A big welcome to Mandy Greenwood as she celebrates her new release Finding His Eden.
Hi, writing as Mandy Greenwood I breathe life into stories that have decided my mind is a great place to be. So many voices of characters clamouring for attention that it can get awfully crowded in there some days. Finding His Eden is the first paranormal mpreg romance that I’ve written, and it won’t be the last with at least three stories planned for the Silverdale Coven series, that revolves around the vampires of Silverdale and their fated lovers. Each story can be read stand-alone and will include surprise babies, vampires pining, second chance romance and lots of snark.
Eden Haversham has just turned twenty-five and the mysterious benefactor who ensured he could afford to attend university has requested they meet. Maybe it was the smartest idea to turn up at the bar, alone and without informing anyone, but Eden needed know who the man was. What he hadn’t expected was the man who sat down next to him; devilishly handsome and claiming to be the richest man in Silverdale City, Alric Drayton. And that was only the beginning of the man’s ludicrous claims that Eden was only too happy to dismiss, at first.
Alric Drayton has waited twenty-five years for this night; the chance to finally reveal himself to Eden Haversham and make the man his. Two-thousand years of living might have taught Alric patience, but his was slowly wearing thin and now that he’d found his Eden Alric had no intention of letting him go.
Except there’s more to Alric’s world than what is written in fairy tales.
Eden sat at the bar, a pint of lager sitting in front of him untouched as he idly tapped a card on the counter. He’d been there an hour, and no one seemed to be interested in shifting him along. No one seemed interested in him at all and that was strange, staring around at the other customers curiously. Eden never had to work had to get their attention, men enamoured by his porcelain beauty: his almost translucent skin, his bright blue eyes and the darkest of black hair that didn’t go with the rest of him at all. Questions were always asked about it, wanting to know if he wore contacts or dyed his hair. None of them happy with the answers he gave, quickly pointing out that genetics just didn’t work that way; explained it in very simplistic terms that had Eden rolling his eyes. He’d taken high school science and aced it too.
Hell, he’d graduated top of his class. Done it again at university too, allowing him to take his pick of graduate schools. Eden would have happily stayed at the university he’d attended, two major cities over from his home of Silverdale, but the local university was the only one to offer the courses in Cultural Mythology that he wanted to study. Not surprising really considering all the myths, legends and other paranormal tales associated Silverdale. If you believed half the rumours that did the rounds then Silverdale was overrun with vampires, werewolves and other species spoken of in folklore. Eden did not. But he was however interested in why such stories persisted in modern society.
But none of that explained why he was sitting in a bar that thrummed with a dangerous energy; curious eyes that never strayed from his back while waiting for a mysterious stranger. A stranger that had sent Eden the card he tapped against the bar, just like all the other cards that arrived every year on his birthday since he’d turned eighteen. An invite that invoked a level of trust Eden knew he couldn’t have explained to his mates, sneaking out of the house they shared without telling them where he was going or who with, not that he could have given the mysterious stranger a name. Not even the sizeable deposits into his bank account each year gave him any clue as to who the man was and that should have frightened him. Should have scared him into not showing up as the invite requested… yet, Eden wanted to meet them, felt in a way he owed them, when he wouldn’t have been able to afford university without their financial assistance.
Eden just wished the invite had come with more than a time and a place.
Sitting in a bar, alone, was not how he’d intended to spend his birthday. If his mysterious benefactor didn’t make an appearance soon, then Eden would leave; head down to another club where he wouldn’t remain lonely for long. Except, if Eden had been serious about leaving, he wouldn’t have sat here, tapping the card on the bar, for forty-five minutes longer than he’d normally wait. The urge to walk out the door simply wasn’t there.
“Do you plan on drinking that?”
Eden glanced up at the deep voice expecting the question to have come from the bartender, but he was down the far end of the bar talking with customers. Turning sideways, he stared at the man sitting on the bar stool next to him; a well-dressed businessman who a wore questioning smirk, not at all worried at the time it was taking Eden to answer. Eden wasn’t sure how to, when it was obviously a badly thought-out pick-up line.
“Sorry… I’m waiting for someone.” He flashed the man a small smile and turned away to stare at his pint, grimacing at the idea of drinking it now. Warm beer. Blech.
“How do you know,” the man murmured, leaning in close enough for Eden to get a whiff of his cologne: sweet-spicy and hint of something…metallic? “that I’m not the one you are waiting for-” Eden turned back to dismiss him but was thrown by the confident smile that greeted him. Breath catching in his throat before noticing the man was gesturing at the card Eden held. “-Eden?”
“I don’t.” He narrowed his eyes and tightened his grip on the card – black cardstock with white and gold design – not wanting to let on how rattled he was becoming. Yet somehow the man knew, his confident smirk turning into a dangerous, almost feral grin as though he could see right into Eden’s chest to count the panicked beats of his heart. He wished again that the card held more information than the name of this bar and the request to meet. A name would have been useful.
His body stiffened watching the dangerously handsome stranger reach into his suit jacket and pull out a silver card case. Ornately engraved design on the front of the case looked achingly familiar, an antique he guessed as the man flicked it open and retrieved a card. Passing it over to Eden, he could see that it was like the card he already held, the same weight and cardstock except this one wasn’t blank, didn’t have a handwritten message on it, but looked like an ordinary business card.
It was far from ordinary.
Eden’s hands shook as he read it. Stared back at the man not quite believing it. There was no way this man was Alric Drayton… that his mysterious benefactor was the CEO of the largest corporation in Silverdale, the richest man in the city. Rumours talked of the man never aging in the last ten years, longer depending on who you listened too. His name forever entangled with the conspiracy theories that clung to the stones of the cities gothic architecture concerning the existence of the supernatural, the very creatures Eden studied in Cultural Mythology… He shook his head and gripped the edge of the bar fearing he might topple to the ground as the room spun. The stranger- No, Mr Alric Drayton lurched forward, his confident smile faltering as he reached out to steady Eden. It couldn’t be him. Couldn’t be real. It had to be a hoax; some joke being played on him by his friends because it was his birthday.
“Who put you up to this? Was it, Eric? Or was it, Jas?”
“No one. I am who I say I am… who that business card says I am,” he replied sitting back on his stool. “I am Alric Drayton, CEO of the Silverdale Corporation.”
“No. I don’t believe you. Mr Drayton is an enigma, never seen in public and those who’ve had the pleasure of meeting him through business, stay tight-lipped about his appearance, his age… anyone in this room could claim to be him and it would be difficult to dispute it.”
Drayton tipped his head back and laughed a deep throaty chuckle that stirred unwanted thoughts in Eden’s mind. Ones he shouldn’t be having over a stranger who claimed to be Alric Drayton.
“The people in this bar-” Drayton waved an arm toward the other patrons and as Eden followed it he realised everyone was watching them. Danger rippled from every set of eyes Eden could see before crashing into the wall created by Drayton’s presence. “-wouldn’t dare claim to be me. Wouldn’t risk their lives; their family’s lives, by trying to impersonate Alric Drayton, Eden.”
Eden snorted. Alric Drayton’s name had been whispered through the streets of the city since he’d been a child. “Still doesn’t make me believe that you are him. Alric Drayton would have to be in his fifties? Sixties? And you… barely look a day over thirty-five.”
“Eden, you know that what I’m saying is true-” Drayton slid off his barstool and stood in front of Eden, caging him against the bar as he eyes flashed red, a dark burgundy colour that didn’t look at all natural. Eden blinked, he’d must have been mistaken staring at Drayton’s hazel eyes as he leaned in closer, hot breath caressing Eden’s skin. “-that I am Alric Drayton. And I’m over two-thousand years old… I’ve been waiting for you Eden, for this night for the last twenty-five years.”