A centuries old demon using the power of the black arts holds the fate of the world in his hand — and only vampires can stop him!
When Bernard Fournier first meets Marcus Verano he has no inkling that the tall and handsome man is in fact a vampire. For eighteen years Bernard has lived a life of degradation in a monastery — abused and humiliated by those who should have sheltered and cared for him. When Marcus offers Bernard the chance of freedom he willingly accepts it, leaving the monastery without regret or a backward glance.
A victim of a plague that sweeps Europe in the 15th century, Bernard has only one chance of survival — and once more he accepts what only Marcus can offer — immortality. Time and distance eventually separate Marcus and Bernard as they make their way through the centuries. Bernard finds happiness in the arms of Pietro Dante, an academician employed in the Vatican library. All is well until the day when a demon force is unleashed upon the world in the guise of a new Pope.
Only Bernard and Pietro know of the demon's plans, and they find a strange ally in Constantine, the demon's son, who wishes to protect his mortal lover, Gustav. But the demon Pope is willing to sacrifice everything, including his son, for his ambitions. Even the threat of opposition from the Vampire Council headed by Marcus and his friend Joseph Meyer will not halt him in his plan to rule the world — and destroy all vampires in the process.
Can Bernard and his friends overcome the demonic plans to bring about the 'end of times', or will the forces of evil triumph over love and loyalty?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of M/M intimacy
General Release Date: 7th September 2009
So that you don’t take me for a hallucinating idiot in some of the things I have to tell you, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Well, not so little really—maybe quite important. I’m a vampire. Yes, it’s true. Please don’t shudder with fear. I’m really quite a nice fellow, and I promise I won’t take any bites out of your neck or suck on...your blood. Well, not unless you say ‘go ahead’, first.
My name is Bernard Fournier—yes, I’m also French, but please don’t hold that against me, either. A French vampire, I hear you saying. What else is he going to confess to us before the story’s end? Lots of things, actually, some good, some not so good, and some quite terrible—but, I must not get ahead of myself.
My life began, some six hundred years ago, in a little village in the south of France. The name of it is irrelevant, for it no longer exists—it being just one of those long forgotten casualties of the wars that have raged off and on throughout the centuries, before and since I was born.
I was born a bastard, the product of ravishment by pillaging knights, thrown into a rubbish heap by my less-than-doting mother then discovered by an old woman digging for scraps of food. Amazingly, she didn’t eat me but handed me over to some monks who baptised me to redeem me from sin and gave me the name Bernard. They raised me after a fashion, using me as a slave to fetch and carry then when my prettiness began to show through the grime and filth I was covered in due to their neglect, they abused me. Truth to tell, I had no idea as to what I looked like or why I had suddenly become an object of lust. I had never seen my reflection. Such a thing as a mirror was not hung in the monastery stable.
Not an impressive start to anyone’s life you might say and I would have to agree. So is it any wonder that my mind was consumed with thoughts of escape, and sometimes, with revenge? Many times, I would lift my eyes and look beyond the monastery walls to the fields and forests that lay so near, and yet so far, with their promise of freedom. Escape was impossible, however, for the good monks fettered me securely at night and, in the daytime, tied a length of rope to my ankles, long enough to not impede me in my chores but not quite long enough to enable me to run through the monastery gates.
For eighteen terrible years, I lived thus, wondering why the God the monks prayed to several times a day and praised as the Almighty Saviour did not care to save me. What had I done to deserve this wretched life? I asked Him each night as I knelt in the stable straw that served as my bed.
I had long since become immune to the vile advances of the monks, merely lying passively as they had their way with me, not even protesting when they would beat me afterward for being the temptation they could not resist. When left alone, I would lie on my back, staring up at the stable’s wooden roof, and imagine myself being able to fly away from this place of torment. If only I could escape, I thought, and never have to look again at the cruel and leering faces of the men who brutalised me, I would forego any desire for revenge. To be free of them and their hypocrisy would suffice.
* * * *
Perhaps God did hear my silent pleas after all, for it came in the form of a tall and handsome man, who arrived at the monastery late one night, requesting shelter from an impending storm. The monks and I had been busy shoring up doors and windows, getting the livestock inside and bringing enough food and water indoors to last them until the storm abated. The previous year, they had been confined within the chancery walls for three days. I, of course, had not been permitted to shelter there and had to huddle inside the stable, listening to the howling winds and lashing rain and wondering what would happen to me should the stable be carried away in the gale.
I watched with interest as Prior Hubert conversed with the tall man who had a military bearing and was dressed in fine clothes. Greedily, the Prior snatched the coins the tall man offered him then ushered him indoors, away from my sight. A moment later, one of the monks bade me to take the man’s horse to the stable and bed him down for the night.
The horse was a fine steed, its saddle and trappings of the best quality, and I handled all of it with care as I stowed them away in a corner of the stable, before preparing to brush the horse down. In the distance, I head the rumbling of thunder, heralding the storm’s approach.
“That’s all right...” A deep, melodious voice behind me made me jump. “I’ll take care of him.”
Book Length: SHORT STORY
Genres: EROTIC ROMANCE
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.
Reviewed by chris
This series just keeps getting better with every episode. The story is imaginative and daring, filled with terrific characters, both mortal and im! Can't wait for the next one - pretty please!
Read more reviews