Nat Kennedy has a new MM contemporary fantasy romance out (gay, bi): Blooded.
A broken mage. A penitent vampire. Can they put aside the horrors of the past to save each other?
Plagued with erratic. volatile magic, Nicodemus Green focuses his entire life to stop an evil sorcerer who brainwashes or kills anyone in his path to domination. Ten years into this crusade, Nick stumbles upon his former Academy instructor in the Austrian Alps. The strict and pious Byron Domitius has cloistered himself in an isolated manor. Alone and starving, he hates the twisted, damned creature he has become.
A prophecy calls for Nick and Byron to bond by blood to finally bring an end to the sorcerer’s hidden agenda. The two are forced to see beyond their shared past, and Nick finds himself desiring more from his old instructor than just his magic. But are these emotions real, or do they come from the heat of their bond?
Overhead, the stars twinkled like a Van Gogh painting, swirls of light and song. Byron and Samson lay on a Pendleton woolen blanket at the center of the standing stones in Iowa, enjoying the night sky and each other.
“And what’s that one?” Samson asked, pointing up with his long arm.
Byron traced Samson’s finger to a cluster of stars. He chuckled warmly. “Now you’re just pointing at anything. Lyra’s there, see that boxy one, like a kite?”
Samson hummed, almost a purr, as Byron shuffled closer to his side. A satellite arced overhead, steady and faint amidst the blazing stars. He was lying on one of Samson’s outstretched wings, the feathers soft and cushioning against the ground. It was fall, and he’d forgotten to take his coat, but he was warm in Samson’s embrace.
Byron propped himself up on an elbow and leaned over him. They stared at each other a moment, Samson’s eyes dark but the shadow of his smile visible in the night.
“Thank you for stargazing with me,” Byron said, low and quiet, running a finger along the rachis of a feather, careful not to muss the barbs.
Samson would be leaving soon, but only for a few weeks. He was called to do good things, to help people, and Byron vowed never to hold him back.
Samson raised his shoulders and settled his lips against Byron’s. They held there, in a captured moment, a memory in a thick photo album of treasured memories, one that Byron would never forget. It would carry him on. Even now, it carried him.
It was only a memory. Delicate. Destroyed by hauntings.
“Get out, you leech!” the ghost screamed at Byron, yanking him from the balm of Samson’s kiss.
This was his reality, and it had become a daily ritual. A ritual he could do without. She would berate him, scream at him, tell him to leave, compare his existence to that of the mold that so ruthlessly invaded the plaster. It’s almost like marriage, he thought uncharitably. He rarely spoke aloud. He hated the sound of his cracked and gnarly voice, too unwelcome. Well, with nobody to talk to but an insane ghost, speaking aloud could only reflect unfavorably on his own level of sanity.
Nat Kennedy writes fantasy fiction of all kinds. She strives to create engaging, plotty romantic stories. In her worlds, Heroes abound. She lives in the Pacific Northwest where the rain keeps the world green. Find her online at natkennedy.com or on IG natkennedybooks.