Series: Mark Julian, Vampire P.I. Book 3
Genre: vampire, paranormal, gay romance, mystery and detective, suspense
Imprint: Ai Press
Flame rating: 2 flames- Stories will have some love scenes. These will be more sensual then graphic and will mostly rely on euphemism.
Cover art: Louca Matheo
Photograph: Christian Campbell
Model: Jacopo Rampini
It’s a madhouse as Mark and Vinnie prepare for their wedding. Jaime is missing in action consumed with her quest to find “just the right forties’ gown” for her own pending nuptials. Vinnie is stuck on a complex “secret” case and has no free time to help with any marriage planning. Mrs. Pasquale, Vinnie’s mom, is locked in a battle of wills with an archbishop who won’t let her priestly cousin bless, “any such unions”. Worse, Tortego is offering to preside over the ceremony in his capacity as, “the leader of our vampire clan who is still an ordained priest you know”!
But things really get crazy for Mark when an angelic messenger for the Heavenly Host approaches him. Dark forces are gathering and Mark is called into action to find the missing sword of the Archangel Michael. As Mark begins his search he encounters two dark angels who take no prisoners in their quest to find it first. Murders abound and the hunt is on to find the sword and end their killing rampage before more innocents are slaughtered. This time Mark Julian will face his worst crisis and in the end no one will ever be the same.
“And the prophets spoke of the blackened angels of destruction who spread their dark wings across the earth seeking to blot out the love of God!”
Publisher’s note: This book was previously published by Nazca Plains under a different pen name. It has been extensively edited for re-release with Ai Press.
Marcus Claudius Marcellus had been born in what was later designated as 45 B. C., though historians wrongly cited the date of 42 B.C. He was the only son of Octavia, the daughter of Gaius Octavius, an honest but relatively unimportant man who had the luck of being related to Gaius Julius Caesar through his wife Julia.
Gaius Octavius later had another child, a son also named Gaius Octavius, who was adopted by his soon to be illustrious Uncle Julius and who rose up to become known to history as Augustus, the First Citizen of Rome. Marcus, the nephew of said Augustus, had become a young man with a very bright future indeed.
When his Uncle Octavius, also known as Augustus, later had his own daughter Julia wed to Marcus, things only improved for Marcus. To everyone this marriage signaled that he was the appointed heir to Augustus’s rank and offices when the latter expired. One day he would become the First Citizen of Rome.
Marcus had loved Julia quite intensely, and she had indulgently understood that the objects of his primary sexual arousal were always of the more masculine variety. In those days there was none of that latter day narrow-minded and judgmental morality concerning whom one slept with so his taste in bedmates was never a real problem. Still, Marcus discreetly avoided any gossip that would cause embarrassment to his young wife. Emotionally the two were deeply devoted to each other.
The people of Rome had taken the strikingly good-looking young couple to their hearts, and life was good. In truth, the pair had been quite happy until one night in 23 B.C. when two vampires hired by practitioners of the dark arts attacked Marcus and Augustus. These practitioners were angered by Augustus’s order that all such persons were to be exiled from Rome. Luckily the first citizen escaped unharmed but Marcus was not as fortunate. Though not killed, he was unintentionally “turned” by his vampire attacker. He awoke from his assault to find himself as one of the vampire clan.
Augustus had been grief stricken over this calamity but rigidly firm. Marcus was given to understand that a vampire, was not a proper heir for the Roman people. Marcus left into a bitter exile while the people were told their darling young future heir had died from an undisclosed illness. Julia was soon to be locked into a loveless political second marriage to an old man she despised. After that man’s death, she married a third time, again to suit her father’s political ends, a man she also hated. After a few years, her father exiled her to an island on alleged charges of adultery. Upon Augustus’s own demise, her third husband, the Emperor Tiberius, had her killed.
Marcus wandered the earth, ultimately arriving in the New World over a century ago where he then claimed a new city as his home. New York City reminded him of ancient Rome with its whirling brashness, its excitement, and its defiant attitudes toward all comers. Here one could and did become anything they wanted to be or to be known as, and so Marcus Claudius Marcellus became simply Mark Julian, honoring his beloved wife by adopting a form of her first name as his last. Here he began his new career as an investigator for the supernatural denizens of “his city.” Together with his trusty secretary Jaime, shape-shifting sex demon with a dress code straight out the forties, and his human lover, New York City Detective Vincent Pasquale, he stood ready to take on all cases that came his way.
“And the prophets spoke of the blackened angels of destruction who spread their dark wings across the earth seeking to blot out the love of God”
The Darkness Foretold To Deaf Ears
It was another typical day in the great city along the Hudson River. The visiting tourists took in the sights while her inhabitants were simply trying to get by in the always-exhilarating madhouse called New York City. Life flowed onward at a hectic pace unless one took the time to really stop and pay closer attention to the surroundings.
Today a raggedly dressed, wild-eyed old man stood on the corner of New York City’s busy Forty-Eight Street and Broadway, shouting at the top of his lungs to the crowds milling around him. His clothes were ripped and ill fitting. In simple truth, he also smelled rather ripe. “And the ancient prophets spoke of those antediluvian days when there arose the blackened angels of destruction!” he endlessly ranted at the scurrying people. “Loathsome creatures that sought to spread their dark wings across the earth to blot out the true love of God. But the shining silver sword of the Most High’s light seared open their rotten flesh, sending them cascading back in terror into their hellish hole!” Trying to ignore his cries, nervous tourists kept their distance and mimicked the “don’t bother me” attitude of the city natives who seemed oblivious to the old man’s presence. The tourists moved on, absently noting that such men and women were considered to be part of the typical sights in this great city. Indeed, many felt people like him only added to the color of the area’s hustle and bustle.
Surrounding the old man were the bright lights of the theatre district that hosted New York’s biggest tourist businesses: Broadway shows. To many visitors this entertainment attraction was the major reason they came to the metropolis on the Hudson. Many residents, however, were quick to decry an industry that seemed to be less about creating “new shows” and more about the resuscitation of past musical hits. For musical aficionados “The Great White Way” now hosted more revivals than some southern Pentecostal faiths. Amidst the tourists gawking at the lights and debating which shows to see, the man continued his shouting.
“Yet now new messengers of malevolence from them have come out from their putrid lair, seeking to find the light and cast it away,” the old man yelled to people who continued to ignore him. “They are here among us even now, seeking to raise their ancient evils once more and blot out the true love of God. They walk here with us today. They are here in this Sodom even now. Do you not see them here in front of me?” He pointed at a giggling, attractive youthful couple who seemed to find his accusation amusing. The brown haired youth, for he looked to be all of nineteen at best, was clad in tan colored chinos and a light green crew neck sweater. His long-haired blonde female companion, who appeared to be the same age as well, wore a light blue dress that ended just above her knees. They seemed to be the perfect embodiment of a purist’s idea of how middle-class and respectful American youth should appear. “Take them and destroy them now, before it is too late,” the old man railed, still pointing at the clean-cut pair who seemed more amused then concerned about becoming the object of the man’s ire.
“Hey buddy, take it somewhere else,” a bored overweight policeman said as he walked up to the elderly man. “You’re bothering people here. I want you to go now or I’ll run you in for blocking the sidewalk.”
“Officer, you must arrest those two,” the man sobbed, pointing once more at the now obviously smirking youthful duo.
“Yes, we are quite evil,” the dark-haired boy laughed as his fair-haired companion gleefully tittered gleefully.
The officer shot a look of annoyance at them. “A couple of kids from the ‘burbs out on a date, I bet,” he thought. “Okay, you two get moving as well.” he grumbled as he hustled the older man away toward a side street.
The old man groaned in despair. “I am sent by the Most High as a prophet who is come to warn you. Why will no one listen?” He gazed at the irritated law officer. “You are not going to arrest them are you?”
“Go now or it’s going to be you that gets arrested,” the officer barked and released the elderly man with a push. the prophet took one last look at the grinning couple and shuddered.