Hi, Holly here, stealing a spot again! I wanted to tell you about a story I’ve written for (National) Different Coloured Eyes Day. It’s called Bring Him Back, Jack and it’s about Ivan and Malik.
Ivan is a shadow walker, which means he can melt into walls and stuff. That’s the cool part. The not so cool part is that there are a lot of evil wizards who believe he’s a bridge between the living and the dead and that by using his blood in a special kind of rite they can gain immortality.
Ivan has different colours on his eyes, something all shadow walkers have, so he’s hiding it by always wearing coloured lenses.
Malik is a vampire, and in this alternative universe, vampires are treated like slaves. They have a stake attached to their chests ready to shoot through their hearts at any given moment, and Malik’s master insists on them wearing chains as soon as they leave the cage they live in.
When Ivan has to do a job for Malik’s master to pay off a debt, he insists on Ivan bringing Malik along – as a guard. The problem is that Ivan is to steal a diamond, and being stealthy is not easy when you have a massive vampire in rattling chains shadowing your every step.
Ivan left the bathroom without cursing. Malik had never been in a shower. It was hard to tell how old a vampire was, but Ivan would guess Malik was close to forty, maybe a couple of years past forty, and he’d never been in a shower. Ivan would turn thirty-four in October if they survived this mission, and he’d always assumed Malik was a few years older than him.
How did they wash in the basement? He wanted to strangle Remington Redwood.
He hadn’t seen many vamps living happy lives, but few were as miserable as those Remi kept.
The chain rattled against the shower stall wall, and Ivan winced. Perhaps he should have stayed in there. “Everything all right?” He stood right outside the door, not wanting to barge in unless Malik wanted him there.
Ivan grinned. “Turn the temperature down.”
“Well, there you go. Enjoy!” He went to inspect Raina’s cleaning cabinet. Last he’d checked, she kept a hammer and some nails there. He didn’t hold much hope to her having something able to cut metal, but you never knew. Raina had a tendency to surprise him.
When he couldn’t find anything, he pulled out his phone.
Only one signal rang through. “What?” Her bark made him wince.
“Erm… is this a bad time?”
“Crawling with people.”
Ivan nodded; he’d assumed as much. “Do you own a hacksaw or something?”
“No, if I need something I always go to Zev on the ground floor.”
Ivan had no idea who Zev was, and he wasn’t sure it was a good thing to involve someone else. “Who is he?”
“A super-hot werewolf. I don’t think he’d like you, so better wait until I get there.”
Yeah, super-hot werewolves were normally bigoted assholes with an alpha male complex—Ivan didn’t do those. “He can’t know what it’s for.”
“I’ll handle it. A hacksaw?”
“Something to cut metal.”
“You’re sawing through the chains? I don’t think that’ll work. Hang on, I’ll call Ibine and ask how she removed them the first time.”
Ivan nodded. Calling Ibine would be good, but she didn’t remove the chains, she removed the cuffs. “I’m not cutting the chains, it’s for the stake. We’ll need some nuts to screw on and then tape some shit over so he doesn’t catch on anything. It must hurt like hell.”
“Aww, are you worried about your pet?”
“I think we should keep him. You’re cute together, and you know what they say about vamps.”
He didn’t, and he wouldn’t ask. Raina chuckled as if she knew what he was thinking.
The bathroom door opened, and Malik stepped out buck naked and dripping wet. “I have to go, Raina. Call Ibine and pick up a hacksaw and nuts in different sizes.”
“I’ll be there soon.” She hung up, but Ivan kept on holding the phone to his ear as he studied Malik.
“I left a towel out for you.”
Malik turned and looked into the bathroom, goosebumps covering his skin.
“Come on.” Ivan put the phone away and walked past him into the steaming bathroom. He must have half-boiled himself. He grabbed the towel and shook it. When Malik raised a hand to grab it, drops fell from his chains and Ivan cursed. “I’ll…” He quickly dried off Malik’s shoulders and arms. When he reached the chain, he ran the towel over it, too. “You can… eh…” He gestured at his middle, not looking despite wanting to.
For the first time, he noted a spark of amusement in Malik’s eyes and rolled his in return. “Did you do it to embarrass me?”
“No. But I like you touching me.”
Ivan froze. “You do?” Heat washed over him and Malik grinned, fangs peeking out from underneath his upper lip.
Ivan huffed. “I believe you’re yanking my chain, Mr. Malik.” He changed his hold on the towel, ducked in under Malik’s arm, and reached around him to wrap the towel around his middle. Those strong arms wrapped around him, and for a moment an alarm went off in Ivan’s mind, then he became aware of the hard length pushing against his belly when Malik hugged him.
“You don’t have any chains to yank.”
Once every century, a shadow walker is born. Ivan Charna is that shadow walker, and he and his sister Raina are on the run from wizards who want to sacrifice their blood in some crazy rite. They never stay long in one place, and they do their best not to stand out. When Raina loses a bet, Ivan is forced to work off her debt, and they have to stay put. As long as no wizard figures out what they are, Ivan doesn’t mind all that much since he gets to work with his favorite vampire.
Malik lives in a cell in a basement. He’s never allowed to go anywhere without chains around his wrists and ankles, and there is a stake hovering over his heart at all times. Master can trigger the stake with a push of a button. He doesn’t even have to be in the same room to do it. Malik dreams of a different life, a life with Ivan, but he’s a vampire, and vampires have to do what their masters tell them.
Ivan only has to steal one last diamond, then the debt is paid, and he and Raina can leave town. It should be easy, but when Remington Redwood, the man Raina owes money, insists on having Malik shadow his every step, it complicates things. Malik might dream about making Ivan his, but getting him away from Master alive has to be enough. Ivan knows it’s a stupid risk to take, but if he’s stealing a diamond, what’s to say he can’t steal a giant vampire too?
Paranormal M/M Romance: 32,159 words