Even in darkness, love lights the way.
Anya awakens alone and afraid in a new world soaked with blood and terror. The only things she knows for certain are her name and that humans are precious.
Unwilling to give in to her hungers, she sets her feet upon a path of discovery, searching for clues to her forgotten past. Along the way she runs headlong into the unimaginable world of the undead and the waiting arms of Nicholas, a fearless nocturnal defender searching for his love, lost in eternity.
Into their midst stumbles Declán, a young, natural born vampire hunter and Guardian whose passion for Anya is only matched by his draw to Nicholas. His arrival could mark the end of their tale, or with the gift of Anya’s blood kiss, it might bring about the beginning of a new chapter for them all.
Fate has a wicked sense of sensibility…
“I talked to him about you a little. But yes, you’re right to worry. He is very aware you are not normal. However, he hasn’t figured out what that difference is. That’s not really what concerns me the most, though.”
“What are you more worried about?”
“Well, I believe his feelings go much deeper for you than curiosity or even attraction. What I can’t figure out is how he could be so beyond already.”
I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out. I tried again though my thoughts were so jumbled, finding the right words was difficult.
“What do you mean deeper and beyond?”
“I’m not entirely sure yet, my dear. But, we’re going to have to find a way for you to be near him or you’re going to have to leave. I fear you will drive him mad otherwise.”
Mad? “I don’t understand, Nicholas. What do you mean ‘drive him mad’?”
Nicholas paused. “Declán’s fascination and infatuation are not likely to diminish, especially if he’s actively around you. And, well, he’s attracted to you physically and emotionally. Do you honestly think the fact he can’t touch you won’t cause him problems? Then there’s the fact he knows you are not being honest with him. He can’t help how he feels about you any more than you seem to be able. I’ve never seen anything like it, well, except….” He looked away a moment and seemed almost embarrassed. That couldn’t be right, though. Could it?
“I am so lost here. You are the only person I can talk to about this, but it is not fair to you either. You already said this is hard for you to watch.”
“Anya, what is difficult to watch is you fearing yourself. To see the doubt and pain this situation is causing you. As to what to do, though, I’m not sure how to help.
“If you choose to move forward with this relationship with Declán, you are going to have to reveal at least some of what you are. I got a good sense of him when we spoke after you left and you’re both hurting from this issue. He has a good heart that, if you aren’t careful, will belong to you.”
“He cannot even hold my hand, how can this do anything, but cause pain?” Pain for both of them.
“Maybe there’s a simple solution we aren’t thinking of, yet. Of course, I’m still trying to figure out why Declán reacted to me the same way. I wonder….” A strange flash flickered in his eyes, and he seemed almost obsessed for a moment. “No, that would be too dangerous.” He was mumbling to himself now. “But I wonder.”
About the Author & Links:
Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.
Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.
Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit:
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