Talent comes in many forms, and sometimes I'm lucky enough to stumble across a yet unpublished author with tremendous potential. Introducing Kalista Kyle and her work in progress, The Allure of Darkness.
Tyler was a normal college student, holding down two jobs to stay afloat. Captured by thugs and tortured for days, he is beyond grateful when he’s rescued by a mysterious do-gooder. The man claims to be his mate, whatever that means, and says he’s a good guy, but Tyler has heard that line before. The guy has fangs just like those who captured him and the instincts of a killer. Can Tyler trust his heart to a monster? Or is there more to Broderick beneath his terrifying exterior?
The sun’s brilliant rays and the soft glow of moonbeams that filtered through the dirty window were all that he had to tell the passage of time. One day drifted into the next, the night swirling together until time ceased to exist. It might have been three days, or four, or perhaps even a week. There was no way to know for sure, and he suddenly found that it didn’t matter anymore.
Thinking back on how he came to be here, Tyler McLeod shivered. Walking home from a job as a bartender at the Bloody Rose bar in the early morning hours before the sun had even crested the horizon, he’d been jumped by two men just a block from his low-rent apartment. He’d tried to fight, struggled to free himself, but his small stature had proven useless against his brawny attackers.
His thin jacket had been torn from his body, his shirt sleeve ripped right down the seam, and then the sharp prick of a needle stung the crook of his left arm. The world went foggy, his brain drifted on a willowy haze, and then nothing but darkness.
He wasn’t sure how long he’d been unconscious before waking up in the ramshackle room with only a single, dingy window placed high on the wall near the ceiling. The floors were wooden, the walls bare so that the studs and support beams were exposed. The position of the window was curious, but Tyler didn’t think he was in a basement. So, that had left only one question. Where the hell was he?
Sometime during his journey from Creston Avenue to the filthy room, someone had removed his clothing. At first he’d been terrified of the implications of his nudity, but no one had tried to force him into anything sexual. Yet.
They had, however, taken turns beating him from the moment he’d regained lucidity. They fed him only scraps, barely enough to keep a finch alive, and allowed him water just once a day. It seemed they didn’t want to kill him. They simply wanted to inflict as much pain as possible. But why? What had he ever done to anyone?
His life was a pretty pathetic existence. He worked, went to class, and studied. That was it. No money, no friends, no lovers, and unless his Persian cat, Mitzy, had learned to dial 911, no one would be worried about him or coming looking. If he survived this—which he doubted—that was something he’d have to teach Mitzy.
Watching the occasional porn on his laptop was about the most exciting thing he ever did. Yep, he was a real rebel. So, why were they doing this? Why him?
He endured the constant beatings, sometimes praying that he would just die and end the suffering. His body hurt in places that he didn’t know could hurt. Dirt and dried blood matted together across his thin chest, his face, his arms, and even his legs. Only one eyelid would open fully, his bottom lip was cracked in two separate places, and he was pretty certain that he had at least one broken rib.
It was always the same two men who walked through the door. The gleam that shined from their eyes when the moonlight him them just right told Tyler all that he needed to know. The mountainous men enjoyed hurting him, reveled in each one of his screams. Just from the simple fact that he’d seen their faces and heard their voices, Tyler knew he wouldn’t be leaving the room alive.
Muffled footsteps treaded across the creaking planks, coming closer toward the door that was the only barrier Tyler had between himself and certain death. The normal thump of heavy boots, striding toward him with purpose wasn’t there, though. Whoever lurked just beyond the passageway was sneaky, careful, and perhaps even hesitant.
Very slowly, almost painfully so, the door eased open an inch, another, and finally a man the size of a fucking armored tank stepped into the room. Any hopes that Tyler had of finally being rescued and whisked away from his prison died a painful, fiery death.
“Just kill me and get it over with,” he mumbled. “I can’t take this anymore.”
The man came closer, but Tyler was too exhausted to even flinch away from the advance. If he was really lucky, his death would come swiftly. “Why would I kill you?”
Whoa! Deep, sensual, and smooth like clear waters bubbling over rocks in a stream, it was definitely not the voice Tyler had expected. As the man knelt beside him, his face was illuminated by the pale moonlight, and Tyler gasped.
It just went to prove that karma hated him when he realized how stunningly gorgeous his would-be killer was. Why couldn’t it be some ugly old guy with bad teeth trying murder him? And why the hell did that even matter? The end would be the same. No matter who did it, he’d be just as dead.
But, wait, the guy had said something. “What?”
“I’m not going to kill you, Tyler.”
“How do you know my name? Who are you?”
“That’s not important right now. We’ve got to get you out of here.” He shrugged off a dark blue backpack and began pulling out wicked looking instruments. “Just keep quiet and be very still. Can you do that for me?”
For the first time in his life, Tyler had the sense of peace and tranquility. Was the guy hypnotizing him? Had he drugged him again? Who the hell was this man?
“How did you find me?”
Mr. Gorgeous arched an eyebrow at him. “You’ve been calling out to me for eight days. I just followed the sound of your voice.”
Tyler frowned. His voice was barely more than a raspy whisper. Other than his cries of pain, he hadn’t tried to speak to anyone or even call for help. “I didn’t,” he argued then groaned at his idiocy. This guy was going to rescue him, finally free him, and he was worried about technicalities.
Two long fingers slid under his chin and tilted his head up. Then the man’s thumb brushed lightly over Tyler’s bottom lip, skipping over the injury. “My name is Broderick Mason, and I’m going to keep you safe. We don’t have a lot of time, though, so I need that to be enough for now. Will you trust me until I can get you out of here?”
What choice did he have? Besides, Tyler felt unbelievable drawn to the man. Whatever it was, he found himself nodding, just a small movement of his head. “Okay.”
Broderick nodded and lifted a pair of lethal-looking sheers and easily snapped the chains restraining Tyler to the wall. “We’ll have to wait to get the manacles off your wrist,” he explained with a hint of apology in his voice. “We’re almost out of time. Can you stand?”
With the amount of blood he’d lost and the weakened state of his body from multiple beatings and lack of proper nutrition, Tyler was surprised that he could even hold his head up. Broderick seemed to understand without him having to spell it out.
“Okay, just relax.” Broderick tucked his tools away, slipped his pack back on his shoulders, and crouched down to slide his arms under Tyler. “This is going to hurt, and I’m sorry.” Then he lifted him, holding him cradled to his chest protectively.
He hadn’t lied. It hurt like the seven shades of hell, but the relief of being free and the safety he felt in the man’s arms was well worth his discomfort. Biting the inside of his cheek to hold back his moan of pain, Tyler tried to lift his arms, but they wouldn’t respond. His hands nestled limply in his naked lap, but at least they covered all his vital bits and pieces.
“Thank you,” he whispered hoarsely and rested his head on his savior’s shoulder. “Thank you.” Tears prickled at the corners of his eyes, the past week finally catching up with him. He was leaving this awful place and never coming back. Broderick would keep him safe. He’d promised.
And on to the prize! One lucky commenter will win a pair of beautiful French wire, sterling silver earrings!! So show some love! (and remember your contact info)
Contest ends January 6th at midnight EST.
*Remember, you can comment once on each post throughout the month, and every comment goes toward a chance to win a Kindle Fire!*