Warren Ambers’s entire body ached, from the arches of his feet to the top of his head. Even the ends of his hair throbbed with rawness if that were even possible. He tried to focus his eyes on the darkness enveloping him. He could hear the being’s heavy breaths. He could smell the stench of sour milk and vinegar.
He knew one of the vampires who had held him hostage for the past six months was nearby, waiting, observing. He sensed him but for the life of him he couldn’t see him in the cloak of blackness.
The carriage he sat bound in kept rattling and shaking manically when its wheels rolled over obstructions on the cobblestone road, like large rocks or bumps. His body slammed against the side of the carriage or the back of the wooden rest whenever it happened, which amplified the pain coursing through him.
Where the hell were they taking him and why were they transporting him in a carriage and not a car?
As if on cue, a deep, resonating voice said, “We’re almost there.”
Warren jumped when he saw the red embers of Rex’s eyes as he peered at him in the pitch darkness from only a few feet away. Warren hadn’t expected him to be the vampire his senses had picked up and he certainly hadn’t guessed he was so freakin’ close, either.
A haunting chill rolled over him and he gasped. Of all the vampires in the Draco clan, Rex and Oscar frightened him the most.
Ever since they invaded the home Warren shared with his parents and brother Vincent six months ago, these two vampires had inflicted pain and misery on him and his family. They had bitten and fed on Warren’s parents before kidnapping him and Vincent. He quaked in his shoes any time they were in his vicinity.
They were the most conniving and taunting of the clan, the evil brains behind the group and their operation. Rex and Oscar enjoyed seeing the look of dread in their eyes and especially of anger and loathing. They obviously relished provoking them for their pure entertainment.
At least Vincent had been able to escape yesterday. He had found the rusty screw wedged in the brick wall in the basement of the farmhouse the Draco clan had made their lair and had used it to fray the rope tying his wrists together until he broke free.
Vincent had then untied Warren and they had made a run for it. Unfortunately, Warren had sprained his ankle in the attempted breakout. Two vampires caught him and brought him back to the farmhouse. Vincent, though, had made it to the road and escaped. At least Warren hoped and prayed he did.
If he had, then he’d come back when he could to help Warren escape. If the tables were turned and it were Warren instead of Vincent who had escaped, that’s what he would be trying to do as soon as he could.
The Ambers brothers were ten months apart, Vincent being the older sibling at twenty-nine and a half, while Warren was twenty-eight.
Ever since they were toddlers they had been inseparable. Their mother always commented, with a hug, kiss, and a smile, that even though ten months separated them in age, they were as close as identical twins and she couldn’t be happier. She knew they’d always be there for one another when it mattered most.
Tears welled in Warren’s eyes and he brushed them away. That happy memory of his mom and the one six months ago, as she took her last breath after Rex finished feeding on her, clashed in his mind and wrenched his heart. He missed her so much.
“Ah, are those tears I see for your brother?” Rex asked in mock sympathy.
Warren didn’t reply. He simply turned his gaze away from the evil red glowing eyes that studied him.
“Vincent won’t find you, you know.”
Panic made Warren’s hair stand on end. How did Rex know what Warren was thinking, that he hoped and prayed Vincent would find him? Trying desperately not to offer Rex any more pleasure in seeing him shocked or frightened, Warren attempted to steel his emotions.
“We’re already far away from the farmhouse and soon, once we cross the barrier, he’ll never be able to find you.”
Warren was fighting the urge to ask him where he was taking him and what type of barrier was he talking about. He knew Rex was pushing him, egging him on. But Warren wasn’t going to let him get under his skin.
Rex took a big sniff. “Mmm, I can smell the fear pumping in your blood.” Warren heard Rex’s stomach growl. “I want to feed on you now, but I can’t.”
Rex, Oscar, and several other vampires in the clan had been feeding off of Warren and Vincent ever since they had been holding them captive.
The vampires had offered Warren and his brother vitamins and blood as nourishment, not food, in all the months they had kept them prisoners. They claimed food would taint Warren and Vincent’s blood and would make them sick when they fed on them later on.
“Eleanora won’t be pleased if I deliver you in a weakened state,” Rex added.
Unable to keep his silence any longer, Warren asked, “Who is Eleonora and why are you taking me to her?”
“Eleonora is the vampire demon witch queen. We were supposed to deliver to her two hybrids in exchange for weapons and immunity, but now that one of the two has flown the coop, she won’t be happy.”
“Vincent and I aren’t hybrids. We are human.”
A long, gaunt face formed around the red glowing eyes as Rex came closer and the faint rays of light seeped into the carriage. He sneered, his pointy fangs perching over his full lower purple lip. “You were human. Now you’re not.”
Warren’s thoughts returned to the present when he entered the cave. He expected it to be dark, damp, filled with bats and cobwebs. But surprisingly it was bright and warm in there. It smelled like freshly cut grass and felt like a sunny summer day, without the sunshine. Warren took a deep breath. He grinned. “It’s so nice in here.”
“Come with me and I’ll show you something even more beautiful,” Eros’s replied. They walked farther ahead. The Earth’s core’s light that illuminated all of Nethermore also brightened the inside of the cave.
There were flowers and plants Warren had never seen growing over the stones all around them. There was even water cascading into a spring from the stone wall in the left side of the cave.
“This is gorgeous.” Warren sighed in appreciation, his eyes drinking in all the beautiful scenery.
Eros nodded, hurrying to the spring. “Yes, it is. I’ve heard this spring is supposed to have the same healing and medicinal powers as the one outside the castle.”
He dipped his hand and closed his eyes. “Ah, this feels so good!”
When he took out his hand several moments later, the two burn spots on the back of his hand had disappeared. “See,” he said laughing and waving his hand in front of Warren’s face.
Warren chuckled, his eyes wide in disbelief. “Yeah, you should bathe in it to heal completely and I can soak my blistered feet.”
Warren sat down, undid the laces on his right worn, tattered shoe, and dipped his foot in. Instantly, the burning, sore sensation began to fade away and the water acted like a messaging agent caressing and soothing his muscles and skin.
Then he raised his gaze to look at Eros and became totally enthralled. Eros had begun to shrug off his shirt and pants and soon stood butt naked at the edge of the spring.
His gorgeous, toned, godly and sexy body that Warren remembered and drooled over hadn’t changed. Even his exquisite cock that Warren had tasted was still so damn delectable. It wasn’t completely erect, but it wasn’t limp either. Warren’s insides turned to mush and his mouth gaped open in admiration.
Eros was perfect and so breathtaking, even with the burn spots dotting his body in an almost asymmetrical pattern.
Eros closed his eyes and stretched out his hands stepping slowly in a poised fashion into the water, the liquid hugging his skin as he moved around.
He stood only knee deep, yet the burn marks and welts on his body began to disappear. His tanned skin seemed to glimmer while his cock grew long and thick.
Warren could see the glistening pre-cum escaping the slit. His eyes widened, his heart drummed erratically in his chest. He even had trouble breathing. His breaths were coming out in gasps. Warren’s cock stretched then hardened in his pants until it ached yearning sexual release. He was so darn horny.
Eros didn’t seem to notice Warren’s predicament, because he turned around and bent over to splash water onto his body and his face. His scrumptious taut ass poked tauntingly in Warren’s direction. Memories of licking, fondling and sucking it possessed Warren’s mind. He almost came with the recollection.
“This is amazing! What are you waiting for to get in?” Eros asked
I’m waiting for this hard-on to ease. I can’t bloody well move until then, he thought, but was unable to speak. His mouth was dry and inoperable, as was his brain. All the blood in his body seemed to have rushed to his cock.
Eros turned to look at him, worry overcoming his features. “Are you okay? Was I wrong and the water is having an adverse effect on you?” He hurried to him in a clumsy fashion. The encumbering water splashed around him as he moved.
Warren shook his head, still unable to speak. His tongue felt like a foreign object in his mouth rather than a part of him. Eros bent down to touch the one foot Warren dipped in the water, his eyes wide and attentive. When he lifted it, his brows perked. “It’s healed.”
He placed his hand on Warren’s shoulder. “Are you feeling ill in some other way?”
Finally gaining control over his mind and body, Warren shook his head while he lowered his gaze to his other foot to remove the shoe and sock. “No, I’m fine. It’s just…” He couldn’t bring himself to say it. He had never before been bashful with Eros, so why was he now?
A tantalizing grin widened Eros’s lips. It appeared, he had figured things out.
“You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable around me, Warren. There isn’t anything you haven’t already seen.”
Yeah, that was true. But his memory of Eros’s naked body didn’t do him justice. There wasn’t a man alive who was more beautiful, virile, or sexier than Eros. Warren’s heart and stomach were fluttering.
Eros moved in closer. He took his hand and placed it over his left pec. It was firm, smooth, silky, and wet. “Feel my skin. The burn marks completely vanished as if they were never really there.”
Warren gulped and nodded. “Yeah, I can feel and see that.”
Eros brought his hands to Warren’s shirt. “Let me help you undress, so you can enjoy the pleasure as much as me.”
Warren knew Eros’s play on words was a deliberate temptation and quite an effective one at that, because Warren let Eros undress him while Warren admired his body with his thirsty eyes and curious hand as he let it roam over Eros’s body.
“You’re so beautiful, Eros,” he murmured as they leaned closer together. Their lips acted as magnets, pulling them to one another.
When their lips met, waves of pleasure flooded Warren. His breath hitched and his lips became electrified.