Quentin Heart – Day 29

Quentin Heart 400

Quenting woke to the world shaking around him.

“Get up, babe,” Jaks said.

“What’s happening?”

“Your apartment is under attack.”

His words weren’t making any sense to Quentin’s muzzy mind. He couldn’t focus. His hands trembled and his feet didn’t fit into the legs of his pants.

“Here, let me help.”

“I don’t know what’s wrong. I can’t focus.”

“I think I took too much energy last night.” Jaks kissed Quentin’s forehead.

“I thought you only took blood.”

“The bonding exchanged more than blood between us. It should be easier next time.” Jaks sorrow beat at Quentin like a wave of emotion.

“It’s okay. We’ll figure this out.”

“We will. We just need to find out center.”

Another boom shook the building. “What is attacking?”

“I don’t know, but we need to get going.”

Quentin grabbed Jaks wrist then hesitated. “What about the other people in the building?”

“What about them?”

It took Quentin a minute to realize Jaks was serious. It didn’t occur to the vampire to worry about the rest of the people in the apartment building.

“We can’t let them become hurt because someone is after me.”

“How about we go check it out? Then we can decide if we need to deal with a mass evacuation.”

“Okay.” Quentin didn’t see a problem with that plan.

He teleported them to the front of the building. A hooded figure stood at the base directing a large rock troll to slam into the side.

“Stop that!” Quentin ordered.

The troll froze.

“Don’t listen to him, destroy!” The man’s voice had a strident, familiar tone.

The troll didn’t move.

“I told you to move!” he screamed.

“Is that Vlad?” he whispered to Jaks.

“I think it is.”

Before he could figure out what to do Jaks ran over and ripped away the hood exposing the old vampire master.

“How did you get out?” No way should the vampire be out already. He was supposed to face a sentence. They didn’t set bounties on vampires who could see freedom anytime soon or at least they weren’t supposed to.

“The judge wasn’t as resistant to mind control as you might think.” Vlad’s smile wasn’t friendly.

“How did you know where to find me?” Quentin worried about the people back at the vampire mansion.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Vlad sneered.

A low howl echoed down the street. Before Quentin could speak again the wolves surrounded him.

“Ahh look you’ve found some pets. Vlad didn’t look worried. However the troll screamed and fled down the street.

“Looks like you lost your pet,” Jaks said, watching the troll run down the street.

“I don’t need him. He was only there to lure you outside.”

Quentin took a quick glance around but didn’t see any obvious dangers. Next he sank into his magic letting it flare around him and seek out trouble. The street behind Vlad glowed with dark figures.


Jaks grabbed Quentin’s arm. “Get us out of here now.”

“I can’t.” Quentin had used up all his energy teleporting and calling up his wizard sight. Jaks had drained the rest of his energy.

“You can.” Jaks insisted. “Take from me.”

“How do I do that?” He’d never borrowed magic from someone before.

Jaks kissed him. Energy poured through him, a tsunami of power until his skin felt too tight to contain al of it. Quentin pulled away from his lover and tried to absorb all the power. Some of it leaked out and crackled across his body as if he’d turned to pure energy.

“Neat trick. Too bad it won’t save you.” Vlad waved his hand and the people in the darkness came forward.

Vampires surged forward.

“Are these your people?” Quentin asked. He’d feel bad for destroying those who had once followed Jaks.

“Not any more. Take them out, my love.”

Before Quentin could do anything the wolves attacked taking down the first wave. Screams filled the night. Quentin hoped his neighbors stayed in their apartment. The streets would flow red with blood tonight and he didn’t want it to be of anyone he knew.

Glenn appeared before him. Quentin’s heart ached. “Glenn.”

His friend held up his hands. “Don’t kill me. I thought you might need some help. When these ass hats began recruiting I jumped at the chance.”

“How do we know we can trust you?” Jaks asked.

Glenn scowled up at him. “How do we know we can trust you?”

A vampire leapt toward them. Glenn punched him in the throat. The vampire toppled backwards clutching his neck. “Works every time.” Glenn’s smug smile reassured Quentin more than a hundred protestations.


“I always have your back bro, you know that.”

“I do.” He bumped fists with Glenn then went back to focus on the battle. So far the wolves had taken down five vampires.

Vlad stood back allowing the other vampires to be fodder for his grand plan.

“What now Vlad?” Quentin taunted.

“Now I’ve invited some of your enemies to come and play.”

Quentin steeled himself for what came next. Nothing prepared him for the sight of the fae queen. “Hello Quentin. Thanks for finding my husband again.”

Lars threw back his head and howled.

Allinea threw a lightning bolt at him. Quentin barely intercepted the electricity, sending it plowing into a vampire instead.

“Don’t interfere with a marital spat, little boy, or you’ll discover all about being a vampire for yourself.” Allinea spat.

“I’m not going to let you kill my father.”

Allinea tilted her head at him. “But why, he ignored you his whole life.”

“Because you made him.”

The queen’s negligent shrug conveyed her indifference to the facts. “If he really cared he would’ve found a way.”

Quentin refused to get into a pointless argument with the queen. He wouldn’t win no matter what he said. “That doesn’t mean I’ll let you kill him.”

Allinea laughed, the sound sent chills down Quentin’s spine. It contained no mirth and a lot of spite. “You’ll let me do whatever I want stupid boy because there’s nothing you can do to stop me.”

Quentin Heart – Day 28 (b)

Quentin Heart 400

Note: you need to be over 18 to read. (I will expand this in the final book)

Quentin opened his mouth to speak. What he planned to say hadn’t filtered through his head yet. Jaks took that moment to kiss him. Unlike the claiming, proof of power kisses of before this one conveyed affection. A gentle glide, sipping, touching of lips until heat sizzled down Quentin’s spine. Not unlike casting a spell the energy swept through him sensitizing his skin until the sheet beneath him felt rough compared to Jaks’s silk heat.

“It’s too much,” he whispered hoping Jaks would understand.

“You will get used to it in time, used to us. We were meant to be together.” Jaks peppered his words with soft kisses along Quentin’s jawline. Beneath the barrage of touches and gentle lips he’d agree to anything.

“Will I?” His voice barely left he space between his lips.

“Yes.” Jaks stroked Quentin’s face, then along his chest in a warm fingered trail across his body. “You’ll get used to being the center of my world and I’ll have to learn to loosen my grip a little. I know you think this is a one-way connection where I will try to strangle every bit of independence out of you but it’s not. We are together forever, Quentin, that means we’ll have to learn to compromise.”

“Sounds good in theory but why do I get the impression you aren’t used to letting others have their way.”

Jaks smiled. “Because you are an intelligent man. For you I will make the exception.” A kiss punctuated Jaks sentence and his cock that had flagged during their discussion hardened quickly beneath Jaks attention. As if sensing Quentin’s renewed interest Jaks wrapped his fingers around Quentin’s shaft.

“You can do that as much as you want,” Quentin said, pushing into Jaks touch.

“I’ll never leave you wanting, my sweet. I will take care of you in all ways.”

Quentin relaxed beneath Jaks touch. The vampire scooted to one side for easier access to Quentin’s body. He could become used to someone putting him first. Quentin scooted over and cupped the back of Jaks head, pulling him closer. Jaks eyes went wide as Quentin initiated the kiss.

He held back his laughter as sexual energy built between them. Jaks was in for a big surprise if he thought he’d always be in charge of what happened to them in the bedroom.

“You can either fuck me or let me go and I’ll do the honors.”

Jaks grinned. “You think I’m going to always top? I’ll be happy to switch with you whenever you like. Life is too long to stick with the same routine.” Before he could comment Jaks released Quentin and rolled them over until he was on top. Jaks lifted his hands above his head. “Do with me what you will.”

He’d had dreams like this but not half as sexy. Having Jaks lay there passively while Quentin could do whatever he wanted. “Damn, your gorgeous.”

Surprise crossed Jaks face. “If all it take to receive compliments is lay here I’ll be happy to indulge you.”

Quentin kissed Jaks on the breastbone, sliding his lips along the ridge. A soft gasp rewarded his efforts. “You know you’re gorgeous you don’t need me to tell you that.”

Jaks slid his right hand into Quentin’s hair lightly touching, not enough to guide only to let Quentin know he was there. “Your opinion is the only one that matters. I wish to please my mate.”

For the first time Quentin wondered if the vampire had the same insecurities as everyone else. He met Jaks gaze. “You are gorgeous and I couldn’t ask for a better mate.” The words almost choked him as emotion well up. They might have started out rocky but Jaks had proven he would support Quentin’s goals. Vampire or not, Jaks pushed all of Quentin’s buttons in all the right ways.

Jaks’s smile warmed Quentin to his core. He’d been too stingy with his words of praise. Wrapped up in his own concerns he’d ignored the other half of his new lifetime unit.

“I am proud to be your mate,” Jaks said.

“Same here.” Tired of emotion twisting him into new and painful shapes, Quentin slid down and took Jaks’s erection into his mouth. He let the tip barely breath his lips before flicking his tongue along the ridge.

“Oh, fuck mate.”

Quentin didn’t respond. He kept his attention where it belonged. Dipping down further, the let Jaks’s cock slide as far back as he could without gagging.

“Yes, more.” Jaks clutched at Quentin, moving his fingers from Quentin’s hair to his shoulder, no doubt to prevent ripping out the strands.

Applying suction, Quentin used every trick he’d ever learned from his limited repertoire to bring his mate pleasure. A loud growl ripped through the air. Moisture flooded Quentin’s mouth, spilling down his throat. Musky spunk scented the air and Quentin wallowed in the joy of knowing he’d pleased his mate. He’d barely lifted his head before Jaks picked him up and flipped them over.

“You’ve perfected that well, my sweet. Best make sure I don’t meet any of the men you’ve practiced on.” A possessive glint lit up Jaks’s eyes.

“There weren’t a lot of them,” Quentin replied.

“Good.” Jaks kissed him or devoured to be more precise. Burning away any memory of other men with his passion.

Jaks rubbed against Quentin as he lifted his head and nipped at his ear. “No one. No shifter, no vamp, no human, no one will ever see you and doubt that you are bonded. You are mine, my sweet wizard as surely as I am yours.”

Before Quentin could form a reply Jaks wrapped his fingers around Quentin’s erection and brought him off with embarrassing speed.

Heat spread across Quentin’s cheeks and he ducked his head against Jaks chest.

“It is the greatest compliment to me that I can bring you pleasure.” Jaks licked the spunk off his fingers while staring at Quentin as if debating on going for seconds.

“How about a shower,” Quentin said. If they kept going at it he wouldn’t have any moisture left in his body and the eventful day was beginning to catch up to him. He needed rest between crises.

Quentin Heart – Day 28 (A)

Quentin Heart 400

“You take care of her.” Quentin told Braed.

“I’ll watch out for her,” Glenn promised.

Despite his pale complexion little seemed to have changed from Glenn’s usual manner. His friend’s upbeat personality appeared to have stayed intact.

Jaks stepped closer, wrapping a possessive arm around Quentin. “We need to go.”

Quentin almost asked why but a kiss pressed to the side of his neck reminded him of what they’d been doing when the hospital called.

“You think it’s all right to leave her?” he whispered.

“I’ll be fine,” his mother replied.

Quentin freed himself of Jaks hold, ignoring the unhappy growl. He kissed his mother on the cheek. “You’ll make an awesome vampire.”

“I will,” she agreed.

Quentin turned back to Jaks and entwined their hands. “Let’s go.” He dragged Jaks outside then teleported him to Quentin’s bedroom.

“I don’t know if I’ll every get used to you jumping around like that. Don’t you get tired from expending all that energy?” Jaks asked.

“No.” Quentin shook his head. “I use the power from the ley lines to jump from place to place it takes little of my personal energy.”

“Oh, that makes sense.”

“I’m glad you think so. Is there anything else you want to discuss before I get naked?”

Quentin gripped the bottom of his shirt and lifted it slightly to show off his abs.

Jaks gaze narrowed in on the bit of exposed skin. “Um, no. No, I don’t think there’s anything else.”

“Good.” Quentin pulled off his shirt and tossed it to the floor. The rest of his clothes quickly followed. “I’d hate for you to be distracted from more important things.”

Jaks licked his lips. “I don’t think anything could distract me from you.”

“Never say never. You’re daring fate.”

“I believe I make my own fate.” Jaks began removing his own clothes and with vampire speed they all soon joined Quentin’s on the floor. “Now I seem to remember you and me lying in bed.”

“Hmm, I might recall that situation,” Quentin teased. He couldn’t resist poking the vicious vampire. Jaks brought his teasing side out.

The mattress hit his back before Quentin could mutter about vampire speed.

“I’ve been a tolerant man and I believe I’ve earned my reward.” Jaks grinned down at him, his vampire teeth dropping as he spoke.

“You think I should provide treats for when you act in a decent and humane manner?” Quentin asked.

“Yes. Most vampires wouldn’t be so tolerant of their human lover putting others before them.”

“Ah, I see. You are obviously a step above those other vampires.” Quentin tilted his head back. “Treat away.”

Jaks licked Quentin’s neck. “As tasty as you are my sweet wizard I need a much more thorough taste of you. Jaks slid down Quentin’s body, scraping a fang across his skin.

Quentin had to clench every muscle he had to stop from jolting from the sensation and impaling himself on Jaks’s teeth.

“Keep that up and I’ll come before you’re inside of me,” Quentin muttered.

“Don’t worry you’ll be coming more than once tonight.” Jaks’s comment uttered in a husky tone had Quentin’s cock rising.

“You are the sexiest vampire I’ve ever seen.” Granted Quentin had stayed away from vampires until now but he couldn’t imagine anything sexier than Jaks lying on his bed. Vampires reverted to their perfect form upon transformation in order to easily lure their prey. Thoughts of how his mother would look briefly flitted through his mind before quickly being banished. Now wasn’t the time to think of his parent.

“Focus on me,” Jaks ordered as if he could feel Quentin’s mind wandering away.

“Trust me I am.” Quentin sighed as Jaks scraped a tooth along Quentin’s hip. “It’s kind of hard to ignore you.”

“I’m counting on that in more ways than one,” Jaks muttered.

Before Quentin could ask what he was talking about Jaks licked a wet line up Quentin’s erection. Quentin clutched the sheets. “Oh fuck.”

“Soon,” Jaks promised.

Quentin ached to be filled. He reached to grab Jaks. The vampire surged up and pinned Quentin’s arms above his head. “Do you want to be in charge, my sweet?”

Did he? Jak had Quentin pinned with his strong, muscled body rubbing deliciously against him. “No, but if you could hurry it up I’d like that.” A more diplomatic answer he couldn’t push past his lips.

Jaks chuckled managing to make the sound both dirty and amused at the same time. “The beauty of being a vampire, darling, is I can take forever if I want.”

“Not unless you want to be fucking a husk.” Quentin wouldn’t survive if Jaks insisted on the slow route. He’d combust or something dire.

“Nonsense, you’ll be with me until the end of my days.”

Before Quentin could complain Jaks bit him.

Oh fuck.

After the first sting of teeth slicing through his shoulder, pure adrenaline spiked through him. The fight or flight urge had Quentin jolting beneath the predator who had him pinned.

Easy, my sweet. The words filtered into his mind.

A delicious lethargy swept through him followed by a wave of pleasure so intense Quentin’s word went white and he floated along an ocean of intense joy. He became not a single entity but part of a whole. He could feel blood leaving his body and track it through Jaks. The connection between them spun tight until it formed an impenetrable knot. A binding nothing and no one could untangle.

Jaks’s emotions slammed into Quentin. Joy, hunger and a powerful love overlapped every other emotion pouring from the vampire. Jaks didn’t just want Quentin, he needed him with a craving so strong Quentin ached from it. Overwhelmed, Quentin tried to shy away, pulling back from the maelstrom of Jaks hunger.

No, stay with me. Let me show you what you are to me.

He couldn’t. Too much. Everything was too much.


Quentin forced himself to still and not struggle beneath the vampire’s fangs.


He couldn’t block his mind from the scenes flickering through his head like a horror film. The years of loneliness, the bloody fights to say on top and the heartache and betrayal when another lover turned out not to be the one swirled through him. Quentin relived Jaks’s life in an emotional tidal wave.

Stop! He couldn’t take any more. Tears slid down his cheeks as sobs broke free.

“Shh, I’ve got you.” Jaks lapped at Quentin’s wound while he brushed away tears.

Right then Quentin knew he’d been lying to himself this whole time about his independence. His heart, body and soul now belonged to Jaks.

Welcome Birthday Guest Talia Carmichael!

Birthday bash 2016 icon


Happy Birthday month to Amber! Thanks you Amber for letting me come and join the fun. Yay! Let’s party.

“Ummm….my interviewees are a little late.”  *glancing toward the door and frowning then getting up and going to door then opening it to look outside*

“Who do you suppose she is looking for?” Roarke asks from behind me.

“The tooth fairy.” Niall said sarcastically.

*gasping and turning around. Niall gazes like I’m a fascinating specimen he can’t figure out while Roarke sits back lazily his hand casually resting across Niall’s shoulder*

“How’d you get…” *looking back at open door then at the men sitting who hadn’t been there before.*

“Science.” Niall replied deadpan.

“Yes,  if science is opening the door behind us and coming in and watching Talia searching for us.” Roarke snickered.

“Science is all around us. The human body is science. Imagine how the heart works to keep us being able to live. Or that you eat so much shit and the body develops the same to get rid of what it doesn’t need.” Niall poked Roarke in the side.

Roarke laughs then. “Christ Niall only you would talk about shit in an interview.”

“The interview hasn’t started yet.” Niall waved his hand toward me. “She’s just standing there. Come closer Talia, I don’t bite.”

Roarke snorted. “You do! People’s heads off.”

“Only if they are…well you know I don’t actually like much people. Come on Talia you know what I mean.”

“I have no idea what you mean.” Approaching the men and sitting across from them. “This if my interview and I’m in charge.”

“Of course, proceed.” Niall rolls his eyes.

“Stop that.” Picking up my notebook and getting ready for my first question. “You know what let’s do something different. How about you interview each other?”

“Good idea.” The men say together.

Niall looks at Roarke suspiciously. Roarke smiles innocently. Niall narrows his eyes.

“Niall you go first.” I state as I sit back and eagerly wait for the fireworks I know is about to happen.

“I love the bread you make and you‘re been baking since we got together.” Niall mutters. “That’s a lot of bread.” Then in a regular voice.  “What’s with the baking bread thing when you’re happy?”

“It’s just that…I’m happy.” Roarke smiled wryly. “No more explanation than that.”

“Oh boy that means you’ll be baking for the rest of our lives.” Niall shook his head. “Why do you love me?”

“You had your turn at a question. Now it’s mine.” Roarke smiles slowly.  “Why do you love me?”

“Duh who wouldn’t love a man who bakes for them?” Niall rolls his eyes then smirks. “And has a big…”

Niall keep it clean.” Roarke said.

“Heart…I was going to say heart.” Niall lowers his voice. “Maybe.” He snickers.

“That’s so cute. You all make a cute couple.” I say smiling happily at the men I had matched up and created their story.

“And you’re so cute that you think you had anything to do with making us…well us.” Niall smirked and gestured with his hand toward me. “We were the ones in your head, talking in your ear during the day and in your dreams at night. We lead our own path to becoming us. You were just the conduit.”

“You make it sound like I’m a puppet or something and you’re my master.” I glare at him.

“Exactly. Not just us but all the characters you have written and still have left to write. If you would admit it you let us tell our story and not try to control shit.” Niall leaned forward.

“Again with shit.” Roarke laughed. “God Niall what is with you and shit today?”

“Shut up.” Niall poked him in the side again. “Talia, you’re good at what you do and smart enough to let the story and characters guide you and not the other way around. We appreciate that you give us freedom to be us.”

“I’m not all that special just want to write my books.” I mutter.

“And you do.” Niall rises and come over to me and sits on the arm of my chair.

Roarke gets up and sits on the other arm of the chair. “And you are special.” He kisses my forehead.

“Watch it I might get jealous. I thought I was the special one in your life.” Niall smiles.

“A special snarky, grumbly, pain in the ass that is all mine.” Roarke blows him a kiss.

“Ass.” Niall said fondly.

“Yes, yes I have one. So do you and so does Talia.” Roarke squeezes me. “We all have assholes.”

“It’s better than being an asshole.” Niall said.

“Umm…” I start to laugh.

“And that’s a wrap on the interview.” Niall said.

“We only had two questions.” Roarke shakes his head. “Short interview.”

“Exactly. You of all people as a performer should know leave people wanting more.” Niall pursed his lips. “But then again since you made all those shitty albums I hate then maybe you don’t know the concept.”

“And we’re back to shit.” Roarke rolls his eyes. “You know you love my music.”

“Some of it.”

“Maybe like this.” Roarke sings the opening lines of Carnal Renderings Niall’s favorite of his songs.

“Interview over.” Niall gets up grabs Roarke’s and yanks him up then hurries him to the door.

Roarke keeps singing and gropes him. Niall stops turns and kisses him before pushing him against the door.

Unable to look away I stare then Niall reaches for Roarke’s zipper of his jeans. I quickly get up and hurry to the door they had used to sneak up on me and go outside. I close the door and then lean on it.

“Wow, just wow.” Laughing I walk away and go to get more writing done. After all I’m just a puppet to my characters.

Copyright © Talia Carmichael, 2015.

All Rights Reserved.


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To see how Niall Hilton and Roarke McBride became a couple check out Opposing Rhythms…

Opposing Rhythms

By Talia Carmichael

Pride Publishing

Available Now

ISBN: 978-1-78184-045-0

Genre: Contemporary

Series:  Impressions – Book 3

Length: Novel


Buy Here: https://www.pride-publishing.com/index.php?route=product/author/info&author_id=167



When a man who makes interesting objects from the CD’s of a musician he cannot abide the rhythm for meets him – the sparks are going to fly.
Niall Hilton cringes whenever he hears music from a group that used to be his favorite until after their second album. In his opinion Roarke McBride – the bands lead singer and songwriter – is to blame for the loss of rhythm that had made the band great. When a friend brings the singer into his home Niall is irritated by the intrusion and lets Roarke know his opinion on his music. The singer surprises him with a performance of his latest hits, which to Niall’s shock he actually enjoys. He’s stumped as to why. Although Niall plans not to see Roarke again the musician is determined to change his mind. As he gets to know him Niall is drawn beyond the persona of Roarke the superstar to the man – who is interesting and aggravating.

Roarke McBride is used to some people not enjoying his music and is usually able to shrug it off. Niall’s creations from his CD’s make him laugh thinking it’s a trick until Niall opens his mouth and insults him. Instead of taking it in stride as his norm Roarke is furious, at first. By the next day his thoughts are clear – Niall might hate his music but Roarke is determined to make the stunning man his. Niall was snarky, rude and blunt but as he gets to know him Roarke sees he would stand by his side and weather anything with him. In order for Niall and he to meld they will need to combine their…Opposing Rhythms.


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Contest:  From the comments below, 1 winner will be selected at random from all the comments and the prize for winner will be an All Romance Ebook – $ 10 ebooks bucks! (must have an account at All Romance Ebook so I can send the prize to you)

The contest will go until 11:59 pm Eastern time on November 30, 2015, so you have time to enter. Please enter an email address when you post your comment below. Once I announce the winner your email is how I confirm I am sending the prize to the person who commented below for the contest.

I will post winner and instructions to claim the prize on December 1, 2015 on my blog here http://taliacarmichael.com/blog.

Good Luck!


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talclogo1Bio: Talia Carmichael is a romantic who believes that family, no matter if it is by blood or those you choose as family, is integral to who you are. She is an author who writes sexy stories in a variety of genres. She believes in creating stories that encompass all that falling in love or lust entails, from the highs of that first blush of attraction to the lows of not knowing if you can make your coming together as a couple work, and then finally to the acceptance of the reality of making a life together. It’s all about the journey.

Among her books you’ll find contemporary, futuristic, fantasy, and paranormal settings with M/M themes that will have a happily-ever-after. Her books are passionate, intense, and real… to fill the craving. Check out more about Talia at http://taliacarmichael.com  or  http://taliacarmichael.com/blog. Contact her at http://taliacarmichael.com/blog/contact

or check her out on facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Talia-Carmichael/247134751977720. Twitter:  @taliacarmichael

Welcome Birthday Guest Amy Lane!

Birthday bash 2016 icon
The short is from The Granby Knitting series, and it features Jeremy.
It’s Aiden’s birthday– but he’s the one who got Jeremy a very special gift. 

The Gift of a Birthday


Jeremy knew when Aiden’s birthday was—the beginning of the fall. The first year Jeremy had come to Granby, Aiden had already been eighteen, but as Jeremy’s stay had grown beyond those first few months, when he lived in Craw’s tack room, and into the years in his own apartment, he’d become part of the family unit that celebrated each birthday as it arrived.  Aiden’s in August, Ariadne’s in September, and Craw’s in November.  For him, as he learned to knit—and mastered his craft—it was like he worked all year for those three months, and then the big payoff in December.

And because he’d been just the help—and because Aiden had been a callow boy who had grown into a strong and able man—it had not occurred to any of the people who loved him most that Jeremy didn’t have a birthday.

Until Aiden turned twenty-four.

Craw and Ben showed up at their house first, since Jeremy had elected to host.  Summer was holding onto it’s heat a little, and he’d had to open all of the windows in the snug little two-story, letting the flowing curtains blow in and out as the wind swept the bowl valley of Granby. Aiden’s mother brought the cake of course, and Aiden’s brothers and sisters showed up too. Aiden’s father took the littlest ones out to go pet the bunnies and chinchillas and such in the outside pen, and Jeremy knew by now that they were gentle with the more tender of the critters.

Rory, Ariadne, and Persephone were almost late for dinner, but then, Ariadne had still, after a year and a half, not gotten the hang of packing the baby bag, her purse, and the yarn bag all together. She’d told Jeremy once that Rory had gotten the hang of packing the baby’s bag and putting it on a chest by the door, so all Ari had to do was grab her keys, wallet-phone, and yarn bag, but still. That baby was toddling around and making all sorts of problems and that was just going to be Ariadne.

So there they were, all of the people Aiden loved best—even Johnny and Stanley who had taken the drive out before the roads got icy in September—and Aiden wasn’t there.

“You don’t know where he is?” Ariadne laughed, bringing the milk to the table with one hand while balancing the baby on on her hip. Jeremy grinned at Persephone who chewed on her teether toy in response. Her lip had been stitched up, but she would still need some surgeries to take the tubes out of her ears and make sure the inside was all matched up to the outside when she was grown enough.

Jeremy didn’t care. She was his shining star right there, and his mother didn’t mind that he called her Persy, even a little.

“I didn’t realize he’d taken the car,” Jeremy said, puzzled. “And Craw’s not here either. I mean, it’s my boy’s birthday—you think he’d be here!”

Jeremy had knitted him boot socks, the kind that came all the way up to his knees and then folded over.  They were thick socks with fine yarn, and handsome clocks ran down the sides.  Jeremy had wanted to buy him something—maybe a new television or a gaming system, even though they didn’t have much money.  He’d thought that maybe Aiden would have grown tired of knitwear after nearly five years, but no, Aiden said he wanted Jeremy’s work and Jeremy wsn’t going to gainsay him.

But Aiden had said nothing about hauling out into the wild blue yonder with Craw as his copilot.

“Ben?” Ariadne called. Ben was sitting in the front room, playing chess with Johnny and losing. It bothered Ben a lot because he was supposed the be the smart engineering guy, but Jeremy could have told him that the organized crime guys could gut you at any game that involved killing time. He should have been relieved at the distraction—or at least amused by Stanley wandering over the house and fawning at all of the hand-knit items that occupied space. Ariadne’s lace valances, Craw’s knitted throws—even the gloves or mittens that could be found pretty much on every flat surface of the house seemed to intrigue him,

Johnny could be heard frequently rumbling things like, “Sure, cupcake, I think you could make that—that’s really pretty knitting there,” with absolute patience.

But Ben did not look relieved.  In fact, he looked a little guilty.

“What?” he asked, focusing on the dog who lay at his feet. “Jeremy, have you brushed Bluebell recently? She is positively shiny!”

Ariadne and Jeremy met eyes, and Ariadne’s crossed her thin arms and cocked her hips.  “What do you know?” she asked, growling a little.

“Nothing,” Ben said with a winning smile.

“You are so lying.” Johnny laughed. “It’s a good thing you’ve been straight your whole life, because you wouldn’t have lasted past puberty in the mob.”

Ben gave him a befuddled look. “I’ve been gay my whole life, and probably not.”

Ariadne started tapping her foot. “Cute, guys. Really cute. Where the hell did Aiden and Craw go—“

“Is dinner ready yet?” Craw demanded, striding in through the door like they hadn’t just been MIA.

“Aiden?” Jeremy said, trying not to be hurt. He was wearing an apron wrapped around his waist and oven mitts on his hands and he was not so free and easy with this whole family thing that he appreciated being all alone there with the entire free world rambling about his house when Aiden was supposed to be the guest of honor.

Aiden walked straight to him and dropped a kiss on his forehead, then took the oven mitts and took over the food prep, ordering everyone into the kitchen to grab a plate and make an assembly line and then go about their business and eat.

Well, everyone was hungry, so it worked.

Food, cake, fun, and then Aiden’s family left and everybody breathed a sigh of relief.  Stanley and Johnny were getting ready to go too, but Aiden called them back into the kitchen.  His gifts still sat on the table—Jeremy’s boot socks in the place of honor, and the basic sweater Craw had knitted out of sturdy yarn, so Aiden could wear it any time and not feel bad if it got dirty. Ariadne had been experimenting with felting, and she’d made him a small area rug for the bedroom, which Jeremy admitted privately was maybe the best thing in the collection—but he wasn’t looking at his gifts now.

“Here,” Aiden said, pulling the chair back for Jeremy and then sitting down himself. “Okay—my family had to go because they do not know all the details of Jeremy and I didn’t want him to be uncomfortable, but everybody here does, and I’ll bet, if you think really carefully, you can figure out what this is about.”

Ben looked at Jeremy with apology in his eyes, and for a moment, Jeremy panicked. “Boy?”

Aiden’s hand on his shoulder settled him down. “Don’t worry, Jer. This is all good.”

“I’m at a loss,” Ariadne said.  Persephone had pitched a giant tantrum over her small slice of cake, and had then fallen promptly asleep on her mother’s shoulder in a mess of chocolate cake and snot. Ariadne claimed her baby daughter was not glued to her shirt, but Jeremy was pretty sure she just liked to hold the baby when she finally went still.

“I have no idea,” Stanley said promptly, propping his chin on his hands. “But this is looking like a murder mystery or something and I love those—do go on.”

Jeremy grinned at him, because he was cute with his little round face and big blue eyes—even cuter now that his hair plugs had totally taken and he had a thick growth of what he called vampire-white hair.

“It is shaping up mysterious,” he said, beaming, and a little more at ease. “Why are we here, boy?”

“To celebrate a birthday,” Aiden said softly.

“We just did that,” Jeremy replied, puzzled and tired. Family gatherings were a lot of effort—he loved them, but he was glad this one was only once a year.

“Not his birthday, love,” Ariadne said, looking suddenly like she got it.

Jeremy looked behind him and Aiden had the balls to wink at her, like she was now in on the secret.

“Well then, whose,” he asked, feeling bad tempered. “Aiden’s August, you’re September, Craw’s November, Ben’s September too, Rory’s March, like Persephone, Stanley and Johnny are both in February which is just scary—who’s birthday are we missing?”

He looked around him and realized that all the members of his family were staring at him in surprise.

“Oh my God,” Johnny said, like something had just occurred to him too. “Jeremy. Do you even know when your birthday is?”

Oh. Jeremy shrugged and pulled out a rusty con-man’s grin. “Well, I’m sure it’s on my driver’s license,” he said, all of his nicely repaired teeth flashing. “I mean, it’s no big—“

“The one on your driver’s license was a lie,” Aiden said, sitting down in the chair next to him. “You told me that yourself.”

Jeremy could feel the heat rising to his face. Everybody in this room knew he was a conman’s son. They all knew he’d been born and raised on the grift, and had gone to prison for it.

They all knew he’d come out and had dedicated his life to two things. One was Aiden, and the other was being honest.

They even knew that much of his personal information had been a lie. He’d kept the name Jeremy Stillson because Jeremy was the only name he remembered, and Stillson had been his identity when he’d gone to prison, so he had a social security number in that name. It was the name that let him get a bank account and earn credit and help Aiden to buy his little house.

But until this moment, he’d thought he’d manage to escape the embarrassment of having them know that he’d never had a birthday party in his life.

“I…”  He looked around uncomfortably. “You know, I don’t want to be a bother—“

“Jeremy, you’ve made us gifts for every birthday celebration we’ve ever had. Did you hate doing that?”

Jeremy smiled into his green eyes, thinking as he always did that Aiden was just so beautiful—even when he was being cranky grumpy and irritated, he was beautiful.

And now he was looking at Jeremy with one of those gentle sort of expressions that told Jeremy he was about to be introduced to a new facet of the an honest man’s life.

“I loved doing that,” he said, remembering how he’d had to work on the boot socks in secret, and how he’d chosen the clocking pattern because it had made the socks not boring as shit to knit.

“Well, you’re being selfish,” Craw said, scratching restlessly at his beard. “Selfish, that’s what it is. Not letting us knit for your birthday.”

Jeremy glared at Aiden. “You gave me mittens on my fake birthday for years,” he complained.

“Yeah, but you wouldn’t let us celebrate with the family, because you said it wasn’t honest.”

Jeremy squirmed in his seat. “Well, yeah—“

“So,” Craw said, “that’s what we were doing. We wanted it today, so you could have some time to prepare.”

“I don’t understand,” Jeremy muttered. “Time to prepare for—“

“For your birthday, dumbass,” Aiden muttered back. “See, remember Rich?”

“Yeah, sure—how’s he doing?”

“Married Mrs. Fullmer’s daughter—they just had a baby. Anyway, he still keeps in touch, and we had him do us a favor.”

Jeremy blinked at him, suddenly unsure if he was going to like this or not. “What… I mean, them’s federal people, Aiden, what sort of—“

Aiden pulled the chair out next to him and sat down, taking both his hands. “Jeremy No-Last-Name,” he said softly, “don’t you want to know when you were born?”

Jeremy caught his breath. He’d never known—it hadn’t mattered. His birthday had been whenever Oscar had found it convenient. Did he need to be fifteen in December? December 12th was his birthday. Did he need to be twelve in March? March the 3rd it was. There had been no parties because there were no friends because you didn’t get friends when you were grifting on the road.

And maybe because he’d never mentioned it—because it had never really occurred to him—he hadn’t had a birthday. He was pretty sure of the year—wasn’t he? The ID he’d had when he’d been arrested and imprisoned had said he was twenty-four at the time, which made him thirty-one now… right?

“Sure,” he said, feeling confused. “Uh, I’m thirty-one, right?”

“Nope,” Aiden said dryly. “Yeah, chew on that, Jeremy.”  He laughed evilly and Jeremy scowled at him. The beginning days of their relationship had, perhaps, been put off a little longer than Aiden might have wished, because Jeremy had been convinced that he was too old for such a bright and shining boy.

“Stop torturing him,” Craw ordered. “You tell him or I will.”

Aiden scowled back at Craw. “No, I’m sorry. Three years we’ve been together, and it comes up at least once a month. ‘I’m too old for you, Aiden. Nine years between us—you should have someone your own age.’”

“I do not sound like that!” Jeremy protested, because Aiden was whining and Jeremy never whined.

“Oh bullshit you don’t,” Aiden shot back. “And it’s been bothering you since we met. And now it’s going to bother you a little less, and I’m fine with that, but I just want you to see that it never should have bothered you at all.”

Jeremy raised an eyebrow. “But… I was twenty-four,” he said, because this he knew to be true. “When I went to prison I was—“

“Twenty-two,” Aiden said, and now his voice was grim. “You were twenty-two when you went to prison, and twenty-four when you got out, which means you turn thirty on October 4th, so there.”  Aiden pulled a brown envelope out of his pocket then, and pulled a piece of paper out of it. What he spread before Jeremy was a birth certificate and while Jeremy didn’t care about the name because the last name was probably from a con anyway, it was the birthday that got his attention.

He gaped at the piece of paper.

“I’m not even thirty yet?”  It was like his entire brain had gone exploded in sunshine and chicken feathers. How could that be?

“Nope.”  Aiden grinned, evil as sin, the darkness that once only Jeremy knew was there on display for all to see. “And it’s not nine years between us, it’s seven, and you know what? For all you know it could have been five. Or nothing. So could you leave it alone now?”

“I’m not even thirty?”  Jeremy’s voice pitched, and he felt a little bit of panic seep in. His boy knew him though—his high-triumph faded, and he stroked the side of Jeremy’s face.

“Nope,” he said kindly. “Is that going to be a problem?”

Jeremy just shook his head, still flummoxed. “It’s just…”  He thought of it all. The being a conman, the going to prison, the getting out and going straight. Coming to Craw’s place, and meeting Aiden. The three years of getting to know himself, getting to be an honest man, and then getting beaten to a pulp to save Stanley—and the recovery that healed them all.  “It’s just…” his voice quavered. “It’s been a lot of living in thirty years.”

Aiden’s thumb wiped moisture from his cheek, and Aiden’s lips followed. “Yeah,” he said softly. “A lot of living, Jer. So, in October, let’s say we celebrate that, you think?”

“A party?” Stanley chirped, unmindful of the tenderness between them. “Yes—absolutely. My treat. A party. Johnny and I will plan it, is that okay, Johnny?”  Stanley paused. “Johnny?”

Johnny was looking decidedly uncomfortable.  “Uh, yeah, sure, Stanley. We can definitely help plan Jeremy’s birthday party. That will be awesome.”  He smiled greenly at Jeremy. “I’d like that.”

And then Jeremy remembered. Johnny and he—before the arrest, and prison, and Craw’s, and Aiden—they’d had a blowjob and a kiss.

And Johnny had been well into his thirties.

For no reason at all, Jeremy started laughing.

The rest of the family hugged him and made promises of plans later, and Jeremy spent much of the time pondering, a little stunned.

Aiden saw their guests out—with help from Bluebell who was the size of a human and probably looked like Aiden’s significant other in the lowering summer twilight—and then came to pour him a cup of coffee and sit in the yellow light of the kitchen.

“Still poleaxed?” he asked, amused.

Jeremy glred at him. “What in the hell made you decide to—“

Aiden’s amusement faded. “I wanted to celebrate you,” he said. “And I felt foolish—it wasn’t until you started planning this shindig here that it really hit me. We never knew. Even Craw felt bad when I brought it up. You never said, ‘Today’s my birthday’—it’s such a simple part of us, and you never had that.”

“It was always a lie,” Jeremy said, surprised. He’d never even thought to bring it up.

“It’s not anymore.”  Aiden’s eyes—mysterious green and oh-so pretty—rested on Jeremy’s face, and when he looked like that, Jeremy forgot about the scars from the beating and about the fact that he was older. Aiden loved him, and he’d be young and beautiful forever.

He smiled back, shyly. “Nope.”

Aiden squeezed his knee and whispered in his ear. “Want to celebrate a little early?”

Oh yeah.

They were on their way up the stairs to the bedroom, Aiden’s hands relentless in the quest for more of Jeremy’s skin, when Aiden brought it up.

“So—what was Johnny’s problem? He looked really put out when he found out how old you were.”

Jeremy couldn’t stop a chortle. “Well, you know how me and Johnny—“

“A blowjob,” Aiden said dryly, because yes, this was well covered territory. “A blowjob and a kiss.”

“It was the blowjob and the kiss that saved my life, so don’t discount it,” Jeremy said tartly, “But yes. Anyway… see… Johnny’s turning forty this year and—“

Aiden started chuckling. “And oh my God.”

Jeremy had to smile.  “Yup.”

Jeremy—you were the younger man!”

The thought made him giggle—right up until they got to the bedroom and Aiden’s mouth and his hands got serious.

Yeah, it was going to be a bit of a stretch, wrapping his brain around having a birthday like a real person.  Especially when he was finally coming to understand that age was just a state of mind.



Dreamspinner Press

Quentin Heart – Day 26

Quentin Heart 400

“Let me make a phone call.” Jaks pulled out his phone as he walked out of the hospital room.

“Are you sure about this?” Quentin couldn’t imagine her as a vampire but he didn’t want to imagine her dead even more.

“Yes. I want to stick around and see your life with Mr. Jakinson and see you be the man you were meant to be. Life hasn’t always been easy. This would give me a second chance.” Her voice might be shaky with exhaustion but her eyes told the truth. She really did want to be transformed.

Quentin held her right hand between his. “If this is what you want, then this is what you’ll get.”

“We need to take her back to my house,” Jaks said. “We have the ability to change her there.”

“You can’t transform me in a hospital?” Quentin’s mother asked.

“No. They won’t know all the procedures. Besides, this way we can have another member of my coven change you.”

“You don’t want to do it?” she asked.

“I don’t think you want your son’s lover to be your vampire sire do you?”

Quentin’s mother appeared to think it over for a few minutes. “No, I guess not.”

“Quentin, can you teleport us back to my house?”

“Yeah, not a problem but is it safe?” Between the storeroom and the bomb Jaks’ home wasn’t exactly safe.

“I’ll have my most trusted men taking care of your mother. We can leave again once we make sure she’s settled.”

Quentin didn’t know what to say about Jaks naiveté. Anyone who’d seen at least one century mark shouldn’t believe things would magically work out. “Do you want to get dressed first, mom? Or do you want to wear your snazzy gown that ties in the back.”

“I’d prefer to dress but I don’t think I have the energy to change,” she confessed.

Quentin concentrated on his mother’s close. With a wave of his hand he transformed them into a pair of jeans and his mother’s favorite gypsy shirt.

“Nice.” She smiled at him.

“Are we all set now?” Jaks asked. Although the vampire smiled Quentin could hear the impatience in his tone.

“Yes.” Quentin wrapped a hand around each of their wrists. They were soon in Jaks entryway. “You really need to put a blocking spell to stop teleporters from coming this close.”

Anyone could’ve breached Jaks flimsy defenses. He dropped the subject when Jaks glared at him.

“He’s right. You should make sure Quentin can’t just pop in. You should make him use the front door.” Quentin’s mother smiled.

Quentin shook his head at her. “Who’s doing the transformation?”


“Really?” Quentin didn’t get the impression the vampire particularly liked him.

“He’s one of the few I’d trust with your mother.”

Quentin didn’t think that said good things about Jaks’s trust in his people. The vampire in question stomped down the stairs. The scowl vanished from Braed’s face when he spotted Quentin’s mom.

“Hello beautiful.”

“Um, hello.” Quentin had never seen his mother blush before.

“Braed this is Trina Heart my mate’s mother and the woman you agreed to transform.”

“My pleasure Trina,” Braed took her hand and kissed the back of it. “I look forward to showing you the vampire way.”

“That’s not all he wants to show her,” Quentin muttered.

Braed flickered a glance over to Quentin but didn’t say anything. No doubt keeping in mind he was flirting with Quentin’s mother.

“What do we need to do?” Quentin asked.

“Nothing. You two get out of here before you are attacked again. I’ll take care of your mother,” Braed said.

“Attacked!” His mother said.

“Thanks.” Quentin glared at Braed. “We’ll talk after you are vampirized.”

“Vampirized?” Jaks asked.

“Transformed, whatever,” Quentin waved a hand indicating all encompassing vampirization.

“It is a sacred change from human to vampire,” Braed said, scowling.

“If it was so sacred how come Glenn was abandoned?”

“We’re still looking into that,” Jaks reassured him.

“How is he?” Quentin asked.

“I’m fine!” Glenn rushed down the stairs, his gait smooth and unnaturally graceful. He threw himself into Quentin’s arms. Before Quentin could object Glenn lifted him up and spun him around. He yelped when Jaks snatched him back.

“Keep your hands off my man,” Jaks said, his tone low and dangerous.

Glenn blinked at him a moment as if not understanding the issue. “Quentin, when did you get together with Mr. Tall, Dark and Growly?”

Quentin couldn’t stop the smile spreading across his cheeks. Glenn was healthy and still as perky as ever. “You know how it is get a lab, a grant, a vampire.”

Jaks pinched Quentin’s ass making him squeak.

Glenn laughed. “I see he knows how to keep you in line.”

“Glenn! How was it?” Ms. Heart asked.

“Incredibly painful at first then it fades to a low ache. I feel really good today. They let me drink some wizard blood. It didn’t seem much stronger than regular, I bet it wasn’t yours,” Glenn said staring at Quentin.

“Quentin’s blood will never be your problem,” Jaks said. He wrapped an arm around Quentin’s waist and stared the smaller vampire down.

“Okay buddy, I get it. Keep my hands off the pretty wizard.”

Quentin sighed. He was quickly becoming tired of being the bone of contention Jaks gnawed on when anyone got too close.

“Keep us informed,” Jaks said.

Quentin hated the idea of leaving his mother, but with the way Braed was eyeing her she’d be safe.