Monday, December 8, 2014

Vampire Menage Anyone? Take a peek...

Oh yeah, I went there. Or at least, I'm going there.

A few years ago a story idea hit me out of nowhere, as they often do. I've always loved vampires and the history of them. I also like creating my own little worlds and paranormal allows one push the envelope. As my writing career took off, my two sexy vampires took a backseat. They were never out of my thought process especially late at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. Instead I was weaving a story that I never thought would actually come to fruition. I'm still not a 100% sure.

Anyway, one day this pre-made cover came across my newsfeed and I thought, "Well, hell! That's my book!"

WARNING... you're probably going to want to lick the screen.

I immediately took my little plot over to Team Ella, my street team/readers' group, to see what they thought about my idea. I mean, I don't write about vampires (for publication anyway... I have tons of story starts, but I never do anything with them). I also don't write menage. I have one book, Be My Everything, that contains a brief menage scene, but that hardly makes me a menage author. I figured they'd tell me I was out of my gourd and I'd go about my business. Not so much.

To my surprise, my team was quite intrigued by the idea. I decided to dust off my old WIP and give it a look-see.  Man, manuscripts that one writes two years earlier can be rather messy. I guess that's a sign of progress so, yea me! After I tweaked that first chapter and made it somewhat presentable I posted it in my group. Guess what? They liked it.

Now I'm going to share it with you. Keep in mind it is NOT edited, beta read or proofread. This will not be the final, but it will give you the general direction I'm heading in. I don't even have a blurb yet. I'm taking my time on this one. I have other books that need to be written first, but every author knows what that means. When you have deadlines for other projects the characters in your secondary/backburner books tend to speak the loudest. That's definitely what's happening to me. These delicious vampires are tired of waiting their turn and they are letting me know in no uncertain terms.

I'm not sure how fast this one will come together. I only know I have to get the story out. Here's a look at Chapter One. It's rough, but I like where it's going. Maybe you will too.

True Companions 
Copyright © 2014, Ella Jade

Chapter One

Grant Bellow’s hard, muscular body stiffen as he and Maxim Avery entered the large, historical stone building. Max’s partner didn’t care for this place and only accompanied Maxim because Grant didn't like to be away from him for long periods of time. The two had been together for over one hundred years. Maxim gave Grant immortality when he was a student at Oxford University just at the turn of the century. They'd been inseparable ever since. The truest of companions. No one had ever come between them. No one ever could.
Maxim, a professor at the university, had been assigned as the keeper there in the fall of 1895. Since it was one of the oldest universities in the world, it had a large vampire population and needed a strong leadership presence to keep his kind under control. Maxim was relatively new to the night walking world, but had been given the opportunity by his creator. He didn't let him down. Proving to be a strong leader, he had a way of keeping his kind in line. The others respected him, and rarely challenged his authority. He was a fair ruler, and as long as the night walkers in his territory obeyed the rules, no one had a problem. Vampires were expected to live a quiet life and mingle amongst the humans without being too obvious. They weren't to expose what they were in their everyday lives. Of course, there were humans who knew of their existence, but a good vampire knew how to handle such circumstances. They were forbidden to feed publicly. Satisfying their thirst was a necessity that was meant to be discreet. It was that rule that made keeping a human companion a must for survival.
Grant was Maxim's human confidant for several years before he decided to give him immortality. It was a choice Grant entered into freely. One Maxim was more than willing to accommodate. He'd fallen hard for the young student who enrolled in one of the evening courses. Grant was smart and observant and figured out what Maxim was in a matter of weeks. Grant couldn't stay away from Max. The older vampire was just as drawn to his student, and allowed himself to care deeply for the human who had stolen his heart in such a short period. Once Grant became a vampire, Maxim offered him the opportunity to explore all of his options even if they didn’t include Maxim. Grant vowed to stay with his creator for as long as he would have him. Max intended for their union to last an eternity.
As they walked down the long corridor of the old building, Maxim sensed Grant's displeasure. He could see the disgust in his ice blue eyes. Maxim didn't care to see Grant so unhappy.
“You didn’t have to come with me,” Max said. “You dislike it here.”
“I didn’t want you to have to come alone. I know how the others can be when you check up on them.”
“They don't like it.” Maxim laughed. He tried to be amiable, but when a person was in such an authoritative role others feared them even detested them. “It's necessary. This is my domain and I have to make sure everyone is following procedure. It's always risky when humans are involved in our world.” 
The couple had relocated to the United States in the early eighties when Maxim was assigned to be the keeper of a largely populated vampire pocket in the Massachusetts area. He was one of a handful of night walkers belonging to a wise vampire association known as the Masters of the Region. He was Master of his territory and answered only to the Supreme Vampire Coven. Part of his duties was to oversee the operations of the human auction houses in his area.
They lived a quiet life. Both were somewhat eccentric and content with one another. Grant never liked the concept of these auction houses. Maxim didn’t love the idea either, but the auctions had been in operation since the beginning of the vampire existence, and they served a purpose. They were beneficial. The humans were willingly sold to the highest vampire bidder and taken to live with their new owner. The auctioned party was treated well, and in most cases given a life of privilege that most could only dream of. In exchange, the human would allow the vampire to feed from them, and provide companionship. A vampire’s life could be a lonely one. Most times the relationship became intimate, but sex wasn’t mandatory.  
As they walked down the hall, they observed many rooms filled with both men and women. Humans were signing agreements. No one was there against their will. The sale was a consensual arrangement. There were no underage participants. All the humans knew what was expected of them once they stepped up on the auction block. They were educated thoroughly on the subject and given every opportunity to walk away before the bidding started.
Grant shook his head as he watched a woman sign the contract and hand it back to one of the vampires responsible for handling the humans while they waited to be sold.
“This is disgusting,”  he mumbled.
Max took his lover’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “No one is here who doesn't want to be,” he reminded Grant. “No one is being forced into this life.”
“That's absurd. These people are desperate and in most cases they don't have a choice.”
“We all have a choice.” Maxim led him into the massive room where the bidding would take place. 
“They're runaways, drug addicts and victims of abuse.” Grant said. “What choice do they have?”
“You know as well as I do that in almost every case these humans end up much better off than when they are given to their vampire.”
“Bought, not given.” Grant stared into Maxim's eyes daring him to play a game of semantics on the subject.
 Maxim sighed. He shouldn't have brought Grant here for this impromptu inspection. “Their vampire's treat them well, pay for their educations, give them luxuries and companionship. You've seen many humans who have gone onto better things because of the life that started here.” 
Grant couldn't argue that point. Many prominent figures, lawyers, doctors and people who did good in this world were once a companion to a vampire. Some humans even proved helpful when a vampire needed assistance at some point in time. Some times humans chose to become immortal when the contract expired. In exchange for a good life, the human was bound by secrecy. Weather they became immortal or not, they could be expected to be protected and well cared for by their night walker for as long as time kept them on this earth. Once the contract expired they were free to leave, but vowed never to speak of the time they had spent serving their undead companion. 
“I just don't get it, I guess.” Grant pushed his dark hair from his eyes. “You found me without an auction.”
“Things were different for us. You figured out what I was and wanted to be with me.”
“I still do. That's why I'm in this dreadful place with you.” When Grant smiled, his chiseled jaw relaxed. “I don't like to be away from you.”
“I know, my love,” Maxim said. “I hate to be away from you. Let me make my inspection and then we'll go home. I'll show you how much I appreciate you when we get there.”
“Promise?” Grant slowly licked his kissable lips.
“You'll be mine all night.” Maxim wanted more than anything to make his inspection so he could spend the rest of the evening pleasing his partner.
Grant stopped, his mood turned colder, when they approached the entrance of the huge ballroom. Maxim followed his lover's gaze and immediately locked in on the stunning woman standing on the auction block. Her long, dark hair fell over her slender shoulders, curling slightly at the ends. Her olive complexion was a stark contrast to the pale yellow silk dress she wore. She looked to be in her early twenties. Maxim sensed her fear as she stood on display in front of a room full of blood thirsty vampires. He was certain Grant was picking up on her anxiety. 
Grant's jaw tightened again, growling from someplace deep within his chest. “Look at the way these men are lusting after her.” 
Grant moved deeper into the room, never taking his eyes away from the dark-haired beauty. Maxim had to admit she was the most striking woman he'd ever seen. Her skin looked so soft and her full pink lips were inviting. And then there was the vein pulsing down her neck. He could hear the blood flowing through it and wondered if she tasted as sweet as she looked.
Maxim observed his partner. Grant was intrigued by this particular human. He had never seen Grant so enthralled over a woman. It was unsettling.
“You want this girl.” It wasn't a question. Maxim knew. He could see the desire in Grant's eyes as they darkened. Grant did his best to conceal his protruding fangs, but as each second passed, the more his animalistic instincts pushed to the surface.

Grant continued to stare at the beautiful, young woman standing on the auction block. The rapid beat of her heart drummed out any other sound in the room. The lust from the other vampires swirled around, fueling his rage. He could hear the whispers of how they wanted to drink from her, and take her in ways she'd never known possible. A few were planning to bid fast and high to ensure they left with this woman. It infuriated Grant in ways that he couldn’t understand.
“Grant?” Maxim moved closer to his side, taking his hand. He could hear the concern in his master’s voice. Grant wasn't sure what he was feeling or how he was going to vocalize it. The only other time he experienced this type of desire was over a century ago when he encountered Max for the first time.
They had always been honest with one another. They'd been exclusive since the beginning, but they had shared their bed on occasion with both men and women through the years. They had never done it without the other present. It was always just to spice things up. A different way of feeding. Forever was a long time and they both agreed that sometimes having a third in the bedroom helped when things got complacent.  
“Do you want this girl?” Maxim asked.
“I don't know,” Grant admitted as he retracted his fangs. “But I don't want anyone else to have her.”
“Very well,” Maxim said. 
“What can we do?”
“I'll stop the auction.”
Maxim was a strong, imposing figure. His well toned body filled out his designer suit perfectly as he strode toward the auctioneer. With one word from Maxim everything stopped. There wasn’t anything this man wouldn’t do for Grant.
Maxim whispered into the confused man's ear, but Grant heard everything. He could see the fear on his face as the impressive vampire told him this particular auction was closed and he'd pay triple what the girl was worth. The auctioneer nodded and within seconds Max’s orders were followed.
Grant didn’t care that Maxim had bought her. All he wanted was to get her out of there. He shifted his focus from Max to the scared girl. Their eyes had connected briefly when he first came into the room. When he held her in his gaze an electricity coursed through his cold body. In that moment he remembered what it was like to be alive. The sensation lasted no more than a few seconds, but Grant wanted to experience it again. 
The emerald-eyed angel kept her head down as she waited to find out her fate. The other vamps in the room were booing and hissing. They were clearly annoyed Maxim had stopped the show before the bidding had begun. Disappointment and impatience settled in the air. It would quickly be replaced with anticipation when the next human was brought out for bidding.
Ten minutes later the paperwork was processed and the three of them were in the limo on their way back to Grant and Maxim's secluded estate. 
The men sat on the same seat while the girl whose name, according to the paperwork was Cassie, sat across from them. She scooted to the corner, pulled her legs into her chest and shivered. It was late October and once the sun had set, the evenings were quite cold. It probably didn't help that she shared the enclosed space with two extremely frigid vampires. She didn't even have a jacket. 
“Are you cold?” Grant asked the obvious. 
She nodded.
Maxim flicked a switched and turned up the heat. Grant smiled at him in appreciation. Max continued to stare at the stranger sitting across from them. He didn't do well with new people, especially humans. He liked to have total control in every situation so Grant wasn't  certain how this new arrangement was going to work. He wasn't even sure what he'd been thinking. Perhaps it was best to stop this before it started.
“Cassie,” Grant said.
She slowly raised her head when he called her name. She looked up at him with her mesmerizing green eyes and waited for him to speak. Grant momentarily lost his voice. He couldn't stop staring at the vision who had overtaken his world. No human ever looked directly into his eyes. They were too afraid. There were many myths surrounding his kind, but the one about a vamp being able to command you with their eyes was pretty true to form. This was the second time she had stared him down. 
“My name is Grant and this is Maxim.”
She didn’t say anything, but acknowledged them both with her wide, enchanting eyes.
“Where can we drop you?” Grant asked.
Maxim's head snapped in Grant's direction. “What are you doing?” He spoke too low for Cassie to hear. An advantage the undead had when they needed to speak to one another without mortals overhearing. “She's homeless. She has no place to go.”

There was something about these men that intrigued Cassie. She thought she’d be more afraid after the auction. Before signing up she had been given the scenarios of what could happen once she left with her companion. For the next couple of years she would serve as a special friend to the highest bidder. She had imagined what it would be like to leave with a stranger all afternoon. To put her total trust in her new master and fulfill his every need. On some level it excited her. Her life hadn’t been easy. She was ready for a change. A shot at something more. Something she didn’t totally understand, but was drawn to. Now that she had settled down from the adrenaline the auction had caused, she was calmer and ready to hold up her end of the deal. She didn't get what was happening with her new men. Why did it seem as if they weren’t going to abide by the deal?
When she bumped into her friend Andrea a few weeks ago, she'd looked so put together and happy. The women had been in and out of the foster care system together for years and were both released on their eighteenth birthdays. They had no families, no skills and no money. That didn't seem to matter to the system. When a kid aged out, that was that.
Cassie had been on her own for the last four years, struggling to get by. After she'd lost her job at the local bar due to cutbacks last month she couldn't keep up her apartment. She'd been sleeping in a shelter when there was room, but it wasn’t the safest place. Andrea insisted she come home with her. Cassie didn't want to impose but Andrea wouldn't hear it. She had been fortunate enough to become a companion to a very prominent businessman who she found through a vampire auction.
It was Andrea’s companion, Jonathan, who put her in contact with the auction house. Vampires had been a myth, nothing but fiction. When Cassie witnessed Jonathan feeding from her friend she realized the stories had been true. Jonathan treated Cassie very well while she stayed in his home, and encouraged her to put herself up on the auction block. Andrea assured Cassie she was happy and safe with Jonathan, and she could have a good life too. What did she have to lose?
She never expected to be going home with two vampires when she signed up. She had no idea what was happening when Maxim approached the man in charge of running the auction before the bidding had begun. Cassie was pulled off the block and ushered into a back room amid some loud displeasure form the other vampires in the room. Maxim briefly explained that his friend was interested in her. A few minutes later she was brought to the limo waiting at the back of the auction house. Now the friend who had wanted her just a minute before was asking where they could drop her.
No fucking way!
She hadn't gone through the humiliating process of being sold at a vampire auction to be bought and dumped. Tired of being alone, afraid and hungry caused her to make a desperate choice. She had struggled far too long. She'd dreamed and wished for a loving family her whole life, but that never happened. By the time she had been released from foster care she had been placed so many times she lost count. She'd spent the last few years moving from job to job, renting one crappy apartment after another. This was her way out. She'd wanted the life Andrea had and she was going to get it. No one was going to push her aside ever again.
“I'm going home with you.” She stared into Grant's haunting blue eyes. They were the iciest shade she'd ever seen, but she detected the warmth in them. There was something about him that lured her in. Instinct warned her to look away, but she couldn’t. His voice was soft and soothing and for some bizarre reason she had the urge to crawl into his lap and snuggle against his broad chest. “That's what I agreed to. I was told if I went to the auction, I'd have a place to go home to when it was over. I was given all the rules and I did everything I was supposed to.”
“That's correct.” Maxim said in a short tone. 
When Cassie stared into his steel gray eyes she didn’t have the urge to cuddle against him. His were dark almost black and his voice was louder and more abrupt than Grant's. He frightened her, but in a mysterious way. With him her urges were different… darker.
“You don't owe us anything, Cassie,” Grant said in a tranquil tone. “We don't know how you ended up at the auction, but there has to be another way for you.”
This was just her luck. She'd find a vampire with a moral compass. She was sick of being thrown away as if she didn’t matter. She'd been unwanted her entire life. Not today.  This time she would take control of her destiny. She'd hit the jackpot. The auction gods had sent her two strong, sexy and capable vampires. She wasn't going to allow them to toss her aside.
“You owe me,” she said. “You took me off that block and probably paid a lot of money for me. I was promised a home.” 
“She has a point,” Maxim said. “She did cost a pretty penny.”
“Max!” Grant raised his voice. “Don’t encourage her.”
“If you weren't willing to hold up your end of the bargain then why would you buy me?” she asked. “Why didn’t you leave me for someone else?”
“We didn’t buy you,” Grant said. “I thought I was helping you.”
Maxim glanced out the window. “Look, we're home now. Perhaps a hot meal will do you some good and then we can decide what to do next.”
“You have food in your house? I didn’t think you ate human food.”
Maxim snickered as Grant rolled his eyes. She had a feeling they were communicating on another level. One she didn’t understand, but fascinated her.
“We have human staff,” Grant explained. “Lea, our housekeeper, can get you something to eat.”
“Then what?” She needed to know what to expect as the car pulled up in front of the biggest house she’d ever seen.
“I don’t know.” Grant looked at her as if she was the only woman he'd ever set eyes on. She liked being the object of his desire. It made her feel warm and wanted. “I didn’t expect for this to happen.”
“Why would you come to an auction?” she asked. “You knew what would be expected of you.”
It was obvious these two were more than friends. She could tell by the way they looked at one another, the subtle glances and touches. She suspected they had been together a long time. There was something very compelling about these men, and she wanted to learn more about them. In a matter of a ten minute car ride she wanted to be part of what they had. 
“I'm the keeper of the Massachusetts area,” Max said. “It's my job to make sure everything runs smoothly. I was there for an inspection.”
“Vampires have inspections? Do you have unions too?”
Grant laughed and she liked the way it sounded.
“We have rules and I expect my vampires to follow them.”  Maxim stepped out onto the driveway once the driver opened the door.
“After you.” Grant motioned for her to follow Max.
“Thank you.” She smiled at him, lingering for a few seconds, taking in his dimples when he smiled back at her. Her heart pounded hard inside her chest as she lost herself in his gaze. 
“Are you two coming?” Maxim interrupted their moment.
“Of course,” Grant responded as he quickly ushered Cassie out of the car, stopping to stand by Maxim’s side.
Grant nodded as he looked into the other vampire's eyes. Neither verbalized their thoughts. They didn’t have to because they were communicating without speaking again. When Maxim reached out and stroked Grant’s cheek, something inside Cassie’s body ignited. For the first time in her life she felt a sense of belonging.


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1 comment:

  1. I really like what I read. It looks so good. Cannot wait until it is releases.