Khafra has spent more than three thousand years wandering the Earth, fascinated by humanity and its many rises and falls. When he meets a young student at Cambridge, he is utterly unprepared for the effect Alfie has on him. Eager and open and full of wonder, Alfie is perhaps the perfect submissive.
While the sex is spectacular, the real surprise for Khafra is his growing love for Alfie. Such unions are grand while they last, but inevitably doomed to time and mortality. Can he open his heart one more time, for a beautiful young man whose defiance of custom and courage in the face of danger are so captivating? Or will he continue as he has for so long, living on the fringe?
Everything depends on the outcome of Epiphany.
After three millennia or so of vampiredom, one might suppose that Khafra would have outgrown hiding behind potted plants and making fun of high society. However, that assumption would be belied by the fact that he was here at the Pomdell’s holiday Winter Ball, secreted in a curtained alcove with the two young Pomdell siblings doing precisely that.
“You are quite sure?” Giggles threatened to engulf Alfie, and the words came out as a muffled snort that was quite endearing.
“Oh yes,” Khafra whispered back, waggling his dark eyebrows.
Alfie shook with suppressed laughter and buried his face in the collar of Khafra’s jacket when it became too much of an effort to remain silent.
“The Right Honourable Marquis of Dorset is unequivocally gagging for it,” Khafra continued.
Their hiding place—a small niche behind a dark, claret-red velvet curtain, a garland of holly, and a manicured ficus plant—was not as private as it might be. Thankfully, Khafra was skilled with shadows—when to stay in them and when to come out of them. And when to sidestep just a hair to keep the sweet, unwise young man hanging onto him from being seen by people who would judge him too harshly.
“According to whom?” Alfie asked, his dark curls tickling as he bent down to nuzzle at Khafra’s ear.
“A friend. Not only does he prefer the company of men, he only hires the big, rough boys.” Khafra smoothed a long-fingered hand over Alfie’s hair, and returned his sister Susanna’s smile.
“Gossip is a sin.” Susanna hissed the last word, grinning all the same.
“So is hypocrisy,” Khafra countered, replete with his own answering hiss on the final syllable. “Tsk. He’s one of the foremost moralists of our day. Only last week, he was arguing in front of the House of Lords for stiffer penalties for onanism and sodomy.”
“Stiffer!” Alfie was biting his lip bloody, trying not to howl with laughter.
Granted, the image of the terribly priggish, horribly upright Marquis getting it put to was fairly hilarious, but gales of laughter would give away their position.
“Only one way to stop your mouth,” Khafra murmured, tugging Alfie’s heart-shaped face closer to lick the blood off his lip. The copper-richness tingled on his tongue, reminding him how long it had been since he’d last eaten.
L.A. is a professional writer finally crossing over into fiction. She has a background in the Classics and Religious Studies, and those themes will come up again and again in her work. L.A. lives in Texas, has two incredible kids, and a varying number of rescue mutts. Reach out to her on Twitter; she’d love to hear from you!
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