Home > The Vignettes (Vampires in America #5.1)

The Vignettes (Vampires in America #5.1)
Author: D. B. Reynolds



Vampires in America series by D.B. Reynolds
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INTRODUCTION

 

 

When I started these Vignettes back in December, 2009, I never thought they would become such a big part of the Vampires in America universe. That very first story, A Vampire New Year’s Eve, was little more than a snapshot of Cyn and Raphael’s life together. It was a small story designed to keep my readers interested while we all waited for the release of RAJMUND, which had been delayed when my publisher revamped her entire release schedule.

But my readers loved that first Vignette so much that I wrote another one for Valentine’s Day, because, after all, what better occasion to write about a sensuous love story like Cyn and Raphael’s than on Valentine’s Day? And, now, here we are three years later, Valentine’s Day once again, and I’m releasing the very first Vampire Vignettes Anthology!

This first anthology includes all of the past Vignettes which appeared on my blog, plus two brand new stories never before published and never before seen. These two stories won’t appear on my blog, and most likely will not be published anywhere but in this anthology. Vignette #8, You Belong To Me, continues the story of Duncan and Emma, while Vignette #9 is the novella-length recounting of Raj and Sarah’s long-anticipated wedding weekend.

I want to thank the wonderful writer Michelle Muto for all of her help in putting this anthology together, and Sam Torode for my beautiful cover.

But this anthology is dedicated to you, dear reader. To all of my readers who have taken my vampires into their hearts, their bookshelves and their e-readers. Your love and enthusiasm are what keeps me writing into the wee hours of the night, and what makes it all worthwhile. Thank you so much. I couldn’t do it without you.

 

 

DBR, February 2012

 

 

VAMPIRE VIGNETTE #1

A VAMPIRE NEW YEAR'S EVE

 

 

Malibu, California – December 31st

 

 

Cyn wandered through the crowded room, smiling at people, aka vampires, she didn’t know, sipping occasionally at the crystal flute of very fine champagne held in one hand. This wasn’t exactly how she’d planned to spend New Year’s Eve—not this year, the very first one she’d be celebrating with Raphael, the at long, last love of her life. Not that he wasn’t here somewhere. She could feel him in her heart, in her mind, the inexplicable connection that was like a slender filament between them, always there, no matter how far or near. It had bothered her at first, made her feel like he was spying on her, like she had no privacy at all. But it wasn’t like that. It was no longer an intrusion, but the very opposite. It gave her strength and security, the knowledge he was always there, her beautiful, powerful vampire lover.

Speaking of whom, she scanned the room once again looking for him. He shouldn’t have been that hard to find. He was not, after all, a small man. Unfortunately, neither were most of the attendees at this very private New Year’s Eve party. This was a special gathering, the heads of his various nests, his closest advisers from his Malibu headquarters—all of them were vampires of his own making, his own children, and all of them were here. There were admittedly a few female vampires scattered amongst the hulking males, but the reality was that for centuries most vampires had chosen their children from among the staunchest of warriors, and since vampires lived a very long time, most of those present reflected that selection process. Which meant the room was filled to the brim with vampire muscle.

It also meant there were no humans present, not at this party. After midnight, the vampires gathered here would join the larger party down the hall—there would be plenty of humans at that one, guests of a rather unique sort. But for now, Cyn was the only human in the room. Of course, as Raphael’s mate, she held a rarified position in the Vampire community. Unfortunately, that position didn’t get her any closer to him at this moment.

“Good evening, Cynthia.”

Cyn glanced up and smiled. “Hey, Duncan,” she acknowledged.

“You’re looking lovely as always,” he commented, raising his own drink in a salute. His glass held the same champagne hers did, except with a blood chaser mixed in. It was almost funny. All those big bad vampires walking around holding flutes of pink bubbly.

“You’re looking rather lovely yourself, Duncan. I do love a man in a tux,” she confided as he took up station next to her. “Big party tonight, huh?”

Duncan nodded. “The biggest. New Year’s Eve is possibly the most important holiday in the Vampire culture.”

“What about Halloween?”

He gave her a disgusted look. “A celebration of the dead? Really, Cynthia.”

“Sorry,” she muttered, trying not to laugh. “So why New Year’s?”

“Because the climax of the celebration, the raison d’etre of the entire holiday, occurs at midnight, the darkest hour. An occasion tailor-made for vampires, wouldn’t you say?”

“When you put it like that, I guess so.” She glanced nervously at the clock, which was fast ticking toward midnight, and gave the room one last scan. Still no sign of Raphael. She sighed and deposited her glass of champagne on a vampire waiter’s passing tray. “I think I’ll get some air. Enjoy the party, Duncan.”

She made her way to the patio doors and slipped outside. The air was cold this close to the ocean, and wet. It felt good on her bare arms after the crowded room, although she knew it would soon grow uncomfortable. She stepped out of her stiletto heels and onto the sand, walking down towards the water and around the huge, battered rocks lining the shore. The lights of the party disappeared, her dress rustling softly in the shadows as the midnight breeze played over the water. It was a lovely dress, in a blue so dark it seemed black . . . until the moonlight caught the fabric just right and the blue sheen shone through. With a tight, strapless bodice and short, full skirt of lace and tulle, it wasn’t something she’d normally wear. But she’d bought it especially for tonight, for her first New Year’s Eve with Raphael.

She sighed again, disgusted to realize she was feeling sorry for herself. After all, this was a party, and from what Duncan had said, an important party. It was as much business as anything else, a re-forging of the bond between Vampire Sire and child. Still, it was nearly midnight, and she’d really hoped—

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