This night is going from bad to worse. My roommate is dead. My sexy neighbor, who I've never worked up the guts to talk to before, is standing in my living room. I have a gold amulet I just stole from the museum hidden in my pocket. Oh, and I'm dead... or undead?
All the myths about vampires, were-wolves, and the like? Turns out, all true. My sexy neighbor claims I'm a vampire now. I don't quite believe him, but then again, he turned into a coyote in front of me. Jackal, whatever. Plus, you know, my new fangs.
Oh, did I mention my sexy neighbor is an ex-cop? And his cop buddies just knocked down my door. I'm pretty sure this night can't get any worse… I'm probably wrong.
"This book was excellent. It was easy to digest and fast paced enough to keep me entertained from the moment it began. I would definitely recommend this book to any mature reader interested in fantasy, especially those of the transmasc variety. I just have to mention that it brought back warm memories of my teenage/young adult years reading Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak series, and even reminded me of my childhood years reading R.L. Stine's books."– Reader review
"If you like your books with a plot: Read this one! It's amazing! The story line is addictive and unpredictable and the characters are great! I couldn't stop reading. Everett is trans and wakes up a newly turned vampire. Jack, his shifter neighbor, introduces him to the supernatural world. As they try to work out what happened to Everett, they are chased by supernaturals and humans alike. And love happens."– Reader review
"I was also glad this was not an insta-love between Everett and Jack. At one point I didn't feel a connection between them. Their connection was very gradual because both have had and continued to have issues of the heart to deal with. Especially Everett, being a trans-man and dealing with transitioning, becoming a vampire that leaves him with so many questions and no clear answers, and the love of family that denies him because of who he truly is. For readers who like vampires, werewolves and other creatures this is a must read."– Reader review
The locked door to my apartment building stared at me mockingly. I rattled the door in frustration, then rested my forehead against the glass.
This was the capstone to a truly terrible evening.
"Fuck," I muttered to myself, but my words came out at less than a hoarse whisper. I coughed and massaged my neck, trying to clear my throat so I could buzz my roommate and ask her to let me in.
I hated to do it, given it was the middle of the night. Sleep deprived Lindsay was scary. But, as much as I dreaded her inevitable lecture on responsibility, I'd been mugged on my way home from work and the thief had made off with my keys—and almost everything else, including my museum employee badge.
At least, I assumed that's what had happened, since I had no memory of the time between leaving work and waking up in a dumpster covered in blood. I didn't even know whose blood it was, since I was unharmed except for a pounding headache and a sore throat. But it didn't really matter.
Steeling myself for Lindsay's yelling, I entered our apartment number into the keypad. The phone rang for a long time before Lindsay's voicemail picked up. She had probably turned off her phone. Not the first time I hadn't been able to reach her late at night.
I rattled the door again and then kicked it. I was exhausted and thirsty. So thirsty. All I wanted to do was drink a gallon of water and then crawl into bed.
I lingered by the front door while I debated what to do. If I got lucky, someone would come by and I could just follow them inside. But given it was the middle of the night, if I got unlucky I'd have to sleep outside.
I caught sight of my reflection in the glass and was horrified by the sight that greeted me. Nobody was going to believe I lived here looking like this. I scrubbed the worst of the dumpster's grime from my face with my jacket sleeve and then smoothed my short black hair down. Nothing I could do about the blood stains down the front of my jacket.
After about ten minutes, another resident of the apartments came up the walk and unlocked the front door. I tried to follow him in, but the man turned to glare at me, blocking the doorway.
"Do you live here?" he asked me, planting his feet and crossing his arms as he glared at me.
My reply caught in my dry throat. My tongue felt like sandpaper. I tried to sidle around him to the elevators, but the man threw out an arm to stop me.
"I don't think so," he said, moving closer and lifting his hand to shake his finger at my face.
I scowled and took a breath to try again to reply when the most delicious scent hit my nose—like all my favorite foods had combined into one delightful potpourri. Two sharp objects pricked my bottom lip. Without thinking, I lunged forward and bit down on the man's hand.
Liquid warmth hit my tongue. It was the most delicious thing I'd ever had in my life, yet the taste was totally indescribable. As I greedily sucked down the blood, warmth spread through me, chasing away the chill. I hadn't realized how cold I'd been until then.
My neighbor screamed and pushed me away. I stumbled backwards, but with my mouth clamped on the man's hand, I dragged him with me. We spun out onto the walk, the man beating at my head with his free hand. But between the taste and the warm feeling, he might as well have been on the moon for all I heard or felt his cries.
"Get off him!"
I was only dimly aware of the voice until someone punched my jaw, and although it didn't hurt, the shock of it made me open my mouth and let go.
"He bit me!" my neighbor slurred angrily.
I fell back a few steps before getting my feet under me. A second man, dark-skinned and wearing jeans and a leather jacket, stood in a protective stance between me and the neighbor, who was clutching his bleeding hand to his chest and beating a hasty retreat toward the apartment doors. I recognized leather jacket man as another resident of the apartments.
"What the hell were you thinking?" leather jacket growled. I narrowed my eyes at my prey getting away behind him.
There was a lump in my throat, and I was having trouble swallowing. "Thirsty," I managed to get out. The unfamiliar shape of something against my lips made it hard to talk.
I met his eyes, and then my gaze traveled lower, to his neck. To the way the vein there seemed to jump to some silent beat. I wanted it.
Growling, I darted forward. Leather jacket man crouched and spread his arms, expecting me to try to dodge around him, so he was caught unprepared by my charge. I hit him in the chest, mouth spread wide, and bit down hard on the front of his neck. He bellowed, but I barely registered the sound. More delicious nectar danced along my taste buds, commanding all of my attention.
That was until the smooth skin under my lips began to sprout hair. The shock of feeling the hair against my tongue made me let go.
I stumbled back, landing on my butt in the grass. I felt like I was well on my way to drunk. I opened my eyes to find that the man was gone. Standing in his place, on four legs and wearing the man's leather jacket and jeans, was a coyote.
"What the hell?" I sputtered in surprise as I licked my lips to get the last of the flavor off of them.
"You took the words right out of my mouth," the coyote said.
"The coyote… talked." The mugger's blow to my head must have been worse than I thought if I was hallucinating. At least the headache that had been bothering me was gone, as was that intense thirst.
The coyote put its ears back and glared at me while kicking off the jeans that were wrapped around its back legs and tail. "Are you a complete idiot? Wait, never mind. Don't answer that," the coyote said when I opened my mouth to reply.