear as often as he did.
“That thing is nothing like us. They all should be exterminated.” Edgar lost his happy, conniving tone, replaced with absolute disgust that set my teeth on edge. “Especially that wilful, disobedient woman, along with the rest of the convert-garbage.”
“They are people too; vampires that strive to keep your kind happy, working their asses off to apply themselves to every single rule you set up for them, so they can survive into ‘adulthood’ without being slaughtered,” Loren said in a deadly voice.
He will break soon, Keoni told me sadly, but there was a distinct hard edge I’d never heard before while referencing Loren. Just what was going on behind the scenes here that had this much of an effect on my men? If he says what is really on his mind, he will damn himself far more than he already has.
“Keep talking, Loren, and I will send her without qualm,” Edgar said thoughtfully. “Alone and unguarded. And I’ll order your presence in Vancouver, without the chance of leaving the country, for the entire duration of this assignment.”
“Why are you doing this? You know we’re tied up right now.”
“Literally? See what happens when you get involved with the Cornwalls? That club and those ridiculous parties.”
“That feed countless vampires in a controlled, safe environment,” Loren snapped. “And you know what I meant. We’re busy with three new vampires, showing them this way of life.”
“There are many others who can show them whatever they like. Six hours, Loren. You and Adoniia better both be at headquarters. You’ll be briefed then.”
And Edgar hung up.
A sick, despairing lump had settled in my stomach. I stared into Adoniia’s cold crystal eyes, wondering if this would be the last time I ever saw him.