QSFer J. Hali Steele has a new MM paranormal book out: Nothing Left Of Me.
Beauty is not fleeting when worn by an immortal.
An erotic liaison will leave humans vulnerable to blood thirsty monsters!
Brax Sevan oversees immortals populating earth; wily creatures humans ridiculously explain away with childish tales of boogeymen. He ensures annihilation of beasts who become careless and those who defiantly flaunt his rules. Curiosity as much as outrage sends him to delve into why one of his was killed by another vampire. What Brax finds sways steadfast objectivity, strips him of calm reserve and aloofness honed over many lifetimes. The guilty individual starts a fire that will not be suppressed and what Brax does next may cost his powerful position.
Cador Ridge spent hundreds of years as a consort to emperors, kings, powerful men from every walk of life, but he bows to no one. Then or now. His existence, though hard and sometimes rife with loneliness, is tolerable until another like him dies at Cador’s hand. Running was useless as there is no place to hide from their self-appointed leader whom he has managed to avoid for centuries. He didn’t expect Lord Vampire himself to pay a personal visit nor did Cador believe the contemptuous bastard would steal everything—but his life!
Contains: #death, #dirtytalk, #dubcon, #gay, #horror, #mystery, #religerotica, #vampire, #voyeurism
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J. Hali Steele is giving away a pdf copy of her book “Merciful Bleed” – to enter, comment on this post below.
Raunchy bastard sitting at the end of the bar pestered him with sexual innuendo all night and Cador Ridge had reached the end of his rope. Not knowing when an enforcer would show up, what horrible fate they planned for him, he was a wreck. “Sir, you’re flagged. Go home.” It was near two in the morning and he wanted everyone out. Now. Clapping hands to garner attention of patrons hanging on until the last minute, Cador announced, “Closing early, folks. Finish your drinks and say goodnight.” He continued wiping the length of the counter removing empty glasses and bottles as he went along. Reaching the opposite end, he noticed the rowdy customer get up and toddle in his direction. Last thing he needed was dealing with an inebriated customer while onlookers continued to populate the nightclub.
“Don’t you mean good morning?”
“You should leave.”
“Thought I’d wait and see you safely to your car.”
“I’m good.” Be polite. Don’t ruffle feathers. “Thanks for the offer.”
“Anyway, you can’t shut the place up for another twenty minutes.”
Cador battled fire attempting to overtake his eyes. “I own Intense; I close when I want. Please leave.” Ignoring the man, he watched two couples slip out. Those remaining gathered belongings. “Don’t forget your phone, young man,” he shouted to a slight blond giggling at something his partner said. If he had a dime for each time someone knocked on the door moments after exiting looking for a phone, their jacket, hell, one night a guy left his shoes, Cador would have a small fortune. Not that he needed it. Didn’t need to work another day in his immortal life but he bored easily nowadays and his club, Intense, fit his lifestyle well as he preferred nighttime hours and he answered to no one. He had a couple bartenders on payroll whom he allowed to depart early most nights. Made cleanup a snap. Once customers were gone, he used vampire-given ability to whip Intensein shape. It’s what he intended to do the moment he locked the door behind everyone.
Front door barely closed when the rude customer had nerve to round the bar. “What happened to calling me sir?” Eyes held a drunken glaze. “I could break your sweet little body in two.”
God’s sake. He took a step forward and Cador grabbed a handful of shirt sending a spray of buttons around the floor. Hoisting the big bastard upward, he walked from behind the bar as the front door screeched open. Air crackled, the room vibrated, as a bizarre sensation leached through him. Unruly drunk dropped to the floor banging his face on the corner of the bar as Cador endeavored to shake off the weird feeling. Blood oozed from the drunk’s wound. “Hells bells.” He positioned his body to interrupt the newcomer’s line of sight, and licking his finger, Cador rubbed saliva on the cut before lifting the man to his feet. “Stand there and shut up,” he mumbled.
He’d have to hail a cab for the intoxicated fool since sobering him up while being watched wasn’t a good idea. Cador hadn’t fully accomplished ridding himself of the strange vibe. He turned to survey the man who remained near the entrance. Son of a bitch! Milliseconds slipped by in slow motion. From stance to glower, Cador recognized he stared at one hell of a master enforcer. It was written all over the handsome face. Add to that, power rippled around him in waves. A human wouldn’t notice but Cador did and it explained the earlier fizzle in the air. I’ve seen him before.
“That wasn’t posed as a question and since you didn’t use my new name, you already have the answer.” A black suit perfectly covered his frame but he didn’t wear a tie. A freaking giant with medium length, dark hair swept back from cheek bones that bordered on gaunt though thickness straining material proved he by no means could be called thin. A mysterious look all vampires wore magnificently graced his handsome face. Flawless golden skin beckoned Cador’s fingers as a familiar feeling trickled down his spine leaving him colder than usual. Thundercloud gray eyes never blinked. At least they didn’t hold hellish fire. Yet. Jesus, he was huge and he exuded sex appeal to the extent Cador damn near snuffled air. Having more strength than many, he should have recognized the earlier disturbance causing him to drop his provoker.
Strolling across the space, the vampire swiped a finger along the injured man’s cheek, licked it, and an unseen snap sounded before the guy vanished. “He’s home safely.” Sitting, he inquired, “Can you make a Manhattan?”
If that was reference to how old he thought Cador might be, it gave him an advantage especially as he’d managed to change identification twice in the last century outside of normal supernatural channels. Brought to mind he had managed to escape being bitten and trailed for centuries? Fucking lucky is what he was. More than likely it was protection of the powerful men he aligned himself with. Whatever the case, his luck had run out. Shit, he had Cador’s real name. So much for fake identification. How much had the enforcer been told? He returned behind the counter. “Haven’t made one in years.” Older blood suckers were called upon to hunt but Cador couldn’t go by looks which, he knew firsthand, tremendously misrepresented age. Eyes arrowing into him appeared sage and rife with knowledge. “But we have excellent memory recall, right?” Steadying his hand by gripping a bottle, he figured, what the hell. Give him something to remember before he did whatever he came to do to Cador who could put up a hell of a fight but lose anyway.
Vampires only drank very weak, mixed alcohol beverages. Fledglings avoided it totally. Liquor rushed through their veins causing a sudden drop in blood pressure creating a situation where it not only robbed them of abilities for an indeterminate amount of time, it incapacitated undead for hours or days. Good, it would give Cador time for…what? Vanishing or…? Don’t even go there! His mind was safe but he had a suspicion the one before him would sniff him out instantly no matter where he turned up. Squirrely gray eyes continued to scrutinize. Using bottles already on the lower counter behind the bar, he prepared his specialty, one known to put humans used to drinking heavily flat on their asses. Placing his concoction on the bar top, he winked, “Enjoy.”
The enforcer turned the tumbler up and swallowed every bit. Slowly setting the glass down, he quietly stated, “That’s not what I asked for.”
An ancient! Cador’s time had definitely expired and expecting this day to come; he didn’t like that it had arrived. “Worth a try. Gin and bourbon, both over one hundred proof, and a very big splash of orange liqueur. I call it a Ginetic Mistake.” Shrugging, he added, “Fitting, don’t you think?”
“For Castor to be subdued in an obvious manner,” he waved at the empty glass, “I take it you were close?”
“I’ve had a hell of a night so let’s get this over with.” A sigh slipped out. “Why did he have to dispatch such a sexy undead piece of ass?”
Eyes darkened with a spark of interest before red flared to life. “Why did you disobey our most sacred rule?”
“Would it matter?” Cador had lived a long, exciting life and he refused to display weakness. He whisked on an outfit he felt appropriate to meet death; nothing like stodgy black slacks and white shirt he insisted every one wear while working at Intense. Clientele tended to keep hands to themselves when employees imitated being dull. Such mundane thoughts. He mixed a double Ginetic aware he required something strong to knock himself down. Placing it on the bar, he circled back around to stand in front of his executioner. At least he’d feel no pain when the wretched beast ripped his heart out.
“Probably not.” Perfectly manicured fingernails rapped against wood. “But I’d like to hear what you have to say.”
“Considering shyster vamp almighty surrounds himself with hooligans, I didn’t expect one to pretend to listen. I’ll venture the monster didn’t say be nice.” Cador had covered himself in soft, pretty crimson silk that the overhead fan billowed around his small frame. A light rested in eyes raking Cador’s slender five-foot nine inches. Excitement didn’t surprise him as he’d already noted that reaction. But amusement! “Another place and time we may have appreciated each other’s company.” He picked up his drink. “Did I use trickery? Yes.” Cador dared to touch the creature’s cheek with his free hand. Again, the impression of having met the vampire bombarded him. “We were not close at all. In fact, I detested him.” He pushed his notion of familiarity aside. “The creep wouldn’t take no for an answer.” Cador lifted his glass in salute to the immortal, then downed it in one gulp. Swiping the back of his hand across his lips, he asked, “May I at least hear the name of my executioner?”
“Oh hell.” Last thing Cador remembered was floating toward the floor.
J. Hali Steele wishes she could grow fur, wings, or fangs, so she can stay warm, fly, or just plain bite the crap out of… Well, she can’t do those things but she wishes she could!
Multi-published author of Romance in Paranormal, Fantasy, and Contemporary worlds which include ReligErotica and LGBTQ stories where humans, vampyres, shapeshifters and angels collide—they collide a lot! When J. Hali’s not writing or reading, she can be found snuggled in front of the TV with a cat in her lap, and a cup of coffee.
A Sovereign Spot: www.sovereignkind.blogspot.com
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