- Hits: 2977
Stacey Carroll - The Best Suspence, Thriller, Erotica and Vampire Novels for an Adult Audience
Are you tired of the same old crap? Have you read the same book 45 times under different titles and different authors? Are you ready for plots and books you haven't read? Then, check out my books. They are not regurgitations of the same thing you've read, watched the movie of and seen on TV 400 times. If you want unique characters with unique twists and outcomes that you didn't see coming, pick up a book by Stacey Carroll. You haven't read these. You haven't seen the movie, and you haven't met the characters. At least, not yet. Pick up a book by Stacey Carroll and read something truly unique.
Amazon ebooks read free with a Kindle Unlimited Membership Plan. It's important to note that Stacey Carroll is an adult fiction author. All books are written for an 18+ audience and by reading the website, you agree that you are 18 years of age or older. (Extremely taboo stuff is not here. If you need a list of shit I will not write, read: Absolutely Forbidden Erotica Topics)
Please note that Staceycarroll.org uses Amazon Affiliate ads. If you click on a link that goes to Amazon, I may earn a very small commission if you purchase an item.
Suspense, Thriller, Paranormal and Vampire Fiction Books
Now that all that formal stuff is out of the way, let's talk about thriller, paranormal, vampire and suspense books. Little Bitey is actually my best-selling series of books, followed closely by Blooddoll Factory. If you're looking for crime/thriller, try Avia.
Tiny Bitey Vampire - The Top Vampire Novel Series from Stacey Carroll
With the food running out on Umbra, little vampire, Shadow, must find her way to a new planet. Along the journey she makes friends and finds a mate, but can they make this new living planet work for them?
If you're looking for an epic vampire love story with a little bit of sci-fi thrown in as well as adventure, intrigue and family drama, you've come to the right place. I recommend this series for people who like vampire diaries books, vampire academy books, Anne Rice books and books by Stephen King. It's important to note that these are adult fiction books and contain adult situations.
AVIA - Crime Fiction with a Strong Female Lead
A drug-running drug-addled pilot and her family try to avoid the law while running their organized crime business. This is a romantic suspense series that I started when I was 10 years old. Of course, it's gone through many changes over the years. One of the biggest was actually adding technology. When I started writing this series, cell phones and computers did not exist in the home.
The Blooddoll Factory - Vampire Fiction with a Strong Male Lead
A man gets a job at a fertility clinic after being unemployed for a year. Unbeknownst to him, it's run by vampires. This is a romantic suspense with a vampire twist. It's one of my best suspense novels to date.
Naughty Reads - Best Erotical Shorts by Stacey Carroll
Tiny erotic books for your enjoyment. Topic and themes vary. Books may be a single title or a series, and they are not in any particular order. What they all have in common is that they are .99 and between 8,000 and 10,000 words.
Erotica books that are actual novels, meaning they have more than 40,000 words. Anything for an A is 200,000 words. It took me a year and a half to write. Are you up for the challenge?
Writing Books to Help Your Write Your Next Bestseller
Kindle Vella - Smartphone Stories for Adults
KIndle Vella is a new type of story platform that Amazon has released. It's meant to compete with things like WattPad. These are stories by the episode, and they are typically between 600 and 5,000 words. You can read the first three episodes for free. When I was looking at it, if you clicked on the key, it would give you 500 tokens for free. That was November 2021, and I have no way to know if Amazon is going to keep that little perk or not, so if it's not there, they've done away with it. Thus far, I have input a story I am working on called Satan's Affair. It's not done and definitely a draft. Clicking on the image will take you to the story on Amazon. There's no second page describing it. As far as I am concerned, Kindle Vella is the preview.
Cort Witherspoon's Lost Inheritance
A man inherits his family's 200-year-old house. He's lost his job, and he and his wife are on the verge of bankruptcy, even after moving to a trailer park near a toxic river. To spite the rumors that the house is haunted, he agrees to live in it rather than sell it. With no bills and a hefty renovation budget, he's hoping they can get back on their feet before the house gets them.
A woman breaks out of prison after being found guilty of murdering her abusive husband.
Rosie Crumpet is at risk of losing her very old generational home on a coconut tree-filled island due to a fraudulent banker stealing most of her family's generational money through bad investments. Thankfully, Rosie has a dream. She's going to finish a murder mystery novel, get a publishing contract and marry her editor all before the house is put into foreclosure by the end of the month. All she has to do is finish her novel that is barely started, find and editor, fall in love and marry!
The Truth Is Fiction
Abigail is the CEO of the highly successful Burbank Resort. Located on Lake Patty Quack, it draws visitors from near and far with it's expansive lake views and short walk to Downtown Cozen where individuals can view the shops. As CEO, Abigail is tasked with expanding the business by opening a second location twenty miles away at Rook Lake. Can Abigail get the second location open before the investors get pissed and back out of the deal?
If you'd like to read the full chapter previews and see every book that I have published, it's best to view my Amazon Author Page. This page is kept up to date as much as possible, but I write and publish so quickly that it often doesn't list the newest books. The chapter previews on StaceyCarroll.org have been cleaned up to remove most of the intimate scenes. I'd like to say all of them, but I may have missed one. This was done in an effort to make the site more general audience-friendly and keep the creepers off my site.
If you’re looking for great vampire, crime, drama, romance and erotica books at great prices, look no further. Stacey Carroll has the adult fiction books you want to read. These books don’t subscribe to the formalities for formulas or the trad pub books, which means, you haven’t read them before, and you haven’t met the characters. These books are also Stacey Carroll created. From the cover design and layout to story, editing and publishing, Stacey Carroll did it.
Of course, you may be wondering why? Why would an author take such an avant guarde stance on book creation and publishing when everyone else says that you MUST spend thousands of dollars publishing a book? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s because if the book succeeds, it’s my fault. If it fails, it’s my fault. If you love it, it’s my fault. If you hate it, it’s my fault. If there are typos, they are my fault. If there are zero typos, that’s also my fault. I don’t have nor want anyone else to blame for the creation of my books.
- Hits: 908
Populate the Moon (Naughty Reads)
Misty Arva has been sent to the moon for one purpose. She is to help populate it along with three other women. Founded as a mining colony, the United Republic of States is no longer willing to spend the money it takes to transport new workers to the moon. Instead, they’ve devised a new plan. Send women to the moon to entertain and relax the men. As a result, they should become pregnant and help populate the moon and provide new workers.
- Hits: 1112
The Tiny Vampire From Outer Space That’s Bitey XVII: The First Vampire City
Marcus, Shadow, Oliver and Alera are making progress on their takeover of Beach City, and they are starting to expand into Ocean City. So far, the majority of humans seem to be oblivious to the slow takeover of Earth by the vampire off-worlders, and that’s only working to Marcus’ advantage. In fact, the only group that seems to realize that Earth is being colonized by vampires are a new group of hunters, but so far, Marcus and his clan have been able to burn them out before they could get a foothold.
Chapter 1 – Leaving the Jungle City
Marcus woke early the next evening and started packing his and Shadow’s belongings. He started looking for the rookery when he remembered that the sacs were staying, and the jungle food would be looking after them. It’d be the first time he’d ever left part of his clan behind, but it was in the best interest of himself, Shadow and the sacs.
By the time Marcus finished packing, the sun was down, or at least, it was down enough for him to put on a cloak and carry their belongings to the RV.
Marcus walked down to the main level of the pyramid with his and Shadow’s belongings.
“Master Marcus, are you going outside?” a jungle food asked.
“I need to put these in the RV,” Marcus said.
“We will do it. It’s still a little light out,” he said.
Marcus handed the jungle food his and Shadow’s bags. He wasn’t going to argue with them over whether or not the sun was down enough for him to walk outside. They knew the jungle and the days and nights better than he did.
“Is little master awake?” a female jungle food asked.
Marcus chuckled. “No, she’s still asleep. If you want to get her some food and wake her up, that would be helpful.”
“Of course,” the female jungle food said.
“And everyone who’s coming with me needs to grab their things,” Marcus said.
“I’ll let them know,” a male said.
Marcus did have a bigger RV this time, but it was still going to be a tight fit.
Shadow hopped downstairs a few minutes later.
“The food table is right there.” Marcus motioned.
Shadow grabbed a blood and a bloodcake. “Did they pack some snacks?”
“Snacks for the road?” a jungle food asked.
“Yes,” Shadow said.
“I’m working on it now,” he said. “Your snacks and the food for us.”
“Good idea,” Marcus said. “We always stop and get some living creature food along the route, but that’ll be better.” He walked over to the food table and grabbed a blood.
Shadow ate cream-filled bloodcakes.
Marcus drained his blood then grabbed a couple bloodchocolates.
“These snack sacks are filled.” The jungle food put them on the stone table.
“Thank you,” Marcus said.
“The bags are in your vehicle, and everyone else is also putting their bags into the vehicle,” a male jungle food said.
“Good. Is Ester aboard?” Marcus asked.
“She is. She’s helping to organize the bags,” he said.
“We should be ready as soon as Marius gets down here,” Marcus said.
“I’m right here,” Marius said as he stepped off the last step of the staircase.
“There’s food on the table.” Marcus looked toward Shadow. “If Shadow hasn’t eaten it all.”
“She’s trying,” one of the jungle foods said.
“I’m full,” Shadow said after swallowing a bloodcake.
“She left some for me,” Marius said as he walked up to the table and grabbed a blood. “Have you eaten?”
“I have,” Marcus said as he grabbed a bloodchocolate. “But there’s always room for bloodchocolates.”
Marius shook his head. He set his empty bottle on the table and grabbed a bloodcake. “I can’t believe how much you’ve changed.”
“Blame that little thing over there,” Marcus said between bloodchocolates. “She has shown me that indulging in a little luxury every once in a while is not a bad thing.”
“It’s about time,” Marius said after he finished his bloodcake.
“Are we ready?” Marcus asked as he grabbed the snack bags.
“I’m ready,” Shadow said.
“I think everyone who’s going is inside your vehicle,” one of the jungle foods said.
“Then, we’re heading home,” Marcus said. He picked up Shadow and walked out of the pyramid and down the stairs. Marcus set her on her feet just outside the RV. “Is everyone inside?”
“We are,” Ester stepped to the doorway.
“Do you have everything you want?” Marcus asked. “You’ve got time to check one more time if you need to.”
“We have everything,” another jungle food said.
Shadow hopped inside the RV. “Oh, crowded.”
Marcus peered inside. There were eight jungle foods, instead of five and all their bags. He was happy that the bags were organized and stacked well. There was a path to the bathroom. “Do you guys need instruction on how to use that bathroom in order to relieve yourselves?”
“We do,” Ester said.
Marcus made his way carefully through the RV to the bathroom. “That is a toilet.” Marcus raised the lid. “You sit on that. Do whatever you need to do. Then, flush it.” He pressed the button on the wall.
“Oh,” Ester said. “How incredible.”
“How do you clean yourself?” another jungle food asked.
“That is that white roll.” Marcus pointed. “You clean yourself with that.” He turned. “Wash your hands at the sink.” Marcus turned on the water then turned it off.”
“Is that roll for one use?” Ester asked.
“No.” Marcus leaned down and pulled on the roll. He tore some of the paper off. “You use the sheets.” He passed the paper to Ester.
Ester looked at it. “Oh, it’s like leaves on a roll.” She folded it in her hand. “Like this.” She showed the other jungle foods.
“We can use that,” a jungle food said.
“I’m afraid the details are lost on me, but that’s the basics,” Marcus said.
“We’ll figure it out from here,” Ester said.
“Where am I supposed to sit?” Shadow asked.
“On a jungle food or Marius,” Marcus said.
“Marius.” Shadow squeezed up front and got into Marius’ lap.
“Just what I always wanted. A bony little vampire,” Marius said.
Marcus chuckled as he closed the side door and locked it. He walked up front and got into the driver’s seat. “She’s not that bony.”
“Yes, she is,” Marius said.
“Pillow?” Ester held a pillow through the gap between the two front seats.
“Yes. Thank you.” Marius put the pillow between his lap and Shadow. “That’s better.”
“I guess she really doesn’t sit on me like that,” Marcus said as he started the engine and turned the RV around so they could drive out of the jungle.
“I’m sure when she gets into your lap, it’s not to use you as a chair,” Marius said.
“You may have a point.” Marcus drove down the jungle road.
He drove to the beginning of the bridge they had crossed when driving to the jungle pyramid and pulled off on the side into a small parking lot.
It was just after two in the morning, but Marcus didn’t want to exit the bridge at sunrise.
He stood and stepped into the back. “You guys can stretch your legs. Cook some food. We’ll be here for the day,” Marcus said.
“It’s only two,” Shadow said.
“We’d get to the other side around dawn,” Marcus said. “I’d rather not be on the bridge that late. There’s no rush to get home.”
Shadow looked at Marius.
“My only updates have been from Oliver and Alera. Valeria hasn’t called me,” Marius said.
“I thought she called like two hours ago,” Shadow said.
Marius shook his head. “That was Alera.”
“Did she say anything important?” Marcus asked as the jungle foods filed out of the van.
“Not particularly. She said Valeria was still using the jars. She thought she had maybe an inch distension.”
“That’s not much,” Marcus said.
“Especially since Shadow’s already expelled,” Marius said.
“It doesn't necessarily mean the sacs aren’t viable,” Marcus said. “Is this her first set?”
“Given her reaction, I think so,” Marius said.
“I’ll take a look at them after she expells, but it’s usually pretty obvious if they aren’t viable,” Marcus said.
“Don’t worry too much about it. We’ll find you a good female vampire when we get back,” Shadow said.
Marius grinned. “Another one of you.”
“The redheads bite,” Marcus said.
“Well, maybe not so red, more of a strawberry blonde,” Marius said.
“We’re going to make our food out here. We brought a little cooking setup,” Ester said. “Your food is in the fridge.”
“We’ll get it,” Marcus said. He walked over to the small refrigerator and opened it. “Blood for Shadow.” He handed it to her. “Blood for Marius.” He handed the bottle to Marius. “Blood for Marcus.” He grabbed a bottle for himself.
Shadow laughed as she uncorked her bottle. “Were there any bloodchocolates in there?”
“Plenty.” Marcus drained his blood then grabbed a bloodchocolate container from out of the fridge.
They spent the rest of the night playing cards and eating snacks. Marcus carried Shadow to the bed and laid her in it before tucking her in.
“How do you want to arrange everyone’s sleeping?” Marius asked.
“I’m going to pull out all the beds and see what we have.” Marcus walked over to the couch and pulled out the bed. Then, he turned the seating area at the table into another bed. “I think we can put two jungle foods with Shadow. One with you. One here. I’ll sleep up front, but we still have four other jungle foods.”
Marius looked at the beds. “Two can sleep on the floor. I can sleep in the passenger’s chair.”
“Maybe we can fit three jungle foods in with Shadow,” Marcus said.
“Are you trying to figure out sleeping arrangements?” Ester asked as she stepped into the RV.
“We are. If we can fit three of you with Shadow, two can sleep on that bed. One can sleep where the table was, and two on the floor,” Marcus said. “But I think I’m still short a spot.”
“We can fit two other little bed,” Ester said. She turned toward the rest of the living creatures. “It’s bedtime. Three of you can pile in with the redhead.”
“She’s not going to mind,” Marcus said. “You’ll just keep her warm.”
“I’ll sleep there. Who else wants to sleep with the little vampire?” Ester asked.
“I will,” one of the males said.
“I will too,” a female said.
“Everyone get comfortable.” Marcus closed the side door after everyone was inside. Then, he put the window shields up before making himself comfortable in the front seat, or as comfortable as possible.
“Here’s a couple blankets.” Ester handed Marcus and Marius each a blanket.
“Thank you,” Marcus said. He settled into the chair just as he heard Shadow.
“Was that words?” Marius asked.
“That’s that old language that her breed first learns,” Marcus said. “She’s just happy I finally got her enough warm pillows.”
Eventually, everyone fell asleep.
- Hits: 1197
The Tiny Vampire From Outer Space That’s Bitey XVI: Beach City Takeover (Shadow Conn Tiny Vampire Book 16)
Marcus' plans for Beach City are coming to fruition. Julian is set to take over as the new mayor. Unfortunately, they have a new threat. A new order of hunters has infiltrated Beach City and the mayor's office. Marcus must remove the hunters in order to keep Beach City safe for his family and move forward with his plan to make Earth a vampire-friendly planet.
Chapter 1 – The Mayor’s Domain
Shadow jolted awake and looked around. “Marcus…”
“Marcus is in the other room,” Sabina said as she stood from the coffee table where she was playing a board game with Cris.
She walked over to Shadow and watched her for a minute. Shadow was sitting up, but she wasn’t awake. “Little sire, you’re not awake yet.”
“How do you know that?” Cris asked.
“Her eyes are closed,” Sabina said.
“What?” Cris looked. “Huh…”
“I don’t know what she’s seeing, but it’s not this room.” Sabina hugged her.
Alera stepped into the doorway. “Is Shadow awake?”
“Not really,” Sabina said as she stepped back from Shadow. “She knows Marcus isn’t in here, but I don’t know what she’s looking at. A hug didn’t help.”
“I’m sure it helped.” Alera scanned Shadow’s surface thoughts. “Her bedroom with no Marcus.” She walked over to Shadow with an Umbra One. “Shadow, I have food.”
Shadow opened her eyes and inhaled. She didn’t readily recognize the room. “Where am I?”
“The back parlor of the cabin,” Alera said.
“And I needed a hug?” Shadow asked as she took the blood bottle.
“You were yelling for Marcus,” Sabina said.
Shadow drained the blood. “I slept terrible. It was all nightmares.”
“Nightmares that the house was attacked and someone was shooting guns?” Alera asked.
“How do you know?” Shadow asked.
“That wasn’t a nightmare. It really happened,” Alera said.
Shadow jumped off the couch. “Then, Marcus is really hurt. And the jungle food.”
“Hold on there, speedy. The jungle food are healing, and Oliver is trying to get Marcus to let him check for more wounds.”
“There’s a side wound, and something is wrong with his chest,” Shadow said then turned her head. She could hear Oliver yelling.
“Let me see that rib!”
“It’s fine,” Marcus said then snarled when it looked like Oliver was ignoring his decree.
“When have you ever had a lump on your rib? Come here,” Oliver said.
Oliver ran toward Marcus with vampiric speed, sliced the area with a nail and pulled the bullet out.
“Found the bullet!” Oliver said as he ran out of the room before Marcus could get a hold of him. He slammed the door of the office shut.
“That was excessively painful!” Marcus said.
“You wouldn’t hold still, and you’re body won’t reject that thing while you’re drinking Umbra Ones,” Oliver said as he held the door until he felt like Marcus wasn’t going to come tearing through it.
Shadow looked at Sabina. She was shocked. “It’s okay. I think.”
“Is big sire okay?” Sabina asked.
“He will be now,” Oliver said as he walked down the hall. “That was one hell of a bullet.” He walked into the back parlor and showed it to Sabina, Cris, Shadow and Alera.
“Where was that?” Alera asked.
“It got stuck in his rib,” Oliver said.
“That’s probably a good thing,” Alera said.
“He would have been asleep for at least two weeks had that gone all the way through him,” Oliver said.
“Why are you in here?” Shadow asked. “Doesn’t he need to be bandaged?”
“Not right this second. He was trying to bite my hand off.”
“Did he get you?” Alera asked.
Oliver looked at both his hands and his arms. “No, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. Did anyone realize he’s got a double set of fangs in his upper jaw?” Oliver asked.
“What double set of fangs?” Shadow asked. “He’s got some long lower fangs when he lets his vampire out.”
“He’s got his canines then he’s got a second set right next to them,” Oliver said.
“Never noticed. He must not use them often,” Shadow said.
“Open your mouth, Shadow,” Oliver said.
Shadow opened her mouth.
Oliver looked at her fangs. “Interesting. Must be part of their lineage.”
“Does she have two sets of fangs?” Alera asked.
“Not exactly, or maybe not at her age. She’s got her primary fangs. Then, the ones next to them are extra sharp and slightly pointy.” He turned to Sabina. “Let me look at you.”
Sabina opened her mouth.
“Nope, not on her.” Oliver examined Cris. “And he’s barely got his primary fangs.”
“Must be an age thing,” Alera said.
“Or an anger thing. He’s madder than Hades in an ice storm,” Oliver said. “With that being said, I’m going to try and get him into a hot bath upstairs.”
“Hot bath!” Shadow hopped.
“Come on, tiny,” Oliver said as he walked out of the room to the office. “Marcus, I found something you want.”
Marcus stood from the couch and walked over to the door. He started to pick Shadow up and thought better of it.
“You better not,” Oliver said.
“I thought better of it,” Marcus said. “I don’t know if I’m going to make to to Beach City with Julian.”
“Let’s see how you feel after a bath,” Oliver said as they walked upstairs.
“Are you in pain?” Shadow asked.
“Very much so, especially since Oliver removed a bullet from one of my bones,” Marcus said.
“I don’t feel it,” Shadow said.
“I’m making sure you don’t,” Marcus said as he climbed the stairs.
Shadow hopped up onto the last step. When she turned, Marcus was only halfway up the stairs.
“Shadow, start the bath in the master bedroom,” Oliver said. He walked down the stairs then helped Marcus up them. “I’ll see if there are any bottles of blood leftover from last night.”
“I would appreciate that. I’ve had three Umbra Ones tonight,” Marcus said. “They’re not helping.”
“I’ll check the mix on the Umbra Ones too,” Oliver said. “We’re not connected to the global system, but you never know. They could have put in an update to find random units.”
Shadow turned on the water to the bath and stopped the drain.
Marcus walked into the bathroom. “Oliver is checking for better food.”
“I think you need it,” Shadow said as she tested the water. It was a little cool for her, but she thought Marcus would like it.
Marcus leaned down and felt the water. “You can make that hotter.”
Shadow turned up the hot water.
“I hate to ask, but…”
Shadow helped Marcus into the bathtub.
Marcus sat down and leaned against the back of the tub. “That’s better.”
Alera knocked on the bathroom doorframe. “Marcus, I found some medicine, and Oliver is bringing the last of the stuff the jungle food made yesterday.”
“What kind of pain medicine?” Marcus asked.
“I called Dr. Jones. He recommended something in the replicator at ten times the maximum human dosage,” Alera said.
“It’s a dropper.” Alera filled the dropper. When Marcus opened his mouth, she squeezed it in. “He said you’ll feel better, and you may fall asleep, but he’ll be here in about forty minutes, depending on the roads. He wants to look at the jungle food and you.”
“Send Shadow with Marius and my sire,” Marcus said.
“What!? You want me to leave when you’re injured?”
“No, I want to review your head when you get back since I can’t be there,” Marcus said.
“Oh,” Shadow said.
“In that case…” Alera walked over to the shower and set it on the steam setting before turning it on. “Steam for a minute. I have a couple things I need to do. Then, I’ll wash you.”
“I’ll be healed by the time you get back,” Marcus said.
“You will be. Dr. Jones is bringing his medicine,” Alera said.
“Good,” Marcus said.
“I’ll be back. Both of you relax,” Alera said.
Shadow stepped into the steaming shower and sprawled across the bench.
By the time Alera got back to the master bathroom, both Marcus and Shadow were asleep. [Is Julian ready?] she asked Oliver.
[Almost, and Lucia should be here with the boys any minute. Why?] Oliver asked.
[They’re both asleep,] Alera said.
[Did Marcus drink the food I brought up?] Oliver asked.
[He did,] Alera said.
[Let him sleep. Wash Shadow’s hair. After spending 20 minutes in that steam shower, she’s probably clean,] Oliver said.
“Shadow, are you taking a steam-nap?” Alera asked.
Shadow opened her eyes and turned her head. “Maybe.”
Alera grinned. “Come on. I’ll wash your hair in the sink.” She grabbed a towel and wrapped it around Shadow as soon as she turned off the water and exited the shower.
Alera washed and rinsed Shadow’s hair in the sink then wrapped a towel around her head. “I have clothes for you on the bed.”
Shadow started to hop into the bedroom before stopping and looking at Marcus.
“He’s okay, and Dr. Jones will look at him in about an hour or so,” Alera said.
Marcus opened his eyes. “Come here, tiny.” He raised an arm. When Shadow leaned over the tub, he pulled her closer and kissed her. “I’ll be fine by the time you get back. I love you.” He whispered the latter into her ear.
“He really will be, but we need to hurry,” Alera said.
Shadow hopped into the bedroom.
“I don’t know how she ever functioned without you,” Alera said.
“I don’t either,” Marcus said. “For that matter, I’m not sure how I functioned without her.”
“Just rest. I’ll get her dressed,” Alera said.
“Thank you,” Marcus said. “If she starts getting grumpy, call me.”
“I will.” Alera walked into the bedroom.
“Stop and pick her up some lamb bones!” Marcus yelled from the bathroom.
Alera laughed and shook her head. Even in extreme pain, he was still trying to take care of Shadow. “We will.” She turned her attention to Shadow who had already put on her shirt and fuzzy pants. “Do you need help?”
“No.” Shadow put on her socks then grabbed a boot.
Alera kneeled down. “Let me do this. It’ll be faster.” She put Shadow’s boots on her feet and tied them.
“How’d you do that so fast?” Shadow asked.
“I have to put shoes on half the childer every night,” Alera said. “And most of them have little feet just like you.” She stood. “You’re dressed. Let’s go. I think we’re running late.”
Shadow hopped out of the bedroom and down the stairs ahead of Alera. She walked into the kitchen and looked around. “Where’s the food?”
“All the food is injured,” Alera said as she walked over to the refrigerator. “Let’s see if there’s anything left from last night.” She found one in the bottom shelf in the door and pulled it out. Alera opened it and smelled it. “Oliver saved you one. Let me heat it up.”
Shadow watched while Alera pulled a pot out of the cabinet and set it on the stove.
Alera dumped the bottle into it and turned on the burner. “This’ll just take a minute.”
“The childer are fed and studying,” Oliver said as he walked into the kitchen. “Did you see that bottle I left?”
“I did,” Alera said. “Thank you.”
“We really eat a lot,” Oliver said.
“We have a lot of fangs to feed,” Alera said as she stirred the blood so it wouldn’t clump. “How are the jungle foods?”
“They’re okay,” Oliver said. “Mia’s up. She’s tending to the males. Changing and inspecting bandages.”
“Good.” Alera turned off the burner and poured the blood into a large glass.
Shadow grabbed the glass and drained it.
“How are the childer doing?” Alera asked.
“They’re okay. I let them ask me any question about last night, and I answered them,” Oliver said. “That seemed to help. Most of them were just concerned about Marcus. I told them he just needed rest, and he’d be fine later tonight.”
“If he feels well enough, he’ll probably go outside with them,” Alera said.
“Is there a bloodpudding?” Sabina asked as she stepped into the kitchen doorway.
“Extra lumpy?” Oliver asked as he walked over to the replicator.
“Yes!” Sabina said.
“Coming up.” Oliver programmed Sabina’s bloodpudding and pressed the start button.
“Are you staying here, Oliver?” Alera asked.
“I am,” Oliver said.
“We’re here,” Lucia said as she walked through the front door with the boys.
“Good. You and Alera and Shadow are going with Julian to town,” Oliver said as he stepped into the hallway after handing Sabina her bloodpudding. “I’m staying here with Marcus and the childer.”
“I can watch the childer if you want to go,” Lucia said.
“Marcus would feel better if you went with Shadow,” Oliver said.
“Oh. Is she all right?” Lucia asked.
Oliver stepped further into the hall. “She’s fine, but you’re going into town where you could potentially run into people associated with Marcus’ injuries.”
“He’s afraid she’s going to final them,” Lucia said.
“He’s worried she’ll tear them apart,” Oliver said.
“I understand the job duties,” Lucia said.
“I thought you might,” Oliver said.
“Where’s Julian?” Alera asked as she walked out of the kitchen with a sack slung over her shoulder.
“He was outside,” Lucia said.
“Good,” Alera said. “I have snacks, but we need to stop by the shelter for some lamb bones.”
“We can do that,” Lucia said. “Are we taking my van?”
“I think yours would work better,” Alera said.
“We can take mine,” Lucia said.
“How are the roads?” Alera asked as they walked out the front door.
“Mostly clear,” Lucia said as she spotted Julian. “We’re ready, Julian.”
Julian walked over to the van. “Are we still going to the mayor’s mansion?”
“We are,” Alera said as she opened the side door of the van.
“How’s big sire?” Julian asked as he helped Shadow into the van.
“He’ll be fine,” Alera said. She stepped in on the passenger’s side.
“Are we stopping at the shelter first?” Lucia asked as she started the engine.
“We are,” Alera said.
“We’re off,” Lucia said as she turned the van around and drove down the driveway. “Did Marcus want us to stop anywhere else?”
“He didn’t say, but I’m sure he’d appreciate any and all updates,” Alera said.
“We can stop by the construction site too, if they’re there,” Lucia said. “Unless. Julian, were you given a time to show up tonight?”
“I was not,” Julian said.
“That’s unorganized,” Lucia said. “But it works to our advantage.”
“After last night, there may not even be anyone at the mansion to notify Julian.” Alera opened the snack sack. “Shadow, do you want bloodchocolates or bloodcakes?”
“Bloodcake,” Shadow said.
Alera opened the container and handed it to Shadow.
Shadow took the container and grabbed a bloodcake out of it.
“What?” Alera turned her head to look.
“She just ate half of it in one bite,” Julian said.
“Here’s a couple wetwipes,” Alera said as she handed them to Julian.
“I no longer wonder why my siblings are messy eaters,” Julian said.
“They get it honestly,” Alera said.
Shadow ate the bloodcake and another one. Then, she handed the container back to Alera.
“Julian, are you hungry?” Alera asked before she put the lid on.
“No, I’m fine,” Julian said.
Alera closed the container and put it away.
“We’re coming up on the construction site,” Lucia said.
“We should stop,” Shadow said.
“I can turn in there. I see some vehicles,” Lucia said.
Julian opened a wetwipe. “Little sire.” When she turned to look at him, he quickly wiped off her face and hands.
“My childer are sneaky,” Shadow said.
Julian grinned as she threw the wipes away in the trash can. “You should see me catch Sabina.”
Lucia parked near the edge of the property and turned off the engine.
Shadow hopped out of the van.
“Good evening,” the construction manager said as he walked over.
“How’s it coming?” Lucia asked.
He looked around and spotted Shadow. “Where’s Marcus?”
“He’s got some business to attend to tonight,” Lucia said. “I’m Lucia. This is Alera and Julian, and you know Shadow.”
“Indeed I do,” he said. “Well, I can give you a tour of the place so far. As you can see, we’re building the wall.”
“How long is that going to take?” Lucia asked.
“We should be done with it tonight. Up front, we’ll place the human grocery store.”
“Marcus is insistent about that,” Shadow said. “But where’s the real food entrance?”
“It’ll be at the back of the store,” the contractor said. “It’ll be marked with something. Probably Service Exit with some fangs or some decal we all understand.”
“Send the picture ideas to Marcus,” Shadow said.
“I will,” he said.
They walked the property while the contractor pointed out the major features. Currently, there were only red markers indicating where everything would go and a few poured foundations.
Shadow looked around.
“Marcus is still at home,” Alera said.
“Oh. Right,” Shadow said.
“We should probably head on,” Lucia said.
“We should. We still have a lot of stops,” Alera said. “Thank you. We’ll let Marcus know.”
Shadow climbed into the van behind Julian.
Alera and Lucia stepped into the van.
Lucia drove to the shelter. “Shadow, go get your lamb bones. Be quick.”
Shadow hopped out of the van and into the shelter.
“Welcome back,” Sadie said. “Where’s Marcus?”
“He’s got things to do tonight. Are there any lamb bones?” Shadow asked.
“We just got a meat shipment. Go ask Silvia in the kitchen,” Sadie said.
Shadow walked into the kitchen.
“There she is,” Sylvia said. “I have what you want.” She walked over to the refrigerator and pulled out a bag.
Shadow hopped over and grabbed it. She unzipped it and pulled out a bone before sticking it in her mouth.
“Those just came in tonight, so they’re fresh,” Sylvia said.
“Thank you. We’re in a hurry,” Shadow said.
“Enjoy your night,” Sylvia said.
Shadow walked out of the shelter and got into the van. She closed the door. “I got the lamb bones.”
“They’re all yours,” Alera said. Then, she heard a crack and Shadow gasp. “What was that? Did you break a tooth?”
“Not that I know of,” Shadow said.
“Lean up here and let me see,” Alera said.
Shadow moved between the front two seats.
“Open your mouth,” Alera said. When Shadow did, she looked inside. “Nothing’s broke. What happened?”
“I think Marcus got stabbed in the side again,” Shadow said.
“Oh, Dr. Jones is probably treating him by now,” Alera said. She touched Shadow’s side. “Does it hurt right there?”
“Yep. That’s Marcus. Let me fix that,” Alera said.
Shadow inhaled. “How’d you do that?”
“Put another muffler on your bond,” Alera said. “I’m sure that was accidental. He doesn’t want you to feel how much pain he’s in.”
“If that was only part of it, I’m worried,” Shadow said.
“I’m sure Dr. Jones will give him some medicine in a minute,” Alera said. “If you’re still in pain, I have some medicine I can give you.”
“I’m okay,” Shadow said.
“We’re almost to the Mayor’s mansion,” Lucia said as she turned a corner.