I hope everyone will enjoy this peek at Valentin and Sebastian :D
Three years ago, Sebastian Beaumont, was starving and struggling on the streets. An offer for safety and shelter was nothing but the lies of a vampire. Since then, he’s been trapped, surrendering his blood and body as a blood slave to vampires, all for the hope of gaining one more day of life and maybe, someday, his freedom.
Having crossed more than three hundred years of life, Valentin Wyndham, is a prince among vampires. Memories of betrayal still haunt him and love isn’t something he seeks. When his need for blood becomes too strong, he breaks his usual habits and visits a blood house. Though he tries to resist, he can’t help but be captivated by the beautiful Sebastian.
Unable to deny the intensity between them, Valentin frees Sebastian from the blood house, but danger follows them both from those who don’t want to let Sebastian go.
Excerpt: Part of Chapter Three
Sebastian closed the boudoir door. Unlike his bedroom, the boudoirs were finely furnished and comfortable, all draped in velvet, satin, and silk, and each held a large bed. And now, in the center of this room, was a vampire unlike any he’d ever met.
He slowly turned, putting his back to the door. Valentin gazed around the space, his posture casual, his hands clasped behind his back and his cane dangling between his fingers.
Was he really some kind of vampire royalty? From how Wesley was addressing him, he must be. He’d never heard of such a thing, but that wasn’t surprising. Vamps weren’t much for chitchat when they came in, and Wesley sure as hell never told him anything. The more ignorant the blood slaves were about vampires, the better, seemed to be the code here.
One thing he was sure of, it was the highlight of his past three years to see Wesley stumbling over himself to please this vampire prince. He’d give Valentin a small bit of respect for that and for standing up for him. He nearly fell over when Valentin addressed his question directly and spoke to him as if he was an intelligent being with feelings.
Of course, that was the second time he felt as though he could fall over. The first came when he saw Valentin. All the vampires that had come through here and never had any of them compared to this one in beauty. Black hair, straight and silken, fell past Valentin’s shoulders. He was dressed in a black three-piece suit, immaculate, cut to perfection for his slender form. His facial features were delicate with sweeping cheekbones. The ivory color of his skin seemed even more pronounced with his ebony hair. And the way he carried himself, with the sophistication and grace of a gentleman from a faded era bringing elegance into this age.
But what stood out to him the most were the vampire’s eyes, so light a blue they looked as though they were only frosted with color. And they’d looked as cold as ice when Valentin faced off against Wesley.
For the first time in longer than he could remember, arousal rose within him. True and genuine arousal, not just his body’s reaction to being touched.
Sebastian stomped it down. How much of a fucking idiot could he be, getting turned on by a vampire? Where the hell was his head? All this vampire wanted was to use him. One look at Valentin’s pretty face and suddenly he was humanizing him. Stupid. A monster wasn’t human.
His defenses reinforced by his thoughts—and reality—he walked toward the bed to set out the lube and anything else the vampire might want. All boudoirs were well stocked with sex toys and items.
“Well, this room is as garish as the rest of this place.”
Sebastian slowed in his steps. The sound of Valentin’s voice rattled his defenses. But how could it not? Deep and soothing, the vampire’s words rolled with an elegant English accent. He glanced toward him. “Yeah, Master Wesley’s not much of a decorator.”
“I don’t think Master Wesley is much of anything at all.”
Sebastian couldn’t hold back his grin. He looked at Valentin, who was smiling at him. A vampire who smiled? Actually good-humoredly and not with malicious intent? Seriously, who was this guy?
Sebastian turned away and continued toward the bed. Reaching the nightstand, he opened the top drawer, retrieving a bottle of lube and tossing it onto the bed. “So, your highness, this is going to be my first time with a vampire prince. I never knew vampires had a monarchy.”
“We don’t, not in the true sense of what a monarchy is. Prince is merely a title of formality. Among us, for every century of life, you’re given a title until your five hundredth year. When we vampires reach one hundred, we’re given the title of knight and that title goes to the female vampires as well. For the two hundredth year, the title changes to Duke or Duchess. The three hundredth year, we become a Prince or Princess. Four hundredth is marked by the title of King or Queen. Five hundred years is when one is referred to as being an Elder. We do have a ruling body of High Elders, but truth be told, they don’t do much. They’re only summoned together for matters of the highest importance.”
Sebastian stared at Valentin, stunned. He had answered. Valentin actually answered him, with a complete and thorough explanation.
Valentin tipped his head to the side in a contemplative look. “Did I give too much information too quickly?”
Sebastian shook his head. “No, not at all. I’m just shocked you answered. I don’t get many answers around here. I don’t get any, really.”
“I see. I’m sorry to hear that. How long have you been here?”
“Three years and ten days, not that I’m keeping track.”
Valentin’s slender eyebrows rose. “Three years? That’s quite a long time for a blood slave.”
Sebastian looked away, their comfortable moment broken with the reminder of what he was and how his mortality loomed over him every night to preserve the immortality of vampires.
Valentin took a step toward him, extending a hand. “I’m sorry. That was ill-phrased.”
Sebastian focused on the open drawer and the sex toys inside. “You don’t have to apologize to me. Blood slave, remember? You can do whatever you want to me. Fuck me, beat me, kill me, and who’ll care? No one. So the last thing you have to do is say you’re sorry. And at least you’ve got the balls to call me what I am. Not trying to call me a donor.” He closed his eyes tight, mentally kicking himself. He really was going to get himself killed sooner rather than later talking to a vampire this way. He needed to try to smooth things over. “I’m sorry, Prince Valentin. I shouldn’t have been talking like that. Like Master Wesley said, I’ve got a shitty attitude.”
“Given your circumstances, I think it’s understandable. And all things considered, I’m rather enjoying your shitty attitude.”
Sebastian snapped around to look at him. Another smile rested on Valentin’s lips.
Gracefully turning, Valentin walked to a nearby armchair and propped his cane against one arm. He unbuttoned his suit jacket, slipped it off, and tossed it over the back of the chair. “Propriety is so dull. I far prefer honesty. So please, speak freely with me and also, feel welcomed to address me as Valentin. What’s your full name?”
“Sebastian Jonathon Beaumont.”
“Do you prefer Sebastian, or do you shorten your name to Bastian?”
“No one’s ever called me Bastian before.”
“Would you mind if I did? It has a charming sound to it.”
“Yeah, sure. That’d be fine.”
Valentin removed his vest and laid it over his jacket. He faced Sebastian, one index finger hooked over his black silk tie as he loosened the knot. “Tell me, how did a smart lad like you end up here?”
Sebastian continued to stare at him in silence. With Valentin now wearing only the black dress shirt, he could easily tell Valentin’s body was hard with muscle. The arousal he’d tried to stamp out earlier returned, stronger. He forced his mind away from it and on Valentin’s question. “By accident, on my part. I didn’t know where I was being brought. And if you want to know the truth, I still don’t know where this place is. I was blindfolded and—”
Sebastian paused, his mouth dropping open slightly. “What?”
“You said you don’t know where this house is located. It’s about thirty minutes northeast of Savannah, which I think is the largest closest city. I’ve only recently moved here, so I’m still familiarizing myself with the area.”
Sebastian’s breath rushed from him. All these years of not knowing where he was and now he had a general idea. He wasn’t far from Savannah. His mind spun with the thought as if he’d been given information to one of the greatest secrets in the world. Knowing where he had lived all this time felt that amazing to him, and it was because of this strange and beautiful vampire who spoke so freely to him.
Sebastian nodded his gratitude to Valentin. “Thank you.”
Valentin stayed quiet for a moment, seeming to study him. “You’re welcome. I’m sorry I interrupted, but I thought you should know. What else were you going to say?”
Sebastian took a breath, trying to clear his mind from reeling with the revelation. “I, uh, was just saying I was blindfolded and didn’t see anything on my way here.”
“You said you’ve been here three years. How old are you now?”
“Twenty. Coming up on twenty-one next month. When I was seventeen, my mom went in my room to use my computer, because hers was broken, and she saw some gay porn sites in my browsing history. It was my own fault. I always deleted my history after going to those sites, but I’d been on a marathon masturbating streak the night before and after my last orgasm, I fell into bed and passed out.
“When I came home from school, my dad was waiting for me. He asked me to explain the sites. I told him I couldn’t explain them any other way than I liked watching them because I was gay. I always knew if he found out I was into guys, he’d either kill me or kick me out. I guess I should be glad he didn’t kill me, but then again, considering where I ended up, maybe not.
“I didn’t have anywhere to go. I was too embarrassed to go to any friends’ houses. I’d hid my sexuality from everyone, and I was afraid if I did go to someone else for help, they or their parents would do the same thing, kick me to the curb. I was running the streets in Atlanta for about three months before Wesley and a couple of his servants came across me. He offered me a roof over my head, food, a bed, and that was all I cared about. From what he said about this place, I had the impression it was some kind of underground sex club, and I was okay with that. I was tired and hungry and scared. I didn’t care who he was, I just wanted to feel safe and have a full stomach.
“The thought of him being a vampire never crossed my mind. I mean, seriously, of all the things, it would be my shitty luck to get picked up by freakin’ mythical creature. I never knew vampires were real. Never even thought you guys could be. You were supposed to be stories told to little kids in the old days to keep them from going out at night. And in this day and age, the things of horror movies.”
Valentin offered him a sympathetic smile. “I understand. Even for myself, it was a shock when I first learned about vampires’ existence. Even more of one when it was my best friend and cousin, Basil, informing me of the fact by showing me his fangs. But as I learned then and have learned many times over the years, all legends hold some truth.” He stepped closer to Sebastian. “I’m sorry for how you found out about us. I’m sure it couldn’t have been easy.”
Sebastian snorted. “Putting it mildly.” His throat tightened with anger rising in him, not at Valentin, but at Wesley and all the vampires he’d met. “Do you have any idea how terrified I was the first time a vampire took my blood? Can you even imagine? I was fully alert. No trance used on me. Wesley wanted me to know the whole experience, because that’s how things are done here. The blood slaves need to be obedient enough where vampires don’t have to use their power to make a blood slave submit. So good ol’ Master Wesley had me held down while a vampire stole my blood.
“In the three fucking years I’ve been a prisoner here, I’ve never once gotten to go outside. There’re no phones, no internet, and no TV, but I guess I can’t complain, because there’s a huge library and I know I’ve gotten smarter from reading so much. Not a bad thing, since I never got the chance to finish high school. Of course, all the books are Master Wesley approved, so nothing about vampires to help give us blood slaves a little more knowledge on our masters.
“And food, it’s regulated, too. Healthy shit to keep us recovering from being sucked on all the time. I’d give both my nuts for a piece of pizza with extra bacon and a Pepsi. So that’s been my life and that’s why I’ve got a shitty fucking attitude.”
Valentin opened his mouth to speak, but only a breath came out, as he seemed too shocked for words.
Sebastian turned away from him, leaning forward and bracing both hands on the nightstand. He closed his eyes tight. He was losing it, cracking deeper than he realized. With almost every word he spoke, he was bringing on his death. And he couldn’t even control himself. All he’d spoken to Valentin had poured out of him.
Maybe it’s what happened to all blood slaves. Eventually, if they lived this life long enough, they cracked. Still, he felt bad for talking so harshly to Valentin. None of what’d happened to him was Valentin’s fault.
Sebastian straightened his posture and took a deep breath, resting his hands on his hips. “Looks like now I’m the one who needs to say he’s sorry. I didn’t mean to dump all that shit on you.”
“You needn’t apologize to me. Besides, I was the one who asked.”
Sebastian let out a single, humorless laugh. “Regretting that yet?”
“Not at all.”
Sebastian turned around, giving him a curious look. “No offense, but you’re kind of an odd vampire.”
Valentin laughed softly. “Some would say I’m an odd individual all the way around.” He walked toward Sebastian. “I think, though, the problem here is you were taken in by the wrong kind of vampire. Certainly we can all have our beastly moments, but this group—and by that I mean Wesley—seems to be more uncouth than is usual. What I don’t understand is, if you hate it here so much, why have you renewed your blood contract each year?”
Sebastian shook his head in confusion. “What’re you talking about?”
“Blood contracts are usually for the duration of one year. After that, the blood slave can either renew with their patron or house, or they can leave.”
“That’s great if other blood slaves are given that option. Wesley’s never once asked me about renewing my contract and I don’t even know what the thing said. I never got the chance to read it. I was jacked in the cheek, held down, and had a pen shoved in my hand. I was too afraid to do anything except sign it. I really don’t even know what the point of a blood contract is. It’s not as if I could take him to court for any violations in it.”
“Not to human court, no. But among vampires, a blood contract marks who owns you and whom you serve so others can’t claim you.” Valentin stood quiet for a long moment. As he spoke, his voice was low, anger underlying his tone. “The fact you’ve been able to survive as long as you have is testament to what a strong will you have.”
Sebastian held his thoughts, stopping himself from saying his will was growing weaker by the day. That it wouldn’t be long before it burned out completely. What would it matter if he did make that confession? It wasn’t as if Valentin was a knight in shining armor come to rescue him. Or maybe prince charming was more fitting, given Valentin had surpassed knightly status to princehood among vampires. He’d done more than enough confessing for one night, anyway.
Sebastian glanced back to the drawer. “Yeah, I guess. Thanks. But I know you didn’t come here to waste your time talking to a blood slave. I already got the lube out, is there anything else you want? There’re dildos, vibes, plugs, paddles, restraints…”
His voice trailed off as Valentin stepped close to his side. His arm brushed Valentin’s chest, and that single accidental touch sent his heart racing. Sebastian took a deep breath to settle himself, only to have it backfire with pulling in Valentin’s alluring scent, a subtle intoxicating spice.
Valentin pushed the drawer closed. He leaned toward Sebastian, bringing his lips close to Sebastian’s ear. “What I want is, to know if you feel any desire toward me, and if you want to give me your blood of your own free will.”
Sebastian slowly faced him. With Valentin slightly taller than him, he tipped his head back to meet Valentin’s gaze. Those frosted blue eyes…it was as though they could look through him and know his thoughts. And actually, Valentin could. He hadn’t felt him try to touch his mind yet, but all vampires had that ability. But it was more than Valentin’s power, those beautiful eyes made him feel things he’d only dreamed of.
Feelings, though, were the last things that mattered here, and he wouldn’t let himself be swayed by them. “You can answer that for yourself.”
“If you’re referring to my ability to sense the arousal coming off you right now, then yes, that basic part of my question is answered. However…” An arrogant smirk tipped up one corner of Valentin’s lips. “I have that effect on nearly everyone I meet, so I wanted to ensure your mind and heart are in agreement with your body.”
Sebastian felt another smile rising to his lips. Goddamn it. Valentin might be a bloodsucking monster, but he was liking this vampire prince more by the minute. And growing more attracted to him. “Well, if you wanted to know if my mind was in agreement, all you’d have to do is take a look.”
“Are you giving me permission to do so?”
“You don’t need permission. Again, you can do what you want to me.”
Valentin curled his finger under Sebastian’s chin and tipped his head up. “How about we do without Master Wesley’s rules, hmm?”
Sebastian had no response. He’d lived so long not being given a choice in anything, now that he had one, he didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t even sure how to handle his arousal.
He wet his lips, catching Valentin’s gaze lowering to his tongue. As Valentin looked up again, lust warmed his eyes. There was no doubt Valentin wanted him. That was another thing he didn’t know how to deal with. He’d gotten picked off the streets for his looks, because Wesley knew others would want him, but the heat in Valentin’s gaze was more than he’d ever seen in anyone’s.
“And your answer is…?” Valentin prompted.
“You said you value the truth, right?”
“Then no, my mind isn’t in harmony with my body. It’s confused. And I don’t listen to my heart. I don’t even give it a chance to feel what it wants. If I did, I would’ve been dead long ago.”
Valentin gazed into Sebastian’s eyes for a long moment. He bowed his head and took a step back. “That’s all the answer I need.” He moved away from him, walking toward the chair.
Panic rose in Sebastian. He didn’t understand it and it went along with all his other confusion, but he didn’t want Valentin to leave. He rushed a few steps after him. “You’re not going, are you?”
Valentin collected his vest and suit jacket, slinging both over his forearm. “Yes, I am. I only take blood and have sex with those who wholly desire me.”
Valentin swung around to face him. “Excuse me?”
Glaring at him, Sebastian closed the distance between them. “I said, bullshit. You’re a vampire. You can’t tell me you don’t use your power, mind reading, entrancement, persuasion, to get what you want out of people. And I can’t believe you’re going to stand there and tell me you won’t take my blood because I’m feeling a little confused about you. I know for damn sure you never tell people you’re feeding from, unless they’re a blood slave, that you’re going to take their blood. It’d blow your whole human cover.”
Valentin tossed his vest and jacket over the chair again, folding his arms. “Your points do have some validity, however, I use my powers to ensure a person’s desire for me, hence, I rarely use persuasion. Entrancement is necessary, because as you pointed out, unless one is a blood slave, another vampire, a demon, or another who knows of us, it’s prudent to keep our existence unknown. With you being a blood slave, I was simply trying to show you respect by giving you a choice.”
“Being a blood slave isn’t about making choices. It’s about doing what you’re told. Just like how you told me to speak freely and now you’re using that against me by walking out the door.”
Valentin took the single step separating them. “I’m not using it against you.”
Sebastian forced himself to ignore his arousal and that it seemed connected to how close Valentin came to him. “No? Do you have any idea what’ll happen to me if you walk out of here and Wesley thinks I didn’t please you? That I mouthed off and drove you away? He’ll beat me and torture me until I’m dead. I know my time’s running out anyway, but I’d really rather it expire at the hands of some random vamp than give him the satisfaction of killing me.”
“I could explain I’d lost my desire.”
Sebastian snorted. “Like he’d buy that.”
Valentin gazed at him in silence for a long moment. As he spoke again, he voice was husky and low. “If you say you want me to stay and that you want to give me your blood and body, then I’ll stay.”
Sebastian clenched his jaw shut. He didn’t know if Valentin wanted him to admit those things for his own assurance or if this was some power game, trying to make him feel weak by saying he wanted him. What he said was true, if Valentin left, Wesley would beat him bloody. Maybe not to death, because that’d be an inconvenience, but the probability was high. Trying to avoid that really was part of him wanting Valentin to stay. The other parts…those were exactly what Valentin wanted him to confess.
Sebastian swallowed in an attempt to loosen his tight throat. He reached with a tentative hand toward Valentin, so unused to making the first move. He rested it on Valentin’s chest, the pectoral firm beneath his palm, the heat of Valentin’s body seeping through his shirt. That was one thing about vampires he hadn’t expected. He’d thought they would be cold since they were supposed to be dead, but as he found out, they weren’t dead. At least, he didn’t think so. Vampires had heartbeats and pulses, so they couldn’t be dead…probably.
It was just one of many things about vampires he didn’t understand and was sure he’d die without knowing. Just as he had no idea how they became vampires. All he knew about them was they fucked hard, drank blood, didn’t age, had special powers, and didn’t like the sun. Really, what else did he need to know?
Sebastian took Valentin’s hand and stepped backward toward the bed. “You said you could sense the arousal off me. Do you know how long it’s been since anyone’s turned me on?”
Valentin walked slowly with him. “No, I don’t.”
“Neither do I. It was before I came here, I know that much. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed some of the sex once it’s going. There’ve been a handful of vamps who’ve tried to make it okay for me. But as far as feeling as if I wanted them or was attracted to them, that hasn’t happened.”
The arrogant smirk with its wicked edge returned to Valentin’s lips. “So you’re saying you’re attracted to me?”
“If that’s how you want to take it.”
“It is, but is that how you mean it?”
Reaching the bedside, Sebastian put his back to him. “You’re really making this more difficult than it needs to be, trying to bring all these emotions into it. How do you want me? Standing and leaning over the bed? On my hands and knees?”
Valentin pressed against him, slipping an arm around Sebastian’s waist and pulling him back so Sebastian’s ass nestled against his crotch. “Let’s just see how we end up. And you’re very good at dodging questions, by the way.”
“Yeah, it’s a developed skill.” Sebastian’s concentration wavered as Valentin’s hard cock pressed against him. Even with the soft cloth of Valentin’s pants between them, his own cock responded, filling fast. Valentin caressed Sebastian’s chest, the touch so soft, so gentle. No one ever touched him in such a way.
Valentin brushed Sebastian’s hair back, exposing his neck. He placed a tender kiss on the curve. “Where do you like to have your blood taken from? Your neck? Your wrist? Your groin?”
More choices. Why was Valentin doing this? Did Valentin really want to treat him as if he was an equal? Give him respect? In a way, it was almost more cruel than how most vampires shoved him to the bed and did whatever they wanted to him. How Valentin was treating him fed his hope, and that hope would make him guard his life believing an escape from this hell could happen someday. Whatever Valentin was trying to do, he wasn’t going to let it affect him.
“Just do whatever you want.”
Valentin sighed against Sebastian’s neck. “You’re very difficult. If you want to continue to play by the house master’s rules and not express what you want, then I’ll follow my own and do what I’m certain you’ll enjoy.”
Valentin spun him around, sinking his fingers in Sebastian’s hair and closing them in a tight fist. He lowered his head, touching his lips to Sebastian’s.
Sebastian tensed. A high, startled noise sounded in his throat.
Valentin drew back, confusion in his eyes and expression. “What’s wrong?”
“I…it’s just, I don’t get kissed much. Like, at all. Ever.”
“I thought you said some vampires tried to make it good for you.”
“Yeah, by doing a little prep work instead of just shoving their dick in, using lots of lube, and stroking my cock. Kissing…it doesn’t even cross my mind as being part of it. Not anymore. When I was younger it did, but I lost all thoughts about that after being here.”
Valentin studied him for a moment. “Please tell me that wasn’t your first kiss.”
“Not technically. I dated a girl in high school for a while, to keep my cover of really wishing I could date a guy, and I kissed her a few times.”
“So then, you’ve never kissed a man?”
“Up until a moment ago? No.”
“Then we’ll have to remedy that. We won’t count those other kisses with the girl or the one I just gave you. I’ll give you a better one, with you prepared for it this time.”
Once more, Sebastian felt himself smiling. It’d become such a rare thing for him to smile in the past three years, he was now acutely aware each time he did it. In his short time with Valentin, he’d smiled more than he had in months combined. “I like that idea.”
“Then I’m glad for the honor of giving you your first kiss.”
Valentin brushed his thumb over Sebastian’s lips. He lifted his other hand, gently cupping Sebastian’s cheek. Angling his head, he brought his lips close to Sebastian’s.
Sebastian felt Valentin’s warm breath wash over his lips. His anticipation grew. He leaned, ever so slightly, toward him. A deep, hushed moan came to his ears, as though Valentin appreciated his moving closer, asking for the kiss. Sebastian rested his hand on Valentin’s chest, no hesitation this time. He wanted it. Valentin’s kiss, his body, all the things the vampire prince promised.
Valentin touched their lips together, soft, gentle, keeping the kiss chaste for several quick heartbeats. He sucked Sebastian’s bottom lip. Without thought, Sebastian opened his mouth wider for him. Valentin accepted the invitation, sliding his tongue over Sebastian’s, closing their mouths together.
As Valentin’s soft tongue massaged his, Sebastian let his defenses drop. He wrapped his arms around him, thrusting his tongue along Valentin’s. Valentin sucked Sebastian’s tongue, ended the kiss with a light nip to Sebastian’s bottom lip, then claimed his mouth again. He caressed down Sebastian’s back and slipped his arm around him, pulling Sebastian in…
Copyright 2015 by S.J. Frost and MLR Press