If you're under 18, then go on and git.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sweet Tarts, Bitter Hearts Chapter 5

Copyright 2014
Bailey Bradford

Chapter Five

“Coward!” Shouting at Zeb probably wasn’t the smartest thing he could do, but at that point in time, Abbie figured it wasn’t going to make anything worse. “You fucking coward! You don’t even have the balls to—“
Zeb slapped him, moving so fast that Abbie didn’t know he was going to be hit until the pain exploded bright and violently inside his head.
Zeb also hit him hard, sending Abbie flying backwards. He hit the cave wall with a thud that sounded like a bomb went off in his skull.
He didn’t feel the next slap, or the third one, though he knew they happened. Then he didn’t know anything but blackness.
"Where’s Abbie?” Augustin demanded, glaring at everyone in the kitchen. “Someone better have an answer.”
“Are you really that hungry?” Billie asked. “There is cold cereal, and oatmeal, the kind with the flavor and—“
“It’s not about the food!” Augustin pinched the bridge of his nose and tried to calm down. “Doesn’t it seem strange to any of you that he isn’t here? Abbie is always, always here, and he’s not. He’s not in his room either.”
“Maybe he’s in the bathroom?” Mark suggested.
Augustin ground his teeth so hard he was surprised they didn’t all shatter.
“Zebulon has been gone for several days,” a Donna said. “Maybe…maybe he went to look for Zebulon last night? I mean, I hope not, because there’s scary shit out in that desert, and I’m not talking about the zombies.”
“We need to organize a search party.”
Everyone looked at Augustin like he was an idiot. “Oh, come on! He’s one of us, he’s family. Are you all seriously going to just do nothing?”
Billie raised her hand, like she was a kid in school. Well, maybe Augustin was schooling them all. “Yes?” He pointed to her.
“The desert is scary, as Donna pointed out. We don’t know the first thing about survival in the desert, and we don’t have a way of letting our mates know what we’re doing  until they wake up and find us gone. By then, many hours will have passed.” Billie took a quick breath. “And there are many of us who’ve promised not to leave this house during the day. Our mates, some of them fear being abandoned. Or fear us being hurt.”
“In the desert?” Augustin asked.
“Of course,” Billie agreed.
Augustin rolled his eyes. “Please. If that was their fear, then why the hell aren’t any of you knowledgeable about the desert and all the scary, creepy critters out in it? Why aren’t there maps, and navigation systems for the humans? You want to know why? Because then you would all have some freedom!”
“But…” Mark looked around the kitchen. “But we don’t want freedom?”
Augustin went back to pinching. “Jesus fucking Christ. I don’t mean to leave-leave, but if something happened to the vamps here—and believe me, I don’t like that idea either. I love Tony. But if, say, he was kidnapped or something like that, taken away, space aliens came down and zapped all of our vamps into a ship, how would any of us help them? We can’t leave the house?”
“Pft, aliens,” Donna giggled. “Please. Now you’re just being ridiculous.”
Augustin felt his eyebrows crawling up to his hairline. “Aliens are ridiculous? Aliens?! Are you kidding me? You’ve got to be kidding me. Vamps and zombies are fine but—“
“And shifters,” someone called out.
“And sprites, and mummies,” another person added.
“Argh!” Augustin stomped his feet. “People! Pay attention! We have to help Abbie! And you are all gonna help me do that, or I will…I will—“ He stopped and grinned evilly. Let the look sink in. “Actually, I’m not going to tell you what I’ll do. That way, you won’t be able to prevent it.” He was thinking cupcakes with pink frosting to start—with pretty crushed up pink Correctol for that added oomph right to the gut.
“I really don’t like that look,” Mark whimpered. “We could Google desert survival skills, and…and leave notes with, um. We could leave a scent trail!” he added with more enthusiasm. “They can find us easy like that.”
“Are we talking articles of clothing on cactus or what?” Augustin asked.
“I guess?” Mark pursed his lips. “Yes.”
“Okay then. We have a plan. Everyone, if you aren’t with me…” He grinned. “You’re a target.”
Claude awoke early. He could feel that the sun hadn’t set fully, but for whatever reason, his sleep was done. He carefully worked the inner locks of the casket, then pushed the heavy lid off once those were undone. The interior of the house was safe from the sun.
And it was entirely too quiet. He knew immediately something was wrong. The place just felt…empty. Last night, he’d thought something was off but had put it down to his own mood.
Today, not so much.
Claude came out of the casket and the first thing he saw was the line of notes tacked to the wall directly across from him. Not just him, but each mated vampire’s casket.
“Shit!” The word felt vile on his tongue, but not as vile as seeing those notes, written by the human mates.
Then he saw the why of the mass human exodus, and Claude’s insides went cold as ice.

“No,” he rasped, touching Abernathy’s name. He knew. He should have listened to his instincts last night. That hadn’t been a roll back in his memories, that had been a premonition and he’d ignored it! “Zebulon, you are a dead fucker.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ARe bucks Winner!

Whew, another long writing day, but a great one. Another two days and I'll have this story finished. I was hoping to complete it by tomorrow but that's not looking possible since I have to revise parts of it. This isn't the same blog story at all. I'll share more when I'm done.

Meanwhile, random.org is doing the drawing tonight. ST is off sketching and I'm going to leave her alone for a bit.

Congratulations to:

#49/RitaS! RitaS, if you'll email me at itsbaileybradford@yahoo.com I will get those ARe bucks sent out to you!

See y'all tomorrow night with a new installment!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sweet Tarts, Bitter Hearts Ch. 4***NSFW***

A couple more frantic days of writing, and I'll have the 3rd Spotless book turned in. Then it's on to to a new series, Coyote's Call! Then SWS 10, then another new series, Valiant Pack... And all of these are to be written three weeks apart, so it'll be crazy-hectic. Y'all bear with me, please :D

Copyright 2014
Bailey Bradford

Chapter Four

Claude hated being alone. He hated waking up alone. He hated the nightmares and panic attacks that woke him up mid-sleep, left him terrified and unable to scream around the pride he held onto with bloody fingertips while in his coffin.
When he was alone during waking hours, he thought of his impending demise.
Or of Abernathy.
Neither were subjects that left him with any peace.
Claude was afraid to look at his fingers while he was alone. Once he could have sworn he saw smoke begin to rise off of them. He’d thought that was it then, he was going to turn into a pile of ashes like his creator had done.
His sire, so vital and strong, had went to his coffin a sated vampire, and been rendered into ashes before the moon rose. Claude had found his…remains. The smell had never left his memory, nor had the fact that a pathetic pile of ash had only hours before been a virile man.
If it could happen to his sire, it could happen to Claude. And it would. He’d not saddle a mate with a death sentence like that.
Claude dared to glance at his hands. No smoke. That’s good. Man, if the other vamps ever found out how much of his time was spent being afraid, they’d oust him not only as their leader, but out of the house entirely.
Then how would he be able to keep an eye on Abernathy, to make sure Zeb didn’t do anything foolish?
Zebulon. Claude would love to toss that ungrateful shit out into the sunlight. He’d only taken interest in Abernathy because Claude had seen him first…
Claude closed his eyes and let that night play back in his mind. 
Abernathy had been so sexy, wearing tight leather pants and a matching black leather vest. He’d been young, too, barely nineteen, yet very daring in venturing out as a gay man in the Midwest. Even now, it wasn’t safe for the LGBTQ crew in the area where Abernathy had brazenly walked the streets.
Abernathy had been out and proud. And loud. Claude had overheard him talking excitedly on the street as Abernathy walked with a group of other young men.
But none of them had the presence Abernathy did, nor did they have the fine looks. Abernathy’s skin was honey gold, his hair thick and luscious, waves and curls mixed together in a color almost the same as his skin.
His eyes had been so wide, so innocent—a deceitful look, considering the words coming out of his mouth about how he intended to fuck every hot piece of ass he was offered.
The crude words made Claude’s dick hard, which was unusual. He had always preferred less crass men, but Abernathy was… well, Abernathy. He was special. Even his scent called to Claude.
So Claude had followed him. He’d gone into the dirty club full of grinding bodies and humans high or drunk, many so messed up they could hardly walk. Didn’t stop them from bending over or bending someone over and fucking them raw.
Claude saw women fucking men, men fucking men, women fucking women, and men, of course, fucking men, and many combinations of genders and body parts. It was very much a giant orgy, and Abernathy dived right in, grabbing a slight blond young man with a very luscious mouth.
It had been something to see, the way Abernathy had taken the blond, pushing him to his knees first and feeding his entire length past those pretty, pretty lips. Then he’d pulled the blond up by his hair, the blond moaning and begging for more. Claude had almost come in his very nice slacks when Abernathy had shoved the man against a wall and thrust right into his tiny ass.
Claude wanted that, the rough handling and the opportunity to give up control.
Only he would never cede control to another man like that. He couldn’t. It would be… unlike the ‘him’ he presented to the world.
Yet he watched throughout the night as Abernathy took his choice of men.
No one could know the dangers that were about to come onto the human world. It wasn’t the Plague that threatened Abernathy’s life, though considering the lack of condoms used among people back then, it likely would have happened. No, it was another insidious disease that had infiltrated Abernathy’s body.
Claude followed Abernathy night after night. He was fascinated by the man. Eventually, Zebulon, nosy bastard, followed Claude in turn. Claude often wondered, if he’d just given in and let Zebulon have him, what would have happened?
Zebulon would have been leading the coven, for one thing. That was an unacceptable outcome, and why Claude had never let Zebulon take him. Zebulon wanted to be the dominant one—Claude couldn’t imagine how that went between him and Abernathy, really—
Claude shied away from thoughts like that. He didn’t want to think of Zebulon and Abernathy doing…things. Strange that it had never bothered Claude to watch Abernathy fucking his human partners. Indeed, it had led to many, many masturbation sessions on Claude’s part. He still got off thinking about Abernathy and the blond.
Claude shivered, his cock growing half-hard. He closed his eyes. It’d been too long since he’d pleasured himself. He wasn’t going to do so now, either, but he could remember. Gods, could he remember. Claude let himself go back in time again, to that night—
Another evening at the club, the plan to watch Abernathy in action. Except that night, Abernathy entered and zeroed right in on Claude.
Claude had tried to shrink back into the shadows before his pride kicked in and he stood tall.
Abernathy approached him with a confidence few men had. He’d stopped in front of Claude and looked him over. “Are you going to let me fuck you tonight, or are you going to watch again?”
Something hot and needy had coiled up tightly inside of Claude. It’d made his voice beyond casual when he spoke. “I do not play with mouthy boys, much less allow them, or anyone, to fuck me.”
“Boys?” Abernathy repeated, his mouth quirking up on one side. He took another leisurely look at Claude. “I may be young, but I’m hardly a boy. You don’t look older than me, just richer. And maybe you don’t let anyone fuck you because you know you’d crave it. You have some stupid idea up there in that high-dollar brain of yours that taking a dick up your ass makes you weak, but it doesn’t. Takes a strong man to open himself like that.”
“Does it?” Claude let a bit of haughtiness drip into his tone. “I’ve not seen you taking a dick up your ass.”
Abernathy’s grin was so brilliant Claude had longed to kiss him. “You offering?”
Claude, who’d never once had a complaint from a lover, was suddenly, atrociously, self conscious about his sexual skills. He wasn’t…rough, and Abernathy obviously liked that kind of thing.
“Are you?” he found himself asking, nonetheless. Claude’s dick was hard enough to use as a weapon by then.
Abernathy took a step closer, then he palmed Claude’s dick through his trousers. “Nice. I might be offering if I didn’t think you really wanted me to fuck you. Push you down on your knees, get those fancy slacks dirty.” Abernathy used his other fingers to trace over Claude’s lips. “And these would look real pretty stretched around my dick, wouldn’t they?”
No one had ever been so…so blunt and brassy with Claude before. He wasn’t sure what to say.
Then he saw Zebulon a dozen or so feet away.
Claude narrowed his eyes. “I’m quite certain you’ve got it wrong. Me, on my knees? No.”
Abernathy studied him then shook his head. “No, I’m not wrong about this. You want me, and you want me to take you over like I do the guys here.”
Claude sniffed. “I do not.”
Abernathy gave Claude’s package a squeeze. “Do too. Think maybe you need a few more days of stewing over it. I’ll let you have them, and then, if you grow a pair—“ He squeezed again, and Claude’s eyes wanted to cross so badly he almost gave in to the impulse.
“You can come see me at my place instead of having me fuck you here.” Abernathy leaned in. “But I really think you want the audience, the whole experience. You like it when I grab a guy by the hair, when I shove him against a wall and hammer into him. I can feel you watching me.”
Claude cleared his throat. “You’re quite wrong.”
Abernathy smirked. “903 Henderson Boulevard, number 21. I work during the day. I’ll stay home Thursday night. See you then.”
Zebulon watched Abernathy walk away.
Claude should have known. He should have known. Zebulon had been created after him, from the same sire, but their sire had never groomed Zebulon to take over like he had Claude. In fact, Zebulon had been left alone more often than not, and he’d always wanted what Claude had.
And somehow, he’d gotten Abernathy. That Thursday night, Claude had finally decided he would give in. There’d be no one but him and Abernathy to see the lowering of Claude’s walls.
But an emergency in the coven had kept him from meeting Abernathy, and the next thing Claude knew, Zebulon was escorting the sexy man around.
Then Abernathy had gotten sick with cancer, and Zebulon had brought him in as a mate.
And Claude had lost the only man he’d ever truly been interested in.
In his bedroom, Abbie sat and thought about Claude. He thought about Zeb, too. Once, there’d been an obvious competition between the two vamps. Abbie had only figured that out after he’d allowed Zeb to make him a mate. Abbie had been terrified of dying. Maybe that was a shitty reason to hook up with someone, but he’d done it.
And he’d only realized recently that Claude had been hurt by it. Only realized recently that Zeb had seen him as a prize to be stolen from Claude.
It’d been so easy to keep his eyes shut, to see just what he wanted to. After Claude didn’t show up that Thursday so long ago, Abbie had been hurt and angry. He’d run into Zeb not far from his apartment, and the rest was fucked up history.
But Abbie had been learning things over the past couple of years. Zeb had quit seeming to want to compete with Claude about the time Abbie realized Zeb had never truly wanted him. Not for himself, anyway. He’d always only been a way for Zeb to annoy Claude.
“Stop thinking about it,” he told himself, pressing the heels of his hands to his eyes. “Stop it. Just…”
He went to sleep at some point, then woke up the next morning, happy for his human friends and his routine.
Zeb didn’t come back that night, or the following one. The fourth night, Abbie was sound asleep when he was awoken as Zeb put a hand over his mouth. “We’re going on a little vacation,” Zeb told him.
“I don’t want to go anywhere,” Abbie tried to say, but Zeb pressed down harder on his mouth.
Abbie was big, he was strong, but he was no match for a vampire, as Zeb had proved to him more than once.
And part of Abbie didn’t want to argue. He hoped maybe he was wrong about Zeb, that the vamp was willing to work on their mate bond. Maybe Zeb wanted more, wanted to be happy and not just exist.
That’s what Abbie told himself.

But there was a damn good reason he didn’t trust Zeb. Zeb had lied to him and hurt him more than once. Abbie came to understand, when Zeb soared into a dark cave hours later, that Zeb had every intention of hurting him again.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sweet Tarts, Bitter Hearts Ch. 3

Copyright 2014
Bailey Bradford

Another couple of serious installments, then everything's getting shaken up :D

Chapter Three

“Holy shit!” Mark whispered.
Abbie couldn’t take his eyes off the scene outside. Vampires were tearing zombies to bits under the full moon’s light. It was… gory and fascinating.
And if Abbie couldn’t stop watching one vamp in particular, well, no one but him had to know that.
“You’re drooling,” Augustin muttered in his ear.
Okay, so maybe Augustin noticed. Abbie ignored him.
Not that that stopped Augustin from talking. “Man, it’s like the Apocalypse out there. All those years hearing about the end of the world in church when I was growing up, and wow. They left out the zombies. Well, the vampires too. Are the zombies even getting any hits in? I swear, it looks like they’re just rolling in to die.”
“They are,” Mattie chimed in. The oldest human there, he refused to admit to just how old that was. He didn’t look a day over twenty-five though. “Seen it before, once, right before I agreed to be Sylvia’s mate. The zombies only fight enough to make sure they get killed.” He shrugged. “They probably get tired of living like that.”
Abbie grunted but other than that, he remained silent. The battle lasted a while only because so many zombies showed up. Once the landscape was littered with body parts so that there was hardly a foot of gore-less space to be seen, then the fighting came to an end.
It didn’t slip Abbie’s notice that Zeb had never shown up to help his fellow vamps, either.
And damn it all, but Claude looked stunning when he spun around in the air, his hair still perfectly styled, his shirt and pants as clean as when the whole shebang had started.
The way the moonlight reflected off his dark hair, the slender, beautiful lines of his body, the impeccably tailored clothes—Abbie couldn’t possibly have been the only one aroused watching him.
Claude turned and looked right at him, their gazes locking through the window’s glass. Abbie’s heart did some weird, pounding thing that made him think for a second that he might just keel over.
But instead a flood of heat raced down to his groin. His cock filled from one heartbeat to the next, and dizziness made his vision blur. He blinked, and though he expected Claude to have looked away, Claude hadn’t.
“Jeez, the sexual tension…”
Abbie didn’t even know who said it, didn’t care, either. He’d tried for years to be more circumspect, but lately his unhappiness had begun to erode his self-control.
And now he stood at the window, his entire body throbbing with desire for a man he couldn’t have.
If only the bond between mates made them love each other, want each other…Unfortunately, all it did was make them dependent on one another for survival, as far as Abbie could tell.
Although he and Zeb seemed to be the only mated paid in such a situation. Everyone else was happy. In love.
He tried to turn away, but as long as Claude stared at him like that, Abbie had to stay in place. It was a sweet torture, a submersion into desire that Abbie hadn’t felt with Zeb, ever. Every particle of his being ached to be with Claude, to tousle that perfectly styled hair and tear the clothes off his body. He wanted to see Claude come apart for him, feel Claude tremble and shudder, hear him scream out Abbie’s name as pleasure pulled him under.
The pain the admission caused him was almost a physical one. Abbie flinched, and with that, Claude spun away.
Abbie pressed his forehead to the glass and closed his eyes. What was he going to do? Could he really spend the rest of his life in a relationship with someone he didn’t even like? What if he lived for hundreds of years?
But death scared him, and if he walked away from Zeb, he’d start aging. He’d live out the rest of his life from age twenty-nine on, and maybe get cancer or have a heart attack, or die from any number of diseases. He probably wouldn’t even get to be old. He’d die.
“Die,” he rasped. The word itself terrified him.
It was why he’d sought out vampires in the first place. He’d wanted to be one, once upon a time. Then Zeb—
Abbie cut the thought off. He opened his eyes when brightness flared through his closed lids. Outside, the zombies’ remains had been piled together and lit on fire. None of the vamps were anywhere to be seen. Some of the human mates were tossing burning bits of paper and other flammable items onto the remains.
Augustin wasn’t among them. Abbie assumed he was off with his mate somewhere.
Abbie turned around and yelped before he could stop himself.
Claude stood not a foot behind him. Being a vampire and all, the man had made no reflection in the glass.
Claude slowly raised one hand, then, as if assured Abbie wouldn’t run away, gently stroked his cheek. There was an indecipherable expression on his face, in his eyes, that Abbie desperately wanted to understand.
“You can’t look at me like that, Abernathy,” Claude said softly. “Like you want to come into my arms.”
Abbie’s heart did the weird thing again, and he gulped. “You didn’t want me.” He hated to admit it, tried so hard to never think of that time.
Claude shook his head. “Oh, Abernathy.”
He said nothing else, just continued to stroke Abbie’s cheek for another minute or two before lowering his hand, then walking away.
Abbie wanted to call out to him, wanted to demand an explanation.

His pride and the remembered pain of rejection held him rooted in place, verbally and physically.