Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sugarplum: Blitzened by Elizabeth Jewell

Sugarplum: Blitzened by Elizabeth  Jewell
Read an excerpt

Sugarplum: Blitzened

by Elizabeth JewellCover art: ReneƩ George
ISBN: 978-1-60521-522-8
Genre(s): Paranormal, Hot Flashes
Theme(s): Vampires, Christmas, Seasonal Themes, Gay and Lesbian
Series: Sugarplums
Length: Hot Flash

Nick hasn't seen Ian in a while -- Ian's been studying. But when Christmas Eve rolls around, the vampire bouncer gets a yen to kindle some holiday spirit in his human boyfriend's heart.
Sugarplum: Blitzened
Elizabeth Jewell
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2010 Elizabeth Jewell

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Even as a kid, Nick Marshall hadn't had much use for Christmas. While his friends all seemed cheery, happy and full of holiday spirit, he spent most of the weeks before the holiday listening to his parents argue about money, then about whether Nick should have been born in the first place. Then, if he was lucky, he maybe got a sweater or a pair of socks next to the fireplace where the Christmas tree wasn't.
Frankly, it had been a pain in the ass.
These days, he spent Christmas Eve behind the bar, drying Highball glasses and listening to the customers whine. It was amazing how many vampires, blessed with immortality, could do nothing but bitch about how their current holiday celebrations were completely fucked because they could no longer step inside a religious establishment of any kind. Of course, they could if they really wanted to. Nick had gone to a Christmas Eve service once and, aside from a raging headache for three days after, had survived the experience.
He could kind of understand it from the young man sitting at the bar right now. Wearing too-low jeans and a too-tight T-shirt, he'd only been Turned a few months ago. It was, as he'd said nineteen times already, his first Christmas dead. That one was always the hardest.
"We're having a party here," Nick offered, mostly in an attempt to shut the kid down. "Should be fun. I hear some bite junkies are coming by to provide refreshments." He wasn't planning to attend, himself. He still didn't entirely believe the generally held assumption that vampires couldn't get any horrible diseases from bite junkies. Not that he had any evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, to support his theory. Bite junkies just squicked him out.
The kid blinked, his expression owlish under his eyeliner. Didn't he know emo was out of fashion? Or was it? Nick had lost track about the time bell-bottoms had gone out of style.
"It's not the same," the kid said. "There's nothing like sitting in church singing Christmas carols."
"You went to church a lot before you were Turned?" He could at least try to be sympathetic, Nick thought. He could definitely understand missing long-standing human habits, especially if you were newly-Turned.
Another blink. "No, not really."
Okay, that was it. He'd done his level best. Nick didn't wear the sympathetic bartender persona very well on the best of days, and today it was just asking too much. "Well, then, what the fuck difference does it make?"
For a horrible, seemingly eternal moment, Nick thought the kid was going to burst into tears. "Oh, my God, you suck!" he said, and flounced off to mope at a table. Jeez. Kid needed to get laid for Christmas.
"You are aware, of course, that you really do suck." The voice came from behind Nick; he turned to see Trey leaning across the bar behind him, playing with an empty shot glass. The tall, slim vampire was wearing a green velvet jacket over black skinny jeans and a bright red T-shirt. His auburn hair fell in full, lovely lady locks onto his shoulders, and his brown eyes regarded Nick with something between derision and humor. He was about as pretty as a man could get without being a girl. He was also a complete asshole.
"Why are you here?" Nick asked blandly. He was pushing his luck -- Trey was the head of the local cadre and technically could have Nick banished, shunned, beheaded or put out in the sun if he wanted to. He generally wasn't quite that much of a dick, though. Generally he was just annoying as ever-loving fuck. Generally.
Apparently Trey had been infected by the Christmas spirit, because he only tilted his head and smiled. There. Christmas spirit. There was a horrible disease you could get from bite junkies. "Just inspecting the establishment," Trey said. "Endeavoring to ensure everyone is following the rules."
"Is making dumb emo kids cry against the rules?"
Trey chuckled. "Perhaps. I do get weary of the noobs, though, I have to say."
Wow. Trey really was in a good mood. Nick wondered in passing why he'd actually stopped by. Probably just to make an appearance, keep everybody on their toes. Trey was like that. Things had been so much better when Roarke had been around. More laid-back. Or so Nick had been told.
"So," Trey said, taking a lazy step closer. "Why aren't you home cuddling with your boyfriend under the tree?"
It was Nick's turn to blink. He didn't really have a good answer to that question. "He's busy. Finals or something."
Trey made an obnoxious clicking noise. "On Christmas Eve? I think not." Trey leaned over the bar. He was far too close. Nick could smell his cologne. Fucker always smelled like the nineteenth century. Maybe the eighteenth -- Nick wasn't sure. "Has there been some dire misunderstanding? Trouble, as it were, in paradise? I could still claim him, you know. He was quite delectable, as I recall. All that curly hair..."
Nick made a solid effort to collect himself; telling Trey to fuck off would undoubtedly be bad for his health. "Nothing like that."
"Well, then. Take the rest of this hallowed Eve off. Visit your sweetling and make passionate love under the arching evergreen branches of your seasonal tree. I insist."
"Right," said Nick.
"I truly do," said Trey.
"Fine," said Nick. "Fine. I will."
God only knew what Ian would think about it, though. But, thinking about all that curly hair, Nick decided he was willing to find out.

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