Darius Hawthorne Reviews Dragon Age (Book Excerpt) Recovered Article

What would you do if a 300 year old vampire decided that you would make the perfect Van Helsing for his own twisted game?


A series of bizarre kidnappings leads detective Mitch Grogan to the home of the wealthy and eccentric Darius Hawthorne. What he discovers there unleashes a chain of events that not only threatens his life, but also his sanity. Grogan finds himself caught up in a deadly game with a three hundred year old vampire looking for a worthy adversary. But how can a burnt-out cop with a crumbling marriage compete against a centuries’ old immortal with unlimited resources and supernatural powers?


More than boredom drives the cunning Hawthorne, however. His attempts to push Grogan to the breaking point are more than cruel entertainment. They also serve as a test to see whether or not the mortal is ready to help him hunt an even more deadly foe: one that would see the whole world burn to remove the vampiric corruption from it.


Book Excerpt:


Mitch leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “I’m going to get to the point. I want to renegotiate the terms of our rivalry.” He looked down at the floor, suddenly worried as to why those words felt so normal to say.


“You no longer care if Sylvia lives?”


“That’s not what I said,” he replied. “You had an unfair advantage. You invaded my home and caught me unaware.”


“You invaded mine first,” said Hawthorne. The familiar smirk spread across his face.


“Not the same thing. I was there following a lead and had a warrant. You used uber-powers to float under my door.”


Uber?”


“Your vampire powers.”


“Ah. Such a strange word, uber.”


“Anyway,” continued Mitch, “now that I am, I suppose you would say, more acclimated to what you are…”


“Someone has been building his vocabulary. Bravo.” Hawthorne mocked Mitch with a little clap.


“I want you to leave Shaquana out of this.” Hawthorne raised his eyebrows as if confused. “Don’t pretend you don’t know who she is.”


“Oh, I know who she is. Your partner’s lovely young daughter. I am just unclear as to how she is in anything involving us.”


“You used your connections to get her accepted into Harvard.”


Hawthorne put a hand over his heart and leaned forward. “So monstrous of me; helping an intelligent, beautiful young woman achieve her dreams of a Harvard education. The unmitigated villainy of it all. So I am curious, Mitchell, how did you come to that conclusion?”


“Kerney’s father sits on the Board of Overseers.”


Hawthorne smiled broadly. “You see patterns that others do not, my friend. It is your blessing and your curse.”


“I want her left out of this.”


“What do you have to offer me in return, Mitchell? You come here to negotiate. What do you bring to the table to offer me in exchange?”


“What do you want?”


“So you came here with nothing and yet wanted to make demands?”


“What do you want, Hawthorne?”


“Maybe I just want her. You know, Mitchell, it is funny really. Young white girls are so very easy to come by. They all think they are so very worldly and mature, that they are so special and unique that the thought of an older man seducing them seems glamorous. Reinforces their over-inflated sense of self-worth. It is much harder to lure a young black woman. They are much more suspicious by nature. Maybe it is a genetic holdover from before the Civil War, when the plantation master would sneak into the slave quarters under cover of darkness to have his way with the women. But they simply do not trust rich white men.”


“Fascinating observation, Darius,” said Mitch with a sigh. “You should write a book.”


Hawthorne leaned back on the loveseat, resting his arms across the back. “I’ve considered it,” he deadpanned, looking up at the ceiling. “The stories I could tell. But back to the matter at hand. Do you really believe I mean the girl harm? That I would call in favors, at a significant personal expense, simply to lure the girl away from her family to have my way with her?”


“It depends on how bored you are, I suppose.”


His head snapped toward Mitch suddenly. He had a strange grin on his face. “Oh, that reminds me. I took your advice and bought one of those Xbox things.”


“Really?” said Mitch. He shook his head. “How’s that been working for you?”


“Fascinating device. Once Eric got the thing working, that is. I was not expecting so many wires. I have my own little avatar and everything.”


“So what you been playing?” He couldn’t believe he was having this discussion with Hawthorne, and yet he found it impossible to drop the subject. The conversation had become a train wreck. You know you shouldn’t stare, but you just can’t help yourself.


“The one with the dragons.”


“That doesn’t narrow it down.”


“Oh, Dragon Age, I believe. Amazing storytelling. I find it most impressive. And surprisingly racy. And did you know that there is gay sex in that game? Unprecedented I would think.”


“Can’t say I knew that, Darius.”


“It is a fascinating example of the ever changing social mores of your culture.”


“Do vampires do drugs?” Mitch blurted. He stared at Hawthorne blankly in disbelief.


“Why would you ask that out of the blue?”


“Because I’m wondering if you are on something?”


“On something? You mean under the influence of some chemical? Is that a serious question or an insult?”


“Probably both, now that you ask.”


“Such substances have no impact on us. Why would you think that I was on drugs?”


“Nevermind. Can we just get back to the original topic?”


“Oh, yes, of course. The girl.”

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