Okay, for the Tuesday Teaser, here's a short excerpt from Night's Fall. This was originally titled Darkness Awaits. There's been major changes made, and it's been greatly expanded too.
A CHILL raced up Michael’s back, and his muscles tightened at the sound of heavy breathing behind him. Coolness pressed against his back. Sharp, pointed teeth nipped along his jugular. A hand ran down the front of his shirt, torturing his pierced nipple through the thin material before moving on to the next.
“The wait is almost over. Soon we’ll be together.”
The possessiveness of those words should’ve scared him, but they didn’t.
Each shirt button was undone, and Michael’s breath stalled when chilly fingers brushed his skin. Michael tensed.
“Remember to breathe, beautiful.”
A gentle nudge sent the shirt sliding off his body to pool at his feet. His dream lover’s hands moved down Michael’s sides, stroking and tracing each rib. They stopped at the waist of his jeans. Michael’s heart sped up when his jeans were unbuttoned. Damned if it wasn’t a slow, teasing process.
A hard cock pressed against his ass. Jeez, someone was hung like a moose. Warm breath huffed against his neck, distracting him from his lover’s hands moving to the waistband of his boxers.
“Touch me, dammit.” A desperate yearning ignited in Michael, one he’d never known. “I need your hands on me.”
Mesmerized, Michael watched long elegant, fingers with black nails scrape across his belly, leaving faint red lines but not drawing blood.
Wait. Wait. Black nails? Really long, black, pointy nails? A small tentacle of fear wiggled through the mist of pleasure blanketing his mind.
“Relax, beautiful, and just feel. You know I won’t hurt you.” The voice whispering in his ear sounded hissy and… and… nonhuman.
The fear retreated. He did know his lover wouldn’t hurt him. He’d been having the dreams since he was sixteen, after all. Even if they were a bit frightening, they were also arousing. In his lover’s arms, he was safe… safe and cared for. Wanted.
“I’m going make you scream when I finally bond with you. Then I’m going to make you beg for more,” he hissed in Michael’s ear.
“Fuck.” Could words alone make a person come? He was damn well willing to find out.
He tried to grind back against his dream lover, determined to force the issue. A soft chuckle echoed in his ear as the top of his boxers were eased down and his shaft sprang free. The touches on his cock were featherlight, making him groan. Shit, he needed more.
“Harder, do it harder.”
“Love how responsive you are.”
Thrusting his hips, he tried to push his cock harder into that demanding, tight grip. He wanted to come, dammit.
“Soon, beautiful. Just remember you have nothing to fear from me. I have waited years for you.”
The strident blast of his alarm jerked Michael awake. Dear God, not again. Lately all he did was dream of a sexy stranger whose magic hands and wicked tongue left him yearning for things found only in fairytales.
There was something slightly off about the man he dreamed of, though. Something… dark. Not really evil, but wicked. Haunting, dangerous, and powerful. Ruthless. Too bad the man was a figment of his imagination.
Michael ran his hands through his hair. Ugh. Sweaty. He cleared his throat, gagged, and started coughing. Shit. He needed his cough medicine, then coffee—buttloads of coffee. Why couldn’t they make cough medicine taste like coffee?
Tossing the sheet off, he swung his legs over the side of the bed. His head spun from the movement. Shit, he was weak. Stupid fucking flu. Since he was perspiring, hopefully that meant his fever had broken and he was on the mend.
A noise caught his attention. He glanced up, listening. It sounded like his family was about ready to leave on their trip to Las Vegas. He needed to get up and see them off, but fuck, he was exhausted, and he’d just woken up.
Almost as if summoned, there was a knock at his door. Michael smiled. He should’ve known if he didn’t go to them, they’d come to him. “Come in.”
The door opened, and Michael’s mom, dad, and brother crowded in the entrance.
“Hey, sweetie, we’re about to leave. How are you doing? Any better?” Mom walked in and immediately pressed her hand against Michael’s forehead. “Hmmm.”
“Yeah, I think the fever broke, so I guess I’m going to live. Of course, the only direction to go was up, considering I felt like death.”
“Make sure to drink plenty of fluids while we’re gone, and don’t overdo it either. I made sure the fridge is stocked, and speaking of that, I left the doctor’s office number on it, just in case. Oh! And you remember where the spare key is, right?” Mom wrung her hands. “Oh dear, you really are still pale. Maybe I shouldn’t go—”
“Judy, he’s twenty-five, not five.” Dad walked into the room and rubbed Mom’s back. “Give the boy a break. It’s not as if we’re traveling to the other side of the world. Just Vegas. He’ll be fine.”
“Hush, Gerald. I’m in the middle of a minibreak down, and you’re distracting me.”
“Yes, hon.” Dad tugged her arm. “Come on, love. I’m sure you need to walk through the house one more time to make sure we got everything. The kitchen sink isn’t packed yet, I think.”
Mom frowned. “I’m aware of what you’re doing, you devious man, and now I have to do it again since you mentioned it. This time you’re going with me.”
Dad put his hand over his heart. “I’ll follow you anywhere.”
Mark rolled his eyes. Michael shook his head at his brother. Their parents cracked him up.
“I’ll remind of you of that later, dear.” Mom turned back to Michael. “We love you, sweetie. Call if you need anything.”
“I will, Mom. Love you guys too.”
Dad winked as he followed Mom out. Unfortunately, Mark stayed.
Mark leaned against the doorframe. “Damn, you look like death. No, no… more like death warmed over.”
“Let’s see what you’d look like after a week of this crap. In fact, why don’t you come a little closer? I’m suddenly feeling the need to cough.”
Mark snorted, running his hand down his shirt. “Phlegm wouldn’t go with my look, sorry. Think this is close enough, Typhoid Mary.”
“Jerk,” Michael croaked. Lord, he sounded like he’d swallowed a frog. “She was asymptomatic, and clearly I am not. Not to mention she had typhoid. I have the damn flu.”
Michael muttered some interesting threats.
Mark laughed. “Creative, but I don’t think that last one is physically possible.”
“Have I mentioned how nice it’s going to be with you gone for a week? Almost makes being sick worth it.”
Mark hiked an eyebrow. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re going to miss my sparkling personality, and you know it.”
“Keep telling yourself that.” Michael coughed. Mark needed to leave before he was treated to something he’d just soon not see. “You better get going before Mom really does pack the kitchen sink.” Michael shooed Mark out of his room. “Call me when you to the hotel.”
“Can do.” Mark grinned, but it faded. “Seriously, take care of yourself. I’m going miss you.”
Dad yelled for Mark. “Son, get a move on before I have to buy more luggage. Your mother is looking at the bathroom sink now.”
“Good grief, Mark, how much did she pack?”
Mark cackled. Loudly.
“You better go. I’ll miss you too. And hey, make sure she doesn’t spend the whole trip worrying about me, okay? Have fun and try not to get into too much trouble.”
“Me? Why, I’m as pure as the driven snow.”
“Driven slush is more like it.”
“Exactly.” Winking, Mark strolled out of Michael’s room.
A BLEAK wind blew over the freshly dug graves. Michael knuckled his eyes, the ever-present tears blurring his vision. The trip to Las Vegas that his parents saved for hadn’t been a dream vacation. It turned into a nightmare—one that cost them their life.
A fucking mugging, of all things. Killed for the money in their wallets. They were dead, and Mark was missing. Even now, several weeks later, the cops still didn’t have any fucking leads on Mark’s disappearance. Michael was slowly losing his mind.
Another cool breeze swept across the graveyard. Michael shuddered. Sharp pain stabbed his heart. How was he supposed to do this alone? He wasn’t sure he could. Their family had been close. Mom served dinner every Sunday night, and he and Mark were expected to show. Hell, they wanted to be there. It was fun. Then they’d watch the late football game.
Michael bit the inside of his cheek. Pain was the only thing keeping him from breaking down. If he gave into the urge, he’d be hysterical in a matter of seconds. Turning, he left the graveside.
He didn’t know how to get through each day.