QSFer K.Evan Coles is in a new MM vampire anthology: “Working Stiffs.”
Not all vampires are idly rich. Some of them have day jobs. Er, night jobs.
In a world struggling to come to grips with the existence of vampires, where reactions range from excitement to fear to determined disbelief, these vampires are just trying to make ends meet. Some of them do mundane work—like waiting tables or driving a cab. Others have more prestigious careers in medicine and crime prevention. But what all their jobs have in common is people. Unpredictable, interesting, frustrating, hostile, helpless, tasty people.
Whether they’re pouring drinks, answering phones, hacking into a computer system, or serving up the perfect food/wine pairing, these working stiffs are too busy to fall in love. Or are they?
This International Workers Day, celebrate by sinking your teeth into thirteen awesome stories about vampires at work. Because even the undead have to earn a living. Proceeds benefit the WHO’s Covid-19 Response Fund.
Bad Blood by Lyra Evans
Bad Decision by H.L Day
Call My Number by Megs Pritchard
Dial a Vamp by Roberta Blablanski
Fangs for the Memories by Sadie Jay
Fire and Ice Cold Skin by Mel Gough
How To Keep an Author (Alive) by AJ Sherwood
Graveyard Cops by Crystel Greene
Life Hacks by Eliott Griffen
Long Haul by Tanya Chris
Off the Menu by R.J. Sorrento
Overexposed by K. Evan Coles
Quality Assured by Edie Montreux
“I need to know how to tie a person down like this on the table and make it realistic. I mean, can I tie down both legs? Or would that make it too awkward for the attacker?”
Rubbing at my forehead, I tried for patience. “Coop. I’ve never tied someone down for sex. I have no idea.”
He came up on an elbow, looking at me curiously. “Really? Oh, right, the vampire-sexual-feeding thing. How does that work, anyway?”
“There’s a mild aphrodisiac in our saliva that—you know what, I’m not having this conversation with you.”
Cooper didn’t pout, but it was a near thing. He loved asking me questions about vampirism and how it all worked. Often inappropriate questions, at that.
“Okay, tell me later. For now, come help me figure this out. I’m stuck on this scene until I do.”
After two months of dealing with these sorts of weird requests, I’d more or less become immune to them. At least he hadn’t tried to smother me in my sleep again. It made sense that he’d gone through a housekeeper every month before my arrival. A lot of the help he asked for bordered on sexual harassment. Like now. He honestly didn’t mean it that way, though, which was why I was willing to play along.
Shrugging, I abandoned my wall perch to come forward. “You said the potential victim is a man?”
“Yes.” Cooper smiled, delighted I was cooperating.
“Hmmm. Yeah, I don’t think you can tie both legs down.” Knowing he would prefer a hands-on approach, I grabbed the leg tied down and hoisted it up as much as I could. “And even this is too tight. I can’t roll your hips up and into position like this. And think, too, pants have to come off, at least partway.”
“All very good points and what made me wonder. The few times I’ve had anal sex—”
I about swallowed my tongue. Just what had he casually confessed?!
“—I was on hands and knees, so I wasn’t sure.” Cooper did an awkward half-crunch. “So, say my character is in this position. Loosen that rope, let me see how much play has to be there. Yeah, okay, like that. Can you—”
This man, seriously. He was bad for my heart. He kept tapping into emotions I didn’t know I had, and he did it effortlessly and in strange ways that ambushed my guard. I liked him. I knew I did, but it was a precarious situation. I had no idea how he felt about me because his behavior was so oddball, I found him impossible to read.
Take this situation right now. Someone with a crush would use this situation to perhaps slyly flirt or signal their interest. But he was just trying to experiment and prove a point. Right…? I think. It left me in a strange emotional limbo because I didn’t know how to react to him. I knew what he wanted me to do, but I hesitated, because I had a feeling something would change if I did. If I even mimicked having sex with him, it would unlock a door in my head I’d kept chained shut. And yet.
I moved like I’d been hypnotized, because touching him like that was too much of a temptation. Even with clothes in the way. I moved in and set my groin against his ass, lifting his legs up to make the position possible. It looked awkward and uncomfortable on his part.
Cooper’s expression didn’t betray any awkwardness, though. His lips parted as he stared up at me with a sort of bludgeoned surprise. A blush spread across his pale skin, and his breath quickened a touch.
An impulse stole over me—to lean in, to close the gap between our bodies, to get him off this damn table. He was all warm skin, the heat of him pouring into me even through our jeans. I could feel his leg twitch, the urge to wrap around my waist clear, and I wanted that quite badly. Oh god. Oh god, he was attracted to me after all. That reaction was unmistakable. But did that mean I should act on it? He was still my employer. What if this went very, very wrong?
“Should I leave?”
The female voice startled me so badly I dropped Cooper’s legs.