Snatched from his single mother by the wealthy family of the man he’s forced to call father, Rafe Gorman soon learns the greedy bastard has no desire to raise a child, which leaves Rafe bearing the brunt of his scorn. As soon as he comes of age to receive his trust, Rafe flaunts his disdain for his father’s regard by opening New Leaf, a gay club. It’s in New Leaf Rafe meets a being who haunts him day and night.
A vampire from the 17th century, Christopher Wren’s seen enough evil perpetrated by human men to last many lifetimes. Born a bastard below stairs, he’s witnessing nobility take what they fancied without a care -- that made him a monster, not being turned. Now Wren makes sure those who flaunt such character pay for their misdeeds. Their day of reckoning is never without pain. Then he meets Rafe, and Wren swears no one will ever hurt his lover again.
Rafe vows to give Wren nothing of himself. Instead he finds he must give the vampire everything -- including his life!
Praise for Perishable (Sanguine Blood Seekers 4)
"This entire series has been very interesting and this new story is a great addition. It is a quick story but it kept me entertained."
-- 4 Stars from DLB2572, Barnes & Noble Review
"I enjoyed this book. Great chemistry between Christopher and Rafe and I enjoyed seeing them bond. A lot of action and drama."
-- Nin-chan, Kobo Review
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Perishable (Sanguine Blood Seekers 4)
J. Hali Steele
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2023 J. Hali Steele
Nodding was the best way to handle this conversation. Christopher Wren had learned enough to know when Sten Majkovic, the vampire king, had a bug up his ass you waited until he quit speaking. Pretending composure he didn’t feel, he listened. When Sten finished, Christopher spoke. “Maybe he’s antsy being in one place too long.”
“Who knows what fantastical information he laps from the minds of those he invades. After killing a dealer he disliked for selling close to a school, the crazy ass sat in my office and lit a joint. Can you believe that?” Sitting at the counter in Christopher’s kitchen, Sten used his finger to draw circles in the condensation puddled beneath his beer bottle. “Liam needs to be more responsible, Wren.”
They’d all taken to calling him Wren. Christopher often thought of himself that way now. “Good luck. He’ll require a babysitter.”
“And I have the perfect person in mind.” Sten eyeballed him.
“No. Fucking. Way.”
“Joshua is the only other vampire who can keep Liam from going off the deep end, but he and Mace are tied up on the west coast, and Kam’s away on some island with Matthias. There is no one else.”
“Come on, Sten. I’ve got enough on my plate. Let Drew do something aside from decorate.” He had done a nice job inside Christopher’s house. Looked like a showplace now, but still homey enough to enjoy and relax in. “Goddamn it, Drew’s always stuck up under your ass.”
Sten’s gaze narrowed. “Your barkeep has made you blasphemous.”
Time skidded to a halt and Christopher found himself propelled across the room along with the chair he occupied. “What the fuck was that for?” Picking himself up, Wren sent the broken chair up in flames and scattered the ashes, glaring at his king. “This isn’t about Rafe. It’s about…” Shit. He’d best not say the real issue was that Drew was becoming way too powerful. The king’s lover skirted being out of control.
“Because he’s befriended your mate?” Sten stood. “What is it with you guys not wanting your lovers to associate with each other? Afraid they’ll want to do more than watch you get it on or something?”
The or something had Christopher’s lips curving. He imagined smacking Drew or Mace’s ass. Could get deadly, as neither man showed predilection for sexual behavior involving spanking or restraints. Christopher got off on that idea. A handprint on his lover’s buttocks excited the hell out of him. A man struggling against ties because he wished to use his hands on a partner made Wren’s cock hard every time. His mind went off on a tangent as he pictured Rafe tied to his headboard, his cute little ass spread eagle, face down and begging for penetration, his butt cheeks pumping up and down on the mattress.
“For fuck’s sake. Now I must find Drew.”
Laughing, Christopher said, “You’re thinking about it.”
“Liam’s yours. Just keep an eye on him, Christopher, until I can find something to occupy his rowdy ass.” The vampire king was the only one who could dematerialize without leaving a visible trail of light or frost. Hell, the bastard could creep up on any vamp. He never radiated cold unless he chose to.
“Bollocks.” Sitting on a bar stool, Wren manufactured a beer. He had a growing affection for the local lager.
Sten’s voice leached into Christopher’s psyche. Keep calm and carry on.
“Bastard.” Christopher had been born and raised in England. The statement evoked memories of World War II, a time of great human suffering and death for European nations. Christopher had decided to try soldiering. Lieutenant colonel of a large battalion, he was idolized by his men for fair-mindedness, peacekeeping and, when all else failed, ferocity on the battlefield. The aftermath of his cruelty went unreported due to his capability to control hundreds of minds at once -- a skill which had placed him on a collision course with the vampire king. That and Christopher exhibiting the adoration of too many troops with his dick. His charges tended to trail him around the country mindlessly causing disturbances with blatant and uncontrolled orgies, which Wren sometimes failed to extinguish before moving on.
He truly wanted to lavish Rafe Gorman, proprietor of New Leaf, with his cock. The man had been stand-offish on each of Christopher’s visits since the incident months ago with his maker’s relative, Soris -- an ancient pharaoh and vampire who, along with his followers, attempted to harm Matthias. That incident had sent Kam, who carried some of the wayward pharaoh’s familial blood, into an uncontrollable rage. During the fallout, Rafe had been incarcerated with Drew and Mace for his own safety. That’s when Rafe had become aware vampires existed, and that he had spent the evening in a nest of undead monsters.
Liam, for the most part, managed to control the newly turned creatures Soris had left behind to care for his homeland but Christopher wasn’t happy having a handful migrate to the area. Philadelphia was large but the young vamps moved to western suburbia where Christopher resided in a house near others Sten favored. The king maintained an enclave in Exton, Pennsylvania, where the deadliest immortals roaming earth had set up homes for themselves.
Kam had hit the nail on the head when he said Wren didn’t like vamps of Soris’ ilk hanging out at New Leaf. He’d caught one or two eyeing Rafe. That behavior was going to get someone’s heart ripped out. Christopher had helped himself to their youthful lifeforce to make sure they stayed away from what belonged to him. Getting new undead to understand about mates and boundaries was no easy task. To them, anything on two legs showing one iota of interest was fair game. Didn’t surprise Wren, really, considering Soris’ repugnant lifeforce continued to run through their veins.
Then there was Liam. The biggest manwhore strolling the face of the earth.
“You guys are jealous I don’t have a mate to contend with.”
Talk about the devil…