The Corescu Chronicles character Tony Agricola is a righteous dude. In THE JUDGING, he came to the aid of his former girlfriend Hope Brannen when she became entangled with a vampire named mark Corescu. In Book Two, DAMASCUS ROAD, circumstances outside of Tony’s control find him here, nearly a year later, living with a vampire spun off from Corescu. This young vampire, Paul Black, is impulsive and hedonistic, and oh-so-much fun to follow. He force-fed Tony his blood which made him immortal, but not a vampire; now he abuses Tony to no end.
But let's face it...that makes it really fun for the reader. Dear Reader, I offer to you Chapter 15 of Damascus Road for your pleasure and enjoyment. This Novel is not yet available, but coming soon. If you would like to be alerted when it is available, please join the FaceBook group (link below) dedicated to all of these great vampire tales. First, a few helpful shortcuts: THE JUDGING full prologue: http://www.thejudgingnovel.com/the-judging.php DAMASCUS ROAD full prologue: http://www.thejudgingnovel.com/damascus-road.php RABBIT:CHASING BETH RIDER prologue and Lost Books: http://www.rabbitnovel.com/ Join the FaceBook Fan Group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=96952574559 Now…sink your teeth into this excerpt starring Paul and Tony… NOVEL TAGLINE: How far would you go to protect the innocent? Giving up your life to save a stranger is one thing, but subject yourself to constant torture in an effort to save some people you've never met? This is the kind of man you'd find in Tony Agricola; survivor of Book One:The Judging. Tony will sacrifice his very blood so the town can sleep safe at night. Would you? Novel Excerpt DAMASCUS ROAD The Corescu Chronicles: Book Two (contains spoilers from THE JUDGING, Book One) -Oh and…this is a rough draft. Both guys’ POV is inserted here while I choose which to go with- CHAPTER 15
“This is it?” Tony looked around the dusty store, and tried to think positive. Paul bought the store to serve as a mortal cover for him in his new identity but with the vampire’s self-control issues, Tony couldn’t imagine him working in a retail setting.
“I think it will do nicely.” Paul closed the front door behind him and shook the dust off his hands. The store had been closed for six months, although much of the inventory was still on the shelves. “I think the former owner died in a fire or something. I bought the whole thing, books, furniture. Everything.” Paul waited for Tony to turn and face him and then he laughed at the thoughts he gleaned from his partner’s worried mind. “No, silly, I am not going to run this store. We’ll hire a couple of college grads. They can keep the place going for me. I’m certainly not going to work anymore. My days of labor and servitude are over.”
Tony smirked and turned back to survey the room and then pointed to a narrow staircase. “Let’s see what’s up here.”
“I want you to take care of anything the hired help can’t do. You will be the general manager. I am just putting my name on the deed.” Paul followed Tony up the stairs, waiting to hear if he was going to agree or confront him on the issue. To his amazement, his partner simply nodded his head and opened the office door.
“I’ll take care of it.” Tony replied. “As long as you keep out of it completely. I don’t want you to even come in the store. If this is going to be my responsibility, I don’t want to have to think about you being in here messing things up.”
“Oh, I’ll around. I can’t agree to that.” Paul mumbled as they surveyed the office. There was one old desk and two chairs, and a few shelves on the wall. “You’ll have to call me boss and let me pop in once in a while…” Paul was not going to give the business another thought once it was open, but he did not like Tony telling him what to do. He would not accept orders from his new apprentice no matter how often and adamantly he tried to give them.
“Fine. Whatever.” Tony turned and squeezed past Paul on the steps to head back down. Paul was having his way; the bookstore was now theirs, the giant of a moving man was going to be coming over once a week to donate blood to the thirsty vampire, and Tony had no say in any of it. How did Paul convince that guy to donate his blood? Tony was curious about Paul’s plan to hire out blood donors but he did not want to know the details. If he knew the details, he might become involved. Tony vainly hoped that he could disassociate himself with Paul if the plans with the friendly moving man worked out.
Maybe God is going to let me loose of this monster soon. Maybe…
“Tony, Preacher Man, I wish you would keep all of that whining down to a minimum. You make me sick with all of your silent complaining …” Paul trotted down the steps and caught up with Tony where he had paused behind the cash register counter.
Tony did not reply and he kicked himself for forgetting that the monster could read his thoughts. I have to learn how to block my mind somehow…
“Yeah, that’ll be the day.” Paul returned telepathically and entered the small three-sided counter area where the employees would work when the store opened. He purposefully blocked the exit with his body and glared at Tony. “So, you know what day it is?”
Tony looked up from his daydreaming and shook his head. He knew it was Tuesday. He knew that tomorrow he had a pretty important meeting with the Pastorate of one of Montgomery’s largest Protestant congregations. But he did not know what either of these meant to his demented partner.
“Today we will have a little celebration. Here we are, two partners, six o’clock in the evening, about to open up our own business. Isn’t this exciting?” Paul stepped closer to Tony but was still cleverly blocking the opening behind him.
“Paul, what are you talking about? What kind of celebration?” Tony did not move from where he stood but he did know that Paul was menacing him again.
“Let’s have a drink.” Paul covered the distance between the two of them so quickly that Tony had not even seen him move at all. Once he realized that he was in Paul’s grasp as in times past, he glanced quickly to the front door.
“Paul! Someone will see you. Don’t you have any sense?” Speaking in a low whisper, Tony heard his voice crack a with fear.
“Why would someone see us? It is getting dark outside. We have the lights off in here…” Paul knelt down to the floor pulling Tony down with him. “The door is locked. We’ll just hunker down right here. Now how about that drink?”
“Please Paul, you can’t possibly be hungry again so soon…” Tony strained against the grip Paul had on his arm and attempted to stand. Without even changing expression, the vampire’s cruel grip on his arm tightened and Tony slumped back onto the floor and landed on his rump. “Tomorrow you’ll have that moving man. Tomorrow Paul.” Tony looked up to the white ceiling. “I can’t keep doing this!”
Paul chuckled and pulled Tony into an embrace full of false affection. “Oh come now, why are you being such a baby? Aren’t you just practicing what you preach? Aren’t you sacrificing your blood to protect the innocent? Hmmm?”
Tony put both of his hands to his own throat ineffectively covering the exposed skin and tried to stand up again. He knew that it was futile, but maybe, just maybe, if he could delay the attack, God might send help. It could happen.
But it didn’t.
Paul pulled back a fraction to look his partner in the eye and he grabbed his wrist tightly. Tony whimpered as he heard the bones in his wrist creak and then begin to fracture in Paul’s vise-like grip.
“My wrist, Paul. My wrist…”
“It’ll heal you big baby.” Paul yanked Tony’s hand away and buried his face in the preacher’s neck. As he opened his mouth wide and sank his now-elongated fangs into Tony’s neck he spoke to him telepathically. “Why do you make this so hard? Just be still and take your medicine. Shhh…”
Tony did become still as a few tears escaped from his eye and ran down his cheek. His broken bones were already healing, but they throbbed with a dull and alien sensation he never felt in his old life. His heart ached too as he realized that once again, God had not come to his rescue. Is this what I am reduced to? To serve as food for demons? Do I do this to protect the innocent as he said? If this is my sacrifice of love, I hope God accepts it. And I hope my tenure is over sooner than later.
He became quiet as the fiery sensation in his throat and the now dull pulse of knitting bones in his arm no longer distracted him. Tony relaxed in Paul’s embrace and concentrated on God’s purposes. When Paul released him and immediately began to tease him for praying to a deity who ignores him, Tony tuned him out stood shakily to his feet.
‘That’s okay, Paul. You will get yours.’ Tony thought as he waited for Paul to step aside and let him pass. His wrist was completely restored and he knew that the wounds on his throat would be closing as well. I guess it really isn’t so bad. It’s almost like it never happened… Almost.
“Yeah, like I said—you’re a big baby.”
Paul shoved Tony ahead toward the front door, smiling like a loon as he stumbled to catch his balance.
“Of course, I feel pretty good,” Paul rubbed his belly for emphasis, “for something that you pretend never happened…” Having a ready food source nearby all the time was a really good idea. Life had never been easier. And soon he’d have the giant too. “Let’s go home and see what’s on TV.”
Paul followed his partner out the door as he sulked in front of him. “Maybe we can catch an old Dracula movie on SCI-FI. You used to really like that stuff didn’t you Preacher Man? Isn’t that what you and that ridiculous Hope woman watched together?”
Tony ignored him and got into the truck. He did watch horror films with Hope in the past. Before he ever met a real monster. Before he knew that there were creatures out there that lived off human blood. No, he preferred comedies now. He didn’t care if he never saw another scary movie again. His whole life had become one long scary movie. And he sincerely hoped to make it to the ending alive and in one piece.