ETERNAL BLOODEternal Blood
e-novella in the Mark of the Vampire Series

January 2012

Gray Donahue is crippled by the guilt he feels for his father’s death. An Impure vampire cursed with the ability to hear the thoughts of others, he indulges in blood and sex to stave off the pain of his existence. He is then abducted by the Eternal Order of Vampires, who subject him to a nightmarish ritual. But when he is rescued by the icy pureblood vampire Dillon, he finds something that is worth living for, dying for, killing for….

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Excerpt from Eternal Blood

One

It was like being back in the hospital again, this feeling of deep and overwhelming intensity—an intensity he had no control over. And the images that flickered through his mind; he couldn’t hold on to them in any real way, get a fix on them. Then there were voices. Three voices at once, and all coming fast.

Fast and furious as fuck.

With instructions he couldn’t comprehend, demands he wasn’t certain he wanted to give in to, and a pressure inside his skull to open wide and receive, Gray Donohue slammed open his eyes and hissed a fierce, “Stop! Christ. It’s too much.”

The quick images and harsh demands ringing inside his skull suddenly evaporated and he could breathe once again, focus again—even with the irritated and disappointed glares of the three Impures who encircled him.

“What’s the problem?” came the gruff voice at his shoulder.

Eyes narrowed, Gray turned to regard Riordon James, the massive Impure male with night-black eyes who had served most of his life in the human armed forces until he’d been caught bunking with a couple of his superior male officers.

“I thought you liked threesomes,” the male added with a growl of insincerity.

“I do,” Gray returned darkly. “Unfortunately this one lacked the dirty talk I need to get it up. All that angel white noise you tossed my way really turned me off.”

Gray watched the male’s mouth thin even further than normal. One bullshit joke deserved another, didn’t it? Besides, his idea of a threesome was naked, sweaty and mutually pleasurable. It sure as hell wasn’t obliging three fully clothed Impure warriors who were attempting to drill his brain for answers—find out if he was the missing piece to their puzzle.

Per usual, Riordon wasn’t giving up or moving on. His nostrils flared as he said, “You want dirty talk, do you, Impure?”

“Come on, Rio,” Piper Leigh, the blond female Impure across from Gray, said quickly and calmly. “Not necessary.”

But her words were lost on the tank-like male, and in seconds his eyes narrowed and a wave of intensity shot through Gray’s mind like an emotional bullet along with the words:

YOU KEEP THIS UP, I’LL CUT OFF YOUR COCK AND EAT IT FOR BREAKFAST.

It was like audio feedback times a thousand and Gray grit his teeth against the assault. The feeling of the words themselves inside his head weren’t clear and present like Alexander’s were, like anyone he could hear in his mind. No. These words slammed into his very being and ricocheted off his bones and muscle—it was like freaking God’s voice booming around in there, and he tried not to jerk in response as he stared back at Riordon.

“Dirty enough for you?” the male asked, dark amusement glittering in his black eyes.

Gray choked out a bitter reply, “Not exactly what I had in mind, but I respect the effort.”

Realizing he hadn’t killed Gray’s pluck as he’d hoped, Riordon snorted with disgust and turned away. “This is bullshit. He’s bullshit.”

“How about a break?” Piper asked, her pale lavender eyes bright with concern.

“We don’t have time for breaks,” said the male to her right—and to Gray’s left. “This needs to get done, get settled so we can continue our fight.”

The third member of the small but powerful vampiric coven was nearly as intense as the first, but where Riordon was powerful and solid, milk-white skin over icy hard muscle, Vincent Seal sported long, lean athleticism wrapped up in dark caramel skin, eyes and hair.

“I think we all need to chill out,” Piper said, her eyes still connecting with Gray as though she were trying to read his mind, though her gifts were more akin to changing the thoughts of others. “He’s just getting his feet wet here.”

His feet, Gray thought bitterly, glancing down. Where his feet had once been planted in the posh living quarters of the Roman brothers’ household, they were now uncertainly tap dancing around a circle of red color and interwoven lines; the symbol of what he had come to realize was the Impure resistance, inside a sparsely furnished, unromantic warehouse space in the Bronx. It was the real deal here. No Ethan Dare plotting and sex parties—no Impures laid out on cushy mats and pillows as they attempted to bump and grind their way to respect and equality with the Pureblood communities they served. This was real . . . and raw, and blatantly stated that there was work to be done.

After leaving the Romans, Gray hadn’t gone looking for these three gifted Impure warriors. He had been on the hunt for a purpose to his life, true—but he had been hoping to find a group of similar minded Impures, ready to band together and plan for the future. Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on the outcome, Piper, Riordon and Vincent had found him first, convinced him that he belonged with them, to them—and to the cause he truly sought.

Granted, the three of them had mental gifts that Gray could understand and relate to, but he wasn’t altogether certain he wanted a part of whatever they were planning.

He stared at the symbol carved into the floor at their feet. Four coiled snakes with fangs extended. They had used their own blood to paint the symbol. It was their talisman, they said. It helped them both invoke power and calm their minds.

These three vipers.

And he was supposed to be their fourth.

A force that may be able to withstand the powers of the Order.