Hello, everyone. This was supposed to have been posted as a guest blog on one of my stops on my book tour August 1. For whatever reason, my blog had not been posted. So, I decided to post it on my own site–including the chance at a prize if you leave a comment with your email address…
I’d like to share the fourth installment of my series of short stories, entitled
The Vampire Encounters. As I hop around the internet these next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a part of each story. The story has four parts, with each part broken into two—except the last, it’s broken up into three sections. So, come follow me, as I interview (Ann Rice style) the four vampires from A Hunter’s Angel…
Although all of them could be read separately, if you would like to read them all I will also be putting them on my website. Or, if you’d like to follow along, go to https://ceradubois.wordpress.com/a-hunters-angel-the-book-tour/ for the link to the other parts.
The Vampire Encounters—Shane Chamberlain
PART 2: Shane tells me about his mate, Maria…
Maria Lombardi was the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. She and her companion entered the tavern in Leighlinbrige, and I swear I’ve never wanted a woman as much as I wanted her. Her eyes met mine, and I was lost to her.
And she was lost to me. Instant attraction. Instant need.
The women joined my brother and me while we dined on mutton stew and bread. They talked of adventures in faraway lands and quoted poetry. I’d spent my youth in the theater, and Maria’s knowledge of the Bard and the Greek Classics thrilled me. Most people would have been scandalized by her openness, her worldliness, but considering the Harpy my father married me to, she was like a breath of fresh air.
All my wife was interested in was her needlepoint and how clean the silver was for her next party. She didn’t even care overmuch for our children. Hell, she wouldn’t even sleep with me after she gave birth to our son. Not that I minded all that much. Elizabeth wasn’t unpleasant to look at, but her frozen heart made her as unattractive as a barmaid with a beard.
That night Maria came to my room, and when she slipped out of her gown, her body mesmerized me. I had my share of women, but she was a goddess. Pale porcelain skin and silky black hair. Eyes the color of bronze. They glowed bright as she came to me. She was the dominate lover that night. She rode me to pleasures I hadn’t known existed. I’d felt so sated, so tired. I knew later that she’d drained me of enough blood to form a blood bond. We’d also formed a mate bond, although I hadn’t realized it either until the next night because she hid it from me.
Before morning, she said she had a power to make me live forever. I asked her how, and she promised me she’d come back to me after the dawn of the sun. Ian wanted to get moving. He and the other woman, Vivian, had a wild night as well, but I soon realized his experience hadn’t been the same as mine. I delayed him when Maria and Vivian returned to the tavern after breakfast. She and I went immediately to my room.
After we made love again, this time she let me take her—be the dominate one, we talked. I knew in that moment something was different. She was used to taking what she wanted from her lover, but gave very little. She never let her lover dominate her—or live for the most part. I learned later that she’d been sold by her father into a marriage with an abusive Italian prince sometime during early thirteen-hundreds. She swore she’d never let another male own her body.
We held each other, and she told me she was a vampire. At first, I was terrified. But then she started talking about how long she’d been alive. She’d been turned by a business associate of her husband’s in 1279. He’d been one of the first master vampires, he’d also turned Vivian about two-hundred years later. That bastard Lucas Pomeroy hunted down and killed the master.
She explained our mate bond as something rare and beautiful among vampires. We’d be mated for life and even after one of us died, the other was unlikely to ever find love again. The next time we made love, she’d lowered her shielding. I experienced every emotion, every touch as she felt them. They intensified what I felt and I’d never know such pleasure. I fell completely in love with her. When we rested that time, I asked her to turn me into what she was.
I also asked if Vivian had mated with my brother. She’d told me that they had not, but if I wanted him to join us, Vivian would do her bidding.
I loved my brother. After our mother died when we were young, all we had was the cruelty of our father. Ian was the only person I’d ever loved until I’d met her. I couldn’t let him go.
That night she bit me and set the fever of change into motion. The following night I became a vampire.
I never went back to Killkenny. I know my son eventually took my title and his son after him. My daughters both died before they were teenagers.
For a century, the four of us—Ian, Vivian, Maria and I—traveled all over Europe. We took what we wanted and no one ever took from us.
Until we met Master Lucas Pomeroy.
We were feeding on a French village when he arrived. The bastard gave us the choice to join him or to be destroyed. Maria warned me silently through our bond to cooperate. So, we pretended to repent and after dawn, Maria and I ran. Ian and Vivian betrayed us. I’d known for about fifty years, my brother was unhappy. He hated the blood lust. I reveled in it. It made me feel power I never had as a mortal. I knew he’d joined the master and I knew he’d be a powerful enemy—one I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to fight.
My only hope was to leave Europe. We found voyage and came to America during the early colonial days. I think that crossing was the worst experience I had up to that point. Being cooped up for weeks on a ship with humans was beyond painful. About a half dozen people came down with a mysterious illness—Maria and I shared our victims and left enough blood in them to look not drained. Despite our efforts, by the end, people were becoming suspicious of Maria and I, and if we didn’t need the crew to get us across that wretched ocean, we would have massacred them all.
But once we got to America, we lived free, taking what we wanted, living as we were meant to live. We were predators. I don’t believe in God and I sure as hell don’t believe in Satan or any of that garbage that vampires are creatures created by some demon. We are evolution at its best.
Then in a blink of an eye, my life ended when my brother—my beloved brother, who I’d mourned because I wouldn’t ever see him again—killed my wife. He murdered my beautiful Maria. We’d been together for 300 years, and I felt her flash out in a blast of heat and pain. I still feel it today, a hundred and ten years later.
I wanted to follow her into the abyss, but I had something more pressing to do.
I had to find the hunter who destroyed her and make sure he suffered as I did…
To find out more about A Hunter’s Angel check out my website (https://ceradubois.wordpress.com/a-hunters-angel-the-book-tour/) for a schedule of my blog stops during the book tour. I will be presenting a series of short stories called The Vampire Encounters. Follow me as I interview Ian McHenry, Master Vampire Lucas Pomeroy, Vivian van Dyke Pomeroy, and have a scary run-in with Shane Chamberlain. Hope to see you along the way.
Please leave a comment and your email address to be eligible. (Sorry, only USA and Canada residents are eligible for any prize that needs to be mailed. Non-residents and residents of USA are eligible for free PDF copy.)
* Two Lucky Posters will get a PDF copy of Bloodwine. (for info on this short story check out my website)
*1st Stalker Prize: Every Poster will be entered into a drawing for a chance at a $5 gift certificate from The Wild Rose Press (four to be given away)—drawing to happen on September 1.
*2nd Stalker Prize: Every Poster will also be entered into a drawing of a $25 gift card from either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice)—drawing to happen on September 1.