COMING TOGETHER: IN VEIN
EDITED BY LISABET SARAI
Helping Vampires to Save the World
Let’s face it. Vampires are sexy. Something about the undead stirs up our juices. Perhaps it’s their irresistible power. Even when we know the danger, we’re so very tempted to surrender to their all-consuming lust. Maybe we want to comfort them, to save them a lonely, bloody eternity. Maybe we secretly crave immortality ourselves.
Vampires are frequently portrayed as evil or at least amoral, viewing humanity from the jaded perspective of centuries. Now, though, vampires are doing their part to save the world.
Coming Together: In Vein is a brand new collection of vampire-themed erotica and erotic romance edited by Lisabet Sarai. All sales of this novel-length volume support Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). MSF works in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation. Right now, despite being barred from the country, MSF doctors and nurses are in Syria, working with patients from both sides of the civil war. They’re performing surgery in caves and sneaking into refugee camps to distribute desperately needed medications.
You can help MSF in its life-saving mission, simply by indulging your passion for vampires. Buy a copy of Coming Together: In Vein in ebook, Kindle format, or print. Enjoy! Then help spread the word! Every copy we sell has the potential to save someone’s life.
The list of contributors includes many names you’ll recognize. Every one of these authors has provided his or her work free of charge, to support the charitable aims of the project. Furthermore, the editor is giving away a free copy of her short story collection Body Electric to everyone who buys a copy of Coming Together: In Vein. (For details of this offer, click here.)
You’ll find an excerpt below – just to whet your appetite.
Sink your teeth into Coming Together: In Vein. Help our vampires save the world.
From “The New Normal” by Jay Lygon
I went to the doorway, but of course could not enter. That lanky shadow could only be Zoran.
“Is that really you, Dusan? You’re alive?” Clearly, he doubted.
“I’m not exactly dead.” Truth might have been be the first causality of war, but sometimes it refused to go gently into that good night—until some politician staked it through the heart. Like me, my version of the truth had one foot in the grave.
“You’ll be shot if you stand out in the open. It’s too dark to see the sniper warning, but this street is dangerous. Come inside, please.”
Zoran was still a foolish boy. Didn’t he think about where he was standing? After all, he was the one who studied folktales and myths at university. Back then I hadn’t understood how important that knowledge could be in the modern world, but since things had changed, I could have told him how the doorframe—splintered as it was—protected him from things far worse than snipers. The threshold was a place of powerful magic that divided the realm of the supernatural from the human. Two years ago, such an idea would have seemed laughably medieval, but conditions in Sarajevo had spun back to that point in time. Electricity and peace were the new fairytales.
The threshold was also the symbol of the body, inviolate. The old sicknesses could still kill you, as there were no hospitals or doctors left to speak of, but there were new diseases out there that were worse. Invite anyone to come inside at your peril. And yet, he pleaded with me.
Inside the foyer, Zoran immediately grasped me in the embrace I’d long dreamed of, but with a different sort of passion. I closed my eyes and wished the desperation was lust, not fear. With stiff arms, I hugged him back and murmured words of comfort. Yes, it’s me. No, I’m not a ghost. I’m sorry I didn’t say goodbye. Yes, I missed you.
He pulled back to shake my hand and kiss my cheeks three times. His face wasn’t exactly as I’d remembered it. It was more gaunt than before, and his brown eyes had lost some of their puppy dog openness. He tried to glance away from my stare, but couldn’t. He shouldn’t have looked into my eyes. I could have held him there forever. I could have compelled him to do things with his mouth that he’d only done in my fantasies.
That was an old hunger. It gnawed at me when I’d had my fill of blood and the rest of the night stretched before me. Regret was a terrible thing when it seemed it could haunt me for all eternity. Sentiment, or more likely pride, stopped me from commanding him to his knees, but I still took a kiss. Like the old days, he laughed and pulled away, but he didn’t push. Instead, he grasped my arm. A ropey blue vein crossed the back of his hand to his knuckle. It twitched with his pulse. Before my hungers overwhelmed me, I had to look away.
The foyer walls met at odd angles. Some artillery blast, maybe the one that destroyed my apartment, had knocked his building sideways. It made me feel as if I were falling even though I knew I wasn’t.
“Come on upstairs. Everyone will be so glad to see you again.” Zoran bounded halfway up the staircase before stopping to look over his shoulder at me. It was if we were in a different time, before the siege began, when we’d staggered into this foyer late at night. He’d jog up the stairs, sure I was behind him, while I held back and wondered if I could stand to watch him turn into someone else for his family. Reluctantly, then and now, I followed.
His butt flexed under his jeans, a mesmerizing sight as I followed it up the three flights to his family’s apartment. At the landing, he said, “You look hungry,” and I tried not to laugh. Did he have any idea what he was saying?