QSFer Pelaam has a new gay/poly paranormal shifter romance out: “Cinis.”
When Valentine’s sire is forced to take a mate by his Clan leader, Valentine is reduced to stoking the castle’s furnaces as nothing more than a cindered servant to the new matriarch. With his sire Libertine incarcerated and Valentine forced to wear a cursed collar, there seems no way to escape Belladonna’s hold on them.
When a stranger appears, Valentine is surprised by how quickly he trusts the other vampire. He accepts the request to go to the castle of his Clan Lord, the ancient and powerful Hades, to uncover who is working to overthrow him. His reward is freedom for both him and his sire.
No one is meant to know who he really is, and Valentine pretends he’s one of Hades’ favorites while in the castle, adopting the name Cinder and playing his Seductive nature to its full.
But his world is shaken to its core when Valentine finds himself falling for the enigmatic Cole. As a Seductive, Valentine never imagined he’d want an Alpha Predator as a mate. Worse yet, it may be that Cole could be the very one he’s been sent to uncover.
When the battle for dominance begins, where will Valentine’s loyalty lie?
m/m/m inferred, cross dressing
The night was bitterly cold and thick with fog which, when mixed with the city’s smoke and steam, created the alternative world of twilight and shadows that Valentine particularly enjoyed. The few people still out on the streets, and who scurried quickly passed him, were bundled up warmly and kept their heads down.
If they’d looked up, they might have noticed that, unlike with their own breath in the frigid air, no clouds of vapor passed his lips. Which was hardly surprising. Since Valentine didn’t breathe.
Dressed in his preferred black for an outdoors excursion, from his shiny shoes, in which he couldn’t see his reflection, to his goggle-adorned black silk topper, Valentine strolled at half the pace of those around him.
Pausing every now and then to stop and look up, Valentine was disappointed to see that the moon was now well-hidden by the smog covering the city. He stepped back to peruse the passers-by and pursed his lips. With their heads down, and faces muffled by thick scarves, the pickings are thin. I won’t do well if I stay here.
A smile curved Valentine’s lips as an idea popped into his head and he crossed the cobble stones as a clockwork carriage clicked its way down the street, to walk down a less well-frequented alleyway.
Lifting his head, Valentine sniffed the air. The smell of the sea was growing stronger, as was cheap perfume, and gin. Valentine grinned. Much more promising. Adding a sway to his hips, Valentine gazed around.
Occasionally a lady emerged from the shadows, but on seeing the way he sashayed along, she slipped back into the darkness. Valentine’s grin widened. Perfect. It didn’t take long for a sailor to come in the opposite direction, his own gait unsteady. He came to a rocking stop in front of Valentine.
“Strange place fer a toff like you to be ain’t it?” He leaned in close to stare into Valentine’s face. “Way ye was walkin’ I wasn’t even sure ye weren’t a woman dressed as a man. Are ye?”
“Would you like to find out?” Valentine purred the words, catching the immediate scent of drunken arousal, and pulled the sailor into an alcove.
The man groped Valentine, who let him know he was indeed, fully male, then pushed him firmly against the brick wall. He gazed into the man’s eyes and the sailor moaned and writhed as if Valentine was touching him. Then he let his head drop back, exposing his throat.
With a smile, and a lick of his lips, Valentine ignored the offering, and instead sunk his teeth into the man’s wrist. The sailor shuddered as Valentine fed. A moment later, Valentine closed the wounds with a few licks, dabbed his lips, and pressed a kiss to the still-dazed sailor’s stubbled cheek.
“Thank you.” Valentine became as insubstantial as the fog around him and headed home.
Valentine didn’t materialize until closer to home, opting to take a walk through the nearby cemetery. He wandered slowly through, pausing now and then to gaze at the inscriptions on gravestones and sepulchers. It was sad to see some of the brief flashes of existence those interred had lived.
He was well aware that Seductives like himself and his father, Libertine, were regarded as too soft by many vampires. However, he couldn’t imagine being one of the ruthless Alpha Predators, and no one associated with the Ferals. The Aristos kept very much to themselves, much like his own kind.
Libertine had a high standing in the clan and was well-respected, despite being a Seductive. Although Valentine always felt uneasy anywhere near their very Alpha Predator clan leader. He shrugged it off. It’s just that he’s so different from Father.
“Hey, pretty. Looking for a good time?”
“No thank you.” Valentine kept walking even as a figure peeled away from the shadows alongside a tomb.
“I can show you a real beast of a time.” The man stepped in front of Valentine, the light of the moon illuminating him as he shifted into a large werewolf with jet black fur, and a maw of long, sharp teeth.
Living in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a best-selling, multi-published author of M/M romance and erotica across time and space.
When not writing she can be found indulging in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation