Gabe Villagran has been an outcast since birth. The large purple birthmark on the right side of his face has ostracized him from family and community, leaving him with little self-esteem. So, imagine his delight when, at the age of eighteen, vampires come out to the world. Finally, he's not the only freak of nature around.
Five years after leaving home, Gabe meets Pierre Sangre outside his gay vampire club quite by chance. Meaning, he rescues Gabe from becoming vampire food. A vampire himself, Pierre sees something in the young man before him, and wants to keep him close. Pierre hires Gabe as a sort of boy Friday at the club and Gabe, grateful to his savior, accepts and falls irrevocably in love.
For ten years, both men dance around their attraction to each other until a night of misunderstandings clears things up. All it takes is the perfect bite.
Pierre leaned forward and placed his elbows on his knees, black hair rumpled and green eyes at their most challenging. "You didn't let me finish what I was saying to you this morning."
I crossed my arms and looked away, noticing that the blinds had been closed on the windows. "What else was there to say? I'm a besotted idiot mooning over a man whose heart has been taken by another for centuries. I embarrassed you, and I couldn't have that. You deserve more than a lovesick moron in your employ. I'm pathetic."
"Stop that. You could never embarrass me, Gabe Villagran. You are the most conscientious person I know, and your loyalty is at once a blessing and a curse. You would do anything in your power to see that I didn't experience any discomfort, at your expense. But what you don't understand is that there is no comfort in the world for me without you."
I stared at him. "I don't understand."
Pierre got up and sat next to me on the bed. He leaned over me, one hand on the other side of my still sleep-warm body. "I was on the phone with an old friend who'd known Andre when he was alive. This friend has known the grief I've endured since his death and I wanted him to know that I'd finally found someone that has made me feel love again. That's you, Gabe."
My arms fell to the bedspread in disbelief. "But I'm ... nothing. I'm not smart, I don't do anything spectacular, and my only claim to fame, if you can call it that, is the mark on my face. You could do so much better than me."
"No, Gabe, I couldn't. That night I rescued you in the alley next to the club, I felt my dead heart thump when I saw you for the first time after getting rid of that vampire. That organ hasn't beat in centuries. You did that, Gabe, and I had to have you near me, in any way I could. So I hired you to do whatever you were comfortable with.
"Over the years, you've become indispensable to me, and I kept watching to see if you would fall for someone. But you never did, though I lived in constant fear that you would. I'd never pressure you, though. I knew you had feelings for me, but they were born out of gratitude in the beginning.
"When they matured into love, I thought it was time to make my intentions known. But you kept me at bay, and never once caught on. I'm here, now, to claim you." He stared at me and his eyes turned red as his fangs descended. "Gabe Villagran, you are my mate and I want you for my own."