In Victorian England, two young men cross paths in a public house. Maurice Fitzpons, disgraced army officer and semi-professional rake, is in between careers. Seth Keane is sick of his life as a shoemaker’s apprentice and at war with a malignant stepfather. Both men are on the prowl. A chance meeting becomes a carnal night, and then a love.
But a stealthy horror glides along London’s somber streets, a fiend that wants fresh blood. A single bite can cause an ecstasy so great it will reduce a man’s soul to ashes, yet make him cry for more.
This is a tale of three vampires. One lusts for men. The second desires knowledge. The third demands power–and slaves. Maurice and Seth find themselves targets, and to outwit these monsters, they must learn the shocking and unwholesome lore of the supernatural.
When we woke the next morning, Maurice gazed at my unshaven face and bloodshot eyes and said with a grin, “I’ve never seen anyone appear so debauched before, not even myself in a mirror, and I’m stalwart competition for that award.” He smiled fondly at me.
I became aware of an iron bedstead and stiff horsehair mattress, and of a room decorated with riding gear and hunting rifles, plus a few stray books from Maurice’s college days.
His comment was not the sort I cared to hear in my delicate condition. “I feel like a corpse,” I replied numbly, “if they have headaches.” My stomach was still queasy. The walls were hung with a masculine red tartan, bright and blaring to my tender, blinking eyes.
We crept around each other painfully, our bare feet whispering on the wooden floor, washing our faces and hands in the basin and bumping into each other and groaning. I had to borrow a hairbrush and straight razor from Maurice. While I was shaving, I said, “Do you remember if we had sex last night?”
Maurice was changing his shirt for something less slept-in, and he wrinkled his brow. “With whom?” he asked.
My razor paused against my soapy throat, just under the chin. For an instant, I was tempted to use it for another purpose. “With,” I hesitated, “each other.”
Maurice frowned. “Did I ask you?”
This was awkward. Awkward beyond awkward. He didn’t remember? I was glad I was hungover. It helped dull the emotional blow. “I was under the impression you had. I lost a bet with you at pocket billiards.”
“Oh. I don’t recall that we did anything.” Maurice worked his buttons. “Of course, the only evidence I have is the fact that we woke up with our clothes on.” He came over, and after taking the razor from my hand, he wiped the soap from my face with a rag and regarded me for a moment. “Now I remember. You glided into that room of vultures like a swan. Finish your shave, Mr. Keane.”