QSFer Liv Rancourt has a new MM Paranormal book out: Soulmates.
Fusing coppper, gold, and moonlight creates the strongest bond.
Trajan Gall is ready to meet the sun. The vampire has spent two years mourning a lost love, but he can’t refuse his maker one last assignment. Babysitting some VIP’s kid is hardly worth his effort.
Until he gets an eyeful of David.
Spring break in LA is werewolf David Collins’s last chance to do whatever the hell he wants. Graduation in June will be his first step into the family machine, and with one week to paint the town red, he’s aiming to do it in neon and glitter.
David’s father is the American Alpha, and something – some rumor or instinct or parental discretion – prompts Dad to hire a vampire to keep his heir out of trouble. Good thing. The shooting starts before David reaches his Sunset Beach hotel.
The danger chasing David – not to mention the white hot sparks that fly between them – give Trajan a much-needed jolt of life. When Trajan’s past roars back in a way that won’t be denied, the three of them must find a way to bridge past and present or David won’t have any future at all.
A PHONE CALL stops me from walking into the sun. I’m poised at the sliding door to my west lanai, one hand on the blackout curtains. It would be so easy to step outside onto the small deck overlooking the ocean. To revel in the momentary torment as my body burns to ash.
Instead, I’m awash with…annoyance.
The phone rings again. For the moment, I’m too caught up in feeling to answer. My skin crawls with irritation; not the same as the fear I’d been chasing, but enough to prove I’m alive.
If there’s one thing my long, long life has taught me, it’s that living is the only thing. To die is to drop into the void, and while I may play games with the prospect, I’ll never go willingly. The possibility, though, scrapes along my nerve endings, sensation fighting the murk surrounding me.
Another chime, and this time I pick up the phone. The screen shows me the name. Jacques Bettencourt, my maker. Our paths first crossed in New Orleans around 1875. He turned me, taught me, and for years I was his right-hand man. Over time he made other children and I took on projects of my own. Still, I owe him a nightclub, some real estate, and this twelfth-floor condominium where walls of glass give me a view of everything.
Our relationship has had 145 years to get complicated, though, and I answer the phone reluctantly. The sound of his voice, the normalcy of his call, will surely drag me down. “What can I do for you?”
“Well, hello, Trajan.” Jacques’s voice teases, as if he knows I’m standing at the edge of the pit and has deliberately called to draw me back. “How’s every little thing?”
Every little thing weighs heavy on my soul. “I’m fine.”
“Great. That’s just swell.” He coughs, a remnant of the consumption that nearly killed him before he left his mortal life.
I give him a moment to get his breath back. “Was there something—”
“Of course there’s something,” he snaps.
His rapid shifts from lighthearted to angry have long ceased to startle me.
“Be here an hour after sunset.”
“Certainly.” I keep my tone even. After so many years as his puppet, it’s no good to try to cut the strings now. I end the call and stand for a moment longer, fingering the heavy rope holding the drapes together.
Blocking out the sun.
In the end, I obey my maker. My various business interests run with minimal personal attention, but I cannot delegate this task. Jacques lives on Mulholland Drive in the kind of house that’s too expensive to ever be put up for sale. A map might say it’s fifteen miles from me, but LA traffic can swallow an hour with very little effort. I’ll need to leave as soon as I can stand the light.
I run a hand through my hair. Stringy. Greasy. How long has it been since I showered? Long enough that I’ll have to hurry.
I leave the temptation of the lanai doors. My living room has high ceilings and a stone fireplace dividing the dining area from the rest of the space. The colors are bland except for the dark wood floor and the rough stone. I like to watch the lights as the neighborhood shifts from day to night. From my bedroom, I can watch the sun rise, teasing myself by standing on the small lanai until the eastern edge of the sky turns from plum to lavender to rose.
I play this game a lot, because when Connor left, all my joy followed.
It’s strange how loss works. One moment I’m engulfed in darkness, and the next I’m staring into the mirror, wondering if I’ve used enough product on my hair. Shallow fucker. Black suit, black shirt, black tie, slicked hair, and sunglasses. Yeah, I look every inch the hit man. I grimace, baring my canines. Haven’t needed a gun since the turn of the century. The last century.
On a whim, I put on a ring I’d won playing seven-card stud in about 1902. It’s a nugget of gold the size of a walnut, mounted on a thick band. I keep it in a small safe hidden in an old printer along with a tidy collection of deeds and stock certificates. The only person who would hide a safe inside a printer is a paranoid vampire who doesn’t own a computer.
The weight of the ring on my hand steadies me. There. I’m ready to go.
In March, the sun sets at around seven o’clock. At ten minutes after eight, I park my Escalade in front of a secluded Spanish-style compound, made more private by a riot of foliage concealing the house from the street. It satisfies Jacques’s perversity to pay gardeners to create something he’ll never see in the daylight.
I pause, testing the air. Evil has a scent, though even the worst humans rarely disturb me. They’re too easy to take down. I pay attention to weres and shifters because they can be trouble. Some of the lesser magicals, like harpies, revenants, and pixies, are a pain in the ass, but it’s the necromancers and demons I really have to watch out for. Necromancers play with the dead, which makes me vulnerable in a way I have trouble counteracting. And demons? Jesus, just keep me away from the spawn of Satan.
All the way up his long driveway, I vow to listen to Jacques’s line of bullshit and leave without making promises.
Liv Rancourt writes romance of all kinds. Because love is love, even with fangs.
Liv is a huge fan of paranormal romance and urban fantasy and loves history just as much, so her stories often feature vampires or magic or they’re set in the past…or all of the above. When Liv isn’t writing she takes care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether she’s at work or at home. Her husband is a soul of patience, her kids are her pride and joy, and her dogs – Trash Panda and The Boy Genius – are endlessly entertaining.
Liv can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter. For sneak peeks and previews and other assorted freebies, go HERE to sign up for her mailing list or join the Facebook page she shares with her writing partner Irene Preston, After Hours with Liv & Irene. See you soon!