Fangs for the Holidays
In Fangs for the Holiday, Ana Lee Kennedy brings us this bisexual supernatural Christmas tale in the vein of True Blood.
Seven years ago, Justice Fayhee disappeared without a trace. Now, on Christmas Eve, Tristan stumbles across his old lover lying in a snowy alley. Why is Justice back and what happened to him? The chance meeting launches Tristan headlong into a frightening snowstorm where he’s confronted with the esoteric gift of immortality.
It soon becomes clear to Tristan that he must leave to protect Justice from the gang members pursuing him. He goes in search of his father’s ex-bookie, Rocky, to ask for help and discovers too late that Rocky is the head of Pittsburgh’s Brotherhood of Blood. A trap is set for Justice that also captures Tristan and his ailing mother. When a young woman named Morgan, believed to be one of Rocky’s “ankle biters,” is tossed from his moving limousine, she becomes an inside source on fighting the Brotherhood, but can she be trusted, or is she a mole who wants the reward of eternal life?
Things grow even more difficult when Justice discovers Tristan is bisexual. He begins changing drastically, simultaneously claiming Tristan as his rightful property and pushing him away. Morgan suspects he’s in the grip of blood dust, a highly addictive substance for the undead, but despite Tristan’s attempts to reconcile, Justice grows steadily more dangerous. As the New Year approaches, Tristan realizes he’s falling for Morgan, but how can he protect her from Justice and the entire Brotherhood network? Where can he turn for help when the Brotherhood is everywhere? Salvation springs from unexpected sources, leaving Tristan’s heart, as well as his soul, battered. Perhaps the New Year will bring Tristan and Morgan not only love, but hope for the future.
“If you know what’s good for you,” Huston warned, “you’ll come with us quietly and we won’t have to tie you up.”
“Why don’t you guys just tell Gavril you couldn’t find us?” Justice replied. “We just want to be left alone to live peacefully.”
“Look, you know the drill,” Stefan said. “We do what we’re told and live another day. If you had done the same, you wouldn’t be in this situation.”
“It seems your lover’s a bit hungry,” Huston observed, a smug smile on his face. “If nothing else, you better come with us for his sake.”
“Come on,” Justice said and tugged on Tristan’s arm. “Right now, we have no other choice. You need to feed.”
Huston retrieved a landscaping plank and used it to scuff away a portion of the salt trail winding around the shed. Once the encirclement was broken, Tristan reluctantly followed his mate to a limousine idling a few yards away. The chauffeur opened the back door. Tristan thought about grabbing Justice and making a run for it, but the thirst had grown too intense. He had to feed, immediately.
He ducked into the back compartment. Justice and the thugs climbed in, too.
“Looks like you need some sustenance, son,” Rockwell said opposite him. He glanced at a young woman sitting next to him. “Give me a bag out of there, dear.”
She leaned over, opened a small refrigerator under the bar, retrieved a clear sack almost black with its contents, and handed it to him. He then tossed the blood into Tristan’s lap.
“Eat before you go psycho on everyone.” The vamp leader patted the young woman’s knee. “I wouldn’t want you to drain this sweet child before she has a chance to grow a pair of fangs.”
Justice groaned at the expression, but before Tristan could ponder what Rockwell meant, he snatched up the plasma. His lengthening fangs stung painfully. Unable to control himself, he bit into the bag. The refrigerated blood coursed over his tongue and down his throat like silk. It was much better warm, but he didn’t care. He drained his meal, sucking on the plastic until he almost turned the bag inside out.
“Ah, now there’s the Tristan I know.” Rockwell chuckled.
Feeling better, he glanced at the bodyguards, who both kept one hand inside their jackets, probably clasping wooden stakes in case he or Justice tried to escape. He regarded his father’s bookie with suspicion. Why were they keeping him and Justice alive?
“How’d you track us down?” he questioned.
“I figured your mother would help you escape.”
The girl next to him sniffed derisively.
“Now, Morgan,” the gambler gently chastised her. “I know you dote on me, but don’t be rude. Tristan and his mother are dear friends.”
She crossed her arms and stared out the window. Now that Tristan could concentrate on his surroundings again, he let his gaze wander over Morgan. Tiny with doll-like features, she couldn’t be any older than eighteen. He admired her raven-black hair, which fell to her breasts in two glistening sheaves. She barely looked at him, her midnight-blue eyes cold, hateful. Dressed in black leather pants so tight they appeared spray-painted on her, a crimson peasant blouse, and a matching black leather vest, she could have just stepped out of the pages of a pirates and vixens catalogue.
He wanted to ask who she was and why she was there, but sensed he’d better keep his mouth shut for now. He shot furtive glances at Rockwell. A shimmer of royal purple through the opening of the man’s suit jacket caught his attention. Months ago, Justice had told him about each conducator used a specific color to signify his or her gang. If the vamp leader and his minions were in uniform, their little excursion didn’t bode well.