Q: When is a Vampire not a Vampire?
A: When he's an Aventurieri!
Humans call them vampires; they call themselves aventurieri. They have their own feudal-based government and laws more stringent than their human brothers, based on a much harsher religion. They do not kill humans for their blood but have a retinue of servants who supply them in exchange for their protection. Faithful retainers are rewarded with enthrallment bestowing an elongated life span. Their religion has given them a Prince--the
Domnitor--and the myth of the Intemplare, a one-eyed king who will deliver his people from the tyranny of their ruler while betraying them to the world of humans. They fear humans and even those who live in the outside world do so in disguise and caution. They also have their feuds, romances, insecurities, and secrets
And then....in 1793, their Prince orders his assassin to punish an aventurieri who has broken the Law...and that single act begins a series of events sending the assassin's eldest son on a journey of revenge and self-discovery. It takes him from Transylvania to the Hellfire Clubs of Vienna to a French marquise’s bedchamber...and eventually brings about the fulfillment of the legend of the Intemplare.
Commanding them to partake of all that was offered, he climbed the dais to his own seat.
The girl was sitting on a stool at the head table. As Marek slid into his chair, she stiffened and turned to face him.
Gods, she looks terrified. Must be her first outing.
He smiled to put her at ease, "Good evening, Nurliu," using that little affectionate because she was the prettiest female he'd seen in a very long time. He placed his forefinger under her chin, tilting her head slightly.
She relaxed just a little, smiling timidly. "Good evening, Your Lordship."
Marek leaned forward to kiss her. She started to pull away, then forced herself to be still.
The next moment, he nearly recoiled as her fresh, unsullied scent flowed over him. What the Hell--? Taking her in his arms, he pressed a kiss against her bared shoulder, inhaling deeply the delicate female fragrance of her skin.
"You're human," he whispered the words into her ear so no one else could hear. "How'd you get here?"
Releasing her, he leaned back to look into her eyes. He was startled to see that they were a blue so pale as to be almost colorless. How could those fool soldiers see those and her red hair and think her one of us?
No aventurieri had eyes that color.
"I-I'm the kitchen maid for Madame Lubos." She avoided his gaze. "I heard her girls talking about what they would be paid for tonight, and I-I wanted the money!"
"You'll have to earn it," he told her solemnly, already envisioning her naked in his bed and surprising himself with the thought.
Her chin went up, though it trembled slightly. "I'm quite prepared to do that, my Lord!"
"Good!" Marek turned away, seizing the leg of a roasted bird on the platter before him and wrenching it free of the carcase. "You'll get your chance soon enough!"
He bit into the drumstick, hearing a slight gasp behind him. He swallowed and looked at her, asking sardonically, "You didn't know we ate food, also?
Did you think the meals you prepared were just for Madame Lubos' human customers?"
Pulling a silver of meat from the bone, he offered it to her, and after the slightest hesitation, she opened her mouth, allowing him to place it on her tongue.
Chewing daintily, she swallowed and ate the second piece he held out also. She selected a pitted cherry from a bowl of fruit next to the fowl, but as she started to eat it, Marek caught her wrist, bringing it toward his mouth.
"I have a particular weakness for cherries." He bit the little fruit off the stem and released her hand, wondering why she blushed so.
In spite of that, she smiled a little easier and picked up another cherry, rubbing it across his lips and smearing them with juice. He ate that one, too, and for several minutes, was content to sit there and eat the fruit from her hand. Her fingers became stained and he licked the juice off them, his tongue lingering against her fingertips.
When he kissed her again, he could taste her own sweetness under the flavor of the cherry juice.
The Shadow Lord is the first in the Second Species series, with a release date of Hallowe’en. It will be published by
Double Dragon Publishing ( ). Canada
Other novels by Tony-Paul de Vissage may be found at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Tony-Paul%20de%20Vissage
You can find out more about Tony-Paul and his novels at:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BDHDZY
Tony-Paul de Vissage is a Southerner of French Huguenot extraction, whose first movie memory is of viewing the old Universal horror flick,
Dracula’s Daughter, on television, and being scared sleepless--and that may explain a lifelong interest in vampires.
This was further inspired when the author encountered a band of transplanted Transylvanian vampires sightseeing in the South. Thinking nosferatu were getting a bad press and in need of some favorable publicity, he decided to do what he could to change that attitude through his writing. Though it may be argued his efforts have probably done the opposite, no vamp has complained…yet.