Sneak Peak: Vaper Trail (The Profane Series) 1/?

Late June 2012 – Capitol Hill – Lachlan

Lachlan Graham fiddled with the electric water kettle on his counter, pressing his fingers to the body of the water reservoir like he could gauge the temperature of the water just by that one simple touch. It wasn’t entirely an affectation. Three years working as a barista in the U District’s coffee scene had given him a few skills—heat resilient hands that were, nevertheless, quite adept at judging a liquid’s temperature was simply one of them. But that’s not why he did it now—no, let’s be honest, it was just a nervous tick. An excuse to remain standing in his kitchen and thereby avoid the conversation lurking in the other room for another three minutes while the kettle heated up the water to boiling.

Tea had seemed like a good idea when he offered, but maybe it was just the coward’s way out.

His lower lip still tingled from its close contact with Vector’s mouth a minute ago.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Sneak Peak: The Line of Allora

Pacchia4What’s Past is Prologue

A Brief Lecture on Inheritance in Pacchia

There is an expression amongst those nobles ready to reproduce in Pacchia: aim for an heir and a spare, but never a third, for that will assuredly breed contempt.

Forty years before Aubrey Allora of Wescott came to the throne, his father was born and named Crown Prince of the land, and his father’s younger brother—Ewan Allora, also an alpha—was named Duke Ewan Allora of Pacchia. And their youngest brother, the beta christened Brier, inherited a lesser title and a very small allotment of land on the edges of family’s holdings in southern Pacchia. Such was the fate of betas who were not in the line of succession. The High King of Pacchia, no matter how much he may have loved all of his sons equally, would never have allowed an inheritance which would in any way compromise the sanctity of House Allora’s holdings.

There is a tradition amongst the noble landholders to keep inheritance entirely entailed to one or two children at the most, with the strictest legal hinderers in place to keep younger children from breaking up the holdings following their parents’ deaths. In this way, the noble houses maintained as large of property as possible and allowed very few minor houses to spring up.

This practice was even more important for the house which had ruled over Pacchia those last several hundred years as unifier.

Thus it was Brier’s fate to find himself an occupation and fade into obscurity. Unless, of course, his brothers were to perish in some unfortunate series of events.

Fratricide was strictly forbidden in Pacchia, punishable by the harshest sanctions, least of all the seizure of lands and properties—both those inherited from the sibling as well as those originally entailed by the family. Therefore, if some scheming younger sibling truly wished to grab hold of more land, power, and titles, they had to do so in such a way that could not be traced back to them—not even a suspicion. Not an insurmountable feat, merely one that required careful planning and loyal allies.

And a trusting family.

A trusting family, somewhat surprisingly, was just what Lord Brier had. Or more precisely, two trusting brothers and a few very loyal friends: namely, a few other men like himself, third and fourth sons disgruntled by the fact that they were in line to inherit very little of their family’s vast wealth.

It should be no surprise that men of a feather would flock together, thinking that their combined efforts might allow them to scrabble out a larger chunk of the pie than they would otherwise be allotted. And there are some who still remember how charming Lord Brier was in his youth, before he arranged for his brother Ewan to be killed on the road between Allora and Wescott.

Ewan had been traveling that fateful to meet his intended, the eldest omega son of the Lord Wescott. But he never reached his destination, and it was his elder brother who won the heart of Sir James of Wescott in the end. And between his death and their marriage, Lord Brier became Duke Brier and discovered that now he had a taste for fratricide, it would not be enough to stop at Ewan, but go all the way.

The Duke’s only real mistake was the degree to which he misjudged the older Lord Riven many years later—this Lord Riven was not to be confused with his son Dierik who was only a teenager at the time. Indeed, it was Duke Brier’s greed which blinded him to Lord Riven’s true loyalties. And while he may have succeeded in wiping most of that once great family from the map, he was not able to move against Riven fast enough to keep his own plans regarding the seat of the High King away from his brother’s ear.

It is then no surprise that the late High King of Pacchia chose to sire only one child and in doing so, avoid any unpleasant arguments regarding succession.

And in this way, with his promise to the Honorable Winston, his son Aubrey sought to replicate his father’s tidy success.

Continue Reading Chapter 1 >>>

Sneak Peak: The Line of Allora

The Kingdom of Pacchia Book 4 Coming Soon!

It’s almost here, I’m hard at work finishing up Book 4 in this series and to give you guys a little hint at whats to come, here is the first chapter! We rejoin our omega king, Aubrey Allora, on the even of his long awaited wedding to Lord Riven!

Pacchia4Chapter One, The State of Affairs

The ceremony was much what one would expect from just such an event—that is, the wedding of the newly crowned High King of Pacchia to the Lord Dierik Riven. It was arranged to cater to tradition, ostentatious enough to please the more traditionalist members of the court, but not so overwhelming that it ran entirely counter to the King’s taste, which was rather muted compared to that of many in the peerage.

Aubrey had struggled to walk the line between what was expected and what he desired. If it had been entirely up to him, he would have preferred a small, private ceremony the week after his proposal to Lord Riven, overseen by the Lord Chamberlain, and witnessed by their families and the most loyal of his lords. But he was cognizant that that sort of ceremony was not the kind a king could afford to indulge in.

Continue reading

The Profane Series: Medium Rare Chapter 4b

Previous Parts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

The Profane Series: Medium Rare Chapter 4b

May 2012 – Briarwood, ID

It was a ten hour drive to Briarwood. But rather than hijack the sherif’s vehicles, they dropped their entourage off in Vegas to handle the Searchlight bodies before grabbing a quick flight up to Twin Falls. From there they drove seventy-five miles due north to the Blaine County Sheriff’s Station, fifteen miles south of their final destination: Briarwood, population four hundred and eight according to the 2010 census, was situated on the edge of Sawtooth National Forest.

“Like I tried to tell you on the phone,” Blaine County Sheriff’s Deputy Billy Forest said, ushering them into the city’s small morgue facility. “The bodies we’re digging up way pre-date what you’re looking for. From the style of clothing and the degree of decay, the Briarwood bodies look like they’re from at least the forties. Maybe earlier.”

“Can I see the crime scene photos?” Vector asked in a low voice, interrupting Henderson’s automatic grumbling.

Continue reading