Liam Lamech buried Valerian, the vampire he recognized as his mate, next to Hell’s Gate nearly two thousand years ago. When the vampire king frees the vile creature, Liam determines not to give in to the strongest emotion a vampire can experience — the pull of an eternal mate. Liam can’t kill Valerian, yet he vows never to love him. Still, he’ll protect the undead man with his own life.

Valerian detests the memory of his days as a Roman emperor, though not nearly as much as he hates Liam, the vampire God chose as his mate. Aware they were meant to spend eternity together, the monster buried Val so close to Satan that a piece of his soul still burns. Even though Liam is one of the vampire king’s most revered warriors, Valerian vows to make the bastard pay!


Liam Lamech found himself in an impossible situation. He despised his mate, a malicious fiend who, as a Roman emperor, was responsible for slaying a multitude of Christians.

The vampire who filled Liam’s mind during every waking moment had been created by one whose blood would burn stronger than Liam’s, had he not regularly received blood from Sten Majkovic, the vampire king, and the most supreme undead creature inhabiting God’s world.

Liam had believed Sten truly liked and respected him until the king unearthed the body of Publius Licinius Valerianus, known by the vampire world as Valerian and now as Liam’s mate.

All those centuries ago Liam strongly suspected his connection to Valerian. The pull of the eternal bond was so intense Liam would not even take the vile brute’s blood before he entombed him in a hole deep enough that if he reached out, he could touch Satan’s face. Liam prayed the devil would hold the evil bastard prisoner forever.

Liam only knew of one other vampire who had resisted the phenomenal attraction to his own mate all those eons ago. Kamose, a seventeenth dynasty pharaoh, had somehow managed to live thousands of years with knowledge his mate still lived.

Shit, Kam survived without his mate because, as did Liam, he carried strong blood in his veins. Couple that with the fact that he searched out and screwed the saint every chance he could unless the holy man had gone to ground.

Now all vamps sought the only being they would forgive any sin — their mate. That one, human or undead, who completed them, who would walk at their side forever.

Valerian was not that vampire. He couldn’t be. “I will never forgive him,” Liam swore. “And I don’t want a mate! God, please tell me, show me, Valerian can’t be the one.” Liam stormed back and forth in such fury, he wore a path in the jewel-toned carpet that stretched the width and length of his living room. Liam didn’t even have the luxury of talking to his king as Sten, claiming back pain, had safeguarded his home from everyone except Joshua. Not even Sten’s favored warrior’s lover could gain entrance to what had now become a fortress.

“Backache my ass.” Vampires didn’t entertain bodily aches unless another, far superior, snatched their heart out. Depending on age and ability, both could die from such an act as no vamp was permitted to destroy another of their kind unless the execution was ordered by Sten — and still, there were dire consequences. After all that Liam had undertaken for his king, he now viewed Sten as an ungrateful reprobate.

Creeping around his own mind got Liam nowhere. May as well do what he’d done for thousands of years to stave off loneliness and… sorrow. Where the hell had that word sprung from? Liam suffered no woes over the past and what he’d done in God’s name. Saturated with anger, he felt as if his life — or rather, his undead existence, was falling apart. Underground, the club in King of Prussia, a suburb of Philadelphia, was full of voyeurs willing to take him or watch him be had by someone he prayed would savagely use him tonight. A visit to the exclusive sex venue would settle Liam’s thoughts as well as ease tension that rose each time the sun crested the horizon.

What enraged Liam’s soul most was that God had permitted Valerian, the sacrilegious piece of shit, to live. “Me. I performed that feat.” The thought paraded through Liam’s mind. I allowed Valerian to live. “Why did I supply him with enough of Kenan’s blood to keep him thriving in that hole?”

And where was his king? Liam had been without Sten’s blood for a longer period than usual. That loss infuriated Liam, and although he’d drained blood from a heart laced with Valerian’s blood, he still had trouble tracking the murderous asshole.

Dissolving into nothing, Liam slipped into Underground unnoticed by human eyes. The smell of men and sex relieved his tension briefly, until he heard a voice he recognized all too well.

“Son of a bitch!”

Purchase at Changeling Press –

Meet the Author

Growl and roar — it’s okay to let the beast out. — J. Hali Steele

  1. Hali Steele wishes she could grow fur, wings, or fangs, so she can stay warm, fly, or just plain bite the crap out of… Well, she can’t do those things but she wishes she could!
  2. Hali’s a multi-published Amazon bestselling author of Romance in Paranormal, Fantasy, and Contemporary worlds which include ReligErotica and LGBTQ stories where humans, vampyres, shapeshifters and angels collide — and they collide a lot! When J. Hali’s not writing or reading, she can be found snuggled in front of the TV with a cat in her lap, and a cup of coffee.

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