Snake-demon Asc has been healing supernaturals and humans alike for ages, and he should know better than to get involved with one of his patients. Yet, there is something about the vampire he saves from almost certain death that stirs more than just Asc’s healer’s heart.
Victor wanted to rid the world of a scourge, the vampire who made him, and all it got Victor was nearly killed. He wakes not to the light of the afterlife, but to the heat of a healer’s kiss.
Can Asc and Victor and the motley crew that is St. John Investigations put an end to Victor’s maker?
Praise for A Scent of Longing (Fairview Chronicles 2)
"Asc's story picks up the action in Fairview when he recues the injured and vulnerable Victor. Their sweet and spicy romance is balanced by the loveable and eclectic group at St. John Investigations. The rich mythology keeps growing along with the fabulous cast. I love that every character is interesting and unique. I can't wait to see more of them."
-- 5 Stars from Jesse, Goodreads Review
"I really enjoyed how... the way the characters interacted sexually told something about who they were... the relationship between the characters evolves during their encounters, and I never ended up feeling that you could have swapped any character and got the same result. Oh, and also there's a leather-clad, whip-wielding succubus who managed to be both super hot and hilarious at the same time (yes, this is a largely tongue-in-cheek story, even though there are serious bits in it). On the whole, this was a lot of fun."
-- 4 Stars from Cécile C, Goodreads Review
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A Scent of Longing (Fairview Chronicles 2)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2020 Alexa Piper
Asc turned up the music in his Toyota hybrid and tasted the air with his tongue. Cora and Valerian’s scents were still strong. Asc had volunteered to drop the pair off at the airport. I wonder what kind of mischief they’ll manage to get up to once they get to China, Asc thought and chuckled.
They were an unlikely pair, an untrained mage and an untrainable taotien, but Asc could see beyond that. He was glad they were happy, and happy together. And maybe if he can learn to annoy her less, Valerian won’t get burned by Cora’s mage fire. Asc chuckled again. Though some slight singeing might be beneficial.
Half-frozen rain began hitting the windshield. The late February day had been cold and wet and gray, but the sleet had waited until Asc was on his way back home from Fairview Airport. With rush hour long over, the streets were almost empty, and the city’s lights were fighting hard to keep winter’s early nightfall at bay.
Asc was almost back home in Chinatown when something in a side street caught his attention, made his skin tingle. He pulled over and got out of his car. The cold was uncomfortable. It bit into his skin and made his muscles want to slow. Yet, there had been a flash of something there. Something had called out to him through the dark and cold, and Asc wasn’t one to ignore any creature’s call for help.
The side street was scarcely lit and dominated by heaped trash spilling out from an overfull dumpster. Asc tasted the blood on the air before he could actually see the person, crumpled on the asphalt in among the waste.
“Hey,” Asc said, and moved. Another sip of air on his tongue confirmed the person was still alive, even before he reached him and slowly, carefully, moved away the detritus to turn the man on his back. He was a vampire, and hurt badly. Asc noted the slashes along his limbs, the skin torn where the veins ran. Some cuts were even deeper. He had been stabbed in the torso as well. The clothing, a blood-soaked mess, had been shredded with whatever had cut him up.
“Hey,” Asc said again as he pulled back the vampire’s eyelid. The pupil responded to the light, however sluggishly, but the vampire seemed to be out of it. No wonder. He’s lost a lot of blood.
The blood loss, however, meant that Asc couldn’t inject him with his curative venom, because there wouldn’t be enough circulation there to do any good, especially not with a vampire, whose blood pressure was lower than a normal human’s to begin with.
Without a better option, Asc draped one badly sliced-up arm over his shoulder and dragged the man to his car. At least home was close.
* * *
Victor woke. That came as a surprise to him. He’d expected to drift off for good finally, to meet his maker if there was a maker to be met, but no. Unless the light he was blinking against was indeed the divine, he was still not quite done with being in the world.
“Hello, can you hear me?”
Victor didn’t recognize that voice. It was a calm, warm voice, American sounding, but rather pleasantly so. Victor tried to say, Yes, of course I can hear you, but his mouth and tongue didn’t cooperate and spilled only blurred vowels.
“You’ll be fine,” the voice said, and someone blissfully moved the light out of his face. Victor tried to blink the dancing shadows away, and after a while, he saw a dark face look down on him -- dark hair, a reassuring smile. Further examination gave away the reason Victor still lived. The man had a surgical gown on. Oh, heavens, I can’t be at a hospital. Humans might act unexpectedly when confronted with Victor, who was so very much not human. He dared not even think what they might do.
The dark man’s tongue slithered out to lap at the air. It was split down the middle and should have unsettled Victor, but he was actually relieved. “O-ophion,” he managed. Not a hospital. What a small stroke of luck.
“That’s right. I had to stabilize your system with a blood transfusion -- don’t worry, I purified it and added some curative magic until you are strong enough again to drink from a person. You are beginning to heal, but slowly, much slower than I would like. Can you tell me your name?”
“Victor. Victor Palmer.”
“Well, it’s good to have you still with us, Victor. I’m Asc. Can you also tell me who did this to you?”