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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Scars and Baggage and Small Towns by Darcy Abriel

Ternekill is a small sleepy town in the Catskill Mountains of New York, with a lot of secrets and I love writing about small towns. Having grown up in a small upstate New York kind of town I know what’s it like living there. I am intimately familiar with small towns and with a writer’s imagination, I take this fictional small town of Ternekill and expose just a few of the secrets riding my two favorite guys from “My Soul He Seeks,” Ravol Nova and Byron Shepley. “My Fate, My Destiny” takes you a little further into their relationship and the depth of their commitment, one to the other. They do face challenges. But then again, it would be a pretty boring story if they didn’t.

Ravol is a werewolf, no secret there. He’s been very up front with Byron about that part of his background. But up to this point Ravol has refused to allow Byron to witness his change from human to werewolf. Nor will Ravol agree to change Byron into a werewolf. Just one bone of contention between the two lovers.

Ravol carries a lot of baggage, including the death of his first love, Francesco. He’s a secretive man who tries to keep his life compartmentalized, but Byron is making that harder and harder to maintain. Notwithstanding, Ravol has a lot of baggage because of who he is - a part of the ancient Zhalazti tribe nobility that carries with it a great deal of responsibility and tradition.

Byron may be human, but he has his own set of secrets and full load of baggage he carries around with him, not the least of which is that he can communicate with the Ternekill House ghostly ancestors. Ghosts that are a sure part of his heritage and tie him quite closely to the town of Ternekill. More so than either Byron or Ravol knows.

But soon, some of those dark secrets for both Byron and for Ravol are about to be revealed Some revelations are expected, others not quite so much. Ravol’s past is about to meet his present with a life-altering, perhaps murderous climax. Secrets, if left to fester can kill. Secrets if finally revealed and faced can ultimately heal.

I love genealogy and dabble in it regarding my own family. Digging into the families of Ravol and Bryon and doing the research, fictional and not-so fictional is always exciting. And Ternekill reminds me of some of those smaller town in New York that were lost in the aftermath of flooding from Hurricane Sandy that destroyed forever certain quint towns where I picnicked, and did some steamy parking too.

Oh, yes, there are secrets among those back roads and small towns. And in “My Fate, My Destiny,” a few more of Ravol’s and Byron’s dangerous secrets will be revealed as the past merges with the present.

Here’s an excerpt from “My Fate, My Destiny.”


I awoke late. Ravol was still asleep and, as quietly as possible, I slipped out of bed. Technically, I marched to the tune of two masters.

Terne House owned my soul as much as Ravol Nova did. I had come to terms with that understanding early on in my relationship with Ravol. I think it's a blood thing. My ancestors are tied to this house. The ghosts reasserted their hold on me that they'd instigated when I was sixteen. Bits and pieces of that night so long ago have started to return the longer I stay in the house.

I no longer fear the ghosts; they are a part of me. They are my heritage. It's taken some effort, several discussions with Heinrich, and working with a friend of his who delves into paranormal investigations, and I see the spirits now, not just hear them. I don't try to second guess myself. With their help I have learned to accept. I think when I made that visit to Terne House so long ago, that's when I had my first encounter with the spirits. And it scared the shit out of me. I didn't just sense them, I saw them, and I blocked the episode out of my mind.

Crazy blood. That's what folks in town said about the Ternes. Crazy blood ran through their veins. And I was one of their descendants, though one might say it's through the wrong side of the blanket.

I hear the ghosts whispering now.

Not long ago I learned the truth about the incestuous relationship between Nelda and Simon Terne, long dead now. I heard the echoes of the crying baby that Nelda bore--the one she smothered and Simon buried in a corner of the dirt floor basement. Ramon helped me dig up the bones one evening when Ravol was out of town, and the child is now buried in the Terne Cemetery with a simple white wooden cross marking the grave. The poor child never had a name, so Ramon and I agreed she should be called Mary. And that's the name on the cross. I don't hear her crying anymore, so perhaps her soul has moved on. I like to think so.

But because Horace's son, Luke, my ancestor, couldn't keep his cock in his pants on even his good days is the reason I'm blood-tied to the Terne family by bastard blood. And even today, he has to have his own way. His ghost is the one that demands my attention more than the others. His presence is the strongest. He doesn't seem to want anything. But he uses me as an interpreter. He seems very interested in Ravol's background, in what sort of blood he has running through his veins. The werewolf blood. Luke asks a lot of questions.

Wild Luke Terne was the one who had the affair with Lucy Day. Lucy Day, who bore a bastard girl-child, who grew up and eventually married Farmer Shepley's son. They had a son, but the poor girl died. Luke's wild blood lived on, tied now to the Shepley line. And so here we are full circle, and the Terne ghosts, because well, hell, there weren't any other descendants, legal, bastard, or otherwise, see me as the rightful resident of Terne House in some strange and skewed way. I don't know what they'll do if Ravol ever chooses to leave Terne House for good. For now they're pretty benign. I try not to think about the consequences of such an action. So instead, I try to maintain some level of peaceful coexistence between the Zhalazti and the spirits of my ancestors.

I stared up at the portrait in the third floor bedroom where I went after slipping out of the bedroom I share with Ravol. I jumped when Ravol place a hand on my shoulder. "Why are you up here?" Ravol asked.

"Luke summoned me," I answered. Ravol glanced up at the portrait. I closed my eyes, enjoying Ravol's nearness. I have to leave for the auction house soon and it will be hard to tear myself away from him.

"What does he say?" Ravol asked, then nipped my earlobe, completely distracting me from my train of thought. A cold breeze kicked up dust in the room. Ravol laughed. "He's jealous because he has no lover to warm him these days."

I leaned back and Ravol nipped at my nape. I knew there would be bruises when he finished playing. He nipped again. It was a sharper pinch that left me gasping.

"H-he'd probably be less volatile if you brought him a woman," I said, as I stretched my neck longer, giving him even more access.

"A woman?"

"No." The dust roiled higher. "That isn't want he wants. He would need to choose."

"He can forget it. He's gone two hundred years without a woman. I'm not bringing some sacrifice here for him to play havoc with." Ravol nipped at my shoulder. I lost interest in Luke. Luke might be a nuisance but he hadn't caused any real damage. Just a bit of petulance. I turned in Ravol's arms. He kissed me.

"Forget about Luke," I said. I'd learned to tolerate Luke's presence and to ignore it as much as possible. Just part of the charm of Terne House, I guess. Every old house has its quirks. Terne House certainly had its share.

"How long will you be gone?" Ravol asked, then kissed me more thoroughly. I started to lose focus. The man's charisma was too overpowering. But I'd know that the first night I walked into Terne House and met him for the first time. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me closer. "I want you."

I chuckled. "You had me. And had me some more." He grabbed my ass and yanked me closer. I felt the ridge of his cock brush against my own hard-on.


My Fate, My Destiny by Darcy Abriel is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!


  1. Definitely want to read this one.

    carolcobun @ yahoo.com

  2. Really intriguing excerpt!


  3. I liked the excerpt about the family background etc.
    Please include me in the contest.
    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com