At his request, I allowed Trystan Valeras a.k.a. Lash to be the one to pen this post at Decadent Decisions. A heartfelt thank you to him for this, and also a warning: watch the language, and don’t be threatening anyone. - Tara Fox Hall
ROMANCE IS NO FRIEND OF WERESNAKES
I’m Lash. Those of you who frequent the Internet might have already heard of me. I’m trying hard to get the word out there about my exploits, promoting my series that bears my name as the title of the first book. If this is your first time seeing my name, don’t worry. I guarantee it won’t be the last.
The title above says it all. Romance is something that I gave up in my youth, when everything fell apart with Mara. See, like a lot of people, I started out poor and had to work my way up. It was hard work, sure, but I was well on my way to getting a decent life, if not a memorable one by the time I was sixteen. In the years that followed, my life became a constant struggle to go straight. My gangster father, Jared, pushed me from the first to join him in his life of crime. I admit I didn’t put up much of a fight, either. Accepting his dirty money gave me my one shot at the beautiful Mara.
With my father’s money in my corner, I was able to get close to her, to be first friends, then her fiancée. There were so many complications, with her being human and me being snake. But I stupidly told myself that didn’t matter. I told myself that if she loved me, she had to love all of me, including the sometime scales. But her family hated me, and did the unthinkable to stop us getting married. Just like a long chain of glass dominos, all my dreams I’d worked so hard and hoped for came tumbling down to shatter, leaving me with nothing.
Later on, after I began working for my vampire boss, Abraham, I got together with Britney. She was a whore...um, prostitute, and I wanted her to stop, but she wouldn’t. I didn’t like that, but I accepted it, until the night she partnered with an enemy, playing bait to draw me in. Like a fuc…um, like a sap, I fell for it, and nearly got killed because of it. In the end, I killed her in self-defense.
There was another woman named Gretchen that I cared about. We got together years ago, and I’d always wanted more. Finding her again was a miracle. Having her for my own seemed like a sign from God, so much so that I bought a ring. But she also died, after provoking me to bite her because she didn’t have the strength to take her own life.
Now all that tragedy was just in Lash. I’ve not even gotten to the events of the next book, Shadow Man. So you tell me, are romance and love my enemy, or what? How damned unlucky can a guy be? Hear the rest, then judge for yourself.
I decided to take another tack in Shadow Man, and tried with Abraham to order myself up a mistress. The Great Depression was in full swing, so women that might have ignored me before were willing this time to take a look, especially with my having a job. That’s where I met Nancy. She was good, and I liked her. But I’d been hurt before, and I wanted to move slow. She didn’t.
When she left, I went back to Arlene’s, in search of a woman I’d seen singing there, Cassandra Nile. She still wanted some of me, and I took her up on that. We make a good pair, I think. But I thought that a lot of times before, and it turned out terrible. I’m worried that this time is going to turn out like all the rest.
A renegade vampire begins amassing a flock of true believers, threatening America’s vampire hierarchy. Weresnake Lash partners with old enemy Danial and new allies Burl and Spiderboy to track down and annihilate them. Betrayed and left for dead, Lash reemerges the victor, edging ever upward in the Assassin’s Ranking, and catching the eye of the sultry nightclub singer Cassandra Nile. Drawn into drugs by Cassie, Lash begins to doubt himself, yearning to leave his life of violence, even as enemies close in from every side.
“I don’t want presents,” Cassy said after a moment. “I’d welcome food, if you brought some for both of us like you did today. But I don’t want to be mated.”
“I didn’t mean it like that,” I said uncomfortably. “I don’t want to be mated either.”
“Good,” Cassy said, her beautiful face breaking into a smile. “Bring me some first-class meat, enough for us to gorge ourselves. And maybe a bottle of wine, or some cheese?”
I wrote it down, just in case I forgot. “Anything else?”
“Anything to eat, or drink. But other than that, just bring yourself.” She smiled. “Think you can do that?”
“Have I let you down yet?”
She laughed and shook her head, and then she was kissing me.
Two weeks went by like this, until finally Abraham called me in and asked me what was going on. I explained to him about Cassy, and how happy she’d been making me.
“I’ve heard of her,” he said, giving me a peculiar look. “She’s been around a long time.”
“What’s that fucking mean?” I snapped. “So she’s older than I am. You’re older than Winnie by what, fifty or sixty years?”
“Seventy,” he said, cracking a smile. “But that’s not bad, for a vampire and a human who fell for him.”
“She makes me happy,” I said contentedly. “Why aren’t you happy for me?”
“I am happy for you,” he said seriously. “I just need to know if you’re going to be gone most Saturday nights and Sundays until dark.”
“I am. Is that going to be a problem?”
“I don’t know,” he said with a shrug. “But I can see you’re happy, so I’m willing to try it. If we need someone to fill in for you besides Spiderboy, I’ll hire a few more men. The economy seems to be improving. They say 1935 is going to be a good year.”
“Thanks,” I said warmly.
“You might want to know that Nancy’s doing well. She’s gotten herself a little house in France, near the Louvre. She’s attending a college there for art, and also learning French.”
I squirmed in my chair a bit. “I’m glad for her. Does she need money?”
“No. Winnie reports Nancy’s doing fine financially, and has gotten a part time job as a seamstress. She said to tell you she misses you very much, and hopes you’re doing well.”
All my happy thoughts were buried in a steaming pile of guilt that rained down on me like shit on an outhouse floor. “Tell her I hope she’s happy.”
“I’ll have Winnie add that to her letter,” Abraham said, shuffling some papers.
“I need to go see to the guards,” I said, looking at my watch. “We need to target practice.”
“Then you’d better get to it.” His tone was curt.
I nodded and left, my happy mood gone.
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For info on my recently published series books Lash: Shadow Man click here: http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Man-Lash-ebook/dp/B009UHDZHY
Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, action-adventure, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.