I tried. I tried so hard to take care of my family after Mom and Dad passed away. Let’s not think about their passing, though. I can’t, even three years later. It hurts too much, and all that crap about time making it better hasn’t proven to be true.
I’m a responsible man, a good son, diligent and loyal. There was no way I’d let the state come in and take my siblings away. Stepping up was never a question. Of course I took them in. I love them all, the little twerps.
But I made one stupid, horrible mistake—and it cost me my life.
Don’t call me a melodramatic fool. You weren’t the one left for dead on the porch of a vampire den. House. Whatever.
You weren’t the one tricked and hurt.
Now everything’s different, and if I’ve learned only one thing, it’s this—I will never trust another man with my heart again.
West fumbled with the top button on his jeans as he waited in the alley. It was dark—of course it’s dark, it’s a danged alley behind a raunchy bar—and a little scary outside. A slight breeze carried the scent of garbage and spunk to him.
Other men were out there, fucking and sucking like they didn’t care if anyone else saw or heard them.
Maybe they didn’t.
“Obviously they don’t,” West muttered to himself.
His heart beat faster and his pulse raced as he saw a tall man exit the club. He knew with a surety he couldn’t explain that it was him, the tall, intense, and rather frightening man he’d locked gazes with inside.
West was truly terrified—and yet he couldn’t leave, couldn’t make himself walk or run away. Here he stood, a twenty-four year-old virgin, so desperate for another man’s touch, he’d let the first guy who wanted him have at him.
It was wrong. West knew it. He felt it inside. His mother would be so upset with him, giving away his virginity in a grungy alley to a stranger who looked like he’d enjoy hurting West.
And there was a definite hard cast the man’s features, a brooding anger that was unmistakable.
So why couldn’t West leave?
A little voice in his head screamed at him. He didn’t want this. He’d only come to the club because he’d wanted—
That little voice shut down on a yelp like a big, invisible boot had stomped it to death. West’s head actually throbbed for a second, then he was staring at the big man in front of him.
Black eyes. No soul. The thoughts shot through West’s brain, and he would have opened his mouth up to scream—though why should he want to do that?—but he couldn’t move.
A cruel smile twisted thin lips, and to West’s utter horror, fangs appeared.
The man leaned closer, and West was paralyzed, all except for his heart, which slammed erratically, as if trying to escape his chest.
“Such a stupid boy,” the stranger rasped, those sharp fangs scraping the shell of West’s ear.
It hurt, and he was pretty sure the skin was broken, yet he didn’t move or cry out.
“Nice. So innocent and easy.”
His ear was licked, then sucked on, then bit. Not too hard, but enough that he wanted to cry. He wasn’t in to being hurt, and pain scared him. Death scared him.
Yet when he looked into those fathomless eyes, he knew death was coming for him, and inside, at least, he wept for his siblings.