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Authors: A. Sangrey Black

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Die For You

BOOK: Die For You
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Table of Contents

DIE FOR YOU

blurb

Copyright Acknowledgement

story

Trademarks Acknowledgment

MLR PRESS AUTHORS

GLBT RESOURCES

DIE FOR YOU

A. SANGREY BLACK

mlrpress

www.mlrpress.com

When you’re a cop in Undertown, where things that go bump in the night live, fight, and devour one another in their constant battle to exist in a human world that reviles them, falling in love should be the last thing on your mind. But for human Detective Gage Roberts, a near death experience and a heroic rescue by his vampire partner Jensen Holm brings repressed feelings exploding to the surface. Will Gage put his macho defenses on the line and take a chance on the love of his immortal hero?

Copyright Acknowledgement

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright 2013 by A Sangrey Black

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Published by

MLR Press, LLC

3052 Gaines Waterport Rd.

Albion, NY 14411

Visit ManLoveRomance Press, LLC on the Internet:

www.mlrpress.com

Cover Art by Deana Jamroz

Editing by Amanda Faris

ebook format

Issued 2013

This book is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution via any means is illegal and a violation of International Copyright Law, subject to criminal prosecution and upon conviction, fines and/or imprisonment. This eBook cannot be legally loaned or given to others. No part of this eBook can be shared or reproduced without the express permission of the publisher.

“I die of love for you, but keep this secret:

The tie that binds us is an unbreakable rope.

How much time did your creation take, O angel?”

Abu Nuwas (756-815 A.D.)

The biggest problem with policing things that weren’t human was that normal law enforcement methods often didn’t do a damn thing to slow them down. You could shout “Halt! Police!” until your head exploded, and the majority either didn’t give a shit or didn’t understand what the hell you were saying.

Take, for example, the pair of Mereg Demon jewel thieves/vicious predators that detectives Gage Roberts and Jensen Holm were currently trying to apprehend without getting themselves slaughtered in the process. They had the demons cornered in an alley off Main Street, possibly not the best situation to try and catch them. This species was particularly dangerous, even to nearly indestructible vampire Jensen. Each beast measured almost eight feet tall, weighed in around 400 pounds of pure muscle and impenetrable scale armor, and had eight or nine fingers and toes, with razor-tipped claws dripping with deadly poison.

Jensen was armed only with fangs and a broadsword, both requiring he get dangerously close to the monsters. Gage had a shotgun and a pistol, more or less the equivalent of throwing freaking pebbles at the demons.

It was one of those nightmare arrests that Undertown Unit Liaisons dreaded. Funny that the Northbrook PD wanted the “monster ghetto” policed and protected, but didn't want to bother properly arming their officers.

Not so funny right now, of course. Sword, teeth, guns, and even body armor weren't much good against the acidic spit raining out of the demons' slimy mouths. Both officers were spending as much time ducking and covering as trying to figure out a way to use their useless weapons against better-armed creatures.

“Shit!” was all the warning Gage had time to give before he bodily clotheslined his partner, knocking him against the alley walls behind the dumpsters. Jensen immediately shoved Gage's much smaller and more human body off in frustration.

“We have to get back out there!” the vampire shouted.

“Why, so they can melt our brains before they poison us and rip out our guts? Yeah, great plan. I'm calling for backup.”

“Gage, I'm not lying here like a rug waiting for them to come back here and eat us. They've killed eight people already, we can't just let them go!” Jensen objected, ever the freaking hero, ready to lay down what could end up an abbreviated run of immortality to help those in need. Not that Gage wasn't willing to die for a cause… just not a lost one.

This one was definitely lost—no way was he losing Jen with it. He reported the situation to dispatch quickly, before the idiot decided to disregard common sense and do exactly what he wanted, as usual.

“Blaze Units will be here in a few minutes. If the Meregs split, they'll get them in the sewers. They're not getting away this time, don't worry.”

Jensen's expression didn't change, the stubborn bastard. He just kept glaring at Gage as if his partner were asking him to sacrifice puppies under the full moon—something that probably took place in certain parts of this neighborhood. But Gage didn't back down. Jen might be bigger, stronger, and have a set of fangs that would put those True Blood guys to shame, but that didn't mean Gage was giving in to Jensen’s superhero complex.

The argument became moot when the demons worked themselves into enough of a frenzy to skip their “flight” option from the fight or flight menu and chose “splatter.” With Jensen and Gage trapped behind the Dumpsters, their opponents took advantage of the vulnerable position to either squash them or drive them out. One slammed the front with his full weight, heaving the ton-sized boxes ever closer to the wall, while the other shoved from the far end to expose their intended victims. If the detectives didn't move quickly, they were either going to be smears of squashed slop on the bricks, or right back in the untenable position from which they'd just escaped, exposed in the open.

Jensen immediately shifted into vampire mode, shoving back with his own considerable might. Finally frustrated with a useless push-pull situation, he turned glowing gold eyes on Gage.

“When I make my move,
run
!” he hollered, and with a wildcat scream, leapt upward as if his feet were on springs, landing on top of the nearest dumpster with a clang that echoed so loudly through the alley, even the demons paused in their assault. Jensen roared again as he rose to his full six foot two, brandishing his broadsword like an avenging angel.

Man, that gave Gage the most inappropriate hard-on he’d sported since his hot ninth grade English teacher dressed up as Abe Lincoln to give the Gettysburg Address.

Wrong, painful erection or no, Gage had to back Jensen’s plan and move. No fucking way he was going to run, of course, and leave Jen behind to fight alone. If they went down in a stupid, ill-advised battle, they were going down together. Gage shoved his lean form through the center of two dumpsters, and started emptying his shotgun uselessly into the hide of the closest demon. An impotent move that accomplished little more than pissing it off and distracting it from joining its partner’s attack on Jen, but it was something. Gage didn’t dare look up to see how Jen was faring; he just had to trust that the vampire was holding his own.

Mereg poison would kill a human fast, but it had varied effects on other species. No one was quite sure what that meant for a vampire. None that had tangled with a Mereg had ever recorded the experience that he knew of. Learning that vampires actually could catch certain blood-borne diseases and were affected by many poisons really hadn’t gone a long way toward building Gage’s security in his partner’s ultimate safety, considering his penchant for throwing himself in front of the proverbial bus for others.

Gage didn’t have time to concentrate on that. He was out of rounds in his shotgun, and now he was left emptying his Glock. It was like spitting at the damn Mereg, and Gage’s spit wasn’t nearly as painful as the demon’s. Every time a bullet made a nick in the Mereg’s armor, all he managed to do was get himself splashed with acid. He tried ducking, rolling, and jumping like a frog in a frying pan even as he fired to the end of the clip, but it was no good. The beast shrieked and ran at him, talons extended at the end of a ridiculously long reach, and there was nowhere left for Gage to run. He felt the claws pierce his armored vest and shred the skin above his heart.

Then he was falling, a numb sensation washing through his torso, respiration like breathing glass, muscles gone molten and weak as he hit the poisoned ground hard. Gage lay there watching as Jensen finished off his own opponent, and with a scream of bestial rage, beheaded the thing that had just gored Gage. All he could do was watch the gruesome scene of his partner’s revenge. Jensen was caught in a blood fury, hacking the bodies of both Meregs into sloppy chunks until there was no way they could regenerate or produce any more poison than what was already pouring out of their corpses onto the slimy tarmac. Gage’s vision grayed in and out. Jen bolted toward him at full vampire speed, hauled him over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry away from the poisoned ground, and propped him up against the wall as close to the mouth of the alley as he could get.

Gage tried to talk, tried to reach out to touch his partner, to say something in the last seconds of his life, but only a choking gurgle came out. His limbs wouldn’t work at all. Fuck, he was dead. He was never going to get the chance to tell his amazing vampire friend how much he fucking loved him, goddamn it.

“Shut up,” Jen admonished him. “Just stay still. I’m going to drink the poison out.”

Gage would have fought if he could. Not that he was afraid of a vampire bite—he’d had worse injuries in the line of duty—but right now he was more concerned that Jensen was about to be his usual self-sacrificing idiot self and purposefully take in toxic blood that would have who knew what effect on him.

Gage faded once again, only distantly aware of Jensen taking him in firm, strong arms, tipping his head back to access the big arteries in his neck, and taking a moment to breathe in Gage’s skin before he struck.

The piercing pain of Jensen’s fangs ripped through the dull languor the poison had created, and the weird mix of sensations was so erotic, Gage was more than willing to die as long as it felt like this. His partner made low, hungry noises as he drank, and Gage could feel Jen’s hard-on rubbing against his hip. All he could feel were those two wounds emptying his poisoned life’s essence into the mouth of the monster he loved.

It seemed to go on forever. Gage passed out a few times for brief moments, and when he came to some sense of full consciousness again, he and Jen were lying side by side in the muck of the alley. Barely able to move, Gage still managed to grab Jen’s shoulder and give him a weak shake.

“Jensen. Holm! Fucking…dumbass… vampire… wake up!”

Jen’s raven-wing lashes fluttered, and the greenest eyes Gage had ever seen in his life opened to focus on him. He wasn’t sure if the fact that the eyes weren’t fighting vampire gold was a good sign or bad.

“Stop swearing at me,” he said.

Gage grabbed the edge of a discarded crate and hauled himself up to seated position. “Are you all right? Can you move?”

“You’re bleeding,” Jensen observed, and passed out again.

Fuck. Where was the goddamn backup?

No sooner had he thought it than three guys with flame-throwers and full battle gear came charging into the alley, skidding to a halt when they took in the scene. One specialist immediately ran back out to signal the EMT crew. The EMTs sprinted over to Gage as the Blazer Unit put their Throwers to use, setting the Mereg remains on fire, ensuring the poison and acid were evaporated. Wouldn't be much of a police operation if they left toxic waste behind for stray cats or little kids to get melted in.

“What's the situation?” asked Dallas Miner, one of the few EMTs that would do Undertown duty. The other was a newbie Gage didn't know, and while the guy went through all the motions in a professional and thorough manner, he still looked more than a little green around his pretty young gills.

“I got gored by a Mereg, and Holm sucked out the poison,” Gage reported.

The old vet didn't even blink at the idea that Jensen had been drinking his partner's blood a few minutes ago. “Feeling any chest pressure? Numbness? How's your breathing?”

“I'm fine. Take care of Holm. He… drew out most of the poison, I think. Regained consciousness for a minute, but went right back under.”

“I'll check him out. Chris here isn't certified for vamp triage yet.”

Gage nodded, not giving a fuck about anybody's credentials. While the newbie poked and prodded and shone lights in Gage's face, he kept his eyes glued to Miner's examination of Jen. The vampire was preternaturally still, no breath, no nothing… but that was their natural state. No way to tell if he was more dead than usual. It wasn't like the movies or TV when a vampire turned to convenient dust or mush when they bought it. They just never got up again. How Vamp-certified EMT's could tell whether their patients were dead-dead or undead and injured was beyond him. He suspected some kind of magick or voodoo that they just kept to themselves for job security.

BOOK: Die For You
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