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For my part in the hop today, I'm offering up a tidbit of my sexy m/m vampire tale, "Orion's Way."
Orion is a vampire with a tragic past. After running away from abusive parents at the tender age of sixteen, he was turned by a ruthless elder vampire and forced to torture and sexually abuse human feeders and submissive vampires. Though that's all behind him now, he still lives in the shadow of what he was, and it has cost him the loyalty of Xavier, the human feeder he loves. Malagan is Orion's closest friend--the vampire who saved him from brutality all those years ago. Malagan knows the dominant side of Orion--the side Xavier needs--is still there, lurking below the surface. But if Orion's going to find his way back to who he ought to be, he'll need help. And Malagan is just the man for the job.
The moment Malagan walked into his kitchen, he knew where the dent in Orion’s car had come from. Orion sat at the table, both hands wrapped in gauze, nursing a cup of coffee. Orion hadn’t healed his wounds, and Malagan knew that spelled a nasty bout of depression on the horizon. He wiped his own bloodied knuckles on his pants—unhealed because he simply hadn’t taken the time—and went to pour himself a mug. He needed to feed, but he needed to see to Orion first. Caffeine would do in the meantime.
“I owe you some supplies,” Orion said, holding up his hands.
Malagan shrugged. “Mi casa es su casa, you know that.” He sat down across from Orion, nodded to Orion’s hands. “Did the car say something you didn’t like?”
Orion burst into laughter, leaned forward, and laid his head on the table, forehead down. He shook his head. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be.” Malagan reached his hand to the back of Orion’s neck, massaged the tight-corded muscles there. “I’m proud of you. What you did was incredibly stupid and ill-advised, but I’m still proud of you. Although you could’ve gotten yourself killed, and then I’d have had to kill Clay. You should think about that next time.”
“Will there be a next time?” he asked, turning his face slightly to see Malagan.
Malagan withdrew his hand and picked up his coffee to sip it. “Hard to say. Marco and the others are helping Xavier settle in now. He came with me willingly tonight, but one never knows with humans. They’re such a fickle bunch.”
Orion sat up and scrubbed a hand over his face. “Thank you.”
Malagan nodded. He’d rescued Xavier for his own peace of mind as much as for Orion’s. “I discussed the situation at length with him on the drive home. He loves you, of course, as he always has. He wants to return to you, if you’ll have him. You should speak to him.”
Orion shook his head. “You know I can’t.”
Malagan held up a hand. “Think about it. He’s not going to be up for anything heavy for a very long time. Might never be, now. Perhaps this experience will show him he doesn’t need the dangerously heavy hand he craves. Perhaps it won’t. Either way, the two of you can learn and grow together. As morbid as it seems, maybe this situation today was just what each of you needs to find your way back to what you once were.”
“What I was?” Orion smirked. “I was a monster.”
Malagan ignored the statement, focused on the present. “I’ve seen how you are with the new fledglings, with the vamps who come through my doors questioning everything, questioning their own sanity. You’re patient with them. You take time with them, make sure they’re comfortable and happy. And I’ve seen the light that comes into your eyes when you watch a BDSM session. You want to be the one holding the paddle. You want to be the one giving that joy to a sub. You deserve to be the one, and Xavier, flighty as the man is, deserves that from you. If I didn’t trust you, I’d never have let you live in the lair.”
Orion stood and paced to the sink to rinse out his coffee cup. “How can you trust me when I can’t even trust myself?”
A valid question, but Malagan doubted Orion would accept any answer he gave. He stood and joined Orion, slid his arm around Orion’s waist. “Like I said, I’ve seen it in your eyes.”
“I don’t know.” Orion shook his head and leaned into Malagan’s embrace. “I haven’t even picked up a whip since...” He broke off and looked away.
“I know.” Malagan pressed a kiss to the top of Orion’s head. “You never know until you try.”
“Maybe.” Orion sat his cup down on the counter and laid his hand over Malagan’s. He froze as his fingers made contact with broken flesh. He turned quickly and lifted Malagan’s hand. “You’re hurt.”
“It’s nothing. Clay’s face is harder than it looks.” Malagan’s chest constricted as Orion turned his hand over and back again, touching the wound gingerly, scowling. “It’s nothing,” he repeated.
“Let me,” Orion murmured. He raised Malagan’s hands and licked Malagan’s knuckles one by one. At length he lifted his head, eyes crimson. “Tell me he looks worse than you.”
Malagan chuckled. “Far worse.” He pulled his hands away and stroked Orion’s hair. “Go speak to Xavier, my friend. You two have much to discuss.”
Orion obeyed, though Malagan didn’t miss the reluctance in his slow, calculated movements, or the way he hesitated at the doorway and looked back over his shoulder at Malagan before going on. The road to Xavier’s recovery would be long, but he wondered if the road to Orion’s wouldn’t be longer.
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****PLEASE BE AWARE: I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If winning that kind of a book isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop and leave the spot open for someone else. Thank you.****