Sutter is a vampire on the run. After barely escaping the hunter his sire sent after him, he makes it all the way to the middle of nowhere, Oregon, before the approaching sunrise forces him to stop. He intends only to rest, then hit the road again as soon as night falls, but that plan falls apart when the motel’s maintenance man discovers him passed out on the bathroom floor.
Ex-Marine Max Rowell hasn’t had a purpose in life ever since coming home from the Gulf. Though he works at his father’s motel, drifting through days that bleed endlessly into each other, it takes discovering an unconscious guy who looks like an angel but has clearly been through hell to give him new purpose.
Max isn’t letting Sutter go anywhere until he’s healed, but Sutter needs more than a warm bedside manner to get stronger. Though they strike a deal, the clock keeps ticking, and sooner or later Sutter will need to run again, or risk putting Max’s life on the line when Sutter’s past catches up to him...
Genres: Gay/Dark Fantasy/Vampire/Menage (M/M/M)/Group Sex/Voyeurism/Exhibitionism/Public Places
Heat Level: 3
Length: Extended Novella (32k words)
Read a short excerpt...
...“Here.” Coming around Sutter’s side of the bed, the man dropped the blanket to the floor first as he slid his free arm beneath Sutter’s shoulders. With unexpected gentleness, he lifted Sutter up the few inches necessary to prop the second pillow beneath his head. “I know it’s not much, but it’s better than the bathroom floor, right?”
Sutter could only watch as he deftly flicked the blanket open and spread it out over the bedspread. That was when he saw the peek of white on his own torso. A fresh bandage covered the stake wound.
What the fuck had happened while he’d been unconscious? Who was this man? Why was he fussing over Sutter like a baby chick? He wanted desperately to throw the stranger against the wall and run as far away as he could, but the tiny slivers of light that stole around the edges of the closed curtains locked him in the room better than any shackles ever could. He couldn’t even protest when the man picked up a glass of water from the nightstand and held it to his lips.
“I didn’t call the police, if that’s what you’re worried about.” As Sutter sipped at the water, the man held it steady, his gaze solemn and unshakable. “I figured anyone who checked themselves into this place without tipping off Dewitt that he was bleeding as badly as you were was looking for discretion.”
Dewitt must’ve been the grizzled clerk who’d taken Sutter’s cash without looking up from his greasy copy of Sports Illustrated. Sutter had been careful, yes, but as far as he was concerned, Petrus could’ve had his fangs and cock buried in Sutter’s body as he paid and the old man still wouldn’t have noticed.
The water helped, soothing over the rough edges the last twenty-four hours had wrought. When Sutter coughed, the stranger snapped back, withdrawing the glass before anything spilled.
“Who are you?” Sutter ground out. It hurt—fuck, did it hurt—but he didn’t feel nearly so helpless when he had a voice. As long as he had the choice, he would use it, consequences be damned.
“My name’s Max.” He held out his left hand, but when Sutter glanced at it with a frown, blushed and pulled it back. “My dad owns this place.”
“And you’re…what? The welcoming committee?”
Max chuckled. “Hardly. You’re in hell’s armpit. If I didn’t live here, I’d avoid it like the plague.”
His gaze flickered to the exposed tattoo. “I didn’t know there was a base nearby.” He didn’t think there was anything nearby. He’d driven north from Sacramento on purpose, getting off I-5 somewhere in Oregon to get lost in a world of trees. The Pacific Motel had been the first note of civilization he’d seen in miles, and even that was set off alone, the nearest town another fifteen miles ahead, according to the road signs. It should’ve been ideal.
“No base for me.” Another smile, though this one was melancholy. “Not anymore.”
“How’d you…” The words caught in a rasp. In a flash, the water was back, the glass pressed to his bottom lip, tipped up and flowing at just the right speed as Max watched without a word. When Sutter had his fill, he ran his tongue over the cracked skin and tried again. “How’d you know?”
Max jerked his head toward the door. “I saw the blood outside. When I asked Dewitt about you, he said you looked like you were going to sleep off a bender, so I knew it had to be bad. You didn’t answer when I knocked, so I stole the master key when Dewitt wasn’t looking and let myself in.” His eyes widened in innocent alarm. “Just to check up on you, I swear. But you were passed out, and the bathroom was a wreck, and I couldn’t just leave you there, could I? You’d’ve been a goner before you ever got the chance to check out.”
His raw appeal was an adrenaline rush Sutter really didn’t need right now. A naive do-gooder hiding inside a killer’s body. That was how Petrus had hooked him all those years ago, though his had been one of many masks he donned when the purpose suited him. Max wasn’t the same—he was alive, for starters, which was already a step in the right direction—but the threat of what he could do to Sutter’s common sense remained...