Here is an excerpt from Nocturnal Surrender, the second book in The Nocturnal Surrender Series–AKA, TNSS. This picks up two hundred years after Bastian was exiled for his crime.
This wasn’t the homecoming Bastian Evanko had hoped for after two hundred years in exile. Getting berated by his brother served as a reminder of how strained their relationship had always been. Apparently the time apart had done nothing to mend old wounds.
So much for a starting over.
Donovan paced behind his mahogany desk, blond hair falling perfectly down the back of his expensive suit. “You shouldn’t be here. You know better. This city is no good for you, not with your past.”
Bastian gripped the wooden armrests of the pretentious-looking chair where Donovan had commanded him to sit. “My sentence is over. I will come and go as I please now. Spending the last two centuries in isolation was almost more than I could take.” He loosened his hold when the wood cracked. If he turned the chair into kindling, he’d never hear the end of it.
A point Donovan confirmed when he stopped and glared. “You’d better not destroy my office, little brother. The last thing we need is a repeat of what happened—”
“Oh, please. How long are you going to keep bringing that up?” Bastian clenched his fists and stood, nearly knocking the fucking chair backward. “And stop calling me little brother. Two years makes no difference after nearly a millennia.”
In an instant, Donovan moved to face Bastian. His eyes turned silver and his fangs extended. “Do not think to challenge me, little brother. As long as I have to keep cleaning up your messes, I’ll call you whatever I damn well please.” He waved a dismissive hand and returned to his desk, eyes reverting to their usual pale blue as his fangs receded. The monster within was hidden behind his baby face once more. No one would ever suspect a murderous creature lurked beneath that innocent façade.
With a deep breath, Bastian sucked in the amped-up vampiric testosterone saturating the air. The tension between them was suffocating, and the next move rested on his shoulders. He could take the all-too-familiar road of trying to prove himself with a physical display and allow the powder keg to explode, or…
“You’re right. I have made many mistakes, but you also know I’ve done nothing wrong since you stood up for me with the Elders and convinced them to spare my life.” Hand extended, Bastian crossed the room and stopped a respectable distance away. “Please, Donovan, let’s put the past behind us and move forward. How can I make amends if you won’t give me the opportunity?”
There was silence except for the ticking of the large antique clock on the bookcase. Soundproof walls allowed in nothing from the nightclub beyond the office door, or from the bustling city outside.
Donovan glanced at the proffered hand then locked gazes with Bastian, his expression unreadable.
For a moment, Bastian wished vampires weren’t able to shield their thoughts from each other. His shoulders stiffened. A few more seconds of being ignored and he’d lose the tenuous grasp he had on his temper.
In the past, he would have blown by now—verbally and physically—without regard for the consequences. His poor impulse control had created a rift between him and Donovan long ago. He never did anything right in his brother’s eyes, resulting in far too many years of Donovan’s condescending attitude. But he wanted his brother to see he was different now, and the only way for that to happen was to fight the anger.
Pressure built under his gums. His fangs ached to descend. Swallowing hard, he licked his teeth.
Still normal, but not for long.
With a nod, Donovan finally accepted his hand. “Okay, I concede. Looks like you might have really changed this time.” He immediately stood and pulled Bastian in for a hug, landing a hard smack on his back. “It’s good to have you here, little brother.”
Jaw clenched at those words, Bastian returned the show of affection with an equally powerful blow.
A few blood-infused drinks and a half hour later, Donovan gave Bastian a tour of his club.
Nocturnal Surrender sat in the middle of the Lansford Strip, flanked by a casino and a hotel. The Sin City of the East truly lived up to its name, and just as they had in Las Vegas, vampires capitalized on the sin aspect.
Bastian surveyed the club and its patrons. Every vamp in the room had silver eyes and extended fangs—no need to hide since it was supposed to be fake. Unsuspecting humans, including timid tourists who looked out of place, became meals for immortals. He held in a chuckle when he noticed a few mortals wearing various shades of vampire contacts. Some even had artificial fangs.
Hard rock music blared from hidden speakers. Candles flickered on tables and shelves, adding contrasting old-world ambiance. Gothic arches framed the doorways.
He inhaled deeply, drawing in the wondrous scent that permeated the open room. Blood.
When Donovan finished showing him around, they sat in one of the many crimson-colored booths.
The Nightclub with a Bite. Bastian had to laugh at the sign behind the bar, its dramatic lettering exaggerated by fang-like projections. He looked to Donovan and raised his glass. “I’ve got to commend you. Opening a sanguinarian nightclub was a stroke of genius.”
“Amazing, isn’t it? Just like the blood houses of old, but with all the modern conveniences.” Donovan rested a hand on his brother’s back.
Warmth spread through Bastian at the loving touch. It had been many centuries since Donovan yielded any real compassion. Could this be the new beginning Bastian had hoped for all these years? Would he finally be deemed worthy, good enough, and not a screw up? Would he no longer be considered a scourge on the Evanko name?
When Donovan pulled away, a cold and empty spot remained where his palm had been—not unlike the one that had been left in Bastian’s heart long ago. The first time, after Donovan turned his back on him when it became clear he would live by his own rules and not the Elders’ Code. The second, when that bastard of an Enforcer, Christof Rosenbaum, murdered the woman he loved.
He had tried to save Elise after she’d been sentenced to death for revealing vampires’ existence. That had made him a traitor to his kind, and the Elders’ wrath landed squarely on his shoulders.
Two hundred years.
© Lorraine Pearl
For more information on the book and the series, and for the Amazon link, please visit The Nocturnal Surrender Series website.
So if you had an extended period of your life where you were exiled and not allowed to interact with humanity, what would be the first thing you’d want to do when you came back? Bastian went straight to the only family he had left in hopes of rebuilding his relationship with his brother. I’d probably go straight to my son and then my husband, but then I’d go on a shopping spree.