Friday, November 18, 2011

Dark Reign: Oathbound by Mychael Black

Dark Reign: Oathbound
by Mychael Black

Cover art: Bryan Keller
ISBN: 978-1-60521-707-9
Genre(s): Paranormal
Theme(s): Vampires, Werewolves, Gay and Lesbian
Series: Dark Reign
Length: Hot Flash
Page Count: 24

Vaughn Burke is an Enforcer -- a werewolf working for Marcus Deleon and tasked to help their kind escape from the vampire Dalton Gray. When Marcus gives Vaughn a new case, it's not exactly what Vaughn expects.

Elian Levine is the guitarist for a metal band, but he has a secret no one knows. When he managed to escape Dalton Gray, he kept the truth hidden, even from his band mates. Now their need for a singer threatens to tear the lid off his closely-guarded past.
Dark Reign: Oathbound
Mychael Black
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Mychael Black

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Elian Levine glared at the closed door where the latest loser had thankfully stepped through after a fucking awful audition.
"Dude, we've tried out every fucking singer in the city," Cole said as he set his bass down.
"I refuse to work with some half-assed idiot who can't be bothered to learn covers," Elian snapped. "If that makes me a God damned diva, so fucking be it!"
Behind his drum kit, Derick twirled a stick absently. "You're not a diva -- yet -- but Cole's right. We're running out of options. We've got gigs coming up, E."
Elian threw his hands up in the air, utterly frustrated. "Fuck it! I'll sing!"
"Uh, excuse me?"
He whirled around to face the next jackass to try out. "If you can't sing, might as well get the fuck out... Ah, shit."
"What Elian is trying to say," Cole interrupted, giving Elian the evil eye, "is hello. He's just in a pissy mood because most of the guys we've seen haven't bothered to even learn a single cover worth doing."
"Ah." The man extended a hand to Cole, though his gaze remained fastened on Elian. "Name's Vaughn Burke."
"Nice to meet you. I'm Cole Powers, bass. On drums, we have Derick Osborn."
"And Mr. Attitude is Elian," Vaughn finished. "We've... met."
Elian snorted. He switched his amp back on and waited until Cole was ready. "See if you can keep up."
He launched into "Sanitarium" -- classic Metallica. Not paying much attention, expecting Vaughn to stumble on the words, Elian nearly forgot the damn chords when the man began actually singing. Note for note, word for word, Vaughn nailed it. Without missing a beat, the man followed them through another three classic metal songs, and Elian grudgingly admitted they might have found their singer.
They wrapped up the final song, and Vaughn looked like he knew damn well what went through Elian's mind. Those eyes bore a hole through Elian, and he barely managed to suppress a shiver. He'd never heard Vaughn sing, though he'd heard rumors when they were in high school.
"Dude." Cole laughed and shook his head. He glanced at Derick, then Elian. "You got it."
Vaughn nodded. "Cool. I'm gonna step out for a cigarette."
The second the door shut, Cole grinned. "Fuckin' A, man! He's perfect!"
"He's an asshole."
"How do you two know each other anyway?"
Elian turned off the amp and set his guitar on its stand. "We went to high school together. I knew he was in a band, but didn't know he sang."
"You're okay with it, right?"
"Yeah. He's good, I'll give him that."
Derick packed up the last of his spare sticks and grabbed his wallet off the bass amp. "I need to get going. See you guys tomorrow night."
"I gotta head out, too," Cole said. "I'll catch up with you in the morning, E."
Elian waved them out, content to stay behind and clean up a bit. If he waited long enough, maybe Vaughn would be gone too. He hadn't seen the guy since they'd graduated, and that was perfectly fine with him. Vaughn Burke might have a god's voice -- and looks, if Elian let himself admit it -- but he was still an asshole.
"It figures you'd be the one I'd run into."
Fuck. "Yeah, well, just my luck you're the only fucking singer who can carry a tune."
The door shut and Elian glanced up briefly to see Vaughn leaning back against it, muscular arms crossed over hard chest. He didn't look like a guy who could sing worth a damn. He looked more like the football player he used to be. Unfortunately.
"Cut the shit, Levine."
"How did you escape him?"
Elian froze, hand poised over a mic cable. No one, not even Cole or Derick, knew. How the hell did Vaughn? "Wh-what are you talking about?"
"Don't play stupid. It's just you and me in here."
"Look." Elian gave up the pretense of cleaning up and stood, scowling at his high school arch nemesis... and the subject of every teenaged wet dream he'd ever had. "Doesn't fucking matter. No one else knows. I don't even know how the fuck you know. Why did you -- holy shit!" His jaw dropped as the man's face before him shifted into a sleek gray wolf's muzzle. "You... you're like me."
Vaughn shifted back, though how he did it without destroying his clothes, Elian had no idea. "I've been sent to bring you home, back to safety."

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