Marked

vampireMarked
Proud to Be A Vampire Volume 2
Authors: Kayla Bain-Vrba, May Ridge, Ashelia McGregor, Jay Robin, Laura Huntley, Julia Alaric, J. Hepburn, Leta Hutchins
Categories: Fantasy ● Urban Fantasy ● Gay
Length: 27,000 words
Released: Feb. 7, 2014
Format: paperback
Note: This story is included in the anthology Proud to Be A Vampire Volume 2 which is 153,000 words in total
Buy it directly here

 

Jake is a vampire and a drug dealer. To humans, he sells crystalized vamp blood; to vamps, he sells the blood of humans hopped up on the finest drugs. In the midst of a deal gone wrong, he runs into Benji, a human desperate to escape the city. Though they’re natural enemies—hunter and prey—their paths keep crossing, and they quickly find themselves in a mess from which there is no escape.

 

Excerpt: Marked

 “Komorowski!”

Everyone spun around at the sound of Pittsburgh’s shout. Built, with shaggy brown hair and facial features too strong for good looks, he strutted across the bar, flanked by Bruce and Steel, his boys of choice. Jake shoved the twink off his lap and got to his feet, ready to stand his ground.

“New toy to go with your new cash?” Pittsburgh taunted.

“If it’s on the news tonight, you won’t be watchin’ it, Pittsburgh, if you get my meaning,” Jake replied, matching the authority in Pittsburgh’s voice.

“That was outta line, what you did.”

“You weighted my supply,” Jake accused. Was it an accusation if everyone knew it was true? “It didn’t weigh half what I paid for.”

“And?”

“And?” Pittsburgh’s calm ‘I-don’t-give-a-shit, this-world-owes-me’ attitude dug under Jake’s skin like a hot knife. “I had to bite the bill, you motherfuckin’ fool! I got a lotta people shittin’ on me.”

Pittsburgh shrugged, his dark gaze boring into Jake despite his casual demeanor. “You should check your product before you resell.”

Jake took one step toward Pittsburgh, and everyone moved. Steel and Bruce reached into their jackets; Jessie and Eddie jumped to their feet. And Tyler, the little dumbass, moved to Jake’s side. A lot of good that little shit would do at his back. Jake pushed him aside, and the heavy tension dissipated slightly, returning to its original boil.

“It won’t happen again, Pittsburgh.” Jake’s voice was hard and threatening; he put every bit of his years of authority behind it, even if Pittsburgh was decades older and much more powerful.

Pittsburgh wasn’t fazed. He leaned closer. “If you ever set foot in my house again without my permission, you’re gonna wish I’d let you die all those years ago. I gave you a life, and I can take it right back.”

Jake clenched his fists. More than anything, he wanted to punch the smug look off Pittsburgh’s face, but Pittsburgh was right and they both knew it. He took a step back.

His work done, Pittsburgh turned to leave, but he paused to give instructions to Bruce and Steel. “His new toy looks interesting. No weapons.”

“No!”

As Bruce and Steel moved toward the twink, Jessie and Eddie jumped in front of them, ready to fight. The few other customers and wait staff ran screaming, and Jessie shouted, “Jake, go!”

Jake grabbed the twink’s arm and pulled him away. Instinct demanded that he rescue the twink if it was the last thing he did, but he had no reason why and no time to deliberate it. He was a man—vamp—of action and reaction, not thought and deliberation, anyway.

“What are you—?”

“Shut up and run!” Jake ordered.

For once the twink didn’t argue, and Jake pulled him out the door to the nearly empty parking lot.

He climbed into his car and shouted for the twink to do the same.

“Why?”

“Just get in!”

He turned the key—once, twice, three times—but nothing happened. “Fuckin’ Christ!” He slapped the steering wheel; Pittsburgh had cut his engine.

With no time to waste and needing to get the twink out of there—he really did need to learn the guy’s name—he headed for a pick-up, which he hot-wired in a few seconds. The twink got in beside him.

“What are you doing?”

“Saving your life!” Just then, the engine roared to life, and he shifted gears to take them out onto the road.