Available from Passion In Print Press
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The Blood Jaguar
A Siobhan Bishop Erotic Underworld Novel
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The second book of the Siobhan Bishop Erotic Underworld series ushers the occult book
expert into the feverish world of a vampire subculture thriving on the Gulf Coast of Florida. A
package from Miranda Thomas, a childhood friend of Siobhan’s, arrives at her bookstore and
inside is a priceless 500 year-old manuscript detailing the passionate and bloody history and
rituals of Mexican Aztec magic. Siobhan and her lover—Harvard Professor and fellow mystic
Richard Blake—travel to Florida to pursue the mystery surrounding Miranda, and are soon
plunged into an environment where popular vampire-lore is turned on its head. The Aztec-
inspired vampires of the Gulf of Mexico love the sun and are anything but undead. They run a
fabulously successful private resort where the rich and famous journey in secret to experience
the intense raptures of sun-vampire sex. Siobhan, attempting to free her old friend from a
dangerous affair with the head of the cult, the hypnotic Don Cipriano Rodriguez, instead finds
herself trapped where ecstasy flows like hot blood.
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Artwork by Samarel - samarelart.com
The following is an excerpt from "The Blood Jaguar", by R. Paul Sardanas,
available from
Passion in Print Press.
Prologue

  The package in her hands was death, sex, money, and blood from under an ancient sun. Miranda clutched it
against her chest as she hurried through the predawn dark to the trailer park’s only public mailbox. The air, thick
with the suffocating heat and humidity of late July in Central Florida, caused her to sweat uncontrollably. Nothing
new. She often swore that she hadn’t stopped sweating since she’d first arrived in Florida, how many years ago
now? Seventeen. Of course, seventeen, since Esther had only been a year old.
  “No fucking snow, at least, huh Mom?” That was what Esther always said, child of the sunlight, never truly
knowing winter.
  Miranda let her blonde hair grow long because Cipriano liked it that way, but even in a ponytail the lank, damp
weight of it sometimes made her want to scream. Where it rested against her back: sweat. Where strands
escaped and trailed across her forehead and cheek: sweat.
  But enough, enough of that. Cipriano loved the heat. He breathed it in and it rode through his bloodstream like
a fever, filling him with energy, life and strength. The Jaguar.
  
Blessed Mother, a glorious jaguar. And I belong to him.
  Thinking about Cipriano made her resolve start to melt away. Her grip twisted tight around the package. She
looked at it, wrapped in brown paper and covered with every stamp she’d been able to find in the mobile home,
half of them not sticking properly after sitting in her desk drawer for months in ninety percent humidity. But there
was no way she could bring it to the Post Office and get it weighed, get it properly stamped, get delivery
confirmation. No way. Cipriano wouldn’t kill her if he found out, but his wife might. Not might: would.
  The path from her trailer up to the front of the mobile home park, paved with crushed shells, seemed to jab like
a living thing up through the soles of her sandals. Even the ground attempting to hurt her, to keep her from
going forward.
  When she’d gotten to the trailer there had been no lights or sounds from inside. Stillness, except for
mosquitoes buzzing sluggishly around standing water in the empty flower pots. All around the trailer hung an
overall smell of tin and mildew. She’d expected that, but in a little corner of her heart she’d nursed a faint hope
that Esther might really be there. Though she’d really used coming to look for her daughter as an excuse to get
away for a few hours, hope died hard, and she’d been schooled in miracles since she’d been a kid herself.
  Miranda came out from under the drooping canopy of palms and live oaks to where the mobile home park’s
office sat by the gate. No lights in there either, of course. Way too early. But the sight of the blue U.S. Mail box
there made her fingers twitch against the package again.
  She looked at the handwritten address. Her fingers had been shaky but she hadn’t screwed it up. The numbers
and letters could all be read. Sometimes the
silencio santo, the holy blood silence that Cipriano had branded into
her, worked that way: she would think she had written something clearly, and when she looked at it later the
letters would be pure gibberish. Early on after the first of the blood and sex rituals had sealed her with the spell
of silence, there had been times when she’d gotten crazy out of control and had tried to call the cops from pay
phones, but she’d been shocked to find that every word came out garbled, as if she  was speaking in tongues.
The first time that had happened she’d dropped the phone and run right into the arms of Cipriano, who’d told her
with gentle firmness: “Even if you lose faith Mira, the holy silence can’t be broken.”
  Well, he and his high and mighty goddess-consort might be just a bit surprised to find out how I got around
that.
  Turning the package over in her hands, Miranda pressed down the cheap tape sealing it and tried to make the
peeling stamps stick better. At the mailbox she gathered her nerve and pulled open the slot. She set the
package on it. All she had to do now would be unclench her fingers from the mailbox handle. Let go, let it drop in.
  But why would she want to do that? What was wrong with her? Why would she want to give up one little bit of
what she had now, what Cipriano gave to her, stirred in her, released in her?
  With those thoughts came a flood of relief. The fit had passed. Nothing done yet that couldn’t be undone. She’
d give the package to him and sink to her knees to apologize. He’d forgive. He always forgave.
  With her free hand she reached to touch the small silver cross on its chain around her throat. Cipriano had
given it to her,  knowing that she would treasure it. He would touch it sometimes, saying it moved him with the
innocence it symbolized in her heart. A vampire with a soft spot for crosses. Jesus Christ Almighty.
  Miranda would swear she never sent the command from her brain to her hand to let go of the mailbox handle
instead of reaching in to take the package back.. But she watched with a kind of fascinated horror as her fingers
unclenched from around the handle and let the package drop into the mailbox with a thud that sounded terribly
final. Did she just do that? She opened and closed the slot several times to be sure, to make certain the package
really had dropped in.
  Yes, gone. She couldn’t get it back now. Holy Mother, she needed to get away from the mailbox before he
arrived and found her there.
  She backed away unsteady on her feet, then felt a surge of adrenalin or panic and ran all the way back to the
trailer.
  The screen door hinge gave its usual shriek when she pulled it open and went inside, but she still felt
comforted to be back in the familiar surroundings. Florida Power hadn’t shut off the trailer’s electricity yet, though
she’d seen the notices from them stuffed into the mailbox when she’d arrived earlier. Taking all the envelopes
inside, she’d tossed them along with the other overdue bills onto the table of the kitchenette. She had to
remember to pay those. If Esther did come back, Miranda didn’t want the place to be shut down and lifeless.
  In the back of the trailer were the two tiny, cramped bedrooms that mother and daughter had used now for
years, while Miranda had eked out a living doing domestic work for beach hotels and waitressing at Gulf-side tiki
bars and dives. She went back and looked into Esther’s room, with its bed made up and untouched for long
weeks. A twinge of nostalgia jabbed her, remembering the teen rock-star posters and pictures of wild horses
clipped out of magazines that had once adorned her daughter’s walls. Those had all come down over the year
before Esther had disappeared— her baby done suddenly with girlish things. Strange to think how every day for
years Miranda had prayed for change in their lives, wanting to end what had seemed like a terrible drought—no
real man in her life, just occasional lovers, never enough money even for this one-step-up-from-trash lifestyle,
Esther skating by at school on her natural intelligence, but constantly falling in with the wrong crowd— and now
that the whole world had turned upside-down she felt nostalgic for the past. Stupid. Could there be anything
more stupid than that?
  Esther hadn’t even replaced the posters and pictures with anything to show new and changing interests. The
walls had been left empty.
  “The word is nihilist, Mom,”  Miranda could hear her voice now. “It means nothing has any meaning.”
  But that wasn’t true either, was it? Love and sex had meaning, as much or more to a teenage girl than they did
to her tired, but always-hopeful mother. Yes, love and sex had taken their world and rocked it to the core.
  Miranda left her daughter’s room and went into her own. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she looked around and
fought a wave of hopelessness, wishing with absurd fervor that this ridiculous place could somehow feel like
home again. The little embroidered flowers on the edge of her bedspread, the photograph of her own Mom and
Dad on the wall with an old crucifix and votive candleholder that she’d taken from the Boston house after they’d
died, bright holiday cards—some of them years old— tacked on a cheap corkboard. All of those things had been
lonely companions, but they had still anchored her in a way. The trappings of home. Now they seemed like relics
belonging to someone else.
Mine is the room that looks like a teenage girl’s.
  Lying back on the bed, she clutched one of the fluffy pillows and folded her arms across it, hugging herself.
  Love and sex. They were always what got her in trouble. Esther too. Like mother, like daughter. That was true
now on a scale like never before. Vampires—holy Christ, vampires who loved the sun and the warmth and blood
for reasons that bore no resemblance to any Hollywood Dracula—now she needed someone to help her, to
rescue her, to get her away from the bizarre, surreal thing her life had become. One of the holiday cards on her
corkboard, from last Christmas, stood out from the rest with the hope that its sender might give her that help. Her
old, dear friend Siobhan, who hadn’t forgotten about her across all the years since Miranda and Esther had left
Boston for this broiling subtropical Purgatory. Siobhan would still care, would do something to help her. Siobhan
was so smart, had done so much with her life since their days as girls together in Catholic school. A book expert,
with rich and famous people coming to her for consultations. Not a Catholic any more, which had strained things
between them sometimes, but now that would be a good thing: Siobhan wouldn’t condemn her out of hand, or
call her damned.
  But once again her vacillating emotions swung to the other extreme. Why should she regret what she had now?
Love and sex, love and sex. Miranda had them like never before, even if they had taken a form she’d never
imagined in her wildest fantasies. This bed wasn’t sterile and quiet any more.  Any sensation was possible here.
She should be rejoicing, celebrating the day Esther had found her dark-eyed, brooding Juan…and that in turn
had led to Juan’s father, Cipriano, coming to end Miranda’s loneliness.  Oh God, what had she done, stealing
from them, sending that package to Siobhan in Boston? She had to get up right now, go out and find a way to
get it out of the mailbox, give it back to Cipriano before his wife, the unholy, bloody she-jaguar herself, found out.
Putting aside the pillow, Miranda sat up, but even as she did so the screen door gave its unmistakable creak.
Too late. Her heart pounding, she grabbed the pillow again and held it in her lap. Pitiful shield to her purity. She
almost laughed, setting it aside. That purity was gone far beyond any protection or recovery. And she was glad.
Why should she be afraid so much? The vampires didn’t know everything. Even with their spells of silence they
couldn’t read minds. They had no clue about what she’d done. She should forget it, forget all about it, because
that way there would only be this moment, with no thought or concern for tomorrow. Her lover was here, and
despite it all the pounding of her heart transformed into anticipation, even happiness.
The few times he had come to the trailer it always seemed too small to hold him. Not because of any
extraordinary physical stature: he stood at medium height and had a slender build. It was because even as he
stood there in a black t-shirt and blue jeans, he carried himself with a mixture of aristocratic grace and animal
power. His dark skin had a reddish bronze tone, set off by straight, short, jet-black hair. Black eyes, too. Miranda,
however much she gazed into their depths, had never been able to detect shades like the many areas of color in
most eyes. Despite his claim of being almost twenty years her senior, he looked like a man in his thirties. That
was because of the blood, of course.
  He came into the tiny bedroom and looked at her with a mild smile, showing just the hint of his teeth. All the
vampires had that smile down pat. Never so broad as to display those perfect, carefully-filed incisors. Even when
he gave her a broader grin in private, which he sometimes did after sex, the teeth weren’t dramatic. Jesus, the
movies were so full of it.
  “Don Cipriano,” she said.
  “Mira,” he nodded. “So she isn’t here, I gather.”
  Miranda lowered her eyes.
  “No,” she said. “I always hope. Silly I guess, when I get these intuitions that she might be home.”
  “Not silly at all,” he shook his head. “I worry every day about Juan and Esther. He was angry when he left us, I
know. His mother pushes him too hard. I suppose children will never like the way their parents do things. So we
are always destined to worry, eh? But I’m not making light of it. You know I am looking too, Mira, with all the
resources I have.”
  “I know you are.”
  Cipriano moved around the side of the bed, touching the same personal things in the room that she had just
been looking at. Miranda had one of her paranoid flashes as his fingertips moved near her board with the old
holiday cards, but she sighed with relief when he settled on the old photo of her parents. He looked at them for a
long moment; her Mom and Dad not long after they’d been married, hugging one another and smiling.
Lingering by the crucifix and candle holder, he touched them with what seemed to her a gentle reverence;
Cipriano showing his soft spot for holy things.
  “When we find the kids,” Miranda said, “I’m going to give Esther the cursing out of her life.”
  He laughed.
  “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you use a profanity,” he said. “Nothing harsher than an occasional ‘Jesus’. When
Juan’s mother swears in Spanish, I’m always amazed the air doesn’t burst into flame.”
  “She’s got some choice ones for me, I bet. Starting with
puta, right? That means whore, doesn’t it?”
  He looked at her with what she would swear was genuine regret.
  “I’m sorry she says and does cruel things. She has no right to. She knows the rights and responsibilities, as do
you and I.”
  Miranda reached out her hand to him.
  “I don’t care,” she said. “She’ll do what she does, and I can’t change that.”
  Pulling his hand toward her, she placed his palm against her breast.
  “I’m afraid of her, I can’t help that,” she went on. “I’m afraid of you. I’m sorry if that hurts you. But you are my
lord, Don Cipriano Rodriguez, Tepeyollotl, God of the Heart of the Mountain.”
  Miranda let go of his hand and stretched out her arms to him, like a child asking for a hug. With a little sadness
still in his dark eyes, Cipriano crouched by the bed and embraced her. The surge of passion that always blotted
out her roller coaster of thoughts overwhelmed her; Miranda gratefully surrendered to it. She kissed his
forehead, his cheeks and eyelids, finally seeking for his lips.
  Cipriano also gave himself over to desire. For the first moments as Miranda gave him delirious caresses he
remained passive; the God of the Heart of the Mountain indeed, his mind still working to order the shadowy
troubles of their lives. But the heat of Miranda’s hunger for him drove the shadows into hiding, at least for a little
while. His muscles unclenched. She felt him becoming hard and fluid all at once: that splendid transformation into
his other, elemental aspect, the jaguar.
  Pulling off his black t-shirt, she transferred her feverish kisses to his body. The smooth dark skin, so seemingly
unmarked by time, with a warm sheen of sweat like that sheathing her own body. Feeling that she couldn’t
tolerate being in her clothing for another second, she pulled away her damp tank top, kicked off her sandals and
wriggled out of her cut-off shorts and panties. So much easier here in the south than it had been up north when
she’d first started to give in to her aching desires; fumbling through layer after layer of clothes with scared and
awkward boys at Catholic school until she’d become pregnant with Esther, and those pious priests and nuns who
lectured constantly about understanding and forbearance had expelled her. Here in the south only the thinnest
layers of clothing and propriety masked their animal selves. Miranda pulled the rubber band from her pony tail,
no longer irritated with her waist-length hair; her mane, which spread rippling over her shoulders and back.
  For the briefest moment she touched the small scars on her left breast; she felt them throbbing already with
anticipation of the moment soon to come when Cipriano would place his mouth there to take her, to take her
blood; to renew his primal strength and to simultaneously pour that strength into her.
  “Lord Tepeyollotl, stalker of the sun,” she breathed out the ritual words he’d taught her, eclipsing for now her
usual pleas to Mary and Jesus and the Father. “Warrior of the secret fire, take me. Oh God, take me.”
  Cipriano stood to slip out of his jeans, till he loomed at the end of the bed, once again making the pitiful trailer
bedroom seem like a cramped tin box. His erection stood out hard and straight; Miranda moistened her lips, her
whole body consumed with wanting him.
  Still sitting at the end of the bed, she took him into her mouth, using her tongue on the underside of his cock
while letting the shaft slide far toward the back of her throat.  She put her hands around him, holding his ass, so
he stayed fully in her mouth while she cupped her tongue and let it pulse against his skin. Her eyes open,
Miranda angled her gaze upward to see his face; she wanted to see the marvelous instant when his
transformation became complete, his mouth opening widely at last to show the feral beauty of his sharp teeth.
When it came, when he stood above her complete in his incarnation as the jaguar-god, she gave a small cry in
her throat; he reached and took her hair in his hands, slowly pulling her mouth from his cock. Her open lips
lingered there almost touching it, her warm breath still continuing the caress. With his fingers tangling themselves
even more in her heavy crown of hair, she curled her tongue out, touching its tip to the head of his cock, then
circling it in a sinuous catlike motion of her own.
  She remembered the first time she had learned what the vampires do: how they freed everything primal in
themselves in the act of sex. It was the same thing she had always done herself in her own crude way, the power
of the body sweeping away all of her inhibitions and fears and doubts, letting her ride for a while in the unthinking
glory of physicality. In those early days with boys at school she’d been far too timid to envision her own
transformation into anything like the she-panther; but here with Cipriano that identity came with natural ease.
Yes, she was still a little afraid, anticipating the moment when her blood would enter him and she would bask in
his resulting heat, fiercer than any sun could be. Afraid, and desiring it more than anything.
  His strong arms guided her backward until she was lying prone on the bed, her legs still dangling from its end.
Cipriano caressed her breasts, touching and kneading the hard points of her nipples, then he bent to kiss her
stomach and to glide his fingers smoothly along the inside of her thighs. Miranda moaned and gasped as one of
those fingers moved upward to touch the lips of her vagina; she arched herself toward him, raising one leg to
rest across his back as he crouched there. Such deftness in his hands, coaxing her to open more and more, until
finally he slid one finger into the moist damp opening. Miranda cried out and her first climax shimmered through
her.
  Cipriano waited until the trembling of her muscles eased. Getting her breath back, she reached out her arms to
him again. He arched himself over her; with one hand she held him behind the head, pulling his mouth to hers,
with the other she guided his cock into her.
  His body felt so young. His skin smooth, his muscles so well-defined. Yet his son and her daughter were the
same age, and he had become a father much later. Miranda had had Esther when she’d been seventeen. Now,
in her mid-thirties, she felt her own youth blossoming again through the touch of this lover, through the strange
ancient magic that he lived by. She wrapped her legs around him, willing him to plunge to the deepest places of
her body.
  As her second climax began to flower, Cipriano lowered his head from hers, kissing her breasts, running his
tongue along her areolas and the peaks of her nipples. Miranda gasped, knowing that the time had come. Even
after so many times, she still tensed as his teeth sought out the place of the small scars on her left breast, above
her heart. But the sting as he used his sharpened incisors to reopen those wounds of passion actually felt
exquisite, and vaulted her right into a flaming second orgasm. So much sensation poured through her that her
mind couldn’t process or separate it. Her blood flowed into his mouth; she could feel the effect it had on him, like
liquid lightning coursing into his nerves and muscles. As she convulsed in the grip of her climax, he came too,
and they were crying out and gasping together.
  It wasn’t a taking; a sharing, rather. Miranda felt the incredible life-energy of her lover entering her right along
with his cock and his teeth. A brilliant sun came to life in her body, replacing the agonizing sweetness of the
orgasm with a glow that spread through her, filling her. She wanted him to stay rooted in her this way forever.
  The moments did pass with a lingering slowness; he gently smoothed the hair away from her face, and when
he raised his head from her breast it was to look at her with the most heartfelt affection. He licked the inside of
his mouth, taking the last of the blood from his teeth. Then he lay his head on her breast, where the new wounds
had already ceased to bleed.
  Miranda let herself drift into feelings of happiness and satiation. Why was she ever afraid? Why did she let
herself get so wrought up in doubts that this was the greatest gift that had ever come into her life?
  Her thoughts were all blurred; hadn’t she done something today, something desperate and foolish? She should
tell him about it, beg his forgiveness, send him out to make it all right again. But she couldn’t even quite
remember what she’d done. She ran her fingers through his hair, looking at the dawn light on his face as it came
in through the small window of the trailer bedroom. Light on a face filled with both power and peace.
  Nothing she had done could have any effect on that strength.  She closed her own eyes, feeling the heat of the
day grow as the sunlight spread across her own body.

                                                                    
to be continued...
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  For more information on "The Blood Jaguar", or the first Siobhan Bishop novel,
                "
The Order of the Golden Rose", visit Passion in Print Press
                                             
www.passioninprint.com


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Jaguar God, page image from Codex Rios, Vatican Library