Excerpt from Winter Solstice by Mandy M. Roth
The night air was bitter but the fresh blood pumping through Gordon O’Caha’s body warmed him. His cheeks were even slightly flushed—something that didn’t happen often. The man he’d fed from had been fat and jolly, stuffed in a Father Christmas suit and wreaking of whiskey. A second glance back at his “dinner” showed him the man was still slumped in the darkened alleyway. The man was propped haphazardly against an old building. Exactly where he’d left him after feeding from him.
Gordon adjusted the collar of his long, black leather coat and slipped on his gloves. He smoothed the front of his black Prada dress shirt. It matched his slacks. He had a thing for all black and cared not what others thought on the matter. He also had a taste for the finer things in life.
Freshly fallen snow crunched beneath his designer dress shoes as he stepped out from the alley. He worried not about his tracks. They’d never be linked to him.
The sounds of Christmas music, playing from loud speakers, carefully hidden away on lamp posts with wreaths, filled the air. With only a few days left until Christmas, the streets were busier than normal for this time of night. Last minute shoppers weaved paths past one another, each too absorbed in their own personal matters to notice that of any others.
A policeman stood waving several older women across the street. Gordon stared at the man, willing him to look in his direction. The man did. Once eye contact was made, Gordon simply drew upon the gifts of his kind, using nothing more than his mind, to instruct the man on how best to handle the situation of the drunken man in the alley.
The policeman would call for help. It would arrive. The drunken man would sober up in the hospital with a warm bed and food in his stomach. No one would remember the presence of the mysterious man—Gordon—because he simply willed it so. With a mix of ancient druid magik and the power of the blood drinkers running through him, he was a force to be reckoned with. None could deny him that much.
“Och, it’s almost too easy,” he muttered, partially under his breath as he strolled out and onto the busy sidewalk. Life lacked surprise anymore, not that what he did counted as living. He existed. Plain and simple. And this was his night. Yule. The longest night of the year. The day when the Celtic myths of old tell of the Oak King killing his brother the Holly King. All Gordon was fully sure of anymore was on this night he was afforded more darkness, allowing him greater freedoms.
His cell rang and he ignored it, already knowing who was calling. One of his cousins. Probably Coyle. The O’Cahas were fiercely loyal to their family and they alone, in the world of magiks, refused to abandon him to the darkness. After the attack, they tried their best to get him to see reason—to return with them and continue to fight the good fight, but he couldn’t. He was no longer a good man. A full-blooded druid. Now he was tainted with the blood of demons.
His phone rang once more and he knew it was Coyle again. Coyle liked to try to reconnect with him during the holidays. The Winter Solstice was a favorite of his cousin’s.
“I do nae need family. I need no one,” Gordon said partially under his breath.
Something slammed into Gordon and suddenly liquid fire ignited against his groin, drawing with it a groan from him.
“By Dagda!” Blinking in surprise, he reached out quickly, catching hold of the pixie before him. The woman, coming only to his mid chest, was tiny in his arms. She wiggled, almost managing to break free of his barely there hold. Eyes as green as the grass near the bog at the base of the land he played on as a child stared up at him through a shroud of thick lashes. Long wisps of blonde, unruly, curly hair fought to be free of the clips holding it up. There was a bit of the old country in her. No doubt about it.
The darker side of him—the side that should be sated for weeks to come—thrummed with hunger. His ears pounded with the sound of her beating heart. The blood raced through her veins, taunting him. His resolve nearly broke as he focused in on her neck. For a split second, he was sure his fangs had exploded through his gums. A quick roll of his tongue over his teeth proved otherwise. He knew he should release her and flee or risk being her end, yet he couldn’t get his fingers to unfurl from her upper arms.
With a sharp intake of breath, she stared at his groin. “Ohmygod, I’m so sorry.”
Fog coated his mind, making it difficult to form a thought. He had to focus, harnessing both his manly urges and the darkness he harbored. The woman shouldn’t have had that effect on him. Others hadn’t in his hundreds upon hundreds of years roaming the earth. Why would this one prove different?
“Are you all right?” she asked, her voice as demure as she appeared to be.
Am I all right? I want to rip the clothes from her body, feed from her and fuck her into the otherworld, and she’s wonderin’ if I’m all right?
Gordon shook his head slightly and cleared his throat, following her gaze. His eyes widened as he found the front of his black slacks covered in a large wet spot.
I’ve embarrassed myself?
He looked again.
“I, well, I…” he stammered, only then noting the crushed paper cup and plastic lid laying near his feet in the snow. Brown liquid was splattered on the ground around them.
“That coco was scalding hot,” she said, reaching for him. “Did it burn you?”
Her delicate fingers connected with the front of his crotch and Gordon knew then he’d not yet come in his pants. If she kept touching him, he would. Grabbing her wrist gently, he eased her fingers from him, instantly mourning the loss of her touch.
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Mandy M Roth