It’s the start of October in Haydon Cliff, and Harker “Harry” Bellencourt is preparing for a quiet evening at his new home on Eerie Lane, mysterious next door neighbor notwithstanding, when his sort of ex-boyfriend, Abraham “Kel” Kelsing appears asking for another chance. As an unusual thunder storm rages outside, Harry finds himself giving into Kel’s persuasive charms. But then he’s forced to break off his bourgeoning relationship with Luke Seward that very night when Luke appears at his door, and later Harry is convinced he heard Luke scream.
When Harry learns Luke is seeing the neighbor next door, he becomes more concerned, as Luke seems to be acting strangely, and then Harry witnesses his neighbor possibly committing a crime, he begins to expect the impossible ... his neighbor might be a vampire.
“What are you doing here? You really did hope to have a one-night stand with me, didn’t you?” Harry smirked, but it was kind of ruined by the chip crumbs on his upper lip.
“Not a one-night stand.”
“No? What then?”
“Well, longer obviously. And I wanted to see where you’d gotten yourself off to. Check out the neighborhood. My competition.” Kel shrugged. “That sort of thing.”
“You have no competition.”
He grinned. “That’s good to hear.”
Harry rolled his eyes and bit into another chip. “That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”
“Hmm.” A flash of lightning followed by another loud burst had Kel straightening from where he leaned to peer out the window at the storm. “Have you slept with Seward?”
“That’s not your business.”
Harry had come up to stand next to him at the window, so very close Kel could almost feel the heat that always emanated from him.
“Which means no.” Kel glanced at Harry’s face, noted the high color in those cheeks. Yeah. He hadn’t slept with Seward.
“Oh piss off.”
Kel walked away from the storm and back to Harry’s kitchen. Helping himself to inspecting the cabinets.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“Looking for a wine glass. Or two.”
“I saw you buy a bottle in your groceries. A cab. My favorite. You aren’t going to deny us a glass of cab together, are you?”
“You’re really too much.”
But Harry stepped into the kitchen, brushed past Kel and over to a cabinet at the far end. He removed two red wine glasses from the cabinet and then a wine opener from a drawer.
“So, you weren’t saving that for a special occasion?” Kel asked.
“Would it matter if I was?”
“Nah. Well, I might feel a bit guilty.” He took the full glass from Harry and made sure their fingers touched as they did so. He didn’t miss Harry’s shiver. “So what is the wine for?”
“Me to drink. With or without guests.”
“What are we having for diner?”
Harry lifted an eyebrow. “We?”
“Gotta stay a while now that I’m drinking after all. And the storm. You wouldn’t send a fella out into that, would you?”
“Could make spaghetti I guess. I even have some ground beef I could throw into the jarred sauce.”
“Sounds great to me. I love spaghetti.”
Harry’s brows furrowed and he put down his wine glass, left the kitchen, and went back to the window.
“What’s the matter?” Kel asked.
“I don’t know. I thought I saw ...”
Kel put his own wine down and came up to stand directly behind Harry. He put a hand on Harry’s waist, leaning into him, sniffing his hair and moving closer still.
“What did you see?” he asked, right next to Harry’s ear. The shiver was back and Kel pressed his advantage. He snaked his other arm around Harry’s waist and drew his back against Kel’s chest. He rested his chin on Harry’s shoulder.
“Stop that,” Harry murmured, but with little intent or heat behind the protest.
“Putting your arms around me and acting like it’s normal.”
“It’s not abnormal. What did you see?”
“A ... a bat.”
Kel kissed the side of Harry’s jaw. “A bat? With wings?”
That made Harry chuckle and actually lean more into Kel. “No, a baseball bat. Yes a bat with wings. It’s getting dark, it’s not weird to see bats.”
“I didn’t say it was.” Kel took a chance and turned Harry in his arms until they were facing each other. Keeping one arm still wrapped around Harry’s waist, he lifted his other hand up to Harry’s face. He brushed his thumb across Harry’s plump bottom lip.