What's a guy to do when the right man for him is…a vampire?
Years ago, Daniel Farrow, then only eighteen years old, had a crush on his bright-eyed, blond-haired co-worker Roger Folsom, but Roger disappeared without a trace. Daniel’s never forgotten Roger and is delighted when he’s given a chance to meet him again.
Although the reunion is a little strained, Daniel is introduced to handsome Leon de Castillo, a man with whom he feels an instant, if slightly mystifying, bond, which only intensifies the more time he spends with the older, elegant Leon.
After spending the night with Leon, Daniel is accosted by a neighbor, Morris, who warns Daniel that Leon is not what he appears to be. Daniel ignores his creepy neighbor, but when Leon’s unbelievable secret is revealed, Daniel sees his future with Leon crumble to dust.
Because a relationship between a human and an immortal could never work, could it?
Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, death and abduction.
General Release Date: 11th August 2020
Jeffrey, one of my tellers, shrugged apologetically after knocking on the doorframe of my office. I always leave the door open, in part to make sure the employees are doing their job properly, but also to head off any problems that might occur. It is a bank, after all, and in dealing with people’s money, things can get hairy at times.
“Hi, sorry, Daniel, the lady at my window doesn’t have an account with us and the check is written on a foreign bank. It’s for five thousand dollars…”
I took the check from him and stared at it for a moment or two before recognizing the signature. Roger Folsom. I got up from behind my desk. “I’ll handle this, thanks, Jeffrey.”
The lady in question turned and smiled at me as I approached her. She was an attractive older woman, her once blonde hair starting to turn gray. I held out my hand. “Mrs. Folsom, I’m Daniel Farrow, the manager here. Would you care to step into my office for a few minutes?”
“Is there something wrong with the check? Roger said I might have to open an account and deposit it. Is that right?”
“Yes. It is for a rather large amount.” I gestured that she should sit, and she did without any sign of reluctance. “It’s also written on a Swiss bank account. Do you know the sender?”
“Oh, yes, it’s from my son, Roger. He lives here in Los Angeles part of the year, but he and his employer travel extensively. I guess he opened a Swiss bank account at some point.”
“Marcus Verano. He’s an Italian financial advisor for some really rich and important people, I believe. Roger is his secretary and traveling companion.”
“Sounds like a nice job,” I said with a pang of envy. What I’d give to have an employer like this Verano guy. “I have a feeling that your son worked at this branch several years ago. I’m wondering if he’s the same Roger Folsom.”
Mrs. Folsom frowned. “He did work in a bank, and you know, it could’ve been this one. Several years ago, I think. Do you remember him?”
“Yes, if it’s the same Roger. He was the senior teller. He actually trained me when I started at this branch.”
“Oh, well wait. I have a photo of him in my purse.” She rifled through it for a moment or two then produced a wallet and a photograph. “This is my Roger.”
She said it with pride and I wished my own mother had said those words in the same way, just once. She handed it to me and I could tell it had been taken around the time I’d known Roger. I gazed at the sunny smile on the young man’s face, and said, “That’s him, all right. How is he, Mrs. Folsom? He sort of left without saying goodbye. We were concerned for him when he didn’t show up for work. I know it’s a long time ago, but I’d just like to know that he’s okay.”
She smiled at me. “Oh, yes. He’s very well. I don’t see him very much, but he calls now and then. I expect he’s very busy. The check…” She glanced at it still lying in front of me. “The check is a gift. My husband died recently…”
“I’m so sorry—my condolences, Mrs. Folsom.”
She nodded. “Thank you. Roger couldn’t come for the funeral. The check is to pay for a headstone. He said he will come to see it placed, once I’ve made the arrangements.”
I felt a sudden surge of excitement at the thought of Roger being back here in the US. I’d had a crush on him when we worked together, but he’d probably thought I was too young for him. He’d been twenty-four, and I had just turned eighteen and was incredibly shy and into blushing a lot. In addition to me being too young, he’d most likely thought me a bit of a dweeb. I could feel my cheeks heat up, remembering.
“Wh-where was your husband buried? I might like to attend the headstone placement if that’s all right. It’d be good to see Roger again.”
“Oh, I’m sure he’d like that. I’ll mention it to him next time he calls me. Daniel, is it?”
“Daniel Farrow. He might remember me, but it was a long time ago.”
“I’m sure he will. Now, if you don’t mind, can you take care of the check for me? I can open an account if that’s what you need.”
“Of course. I’ll bring you the necessary forms and we can deposit the check right away. It might take a few days to clear…the bank being in a foreign country.”
I rose and went over to one of the account reps. “Julia, I need the forms for opening a new account.”
“I can do that for you.”
“That’s okay. The lady in my office is the mother of a—a friend, so she’ll appreciate the personal touch.”
Julia handed me the forms along with an eye-roll. “Mr. Nice-guy as usual.”
“That’s me.” I grinned at her and took the forms. Mrs. Folsom lived in Beverly Hills, I noticed, as she filled in her name and address. “You didn’t mind coming this far to open an account?”
She smiled and I could see traces of Roger’s happy smile when she did. “He told me to use a Barrett’s bank and this one is the closest.”
Interesting. After Mrs. Folsom had left with my promise to let her know soon as the check had cleared, I examined our databank for Roger’s name. We all had accounts opened for us by the bank while we worked for them and I was curious. Why I’d never thought of doing this before, I didn’t know, but my Sherlock Holmes impersonation revealed nothing. No account in Roger’s name. I wondered if his mother would remember to call me with the date of the headstone placement. I’d given her my card and had written my cell number on the back. Fingers crossed she’d remember.
J.P. Bowie was born in Scotland and toured British theatres in numerous musical shows including Stephen Sondheim’s Company.
He emigrated to the States and worked in Las Vegas, Nevada for the magicians Siegfried and Roy as their Head of Wardrobe at the Mirage Hotel. He is currently living with his husband in sunny San Diego, California.