Hello, everyone! I’m here as Holly today 😊 A couple of days ago, A Vampire Chew Toy was released 🥳 It celebrates National M&M Day, so prepare for a story sprinkled with chocolate!
I loved writing this. Some stories are a struggle. They don’t turn out the way you want them to, the characters don’t behave the way they should or whatever it might be. This was the complete opposite. I wanted to stay in Devin and Mars’s world. I wanted to hang out in the kitchen, baking and cooking. I got invested in all the other characters in the house, and I wanted to cling to them.
Often when I write a longer story (by my measures), I get stressed. Often, I have a deadline to keep, and if I take too long, the next story will suffer if I’m gonna stick to my release schedule, and so on. I had nothing of that this time. I just lingered and enjoyed my time with the characters.
It has most of my favourite things – hurt-comfort, slow-burn romance, overcoming a traumatic event, interspecies couple, chocolate, and tattoos. The only thing missing is fated mates, but it’s a vampire romance, and while I’ve read vampire fated mates stories, I normally reserve that for shifters and aliens 😁
A Vampire Chew Toy
Devin Jace lives in a huge mansion together with six other people, five of them turn furry, and one needs to drink blood to survive. Sometimes, he suspects it’s all a dream. Four years ago, he had no idea supernatural beings existed. It wasn’t until he was snatched off the street and forced to live as a blood slave he realized vampires are real and don’t sparkle.
Three years ago, Mars O’Ceallaigh was part of the team who saved a badly scarred and severely traumatized Devin. As the only vampire on the team, he got to work undercover. To keep up the facade, he tasted Devin’s blood. Not a day has gone by since without him thinking about it, both the taste of the blood and Devin. But he wants Devin to be happy, and since he knows vampires are his worst nightmare, he does his best to keep out of his way.
When the team learns Devin’s captor has escaped prison, Mars is convinced he will come for Devin. Devin might fear Mars, but there is someone he fears more, so when Mars swears to keep him safe, Devin trusts him. Mars more than enjoys being by Devin’s side at all times, but will spending every minute of every day with him be enough to keep him safe?
Paranormal Gay Romance: 57,723 words
By seven o’clock, Devin was a nervous wreck. The delivery guy had arrived at twenty to seven, and Devin wondered what deal Murrie had made to get them to deliver that early. When he’d seen the amount of food, he’d asked the man to double-check. He’d laughed and said something about it being this much every week.
Now, he had eggs boiling, pancake batter in a bowl, and he’d put sliced vegetables, cheese, and cold cuts on a tray. He’d made a bowl of fruit salad too since there were some apples and bananas about to turn, and he’d assumed there would be fresh fruit in the delivery. There had been.
He was about halfway through putting everything away when Hanna stepped into the kitchen. She stilled and watched him for a second before speaking. “Need help?”
“No, I got it.” He looked away so fast he made himself dizzy. “The eggs are done in two minutes. There’s bread, cold cuts, and ah… does anyone want cereal?” He held up a pack of cornflakes he’d pulled from one of the bags.
“Not if you’ve made eggs.” She narrowed her eyes. “Why are you cooking? It’s Murrie’s day. Murrie’s days are the best.”
“He… eh… needed some sleep, and since he’s away tonight, I’ll take his day.” He hurried to add. “He’ll take Saturday.”
She nodded and edged toward the table where he’d lined everything up. “Wow, fruit salad. That’s so smart. I’ll do that on Wednesday. Not much can go wrong with fruit salad.”
Devin focused on unpacking the twenty bags of M&Ms Murrie had ordered. He hoped he wasn’t planning a party. Maybe they’d been at a reduced price or something. Patting one of the bags, he bit his lip. Maybe he could make M&M brownies for a snack. Everyone needed an afternoon pick-me-up, and few things were better than chocolate. He put one of the bags on the counter and the rest in the pantry. He wasn’t sure if it was where they went, but no one had shown him the candy cupboard, so he improvised.
Once everything was put away, he focused on the pancakes. After having poured some batter into the skillet, he grabbed the coffeepot and poured himself a cup.
“Oh, there’s coffee?”
Devin jumped. He’d forgotten Hanna was in the room. How could he have forgotten she was in the room? She grinned at him from where she sat by the table, a bowl of fruit salad in front of her.
“Ah, yes.” He hurried over to her with the pot in his hand, only to realize he hadn’t put any cups on the table and walked back again. He put the pot back and grabbed cups, six of them, since he didn’t have a clue if they all drank coffee or not. Maybe someone wanted tea?
He put the cups on the table, flipped the pancake, grabbed the coffeepot, and went over to Hanna to pour her a cup. “Does anyone want tea?”
“Not for breakfast. In the afternoon, some switch to tea. Murrie and Faelan, most often.”
Okay, tea in the afternoon.
“What are you cooking?” She nodded toward the stove, and he frowned at her.
“Pancakes.” Shifters had an excellent sense of smell. She should be able to tell it was pancakes.
Devin hurried back to the stove while shaking his head.
When he had a stack of pancakes, he placed them on the table. He hadn’t more than let go of it when Rei walked into the kitchen. He grunted, grabbed a cup of coffee and took a swallow, and grimaced. Then his gaze settled on Devin and widened. “Devin? It smelled so good, I was sure it was Murrie cooking.”
“He… ah… needed some sleep, so I’ll be cooking today.”
Rei eyed the pancakes, then looked at Hanna, who was stuffing her face, and nodded. “Awesome.” He grabbed a plate and a few pancakes, then he spotted the eggs, and grabbed two. When he reached the tray with cheese, cold cuts, and vegetables, he looked at Devin again.
“There is fruit salad, too.” Hanna grinned. “Better than Murrie, right?”
Rei nodded and grabbed a second plate.
“What’s better than Murrie?” Kenia strolled in, looked at the food, and then at Devin. “What will it cost me to have you take my breakfast shift tomorrow?”
Devin’s heart beat fast. “Eh… what?”
“It’s my day tomorrow. Come on, what’s your weakness? M&Ms? You can bribe Murrie with M&Ms any day.”
“No. I…” He shook his head.
“Chocolate? Or gummy bears? Whiskey? Mars is a whiskey guy, but I was hoping a bag of gummy bears would do.” She took a step in his direction, and Devin quickly moved in behind the kitchen island while shaking his head. He didn’t have a weakness. He had a zillion weaknesses, but not like gummy bears. He preferred M&Ms to gummy bears. M&Ms were soothing, and Murrie often gave them to him.
“Please.” She put her hands together while giving him a pleading look.
“Yes, please, Devin.” Rei spoke with his mouth filled with pancakes. “She burns the oatmeal.”
Devin jumped, the kitchen shrinking. “I…” He looked at Rei. He trusted Rei. Rei was calm and controlled. He was safe. As if Rei could sense the turmoil in Devin, he met his gaze and gave him a slight nod.
“Okay.” Devin’s voice was no louder than a whisper, but Kenia whooped. “I need to…” He gestured at the doorway. He needed some space. When he rushed through the door, he almost collided with Faelan but turned at the last second.
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