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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