*Please note this content contains adult language and themes. It is intended for a mature audience.*
A Private Paradise: A Wolves of Gardwich Short
By Jane Wallace-Knight
The first twenty-two years of Sam Reed’s life had been pretty uneventful. Well, compared to the life he led now anyway. Sam was born into a seemingly ordinary world of daily routines and a slow race to the finish line that was death, but six weeks ago he had been reborn into a world of angels and demons, of vampires and werewolves.
It was such a short time, six weeks, and yet he felt as though everything had changed. He had learned a lot about himself, and had just only begun to come to grips with the fact that his father was an angel, making him a nephilim, or hybrid. Then he had been shot and nearly killed, and thanks to Alek, he was now a vampire.
It was funny to think that he had never even had a boyfriend before six weeks ago, had still been a virgin even. Now he wasn’t just in a relationship with two men, he was mated to them, which was like an unbreakable marriage in their world.
Jackson and Alek Harcourt were the alpha werewolf, and the thousand-year-old vampire that he now lived with. He still couldn’t believe how in love with them both he was, how right and perfectly the three of them fit together.
Jackson and Alek had moved from America to Sam’s home town of Gardwich just a few months earlier, and they hadn’t really had a chance to explore the small English hamlet. There was so much that Sam wanted to show them, so many places he wanted to take them, so many memories he wanted to share with them. Unfortunately, the transformation from human, or mostly human in Sam’s case, to a vampire took some getting used to. Sam hadn’t been out in the world much since being turned. Although he had Alek there to guide him and show him how to feed, Sam still wasn’t completely sure of himself. The bloodlust wasn’t quite like anything he had ever felt before. He imagined it was like being an addict in a way. There were near constant cravings and gnawing pains that came with not giving in to them. Alek had promised him that it got easier with every year that passed, and that drinking a little blood often was the right way to do it. Every time he had fed on a human so far, he had only dared consider it if Alek was by his side, ready to step in if Sam couldn’t bring himself to stop. The first taste of blood on his tongue, quenching his dry throat as it slid down smoother and richer than anything he had ever known, was bliss. The urge to drink the person dry, to gorge himself until there was nothing left, was strong. Though he had so far been able to make himself stop feeding before seriously hurting anyone, he still wasn’t confident enough to attempt it without Alek by his side.
The middle of February wasn’t perhaps the best time to go out exploring, but for two vampires and a werewolf, they barely felt the cold at all. The snow had gone and the skies were clear. It was the kind of night where the stars shone brightly, unmasked by clouds. The moon, just days past full, was lighting up the night around them as they walked along the promenade overlooking the beach.
The town of Gardwich was pretty small, and it was surrounded by sea on three sides. It had only taken them an hour to walk the entire way around and they were slowly making their way back homeward.
“There’s just one more place I want to show you,” Sam told them both. It was around three in the morning and they were the only ones walking along the promenade. They walked at a leisurely pace, just enjoying each other’s company.
While Sam walked a few paces ahead, constantly pointing out places where things had happened to him throughout his life, Alek and Jackson walked side by side, and hand in hand. They each had a fond smile on their face as Sam excitedly led them to the last place on their tour.
“It’s just up that hill,” Sam promised them. “I used to go there all the time to be alone and think. There’s this sort of private beach that’s cut off from the rest of it by a big cliff. The view is amazing, though it’s actually best at sunset.”
“I quite like the view from here,” Alek quipped, his Russian accent softened from years spent travelling the world. Sam turned to look back at his lovers and found that Alek’s gaze had been levelled at his arse.
“How old are you again?” Sam asked playfully.
Jackson snorted and shook his head at them both fondly. “He’s right though, darlin’. It is a pretty great view.”
Sam rolled his eyes at them both and turned back around. He continued walking but not before giving them a quick, little wiggle, making them both laugh.
It didn’t take them long to reach the top of the hill. It had always felt like a bit of a trek to Sam when he had walked up it before, but now he practically glided up it. The tall, grassy hill levelled out into a flat plane which abruptly stopped. The three of them walked near to the edge of the cliff and looked over at the secluded beach below. The white cliff face was far too smooth and steep for anyone to consider climbing down without the aid of climbing equipment.
Sam smiled as he looked out at the darkened sea. The moon was casting her silver light across the surface, making it shine and glow almost.
“You’re right,” Jackson said, as his arms came around Sam from behind. He rested his chin on Sam’s shoulder and gave him a squeeze. “It is beautiful up here.”
Sam smiled and leaned back into the embrace. They all stood in silence for a while, taking in the view.
“So are we going down?” Alek eventually asked as he walked right up the to the edge and looked down at the sheer drop.
Sam frowned. “How? It’s too steep to climb.”
Alek turned to him abruptly, his eyebrows raised at Sam like he couldn’t quite believe what he had said. “We jump.”