Buy Link: Divinity
Author: Bryl R. Tyne
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: Short Story

Rating: 4

Martin Hayes has the perfect job for a vampire.  He is a night security guard, leaving him time to hunt and work at night and sleep during the day.  But for the last month he has been plagued by the new night janitor Dylan Mesmer.  Something about Dylan just makes him crazy and he finds himself inexplicably drawn to the man and his ever present orange tootsie pops.  Not to mention his bright orange hair and all over freckles.

Martin knows something is going on with Dylan but can’t quite figure out what.  He has never liked candy before, yet he can’t seem to stay away from the orange suckers.  Martin is also suddenly having memories of his past before being turned, something he has never been able to remember. He starts to have flashbacks to a man in his past who was important to him, but can’t quite put all the pieces together.  Martin knows the Dylan is manipulating him in some way, but he still can’t quite resist him.

Martin paced the darkened second floor, orange sucker stuffed high in his cheek. If he continued to let this human toy with him and not act, the man could easily mistake Martin’s indecision for flirtation. He’d already sent too many wrong signals. Getting close to anyone again was not on his agenda; he’d never be able to live with himself . . . or rather, with someone else. Mesmer brought only trouble, dredging up a pseudo-past, reminding Martin of a history he could no longer recall—if it was even his.

Despite all the inner warnings not to get closer, to take only what he needed and leave so as not to risk attachment or bonds of any sort, Martin wanted to know more. His recent distractions, his lapses in time . . . Was he losing his mind over cursed memories he was sure one second were not his own but declared ownership of the next?

This story is interesting in that it jumps back and forth between Martin’s past immediately before and after becoming a vampire, and his present with Dylan.  As a reader we understand much more about what is going on than Martin does because he doesn’t remember his past and often doesn’t remember his dreams.  So we are learning about a man in his past and how he impacted Martin before he does. I enjoyed these flashbacks because I thought they really moved the story forward and help to draw the links between Martin’s past and present that he really needs to accept.  I found the present day pieces a bit slower actually.  It seemed to take a while for anything to really happen in the modern day story. For a while it seemed like a lot of Martin wanting Dylan but not willing to act on it and not much actually happening.  I would have liked to see a bit more momentum here.

Overall I found it an enjoyable story, however.  I was really intrigued by the way the past and the present tied together and thought Martin’s backstory was really interesting.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Dylan and I was surprised by some of the mysteries that surrounded him.  I loved the orange tootsie pops and poor Martin’s exasperation about why he suddenly craved them so badly.  And as a freckly redhead myself, I couldn’t quite resist Dylan!  This is my first story by Tyne but I will definitely check out this author’s work in the future.
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