Benjamin Carpenter is a practicing witch from an ancient clan. Thomas Nighthawk is his lover, a 300-year-old vampire who longs to be human. The two of them have been together for eight years and love each other deeply. Unfortunately, their physical love is hampered by the instinctive bloodlust in Thomas’ psyche, where the approach of orgasm unleashes the demon within.
When Benjamin hears about someone who has developed a cure that carves out the demon while preserving the man, he knows he needs to do whatever it takes to get the magic potion to bring his beloved new life. However, the cure-keeper does not want to be found, and other forces of darkness want to keep the cure from spreading. Will Benjamin’s quest to bring Thomas back to life actually get them both killed?
Benjamin Carpenter winced in pain as he climbed the stairwell to get to the roof. His left hand held on to the railing. His right hand cradled the side of his neck as blood trickled across his fingers. His neck hurt where the two puncture wounds were, and he felt nauseated, possibly from the loss of blood. All through this, one thought raced around in his mind…
I can't believe Thomas bit me!
All Benjamin had wanted to do was help cure his boyfriend. Thomas Nighthawk was a vampire who had lost his mortality in 1699, and he had spent more than three hundred years living in the darkness, hoping to find someone to spend eternity with. However, Thomas had wished, more than anything, to eventually find a way to regain his mortality. In the last eight years, it was the one thing Benjamin had heard more than anything else, aside from "I love you."READ MORE
Benjamin thought he had found the cure. It was supposed to be a simple potion that drove the demon out of Thomas and let his human side resurface. The professor who developed it had promised it would work. What went wrong?
As he reached the roof, Benjamin looked toward the road. He knew he did not have a lot of time to figure out his next move. He wasn't sure if he had enough strength to make it back to the Jeep. The blood loss was taking its toll. If Benjamin could not get it under control, he was going to die. Unfortunately, the one person who could help him was gone.
Benjamin sat down on the roof, partially to conceal himself but mostly to conserve his strength. He had to get himself in order, and fast. Thomas had completely lost his mind. Besides having Thomas to contend with, a cadre of vampires was hunting for Benjamin to keep him from telling the secret of the cure to anyone else. The news of a cure for vampirism was not the sort of thing you wanted to hear while you were having someone for dinner. It gave the dark princes a reason to break out in a cold sweat that didn't involve threats of a natural tan or getting a dead redwood shoved through the heart.
A sharp pain in the abdomen caused Benjamin to double over as it took everything he had not to cry out. He pulled up his shirt and saw a deep, purple bruise on the left side near his rib cage. Damn, I must have broken a couple, he thought. Benjamin figured it happened when one of the vampires threw him against a wall. It must have been the adrenaline rush that kept him from feeling the pain before.
Benjamin looked at his watch. It read 2:05. The sun would not be up for over four hours. There was no way he could fend off a bunch of vampires on his own, although he had a significant advantage over most people. A practicing witch among a magical family dating back centuries, Benjamin had certain powers he could draw from. He had the ability to conjure up fireballs, which came in handy during the battle with the cadre. He used it to take out four of those bloodsuckers, including the one who broke his ribs. However, there were at least thirty vampires looking for him. It was unlikely he could roast all of them.
Reaching into the inside pocket of his jacket, Benjamin pulled out a wooden stake. One stake and a few orbs of flame. Things are looking up, he thought. He stood up, knowing it would be better to stand than sit, should he be ambushed. Benjamin stared at the sharp piece of wood he held in his hands. He wasn't so worried about using it on an evil creature. His concern was whether he had the courage to use it on the man he loved.
Something had gone awry back at the laboratory. Benjamin and Thomas were just supposed to find the cure and leave, but the best laid plans of mice and men had been shattered when the vampires attacked. One moment, the two of them had been fighting the vampires off, and then suddenly, Thomas' eyes had gone red, and he grabbed Benjamin, plunging his fangs deep into Benjamin’s neck.
Benjamin wasn't going to turn into a vampire; he knew that much. In order for a vampire to turn someone, the victim had to be drained of almost all of his blood, save for a small amount that would have to intermingle with the vampire's own plasma. Benjamin had managed enough strength, even as he had felt the life draining out of him, to punch Thomas. This had dazed him long enough for Benjamin to get out of the room.
Even though his side hurt and he was feeling lightheaded from the blood loss, Benjamin knew he had to start moving again. Staying in one place would make it easier for him to get caught, and there were limited places to hide on the roof. He just needed to make it to the parking garage, and then he could get in the Jeep and make his escape. The trick was getting there without being spotted.
Benjamin walked to the edge and looked at the ladder he would have to use to climb down. All of a sudden, he felt dizzy, and his vision blurred.
"No!" he said aloud, trying to prop himself up again. "You are not going to die and let yourself be used for some monster's pleasure. Benjamin Carpenter is not a quitter. Never has been. Never will be."
Summoning up more strength than he ever thought possible, Benjamin slowly started to climb down the ladder, with the stake still in his hand just in case. He wished Kenda were here right now. She'd be able to take care of his injuries with no problem. Kenda wasn't here, though. In fact, Kenda was more than an hour away right now. He could only depend on himself to get away. If he could get to the Jeep, he thought he might be able to drive to the hospital and get the help he needed.
As Benjamin reached the bottom of the ladder, he heard a fierce growling that was all too familiar to him. He spun around.
"Oh, my God."