Romantic tales are told about handsome, sexy undead. My kind use their name—vampire. We both live on blood.
Zev Parish desires Victor Aldrich. He’s sensitive, vulnerable, defenseless, all things Zev yearns for in a man; attributes that will eventually cause Victor to despise him. If keeping him means pretending to let him go, fine. If it means allowing him to break his body into pieces, fine. Whatever it takes, Zev will have him.
The thing hunts humans for food. He returns invigorated and sex is freaking fantastic. Vic loathes himself for hoping it feeds well.
Victor Aldrich chooses not to live with death he witnesses. He makes the choice to end his life not once, but twice. After almost succeeding, he decides to kill Zev. To accomplish that with a broken body, he must become what he loathes most and exactly what Zev is—a bloodthirsty parasite masquerading as a vampire.
Aware Victor hates him, Zev turns him anyway. One fleeting sentiment gleaned along Victor’s mental path shatters his cold heart; still, if necessary, Zev will end Victor’s life. Successfully.
Content/triggers: #drama #gay #horror #suicide #vampire #violence
- 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: Ageless/Immortal
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Antihero, Biological Urge to Mate, InstaLove / Love at First Sight, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Uncommunicative Masculinity
Word Count: 10200
Setting: USA, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; California, Malibu
Languages Available: English
Contributions to charities, attending dreary, mind-numbing functions rarely made Zev feel better. Tonight was dreadful. Felt as if every heartbeat in the room knocked painfully against his ribs. Blood helped by alcohol zinged through patron’s veins, every pulse badgered him with hunger. At least Zev no longer pretended eating. Hors de oeuvres carried by men and women dressed in dull matching outfits were constantly dispatched and it nauseated him each time trays whizzed by in route to gluttonous invitees. A majority attended these affairs for free booze and food. Avaricious jackasses.
“Hi, there. Having a good time?”
“Maybe some company will help. I’m Dick.”
“It’s nice to meet you.”
Zev grunted. “We haven’t met.”
“Oh, uh, you didn’t give your name.”
Asshole was too obtuse to walk away, may as well tell him. “Zev Parish.”
“What’s Zev short for?”READ MORE
Turning, he glared at the pest. “Dick, it’s Zev. Just Zev.” Fuck it. “You want to make it short for something?” He detested smothering flames in his eyes. “How about I’ll bite your ass if you utter one more word.” He thumped the back of the man’s hand. Skin. Gained access to all he cared to know. “That’s what Zev is short for.”
“Jeez, you’re rude.”
“Right.” And you won’t remember a single word anyone utters the remainder of your evening. “Stay the fuck away from me.” Zev stripped the stranger’s mind of party conversations including the memory of a lucrative deal the man shook on earlier. He’d lose that business.
“I feel you.”
Pivoting to verbally usher another bastard back into the fray, Zev stopped in his tracks, swallowed crude words threatening to course through lips. Short, not in the least fit or athletic in appearance. He’s what most called plain and he would have been if not for the neatly trimmed beard calling attention to a sexy as hell mouth holding a mischievous smile. His newest merrymaking assailant smelled like…Jesus, he had eyes of an angel. Nothing ordinary about them. The finest cognac in his cellar couldn’t rival their clear, beautiful amber-like color. Paired with the stranger’s scent, they invoked an autumn breeze sweeping through trees. They dredged memories of peace; hell, even of what little love Zev had truly experienced. “Eyes I want to look into all night long.”
Hadn’t experienced a rush of desire on this level since… Nearly three hundred years. “I’m Zev Parish.”
A throaty chuckle destroyed Zev’s earlier idea of tediousness. “I caught part of your conversation. Sorry, couldn’t help overhearing.” He stepped closer, extended his hand. “Vic Aldrich. Vic short for Victor.”
Laughter Zev emitted at the introduction sounded foreign as he’d not done it in a long, long time. Holding Victor’s hand, Zev peered into magical eyes. You should not have touched me. Unashamedly delved into the man’s mind. “I prefer Victor.”
“People tend to shorten it.”
“Don’t let them.”
“I’m okay with Vic though I hate these dog and pony shows. I wonder how men know…well, I always have to talk to a person before I’m sure.” Vulnerable as hell, lonely, feeling out of place, Victor failed miserably at small talk. “Sorry, I’m rambling. I’m not good at this.”
“I prefer men.” Zev added, “Twice I’ve caused you to say sorry. I’ll make it up to you and, trust me, I’m not beautiful. It’s a veneer.”
“Umm, I thought the word but I didn’t say…”
“I read your mind.”
“Zev will do.”
“You’re serious.” He yanked his hand away, stepped backward until legs smacked a chair. “I didn’t mean to bother you.”
Ahh, there was steeliness in Victor, confidence he didn’t often show. “It’s my pleasure.”
“I’ve got to go.” Victor shuffled around Zev.
“You delay what will occur.” He clasped a shoulder, partially opened his mind, something he’d only ever done twice.
“No. God, no!”
“You’ll summon me.”
“Let go.” Shoes slapped polished wood as they carried Victor away at a speedy clip.
“Hey, creep,” exclaimed an arriving reveler who shoved Victor as he ran by. “Damn ugly little freak.”
Zev approached the new comer who’d disparaged Victor. My next meal. Mere brush of knuckles, fingers locked on a forearm covered in expensive Italian wool and easily coaxed the man into the nearest bathroom. Pain, fear, make him feel both. See me. He’d never been anything other than what he was and eons of wear and tear distorted his real visage. How it truly appeared had stopped healthy hearts from beating. Scarred bone never covered by skin, no lips to speak of, pointed teeth further sharpened by ages of use—the true countenance of death. The appendages. He released one of many from the palm of his hand. It slithered around the man’s waist, held him immobile.
“Jesus Christ, help me!” he cried.
“He died for you once. Wasn’t that enough?” Necks were an easy target as they were usually bare. Zev lost no time ripping into his. Wasn’t gentle, refused to calm his mind as he gorged on sustenance. Slamming him against ceramic tiles, Zev flashed a grotesque grin. “Trust me, I’d know if he was reborn.” Ran a bloody finger along the son of a bitch’s jaw. “And should you coax him here, I imagine those like you would see to it he dies again.”
“I’m mad as a motherfucking hatter.” Latching onto his vein again, Zev sucked until the man neared death’s door.
Barely able to stand, head lolling, he looked at blood flowing down his jacket and gurgled, “Why…wha…di…do?”
“You ridiculed something beautiful.” Once discovered, authorities would assume he slipped on the tiled floor, banged his head on the counter’s sharp edge, and they’ll consider his demise an unfortunate accident. Allowing the man to fall, blood he didn’t imbibe pooled beneath him, blood appearing to seep from a now gaping head wound. Zev received satisfaction watching horror cloud his countenance, observe life drain away as bulging eyes closed for the final time.
Pointless for Zev to explore why the guest misnaming or touching a man he’d just met elicited such hostility. He understood the moment he stared into those damnable eyes. “You touched what belongs to me.”
That’s all that mattered.COLLAPSE