House of ManLove Valentine’s Blog Hop…and giveaway!
For my contribution, I wrote a flash starring the main characters from my paranormal Romance Night Vision (releasing on the 18th!!) I hope you enjoy it 🙂
Also, please scroll down and leave a comment to enter my super-duper giveaway! One lucky commenter will receive an e-book bundle of three steamy Romances to warm up their winter.
Theron ran across the snow, careful to step only in the existing tracks but still fast enough to be unseen by humans. He wore thick sheepskin boots, and a long down coat that brushed the tops of his knees. The clothing kept him warm, but increased his visibility against the snow.
He slowed as he approached a small, yellow colonial style home. The cold night air was quiet, and empty of humans. Still, Theron was careful. If he was spotted it might mean having to find a new territory, and he did not feel like dealing with that hassle right now.
The home’s glowing windows promised warmth and comfort. But it wasn’t shelter Theron sought here.
Prowling for enough human emotion to eat was sometimes difficult during the winter months. No open windows meant all the nourishment was trapped inside. Last week, Theron had been forced to feed at the supermarket—a sad meal which consisted of shopper’s mingled frustration and annoyance, with a smattering of fear and greed. He shook himself to clear the memory. Tonight would be better.
Tonight was Valentine’s Day, and the emotional sustenance in his territory should be sickeningly sweet with love and lust.
Lust he enjoyed. It was one of his favorite meals. Love could be satisfying, as well.
Best of all was anger. A clean anger, without pain or sadness, and preferably tinged with a bit of passionate desire, was Theron’s first choice. Finding it tonight should be easy.
But there was none here. The little yellow house was quiet. Only a thin fog of happiness sifted from the attic vents. Theron absorbed it, but moved on. He needed more.
The old grey house next door, usually a good source for him, was cold and dark. No one home. He ran down the block, still searching.
Raised voices drifted over snow-filled backyards. He followed the promising sounds to a newer home, just a few blocks away. There was a great oak on the property, perfect for climbing. Theron scaled it easily, and maneuvered to a thick, wide branch. He winced as a pile of snow slid from the branch and landed heavily in the previously smooth front yard. Sloppy. He sighed.
The front door banged open, and a man exited, accompanied by a meaty cloud of rage. Delicious. Theron absorbed it all.
“You’re leaving, now? Really?” Another man followed the first, this one dressed in sweatpants and a soft beige sweater.
The first man drew a set of keys from his coat pocket and turned. “Yes. I am. You clearly don’t want me here.” He stalked to the driveway and entered the car.
“David! Come on!” The second man stood in the doorway, feet bare, eyes pleading, and shouted toward the car.
David scowled through the glass. A few moments were spent waiting for the car to start, and a seatbelt to be fastened, while frustration and anger billowed in the air around the men. Theron basked in it, filling himself to capacity.
The car jerked backwards, and then rumbled away up the street. Theron remained motionless, watching.
The man in the doorway shook his head, and the angry cloud around him began to weaken, filling instead with sadness and regret. Thin, sour emotions Theron did not care for.
Finally the man retreated into the house, and Theron made to leave. He’d had his fill of human emotion now, and could spend the rest of the evening in his home.
Then a curtain moved, spilling a large square of light onto the snow right under the tree where he perched. Framed in the window was the human, standing with his arms crossed over his chest.
Theron studied him. His sandy brown hair was combed back in a large wave, a careful style somewhat at odds with his casual clothing. His mouth was turned down and his brows pinched, but his face was handsome. It would be more handsome wearing a smile. Theron frowned at the rogue thought.
A tear leaked from the corner of the man’s eye, and left a wet streak down his cheek.
Theron tilted his head. He did not like seeing this human upset. But why should he care? He did not even know this man’s name.
Still, he watched.
Eventually the man dragged a chair to the window and sat. His face had softened a bit, but it remained sorrowful. And Theron found himself growing angry. Why did the man sit? Why wait with such sadness? Why not go about his night, without the rude David?
Theron repositioned his legs on the branch. He was growing cold, even in his warm winter clothing. He could leave, just climb down the rear of the tree and move quickly, the man would never see him. But he stayed put, eyes locked on the handsome man in the window, while an irrational desire to harm David grew within him.
A crunching of tires on snow drew Theron’s attention. He didn’t have to look to know it was David returning. He flattened himself against the tree, still and silent, watching.
David had a bouquet of roses in his hand as he exited the car. Theron glanced at the man in the window for a reaction, and saw happiness light the handsome face. Excitement and love seeped from the window frame.
Pathetic. Theron bit back a groan at the easy forgiveness, but consumed the new emotions.
David opened the front door, which Theron noted with displeasure had been left unlocked. He appeared soon after in the window, and knelt at the handsome man’s feet, placing the roses in his lap. “I’m sorry, Alex. I’m sorry.”
Alex nodded and pulled David into an embrace.
Theron’s gut twisted with something that was most certainly not jealousy. Perhaps he had eaten too much this night. That was all. He climbed down from the tree and fled across the yard, recklessly adding his footprints to the clean snow.
Safe at home, he sat in front of his fireplace and pondered the man he’d watched for so long. Alex. A nice name. Theron spoke it aloud, accentuating the x sound. Yes, a very nice name. He would visit Alex again, and keep an eye on David. If nothing else, the men would likely provide him with many satisfying meals.
Maybe someday, he would see Alex smile.
Look for Night Vision, Theron & Alex’s story, coming February 18th from Dreamspinner Press!
What kind of paranormal creature is your favorite in a Romance, and why? Answer in comments to win a 3 e-book bundle! (Winner will be drawn at random from comments. Contest closes on Feb 17th. You must provide an e-mail address to win.)
This is a blog hop! Visit the other great bloggers and read their valentine flash, too 🙂