The Turning by Brigit Zahara
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (56 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Galeria is ready to hit the streets of L.A. for a quick snack. She is a very happy, satisfied woman—having just left her two hot vampire lovers sleeping soundly in her bed.
But their lives weren’t always so wonderful, such a long time ago in Rome. Back then Galeria was the emperor’s daughter. She wasn’t supposed to have a scorching secret affair with the beautiful and passionate Cassian, champion gladiator of Rome. Nor should she have taken comfort in the massive, marble-like arms of Atticus—Cassian’s best friend, her night chamber guard and a closet vampire—when informed of Cassian’s supposed demise.
Too late, they discover that Cassian lives. Overcome with jealousy, he challenges Atticus to a battle to the death in the arena. Galeria is caught in the middle, tormented by her feelings for these two powerful men. But a mysterious ritual changes all their lives. Forever.
Brigit Zahara has written a touching and poignant story, one of love and loss and then regained.
Galeria, Cassian and Atticus are sharing life in modern day Los Angeles, where the “food” is plentiful for vampires such as them. After a passionate evening with her men, Galeria wakes before them and looks back on her life to the time when she was mortal, and was the daughter of the emperor of Rome. The lives of these three have been entwined for centuries, and it is these beginnings that Galeria revisits here. Galeria, the emperor’s daughter, her favorite Gladiator, and lover, Cassian, and her personal guard Atticus. This is the story of Galeria and Cassian’s turning, and the events leading up to that point of no return.
Galeria is the emperor’s darling daughter, until the loss of her lover Cassian, reported dead after a gladiatorial contest abroad, and the death of her mother from a mysterious wasting disease. And Galeria seems to have inherited it, slowly becoming weaker and thinner. But she is determined that no one will know, and she hides her condition from all. In a weak moment, she found solace in the arms of her trusted guard, Atticus, but although he loves her, she is appalled at her actions.
Galeria’s strength of character is what I found so compelling in this story. Cassian is the strong Gladiator, and when he returns, and finds out what happened between his love and his friend, he loses his mind. But it is Atticus that I most enjoyed reading about. It is clear early on in the historical recitation, that he is the vampire who ends up turning both of his closest companions, the friend he valued and the woman he loved. I enjoyed the look at the customs of ancient Rome, and the sometimes-barbaric gladiator arenas.
If you want something short, hot and interesting, this is the one for you.