The Family

Book 1: Liam

Late starter Liam Corchoran struggles with college from the beginning; he’s used to a life fueled by books and early morning chores, not alcohol and sex. His roommate is a cocky city kid he couldn’t be less interested in, his best friend and family are a hundred miles away, and he’s ever so emo about life in general.

His roommate Gianni Fiorenza never struggles with anything but boredom: the chief difficulty in the life of a vicious, century old vampire. He’d expected this College Experiment to keep him amused for at least a semester, but after a barely month he’s ready to fling himself into lake Erie.

It begins as pure entertainment, a provisional friendship. Then it turns into a challenge. Then something very much like love, at times indistinguishable from hate. It’s a love story for monsters, and the beginning of something that will affect their lives, families, friends, and world forever.

Which, for a vampire, is a hell of a long time.

See below for excerpts, or check out Vampire Science With Professor Giuseppe or this interview at Night Owl for an extra little bite.

Coming from Belfire Press in 2012.

Liam Corchoran as drawn by Corinne Duyvis

“You know I was fucking with you at the party, yes? I wanted you to want me.”

I blinked. He–

But–

“I wanted you to suffer, but I’m afraid it’s backfired. You do want me though, yes?”

I–Jesus, I didn’t even know what that meant. I wanted to hit him, not fuck him.

This time he stepped closer, slipped an arm around my waist and sidled up to me just like he had on the dance floor. His fingers, his shirt cool against my skin, way more familiar than they should’ve been. That spicy scent and the outdoors on his clothes, and it was like being caught in some gravitational field. Heat spread out from my middle, and my blood rushed hard.

But I still wanted to hit him. The weird incongruity of reactions was impossible and fearsome.

“Just let me hear you say it.” His fingers traced my collar bone. “And I’ll give you what you want.”

“What’s that?”

He flattened his palm against my neck, as if feeling my pulse with it. His voice grew lower and rougher, and his eyelids drooped. “You don’t remember what we talked about?”

He knew I did, though. I swallowed hard. “This isn’t hypothetical anymore.”

He smiled for the first time since he’d come through the door. Now I saw what was wrong with it, why he reminded me of the Big Bad Wolf. The canines were sharp and too long, gleaming little daggers in his mouth.

This was at once shocking and oddly predictable.

He said, “It never was.”

There was no logic in my world just then. I wasn’t convinced any of it was real, and how could I be? I smiled back, still desperately wanting to throw him up against the nearest wall and–

Well, there it got a little unclear.

“How?” I asked.

“I’ll make you like me.” His hand still flat in the crook of my neck, he ran the pad of his thumb up my exposed throat.

I shivered.

He took a deep breath, chest rising and falling so near to mine. “Christ, the smell of it. It’s fucking torture. You can’t blame me for wanting to make you understand…”

I opened my mouth to express confusion. Nothing came out.

“I surrender. Just let me hear it.”

God, that mouth made my head spin. Everything paused, the silence around us crystallizing into separate, perfect sensations. Gianni leaning forward, breathing against my cheek. His hand reluctantly releasing my throat, slipping downward, fingers hooking into my jeans. The thrill of something awful and vicious in all of it. The buzzing in my head that clouded everything but this one second, this one completely stupid thing that I was about to do.

 


 

Gianni glanced at me pointedly, eyes wide and tapping his temple.

That look didn’t leave much room for argument. I opened up.

There are vampires in there.

I grimaced, sorting out his high frequency buzz from the throng of human frequencies, his thought flooding my mind. Felt so close, like our brains were touching–

Wait. What? He couldn’t mean– vampires?

Listen. He looked at the door hard.

I did, and–Shit. There were a lot of vampires in there. Five or six, at least. The place buzzed like a beehive.

I looked back to Gianni, my blood pressure skyrocketing. What the fuck?

He shook his head; I felt his confusion clearly.

A huge guy in a biker coat opened the door and stared at us for a few seconds. Then he looked down at Aldo and stepped aside.

“Thanks, Gar.” Al motioned for us to follow.

I tried to keep my bearings. The vampires crawled all over the place, their minds open books. What I was getting from Gianni was ordered, careful. The others were cluttered and transparent, pure thought and feral emotion roiling like storm clouds.

I followed Aldo closely, barely resisting an urge to take his hand and pull him out the other way. Are they in the club?

Yes, seven of them at the moment, untrained and open– they don’t even know we’re here. For Aldo’s sake, we had better figure out what the hell is happening here.

The music thudded up through my boots as we shuffled into a cramped corridor, back into the belly of the building. A heavy oak door at the far end vibrated with the noise. The bouncer closed the door that led back onto the street, trapping us inside.

Hot-headed. I wanted to light something on fire.

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