Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Here for Us by AM Arthur

Cris Sable doesn’t walk into popular gay bar Big Dick’s expecting to find more than a casual hookup, so he’s surprised by his instant attraction and intense chemistry with go-go dancer Jake. Jake’s sexy as hell and a firecracker in bed. The sparks between them are undeniable, and what starts as a hookup evolves into something deeper, possibly permanent—until Jake dumps Cris flat on his ass for no good reason.

Angry and confused, Cris finds comfort with his longtime friend and employer Charles “Chet” Greenwood. Cris’s emotional state stirs up Charles’s long-buried feelings for Cris. Feelings he’s denied for eight years, because Cris is his employee and therefore off limits—not to mention two decades younger than Charles. Cris admits he has feelings for Charles, too, but he’s still getting over Jake and both men agree nothing can happen between them while Charles is still Cris’s boss.

Jake Bowden knows he doesn’t have anything to offer a guy. He’s a go-go dancer with no degree and no real career aspirations. He’s also used to everyone who loves him leaving, so it makes sense to cut Cris loose before things get too serious. Cris is kind, passionate and totally deserves a guy like Charles—wealthy, owns a home, successful businessman. Jake can’t compete so why bother? They’re better off together. But when Jake has a serious personal crisis, Cris and Charles unite to pull him back together, and the three men discover it’s possible—maybe even inevitable—to fall in love with more than one person at a time.

A brand-new spin-off from the fan-favorite and award-winning Perspectives series, Us tells the story of three very different men finding each other and understanding that love comes in all shapes, sizes, and even ages.

I just absolutely love AM Arthur's work and the idea that she was venturing into a polyamorous storyline thrilled me to bits and left me completely giddy.  When Here for Us showed up on my Kindle, I dived in and I can safely say I was perfectly right to feel giddy, simply put - it's amazing!  The characters, the chemistry, the setting all meshed together and blended perfectly with the inner monologues of the three men at the heart of this tale.

If you're asking me is this a standalone or new series? My answer would be yes, it's a new series.  However, it is a spin-off of the author's Perspectives series so do you need to read them first? No, but I do suggest reading them first as there are a few of the characters from that series that pop up and I just think the whole atmosphere runs smoother knowing them and their journeys before you begin Here for Us but you won't be lost if you haven't read them.

As the porn industry is at the center of their occupations and livelihood, some of the characters will have two names but I did not find that confusing at all, I can see where some might find that to be a bit of a hiccup but I didn't. Chris, Charles, & Jake all have their issues that bring them to where they find themselves meeting.  It may seem cliche to say but the truth is sometimes we meet people who make us stronger and that is what Chris, Charles, & Jake do. Having said that, it's not as simple as just meeting and being happy because that would take about 20 pages and would be a bit boring so there is drama, humor, romance, ups and downs, and of course lots of yumminess.  I'm afraid that's as close to spoiler material you're going to get from me but I will add that I can't wait to see where the author takes these boys and I highly recommend giving it a look, you won't be disappointed.


Chapter 1
I need to fucking get laid.

The thought followed Cris Sable through the heavy industrial door that hid the throbbing interior of Big Dick’s, the most popular gay nightclub in Harrisburg. The place was hard to find if you didn’t know where it was, or if you didn’t know the big muscle bear sitting by the entrance was a bouncer. Cris hadn’t been to the club in over a year, mostly by choice, but tonight he needed something.

Definitely a drink, although he’d have to limit himself now that he was functioning with one kidney. And, if possible, he wanted to leave with a willing ass to fuck. It had been a long dry spell.

A dry spell of his own making, but still, a guy had needs, and he wasn’t looking to get his needs met by a woman tonight. Tonight he needed dick.

He eased his way over to the bar and ordered a margarita on the rocks. Something he could work his way through slowly. The club was in full swing, bodies gyrating on the dance floor, men dry humping their way through the evening. Soon early morning. At the rear of the dance floor, six go-go dancers were on risers, each decked out in one color of the rainbow. Barely-there briefs in a solid color, sparkle body paint all over their chests and legs, and some dancers even had colorful streaks in their hair. Monday was theme night for the go-go dancers, which explained why there were so many. On the other nights of the week that Cris had visited, the club usually only had three dancers.

Cris zeroed in on the dancer in blue. He loved the color blue, and this kid was pretty fucking hot in a royal blue thong, with blue swirls across his pecs and shoulders. Something kind of tribal and arty. He spun around to shake his ass, showing off very taut blue-painted cheeks. Even from the distance, he was cute. The kind of cute Cris liked to wrangle around in bed and fuck through the mattress.

Occasionally, a hand would rise from the crowd with money in it, and the blue dancer squatted low enough for the money to be tucked away in their underwear. Very strip club-esque, but Big Dick’s had a strict policy about not touching the dancers for longer than it took to tip them.

He scanned the other dancers’ faces and froze solid at the guy at the end. Despite the yellow paint, Cris knew that nearly naked body intimately enough to see past the costume and recognize Colby. Not his real name, and Cris didn’t know what it was, but they’d filmed together at Mean Green Boys roughly two years ago. Colby was only with the company for a few months before he quit to be with his boyfriend.

Cris had been intensely jealous at the time. At twenty-eight years old, he’d failed to find and maintain a serious relationship for longer than six months. And even that relationship had imploded when she found out he did gay porn. Okay, so he shouldn’t have kept that a secret for so long. He’d been so damned happy to find someone who understood and accepted he was bisexual that he’d been scared to destroy it too soon by admitting to the porn.

But secrets never did a relationship any good, and Lily had dumped his ass hard.

He’d taken a two year hiatus from porn after that, hoping to try and rebuild his flailing love life, before returning to Mean Green. The studio owner, Chet Green, was one of his closest friends—hence the very secret reason for his single remaining kidney.

“Hello, gorgeous.” A slinky number in leather pants and a silver mesh shirt slid up to Cris at the bar. Cute, kohl-lined eyes, plump lips that promised they knew how to suck a dick.

Cris grinned. “Who, me?”

“Oh, honey, we both know you’re the sexiest thing in the club tonight.” A warm arm draped over his shoulders. “Name’s Luke.”


“Hmm, I think you look more like a Vincent.”

Cris tensed. No fucking way could this random guy know who he was. There was no hint of malice in his easy grin, no sign the name was anything other than a really good guess. Cris came from an Italian family from Long Island, and the genes were pretty strong. He’d rid himself of his identifying accent years ago, though, thank Christ.

“Or Vincenzo, or Anthony,” the kid said, oblivious to Cris’s racing thoughts.

“Well, it’s Cris.” Rude, fine, but he’d lost any interest in Luke. Cristian Sable was his identity now. “See you around.”

Cris pushed away from the bar and eased his way into the crowd occupying the fringes of the dance floor. A few blatant offers came his way, but Cris turned them all down. He didn’t realize he’d inched closer to the risers and his blue dancer until the guy was less than ten feet away.

Blue had a face that was both easygoing and sharp. He was enjoying himself without totally letting his guard down. And he was hella cute. Fuckable for sure.

Bodies danced frenetically all around him, allowing Cris to stay close to the wall and shift nearer to Blue. Someone held up a bill between two fingers. Blue wiggled his hips and squatted low so the money could be tucked into his g-string. The triangle of blue material held a very promising package for a smaller guy.

Blue blew a kiss to his patron, then spun in an ass-wiggling circle. His dark gaze roamed the crowd, then paused on Cris. An unexpected thrill shot through him. Some sort of instinctive acknowledgement of the man on the stage, as if they’d been waiting to meet. Blue held eye contact; Cris drew out a long, lazy smile. Blue cocked his head, winked, and then kept dancing. Cris stayed in his spot. Every few minutes, Blue glanced his way. Right into his eyes.

Target acquired.

The dancers came and went from the risers, likely taking breaks in between sets. When Blue winked again and disappeared, Cris had half a mind to try and find him. Except he didn’t work at the club, and he had no real excuse to get backstage. Cris sipped his watered-down margarita and watched the eye candy on display. The gorgeous men, the throbbing music, and the heady scents of sweat and sex worked their magic on Cris, and he was half-hard by the time a brown-haired kid with a smear of blue under both eyes sidled up next to him.

Cris studied the familiar face, now scrubbed clean except for those two very appealing smudges. His hair maintained hints of blue glitter. He’d covered that amazing body with jeans and a white sleeveless tee, but this was Cris’s dancer. Blue.

“You off the clock?” Cris asked.

“Yup.” He grabbed Cris’s glass and finished it off with a smirk that did funny things to Cris’s balls. “Damn, I think I owe you a drink.”

He laughed. “Cris.”

“Jake.” He snagged Cris’s belt and tugged him toward the bar.

The forwardness was a huge fucking turn on, and Cris’s cock was at full mast by the time they reached the bar. An older man in a sparkly vest smiled at them.

“Two margaritas on the rocks,” Jake said. “My tab.”

“On it,” the bartender said.

Cris rested one hand on Jake’s lower back, and he was surprised by the tiny thrill that vibrated up his arm. Jake pressed into his touch, eyelids fluttering as if he’d felt something similar. Cris leaned in to whisper in his ear, “Blue is my favorite color.”

Jake looked up, big brown eyes glimmering with mischief. “Oh yeah?”

“Definitely. It looks good on you.”

“Know what else would look good on me?”

Cris saw the flirty line coming, but he played along. “What’s that?”


He nuzzled Jake’s ear with his nose. “I agree.”

The bartender slid their drinks over. Jake gulped his, while Cris only sipped. And studied his future sex partner. A good six inches shorter than him, and slimmer all over. Dance-honed muscles. Tight jeans that did nothing to hide his erection. A very One Direction boyish hotness about him that made Cris want to fuck him senseless.

“I’d ask if you want to dance,” Jake said, “but you didn’t bust a move all night.”

“Not much of a dancer.”

“No good?”

“I’m plenty good.” Cris put a little leer into those words. “But I don’t like using dancing as foreplay. I’d rather play in private.”

Jake pressed his hard dick against Cris’s thigh, amusement dancing in his eyes. His voice was crazy sexy in a way that Cris couldn’t describe, but he liked it. “So I’m guessing you aren’t a fan of the bathroom with the favors?”

Big Dick’s had two bathrooms for its patrons, and rumor had it that the bathroom on the left had a bowl of condoms and lube sachets for patrons. Folks interested in a quick—and safe—fuck with a stranger. The bathroom on the right was for regular business.

“Nope.” Cris slid his hand from Jake’s lower back to grab his ass. “I prefer a nice big bed where I can have my way with someone for a few hours. Upright in a bathroom stall is over too fast.”

Jake swallowed hard, his cheeks pinking up. “Sounds like an adventure.”

“You up for it?”

“What do you think?” He ground his dick into Cris’s thigh. “Think I’m up for it?”

“I might need more convincing.”

Jake grabbed at Cris’s erection and squeezed, the contact sending happy sparklers down Cris’s spine. He really liked Jake touching him. “I’d suck you right here but Richard frowns on public displays of fellatio.”

Cris didn’t know who Richard was, and he didn’t care. Owner or manager, probably. His only priority was getting Jake naked in his bed. He pushed his mostly full glass away. “Then let’s get out of here before you get in trouble with your boss.”

Jake gulped his margarita, then plunked his glass on the bar. “Lead the way.”

He did.

The cool night air did nothing to ease his throbbing dick, nor did the long walk to his car. Jake kept close, their arms brushing, but otherwise not touching. The city was still alive and well all around them, and while Cris was big and imposing enough that few people ever bothered him, Jake walked with purpose. Aware of everyone they passed. He’d danced the exact same way: wary of the world.

Cris silently promised to help Jake forget those shadows that made him walk through life like it would turn against him at any moment. Even if only for a few hours.

The instant they were in his car and Cris had it aimed toward his apartment, Jake reached over and undid his fly. Stunned at the kid’s brazenness, Cris didn’t protest. He kept three-quarters of his attention on the road, while the rest watched—and felt—Jake tug his dick out of his boxer-briefs. Jake’s touch felt like a brand on already sensitive skin.

“Uncut,” Jake whispered. “Very nice.”

Cris’s pulse raced at the compliment. Most of the chicks he’d slept with had been initially turned off by his foreskin. They were used to seeing cut dicks. Dudes were way more appreciative.

Jake played with his dick, sliding the foreskin in a slow, lazy way that barely kept Cris from driving them into a telephone pole. Jake kept hold the entire ten minute drive, a long descent into madness that nearly had Cris demanding Jake suck him off already. His orgasm teetered on the edge without getting close enough to tip him over.

He pulled into the underground parking and into a space between two SUV’s. The vehicles would provide great camouflage for a blow job, but Jake proved just how sadistic he was by letting go. He flashed Cris a wicked grin. Wicked and challenging.

This is going to be fun.

Cris tucked himself back in, which was not an easy feat thanks to Jake’s teasing. Even in the privacy of the elevator, Jake stayed hands-off. Cris led him down the corridor to his apartment, unlocked it, and let them inside.

The moment he locked the door behind them, Jake spun and yanked his head down. The faint taste of lime and tequila filled Cris’s mouth. A very insistent tongue stroked past his lips, teasing and seeking. The spark was immediate and dizzying, electric everywhere they touched.

Cris spun them. He pushed Jake against the door, holding him there with a thigh between his legs. Jake humped his thigh while he devoured his mouth with a very talented tongue that Cris couldn’t wait to feel against his dick.

The desperate kiss softened by degrees. Cris dragged his lips along Jake’s jaw, tasting sweat and soap, then down to nibble at his earlobe. Jake shoved his hands past Cris’s belt to grab both cheeks. The small huffs and groans encouraged Cris to play with Jake’s ear some more. Suck the lobe. Lick the delicate shell.

“Fuck,” Jake said.

Cris chuckled. “Soon.”


That he could do. He untangled them, grabbed Jake’s wrist, and led him across the small living room to the single bedroom. Flipped the light on. Jake gazed around. Cris wasn’t big on useless objects, so the room had furniture and a mirror. A lamp. A TV and blue-ray player. Little else beyond some dirty clothes he hadn’t put in the hamper.

Cris fished a condom and lube out of the nightstand and tossed them up near the pillows. Jake followed their trajectory, then toed off his sneakers. Cris did the same, shucking his clothes as expediently as possible, because hot, cute boy. Near his bed. Also getting naked fast.

This was the fun kind of sex. Chemistry, intent, no cameras or director reminding him not to block the come shot. Cris had every intention of coming inside Jake tonight.

Before Cris could haul Jake in for another kiss, Jake dropped to his knees and licked up the length of Cris’s cock. The slick touch spread a wonderful warmth through his belly and chest, that only intensified when Jake nibbled on his foreskin. He bit and played until Cris almost couldn’t stand it, before sucking him down onto wet heat.

“Fuck.” Cris sifted his fingers through Jake’s soft hair, holding on without hurting, because damn. Jake’s tongue dragged up and down the underside of Cris’s cock, an amazing sensation that made Cris’s eyes want to roll back in his head. Except he couldn’t stop watching Jake. His stretched lips and hollowed cheeks. The intense way Jake went about blowing him. Cris could watch this all day long and never tire of it.

He’d never been so mesmerized by a sex partner sucking him as he was with Jake, and he didn’t ponder the meaning behind that. Only that holy damn, it felt good.

Too much, too fast had Cris’s orgasm teetering too close. He nudged Jake off, then ran a thumb over his glistening lips. “Your turn. On the bed.”

Jake grinned, licked his thumb, and then did as told. He spread out on his back, hands behind his head, so perfectly wanton that Cris wanted to devour him. To lick every inch of skin, tease every curve and plane of muscle. He also desperately wanted in that taut little ass, and that took priority over exploration tonight.

Maybe Jake would be up for a repeat.

Cris knelt between his spread legs, admiring the boy on his bed. He rubbed his palms up Jake’s legs, from calf to thigh, enjoying the perfectly smooth skin. The way muscles jumped beneath his touch. Jake’s cock lay flat against his stomach, long and hard with a lovely mushroom head. Fun to play with and play Cris did. Licking around the glans, nibbling up and down the shaft, nosing at the root. Putting Jake’s scent and taste everywhere.

Jake’s thighs trembled. Hands in Cris’s hair kept trying to direct him, get him to suck already, but Cris was stronger. He flattened Jake’s hands to the bed on either side of Jake’s hips, then returned to his oral assault until Jake started cussing at him.

He looked up into frenzied eyes that dared him to keep teasing. Cris winked, then sucked Jake’s length down. Jake hollered, and Cris nearly crowed at the sound. He loved making his partner fall apart, frenzied with need, long before the fucking began. Hard pulls up and down, sometimes scraping with his teeth. Jake pumped his hips, trying to fuck Cris’s mouth.

“Fuck, please,” Jake said on a gasp.

Cris pulled off. “Not yet.”

He released Jake’s hands so he could push his legs back, tilting Jake’s hips and exposing his hole.

Jake made a desperate noise. “Yes.”

“You like getting your asshole licked?”

“Fuck yes.”

Cris flicked the tip of his tongue against the puckered muscle, the barest touch.

Jake’s hips jerked. “Bastard.”

He bit Jake’s left cheek, earning a surprised yelp that settled into a long moan. A second flicker of his tongue. Another hip jerk. Cris entertained himself with the tease, alternating long swipes with short flicks, playing Jake’s body for all he was worth, because damn, the kid was responsive. Jake never stopped making noise, never stopped thrashing and begging for more, and each little sound made Cris harder. Sent him higher.

Cris snagged the lube without missing a beat. Slicked up a finger while he ate Jake’s hole, softening him for the surprise. He lifted his head to watch Jake’s face as he pressed that finger inside. Jake’s eyes went wide, mouth falling open in a long, desperate gasp. He humped Cris’s finger, so Cris fucked him with it, slow at first. A gentle tease, waiting for a sign from Jake.

The moment Jake lifted his head high enough to meet his gaze, brown eyes simmering with lust and need, Cris fucked him harder. Jake’s eyes rolled back when he added a second finger, fucking him to the last knuckle, driving Jake higher with only his hand. No sounds beyond Jake’s gasps and cries and the slip slap of skin on skin.

Jake raised his head with effort, cheeks stained red, and gasped, “Another one.”

Something inside of Cris twisted up tight at the absolute trust shining in Jake’s eyes. The need for more, to climb higher, believing Cris could take him there. Three fingers took a little work and a lot of patience. He watched Jake’s face for any sign that it was too much, too painful, but Jake panted and gasped and pushed down. Urging him. Precome smeared Jake’s belly where his cock dragged on every thrust.

Cris’s own cock was painfully tight, desperate to relieve the pressure building deep inside.

“Oh fuck,” Jake said. “Oh shit.” He grabbed his dick and hadn’t pulled three strokes before he clamped down hard on Cris’s fingers and shot across his own belly and chest. A blob of white even landed on his chin. Cris stilled his hand while Jake came down from his high, thighs trembling with aftershocks over what looked like a doozy of an orgasm.

Cris gently removed his fingers and wiped them on his thigh, uncertain if he could still—

“Fuck me.” Jake held his legs back, keeping position, sleepy-eyed but determined. “You can.”

Cris didn’t need a second invitation. He gloved up and pushed inside in one smooth stroke that made Jake moan. So good, so loose and ready for him, and it took maybe a dozen hard thrusts for Cris to fall over the edge in a blast of pleasure that lit him up from his toes to his scalp.

He had enough sense to pull out and put Jake’s legs down before collapsing on top of the smaller man. Jake draped loose arms around his waist and tucked his head beneath Cris’s chin. Warm breath tickled Cris’s sweaty chest, cooling the skin. Some guys didn’t like to cuddle after sex, but Cris did; especially if he felt an actual connection to his partner. And boy howdy, he felt something with Jake. And judging by the way Jake had burrowed in close, he felt something, too.

“You can stay,” Cris whispered, the room too quiet for full volume.


Cris reluctantly left Jake’s embrace. In the bathroom, Cris wiped off, then brought a warm washcloth and clean towel into the bedroom. Jake was still boneless, so he let Cris clean off his chest, then roll him over and gently do the same for his ass. Cris kissed each butt cheek. Then Jake’s mouth, where he lingered for a long time.

Eventually, they ended up under the covers with the light out.

Jake curled up against him, head resting on Cris’s shoulder, one arm slung across Cris’s chest. All kinds of compliments rattled around in Cris’s head, but the easy silence didn’t require them. The sex had been mind-blowing for them both. That much was obvious.

Maybe he could talk Jake into another date over breakfast. He dozed on that happy thought….
….only to wake with morning sunshine streaming in through open curtains. The other side of the bed was empty and cold.

Jake was gone.

And an hour later, Cris realized, so was his wallet.

Author Bio:
No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child, and scribbling them down nearly as long. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself with her cuisine experiments. A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone's throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She's been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn't been coined yet back then) and "The Young Riders" with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.


Seduction in Scarlet by Christina Quinn

Title: Seduction in Scarlet
Author: Christina Quinn
Series: A Little Red Book #2
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 15, 2017
Sadie graduates in a handful of days, and when most of the people around her in class are worrying about finals, she’s more focused on if she’ll survive to walk across the stage. Byron, her vampire lover, brings Sadie to a medieval style tournament thrown by the region’s Master. His hope is to take her mind off the stresses of the tests and essays–not to mention the vampire who wants them both dead. However, while taking in the festivities Byron discovers that Sadie has some dark secrets of her own.

I lulled my head back and heard the mattress squeal as he shifted again, drawing my attention. He wore nothing but his underwear at this point. Jockeys hugged his thighs tight. Admittedly I drooled a little and forgot the horror house around us and the imminent threat. All I cared about was that Byron was nearly nude and I could pretty much do anything I wanted to him.

I slipped my jacket off and sighed. I was too fatigued to strip down the rest of the way. Groaning, I fell forward against the rough comforter, partially bound with my jacket caught at my elbows. Byron chuckled.

“Poor, Sadie.” He cooed stalking over to me. Without missing a moment, he untangled my jacket from around me and flipped me over.

“Exhausted Sadie,” I whined.

“You can sleep soon enough.”

“Mhm, so much sleep.” I purred nuzzling his thigh.

“If you’re too tired you don’t have to feed me.”

“No, I want to. Just…” I sighed. “Okay, let me get out of my shirt,” I mumbled without opening my eyes. He snickered in response, and I felt his lips graze my pulse. My whole body stiffened in answer, and that dull throb of arousal began as my body grew moist and ready from the promise of what was to come.

It was practically Pavlovian, Vampires conditioned humans to expect pleasure from their bite. It wasn’t intentional, it simply happened. Which was why though I was half asleep and I could feel the phantom warmth of his body over mine as his damp breath caressed my neck I still pushed my knees together.

My fingers found their way to my blouse on their own as I sleep undressed for him. He coaxed me on, placing soft kisses traced in my hand’s wake as I opened my blouse. The last kiss upon my stomach sent a shiver down my spine that caused me to writhe and gasp on the scratchy comforter.

“Mm, there is no sweeter sound in the world than that little gasp you make when startled by your own pleasure. Except maybe your laugh.” He kissed, licked, and nibbled his way up my body. He peeled me out of my shirt as he neared my throat.

“You know what the sweetest thing in the world is? Sleep.” I giggled, and he nipped at my pulse playfully making my breath catch.

“Both sounds, what a treat.” His fingertips trailed back through my hair, the gesture making me tilt my head to the side, arching my neck and exposing my pulse. The cool air against my skin made me purr into the moonlit room as he nosed that stretched tendon.

I kept my lids closed as he pulled me into his lap, and I was greeted by the sensation of his hard chest at my back as he continued his playful kisses and nips along his favorite feeding spot. His hand skittered down my flesh to rest low on my stomach as he eased me closer to him. There were different ways to feed, we had recently discovered if he fed too high or I moved too much it hurt enough to make me scream. Ever since then he had been exceedingly careful with me.

This time wasn’t an exception, his fist wound its way in my hair, making certain my neck was taut before he gently sunk his fangs into me. A sharp, startled, pleasured gasp broke my lips, and he held me tighter as he fed. That hand of his simply resting so maddeningly close to my body made it come alive with that demanding throb that seemed to pulse along with my heart.

However, I felt myself growing faint, and like the last time, I placed my hand on his and pushed at him right before my consciousness slipped from me. I was luckily in the middle of a bed, and not straddling him on a couch so there would be no backward summersaulting for me, only blissful, dreamless unconsciousness.

1.  Please tell us your name and a little about your background.
I’m Byron Ravencroft, I was born May Day 1538, that’s the first for those who don’t know. I’m a vampire—obviously—low in the hierarchy. I don’t really like to talk about my past. It’s fairly complicated, and I’m not that person anymore. Right now, I’m just some guy who works protection. I specialize in asset recovery and guarding special targets during high-stress situations. Occasionally, I do take the arm candy jobs, it’s trendy for celebrities to have bodyguards who are vampires or some kind of shifter.

2.  What is your greatest fear?
Losing my girlfriend, and I don’t mean in the normal sense of her walking out on me. I’m dating a human. I know it’s cliché to be the multi-centennial vampire who insta-loves a human girl but… it happened to me.  Unfortunately, being a lower ranking vampire means I’m beholden to my sire. Essentially, Gabriella—my sire—is my boss… if my boss controlled every single aspect of my life. She doesn’t like the idea that I might find happiness and is determined to take it from me.

3.  Whom do you trust the most?
Myself, but I know that’s not really an answer. As a vampire, we go through phases with trust. When you’re first turned til around roughly one hundred give or take, you trust no one. Then you slowly start to open up after that initial period. I’m approaching my fifth century, which means I’ve learned that betrayal can only hurt as much as you let it hurt you. I trust some people, but that list is incredibly small, as in two maybe three people. Tristan, the Master of the Pacific Northwest, I knew him when he was mortal we weren’t friends then, but we’ve developed a close friendship over the centuries. He’s probably the only person I trust implicitly, but if you can’t trust a friend you’ve had for over four hundred years who can you trust? I trust Sadie, my girlfriend, but our relationship is fairly new so that trust is still in its infancy. Lastly my friend Kennedy, however, her background as a pirate makes it hard to trust her though we’ve been friends for years.

4.  What is your greatest weakness?
Ha. Trick question, right? You expect a vampire to tell you their greatest weakness? I’ll share something benign to be a good sport.  Love. Behold the obvious answer in all its glory.

5.  What is your greatest strength?
My instinctive protective nature. I was raised to be a Knight as well as a courtier. When I was a little boy, my father would put me on his knee when I visited him at court and say it was my duty to protect my family because my brother and sisters would need someone with a sword who they could trust. That’s always stuck with me, the drive to protect others.

6.  Is there someone special in your life?
Sadie Angelina Fatima Rizzoli. She is… everything. Have you ever met someone who looks like all of your wildest fantasies brought to live? That’s what my Sadie is to me. She has this long garnet hair that falls to her waist in haphazard waves. The deepest, darkest, most soul-devouring black eyes. Plush full lips that would send any man’s mind into the gutter and skin that is the softest warmest shade of gold. She looks so alive, like an ancient sun goddess in the flesh. Then there’s her body, she has an exaggerated hourglass with a tiny waist, broad hips and a more than generous endowments. On top of all that she has this indomitable strength and an astoundingly quick mind.  She’s everything, I couldn’t dream up a more perfect woman for myself if I tried.  

7.  What obstacles stand in the way of your happiness?
Everything. Not really but it certainly feels that way. First, there are the normal hurdles of a Vampire and Human relationship. No one wants you to be together, not humans and certainly not vampires. Then there’s the more specific obstacle of my Sire, who doesn’t want to relinquish any sort of claim over me—even if she was virtually ignoring me until I started seeing Sadie.

8.  What is the worst thing you ever had to do and why did you feel compelled to do it?
I murdered a servant in their sleep when I was sixteen. One of the kitchen girls caught two of my family members in a compromising position and threatened to tell everyone if Edward—who was king at the time—didn’t give her land and money. I snuck into her room that night and smothered her with a pillow. It was the first life I ever took and really the only one that bothers me. At the time, I convinced myself I did it to maintain the family’s virtue—that I was doing what my father would have wanted. But I didn’t have to smother them, I didn’t have to be so close when I took their life. I wanted to do it that way, I wanted them to suffer. I don’t like that side of myself, so I try to keep it in check as best I can, but it's always there lurking under the surface like a shark in calm waters.

9.  What would you sacrifice to be with your special someone?
Everything, as long as she’s safe. Catch that qualifier? It’s extremely important. Her safety is paramount.

10.  Do you believe in love at first sight? 
Yes, and no. I’m going to be truthful and say that I didn’t before. I thought it was garbage and the closet that you could get to it was lust at first sight. Since seeing Sadie for the first time, I have since changed my tune, obviously.

11.  If you could travel back in time to change one thing in your past, what would it be?
 I would have told Sadie who I really was in the beginning, and I don’t mean the whole vampire part. I’d say more, but it’s a secret.

12.  What's the future hold for Byron Ravencroft?
You’d think that would be an easy question to answer, but it isn’t. I hope it holds a long life with Sadie, maybe children one day if we’re safe enough. Beyond that, I’m at a point where I don’t want to hope for too much.

Author Bio:
An avid reader and lover of literature, Christina Quinn, has always wanted to be an author for as long as she can remember. She spends most of her days with a coffee cup or wine glass within arm’s reach as she labors at her laptop weaving incredible stories.


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