The clock on the wall in the loft of The Waking Moon read ten after midnight. I was standing at the easel, a brush in my hand, while Trey worked out a new song on his acoustic guitar. He sat on the floor with his back against the half-wall while his voice echoed around the loft.
“I lie awake
These sleepless nights can last forever
I try to take you in.
“I can’t believe …
You’re in my arms- and here with me
I pinch myself again.
“Cause I know … it’s worth it
You’re worth- whatever it takes
To make you stay.
“And I’ll show … you over and over
Every day- as long as you’ll stay
I’d been painting him for half an hour, although of course, he had no idea that’s what I was doing. He just looked so incredible sitting there barefoot in his jeans and t-shirt, cradling his guitar, that I couldn’t help myself. The song was getting to me, too. It was poetic, the way words flowed from him effortlessly. Who knew I was a sucker for musicians? I’d already finished painting Trey, capturing every aspect of him from the carefree spirit in his azure eyes to the fashionably worn holes in his jeans. As I switched to a silver metallic paint to work on the details of Trey’s instrument, I struggled to shake off memories of the night before.
After hours of playing Guitar Hero two nights ago, I’d spent all day yesterday sleeping and had gone hunting after dark. Finding someone to feed from had been the easy part, but when I got close enough to get a good look at his face, I’d been surprised to discover that he had a remarkable resemblance to Trey. It wasn’t as if I’d thought it was Trey at any point. I could definitely tell the difference. But the similarities were shocking. He’d had hair just like Trey’s, and his eyes … they were the same crystal clear blue. Instead of using whatever lie of a story I had in my mind to distract him like I’d planned, I’d found myself staring at him in astonishment until he was asking if I was okay. In the end I’d mumbled something about how he might consider a career as a celebrity impersonator as I walked away.
Not exactly the ending I’d had in mind. I’d gone out for drinks with Mark afterward, trying to forget about the incident. He’d known something was bothering me, but I hadn’t explained myself and he’d been smart enough not to push the issue.
Even if Mark had been clued in to just how much time I’d been spending with Trey, which he wasn’t, I could never have explained what was running through my mind. It wasn’t the lack of feeding that was bothering me. It was the fact that I’d been so repulsed by the idea of feeding from someone who could have been Trey’s double. I’d clearly been in denial about my feelings for Trey. I just hadn’t expected those feelings to manifest in a way that would literally stop me in my tracks and cost me a meal.
The vampire in me could point out with ease all of the logical reasons why I should never see Trey again. He was only human, after all. What did he really have to offer me? The answer to that was simple, if I looked deep enough.
Trey was all of the things I liked to pretend I was, but could never be again. Admittedly I was getting good at going through the motions of being free spirited and adventurous but in my moonlit reality I felt trapped. A spirit like Trey’s was something I’d admired as a human, envied even. I’d tried to live like that myself, never quite managing to do it. Aden had been the free spirited one. I’d loved that about him, too. As an immortal creature, I’d hoped to finally grasp the independence I’d always strived for. I’d made the age-old mistake many of my kind make, assuming that being free from age and free of death would give me freedom in life. I’d since learned that things didn’t exactly work out that way.
The only taste of that freedom I experienced was with Trey. It was as if his innate ability to live so carefree was contagious and rubbed off on me more and more with each second we spent together. It was a powerful feeling, and not one I was ready to give up.
The blood-laced drinks Mark and I consumed had curbed my appetite but only temporarily. I’d gone out tonight and managed to feed from someone who in no way resembled Trey, or anyone else I know for that matter. One thing was certain; I seriously needed to get a grip.
Trey set his guitar down on the ground and gave an exaggerated old man groan as he got to his feet, stretching his limbs. With a few tiny strokes of a brush I finished adding the metallic paint to the likeness of Trey’s guitar on my canvas. I stepped back to admire my work as Trey sauntered over and stood next to me. I watched his face out of the corner of my eye, anxious to see his reaction.
“Wow,” he said in astonishment. “This is incredible. I didn’t realize what you were – that I was the subject.”
“It was your idea,” I responded.
He stared, open-mouthed at the painting. “Yeah, but I had no idea you would come up with something like this. You even used the metallic paints. It’s insane!”
“I’m glad you like it,” I said.
“Like it? I can’t wait to show it to the guys,” he professed. “Do you have any others, you know, from the studio?”
I gestured with a hand to my giant sketchpad. Trey picked it up and flipped through the first few pages, taking a few seconds to admire the random drawings I’d done there, including the sketch I’d done of him and O’Shea playing their guitars in the studio. I might have started to worry that he didn’t like it, but the lopsided grin on his face when he glanced up at me was answer enough.
“Let’s show the rest of the guys tomorrow,” he suggested. “Then if they’re on board we can get Wes to take your sketches to the label.”
“If you say so.”
“And deprive some loyal, pubescent fan of the joy that would come from winning this through your fan club?” I said incredulously. “I don’t think so.”
He took a step forward and smiled again, that half-smile that was so full of boyish charm and sincerity. With all my inhuman advantages, I was still powerless against it. His calloused fingers gently gripped my hand as he pulled my palm to his chest where I felt every beat of his heart. It was a bold move on Trey’s part in ways he couldn’t even understand. I recognized the gesture as one of openness without needing to search his mind. Even though I was aware of the delicious blood pumping through his veins, my mouth didn’t so much as water. I gazed back at him, his blue eyes blazing, and I had to resist the intense urge not to look away for the ridiculous fear that he’d see right through me. See the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Then his lips were on mine and I lost myself, overwhelmed by the surge of Trey’s emotions as they flooded through me. I kissed him back wanting to forget my fear of being discovered, of putting him in danger, and focus only on how good it felt being in his arms. After all, relinquishing some control was a sacrifice worth making if it meant I could continue to live in this fantasy with Trey. But the dreaded tingling in my teeth started up again and I reluctantly pulled away. Trey closed his eyes and let out a slow breath, resting his forehead against mine. It was obvious he was trying to be patient with me.
“Trey, I…” I wanted to apologize but what could I say? I’m sorry but I’m afraid my fangs might freak you out. Oh, and by the way, my eyes sort of glow in the dark when I get excited. I hope you’re cool with that?
“It’s okay,” he breathed, resting his hand on mine over his heart. I wondered how long he would put up with me pulling away like this. It was selfish of me and dangerous for us both, but I wasn’t willing to give him up. I didn’t want to lose him, or the effect he had on my spirit. It was time to accept the truth. I was falling in love with Trey.
Blood And Guitars Summary:
When Aurora meets Trey, a famous singer and musician, she’s only hoping to get her fill of human blood for the week. The last thing Aurora expects is for Trey to make her feel alive for the first time since she was, well, alive. It begins with a casual painting lesson at her art studio, The Waking Moon, and quickly turns into a forbidden romance. Aurora is forced to hide her true identity from Trey, while keeping her relationship with the human a secret from other vampires in her Brood.
Trey’s band is recording a new album and with Aurora as his muse, Trey is writing songs like never before. After being hired by their record label to paint the cover of the new album, Aurora has a legitimate reason for spending so much time with Trey and his band mates. Aurora can’t deny the unexpected connection she has with Trey, which is fueled by glimpses into his emotions every time they share a kiss. Caught between two worlds, Aurora must attend celebrity award shows and vampire rituals, find time to feed, and protect Trey from the dangers of the night, all while preserving her secrets.
Immortals And Melodies
I always assumed my high-tech home security system would come in handy if an obsessed fan-turned-stalker crossed a line, or if the overzealous paparazzi tried to get too close, but I was fairly certain it didn’t guarantee protection from the supernatural. If only I had known that photogs and obsessed fans would be the least of my worries.
The night started off like any other. We were at Karatz’s place for rehearsal. We were done recording the album, but he’d offered to let us use his live room as a rehearsal space. Of course, we couldn’t refuse an offer like that. We’d been there for three hours and midnight was fast approaching as we ran through the dozen songs that made the cut for the record. That included a new song called “You Only Live Twice,” which we’d added last minute and decided to make the first single. We hadn’t played most of the tunes since we’d finished recording them, so there were a few kinks to work out. Our tour manager, Roger, was there, too. He was with us for the last tour, which made things easier since he already knew what we liked. He sat nearby and made a list of all the equipment we’d need for the live show. I was just glad I didn’t have to figure all of it out.
The record’s release date was set for the day before Halloween, which meant we had less than three weeks before it would hit record stores and iTunes. It felt great to have the album ready to show the world. My only regret was that Wes would never hear it in its entirety.
“Let’s take five,” I suggested after the last run through of Midnight Poison. I set my guitar down and made my way over to Aurora who was hanging out in the lounge. She’d spent the earlier part of the night on her phone and her computer while she talked to some Web designer about doing a website for her art. Since she was going to be coming on the road with me and the guys, I suggested she consider getting her paintings on the Web so she’d have greater exposure. She’d been trying to find the right person to design a website for a few days now. She handed me a bottle of water and I downed half of it. That was when I noticed she was looking a little out of sorts. “Come on,” I said, offering my hand to her. “Let’s get some fresh air.” She took my hand and let me pull her down the hallway and out the studio doors. Once outside, I took a deep breath, filling my lungs with the crisp night air. Then I turned to look at Aurora. She forced a smile, but it didn’t reach her eyes. “Are you okay?” I finally asked.
“I’m fine,” she said. “It’s just been kind of crazy lately. That’s all.”
I pulled her hand to my chest and wrapped my arms around her. She squeezed me back and let me hold her in silence for a moment before she pulled away.
“You smell so good,” she moaned pitifully, staring up at me from under those thick dark lashes.
I chuckled, taking that as a compliment and bent down to her. Aurora’s lips met mine in a hungry kiss. Her hand went to the back of my neck, pulling me closer. I ran my fingers through her hair and lost myself entirely in the kiss.
When she pulled away, the movement was sudden. I looked up to find her staring at me through luminescent, green eyes. She gaped in surprise, probably because her fangs had unsheathed in the heat of the moment.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“It’s okay,” I said, taking her hand. “Besides, you know I think it’s hot when I get to see you like this.” I expected that comment to earn a smile, at least, but she just turned away from me to compose herself again. She wasn’t acting like herself and I thought I might know why. “When was the last time you … you know … fed?”
She opened her mouth to answer when O’Shea’s voice rang out from behind her. She stepped into my arms again and buried her face in my shoulder to keep from being seen.
“You coming back in or what?” O’Shea hollered at me.
“Be there in a minute,” I called out. He shrugged and disappeared through the studio doors, leaving us alone again. I sighed, and Aurora looked up at me with questioning eyes that were no longer glowing in the dark. “He’s gone,” I assured her. “But I’m serious about you feeding. When was the last time?”
“It’s been a few days,” she admitted. “But I’m fine. Really.”
“Unless you’re sneaking out while I’m asleep, it’s been more than a few days.” She hadn’t been sneaking out. I already knew that. She insisted it wasn’t safe for us to be apart. I hadn’t argued and not just because I knew there were vampires out there who wanted me dead. We’d spent every minute together since Wes’s death. Every minute except the night before she’d made lasagna for me and the guys. She’d gone out to feed then. “It’s been more than a week,” I blurted out, shocked by the realization that so much time had passed since that night. “No wonder you find me so irresistible.”
She sighed and reached for my hands. “It’s not a big deal. I’ll feed tomorrow night.”
“I’m safe here,” I said to her. “Nobody’s going to come after me while I’m with the guys. There are too many witnesses. Go. Find someone yummy.”
She let out a disbelieving laugh and shook her head at me, but her smile was genuine now. “You’re such a dork.” Then she bit her bottom lip and gazed at me seriously. “Are you sure?”
“I’m sure. The last thing this rock star needs is to be eaten by his hungry girlfriend in the middle of the night.”
She relaxed a little at my joke. “I’ll only be gone a little while,” she promised.
“Stop worrying. We’re almost done here anyway. I’ll just catch a ride home with O’Shea and meet you at the house. I just have one condition,” I said. “No biting some guy who’s hotter than me.”
“I’d be hard-pressed to manage that,” she said, grinning.
“Take your time. I’ll be fine,” I insisted. “See you back at the house.”
“I won’t be long,” she added. “Now get back in there before my mouth starts watering.”
I kissed her cheek and headed back inside, wondering when it had become so normal to send my girlfriend out to hunt for someone to drink. The guys and I wrapped up rehearsal just twenty minutes later. I caught a ride with O’Shea back to my place, finding that I’d beaten Aurora back to the house. It wasn’t until O’Shea was pulling away and I was letting myself in the front door that a sick feeling arose in my stomach. I pulled out my keys and reminded myself not to forget to set the security alarm as the lock clicked and I opened the door. I had only taken one step inside when, in a rush of air, I was shoved forward and slammed into the wall in my entryway. Something, or rather someone, had pinned me to the wall with strength I couldn’t define. The wind was forced from my lungs and I fought to draw in breath as my ribs tried to expand against the pressure of the wall at my back.
“Where is she?” The vampire’s voice rasped.
“Who?” I coughed.
“Don’t play stupid, human. The proditor. The betrayer … where is she now? Don’t tell me she’s just left you alone for the curious to sample?”
“She’ll be here any minute,” I choked out, hoping it were true. “If I were you, I wouldn’t stick around to find out what happens next.”
“Is that a threat?”
“Not at all,” I insisted, my voice stronger now. “It’s a promise.”
Then came a weightless sensation followed by the shocking realization that I was flying across the room.
Immortals And Melodies Summary:
Catalyst frontman Trey is no stranger to chaos, but even the life of a rock star couldn’t prepare him for the consequences of loving a vampire. Trey’s life is in danger; threatened by the very group he must join to stay alive. His struggle to continue his career and release a new album with the band is marred by events that force him to ask a powerful Synod Elder for help.
Aurora has to keep Trey alive until she can make him a vampire, but her own kind will stop at nothing to prevent it. The head of the Emissary is having her followed, and if she can’t figure out who is behind the violent attacks, Trey might not make it to the full moon. As Aurora battles her own kind, she’s also plagued by the risk she’s taking by changing Trey. Will her moon-given power be enough to carry Trey through the change, or will he be left floating in the wake of destruction?
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Heather Jensen writes paranormal fantasy for teens and adults. She began writing her first book at the age of 16. She is an avid reader and loves anything vampire-related, but likes all kinds of fantasy. When she’s not writing she enjoys traveling, listening to music, going to concerts, playing guitar and spending time with friends and family. She is addicted to Oreos and White Knight drinks from Perks. Her favorite color is green and the uglier the shade the better.
Heather lives in Southern Utah with her husband and son where she continues to write the Blood And Guitars series. The second book in the series, Immortals And Melodies, is available on Kindle and will soon be in paperback.
To purchase Blood And Guitars in e-book or paperback, visit http://heatherjensen.info/about-the-book/shop/
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