Orion is a vampire with a tragic past. After running away from abusive parents at the tender age of sixteen, he was turned by a ruthless elder vampire and forced to torture and sexually abuse human feeders and submissive vampires. Though that’s all behind him now, he still lives in the shadow of what he was, and it’s cost him the loyalty of Xavier, the human feeder he loves. Malagan is Orion’s closest friend–the vampire who saved him from brutality all those years ago. Malagan knows the dominant side of Orion–the side Xavier needs–is still there, lurking below the surface. But if Orion’s going to find his way back to who he ought to be, he’ll need help. And Malagan is just the man for the job.
Previously published by Breathless Press.
This story had a really interesting premise and I wanted a bit more from it than I got. With Orion supposedly in love with Xavier, they don’t interact on page at all. While there is justifiable reasons for it, I wind up having no interest in whether or not they get together. Plus the ending leaves me with only a tiny glimmer of hope those two will get there eventually. The story reads like a few chapters of a larger work. There’s a huge backstory for Orion that is talked about but we don’t see happen or get a full sense of. There’s history with Xavier that we don’t see either but are lead to believe is important to both Orion and Xavier’s current mindset. Malagan plays a big role in both of their lives but again we don’t see fully how and what he’s done. There is some wonderful development in how Orion, Xavier, Malagan and Clay all deal with the situation. But there’s no real resolution to any of the plot points at the end of the story. There’s still more story left despite the upbeat feel to the last lines. If this story were taken and vastly expanded then it could easily be a five star novel. But this short story just isn’t enough to fee like a complete story despite my enjoyment of what is there.
Three and a half
Freak. The word went straight to Orion’s guts and set a shiver of hatred running up his spine. He pushed his shoulders back and stood taller, towering over Clay, but to no effect. Clay didn’t back down, didn’t turn away, didn’t show one single sign of submitting.
Clay laughed and snapped his fingers in Orion’s face. “Look at you. Size of a fucking giant, but the balls of a three year old. You’ve got no spine, Orion. You’re nothing but a simpering weakling who hides behind Malagan.” He turned away and moved to the bar.
“Don’t turn your back on me,” Orion warned, tempting fate.
“Why not?” Clay called over his shoulder. “What are you going to do about it? You going to beat me senseless and take what you want? That’s what you were good at, wasn’t it? Why don’t you come over here and try it, freak? That’s right, come on over here. I won’t even turn around. I’ll let you have the first hit. That’s all you need. Just that first hit to get you going. And then you’ll bloody me up, right?”
“I’ll do what I must to get Xavier away from you.” Orion took a deep breath and stood his ground, unmoving. He wasn’t about to back away, but he wouldn’t do anything rash either.
Clay rounded on Orion and smirked. “You don’t have the guts.”
The door opened behind them, and Orion turned to see Malagan standing in the opening. Elation and anger warred within him. He wanted to smile and gloat to Clay that now things would go his way, but another part of him hated Malagan for showing up, for stealing his thunder. For proving Clay right.
“He may not,” Malagan murmured. “But I do.” He swiveled his head to look at Orion, sent a knowing, compassionate look Orion’s way. “Xavier and I will meet you back at the lair.”
Heart pounding, Orion swallowed his pride and nodded. He left Clay’s house, the sounds of breaking glass and Clay’s yelling echoing down the path. He stopped at his car and turned back toward the house. This wasn’t Malagan’s fight — Malagan hadn’t started it, after all, and Malagan shouldn’t be the one finishing it. Orion took three steps up the path and froze as his guts knotted up and a wave of nausea assaulted him. Gagging, he pressed the back of his hand to his mouth and stumbled back, colliding with the front of the car.
Frustration tore at him. Self-loathing and worthlessness wrapped their claws around him and pulled him under. Orion whirled and brought both fists crashing down onto the hood of his car. Again and again, until he’d left a bloody dent. Exhausted, lightheaded, he straightened and choked on a throat full of tears as he ran his fingers over the ruined hood. Why did he break everything he touched?
Romance author, sci-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we’re talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake-making, football-watching, rubber-duck-collecting, drag-show loving, full-of-fabulous-with-a-capital-F kinda gal. She’s also an ordained minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching Star Trek and Supernatural repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er…research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::