The Pack's Vampire
- 299.4K words
Book Three in the Havermouth Pack Series - "The Pack's Secret Keeper" and "The Pack's Triquetra" ** Trigger Warnings - this is a DARK werewolf/vampire bullyboy romance book, featuring non-con/dub-con, gaslighting, violence, and a range of very kinky group sex bxg and bxb, sounding, masochism, bondage, BDSM, Daddy-Dom, and more ** Can you keep a secret? Talen can. It's a long life as a vampire, during which he has learned to hold his secrets close. Can Talen's secrets save his mates and Havermouth from the grip of destruction as they discover the true nature of the zombies, and Van Helsings invade Havermouth? Or are Talen's secrets responsible for the Van Helsing's presence in the first place?
The Concordia, Twelve Hundred Years Before (Give or Take a Century)
Swords in hand, the brave and noble soldiers crept up the rampart, conquering the fortifications of the enemy, and creeping closer to the stronghold castle, skirting the chickens who fossicked through the dirt for their breakfast, and keeping belly to ground in order not to be spotted as they reached the peak.
“I see them,” Thaelen whispered, his blond hair blowing forward over his dirt smeared face. His features still held the roundness of youth, only just beginning to reveal the strong lines of adulthood. “Crouched over there, behind the wooden barrels.”
The three other boys, designated enemy soldiers by the game, clutched wooden practice swords and crouched between barrels and the wooden wall fortification. The women and men who maintained a watch above the gate, bored by the still day and the length of their duty, watched from their perch with amusement as the boys practiced their soldiering skills, waiting for the inevitable battle, so that they could call out encouragement and criticism, and enjoy the brawl that the game was sure to end in when players forgot that they only played, and resorted to violence.
“Well, there is no way we can reach them without them seeing, their position is well chosen,” Haethnir replied grimly.
“There is only one thing for it, then, and that is to lure them out. They must be getting hungry by now,” Thaelen regarded Griort, Ulthred, and Isolund through narrowed eyes. “They have not seen us.” He rolled onto his back, surveying the houses within the rampart for a likely victim. “There we have our bait,” he pointed to a human child, a blood slave, playing with carved wooden animals in the dirt near one of the slave houses.
As Thaelen began to descend the rampart to retrieve his bait, Haethnir gasped and grabbed him by the shoulder, pointing towards where the ocean was a lush blue between the green and yellow sandhills.
“Thaelen, look,” Haethnir was distracted by a glint in the distance. “Boats have landed at the beach.”
Thaelen stood, game forgotten, and rose to the full extent of his pre-adolescent height, all long thin limbs and knobbly joints peeking out from where he had outgrown shirt and trousers in a sudden growth spurt and shielded his eyes against the glare of the sun. “It is them! I see my father!”
The land along the coast had been held by the Concordia family for as long as living vampire memory. Beneath the gently undulating green hills, and the fertile fields, existed an extensive subterranean development, known only to vampires. Treasure rooms, temples, and tombs containing the ashes of vampire ancestors and honored slaves could be found within a warren of tunnels and chambers kept safe below.
On the surface, they lived a simple existence. Within fields of grain and vegetables worked by the human slaves, the vampire fortress was secured by a double ring of wooden wall and earth-mound rampart. A gate was located at each compass point, with a cross of roads north to south and east to west running through, and within each quarter of the circle, identical houses had been constructed with care, precision, and the knowledge of an ancient culture quick to adapt to new technology.
With the majority of their menfolk frequently at sea, raiding human settlements up and down the coastline of the neighbouring countries, although the Concordia answered to the king, within the fortress it was a matriarchy, with the women supervising the human slaves, the children, and fulfilling all roles within the community from blacksmithing to building.
Thorarin Gulgane, king of the Concordia marched at the head of a long line of soldiers and slaves, the latter heavily laden with the treasures of conquest. “My son,” he caught Thaelen against him in a tight embrace as the boy ran along the Western road from the ring fortress to meet the returning army. “Let us look at you!” He held Thaelen back from him and ran his eye over him head to foot, and back up before rubbing at the dirt on Thaelen’s cheek. “You have grown again, my boy. Your wrists and ankles are sticking out of your clothing.”
“I know,” Thaelen laughed. “Mother was complaining about it this morning.”
“Ah, she will complain less once she sees what I have brought back for her. How is your mother?” Thorarin tucked Thaelen under his arm as they continued to walk into the fortress, nodding his head in greeting to the guards at the gate, and the slaves and members of the royal household that hurried out of their houses in order to help carry in the plunder of their raids.
“Husband!” Lagita, her long blond braids wrapped around her head like a crown, stood in the doorway of their house. “Welcome home. In one piece, I see.”
“That I am,” he replied releasing Thaelen in order to pull Lagita into his arms, resting his forehead against hers. “It has been too many nights, my wife, since we have been together.”
“Six weeks of days and nights, Thorarin. I had begun to fear that I would not see you again,” she whispered sinking her fingers into his hair and pulling his mouth to hers in a passionate kiss. “It is good to have you home!”
The fortress seethed with activity and Thaelen and his peers ducked and weaved through the busyness, marvelling at the treasures that had returned with the soldiers. Cloth, precious stones, gold, herbs, and spices from afar, grains, and weaponry were all slowly brought from the fleet of ships into the fortress and distributed to the subterranean holds for safe keeping.
The new slaves, filthy, blood stained and exhausted from the battle and their capture, were fed and penned. In time, they would surrender to their fate, but when first brought to the fortress all slaves had moments where they sought freedom from their captors. Part of the process of breaking their spirit involved branding, collaring, and shackling the new arrivals.
Thaelen and Haethnir watched as the men and women were separated and penned, their hysteria mounting as the braziers were lit and the branding irons heated, realizing what would come. The women clutched their young to them and wept and pleaded, and the men clutched at the bars and yelled obscenities.
“Women and children first,” Thorarin put his hand on Thaelen’s shoulder from behind. “Why, son?”
“It is more merciful,” Thaelen replied readily, the lesson learned long ago. “So that they do not need to watch and fear.”
“And it breaks the men’s spirits,” Haethnir added. “To watch helpless as their women and children are collared and branded, so they fight less when it’s their turn.”
“Correct. Do that one first, the little girl,” Thaelen told the men wielding the brand. “And use a silver collar.” The little girl who was brought out of the pen was alone, no mother or siblings clinging to her. Younger than Thaelen by several years, her face was pale and tearstained, and her eyes red.
“Silver, father?” Thaelen looked up at him.
Silver collars were reserved for the slaves of the royal household, and Thorarin normally only chose slaves of value – women and men of exceptional beauty, skill, or scholarship. The little girl looked much to Thaelen like every little human girl did, and he could not see how she would possess skills or knowledge to make her valuable enough for the silver collar at her tender age.
“My gift to you, Thaelen,” Thorarin told him. “This is Sigrid. She will be your first personal blood slave.”
“My own?” Thaelen looked at the girl again as the silver collar was locked around her neck. She looked at him with dark blue eyes that seemed knowledgeable beyond her years.
“You are almost a man, and a vampire prince. It is fitting that you learn the responsibility that comes with the role. Ownership of Sigrid will help, as you will learn what it is to have another dependent on you. Are you prepared to take on this responsibility?”
Thaelen dragged his eyes from the girl he was about to own, to his father. “I guess so.”
“It is no small thing to own another,” Thorarin smiled slightly. “It is good to be hesitant. When you take on a blood slave, they are yours for as long as they live, or as long as you keep them alive. It is a mutual relationship – we give each other life.”
“Yes, father.” Excitement at the honor and privilege warred against nervousness at the responsibility that such ownership would involve.
“They are about to brand your blood slave, Thaelen. What is the right thing to do?” Thorarin squeezed Thaelen’s shoulders and released him, stepping back.
Thaelen swallowed hard, his thoughts scattering. The men with the branding iron waited patiently, their eyes moving between Thorarin and his son, looking to the vampire king for his signal. Thaelen drew in a deep breath and stepped forward to stand before the girl, who looked up at him with an expression of numb resignation, as if the exhaustion and trauma that had brought her there had robbed her of the ability to feel fear.
“It will hurt,” he told her. “The burn is brief, and it is important not to struggle, for a neat, clean brand. When it is done, we can heal it. The brand must be deep, or the healing will take the scar away and we will have to repeat it. But the healing will take away the pain. You only need to be brave for a moment. I’ll hold your hand,” he held his out, the palm tide-marked with dirt and sweat from his earlier play.
She searched his face with her too-knowing eyes.
“You are mine now,” he told her quietly. “I will look after you.”
“I know,” she said and took his hand.
Read novels from various genres