QSFer Michael Mandrake has a new MM paranormal book out in his Vale Valley series: Breakable Faith.
One night equals a test of faith for Father Lance…
Trouble always finds Mateo and he’s succumbed to it several times with or without help. However, after running with the wrong kinds of people, he’s decided to turn a new leaf. His attention to detail lands him a job as a tattoo artist, making people’s dreams come true through body art. With this steady gig and his grandmother’s support, Mateo is convinced he can live mostly anxiety free.
Father Lance has always suppressed his needs to care for others. The older alpha is Vale’s most handsome and available bachelor, but Lance has no interest in hooking up. Instead, he puts all his energies into his church. Although loneliness is a constant partner, Lance refuses to let it stand in the way of his goal.
One wintery night, Lance spots a man in need of assistance and immediately calls for help. Despite Lance’s instincts crying out to the victim, he ignores those desires.
As he’s being rushed to the emergency room, Mateo feels his destined mate near. Once he recovers, he’s determined to find his forever partner to build the relationship that will stabilize the young omega’s life.
Warning: On page violence and a near death experience. This story is set in an omegaverse with the possibility of male pregnancy.
Breakable Faith is the eighth book in a multi-author series about Vale Valley, a small town open to everyone in need of love and a home. This story features a tattooed omega that has the hots for the priest. Naughtiness and general unholy thoughts are the running theme in this book. Be prepared to clutch your rosary and have a fan nearby.
Michael is giving away an eBook copy of his Immortals box set with this post – comment below for a chance to win.
While working on the church’s books, I could’ve sworn I’d heard something.
Was it someone knocking?
Couldn’t be at this late hour. I went back to writing single numbers in the donation spots. Though there weren’t as many, I appreciated them all. Still, they wouldn’t be enough to keep Holy Father open much longer.
I raised my head and removed my reading glasses. Although I wasn’t of senior age yet, I needed them because I had trouble reading small print. Just another part of growing old I supposed. Alpha didn’t mean I’d be free from health problems.
Again, the noise sounded, and I got up. My instincts perked, meaning something had to be going on. I left my office and sprinted down the aisle to the large doors leading to the grand entrance. When I turned the knob, a body fell at my feet.
“Oh my God.” After I made the sign of the cross, I pulled it open. “You must be freezing. I… oh…” Just as I tried to grab the young man, I noticed him bleeding from the mouth and a couple of other places. Despite that, I had to do my best to get him in.
Without thinking, I dragged him inside by his jacket. Not knowing the full extent of his injuries, I tried my best to be careful. I didn’t know if a wolf or some other kind of animal had bitten him, but the wounds looked pretty bad.
After closing the door, I put my hand on his throat to check for a pulse. Thank goodness, he was still alive. Quickly, I plucked my cell phone from my pocket and dialed 0. As I waited for the operator to pick up, I ran to my office, grabbing the throw blanket one of my few patrons had made for me.
“Yes, hello? I need an ambulance at Holy Father. Please hurry! A young man here needs medical attention.”
I rushed back, tossing the cover over him to keep him warm. Thankfully the church’s heat was at a high temperature. With so few people inside, I had to turn it up.
“Yes, Father. We’ll be there as soon as we can.” The voice sounded friendly.
“Thank you, ma’am.”
“Anytime Father. See you at church on Sunday.”
“Yes, you will. Thank you.” I smiled and disconnected the call. I shoved the phone back in my pocket and leaned down to look at the young man’s body.
“Oh my God. These look like punctures.” Before I came to Vale, I worked as a hospital chaplain in Boston. There, I’d seen everything from stabbing and gunshot wounds to animal shifter bites. Unfortunately, on many instances, I was giving last rites to victims of violence. Just one of the reasons I’d left the big city for the peace and quiet of Vale Valley.
“Now, you just hold on, okay?” I grabbed my handkerchief and applied pressure to the wound closest to his heart. Unfortunately, I didn’t have gloves handy to do more. With my other hand, I took his and massaged the back of it with my thumb. I probably should’ve removed his coat, but I wasn’t sure how deep his wounds were.
“Who did this to you? It had to be some tourist, right? You poor soul.” I moved his fingers around to try to keep them warm.
“Ye… llo…” He whispered. He blinked a couple of times, obviously fading in and out of consciousness.
“Who is that? An enemy?”
“Yes… he… he can’t get near Momma. Pl… please help.”
“Don’t worry yourself. Just stay calm. The ambulance will be here soon.”
As I tried encouraging him, my heart rate crept up, making me lose my breath. For whatever reason, I’d felt disoriented. My pulse quickened, and my mouth was as dry as a desert.
What in God’s name is happening?
Despite these feelings I had to stay relaxed. If he saw me panicking, it would affect him too. First, he needed comfort.
“They’ll be here soon, okay? You’re going to be fine.” Instinctively, I rubbed his forehead. Despite the cold he was burning up. I hoped that meant his body was fighting off infection.
In a matter of moments, sirens blared from outside. I leaned forward, opening the door for the medics to come in.
A knock sounded, then a young gentleman with blond hair dashed in. “Father Mulroney? What can we do for you?”
“It’s not me. This young man needs help. It looks as if he’s been stabbed.”
“What? Here?” The man yelled back, to his partners about getting something to treat stab wounds. “How? Nothing like this ever happens in Vale.”
“Well it has. He was on the church steps. Thankfully I heard him, or he might not be alive.”
The medic nodded. “You’re right.” He snapped gloves on. “Okay, we’ll take it from here.”
“I’d like to accompany him, if that’s alright. I haven’t checked him for identification because I didn’t want to move him too much.” I did not understand why, but I felt this magnetic pull towards him.
“Sure sure. Just like you, Father to take care of lost souls, huh?” The EMT grinned.
Other medics rushed in with a stretcher and medical supplies.
Letting go of the young, wounded man’s hand, I smiled wryly, knowing there was something about this one that drew me to him. Still feeling weary, I slowly rose to my feet. “Yes, I suppose it is.”
Michael Mandrake pens complex characters already comfortable with their sexuality. Through these, he builds worlds not centered on romance but rather the mainstream and/or obscure plots we might encounter in everyday life and beyond.
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