Hi, everyone! I want to thank Raine for having me another visit to the blog! I come bearing an exclusive excerpt from my latest story, Dare To Love Forever.
Carson Locke is a Tabula Rosa vampire—a dangerous rarity in the world of vampires. With one bite, he can wipe clean a vampire’s mind, creating a mindless drone. Because of this, Carson has spent his entire twenty-three years sheltered at home. That changes when his entire family is murdered. Now on the run and near death, Carson meets Commander Lincoln Samuels, a beautiful vampire who tries to heal him. In doing so, Carson is bonded to the vampire and turned into something the vampire world has never seen. When Carson is poisoned, he believes that someone wants him dead as well, however there are greater plans for Carson put into motion hundreds of years before his birth.
Lincoln is a Sanatore vampire with the ability to heal other vampires. He heads a team in the New Vampire Justice police force in Utica, NY. Late one night, he is called to a local Vampire Blood Market where a starving Tabula Rosa vampire is about to be executed by one of his officers. Feeling a strong connection to Carson, Lincoln wants to heal the broken man despite knowing the risk in doing so. Healing Carson could destroy Lincoln and cost him the chance to love again. What Lincoln finds is that there is a greater evil threatening to take Carson from him.
Can two vampires who have loved and painfully lost in the past, learn to trust one another, defeat the evil rising against them, and dare to love forever?
Carson tried to force his eyes to open, but failed. He floated in numbing waters, struggling to break free, but he was stuck in his own head. Images assaulted him, battering him in his semi-conscious state. Caden…his mother…his uncle. His mother’s blood. The knife he’d pulled from her chest. That awful gurgling sound as she’d forced herself to speak. Her final breath. The perpetual nightmare snared him and gripped him tight. Within the carnage, a face with blue eyes and a dark beard appeared repeatedly. Yet, whenever Carson reached out to Lincoln, tried to touch him, the vision faded.
He heard the door to his room open and then snick closed. Muffled voices floated around him. A hand settled gently on his leg and then warmth rushed through the vein of his arm. It quickly suffused through his body, filling and expanding. Any residual hunger he’d felt was sated, his body quickly gobbling up whatever source of nourishment coursed through his vein. The power was undeniable, all encompassing, rushing him to dizzying heights.
He wondered what they were doing to him.
The heat swelled, and burned at his core. Outside his sphere of consciousness, something waited, looming in the darkness, bringing with it a foreboding of an enormous magnitude. What it was and what it wanted, he didn’t want to contemplate. He tried to retreat further into his mind, find a corner to hide in, but it was as if he were in the middle of a field stripped of vegetation, exposed and in the open. A shudder racked his body as his muscles contracted, and the cold air of the room touched his heated skin. He tried to pull his arm away from the source of his discomfort, stop whatever they were pumping into him, but when he tried to move, hands held him down.
Somewhere in the distance, he heard a guttural groan filled with distress and pain. The sound was desolate, mournful—just awful. He wanted the sound to stop, prayed whoever was in such pain would find relief and just stop. He wanted to cover his ears, wanted to block it out, but there was no hiding, no retreating, no hope. Again, he wished to die.
* * *
Lincoln paced the small confines of the room, as his blood ran into Carson’s arm. His stomach had tied itself into a knot the moment Casey had hooked the bag to Carson’s IV. So much could go wrong. The properties of his blood would accelerate his healing, both physically and emotionally, but there could be side effects—for both of them.
Lincoln tried to ignore Carson thrashing on the bed. The sweat dripping from Carson’s pores, the red flush to his skin, the agitation, the pitiful moaning, all spoke of his blood doing what it should. What might surface after the healing was what terrified Lincoln the most. The last time he’d given blood to heal, everything had gone terribly wrong. Still haunted by what had happened, the consequences had kept Lincoln from getting close to anyone, pushed him to the one-night stands and anonymous hookups. His heart had been broken, and if the same fate befell him with Carson, Lincoln was sure that the damage would be irreparable.
The door to the room flew open and Max rushed in, his eyes wild as he focused on Doc, on Casey, on the bag of blood. He turned. When his eyes focused on Lincoln, he dashed forward, grabbing handfuls of Lincoln’s shirt and pushing him hard into the wall.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” His voice filled the room, and a scowl twisted his face. The pain in his green eyes belied the anger raging on the surface.
Lincoln didn’t have an answer and that just seemed to piss Max off more.
“Max, let him go!” Casey yelled, but Max continued to push hard into Lincoln’s chest.
“This is a patient’s room!” Doc yelled as he continued to monitor Carson’s vitals. “Max. Get your ass out!”
Lincoln placed his hands on Max’s forearms in a nonthreatening gesture, hoping to calm his friend down.
“It’s already done, Max.”
Max pushed away, releasing Lincoln’s shirt. “How could you do this? Didn’t you learn anything from Luke? Fuck, that nearly killed you. What if this goes wrong? I can’t…”
He turned away from Lincoln and walked across the room. There was nothing to do but wait.
Lincoln approached Max. He hated that he had to explain himself, and wouldn’t even have bothered if this were anyone other than Max. “I couldn’t save him only to let him die.”
Max raised his chin defiantly. “I told you not to get close.”
“Shit, Max. This isn’t about getting close. He was dying. What kind of a person would I be if I just stood by and let it happen?”
If looks could kill, Lincoln would have been a pile of dust. Fuck him and his big mouth.
“Yeah, but that didn’t stop you from letting Grace die.”
Before Lincoln could reply, Max was gone, the door slamming behind him. Casey stared after the door then turned to Lincoln. “Who’s Grace?”
Lincoln rubbed his hand over the back of his neck. He so didn’t want to go there. “That’s up to Max to tell.”
Walking up to the bed, Lincoln forced Max’s reaction from his mind. This was about Carson. As he approached, Casey stepped back and let him pass. Doc continued to monitor vital signs. He ignored Lincoln’s approach. Stepping to the side, Lincoln clenched his teeth at the sight of the writhing man on the bed. Lincoln yearned to reach out and run his hand over Carson’s forehead to soothe the torment. His hands clenched at this sides, to prevent himself from pulling the man into his arms, again. He was relieved to see Carson’s body was healing. His color had improved. The veins once visible beneath his skin had disappeared. The gauntness in his face had lessened, but his body seemed to be fighting the force of Lincoln’s blood. While he had rarely ever given to heal others, Lincoln couldn’t forget when it had been Luke lying in a room much like this. He took in a shaky breath. Luke’s healing hadn’t been as tumultuous. His body had been more accepting. This…this was almost like rejection.
When he looked up at Doc, he saw the pinched mouth, the furrowed brow, along with the confusion and concern on his face.
“What’s happening, Doc? This isn’t right.” A well of panic pooled in his chest and threatened to take over.
Doc shook his head, still surveying the machines, recording every vital sign from Carson. Finally, Doc said, “No, it isn’t right. I don’t know what’s happening. I mean his body is responding to the blood, healing, but…”
Doc pulled up a long sheet of paper flowing from an EEG machine. “His brain waves… the delta waves are where I’d expect them to be. They mean deep sleep, where the body is healing itself. But the gamma waves are way off the charts. He’s deep in sleep and… Well, considering the level of the delta waves, they shouldn’t be this high. These are generally associated with learning, memory processing, higher activity. It’s puzzling.”
His tone, the tightness in his face, the hunch of his shoulders spoke of a highly concerned person. Lincoln turned his attention back to Carson, who continued to writhe, Lincoln couldn’t resist any longer. His need to bring Carson comfort overruled keeping his hands off.
Reaching out, Lincoln placed his palm over Carson’s forehead. He was sweaty and clammy and burning hot. Looking up at the monitor, Lincoln saw his temperature reading was one hundred and five degrees. He was about to say something when Carson’s body went completely still. His chest quit moving.
He wasn’t breathing.
About the Author:
JC Wallace started writing from a young age, but took a break for marriage, kids, and college (in that order). He recently rediscovered his passion and ventured out into the brave new world of publishing with his short, Waiting for Snow, and his first novel, Curiosity Killed Shaney. At night and on the weekends, JC writes about all things men, believing there is nothing hotter than two men finding and loving one another, whether for a night or forever. An avid reader of M/M romance, JC loves a good twist of a plot, HEA, HFN, or tragic ending. He also writes what his bestie calls HUNK (Happy Until the Next Kidnapping).
In his daytime hours, JC works with individuals with autism and behavior problems. He is owned by three kids, one grandchild and one on the way, two dogs and one cat. He lives in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains in Northern NY.