Cameron Forbidden: M/M LBGT Erotica Paranormal Romance Release Day and Giveaway

 

Cameron knew it was a setup before he and his sister Caitlynn got there. It was supposed to be a hit to take Cattie out. Cam being there was just a bonus. Had they been entirely human, the explosion would have killed them both. With them both being critically injured, they were taken to a private clinic owned by Jake and Forrest. To the world they would appear to be dead, at least until Cattie could put together who was out to get them.

Rick wasn’t sure what he was supposed to be doing here. He’d been asked by his buddy and longtime friend, Forrest, to come by his house—he had a gig for him. Rick hadn’t had a gig of any kind for years now and getting a call from Forrest out of the blue, like it had been, couldn’t have come at a better time.

Cam had many abilities. One he felt was somewhat of a curse. He was so in tune to everyone else, like an empath he felt what they felt, so much so that he couldn’t separate his own feelings from theirs. Because of this, he avoided ever having a relationship.

Being an elite shifter, Rick wasn’t confused. As soon as his fingers brushed Cam’s at the kitchen table, he knew they were mates, and he was about the rock Cam’s world.

 

Amazon USA https://amzn.to/2RSMTRf

Amazon UK  https://amzn.to/2EqnOun

B&N https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cameron-beverly-barton/1022592128?ean=2940161859131

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/900356

I Tunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/cameron/id1438771227?mt=11

KOBO https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/cameron-17

PaperBack https://amzn.to/2PBfqcL

 

Jake Winslow’s marriage to the money grubbing shrew is over. Cutting off her funds, and the simple use of the word “no” sends her packing. When he comes home from work and finds his house empty of everything, including food, he feels—liberated.

Jake’s grandmother, Jenna, calls her friend and attorney, Forrest Stout, to handle Jake’s messy divorce. She can’t stand Jake’s soon-to-be ex-wife and is leaving nothing to chance. Only the best for her grandson, and the best is Forrest.

Forrest is a Were Tiger, and he knows “who” he is. He is an oddity in his paranormal world because he is gay. His kind mate for life, and after a recent disastrous attempt to find companionship, he has given up hope of ever finding his life mate.

From the moment Forrest meets Jake for the first time, he knows that Jake is his life mate, and he wants to run in the opposite direction because Jake isn’t gay. To claim and lose a mate would spell disaster for him. How can he ask a straight man—that he wants with every fiber of his being—to conform to his way of life? He can’t….

Ex-lovers, and ex-wives can be a dangerous combination. Especially when neither are right in the head…

 

 

Henry Myers never kept his gender preferences a secret. His mother supported his choices and stood by his side even when his acting career tanked because of it. Now she was gone, and so was his career. Henry was at a loss.

Patrick Garrett, Paddy, was now in a bad place. He had worked at the precinct since he was in his early twenties, and now he could trust no one. Not his captain nor his partner it seemed. He was shot and bleeding, and it seemed the whole precinct was on the take.

Henry had been able to talk to ghosts since a near death experience he had as a child. They had been following him around ever since. Now it seemed Paddy could see them as well. But when Wally, Henry’s ghostly companion referred to Paddy as Henry’s mate. Neither man was sure how to take that news.

Henry couldn’t deny the attraction to the rugged cop, and if the man didn’t put back on his shirt, he wasn’t so sure he’d be able to control himself.

 

Recommended for 18+

Forbidden Series
Jake  http://amzn.to/2EynG8K
Henry  http://amzn.to/2E0yWcK

 

 

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Jake sat still and tried to read the paperwork that he’d gotten just this morning about the couple. The man lying on the bed in front of him had been hurt badly, so critically that it had taken the nursing staff and doctors here twelve hours before he had been put back together. His sister hadn’t fared any better, but she was resting comfortably while Cameron wasn’t. He seemed to be jerking uncontrollably and moaning in his pain most of the time.

Caitlynn, Cattie to her friends, was just down the hall in a private room all her own as well. The bullet that had hit her in the back of her head hadn’t been as serious as it could have been. They were still working on that, but the man that had brought them to the private hospital that they were both in said that he thought that Cameron, Cam to his friends, had called out to his sister and that had her ducking. The Hendersons had a great many people looking out for them, and none of them were human. “Where is my sister?” Jake stood up, completely forgetting about the paperwork that he’d been working on as it slid to the floor. “I don’t know you, do I? Where is Cattie, and my mom and dad?” “You’re at a private hospital for now.

Your sister is just down the hall, but I’m afraid she’s not able to come in here to see you as yet. As for your parents, your mother—a wonderful person, by the way—is in the cafeteria having a cup of tea with my mate, and your dad was called away. Something to do with his work.” The man nodded, then grabbed his head and cried out. “Yeah, they said that you might want to take it easy on moving around too much at first.” Jakes watched him struggle with the pain, and the very little that he’d given him in the way of answers to his questions. Jake himself still had plenty of questions, but he could wait.

Cam had been out for several days now, and it had been touch-and-go for both of them since Jake had been called away from his home to help them. Whatever favors had been pulled to keep these two alive had been more than a simple thing, like saving their lives. It had to be so much more than that, he thought, especially since Cam had been critical and Cattie in grave condition when they’d been brought to him. Now they were both on the mend, and it hadn’t been that long ago since their first diagnoses had been given to them. “What did you mean that Cattie isn’t able to come see me? They were supposed to keep her alive.” Jake told the man that the people who had brought her in had done all that they could. “If they’d done what I told them to do, then she’d be up and around and I’d be wherever she is. Where is Howard, anyway?” “The man that brought you to me?” Careful this time, Cam nodded. “He told us when we were notified to come and be with you and your sister that he had to take care of some loose ends. I didn’t think he was the sort of man who shared well, so I didn’t ask. Would you like to go and see your sister? Like I said, she’s doing better, but not as well as everyone hoped she would.”

“Yes. Can I be moved yet?” Jake told him that it was up to him, but he’d take a wheelchair until he was stronger. “All right. You said my mom was close? And with your mate? Is she capable of keeping my mom safe?” “He. And yes, he’s a tiger.” Cam said that he was sorry. “No need to be. It’s something that everyone does. Forrest, my mate, he said that they’re coming up now. And I’m to understand that you have the ability to talk to people, far reaching. I’ve been told to advise you to hold off on that for a while. They need to see who they can trust here.” “All right.”

The wheelchair was brought in and his mom and Forrest came in as well. Once they had Cam in the chair, which was not nearly as easy as it sounded, he was taken down the long hall to his sister’s room. The other couple came out of the room just as they got there. “Cam, these are friends of mine, Henry and Paddy. They’ve been keeping an eye on Cattie for you. Henry is a wolf.” Cam was rolled right up to the bed when they entered the room. No one said anything to him, but Jake had a feeling that the man was giving a bit of himself to his sister. Howard, the man that had brought them here, had said that Cam was very strong, and stubborn too. Just let him do what he felt that he needed. Jake looked at Forrest when he came to stand by him. He asked if he’d heard anything more. “Nothing as yet. I have been reading over the reports on the grocery store.” Cam turned to him and asked him what he’d heard.

“Just bits and pieces. And your friend Howard, he’s been giving us what he can. I’m not sure, but I think that he wanted to get permission from you before he told us too much.” “More than likely. What did he tell you about me?” Jake told him that there really hadn’t been much. He was an FBI agent, his sister was a cop. “Nothing about what I am? What I can do?” “No. Just enough to tell you not to reach out to people if you can help it. And that you are very powerful.” Jake watched him carefully. He didn’t want him to weaken himself more by being out of bed. But Howard had told them that if they took him right away to see her, he might rest easier. “What are you, if I can ask?” “I’m nothing that you’ve encountered before. I’m a little of everything. And some of that is pretty nasty shit. About twenty or so years ago, I was hit by a car. Completely my fault. The closest hospital was a clinic for shifters.

They sort of pumped me up with everything they had in their arsenal to save my life.” He didn’t say any more, just kept looking at his sister. “I’ve been on medical leave from the bureau for some time now. They’re trying to convince me to come back, but I just don’t have it in me anymore. It’s overwhelming, being what I am.” “My son is a good boy.” Cam smiled at his mom when she spoke. “Both my children are good people. And this thing that brought them here, I’m only just hearing about it. What would you like to know? I can tell you what I’ve heard from your father, but after that, he’ll have to tell you. The store that you were in, it was a set up. Not for you—you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But they wanted Cattie gone.”

“I figured as much.” Jake looked at Cam when he asked him why he’d thought that. “I’ve been reading over reports of the incident. Most of what I have, its things that not even your police have. A lot of it is from friends I have that can move in and out of places that no one else can. Or so I think. Anyway, Quincey, a vampire, has been looking around as well. He said that your sister, Cattie, knows him.” As soon as he said her name, she looked at him. She had the most beautiful eyes, the color of very old emeralds. Jake could see her pain—she wore it as if it were a second skin, one that she’d gladly strip out of. When she looked at Cam, he could see the resemblance and the love they had for each other. Trust too. Then something occurred to him. “You’re twins.” Cam nodded, and Cattie did as well. “You have a bond, too, that others in your situation don’t have, don’t you? This arsenal you talked about, some of it is in her as well.” “Yes. You’re very good. But yes, when I was on the bike, a regular bicycle, she was with me when I was hit. I went up and over the car that hit me and landed on my head. Cattie wasn’t hurt, but she didn’t leave my side. And because of the bond that we had before, she shared some, but not all of what I got.” Cam pushed his chair around so that he could face them.

Jake could see that he was mending quickly now, and so was Cattie. “By the time my parents were notified, I had been hurt for several hours. When they got to my side, the damage was already done. As in they had already changed me because of how close I was to dying. I’ve been laying low since I turned twenty-five. That was when the shit really kicked in.” “Cameron.” He apologized to his mom. “You should want to make a good first impression. There is no telling what might have happened to you had these people not stepped in to hide you. But as I was saying, from what we’ve been able to piece together, they were there to take out Cattie. For what, we just don’t know at the moment. But when Cam walked into the store, something that he hasn’t done in a while, they decided to take them both out—as far as we can understand, anyway. The robbery was just a ruse to get your sister to the scene.”

“I was specially called to hit the store. I was just going off duty when the call came in and my boss told me to go with them. That he’d cover the overtime.” Cattie looked at Jake, and he knew that she understood what he’d done. Jake had already seen and talked to the captain of the station through Henry, and his ability to talk to the dead. Shaking her head, she asked him to confirm what he was sure she already knew. “He’s dead, isn’t he?” “Yes. Quincey. He said that you’d understand.” Cattie nodded. She might understand, but he didn’t. “May I ask why they wanted either or both of you dead? I mean, I’ve been reading over some of the paperwork that was taken from the captain’s desk, and he seemed to think you were an all right person. He did have pressure from the higher ups, but that didn’t call for killing either of you. I can only assume, and I have a feeling that I’m right, they didn’t care for the number of cases that you close. With the help of Cam, I’m betting.”
“Yes, that’s right. But that was what you were supposed to find.” Quincey came in and kissed Cattie on the forehead and shook the hand of Cam. They were both getting better—the cuts on her face were nearly gone, and Cam was standing up now. Quincey handed him another thick file as he continued. “That is curtesy of his home. There is a room that no one found when they were searching his place after he was killed.

And to the public, so that you know, he committed suicide. But he’s been dirty since before he got out of the police academy. And more than likely before then.” “Why?” Everyone turned to Paddy when he asked the question. “I know a great deal about how a house is run and have even been in on a dirty one or two in my career. But this one, it seemed to be on the up and up without anyone on the take. And believe me when I tell you, I looked hard to find it. There just didn’t seem to be anything there.” “For the most part, most of the cops were on the up and up, as you called it. There were only a few, the captain for one, that were dirty. His dirt was going to take down the entire place, sadly. And we think, just from what we’ve found out recently, that he needed Cattie dead to get her out of the way of something coming soon. Or at least that’s what I’ve surmised so far.” Cattie got out of the bed and started stretching and moving round the room while Quincey continued. “But as to why they wanted her dead, I’ve not been able to find out much more than that she was the target in all this. Sadly, a lot of people lost their lives when the building blew. But their families are being well compensated.”

“So, let me get this straight, because this is just too much at once for me.” Jake smiled at Forrest when he winked at him. “So, this super cop, Cattie, is a target for some reason. These people, I’m assuming the ones that wanted her dead, are robbing a store to bring her on the scene. I’m assuming that they were going to kill her off, and make it look like she was shot in the line of duty. Then her brother shows up, another super person, and it all goes to shit. But, as far as the public is aware, both of them are dead as well. Correct so far?” “Yes, but you’re missing one important element. No one—no one on her force or the people that I worked with—is aware that I’m anything more than a man who had to take some time off to heal from a job gone south.” Jake could see the pain on Cam’s face. “I shot and killed a kid. Not that it was an accident—it was him or me, quite literally. When he pointed the gun at me and fired, I returned fire, and he was dead, and I was shot too. I’ve been healing since then. It’s been about eight months now. I have no intentions of going back.”

It was so final that no one said anything. Jake could understand it better than most, not wanting to go back to the same thing day after day. Going into partnership, both business and personally, with Forrest had given him a much better outlook on his whole life. And he loved Forrest for it. ~*~ Cam walked the halls of the place they were staying. He’d come to figure out that it wasn’t a hospital, at least not now it wasn’t. The place had been closed down years ago, but still operated quietly when it was needed. He’d have to ask Howard if they needed
any funding to keep it afloat. He knew that without this place, he and his sister would be dead. There were no other patients in the place but him and Cattie. The staff that was there—very few now—was all in some way involved with keeping the public in the dark about what sort of place it was. Quincey, he knew, now owned not only the building, but also about five hundred acres that surrounded it. Cam came to the conclusion that not only was it not known to the people that were nearby, but they didn’t know that there was even a building within the electrified fencing.

“I’ve been thinking.” He smiled at his sister when she came out of the room she’d been in. “Don’t say it. I’m really confused about what is going on with my job. I mean, who would want to go to this much trouble to see me dead?” “You mean besides me?” She punched him in the arm. “I’ve been thinking on that too. You said that your boss, Captain James, told you to go on this mission, even though you were supposed to be getting off. I wish I could have a long conversation with the bastard to see just how much money he made off of this. And see if hell takes that kind of currency.” “I think we can get that. But you’re right. It seemed strange to me, even when the call came in. I mean, we’re not cops, not the kind that goes out on this sort of thing. We’re the ones that go after the scum of the earth. Drug dealers, as well as prostitution and counterfeit shit.” She looked around to see if their mom was close. Even though they were both in their early thirties, they were terrified of their mom—with good reason. She was their mom, but she had a mean streak in her when they didn’t live up to her expectations. “Why did he think that I wouldn’t have questioned him about it?” “Did you?” She said that she had tried, but he was practically shoving her out the door. “I’ve been thinking on why I was there too. You know as well I do that I don’t go out unless it’s dire. I mean, being out of lettuce? I haven’t any idea why it was so urgent that I go out then. I was thinking that your nervousness of this, it called out to me in some way, and that’s how I ended up there. Even though you didn’t contact me, I still felt the need to be with you. I wasn’t even surprised that I’d walked into something. Understand?”

“Yes. And so you know, I did think about you while I was waiting on things to be set inside. I was worried about what you’d think of me being there.” He nodded and took the turn at the next left. He needed to regain his strength, and this was helping him. “So, this thing that we can do—I guess we can add being able to contact each other without contacting each other.” “I’ll put that on our to do list.” He moved down the hall, her beside him every step of the way. “Cattie, what do you think of the people that are here? The couples. Why them? I mean, it’s not like they’re anyone we’ve dealt with before. I’ve been wondering why Quincey, or even Howard for that matter, had them come to help us.” “Have you talked to Howard yet?” He said that he’d not. “Me either. I did remember seeing him there, when we were taken away. But not much before or after that. Quincey, he’s been telling me for a while now that I need to beef up my own security. I guess he was right.”
“Yes, I’d say that he was. By the way, you had a lovely funeral.

Did you see it on the television?” Cattie said that she’d purposely missed it. “The mayor had so many good things to say about you. He sort of glossed over me being killed too. I think that the bureau had asked him to do that. I’ve not tried reaching out to him yet. Have you contacted anyone?” “No. I’m trying to lay low.” They were picking up speed as they came down the next hallway, almost at a jog. “Cam, I have to say, I’m a little worried about Mom and Dad—especially Dad. Did you hear that he got called away last night? Why? The man has been retired for years. Why are they calling him out on jobs after all this time? I have a feeling that it’s not work, and he’s in trouble again.” He knew, but he didn’t want to tell Cattie just yet. Cam, too, had been laying low, but he was much better at searching minds than she was, so he had been picking brains for the last several hours. Cam turned the next corner and came to a sudden stop. There stood Howard. Cam hadn’t seen the man in weeks before he’d called to him to come for Cattie. He looked worried, overworked, and closer to his age.

The man was ancient, but you’d never know it to see him. The magic of being a vampire had kept him looking much younger than he really was. “I’ve some news for you both, but I’d rather wait until the troops are here to listen in too. Jake and Forrest, they’ve been taking good care of the two of you?” They both said that they had and asked when they were going to get out of there. “Not for a while yet. I like you both being presumed dead. I think in the long run it will keep you alive longer. What did the doc say about your noodle, Cam? Anything come up?” “Nope, just as brainy as ever.” He had hit his head in the bike accident, and it had been why the people at the clinic had poured all they had into him. His brain—unlike most people, Cam used every part of it. That was the magic that he’d gotten when he’d been hit by the car. “I do have a couple of questions for you concerning the others here. Not anything bad, but I would like to know why them. Why now?” “I can answer that one for you. You remember Jenna Winslow?” They both said that they did. “She was the long-lost daughter of Quincey. And Jake, he’s the grandchild of Jenna, and great-grandson of Quincey. The child that they’re raising is half-sister to Jake. The line of familiarity is why he trusts them more than he does even me. And we go back further than anyone I know. Forrest was her attorney and is the mate to Jake. The other two are good friends to them both. That’s the connection to all four of them.” “So, Quincey has them come here, taking care of us and making sure that—what? We’re not killed. Doesn’t that put them in harm’s way? I’d hate to see them hurt because of this crap.” He agreed with his sister, but Howard had more.

“They’re immortal? Because of their connection to Quincey? I guess that makes sense.” “Quincey told me that up until a few weeks ago, he’d been protecting his grandson, Jake. He kept him in the dark, and those around him, about the fact that he’s more vampire than human with some of his magic. As soon as Quincey removed the protection, right after Jenna was killed, he talked to him about it and then took the protection away. Jake has become good with the magic—a great deal of it, I guess—that
he inherited from Quincey, but he’s still getting used to it. Jake and Forrest both took it fairly well. And the baby sister, she’s not all human either.” Cam said that was a lot for anyone to take in. “You don’t know the half of it, I’m afraid. Jenna, if you recall, had been murdered by her son, father to Jake. Jacob has been sentenced to five life terms for his part in not just his mother’s death, but a few other things that had been unearthed by his son. It’s a long and terrible story, but you can see where the connection is now.” “Sounds too messy not to be true.

” Howard nodded at him. “All right. That explains that. But how much longer are we going to have to be hidden away? While I like it here because there aren’t a lot of people, I’m going just a little stir crazy. I know that Cattie is as well.” “We need to keep you dead, as I said, for just a little longer. But you’ll be happy to know that as of yesterday, there is a track that Quincey had put in for the two of you to run on. And there is equipment that you can use to get some of your strength back in the lower levels.” Cam thanked Howard. “Don’t thank me, it was Jake. He said that he knew that you two were getting antsy.” By the time Jake and Forrest got there, he and his sister had ordered their lunch. The kitchen here was five-star, Howard told them, and to order whatever they wanted. The magic again, he was told, would get them just about anything they wanted. Cam took them up on that offer and ordered a thick steak and all the trimmings. Cattie did the same, but she ordered pie too. His sister loved pie. He thought that she might like it better than she did him at times.

They were sitting at one of the large tables in the dining room when Howard came in to have a talk with them all. He had news, none of it good, but it was things that they had to hear. His dad showed up about an hour after the meeting started, and he looked broken. Instead of asking him what had happened, he touched his mind to see what else their father was hiding from them. His dad had been in trouble before—a great deal of it. While he loved the man very much, he didn’t really trust him, and hadn’t for a long time. It was just after Cam’s last day of work, all those months ago, that he’d begun to see his father in a different light.

And had it not been for Cam’s intervention, they would have lost their family home, Mom would have been out on the streets, and Dad would have been in prison. When Dad looked at him, Cam let him. He didn’t hide the fact that he didn’t want his father around him. He knew that he should have talked to Cattie about him, let her know what he was up to now. But he’d been putting it off for some time now. Cam supposed that he hoped that his father would change. He had, but not in a good way. Orval Henderson was in way over his head, and it was going to get him killed if he didn’t get his shit together. And Cam knew that it was going to be next to impossible for him to pay off the debts that he’d racked up, gambling on everything this time— including his children’s lives. His dad figured that Cam had gotten him out of it once, and that he’d continue to do so. But he wouldn’t. Not again.

 

Henry Forbidden Series Release Day & Giveaway

Recommended for 18+ Forbidden Series M/M LBGT Erotica Paranormal Romance

 

Henry Myers never kept his gender preferences a secret. His mother supported his choices and stood by his side even when his acting career tanked because of it. Now she was gone, and so was his career. Henry was at a loss.

Patrick Garrett, Paddy, was now in a bad place. He had worked at the precinct since he was in his early twenties, and now he could trust no one. Not his captain nor his partner it seemed. He was shot and bleeding, and it seemed the whole precinct was on the take.

Henry had been able to talk to ghosts since a near death experience he had as a child. They had been following him around ever since. Now it seemed Paddy could see them as well. But when Wally, Henry’s ghostly companion referred to Paddy as Henry’s mate. Neither man was sure how to take that news.

Henry couldn’t deny the attraction to the rugged cop, and if the man didn’t put back on his shirt, he wasn’t so sure he’d be able to control himself.

 

Forbidden Series
M/M LBGT Erotica Paranormal Romance

Amazon USA http://amzn.to/2E0yWcK
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2s9zbAV
B&N https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/henry-kathi-s-barton/1127913633?ean=2940158668197
KOBO https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/henry-25
SmashWord https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/786784

 

Jake Winslow’s marriage to the money grubbing shrew is over. Cutting off her funds, and the simple use of the word “no” sends her packing. When he comes home from work and finds his house empty of everything, including food, he feels—liberated.

Jake’s grandmother, Jenna, calls her friend and attorney, Forrest Stout, to handle Jake’s messy divorce. She can’t stand Jake’s soon-to-be ex-wife and is leaving nothing to chance. Only the best for her grandson, and the best is Forrest.

Forrest is a Were Tiger, and he knows “who” he is. He is an oddity in his paranormal world because he is gay. His kind mate for life, and after a recent disastrous attempt to find companionship, he has given up hope of ever finding his life mate.

From the moment Forrest meets Jake for the first time, he knows that Jake is his life mate, and he wants to run in the opposite direction because Jake isn’t gay. To claim and lose a mate would spell disaster for him. How can he ask a straight man—that he wants with every fiber of his being—to conform to his way of life? He can’t….

Ex-lovers, and ex-wives can be a dangerous combination. Especially when neither are right in the head….

 

Jake http://amzn.to/2EynG8K

 

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Scott sat at the bar and watched the other men and women. He didn’t care for beer, not the kind that was served here, but he ordered it so that they’d not run him off. Not that they could, for the most part, but people—humans—had a way of making life difficult when they wanted. It mattered little to them who or what they were up against. Waiting for the man to come in that was to meet him here, Fred, Scott thought of his life so far. He had not a pot to piss in; not even a pot of any kind, really. And that was the way he liked it. He had money, a great deal of it, but no house, no car, not even a real paying job. He liked his life like it was, without attachments or any kind of strings. It was why he moved from one place to the other without having any roots. The door opened behind him and he knew that it was Fred. He had an odor about him that even humans could smell. Scott thought him positively repugnant…not just his smell, but everything about him. Even his teeth were a shade of green that made him want to ask if he’d been eating a field. “I have a handle on her.” Scott asked him what sort of handle he had. “The mother is in the hospital now. And when she has the brat, the nurse is going to call me and let me come in. Things are working out much better than you thought they would.” “Doubtful. It’s been my experience, and I have a great deal more than you ever will, that once things start to look good, you should look over your shoulder for the next bad vibe. What hospital is she in?” “Mercy. She’s been brought in to be induced, or some shit like that. Something about the kid being a little larger than they thought for her size. That made no sense to me whatsoever. Women get fat when they’re having a kid. Even I know that.” Scott told Fred what they meant. “Oh. Well, why don’t they just say she’s having a fat kid and that she’s too little to do it on her own? You know what that means, don’t you? The dick that planted him there was a little one.” And again, Fred’s logic wasn’t anything that he understood. The man was a wonder, saying things that were so off the wall that Scott wondered if he even knew what they meant. But Scott started thinking about the hospital. “Mercy Hospital is the one that takes in degenerates, correct? I know that place. At one time, the land that it sits on was farmland that belonged to a man who raised cows.” “There ain’t no cows there now.” Scott said nothing as he took a sip of his now warm beer. “There are a lot of cops hanging around though. I didn’t think about all the crime in that place when I was there. Sure can get a man hurt looking for information.” “You’ve been paid enough.” He thought about the baby he was about to take, and what he was to do with it once he had it. Scott had no qualms at all about killing people, but a baby was something way different. He wasn’t to drink from it either. Just kill it and be done with it. “Wonder what they want this kid out of the way for. You heard anything?”

“Nope. Just snatch it and bring it to you. I’m guessing you have your orders too.” Scott nodded. “I thought so. You’ve always been close mouthed, ain’t you?” Fred Hogan was anything but close mouthed. Scott would bet money on the fact, too, that the nurse helping him take the little boy knew all about why he needed it done. And most of that would be lies. Fred knew less than he did, and Scott knew very little at all. The people that wanted the kid taken and killed had only told him that it was a half breed. Nothing more…not even a half breed of what two creatures. They wanted it killed because those kinds of creatures out there would make a bad name for them. He hadn’t any idea why that would bother anyone…he was a made vampire himself. But he’d do what he was told, when he was told, and reap the rewards that came along with it. Fred was being paid, yes, but Scott was to get him to leave town as soon as he had the child. It would keep him safe and hopefully away from Devon’s fury. “I’m gonna go out and enjoy the night. I’m thinking that when that nurse calls me, I should be close by. That way I can get it and get back to you before anyone is the wiser. Oh yeah, I forgot. Did you know that the momma isn’t taking the kid? She’s putting it up for some kind of private thing.” Scott knew that as well. That was why he’d been called in instead of just killing the mom when she was out and about. She was going to live simply because she didn’t want the kid. There were all kinds of people around her all the time now, he’d noticed. It had taken him the better part of a month to figure out where they’d taken her when she’d disappeared. One day, when he’d gone by the apartment where she was living, she was just gone. And not only that, every bit of her place had been devoid of even her scent. And that was what had Scott worried the most. Someone had a lot of pull in this thing, and he was afraid of who that might be. Scott figured that there were any number of vampires out there that would want a child. And it would matter little to them if it were something else too. Some of them were with humans that weren’t their mates, and needed to have their nests filled up. Like having a child in the house would make anyone happy. It had him at one time, but no more. Shuddering at the thought of a little kid around, he thought of the two kids he’d fathered of his own. Both long dead, but that didn’t lessen what they’d made him feel like…a man of the world. Scott had been a good man, or so he thought. He was also a husband and father that had provided well for his family. However, he didn’t find out until later that he’d been a failure at that, to his wife. So one night, in a fit of stupidity, he’d gotten himself turned around on the road and ended up at a party. A bloodletting, he’d figured out later, and he was dinner. They hadn’t killed him, mores the pity, but they had changed him into what he was today. He’d gone back to see his wife and children, spying on them all during the night. But for the most part he left them to assume, as did everyone around, that he’d fallen off a cliff and was dead. But that didn’t mean that he left them on their own.

He provided for them as best he could. Giving them what money he could steal or earn, he’d leave it on the stoop. And sometimes he’d kill a deer or some other big game and leave it as well. They were well fed, his family, and when he heard that his son was sick, he went to the window to see if he could help him. His wife, Margaret, was there waiting on him. “I knew it was you.” He stared at her from the darkness and said nothing. “You’ve been the one leaving us food and money, haven’t you? Do you have yourself a new whore, Scott? Someone to warm your bed? I hope so.” He moved out of the darkness and stood before her. “So you’re one of them? The night monsters? I should have known you’d not leave us to our own. Why didn’t you just die, Scott? You never do what I need you to do, do you? I had hoped that you’d die from their treatment of you. But I guess I can’t be that lucky, can I?” “You wanted me dead?” She told him how she’d told the vampires that they could have whatever came across them, and to not let it get to her. And that he was to be found, no matter what. “You murdered me? You set them upon me?” “I did. And I’d do it again if I could have.” He asked her why she’d do such a thing. “You think I was supposed to live like this? That I wasn’t to have two coins to rub together? To have children that I can no more stand than I could you? Nay, Scott. I don’t love you. Never did. You were just a means for me to leave my home. And once I was here, I had plans all along to kill you in your sleep.” He had staggered back then, his body just too shocked to do much more than let himself fall to the ground. “Come here no more. I will not have you around, and don’t be leaving any food either. I’ll not take it from you now that I know that it is from you.” “What of our children? You are nearly starved now.” She said that she hoped that they’d die first so that she could leave them in their beds and not return. “You cannot mean that, Margaret. They’re just children, small boys that had no part in you and me coming together.” “Had I had the coin, Scott, there would have been no children born at all.” She looked at him then, and he could see the hatred that he’d never seen before. “Now, go on your way and don’t bother us again. I had no use for you then, and not now either. Be gone.” He left her then, but kept a close eye on the house. After several days he went back to see why there was no smoke curling from the fires. No scents of meat searing in the air. But what he’d seen there had left him broken. His wife hadn’t waited for the boys to starve, she’d killed them herself. Scott had taken their small bodies to the yard that night. After wrapping them in a thick blanket that his own mother had made for them, Scott buried them deep in the ground, and even made a marker for them both. His sons were not yet seven and five, and they were dead by their own mother’s hand. It took him nearly a week to find her. He wasn’t surprised to find her in bed with another man. What had surprised him was who it was. He knew as surely as he saw them together that he was his sire. And since he already knew that Margaret had set him up to be killed by them, Scott had had no trouble at all in murdering them both.

Even the Council, newly formed back then, had justified his killing of the man who had changed him, without permission. After that, Scott had wandered around for a long time…several decades as a matter of fact. He had very little use for coin, but would hire himself out as a mercenary when he was approached. It had made him good money, enough that he could do what he wanted, and he had a hell of a reputation. Anyone and everyone that wanted something done that they were squeamish about, he was the man to call. But even that had grown to be boring. He didn’t want to join a nest—he hated people too much—and vampires for the most part were a whiney group of beings. They had to show off their abilities and dress like they had not a care in the world what people thought of them. When in reality, they were the vainest people ever made. He looked to his left when the door opened again. Quincey was the only vampire that he knew that was more well-known than him. When Quincey stared at him, looking at Scott like he knew he was up to something and what it was, Scott felt his balls tighten up and his blood run cold. “You should go home and forget this.” He said he was a man of his word. “Sure you are, Scott. But with this, you’d be better off just going back to your lair and leaving it alone.” “What business is it of yours?” Quincey said nothing, but moved down the bar. “I asked you a question—” He was at Scott’s throat before he could even finish the statement, holding him up from the floor without the use of his hands. Scott looked around. He’d get no help from any of the patrons of this place. They were not seeing what was going on. When he was set back down on his feet, Scott sat back on the bar stool and waited. “Do not presume that you might ask me questions, or that you might demand anything of me, Scott Huff. I will not just end your miserable life, but I will make you suffer in ways that even you, with all your deeds, cannot fathom.” Scott believed him. Not only that, but he knew that he’d not just make him suffer, but would do so over a long period of time. “Leave the child where it is. Nothing good will come to you should you take it.” “What makes this child so special is that I was paid a large sum of money to snatch it, then kill it?” Quincey nodded, and Scott felt the compulsion ride over his skin when asked who he worked for. “I don’t know his name or that of the firm that paid me. It’s a front.” “Good to know.” Quincey walked away again, and Scott wanted to run. Not just run but to meet the sun, he was that afraid. “Leave here. Don’t return, Scott, or so help me, it’ll be the last thing you ever do.” Scott left the bar. He didn’t know where to go, but there wasn’t any way that he could pass this up. It wasn’t just the money he was going to receive, but the man who had him doing it, he had a marker of Scott’s. That made it impossible to refuse. Several hundred years ago, Scott had thought himself so powerful that he’d given tokens to those that helped him. Coins really, that had been marked with his sword. All a person had to do to use it was to give it to him. And then, whatever he was asked to

do, he’d have no choice but to do it. The magic, the powerful magic that he’d had put on the coins, was as strong as any that he’d ever used since then, or even before. He’d been a fool to do such a thing, he knew that now. When Fred found him, just beyond the bar, he looked pale. It wasn’t until he was right atop him that Scott could smell the blood. Fred didn’t just fall, but fell on him. As soon as he saw the knife in his belly, a scalpel, Scott knew that this was much larger than he’d been told. “She’s had the brat.” He asked him where it was. “Don’t know. Two men, they come in and took it. They were ready too. Had all the stuff to take it away.” “What does that mean?” Fred coughed, and blood poured from his mouth. “Fred, who did this to you? Who killed you?” “I don’t know…a man that was sent by someone. He said to tell you his name, but I plum forgot it. You should run.” Another cough and more blood, this time thick and dark. “He said to tell you that he’s watching you. Am I really dying?” “You’re as good as dead. When did you see him? Fred, when did you see this man?” Scott wished he’d made Fred stay in the bar with him. He’d be alive had he thought of that. Fred didn’t answer him. There was nothing more he could do for the man, so he left him where he laid. Scott pulled shadows around him tightly and walked quickly to his lair. He was going to get answers, and he was going to get them fast. This shit was going to get someone killed, and he thought it might be him. ~~~ Jake sat in the back seat with the baby in the car seat while Forrest drove them home. He’d taken the back roads instead of the highway, and Jake had to laugh at the slow speed he was going. He asked him if he thought they’d get home before she was old enough to vote. “You drive then, so I can be back there with her. Christ, she’s beautiful, don’t you think?” He did, and touched his finger gently to her fine cheek. “Her mom, we’ll have to tell her about her, don’t you think? I mean, the baby’s father was your dad, so I’m not sure what you’d say about that. But we’re going to make sure that she’s well loved, right?” “Yes. I wasn’t sure what to do when they said that her mom died on the table. Do you suppose Stacy just gave up? The last time we spoke to her, she seemed really down.” Jake looked at his baby sister. “Forrest, we’ll have to keep her safe too. You heard what Quincey told us.” “Yes, I did. And even if he’d not told us about others trying to find her, we’d still care for her.” Jake nodded and looked where they were at being home. “We’re almost there. To be honest with you, Jake, I was afraid to go straight home. After that man was stabbed in the hallway right outside the delivery room, I just didn’t think the straightest route was the best.” “I agree. While I have no idea what that was about, I don’t want to take any more chances with her than you do.” He wanted to take her out of the seat and hold her in his arms. Just to be assured that she was really theirs.

They had found Stacy about three months ago. She’d been living in a shelter then, her parents having thrown her out when they found out that she was going to have a baby. The poor little thing was younger than him, and scared out of her mind that the baby’s father would come after her. It had taken them several trips to see her before she confessed who the father was, and what he’d done to her. As she sat there, sobbing out the story, Jake had held her hand and told her how sorry he was. Then he told her who he was. That nearly got him and Forrest arrested. It wasn’t until he’d had his attorney talk to her that she began to see that he was nothing like the bastard that had raped her, repeatedly, over a two-day period. They had set her up in a nice apartment, furnished with all the things that she wanted. Stacy wasn’t greedy, nor did she want much in the way of money. Just enough to keep her fed and healthy. Her plans for after the baby was born were something they could never get her to share with them. Now, Jake thought he knew why. “Do you suppose we should name her after her mom?” Forrest just looked at him in the mirror in the car. “I mean, it would be nice, don’t you think?” “I don’t know. There were people there looking for her. Calling the baby Stacy might give them a clue as to who she is.” That was very true. “I think we should name her Jenna Beck Winslow, just like we decided.” “I miss her; my grandma was the best there was. She’d be over the moon with her, don’t you think?” Forrest nodded, both of them still raw about his grandma being killed a few months ago. “My dad goes up for trial soon. You think that is what got her spooked?” “No, that’s not it. Can we talk about it when we get home? I want to tell you what I know. And to be face to face when we do it.” He asked if it was bad. “Yes, some of it. But we’ll get through it. I’ve called a couple of buddies of mine to come help us. They’re going to be here soon enough.” “I hope they know more about babies then we do. I know we took those classes, but I think this is going to be much harder than we thought.” Forrest laughed and said he knew it was going to be. “At least we have those books. Not that I think they’re much help either. But we have them.” “Mary said she’d help us too. I know she has a lot of experience with babies.” The woman had seven children, ten grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. If anyone had experience, it would be her. “And I’m really glad that you went shopping yesterday for diapers and such. We’ll be set for a while. Doubtful anyone would come snooping around thinking the two of us had a kid.” It had been in the papers that he and Forrest had opened a practice together. And in the same article, it mentioned not only that Jake’s ex-wife had been a murderer, having killed her own mother, but that he was gay. Nothing much had been said about it, and because of it, they had a lot more work than they could handle at times. The gay community was supporting them in a big way. Mary, their housekeeper, met them at the door. She was so excited for them too, and when they’d moved into his grandma’s house just after the funeral, she had asked

to come with them. The other staff, much older than he had realized, all retired except for Thomas, Grandma’s butler and good friend. After getting Jenna settled in her crib, the two of them fussed in the nursery. Jake knew what they were doing…waiting for her to wake up and need them. And they wanted to be the first to help her. But Mary came in, shooed them out, and told them to find something to do. He and Forrest went to the living room but took the monitor with them. They would not let her down. “Okay, what I know. Or heard. Quincey is keeping an eye out on things for us. And the reason might surprise you. I know it did me. You have a younger half-brother.” Jake leaned back on the couch and asked how old he was. “Just a few years younger than you. He’s been notified of your father’s arrest, and that your grandma left it all to you. He wants his share.” “And Jenna? What does she have to do with this?” He didn’t answer him when Thomas brought them in some scones and tea. Jake wasn’t ready to enjoy them just yet. When what was happening and why occurred to him, he didn’t even wait for Thomas to leave but blurted it out. “He wants her murdered, then he’ll come after me. For the money.” “Yes, that’s it.” Forrest played with his cup but didn’t drink either. “I guess your father’s name isn’t on the birth certificate. But this guy has had tests done to prove who he is to him. Your father was a real fucker, just in the event you didn’t know that. Anyway, your grandma found out about this bastard son before she was murdered. And it wasn’t until this morning that I was told about it.” Jake wasn’t sure what to say. Or even to do. Protecting his sister was going to be something that he’d devote his life to, but to have his own flesh and blood out to murder them both, her only an infant not even a day old, was almost too much. It made him think that the man was more like his father than he ever wanted to be. “Do you have anything on him? His name?” Right then, the monitor went off and they both stood up. “You go. I need to digest this information. If you bring her down, that’ll be good too. Just…I don’t know what to think at the moment.” “All right. But here is what I have on him. And it’s not pretty.” Forrest started out of the room and stopped. “We’ll be all right, Jake. I have friends coming to help us out with this mess.” Jake certainly hoped so. Right now all he could think about was how his life had been full of murderers and murderesses, and he’d been the only sane one in the bunch. Besides his grandma and Forrest, of course. “Oh, Grandma, I miss you more and more every day. What am I going to do now? What are we going to do now?”