Title: Mosquito District
Author: Leona Bentley
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 11/08/2022
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, paranormal, vampires, librarian, businessmen, jealousy
Lee, a librarian bored with his daily routine, knows better than to play nice with the mosquitos who rule his district. After mouthing off to one of these vampire flunkies, he loses the carefully crafted order of his life. Next thing he knows, there is Ira, a millennia-old vampire new to Lee’s side of the world with questions for which Lee has few answers.
From the moment Ira steps into Lee’s library, the delicate balance of Lee’s life is threatened. Following the rules and keeping his head down gives him a measure of safety that helping Ira challenges, but he can’t deny his unwelcome attraction to the ancient mosquito.
What game does Ira play? Lee’s curiosity, coupled with Ira’s irresisti-ble charms, promises an escape from routine Lee isn’t sure he is strong enough to deny.
He might be able to help Ira uncover the answers he seeks—if they can learn to trust.
Leona Bentley © 2022
All Rights Reserved
I felt like a fly with nowhere to land, buzzing in ceaseless circles with no bright light to syphon me to a sudden end. The entire district was a cesspit where the dregs of the city huddled in vermin-ridden homes, cursing each salvaged day. Our ruling masters would bleed us dry eventually. When they moved on, the vermin and insects vying for what we’ve hollowed out would end up the victors.
Like survived best with like, after all, and we had a serious mosquito problem.
I clenched my free hand into a fist beneath my desk, pointedly refusing to acknowledge the mosquito looming impatiently across from me. As a night-shift librarian I was somewhat used to his type, but that didn’t endear them to me. Always so self-important, they all believed in their right to muck up our mandated schedule whenever it suited their fancy. Longevity was likely the culprit there.
Ross quit—I jotted down, knuckles white around my pen. I tried to look busy, hoping to create the appearance that he was a minor inconvenience at best—I’m leaving his keys for Joan in the broken cupboard. I took my time dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s, delaying as best I could. Finally, I gave in to the inevitable and looked up again.
Yep. There and still seething.
“Is there something else?” I asked with faux politeness. An itty-bitty part of me really enjoyed the way his jaw twitched.
“Get me the documents.”
“No,” I repeated flatly. I’d told him the same thing when he first made his demand. He could likely hear my fear pumping through my veins, but hopefully he’d take that for anger. The last two years of practice, dealing with these insects had greatly improved my facial control. Plus, I honestly felt no sympathy for his impatience. “Like I said, we close in fifteen minutes. There isn’t time to get your list pulled. Leave it with me. If you come back tomorrow night, we should have everything set aside for you.”
And that would only be possible after our day staff put in several hours digging through the basement archives. Seriously, not even one of the books he requested sat amongst our regular stock.
My third repetition of the facts didn’t work much of a charm—imagine my shock—the vampire across my desk might be aggressively set on getting his way, but he’d find me just as stubborn. I wasn’t about to break the rules and stick my neck out for any reason, no matter how snarly and intimidating said reason presented itself.
The beast flashed his teeth at me, dark lips curling to show the elongated incisors framing his pointed front teeth. “Confident you won’t have time?” he demanded again.
Nice. Considering the smooth, crisp look of the suit practically molded to his dark skin, I doubted he had much experience with humans getting in his way. That was too bad. Tonight could be a first for him, and hopefully it wouldn’t be my last, but when did my mouth ever show any concern for my safety?
“Not if your boss is to have his way,” I answered anyway. “You really want to tell me to break curfew and stick around? This isn’t a restaurant or bar, you know.” Both of which granted select employees passes stating they were permitted outside during the hours between 4:00 and 6:00 a.m. “Get us some passes and maybe we’ll talk.”
Gooseflesh prickled up my arms at his answering snarl. I steeled my expression, focusing on the bridge of his nose—safe—and refusing to let the thudding of my heart show in my face or voice. He could likely tell anyway, what with those extra senses, but I’d be damned before I showed him my fear.
“I can point out the time you showed up here,” I added. His continued refusal to take my point wasn’t going to get him anywhere. “We have surveillance, and you walking corpses do show up on film, no matter what popular media says.”
The bastard snarled again before jerking his head sideways in a silent, sneering insult. Fine. I found him insulting, too. My hand curled over the pen, using it now as more of a stress ball than anything that hard and thin should ever be. I waited him out. One of us would have to give ground, and it wasn’t going to be me.
“Have the books pulled,” the mosquito finally snarled. “Hope, too, that my boss doesn’t take offense at the added wait.”
I shrugged, hiding behind more false bravado. “Come before closing next time,” I suggested. “If your boss wants them so badly then I doubt he meant for you to put off coming for them until this late.”
There, I’d hit a nerve.
Meet the Author
Leona Bentley grew up in a small village in the Canadian Maritimes. Windy autumn days are her favourites, especially once summer’s heat takes off and the leaves start to change. If she isn’t holding a pen then she probably has either a book or a cup of tea. Visit Leona’s website.