Today is the first installed of a new serial. Blackthorn follows the events in Wolf’s Bane.
How often will it publish? I don’t know. I’ll put up new chapters as I finish them.
The monster’s widow and the monster.
Alone for too long, the vampire Draven feels the last of his humanity slipping away. He needs a mate to anchor him and keep the monster at bay.
Newly widowed, Charlotte needs a fresh start and she can’t resist the chance to speak with one of the oldest creatures on the planet.
The beast and his companion left at sunrise.
Draven watched from a tower window as they left his stronghold until they became dark smudges against the mountain. Eventually they vanished in the distance.
The morning sun warmed his skin. The light did not harm Draven as it once had. Call it one of the few benefits of old age.
This morning felt significant, full of potential, like something could actually change. He had lived long enough to appreciate that true change happened rarely. He savored the anticipation.
The child was one of the Marechal hunters, come to reclaim his family’s heirloom. Draven opened his home to the travelers– the Marechal lad and the newly transformed beast with his tenuous anchor– and listened to the child’s plea. It was little more than begging, asking for the return of the imbued sword with nothing to offer in exchange.
Imagine Draven’s surprise that the foolish, danger-seeking family had not driven themselves into extinction. He had no need for the imbued sword but he was not inclined to give away his treasure.
Not when he paid such a heavy price to capture that sword.
“This sword took my companion,” he said. “Replace them, and Black Thorn is yours. It is a fair price.”
More than fair. A century had passed since the last Marechal hunter tried to end his life on grounds that Draven was a monster and abomination.
He had a condition that necessitated certain dietary requirements. While many found the consumption of blood unsavory, he had plenty of willing associates who would exchange a pint of blood for food and shelter. It was a fair trade. They were free to leave at any time. Draven was not so crude as to keep his… associates… chained in the basement. He hadn’t done that for nearly a century.
His food was not the issue. He had a steady supply and had learned how to gather the nutrients his body needed due to the nexus mutation without bleeding a person dry.
He needed an anchor. He had been too long adrift without one. When the seasons cycled, he felt the surge of nexus energy, and it pulled on him. He needed a companion to hold his mind in place, to tie him to this world and keep him from shifting into a bloodthirsty monster.
It was harder every season.
Without a new anchor, he would soon lose himself completely to the monster.
If that happened, Luis Marechal was more than welcomed to drive Black Thorn through Draven’s shriveled, undead heart.
Let me know what you think!