Harbor of Lost Souls
Genre: Erotic Alternative,
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Date of Publication: June 2014
Number of pages: 94
Word Count: 24,103
Cover Artist: Harris Channing
Milan Ambrozi has hidden from the world and from love for far too long. After he receives a letter from his sister, Ari, that their father is dying, he decides to finally face his inner demon and go back to be with everyone he loves who he left behind.
Carlos Hernandez has been picking up the pieces ever since his ex-lover, Milan, suddenly disappeared from everyone’s life five years ago. Carlos has been helping Ari and her terminally ill father through this trying time. When Milan returns, Carlos lashes out at him with pent-up anger and hurt he’s kept bottled all of these years.
Milan explains he had no choice, that he had to leave to keep them safe. Yet he refuses to say why. They decide to set aside their differences and try to be friends. But that passionate fire Carlos and Milan had never died. It’s alive and hotter than ever, so is their love they keep denying to each other.
When people in the city start dying from spontaneous combustion, Carlos uncovers that Milan’s involved somehow. Will Milan tell Carlos the truth or will his inner demon lash out at everyone he loves?
Never in a thousand years would Milan Ambrozi have expected this. He leaned on the door to his room and stared at the letter in his hands. Father Theosis had hand delivered it to him just minutes ago. As he turned the folded manila envelope, he frowned. It was from his sister Arianna.
Five years had passed since Milan last saw her. It was a day Milan could never forget and wished had never happened, because it was the worst day of his life, the day the world as he knew it ended.
The images of elongated, sharp fangs, black fur, and demonic red eyes seared his eyes as the haunting memories of that night returned. They were still as painful now as they were five years ago.
He released a long breath and tapped the letter on his chin. A part of him wanted to open it and find out what Arianna wrote, but another part of him dreaded it.
They hadn’t kept in touch all of these years. Arianna had tried and so had his father, sending him letters to the sanctuary’s P.O. Box, but Milan had never replied. He read every single one of their messages and his heart ached with each breath he took. He missed and loved them so much. Just as he missed and loved his one true love, Carlos Hernandez, whom he’d abandoned that night just like he did them.
It was supposed to be the first night of the next chapter in their relationship. Carlos had popped the question before the nightmare ever occurred that ripped Milan from him and everyone else he loved.
Not a day went by that Milan didn’t fantasize or reminisce about their love and what he had left behind. Carlos was and would forever be his soul mate. No one would ever replace him in his heart.
If only he could turn back time to the way things were. Back to a time when he and Carlos were madly in love and having passionate sex every waking hour, and his baby sister was still in pigtails, and his father was happy and not angry with him.
But unfortunately that wasn’t an option. Time only moved forward, not backward, and so must he. Sooner or later he needed to step forward and out from this shelter he had immersed himself, and return to his family and friends and his past life.
But how could he ever face them again? How could he tell them the truth?
Casting his thoughts and fears aside, he sighed and slumped onto the edge of his bed. The springs in the mattress creaked under his weight. He combed his wavy black locks out of his eyes and tore the envelope open in one swift and smooth movement.
The scent of rose water drifted into the air, tickling his nose. He closed his eyes and sniffed the folded letter he extracted. It smelled of his baby sister. Tears filmed his eyes as memories of her in pony tails, smiling at him in a wide, dimpled grin flooded his mind. Her sixteenth birthday had passed three months ago. He wondered how much she had changed in these past five years. Not only had he missed all of her teen years so far, but her sweet sixteenth birthday, as well. He’d never regain those lost precious moments, ever.
He unfolded the paper and began to read, preparing himself for a back lashing, words of hatred, of resentment at being abandoned and forgotten. But what he read took him completely by surprise.
This letter will probably never reach you as my other letters before this haven’t, but I had to send it just in case you do get it and read it.
I don’t know how to write this. What words can I use to make this any less painful for you? I know they’ll break your heart and make you cry, but there is no good way to pass on bad news.
A few months ago Daddy was diagnosed with lung cancer. Treatments haven’t helped. The cancer spread. We found out yesterday that he has only a few weeks or months to live.
Please come home. We really need you.
His grip on the paper slacked and it drifted to the carpeted floor as the silence in the room ended with his cries. He covered his face with his hands and leaned his elbows on his knees. He cried for his father, for his sister and their suffering. He cried for his damnation and the cruel God he had come to know all too well.
Life wasn’t fair, and the good always suffered undeservingly. His father, a kind and generous man who had loved and nurtured him and his sister all of his life, was suffering a slow and painful death. And there wasn’t anything anyone could do to stop it.
He let the sorrow and despair flow out, until there were no more tears or energy to spare. He lay back on the bed and stared at the twirling ceiling fan, being mesmerized by its simple and constant spinning motion.
Now that this detrimental blow had been delivered, he knew without a doubt that the time for hiding had passed. He needed to face his inner demons and conquer them.
The letter screamed its purpose in his ears. His father and baby sister needed him. Now more than ever. It was time to go home.
About the Author:
Jordan Ashton is a writer and wife whose passion for reading romance novels led her to writing them, too. She believes love can conquer all and that it makes the world go round, not money. Her heroes, heroines, and the worlds she creates bring this belief to life. She is and will always be a true romantic at heart.