Published by: eXtasy Books
Word Count :20925
Publication Date :2020-10-16
Series : Banpaia#1
Heat Level :
Category : Erotic Romance
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-3114-3
Chinatown, Los Angeles. Young men are disappearing from their beds, sometimes vanishing as they cross the street with friends. The few witnesses who actually report a strange, mystical creature, soon suffer memory lapses and die.
Yet the young men all return, one by one. They seem the same, but they are different. Strange things are happening all over Chinatown, as if an odd mist enshrouds it. None of the men who disappeared can say what happened to them.
Late at night, however, this legion of men, in love and lust with the one they call Banpaia, reach out for one another in the frenzy of their need. For Feng Li, a suicidal young man who feels he was saved by the legendary, centuries-old Japanese vampire, yearns for only him. For Feng, there can be only one to claim his body and his heart.
This book has been previously published.
“Vince disappeared in broad daylight!”
Sixteen men had vanished so far. Most disappeared from their bedrooms, one from a crowded elevator and now…this Vince guy.
“Nah, I don’t believe it,” Ki said again. “Somebody’s trying to spook everyone because it’s almost Halloween.”
Feng had heard this plausible story before, but the vanishings started a few weeks ago. The first one was right here in Little Tokyo, or J-Town, as most people called it. The vampire had crossed the invisible demarcation zones between J-Town, Koreatown, and Chinatown. Feng lived in Chinatown on Hill Street, above the seafood dim sum café that could never get better than a C rating from the Health Department and was frequently shut down for code violations.
He’d slept many nights with his window open hoping for abduction. Hoping he took the mystery vampire’s fancy. Nah, Ki was right. Vampires weren’t real. His mother’s explanation of kinky sex abductions or maybe even secret organ harvesting, made more sense, except…where were the bodies?
“Look, he’s listening,” One of the voices said.
Are they talking about me?
This shocked Feng. He longed to turn and look at them, maybe say, boo!, but didn’t hurry his movements. Even as he felt the weight of the stares on his back and shoulders, he took his time.
“Nah,” the second guy at the table said. Feng wished it had been Ki who’d said it.
He left a buck under his coffee cup, shoving his journal into his backpack. He heard the conversation at the next table resume as soon as he started to walk away. He fully breathed again once he was out of the café. Feng could smell human urine now, but then they were almost at Skid Row here. Vagrants didn’t care where they peed. He stood outside, trying to imagine how it would feel if you crossed the road with your best friend thinking everything was okay, only to get to the other side and find he’d vanished into thin air. Freaky, man.
Feng checked the time on his cell phone as he crossed the street. Three minutes to five. The Cedar House stood in a semi-decrepit pocket on the edge of J-Town, right at the crossroads of the downtown Toy District. He liked the many Korean cafes lining Sixth Street, just two blocks from the rundown hotel on Fourth. For a shabby looking, four-story building slapped up against Skid Row, it surprised him how many Chinese tourists came there each month.
Some had sure been sold a bill of goods by their tour promoter. Others were students whose friends back home had fond memories of the Cedar and its cantankerous manager, Mrs. Wei. He bit his lip. He shouldn’t call her cantankerous. She was a sweet old thing but lately she was in so much pain from her sciatica she sometimes took it out on Feng.
The truth was the elderly Chinese woman was kinder to him than even his own mother. He blushed with shame thinking about the call he and his father had received from the Commerce casino in the early hours of the morning. Having been banned for life from gambling there, his mom had shown up drunk and caused a scene. She was now at home, sleeping it off. He wondered who had it worse, him or his dad. As he rounded the last corner and opened the door to The Cedar House, he decided his dad had it much, much worse. His mom when she was drunk, was bad. Mom hung-over was a friggin’ nightmare.
Mrs. Wei greeted him with a wide smile and an old-worldly tilt of her head. She might have been the proprietress of a high-class joint, the way she greeted him and their guests. Guests! Man, some of them were total losers.
He was right on time. He never liked to give up more time to the Cedar than he had to. She buzzed him behind the oak and glass door into the office enclosure. He checked the books. Six new guests. He recognized three of the names. They got a lot of repeat business here. It wasn’t that their services were so fantastic. It was that the hotel’s close proximity to many homeless shelters made this a second home to many abuse victims.
New laws passed by California’s governor no longer gave long term housing to men and women residing in shelters. Every thirty days, these long-term homeless had to leave their shelters and find someplace else to stay for a week. During that time, they had to reapply for their emergency housing and with Mrs. Wei’s help on the computer, they left again, safe from the streets or abusive spouses, to wait out another month in secrecy.
It broke his heart to see Angie Montoya’s name on the register. She and her eleven-year old son, Antonio, had fled her abusive husband. It had taken some resilience on her part considering he’d beaten and tortured her, knocking out all her teeth. Now with the state’s help, she was taking computer courses and would soon be eligible for permanent housing which she would subsidize with her new income, once she landed a job.
People like Angie and the unsuspecting travelers who’d been duped into booking at the Cedar were the ones who got under Feng’s skin. He worried about them. They were like a second skin he couldn’t shed.
“Here, Feng, I have a little gift for you,” Mrs. Wei said.
She handed him a red envelope. It was an especially pretty one with a golden dragon and the red lanterns so popular in Chinatown.
He turned it over in his hands. “A lisee? For me?”
She smiled. “I know it’s your birthday in a couple of days. I’m giving this to you now.”
She knew. The new Dragon Ball manga would be coming out at midnight and he’d coveted it. Wow…he’d missed the last few issues. He could maybe even buy back copies.