Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 24

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Twenty-Four

John was sandwiched between two large vampires in the back seat of a sleek, black sedan. He looked out the window, watching the trees fly by as they sped down the highway. With every passing minute, his captors took him farther south, farther away from Eliot. The last he saw of his son was when a bullet struck Eliot in the chest, and he crumpled to the floor. The memory made John's stomach turn. To fight the nausea, he gripped the leather seat and exhaled slowly.

Fumaro turned in the front seat to face John. With an evil smile, he asked, "Something wrong?"

"You bastard!" John cursed through clenched teeth. "What did you do to my son?"

"It should have been fairly clear that I shot him."

"B-but he's not dead, right? He can't die, can he?"

The viscount rolled his eyes. "Of course he can die. Even vampires can't survive with no head."

John's face blanched. He couldn't focus on that right now. He had to believe that Eliot was alive, and was planning on rescuing him from the sadistic vampires that now held him captive. Yes, Eliot was smart. He and Aramis and the others would figure out how to save him. They had the count, Mr. Ambrogi, Benita…

The thought of the stunning female vampire made John shiver. Even when he was still attracted to Eliot's mother Karen, he'd never had as strong a reaction to her as he had with Benita. When the vampire shoved him against a wall and kissed him, the blood in his veins turned to fire and the need for more of this woman consumed him. She shoved her hands down the back of his jeans and squeezed his ass while he worked his lips down her slender throat. They parted before they ripped off each other's clothes and fucked right there in the hall, but it was clear to both of them that their little romp was just the beginning.

The memory stirred his blood again and he shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Fumaro chuckled. "Thinking about Benita, eh?"

John tried to ignore him, but Fumaro sent his thoughts into John's head. "She's stunning, isn't she? You should see her body: high, firm breasts, with nipples begging to be sucked." John thought of maggots, train wrecks, anything that would distract him from the vampire's lurid description, but the voice kept on. "Long legs to wrap around your waist while you thrust into her heat, over and over—"

"Stop it!" John screamed. The other vampires laughed at his torture, and they began speaking in German, which he couldn't understand. The car slowed and pulled into a driveway. The sun was setting, but John could still make out the sign.

"An Air Force base?" he asked incredulously. "Won't you be sort of conspicuous here?"

Fumaro shrugged. "Why? It's not like they don't know vampires exist."

John was stunned. "What?"

Becker scoffed. "You seriously think that the government doesn't know about us? How could we possibly conduct our business without them knowing? I pay a great deal of money to be able to keep my jet here."

"Air Force Four," Fumaro joked. "Fly wherever we want with no questions asked."

"Where are we going?" John asked. "Please tell me. What are you going to do to me?"

Fumaro smirked. "My daughter is in need of a mate."

John's mouth fell open in shock. He felt a pinch in his arm, and shook his head to fight the sedative's effect. "No," he mumbled. "I won' do it."

As he lost consciousness, John heard Fumaro make a phone call. "Hello, darling. Papa has a wonderful surprise for you."


When I came to, everything was in a state of utter chaos. There were vampires everywhere, some with weapons, and many on phones. All around the room, bloody sheets and rags covered chairs and floors. I sat up and felt like someone had stabbed me through the heart.

"Holy fuck!" I hissed, and collapsed back to the floor. Aramis rushed over and knelt next to me. His shirt was a bloody mess, but he looked unharmed. I threw my arms around him and pulled him down. "You're okay. Thank God, you're okay. But… wait. Dad. My dad! Oh my God, where's my father? I've got to find him."

I hopped to my feet and gasped in pain. Aramis pushed me down into a chair. "Ssh. Stay calm, babe. We'll find him. You need to finish healing."

Benita was sitting on one of the sofas, shaking with grief. Aurelia had a consoling arm around her, but it wasn't really helping. "Gone," Benita moaned. "He's gone! I know Fumaro. He'll kill him, just because he belongs to me. After all these years, I meet my mate, and now…"

"Hush," Aristes said. "Benita, my dear. Do not worry. Fumaro would not be so stupid as to kill John."

I sobbed and held my head in my hands. Aramis said, "Dad, what can we possibly do?"

"We can use the tracking device that I had the doctor at the clinic implant behind John's ear."

"The what you what?" I cried.

Aristes looked sheepish. "Well, I may have promised the council that I would keep track of your father's whereabouts until he was fully vetted into the clan. And I figured the easiest way would be a tracking device. It didn't hurt."

"Dad!" Aristes barked. "That is so not right."

"Basta cosi!" The count yelled. "We need to find out what has happened here! Ambrogi, get your men started with the tracking device. Aramis, explain what you saw."

"Well," Aramis began, "about twenty minutes after you left, we thought we heard you all walking across the lawn. When Mom stood up to see, they shot her. Then bullets came flying from all directions. They must have known that you'd all go tearing off to find Galen's body."

"It's all my fault," Blake said miserably. "John's gonna die and it's all my fault."

"Shut up, Blake," I snapped. "Swear to God, if anyone says that one more time I'm gonna slap the fuck out of them. My father is not dead."


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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 23

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Twenty-Three

Fumaro raced through the woods, crossing the neutral territory and onto the Belanni estate. When he reached the house, he forced the door open and let it slam against the wall, shattering a vase that sat on the entry table.

Lilianna Becker hurried out from the living room, rage painting her face, but when she saw the vampire, she gasped. The viscount passed by without a word and kicked in the door to Becker's study. Becker shot to his feet. "Corleanni! What the hell—"

Fumaro's eyes went black and he hissed. "Listen to me!" When he had Becker's full attention he said, "Your son has joined the Ambrogi."


"He has tied himself to the second youngest son."

Becker fell into his chair in utter disbelief. "Son? Do you mean that Blake is—"

Fumaro smirked. "Is getting fucked like a bitch? Yes. But that's not all. Blake has also accused you of Galen's murder."

Becker stared at his desk as his world fell out beneath him. Could it be true that his beloved Blake would betray him? "How could he know about Galen?"

The viscount slammed his fist down on the desk. The antique oak splintered under the force. "You fool! I told you then you should have been more careful! You should have planned. Galen was supposed to have run away, but yet he left his car and all his belongings? Of course people would be suspicious!"

Lukas swallowed hard. "What did the count say?"

"He is going to investigate Galen's disappearance."

"Oh my God," Lukas moaned. "And what of Ambrogi? Surely he will not accept Blake into his clan?"

"He has already done so. Your son is lost to you. Now you have nothing. One of the great families of the Belanni Clan has been reduced to dust because you could not control your own children! At least you got rid of Galen's body, so there is no evidence." The viscount towered over him and growled. "You did burn the body, didn't you?"

Lukas slouched down in his chair and screwed his eyes closed. "I could not have risked the smoke and had police show up. So… I buried him."

"Where?" Fumaro bellowed.

"Little Switzerland," Lukas said quietly. "I hoped if he was ever found, we could blame it on the Ambrogi."


Outside the door, Lilianna Becker shook with grief. For some time she'd wondered what had really happened to her eldest son. Now she knew. As quietly as she could, she went upstairs to gather what few things she could carry in her shoulder bag. Then she pulled on her coat and boots and jumped out the window. One way or another, she would save her son.


The look on the count's face scared the crap out of me. Aramis held me tighter and whispered reassurances.

"Track him!" the count ordered.

"We did," one of the vampires said. He crossed the property line and went into Belanni lands. We did not dare follow until we consulted you."

"Who are the Belanni?" I asked.

Blake sank into a chair. "It's my dad's clan. Fumaro's gonna tell Dad that I accused him. Holy shit. He's going to destroy me."

Aristes shook his head. "You are part of my clan now, Blake. They will not lay a finger on you."

One of the guards came in and said, "Sir, we have captured a Belanni sneaking onto the estate. Shall we bring her to you and the count?"

"Yes," demanded Count Corleanni.

When the guards brought in the trespasser, Blake gasped. "Mom!"

Mrs. Becker looked as though she's seen a ghost. "Blake!" she cried. "You're all right. Listen. I heard them talking."

"Who?" the count asked.

Lilianna fell on her knees bowed her head. "My husband and your brother, sir. Fumaro came to the house and began shouting at Lukas. I listened while they spoke of… murdering my son!"

All of the energy left her body and she slumped forward, holding herself up with her hands. "Poor Galen," she said quietly. "Thrown into a hole in the ground like a dead animal."
The count's eyes were wide. "Buried? Lukas didn't burn the body?"

She shook her head. "No. He said it would have attracted too much attention. Instead, he buried Galen."

"Where?" Aristes asked.

"Little Switzerland. He thought that if it was discovered, he could blame the Ambrogi."

Several of the Ambrogi, including my mate, growled fiercely. Corleanni snapped his fingers and his brothers followed him out of the room. Mr. Ambrogi said, "Marco, Raniero, come with me."

"Be careful!" Aurelia cried. "Becker could have guards everywhere!"

Aristes kissed his wife. "We will bring ours. And we have the count. Nothing will get past him."

They hurried out, and we all sat around the living room in various states of anxiety. No one said anything. Ten minutes went by, and still we heard nothing. Then, twenty-five minutes after we left, we heard several vampires crossing the lawn.

"Thank God," Aurelia said, and she stood to look out the window. I heard a quiet pop, then glass breaking, and then Aramis' mother slumped onto the floor. There was a bullet hole in the middle of her chest.

"Mom!" Aramis screamed. He jumped up to help her, but another shot took him down.

"No!" I cried, but I could barely hear myself over the sound of glass shattering and bullets flying. Blake and Epp barely made it off the couch before they were hit. The countess was the next to be shot, followed by the girls and Blake's mother. Benita shoved my father onto the floor, and was then brought down by a bullet to the chest. The carnage around me rooted me to the spot. I was the only vampire left. Suddenly, the door opened and Fumaro stood there, with a gun pointed at my head.

Two guards I didn't recognize entered and he gave them instructions in Italian. One of them grabbed Mrs. Becker. I thought the other one was going to take me, but he crossed the room and lifted my father off the floor.

Dad reached out for me, "Eliot, help me!"

"No!" I begged Fumaro, "Please, don't do this. Kill me, but don't hurt him!"

A slick, evil grin spread across Fumaro's face. He said, "You are to blame for all of this, Eliot."

Another pop, and everything went black.


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Victoria Adams

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 22

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Twenty-Two

The count's brother stood fuming as Epp and Blake kissed. The anger coming off the ancient vampire was palpable. I shivered and Aramis tapped me on the shoulder. When I looked at him, he spoke into my head. "Don't stare at him. That's Fumaro. He's the worst of the bunch when it comes to evil vampires." My mouth dropped open, but Aramis shook his head almost imperceptibly. "I have a feeling he's in league with Blake's dad. They're both dangerous."

I decided to try to speak into Aramis' head. I didn't know what to say at first, so I looked into his eyes and thought, "I'm thirsty for your blood." He didn't react, so I figured my attempt had failed. I tried again, "I want to suck you."

Still there was no reaction from Aramis. Across the room, however, Nero groaned. "Oh my God, Eliot. I so didn't need to hear that. Change the frequency, little dude."

Aramis turned to Nero. "You heard that?"

"Unfortunately, yes," Nero replied. "Jesus. You gotta practice before trying to say stuff like that. You never know who you may talk to."

Aramis and his brothers all laughed at my mistake. Embarrassed beyond belief, I wanted to run away, but Aramis' arms held me tight. "All new vamps make mistakes, babe. Don't sweat it."

I tried to squirm out of his arms, but insisted on kissing me again in front of everyone. Lucia cooed, "That is so cute."

Benita cleared her throat and we all turned to her. She said, "John, I wonder if I might speak with you alone, please."

Dad went white, then blushed. "Uh… sure?"

"Good," she said, and grabbed my father by the front of his shirt, dragging him out of the room. The sounds of something being shoved into the wall was followed by a grunt.

"Holy shit," my father breathed.

"Oh my God," I groaned. "Talk about not needing to hear that."

Fumaro sneered, "That's disgusting. Her and her… dogs."

That did it. I growled and balled my fists at my sides so I wouldn't punch him. "I'm sorry, Mr.… Duke, Earl, whatever the hell you are, but you need to can it. I don't care if you're the grand high poobah of the undead! You're talking about my father."

Belatedly, I realized that Fumaro was about a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier than me, and could probably melt my brain with his eyes. He didn't though. He simply crossed the room so fast that he looked like a blur, grabbed me by the throat and hauled me off the floor. I tried to pry his fingers loose, but to no avail. Then I kicked him in the junk, which only made my situation worse. He howled in rage and his fingers tightened. My vision got blurry.

"Fumaro!" the count bellowed. "Release him immediately!"

He dropped me in a heap at Aramis' feet and growled. "Brother, this brat has caused enough problems for us, and he has shown me great disrespect. I demand to be allowed to punish him."

"You will not touch him," the count replied. "It is you who has shown disrespect. Go wait in the car."

Fumaro's jaw dropped. "No! I am not a child you can send to the corner—"

"You dare to argue with me?" The count's eyes turned liquid black and his fangs dropped. His muscles bulged and his nails lengthened into sharp talons. Apparently this ancient vampire had powers beyond what any other had. He truly was the most powerful of all of us. Everyone in the room dropped to their knees in deference with their heads bowed, and I followed suit, leaving only Fumaro standing. I heard the count's harsh voice and couldn't help shaking in fear. He said, "You have tried my patience for the last time, brother. Go, before I destroy you where you stand."

I heard the front door slam and the count cleared his throat. I looked sideways and noticed everyone getting slowly to their feet. I also stood. I peaked at the count and saw that his terrifying claws and fangs had disappeared. His eyes were once again pale blue. Still, though, I was ready to crap my pants and I clutched at Aramis' waist for support.

I heard Aramis' thoughts. "It's all right, El. He took your side over his brother's. That's a good sign."

With a long sigh of relief, I nodded. The count said, "Come here, Eliot."

My steps faltered, but I made my way across the room to stand in front of him. He raised an eyebrow. "You are a very brave and intelligent vampire, but you are also young and physically weak. My brother is several hundred years older than you. It is unwise to challenge a vampire who is so much stronger than you. Especially one as quick-tempered as my brother."

"I know, sir. I'm sorry. I didn't really think."

He shrugged. "You defended your father's honor, and I admire you for that. Now you must learn. With a little training, your strength will improve and your instincts will sharpen. It is up to your mate and his family to instruct you in our ways. I'm sure Aramis will help you."

"Yes, sir," Aramis said with a proud smile at me.

"Good," replied the count. "Ambrogi, we will go now. Keep a strict eye on your son and his mate, and also this newborn. I have a feeling we may expect great things from him. Time will tell. Come, my dear." He took the countess' hand, then said, "Oh, where is Benita?"

The door opened and Benita entered, followed by my severely disheveled father. His shirt was untucked and his hair was sticking up in the back. He quickly tried to straighten himself out, without much luck. Aramis' brothers snickered, but Aurelia hushed them.

Benita bit her lip and said, "I wonder if I might stay here for a few days."

The countess sneered, but the count smiled. "Of course, Benita. You are free to travel as you choose. Brothers, go to the car with Fumaro."

Until that point, I'd forgotten the other vampires in the room. They hadn't moved an inch or said one word since they entered. Without a sound, they filed out, but it wasn't a full minute before one of them raced back into the room. "Fumaro is gone!"


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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 21

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Twenty-One

Aurelia clutched at her husband's arm. "Do something, Aristes! This is your son!"

Count Corleanni put a hand up to calm her. "Come, brothers, let us discuss this matter. May we use your study, Ambrogi?"

"Certainly," Aristes replied with an ingratiating smile. "If you will follow me."

Betina glanced at my father and left with the members of the council. The countess shot another look at Aurelia, and then followed the others. As soon at the butler shut the door, Epp took Blake by the hand and pulled him toward the door.

"Don't go far," Aurelia told him. Epp shrugged, but didn't say anything. His mother touched his shoulder and said, "Epifanio, you know your father and I will move heaven and earth to keep you and your mate safe, but you cannot defy the council. Please. It would destroy me if something happened to you."

She shook with dry sobs and sank miserably into a chair. Epp went to her and said, "I promise you, mami, I'll be careful. I'll do anything they say, but I won't leave my mate, no matter what."

"I'm so proud of you," she said.

My father was still in a daze after meeting Benita. He cleared his throat and we all turned to him. "So, who is Benita? Is she… uh… part of the council?"

Lucia smiled knowingly. "Gorgeous isn't she? Yeah, she's the only female on the council, well, if you don't include Countess von Bitchen-stein."

"Shh!" Aurelia hissed. "Stop that."

I had to ask. "Did I notice some tension there?"

Aramis squeezed my hand to get my attention, then whispered, "I'll tell you later."

"Back to Benita," Dad said, "and the whole vampire thing."

His innocence made me smile. "What's up, Dad?"

He shrugged. "You tell me. I laid eyes on the woman, shook her hand and it felt like fifty thousand volts shot through my arm. And did anyone else notice a really strong floral scent? Like a really nice flowery perfume?"

Raniero let his head fall back against the chair and stared at the ceiling. In an exhausted drawl, he asked, "Who wants to tell him?"

Aurelia looked at Dad and said, "Well, John. Your reaction to Benita, and her reaction to you, probably means that you are fated to be together as mates."

Dad sat heavily in a chair and blinked at her. "Pardon?"

Marco explained, "Mates. As in, you'd be changed into a vampire and you'd have sex with her and you'd drink each other's blood while you—"

Aristes opened the door and caught the tail-end of the Marco's explanation. He shut the door quickly and barked at his son. "Marco!"

My father mumbled, "Mates. Blood. Sex. Right." And then he promptly fainted. He fell forward and his forehead hit the table with a thud. We all winced.

I picked my father up and slung him over my shoulder. "Where can I put him?"

"On the living room sofa," Aramis said. "You want me to carry him?"

"Oddly enough, I barely feel his weight."

"Let's all go out and wait in the living room," Aristes said.

I laid my father down on the couch and Aramis got a cool facecloth. When I touched it to Dad's skin, he started to groan. "Oh. Wow, my head. What… what happened?"

"You passed out," I explained. "About the whole mate thing."

Aurelia came in with a cup of coffee. "Here you are, John. Just try to relax."

Dad sat up slowly. "So, what do I do now?"

Aristes smiled. "You don't have to do anything, strictly speaking. When you're ready, you could leave here and never see Benita again."

"What would happen to Benita?" I asked. "I mean, wouldn't she be miserable?"

"For a while," Aurelia said, "but eventually she'd get better. A long time ago, she was in love with a human, but before they could be mated, he died in the war."

"That's so sad," I said. "Was he in Iraq or Kuwait or something?"

Aristes glanced at Dad and said, "Actually, he died in the Italian Wars in 1495."

"What?" Dad cried.

Blanca nodded. "Yeah, Benita's old. Like, really, really old."

Raniero snickered. "The ultimate cougar."

Epp growled. "Can you all please just shut up and be serious? I'm a little stressed!"

"I'm sorry," Aristes said. "Of course you're nervous, but I have a feeling you'll like the outcome."

"Excuse me?" I said.

"Yes, dear," Aurelia answered.

I bit my lip. "I can hear cars out on the road and squirrels outside in the trees, but I can't hear what the council are talking about. Why is that?"

"Dad's study is soundproofed," Aramis said. "Makes it easier for him to conduct private business without anyone listening in."

Thus informed, I sat back and waited for what seemed like hours. Finally the study door opened and the council filed into the living room. The count's face was so expressionless that I couldn't possibly tell what he was about to say.

We all stood. The count motioned Blake over to stand in front of his jury. Epp went with him, clutching his hand tightly.

"Yes, sir?" Blake said.

"Young man," the count said, "There are very serious charges leveled against you. However, due to several mitigating factors, we have decided you will not be put to death."

Blake and Epp both exhaled shakily. Aurelia clutched at her husband, burying her face against his neck. Aristes hugged his wife tightly and smiled at Epp. The count cleared his throat and continued, "That being said, you still broke one of our most sacred laws, as well as the theft of Aramis' phone, and giving access to a feeder club to a non-vetted human. In addition to that, your intended mate also showed the council great disrespect here today. Because of this, the two of you will be on probation for the next three months. You had better not put one finger out of line or there will be dire consequences."

"We won't, sir," Epp said. He took Blake's face in his hands and kissed him.


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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 20

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Twenty

Marco's comment had the effect of a bucket of cold water on my father and Benita. They jumped back from each other and both smiled nervously. I looked at Aristes, who was massaging his temples with his thumb and forefinger. Something was definitely up.

Epifanio offered, "Maybe it's the water. Blake, did you drink any water when you got here?"

Blake couldn't answer before Nero laughed and said, "Damn. If it's the water, give me some."

He took my water glass and drank what remained in it. Epp said, "Keep it away from the girls, dude. We have their honor to consider."

Lucia shot him the finger and Aurelia slapped her hand down on the table. "Enough!" she shouted. After she'd regained her composure, she stood and went to the group of vampires who were staring in horror at the scene around them.

Aristes stood and said, "Count Corleanni, it's wonderful to see you again. It has been far too long."

I giggled and whispered to Aramis, "A count? Really?"

He nodded, but remained silent. The count flicked his eyes to me, but looked back to Aristes. "Ah, Ambrogi. It has indeed been too long. I see your children are as… energetic as ever."

Aurelia smiled graciously, "You are too kind."

"Signora Ambrogi, it is a pleasure to see you again," replied the Count in a thick accent. He bowed to Aristes and kissed Aurelia's hand. "You remember the Countess?"

"Countess," Aristes replied, kissing her hand. I thought I saw Aurelia flinch.

The countess laughed, "Oh, Aristes! No need to be so formal. And Aurelia, how do you stay so beautiful at your age?"

Aramis' mother bristled at the implied insult, but her smile remained fixed. "With a mate who loves me and my children by my side, it's easy."

Aristes stood in the middle of the two feuding vamps, looking like a man at a mark. I figured there was a history there, and it was ugly. The count saw the tension and shot his wife a look that would have made me shit my pants. The Countess backed off. Then, the Count turned to me.

We all stood up, and I swallowed hard. The ancient vamp's eyes flashed white, asserting his superiority over me. I understood the meaning and nodded almost imperceptibly. Count Corleanni smiled and said, "So, you are Eliot?"

"Y-yes, sir."

"And this is your father?"

Dad walked around the table and extended his hand. "John Berenz. It's a pleasure to meet you, Count Corleanni."

"Likewise," replied the count, shaking Dad's hand. "May I introduce my wife, Bella?"

"Countess," Dad said. He followed Aristes' lead and kissed the back of her hand. I could tell the Count was impressed by Dad's manners and I was relieved. After all, Dad was the only human in the room.

After the exchange, I noticed my father subtly shifting sideways to stand next to Benita. I opened my mouth to say something, but Aristes cut me off. "And your brothers, Count. It is indeed a pleasure." The other strange vampires nodded, but made no attempt to introduce themselves. Aristes continued, "I must inform you of a… development in the circumstances around young Eliot's transformation."

"Developments?" the count asked skeptically.

A low grumbling came from somewhere in the room. It grew in intensity, and we all looked at Epp. His eyes were black and he shoved Blake behind him. He bared his fangs and spoke in a harsh, feral voice. "Don't touch him," he warned the count. "He's mine."

Everyone gasped. Challenging the head of the Council was apparently a huge no-no. The countess put a hand to her breast as though she'd been slapped. The count's eyes were wide in disbelief at the outrageous behavior. I wondered what would happen next, until Blake put his hand on Epp's arm.

"Calm down, Epp," he said. His mate straightened and nodded. Blake went to stand in front of the count and admitted, "It was my fault that Eliot went to Artery that night. Aramis had nothing to do with it."

"Why did you break our laws?" the count asked.

Blake thought for a moment. "I-I was jealous. You see, I'd known I was gay for many years, but because of my father… I had to hide it. When Aramis found Eliot, I could tell they were mates, and Aramis was so happy and I was miserable."

One of the count's brothers spoke up. "Yours is an offense punishable by death."

"No!" Epp cried, and tried to grab Blake. Nero and Marco held him back.

The count glared at Epp. "You have tested my patience once, Epifanio. Do not let it happen again."

Aurelia clutched her husband's hand, evidently terrified that her son was about to be killed for his disobedience. Aristes smiled at her sadly, then addressed the count. "Of course, your Grace, we do not dispute the laws of the Council. However, I ask you to consider to what Blake has to say."

"Speak," the count said to Blake.

He glanced at Aristes, and then to the Council. "My father has always been clear about his hatred of homosexuals. Two years ago, my brother Galen announced to my parents that he was gay. That night, he disappeared without a trace. He left everything behind." He glanced back at Epp, then squared his shoulders and said, "I am officially accusing my father of killing my brother Galen."

"Oh my God," Aurelia breathed.

The count studied Blake thoughtfully. "How does this excuse your actions toward Eliot?"

Blake sighed. "I'd always thought I was attracted to Aramis, thought he might have been my mate. So when he found his real mate, I was so mad that I took it out on Eliot. Then Aramis challenged me for being nasty to Eliot, and of course I lost. But Aramis' phone dropped out of his pocket, and well, you know what I did."

"Yes," the count said. "But it still does not excuse you."

"No, sir," Blake admitted. "It doesn't. I deserve whatever punishment you deem appropriate. Even if it means death."

Epp whimpered and the count looked up. "Come here, Epifanio." The miserable vampire walked slowly to his mate's side. Blake took his hand and Epp seemed to calm a little. The count looked confused.

Aristes explained, "It turns out that Blake and my son, Epifanio, are fated to be together. You can see how things are complicated. Blake's feelings for Aramis were just displaced longing for my other son."

"Oh, what a mess," the count said.

"Trust me," Blake said. "I know."

Epifanio fell to his knees and begged, "Please, Count Corleanni. Please don't take him away from me!"

The count's brother spoke again. "He should die."

Epp stood and looked at him, "Then you'll have to kill me, too."


Don't forget to visit the other flashers!

Avery Dawes
Carol Pedroso
Cia Nordwell
Jon Keys
Julie Lynn Hayes
MA Church
Ravon Silvius
Shelly Schulz
Tali Spencer
Victoria Adams

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 19

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Nineteen

"Excuse me?" Dad asked with a scowl.

"Well, he'll be at Belsmeade and I'll be home and it's really, really hard to be apart and it's gonna suck enough—"

I heard Epp snort and start laughing in the other room, and then I heard someone smack him on the head. "Don't be rude," Aurelia snapped.

Epp said, "Ya know? I'm lucky I have any hair on that part of my head. You people are always hitting me!"

"Because you're always an asshole," Aramis called out to him.

"Basta!" Aristes barked. Then he turned to my father. "Please forgive my children, John. They can be somewhat uncouth."

Dad nodded, but looked worried. I turned to Aramis. "Can Dad and I talk in private for a bit?"

Aramis looked bereft. "But, you don't want me to stay?"

"Please, Air. I need some time." I could tell he didn't like it, but he and his dad left the room and I sat in a chair opposite my father.

"So," Dad said. "You're feeling okay, after changing?"

"Surprisingly, I feel fine. Kinda weird to think about still, but too late to turn back now."

He clenched his jaw. "Yes it is. God damn it, Eliot! What happened? You tell me you were going to a club in Boston and next thing I know some stranger calls me to tell me there'd been an accident. I panicked. I thought I'd lost you, bud. And then I found out that you're…"

A tear dripped down his cheek and I moved to kneel at his feet. "Dad, I'm still here. It's still me. I'm just a little… tougher to break now. But if you want to know, I'll tell you everything."

I went through the whole story, starting with meeting Aramis, all the way through the kiss that cost me my human life. He listened thoughtfully and asked a few questions now and then, until everything was told.

"But are you happy?" he asked.

"I am, Dad. I love Aramis and he loves me."

He looked around at the luxurious furniture and shelves of old books and whistled. "Well, you're certainly never want for anything, that's for sure."

"Love you, Dad," I said.

"Love you, too, bud."

There was a knock on the door and Aurelia peeked in. "We're just about to have some dinner. Would you like to join us?"

"Dinner?" Dad asked. "You mean you—"

Aurelia laughed graciously. "My dear John, our family eats food just as humans do. We're having pot roast this evening. Our cook is quite excellent."

"I'm sorry," he replied. "I'm not used to all of this."

"No reason to be sorry. You and your son will have to learn together, and we'll all help you."

The dining formal dining room was cavernous. The table sat sixteen, which was unfathomable to me. Blanca and Lucia flanked my father, and I could tell that he was trying to enjoy their attention without seeming like a creepy old man. They were two absolutely, spectacularly beautiful nineteen-year-old girls, while he was technically old enough to be their father.

I was distracted by my thoughts when the butler—by Christ, these people had a butler!—came in and started pouring wine into the glasses around the table. He arrived at my chair and asked, "Would you care for some wine, sir?"

"Um… no. Just water."

He smiled politely and continued around the table until everyone but the baby and I had their glasses filled. Aramis' father stood and raised his glass. "A toast. To the new members of our family: Eliot, Blake and John. Welcome to the clan."

Everyone took sips of their wine, so I sipped my water. When the thin, cold liquid hit my tongue, I coughed and sprayed it in a fine mist all over myself. I was so used to warm, thick blood, that the water—the most basic beverage on the planet—made me want to gag.

Aramis chuckled. "Sorry, babe. Forgot to tell you that everything's going to taste really different now."

"Even water?" dad asked.

"Even water," I replied morosely. I sank down in my chair, trying to make myself invisible. Aristes snapped his fingers at one of the servants, who hurried over to wipe my mess off the table. The butler then miraculously appeared at my side with a bottle of red liquid. I took it and was amazed that it was warm.

"It's synthetic," Aramis said quietly. "It's not quite as good as the real thing, but it's better than water."

I lifted the bottle and sniffed at it delicately. When I didn't hurl at the smell, I decided to try it. I slowly tipped the bottle up and took a swallow. The taste was definitely not the sweet, savory flavor of my mate, but the texture was the same, and it had a rich, earthiness to it that made it enjoyable. I raised the bottle again and began to chug it, moaning at the buzz in my gut.

"Eliot!" my father snapped.

"What?" I asked indignantly.

"Mind your manners."

I looked sheepishly at Aurelia, who waved my worries away. "It will of course be hard for you to control your thirst. Have as much as you'd like."

I really liked Aramis' mom.

The butler brought me another bottle and announced, "The council has arrived, sir. Shall I show them into the study?"

"No need," said a voice from the hall.

The door opened and eight vampires strode into the room. Six were men, all equally as handsome and distinguished-looking as Aristes. There were also two women. One of them was hanging on the arm of one of the male vamps. The second, younger female was… staring directly at my father with a look of utter disbelief. My father returned her gaze, with the addition of a slack jaw and a weird choking, rattling sound coming from his throat.

Dad shot from his chair and thrust his hand out to her. "John Berenz," he told her.

The dark-haired beauty took Dad's hand and stuttered, "N-nice to meet you. I'm Benita de Sorbino." They didn't release each other's hands, but stood staring dumbly at one another.

Marco raised an eyebrow and asked, "Well, what have we here?"

Raniero shook his head in disbelief. "This place is turning into the Love Boat."


Don't forget to visit the other flashers!

Avery Dawes
Carol Pedroso
Cia Nordwell
Elyzabeth VaLey
Jim Dunaway
Jon Keys
Julie Lynn Hayes
MA Church
Matthias Williamson
Tali Spencer
Victoria Adams

Guest Author, Julie Lynn Hayes!

Hey there, everyone! I'm thrilled to play host to Julie Lynn Hayes. She's part of the Wednesday Briefs flash fiction group, a brilliant author of many books and short stories, a great editor, and well... an all-around a goddess. Today, Julie's here talking about her latest release, DIRTY LITTLE LIES.

Holidays are a time for families to come together in many places around the world. But the definition of family has changed in this modern world we live in, and the nuclear family structure isn’t what it used to be. With people getting divorced and remarried, having children from the first and then the second family, genealogical trees have had to adapt, and they aren’t as linear any more. Add to that shifting family dynamics, and the increasing awareness that many so-called happy families are actually quite dysfunctional…. Well, holidays can be as much stressful as joyful.

Poet Robert Frost once said, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Sadly, that isn’t always true, and neither is the reverse, as many GLBT young people have discovered when their own parents have disowned them and thrown them out of the family home. Fear of being outed and discarded like yesterday’s trash leads many young people to hide their natural sexual orientation, and sometimes denying who they really are.

In Dirty Little Lies, Levi Thornton is gay and closeted. His situation is exacerbated by the fact that his father is well-known televangelist, Marshall Thornton. To come out of the closet would mean giving up the lifestyle to which Levi has become accustomed. Not to mention, risking his father’s censure.

But sometimes the desire for revenge overrides the need to stay closeted. This Christmas is going to be one Marshall Thornton isn’t likely to forget anytime soon.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Kazy!

Levi Thornton is the closeted gay son of homophobic televangelist Marshall Thornton. So what’s the perfect gift for the father who never cared? Levi’s going to find a yummy young man on Christmas Eve, fuck him all night long and six ways to Sunday. And then he’s going to out himself on live national TV on Christmas Day in front of his father and God and everyone else.

The problem is he’s having no luck at finding that special someone to share this moment with. Just when he thinks his quest is hopeless, in breezes Darjeeling Crane, and it’s off to the family hideaway for a night of fun. This will be a Christmas to remember, if Levi has anything to say about it.

Levi rose, loosened his red houndstooth tie, plastered a beatific smile on his handsome face, and strode purposefully toward the blond, never taking his eyes from him. He dropped onto the empty stool beside him, swinging it to face him, their knees touching.

“Merry Christmas,” the blond greeted him.

“It will be,” Levi replied. “It certainly will be.” At that moment the counter girl laid down a menu, a glass of water, and tableware. “Take your time, honey,” she said, walking away before he could comment.

The stranger flipped the menu open. “Anything you recommend?”

Levi blindly jabbed a finger at the open page. “Yeah. Me,” he brazenly replied. “I can give you something a whole lot better than anything you’ll find here. And then I’ll feed you, too.”

“That’s quite an offer, Mr…?” He looked at Levi, the question hanging from his pretty lips.

“You can call me Levi. What should I call you, pretty thing?”

“I like that, but you can call me Darjeeling.”

Auburn eyebrows arched in disbelief. “Like the tea?”


Levi leaned in, his lips brushing against the other man’s ear, his breath warm against his flesh. “I have a place where you and I can go, if you’re interested. Someplace a whole lot better than this ptomaine palace. And a hell of a lot more private. What do you say?” He ran his tongue along the outer shell of Darjeeling’s ear, felt his shiver.

“What do I say?” He laid his hand on Levi’s arm, turned his head just enough that their lips were mere micro-centimeters apart. “I say how soon can we leave?”

Julie Lynn Hayes first began publishing short stories and poetry in the 1990’s, when it was a different ballgame altogether, and ebooks hadn’t been dreamed of yet. That changed in 2010 with the acceptance of her first romance novel. She’s come a long way since that first book appeared, and is finding the journey a very educational one.

She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses. She often writes of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms, and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She likes to write in different genres, to stretch herself in order to see what is possible. Her great challenge is to be told something can’t be done; she feels compelled to do it.

When she isn’t writing, she enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stich, needlepoint and knitting, and she loves to cook, spending time watching the Food Network. Her favorite chef is Geoffrey Zakarian. Her family thinks she’s a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all.

Her published works can be found at the following publishers' sites: Dreamspinner Press, eXtasy Books, Amber Quill Press, Torquere Press, and Wayward ink.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 18

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Eighteen

"Shh!" a voice hissed. "Don't wake them up."

"Oh shut up, Chia." I recognized Blanca's voice. "This is too good. We gotta tell them."

Someone shook my shoulder. "Eliot. Hey, Eliot. Psst."

I sat up with a start and my forehead smacked into something hard. "Ow!" cried Blanca. "That hurt!"

"Blanca," Aramis growled. "What on earth are you doing in here?"

She flung herself onto the bed between Aramis and me and lay her head back on my pillow. Lucia sat on the edge of the bed, and put her hands up to get our attention. "You are never going to believe it."

"The fact that you're insane?" Aramis said. "Yes, I definitely believe that."

"Shut up," she said. "It's important! Epp has found his mate."

"Whoop-dee-doo," Aramis droned.

"But you have to hear who it is!" Lucia whined, shaking her brother by the shoulders.

Aramis pushed her off and sat up. "Fine. I give. Who'd Epp shackle himself to?"

Blanca grinned evilly. "Blake Becker."

I said nothing. Aramis said nothing. A bird chirped. Time passed. Finally Lucia verified the fantastic claim. "It's true! Go ask mami. Everyone's kinda freakin' out."

"Wait a minute," Aramis snapped. "How the hell did this happen? I thought Blake was always hot for me."

"What?" I cried, hopping out of bed. Immediately, I regretted this decision, since I was buck naked. The girls whooped with laughter and Aramis tossed me a pillow to cover myself with. I held it in front of me while he ushered his giggling sisters out the door.

He locked the door and turned to me, holding a hand out to defend himself. "I know you're probably pissed, but all I meant was that I assumed Blake wanted me. He'd always acted strangely around me, but now that I think about it, he was even weirder whenever the whole family was around. He must have been picking up on Epp's scent."

I bit my lip and looked at my mate. "So, you don't want Blake?"

Aramis shook his head and sighed. "Baby, I will never want anyone but you. I've never wanted Blake, even before I knew you existed. He's a douche, and now that douche is gonna be family, and Epp's father-in-law is the devil. This just got so much shittier than it already was. Come on. We'd better get cleaned up and dressed before mom comes looking for us. It's almost time for dinner anyway."


The feeling in the main house was tense, but everyone was trying to behave as normally as possible. Aurelia smiled widely when Aramis and I walked into the kitchen. "Oh, my boys. How are you?"

"Fine, mami," Aramis said, kissing his mom's forehead. "Fascinated by the latest gossip. Where's Epp?"

"In the living room with his mate," she replied with a raised eyebrow.

"You let Blake go?" I asked.

Aurelia shrugged. "It's not like he's going anywhere now. And I'm warning you now. You boys all better figure out how to get along with each other."

"After what he did?" Aramis said through clenched teeth. His mother didn't reply verbally, but her steely glare was enough of an inducement to agree to whatever she said. If she had looked at me that way and told me to stand in front of a subway train, I would have.

We went into the living room and found Epp sitting on the couch with his arm around Blake. Immediately, Epp hopped up, crouched in front of his soon-to-be mate and growled fiercely at us.

"Oh, sit down and put your bitch claws away," Aramis said. He pulled me into a chair with him and added, "It's all good. I got my mate and you got yours. And we forgive yours for being a royal douche."

"Aramis!" His father walked into the room and glared at his sons. "This ends now."

Aramis groaned. "Didn't I just say it's done? I'm serious. If anything, Blake helped me get Eliot sooner, so thanks, or whatever."

Blake was perplexed. "Uh, you're welcome?"

Mr. Ambrogi smiled and turned to me. "Eliot, there is someone to see you in my study. Come with me, please."

I stood on shaking legs and followed him. He opened the door across the hall and I saw my father sitting in a leather chair in front of the fire.

"Dad!" I cried, and ran to him. He stood up just before I crashed into him and braced himself for the impact. I threw my arms around him and buried my face in his shoulder. "I'm so sorry, Dad. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't mean to hurt you. Honest! Are you okay?"

After he steadied himself, he squeezed back and kissed the top of my head. "I'm fine, Eliot. I'm fine. Well, not fine, really. I mean… are you… okay?"

I let him go and noticed Aramis behind me. I took him by the hand and said to my father, "I'm okay. And this is Aramis. My… mate."

"Mate," dad repeated. "As in… blood?"

Aramis and I both nodded and Aristes came to my rescue. "The boys have ritually mated, yes. Because of this, I think it best to have Eliot transfer to Belsmeade to finish his school year."

"What? No!" I clenched my fists. "I'm sorry, Mr. Ambrogi, but I don't want that. I have one semester to go, and I want to keep everything as normal as possible. Please, sir."

He didn't seem convinced. "And what happens if you lose your temper, Eliot? Or if you get thirsty? It could be very dangerous."

I put on my best pout and said, "Please?"

Mr. Ambrogi sighed. "My God, you're better at pouting than Blanca. Fine. As you wish. You can stay at that high school of yours. But at the first hint of trouble, you will have to transfer. And you must tell no one—and I do mean no one—of what has happened."

I smiled. "I promise, I won't, but, uh…" Turning to my dad, I smiled sweetly. "Dad? Since Aramis and I are kinda, ya know, together, can he move in with us?"


Don't forget to visit the other flashers!

Avery Dawes
Carol Pedroso
Cia Nordwell
Jim Dunaway
Jon Keys
Julie Lynn Hayes
MA Church
Matthias Williamson
Ravon Silvius
Tali Spencer
Victoria Adams

Friday, October 31, 2014

Spooktacular Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Halloween Blog Hop! Several amazing writers are participating this year, and I hope you'll check out their work. We'll have all sorts of goodies, including free Halloween fiction, contests and giveaways!

For my spooky contribution I've posted the beginning of my new story RESURRECTION. It's the third book in the Amsel Clan series (REMEMBER HIM and NOT HUMAN ENOUGH were 1 & 2). This is a bit of a ghost story, as someone from the past has seemingly come back to haunt the vampires. I plan on posting new chapters regularly, in addition to my Wednesday Briefs series, THE BOYS OF BELSMEADE. I hope you like the story!

Anyone who comments on this post will be entered into the giveaway for this primitive-style pumpkin head doll (made by my mother!). PLEASE remember to leave an email address so I can contact you if you win! Good luck!


Amsel Clan Book Three


Frank McCall was exhausted after his trip to London. All he wanted to do was go home to his wife and feed. He hated synthetic blood. Even when Sam Gebhardt had figured out how to produce it in mass quantities, the taste didn't improve. Yes, it would get you by, and some of the younger vampires liked it with flavor blends added, but when you're four hundred years old, like Frank, you want the real deal. He smiled when he pictured his mate offering up her slender throat, but his erotic thoughts were interrupted by the pilot announcing their arrival in New York.

After customs, he pulled out his phone to call his driver. Before he dialed though, he caught the scent of another vampire somewhere near. He scanned the crowd until he spotted the other immortal across the room. When the strange vamp turned and made eye contact, Frank's blood froze and a bolt of fear rooted him to the spot. He had to be hallucinating. It couldn't be who he thought it was. He snapped a quick picture, but it was a little blurry.

The phantom looked at him and winked, then disappeared into the crowd. Frank dialed Stefan Gebhardt's number and braced himself.



I couldn't believe that Jake and Will were getting ready for their first year of college. Greta and Kirner were in Connecticut getting Mazrin settled at her boarding school, so Freyr and I offered to help the boys move. They'd wanted to live on-campus for their freshman year at Columbia, but we convinced them that being vampires wouldn't be particularly conducive to dorm life. The decision was made to find a nice place in a good neighborhood, but my mate wasn't about to do anything half-way.

So there I was, settling with the decorators in an enormous two-bedroom penthouse. Freyr supervised the movers while Jake and Will stood on looking amused. The latter shook his head. "Not many freshmen in college would have a professionally decorated penthouse to party in."

Freyr spun around and glared. "There will be no partying in this apartment. I had to pull several strings with the co-op to get them to allow two eighteen-year olds to live here, so you two will be on your best behavior. If I hear of any parties, you'll find yourselves in a sixth-floor walk-up in Yonkers. Do I make myself clear?"

"So keggers are out?" Jake asked with a laugh.

I stepped in front of Jake before Freyr could reach him. "Babe. He was kidding."

But the kid wouldn't let up. "What about Roman orgies?"

I turned to Jake and let my eyes blaze into his. Just a little push from me had him holding his head and wincing. Freyr laughed and patted Jake on the back. "Don’t mess with the supervamp, Jake. And having friends over is fine. Just don't overdo it."

"Can you please not call me that?" I asked indignantly.

"Sorry," Freyr said. He kissed me on the cheek and turned back to the movers. One of the delivery men looked at us in disgust and said something in Spanish to his co-worker. Freyr, who is fluent in more languages than anyone I know, growled quietly. "Do you have a problem with my husband? Or me?"

"No, sir," the terrified man said.

"Good. Then get the shit off the truck, leave it in the foyer and get the fuck out. I'll move it myself."

"Yourself, sir?" the other mover said skeptically.

Freyr's eyes darkened. He gripped the edge of the brand new granite counter and broke if off as if it was a loaf of soft bread. Then he crumbled it in his hands and dropped the dust onto the floor. "Yes. I'll do it myself. Any questions?"

I've never seen a human move as fast as those two men moved. I put my hands on my hips. "Did you have to break the counter?"

Freyr pouted. "Yes. He pissed me off."

I sighed and turned to the decorator. "Is it possible to replace it?"

She looked worried. "I'm not sure if I can match the pattern to the other pieces."

"I'll pay for all new if you can't," Freyr said. He had the decency to look ashamed. "I'm really sorry."

"That's okay," she said. "I wish I had a husband who defended my honor like that. Personally, I think you guys are adorable. Well, I hope you're all happy with the way things turned out. Thanks for choosing our firm. And I'll be in touch about the granite."


After we set up the rest of the furniture, we were going to take the boys food shopping, but Will and Jake were casting each other fairly lustful glances, so we decided to give them their privacy. I was just glad I'd thought to double insulate the walls for all the noise those two were going to make on their first night in their new place.

On the drive home, I took Freyr's hand and kissed it. "I love you," I said.

"I love you too."

I studied his profile for a few minutes before desire for my mate overcame reason. I reached over and yanked on his belt. He swerved and quickly corrected. Someone in the next lane honked, so Freyr pulled off the highway and braked hard.

"What the hell, Carter?"

His irritation only urged me on. I leaned over and nipped his ear. "I want to suck you."

"Now?" he asked incredulously. "On the side of the highway?"

"Please. Let me suck you."

A salacious smile brightened Freyr’s face and he put the seat back. I made quick work of his belt and zipper and pulled his thick cock out of his boxers. Without waiting, I wrapped my lips around the tip and sucked hard.

"Fuck," Freyr moaned. He wrapped his fingers in my hair and pulled me off. With a glint in his eye, he said, "Let me fuck your mouth."

"Yes," I hissed. I switched to a better position and hummed around his shaft. Holding my hair tightly, he thrust up with his hips while pushing down on my head. The tip of his cock slid into my throat. He was big and it was really uncomfortable, but the sounds escaping from my mate more than made up for it.

"Oh, babe… fuck… please… don't shit!"

I sat up and looked at him in bewilderment. "Don't shit? Ew!"

He didn't answer. His gaze was focused on the rearview mirror. I looked back and saw a state trooper's cruiser parked behind us, lights flashing, and an officer stalking toward us. Freyr zipped up his pants and yelled in pain when the skin of his dick got caught. He was lucky vampire's skin was much tougher than a human's, but it still must of hurt.

"Oh, honey, are you okay?" I asked.

He scowled at me, so I shut up. Freyr lowered the window and the cop's eyebrows drew down. "Do you know that you're parked in an 'Authorized Vehicles Only' area?"

He pointed to a sign right in front of us and Freyr sighed. "No sir, I didn't."

"You didn't see that huge sign right in front of you?"

"No, sir. I had… other things on my mind."

"Other things," the cop repeated.

I explained in one breath. "I told him I thought I heard something in the engine and he pulled off to see if he heard the same thing, but he didn't hear anything so then he told me that I was being paranoid so I told him that I was just worried about the car, but he insisted that I was definitely paranoid and we started fighting and—"

"Enough," the cop barked. "I get it. Just be on your way. Now."

Freyr put the car in gear and carefully pulled onto the highway. “Well, I hope you’re happy.”

“Not entirely,” I said. “Can you find someplace else to pull over?”

“For shit’s sake, Carter! Can't you control your libido until tonight?”

I crossed my arms and looked out my window. “I suppose. Doubt I’ll still be in the mood by then, but whatever.”

“Ha!” Freyr barked. “You? Not in the mood? I’ll believe that when I see it.”

A scathing reply was forming in mind, but Freyr’s cell rang. He checked the ID and put the call on speaker. “Stefan, you have just saved me from a—“

Stefan cut him off. “You have to get home, Frey.”

“What happened?” I asked.

Stefan paused. “It's better if I tell you when you—“

I growled. “You’ll tell us now.”

“All right. You know Frank McCall?”

“Of course,” Freyr replied.

“He called earlier, frantic, saying he’d seen a ghost.”

Freyr snorted. “Sounds like someone slipped him some spiked O neg.”

“No,” Stefan insisted. “He was serious, and he took a photo to prove it.”

“Well, who’s this ghost supposed to be?” my mate asked skeptically.

Stefan cleared his throat. “Frey, it’s a picture of Alder. I don’t know how or why, but he’s back.”

To be continued...


Please check out all of these wonderful participating authors!

Dawn Flemington
Denise Wyant
Draven St. James
HB Pattskyn
Heloise West
JC Wallace
Jim Dunaway
Julie Lynn Hayes
LM Brown
LM Somerton
Lori Toland
MA Church
Michael Rupured
Morticia Knight
Susan Mac Nicol
Tali Spencer
Tucker McCallahan

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 17

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs! It's flash fiction, so this story will be presented in 1000(ish)-word chapters. I hope you enjoy it, and check out the many other flashers, whose links are below. You can also check out the Wednesday Briefs Blog for more info and to sign up for email notifications.

Thanks for reading!


Chapter Seventeen

"Are you thirsty?" Marco asked the brooding vampire.

Blake gave his captor the finger, but said nothing. Raniero shook his head. "Don't be an idiot. The council's on its way here, and you shouldn't face them while you're thirsty. It's gonna be bad enough as it is."

"Thanks for that advice," Blake said, "but I'm not taking a damn thing from you."

The two brothers looked at each other and shrugged. They remained quiet until their father joined them. "Open the door and leave us, both of you," he told his eldest son. Marco gave him a questioning look, but did as he was told. He and Raniero went up to wait with their mother at the top of the stairs.

Aristes sat across the table from Blake and scowled at him. When the young vampire wouldn't make eye contact, the clan chief sighed. "Tell me, Blake. How long have you been in love with Aramis?"

That got Blake's attention. His eyes darted to Aristes' and he went on the defensive. "I'm not in love with him. What the hell would make you think—"

Aristes raised an eyebrow. "Your pulse is racing. You're nervous."

"I'm not gay!" Blake shouted.

"You have nothing to fear from me. I have two sons who are gay. Is your father not… accepting?"

Blake scoffed. "Are you kidding me? My brother Galen announced that he was gay two Christmases ago. He disappeared that night and we've never heard from him since."

"What?" Aristes asked.

"Yeah. I assume my father killed him."

Aristes leaned over the table, mouth agape. "Do you have proof?"

Blake shrugged. "Besides the fact that Galen didn't take any clothes, phone, computer or even his car when he left? Kinda suspicious, but whatever. There's nothing anyone can do about it now."

"What does Lilliana say about your brother?"

"Mom? She doesn't say anything. She's just there to look pretty and not question my father about anything."

Aristes sighed, unsure how to continue. Galen Becker's disappearance needed to be investigated immediately. And once Becker found out that his youngest son had betrayed his secret, Blake's life was also in danger. They had to tread very carefully.

"I will not betray your secret to the council, Blake, but may I suggest that you tell them the absolute truth? Your crime carries a penalty of death, but your youth will be seen as a mitigating factor. The council may be persuaded to forgive your rash and foolish decision to frighten my son's mate away. However, if you keep anything from them, or tell lies, you will be found out, and you will die."

Blake didn't answer. He was still trying to process Mr. Ambrogi's words, "my son's mate" and it wasn't working. He cleared his throat and asked, "Aramis m-mated with Eliot?"

The chief nodded and desolation washed over Blake. It suddenly didn't matter what the council did to him. All hopes of having the one he loved were gone. He'd tell the council everything, because if the council didn't kill him, he'd find a way to do it himself.


The eldest Ambrogi boys and their mother sat around the kitchen table, worried at what they had just overheard. Aurelia shook her head slowly. "That poor boy. We cannot let Becker take him back."

Marco nodded. "He'd be dead in two minutes. What're we going to do?"

"Do about what?" Epifanio asked, poking his head through the door.

Aurelia gasped. "I thought you'd left."

"Forgot to ask Dad something. Where is he?"

"Downstairs with Blake," Marco said. "Not sure if you should bother him though."

"It'll be quick," Epifanio answered, and took the cellar stairs two at a time. "Hey, dad. I forgot to ask you if—"

He stopped short at the sight of the young, red-haired vampire sitting across the table from his father. A strange sensation numbed his brain for a moment, until he could hear his father speaking to him.

"Epifanio, what do you need?"

"Er… yeah. Um. You said you'd cut me a check for the library fund last week, but I forgot, and I didn't want to…" He stumbled forward and thrust his hand out to Blake. "I'm Epp."
"Hi," Blake said quietly and shook the offered hand.

Both vampires froze, white-knuckled, and Aristes' eyebrows shot up. This didn't bode well. He cleared his throat and Epifanio released Blake's hand. The latter sank back into his chair, flexing his fingers as though he'd been shocked.

Aristes stood quickly and took his son by the arm. "May I speak with you upstairs?"

"Uh-huh," he mumbled, eyes still locked on Blake.

His father switched his grip and took him by the collar, pushing him up the stairs. Without explaining to Aurelia, he continued on to his study and threw Epifanio into a chair. The young vampire was nearly catatonic until his father swatted the back of his head.

"Ow!" he cried, rubbing the injury. "What'd I do?"

"Excuse me?" his father asked. "I think you know what you did."

Aurelia knocked on the door and Aristes said, "Please come in, my dear. You should hear this."

"Hear what?" Epifanio barked in irritation.

"Your son," Aristes explained to his perplexed wife, "has just done the unthinkable."

"The unthinkable?" she asked.

"Yes. He's found himself a mate."

The stunning vampire's eyes lit up and she turned to her son. "Oh my dear, that's wonderful! Why didn't you tell me? Who is it?"

"Blake Becker," Aristes replied blandly.

Aurelia blinked at her husband. "I'm sorry. Did you say—"


"Oh my God," she groaned. "Epifanio, please tell me this is a joke."

Epp looked at his mother and scowled. "'Fraid not."

She studied her son's face and gasped. "No, apparently not. Look at those freckles!"

"Freckles?" Epp cried. He ran across the hall to the powder room and stared in the mirror. "Oh my shit! That's what I get? Aramis gets a little patch of brown hair from Eliot and I get fucking freckles!"

Marco put an arm around his brother and smiled sympathetically. "Life is tough, little bro. And yours just got hard as cement."


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