How to Tame Your Vampire
Vampires have “altered or advanced senses [such as] more acute night vision than the average person…empathic and other psi abilities.” –darkerthanthou.net
Beings of [increased] “Strength, speed, enhanced mental and/or psychic abilities…” –vampirewebsite.net
“Unaccounted-for strength...and quick reflexes…extreme cravings…predatory nature…” –vampiresarereal.tripod.net
Oh, and last but not least…
Vampires are “beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures” –wikipedia.com
Can you say “Yikes?” Obviously vampires have the potential to be very dangerous. Best idea of the hour? Stay away from them! But what if you can’t? What if one of them is someone you know? Maybe even a neighbor or someone you love? What if it’s... you? When a romance author takes on the challenge of writing about vampires, she’s taking on big task. How do you turn one of the most dangerous creatures of the night into something heroic? How do you tame their dark nature enough for them to be worthy of love and to love in return? Today we’ll explore this issue with a snippet or two from our novels that shows the duality of their natures and, hopefully, will give you some insight into how we came to tame our dark beasts :-)
Tes: In Deliver Me from Darkness vampires tend to fall on the not so nice side. Foot soldiers for Lucifer’s dark forces, their love of blood and thrill of human fear is part of their baser nature. Only a few of my vamps have been able to tame their inner beast. Here we see a little snippet of how Logan’s loyalty and friendship has helped Roland overcome his vampire cravings. We also get some insight into how his weaknesses has actually helped him see in others the same fault lines.
…“Seven twenty. Cutting it close, weren’t you?”
Calhoun stood at the end of the hall silhouetted by the dim glow of recessed lighting in the great room, a steaming mug of coffee in his hand.
Roland couldn’t disagree with his friend. Close didn’t begin to cut it. He could still feel the burning kiss of the sun on the back of his neck. Everything had taken longer than expected, and his hope that the heavy cloud cover from last night’s storm would buy him extra time had been misplaced.
Taking care of the woman’s would-be rapist had proven difficult. The man’s mind, though foul, had been strong. It had been tempting to just suck him dry and be done with it. It certainly would have been a much simpler solution to the scum’s addiction for blood and fear. It was only because Roland could understand that addiction that he hadn’t killed the man outright. Blood, fear, lust—the same cravings Roland had suffered from in those initial months after his turning. Still did. Time, and the thought of Calhoun’s disapproval were he to slip, kept Roland in line. The man from the back alley had no such control and, it would appear, no desire or reason to alter his violent ways. Nope, Roland’s black-hearted donor de jour was going to require a couple more visits before the new lessons on ethics fully took.
I really should have sucked him dry. Pain in the ass is going to be an understatement for the foul-minded bastard. Disgusted, Roland stalked down the hall, burrowing deeper into the lead-lined walls of his refuge…
Paladin, vampire, monster, lover… Roland struggles with all these aspects of his being. In this scene we see Roland’s determination to be the Paladin lover that his mate, Karissa, deserves and not the monster of his vampire nature.
…Roland stared down at her, her challenge ringing in the vaults of his being. Make love to her, and make her his. Yes.
Before any of his personal demons could rear their ugly head again, he scooped her up and raced with her to the bedroom. She gasped when he dropped her onto the bed and giggled when she bounced, but then went silent, her eyes widening to saucers when, in one motion, he had her shirt ripped off—and not over her head.
“Stay there,” he commanded, and went about removing his clothes. The weapons he’d taken off earlier before sliding into bed with her that first time, so it was quick work to remove his pants and T-shirt. The way she was drinking in his naked body was heady indeed, but he didn’t stop to bask. He had to do this quickly. It was the only way he’d survive.
Not too quickly. Otherwise she won’t relax and if she doesn’t relax…
He forced himself to slow down, easing over her, and since he wasn’t completely gone yet, he gave her what her upturned face demanded: a kiss. It was short and sweet and tender and not nearly enough, but all he dared. Pulling his mouth away, he bent down to another area of her body that was begging for attention, taking and rolling first one peaked nipple, then the other around in his mouth with his tongue.
He’d half expected his canines to elongate while he was doing so, and had been careful to keep his mouth light upon her, but they didn’t. There was no blind lust, no driving need to feed, only her sense of wonderful discovery as her body throbbed and tingled under his touch.
Their bond. It was going to be his lifeline…
Elisabeth: When I wrote King of Darkness I played with the what-ifs of vampires as creatures who were so burdened by human emotion that they cracked a little under the strain just as humans do. Thad, the king in King of Darkness, is relatively young, and with his parents dead he is left without his society's standard safety net: the former king is not around to help ease his transition. Add to all that his feral roots, and you've got a volatile combination. Hot, cold, passion, anger...panic. I gave him all of these emotions, and two key things to help him overcome: intense desire to do and be better for his kind--a cause greater than himself, and the love of a mate who would help him shoulder the burden. In the following two snippets I show what Tes refers to as that duality of nature. Intense nature, and intense fear:
...So, okay. He had upended Isabel’s world with the whole destiny business, but he had thought that the passion between them had meant something. It had to him. Shit, even if it didn’t mean anything more to Isabel than what she’d done with the humans at the club, she could at least have had the balls to stay, not skitter off to the bathroom like a frightened bunny. The fact that he had developed a power while they were together meant something, dammit. Meant everything. Didn’t she see? It was proof they belonged together.
Thad stopped near the main foyer to collect himself, but frustration swamped his senses until suddenly his fist hit the wall and sank deep into the plaster. Fuck. A rumble of laughter from the doorway made his head spin, and he pinned Lee with his best don’t-say-anything-if- you-know-what’s-good-for-you stare. Turned out Lee didn’t know shit about what was good for himself. Or if he did, he sure didn’t care.
“Jeez, buddy, what’d that wall ever to do you?” Lee’s laughing eyes regarded Thad, clearly unaffected by the waves of nastiness Thad was trying to project at the older male.
Thad exhaled heavily, shaking dust off his hand and forearm. Huh. The scar on his arm didn’t hurt anymore. Didn’t feel like much of anything now, as a matter of fact. Perhaps that was fitting...
One of the hardest things that Thad comes up against in his early days as King, is the death of a soldier. He has a pregnant vampire living on his estate, her mate has just been killed serving him, and he has to be with her while she drinks the last of the blood from the body to get her through the pregnancy. The realization that he is indirectly responsible for a child that will come into the world fatherless is almost--almost--too much for this male to handle:
...“Thad.” Isabel’s hand was cool and reassuring against his skin, which was too hot and too tight for his body. “You have to get up.”
He tried to answer. Honestly, he did. But he just couldn’t quite command his lips to move. It was taking all his effort just to breathe, slow and deep, through a windpipe that had constricted to the diameter of a drinking straw.
Isabel crouched in front of him, smooth forehead pressed against his. Her hands kneaded his arms, his shoulders, and his neck. Sure fingers made tiny circles at the base of his skull. Her palm rubbed between his shoulder blades. Somehow, he managed to match her protracted inhales and exhales.
“Thad, listen. I know this is hard, but you are the king and you need to hold it together. That female down there needs you to be strong for her.”
This time he was able to make eye contact. From down the hall of Eamon and Theresa’s house, the screams had quieted to those breathy, hiccuppy noises that indicated someone was all out of tears. Isabel was right. He owed Eamon and Theresa more than cowering in the foyer.
He had to move. “I know. I’m coming.”
He braced his feet and struggled to standing. The doctor spoke again in hushed tones, and Thad almost lost it again when he realized that the doctor was preparing Theresa to drink from her mate one final time before the blood was no longer good. His stomach heaved, but he stepped forward anyway.
Damn. Well, he needed to at least show up, even if he didn’t know what else to do or what to say. He could do that much. Would do that much. There was no other choice...
About the Authors
Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in a fantasy world. Her bestselling paranormal romance novel, King of Darkness, is available now. Her second book, Prince of Power, releases in January. Find out more at ElisabethStaab.com
Tes Hilaire’s idea of a perfect vacation would include her porch on a sultry summer night, a good glass of rich, red wine, and a book about darkness, passion, torture and love. Her first novel in the Paladin warriors series Deliver Me from Darkness is available now. The next, Deliver Me from Temptation, releases in December. For more, visit TesHilaire.com.
DELIVER ME FROM DARKNESS
BY TES HILAIRE
A stranger in the night…
He had once been a warrior of the Light, one of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in sin darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep.
Comes knocking on the door…
She is light and bright and everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.
KING OF DARKNESS
BY ELISABETH STAAB
ETERNAL COMMITMENT IS NOT ON HER AGENDA...
Scorned by the vampire community for her lack of power, Isabel Anthony lives a carefree existence masquerading as human—although drifting through the debauched human nightlife, she prefers the patrons' blood to other indulgences. But when she meets the sexy, arrogant king of the vampires, this party-girl's life turns dark and dangerous.
BUT TIME'S RUNNING OUT FOR THE KING OF THE VAMPIRES...
Dead-set on finding the prophesied mate who will unlock his fiery powers, Thad Morgan must find his queen before their race is destroyed. Their enemies are gaining ground, and Thad needs his powers to unite his subjects. But when his search leads him to the defiant Isabel, he wonders if fate had gotten it seriously wrong...
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