I always said I would never write a vampire story, but I got sucked in (no pun intended...well, okay, maybe a little) when Kris Jacen of MLR Press asked for authors to write stories about vampire warriors for a March event. The entire month of March is Hot Blood month at MLR, and my novella Sensei is among the first releases. (It came out on March 1.) It is a vampire story; it's a love story; and it's something I hope readers will enjoy.
Here's a little taste:
Over five hundred years ago, Isao Nakamura became ninja. And vampire. Now teaching martial arts in 2012 Boston, Isao is falling for his adult student James, and it's clear James returns his interest. Conflict with the city's vampire clan might lead to James's death--or worse, his turning--if Isao cannot protect him.
Water ran in the bathroom. A moment later, Isao emerged. He pulled on his briefs and pants before lying on the bed beside James, who now felt acutely uncomfortable with his own nakedness. “This may have been a mistake.”
“I should have known you’d say that.” No way had it been a mistake. James refused to listen to such bullshit. “Why was it a mistake, Isao? Because I’m your student? Because you have something going with the guy who came to the dojo tonight?”
“Lucian?” Isao’s eyes widened slightly before he composed his expression into its usual neutrality. “No. I have nothing with him. Not any longer.”
“So he was your lover once?”
“Yes.” Isao closed his eyes. For a second, James thought he saw pain in the other man’s face, then that, too was gone. “I do not wish to speak about him. What we just did may have been a mistake because of who I am. Lucian was not there tonight to rekindle old flames, as you might say. He was there to bring me to a man who threatened me. And those around me.”
He opened his eyes again, and James flinched at the intensity in them. “You are in danger. All my students are in danger, but you most especially if I continue to act on the feelings I have for you. And no, I will not deny those feelings. I didn’t come here tonight to have sex with you, but I will not regret it.”
“Even though you just said it might have been a mistake?” James didn’t try to keep his anger out of his tone. “It would really help if you would just say what the hell you mean, Isao. Do you want to go back to being just sensei and student? Do you want me to quit your class so you don’t have to see me again? Fucking talk to me, because I’m not a mind reader like you seem to be.”
“Nor am I.” Amusement and bitterness tinged Isao’s tone. “I do not know what the hell I mean, James. I don’t want to see any harm come to any of my students. And you are not just one of my students.”
“What am I, then?”
“Mine.” Isao stood so quickly James barely saw him move. “There’s too much you don’t know, and I can’t tell you everything now. You are mine, but you won’t want to be when you know the truth. Come to the dojo early for class and I promise to tell you what I can. And then you can make your own decision.”
“I’ve already decided.” James stood too and started to embrace Isao, then decided against it. He was angry, and he didn’t want tenderness getting in the way. “If I’m yours, you’re mine, too. And I don’t give up easily.”
“I have already seen that. Good night, James.” Isao rested his palm briefly against James’s cheek before walking out the door.