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Women of the Dark Streets

Enter a midnight world of the supernatural—a world of vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts, and demons. A seductive world limited only by your imagination, full of dark fantasies, hidden desires, and sexy women who rule the night. Edited by award-winning editors Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman, Women of the Dark Streets presents all new tales of the paranormal from your favorite Bold Strokes authors.

 

Plagued By Darkness Excerpt
    
     The lights went out in Misae’s apartment as Malakai turned to leave. These were the times when she felt the most alone. She was used to the darkness, but never got used to the silence. She placed her hand on the railing, planning to disappear into the night. But just as she turned her back a gentle voice called out to her.
     “I know you’re there,” Misae said, stepping out onto the balcony. Her shirt clung to her breasts, her nipples hardening under the thin material. She was most likely unaware of her appearance, but her body betrayed her ignorance of the cold. Malakai stood motionless,
transfixed by the exquisite sight before her. “I can hear your breathing. Please, don’t be afraid.”
     Afraid? Shouldn’t Misae be afraid of her, a stranger she could not see, hiding in the dark of night?
     Misae extended her hand into the darkness. “Give me your hand.”
     Malakai couldn’t believe Misae’s boldness. How did she know of her presence? And even if Malakai was an ordinary human, would Misae invite a total stranger into her home—a stranger who had been stalking her for weeks?
     “I know you’re still there. Still watching.”
     “How?”
     Misae looked to her left, her hand following the deep voice. “I feel you.”
     “That is not possible,” Malakai snarled, her emotions getting the best of her. How could this blind woman see her when a person with perfect sight could not? She was confused, and her uncertainty was making her uncomfortable. She nervously scanned the immediate area to see if anyone else was close by.
     “It is possible. Please, come closer and I’ll explain.”
     Moving from a crouched position, Malakai jumped and landed silently in front of Misae. She looked into the dark eyes that couldn’t see her but somehow understood that wasn’t entirely true. Maybe it was because of the way Misae was looking at her now—as if she couldn’t just see her, but through her. “How did you know?”
     Misae placed her hand on Malakai’s cheek. “I’ve sensed your presence for weeks. The air moves differently when you’re near. No matter the temperature, your aura is colder, darker. But I do not sense danger, only uncertainty.”
     “It still does not make sense. How can you sense my existence?”
      “Your unique scent. It is what alerted me to your presence the first time.”
     “As I said, impossible.”
     “Is it?”
     “Yes.”
     “You smell woodsy. A musky scent I can’t quite place—earth on a warm summer’s day. Now do you believe me?”
     Malakai took a step back. Could it be Misae smelled the ground where she slept off the daylight hours? Impossible. “And you say you’ve known of my presence for weeks?”
     “Yes. When I walked home a few nights ago, I could hear you above me walking along the balconies. I sensed you first. As I told you, it’s your scent. Will you tell me your name?”
     Malakai hesitated. If she revealed herself, she could no longer be one with the darkness. Her decision would not only alter her existence but most likely change Misae’s life forever. Misae seemed so innocent, and what would happen if she exposed Misae to the horrors of her life? She couldn’t risk this woman feeling disdain for her, so she remained silent.
     “I promise your secret is safe with me.”
     “But what if my secret frightens you?”
     “It won’t.”
     Malakai leaned into Misae’s touch, the hand against her cheek warm where her skin was cool. “Malakai.”
     “Malakai,” Misae whispered softly. “Do you know its meaning?”
     “Yes. My mother explained it to me many years ago.” How many years ago now failed her. “It means ‘my messenger.’”
     “That is correct. Do you have a message for me, Malakai?”
     Malakai took a deep breath and carefully brought their bodies close. She had to touch her. Caressing the side of Misae’s face, she could feel the blood racing below her skin—see the pulse point pounding rapidly in her throat. She turned away. Being this close to Misae was too dangerous. “Aren’t you afraid?”
     Misae smiled. “No. But I am curious.”
     “Of?”
     “Why do you hide?”
     Malakai slowly moved away. The moment their connection was broken, she nearly stumbled and leaned against the balustrade for support. “You said it yourself. Cold. Dark. You sense what I am. Yet you ask.”
     “I want to hear it from you.”
     Malakai sighed and turned to stare out over the city. She’d never had this conversation with a mortal before. Vampires were to remain hidden from the population. If humans ever discovered their existence, they’d be hunted during the daylight hours when they were the most vulnerable. Outing herself would be dangerous, but instinctively she trusted Misae and couldn’t deny her simple request. “Vampire.”

 

Women of the Dark Streets an anthology of paranormal fiction, including L.T.'s short story Plagued By Darkness, is available now from Bold Strokes Books.

Buy now at the BSB Bookstore