A collection of thirteen short stories meant to take place during the events of the novel Masque of the Vampire. Can be read alone or with the book.
Every fifty years, Andrei throws an expensive house party for the crème de la crème of the vampire world. With attendance down and news of dangerous events in the world, Andrei invites some new faces and requests security, pulling Jorick and Katelina into a swirl of intrigue and mysterious vampires.
But, there’s only so much time in the novel. Discover the things Katelina didn’t and enjoy thirteen stories, told through the eyes of the guests themselves. Dive into their histories, share their pain, their joy, and their hopes in the days leading up to the party.
William – As William gets ready for his journey to Canada, he takes a trip down memory lane. Can he ever forgive the Executioners for what they did?
Diana – When Diana’s son Des comes home in a funk, she lets him pout for a few days, but now it’s time to make him snap out of it.
Urian – After two years of sharing his lover with a young fledgling, Urian is at the limit of what he can stand.
Grimald – While dining with his nearly-adopted-son Wolfe, Grimald hears some disturbing news. Could the cult of the Night Goddess really be starting again?
Anya – When her brother went missing, she never expected to see him again. Now he’s back, and a cripple. Can she cope?
Möngkedai - Traveling by airplane is always boring; almost as boring as immortality can be, unless you know the secret to a long happy life.
Rangvald – Though Rangvald long ago came to terms with the fact that his mate is trapped in the body of a fourteen year old, she hasn’t.
Brandle – One of the new faces at Andrei’s party catches Brandle’s eye, but can he get her to relax long enough to talk to him?
Eagan – Eagan is just trying to be friendly, but it seems like he never says the right thing. Maybe he should give up socializing?
Trevor – As a servant for Callise and Saul, Trevor’s life is easy and comfortable, but it wasn’t always that way.
Lykke - Lykke and her lover Edvard are happy together, but their personalities couldn’t be more different.
Jome – A quest for information takes a strange turn, and Jome finds himself in the red nailed hands of the sexy Trivila.
Ren – Born without pigmentation in a superstitious time, Tol and Ren spent their lives believing they might be half demons.
Excerpt from William:
William stood at the foot of the bed, phone held to his ear by a shoulder. A suitcase yawned in front of him, half packed, as he nodded along to his words, “Yes…Of course…I’ll see you there.”
With a final goodbye, he hung up and tossed the phone on the bed. Last minute arrangements were always the most annoying, and you couldn’t get more last minute than the night before departure.
The invitation lay open on the dresser and, though he didn’t look at it, he knew the slanted cursive words inside:
You are cordially invited to attend the semi-centennial house party, hosted by Andrei at Falconwood Estate, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Activities will include hunting, boating, equestrian activities, and theatrical entertainment. The Feast of the Night Goddess will be held the first Saturday, and a Masquerade Ball will bring the party to a close the following Saturday.
It went on to detail RSVP information. A handwritten note, stuffed inside, said that this year they were inviting “new blood” – with no details on who the new blood might be. The message had sent invitees scrambling to contact their friends and find out who had been invited, and who had been excluded in favor of someone “new.” William hadn’t bothered. The only two vampires that mattered had already called him. Past that he didn’t care who was there. In fact, new blood might make things easier.
He picked up a bright blue tie from the bed, folded it, and placed it in the suitcase with the others. The neat row looked back at him with every color of the rainbow.
“Master will need extra shoes?”
He glanced to his human servant. Zin Le Yee was her birth name, though he preferred to shorten it. He’d never understood the Burmese’s need to give their children a laundry list instead of a single good moniker. Then, adding the honorific their culture demanded made it even longer. Not that he bothered with any of it.
“Yes, Zin. Put them in the trunk.”
She bobbed her head and did as she was told. Her long black hair shimmered in the lamp light, and her skirt hugged her slim hips. He knew others found her attractive, beautiful even. To him, her only appeal was the human blood in her veins and the work she could do.
She put two more pairs of footwear in, then stopped and looked at him questioningly, her dark eyes shy.
“Those are enough. The party only lasts two weeks.”
She nodded and turned to the stack of shirts on the dresser.
He left her to finish packing and wandered through the apartment. All the modern conveniences packed into a few rooms with large windows and polished floors. The city moved outside, even at this time, and he peered out at it. Nearby, a knot of electric lines were tangled like a bird’s nest at the top of a pole. He gave them a narrow eyed glance. When he’d first stepped foot in the place, those had been his top concern. What if they caught fire, he’d asked. The agent only looked slightly apologetic and promised him it was safe. It was better than having no electricity, like so many of the rural places. He was lucky to find this.
He tugged the curtain closed and dropped onto the couch. Lucky. Lucky to live on a metaphorical island of civilization, surrounded by a sea of primitives. But they weren’t so primitive. He remembered times not so different.
His eyes roamed the room. The electric lights gleamed on a myriad of things he’d never dreamed possible; a television, a DVD player, a shiny chrome plated stereo. Chrome! Like silver except it didn’t tarnish.
The gleam reminded of him of a sword – his sword – and he slipped back into memories. He stood next to Acwellen, a friend and coven mate whose long blonde hair was bound in a ponytail. Henry, the leader of their coven, stood behind a rough table. His face was wadded in fury as he read from a parchment. With a snarl, he threw the letter to the tabletop. William snatched it up. Acwellen peered over his shoulder and read aloud, for the benefit of the others in the room.