Series: Living After Midnight, Book 1
Bio: Trevann Rogers writes urban fantasy and LGBT paranormal romances. Her stories incorporate an unquenchable addition to music and her love for vampires, Weres, incubi and rock stars. Like these elusive creatures, Trevann learned long ago that sometimes being yourself means Living After Midnight.
· One trait you share with your hero/heroine in this book?
Cheyenne is the hero of our book. We like to think we share with him a strange sense of humor. He isn't snarky. He just likes to laugh and thinks the world is full of funny people and entertaining situations.
· One thing you have learned as a writer this year?
Although writing can be a lonely activity, we've learned that writers by nature are kind, thoughtful, and generous with their time and talents. We wouldn't be where we are without the help of the authors who have gone before us and were willing to share their expertise and experiences. We hope to be able to pay it forward too, and give freely what was shared with us.
· One writer, you'd LOVE to have lunch with?
We'd love to break bread with Tanya Huff. She has written so many amazing fantasy stories, with memorable characters you can't help but cherish. We also appreciate her treatment of gay characters simply as real people who live their lives like the rest of us, grabbing hold of joy where we find it.
· As writers we tend to be sedentary, what do you do to keep yourself healthy? Still trying to figure this one out. What helps us most is planning our meals and snacks ahead of time. If we plan the entire week before we go shopping, we save money, time, AND we eat much healthier.
Living After Midnight, Book 1
Sex. Rebellion. Rock and roll.
Cheyenne is a half-human incubus whose star is on the rise in the Unakite City rock scene. His father, the leader of the supernatural races, would prefer he keep a “low profile”, but screw that. Cheyenne has as much music in his veins as royal incubi blood.
Alexander's future is all set—finish law school, join the family firm, and marry someone who'd be good for business. Not that he has a say in any of it. He's barely met the woman his father expects him to marry.
As Cheyenne's musical career takes off, his carefully constructed life begins to unravel, exacerbated by an ex-lover who can't let go, a crotchety barkeeper with a dirty mind and a pure heart, a drag queen who moonlights as a nanny, and Alexander—who's not sure if he's falling for the incubus or the rocker.
Cheyenne denies who he is, while Alexander hides what he wants. Together, they learn that getting what they truly want means being who they truly are.
Copyright © 2015 Trevann Rogers
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
Cheyenne set the bottles on the end table and watched Alexander peel off his ripped shirt in sections. The fabric stuck to the blood drying in four deep gouges on his ribcage. “Here, let me help you with that.”
He paused, waiting for Alexander’s protest, but none came. He helped his friend out of the ruined shirt, and applied antiseptic to the wounds.
“Ow!” Alexander flinched as the cool, stinging liquid did its job. “Man. What the hell was that? Like an animal, but more like something out of a freaking horror movie. I mean, did you see how it just picked me up like I was nothing?” He looked up at Cheyenne. “Are you all right? I mean, how could you be? Those things were trying to kill you. You must have gotten away before—”
“They weren’t going to kill me. Maybe they thought they were scaring me, but they just pissed me off. I’m betting they thought they killed you. I shouldn’t have let you get involved.” Cheyenne picked up his water, changed his mind and took a swig of Alexander’s beer. “Blech. Don’t you drink anything that tastes good?”
Alexander snatched the bottle out of his hands and drained it. “Are you telling me you knew those…those…?”
“Weres. A tiger and a couple of lions. Yeah, I know them.”
Alexander stared at Cheyenne. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“I’m about to tell you some stuff that you are not going to believe. But you can’t tell anyone.”
“Whatever. It can’t be any weirder than seeing a monster movie play out in an alley.”
He dropped onto the sofa next to Alexander. “Like I said, those were Weres. My father’s henchmen. Stupid as hell, but so far, loyal enforcers. And usually deadly.” He studied Alexander’s face. “You really haven’t noticed that I’m different from other people?”
Alexander shrugged. “I don’t care that you’re a…that you like guys. But what’s that got to—”
“I’m not gay. Not exactly. I’m an incubus.” He looked for some indication of recognition in Alexander’s eyes. “A supernatural being?” Not a shred of comprehension. “A sexual demon?”
“A demon?” Alexander started to get up. “You are out of your mind.”
Cheyenne’s hand on his arm stilled him. “Not the ‘burn in the ever-after for all eternity, hellfire and brimstone, steal your soul’ sort of demon. A sexual demon. The crowd at Eddies? I feed on that energy. And you know how Prudence is sort of turned on by me but really, and I mean really, hates me? That feeds me too, all that emotion—”
“Not the point. And let’s not forget the Weres. Hello? Paranormal. As in not normal—for humans.”
Alexander stood and crossed the sunken living room to the kitchen. He opened another Corona and made his way back to the couch. “Is that why you aren’t hurt?”
“Yeah. The thing is, my father is, like, the head guy. He sent those jerks after me. He doesn’t want me to play music or do anything else he thinks will draw attention to us.”
“The Incubi Nation. We’ve been here, living in your world, for centuries. Us, the Weres, the mages, and a lot of other races. I’ll explain all that later. Your world is ours too. And my father thinks if humans found out about us, it would be the beginning of the end. Of the incubi for sure, but maybe everything.”
“Maybe your father’s right. My head is about to explode.”
“Zander, please listen. He wants me to stop playing music. I can’t do that. And there’s something else.”
“Of course there is. Vampires lurking in the darkness waiting to eat my still pulsing heart?”
Cheyenne frowned. “Now you are being ridiculous. Vampires don’t eat flesh.”
“Are you kidding me? Vampires are real? Do I have a concussion? Or am I in the middle of a major heroin overdose?”
Cheyenne laid his head on the back of the sofa and sighed. “Never mind. You’re right. You’re just suffering from a concussion and when you wake in the morning it will all be as in a dream.”
Alexander joined Cheyenne against the sofa’s back and closed his eyes. “No,
okay. Tell me. Your father is head of the incubi, but how does he get to send those things after you? What do the others—whatever they are—think about humans?”
“It’s complicated. But, well…” Cheyenne considered how he could best explain. “The Were-cats are my father’s personal guards. But all supernatural races are governed by him. It’s sort of like the United States. Each state has its own leader, the governor, but they come together under a president. Each species has its own leaders but my father is in charge of all of them. Except what he says goes. No voting.”
“Let’s assume I believe any of this. What else?”
“My kids. The truth is, they are really mine. I have to pretend they’re not because my father doesn’t know about them, can’t know about them. If he did, he’d take Jade away from me.”
“Take as in keep? That doesn’t make any sense.”
“It makes sense to him. He needs to keep her to breed her.”
“She’s just a kid. And that is all sorts of illegal.”
Cheyenne ingested Alexander’s rising anger, and quelled it. “Our rules aren’t the same as yours. And anyway, my father is desperate. Our race is dying. There’ve been no live female births for decades. And there are very few males born. We even tried to breed with the Weres. Total disaster. Don’t ask.”
He chugged the rest of his water and stood. He grabbed his left shoulder and
twisted, and then his right, until his vertebrae popped and released the tension
that had been building since the conversation began. He continued, “They thought the vampires would have worked, but the in vitro experiments never resulted in a child. We had the most luck with human couplings.”
“So there were children?”
“You’re looking at one. My mother was human.”
“What do you mean, ‘was human’?”
“She passed away ten years ago.”
“Sorry for your loss.”
“Yeah, thanks.” Cheyenne brushed his nose. “I still can’t believe she’s gone. My whole world turned upside down when she got sick. Humans are so fragile.”
“I guess we are.”
“Anyway, boys were born, most without any trace of incubus Power.” An ironic laugh fluttered to his lips. “I suppose I’m the exception. Not that anyone knows it.”
“So you’re an incubus no one knows has…powers?”
“Right. But that isn’t important. The main problem is there were no succubae—females—conceived. So no way for us to breed true.”
“Until Jade.” He sat back down. “She’s a succubus, Zander. I’ve seen her Power. That’s why she’d be important to him. And why he can’t have her.”
“Seems to me that you have the upper hand. Not that Jade is a bargaining chip. But since she’s your child and your people need her, he should be cutting you some slack about your music.”
“You don’t know my father. He’s the richest hotel proprietor in the northern hemisphere and the leader of the Incubi Nation. He doesn’t give a damn about me. He wouldn’t care that I, his half-breed son, might have spawned the literal savior of our race. His only concern would be that she exists, and that she belongs to him. Both of my children deserve more than that. That’s why he can’t know about them.”
“Why didn’t you leave? If you were across the country you’d be harder to find.”
Cheyenne rubbed the back of his neck. He’d thought a million times about doing just that, but he couldn’t make it work. “I could never get up enough money. Seemed safer to stay here out of his line of sight.”
Several minutes of silence passed between them. Alexander spoke first. “Can I ask you a question? You’re an incubus. Is that why I…” Questions streamed across his face. “What I feel, it’s because of your powers, isn’t it?”
“Yeah. Some of it. I can’t help that. It’s what makes me an incubus. But it’s not like I roofie people. The first time I tried to seduce you, you told me to quit and I did. I never intentionally made you feel anything. Not supernaturally, anyway.”
“Then what are you doing to me?”
“Nothing you don’t want me to.”
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