Home > Fashionably Dead (Hot Damned #1)(15)

Fashionably Dead (Hot Damned #1)(15)
Author: Robyn Peterman

“Venus,” I whispered, “everyone is so beautiful. What happened with Muffy and Paris Hilton?”

“Oh,” Venus shook her head, “that’s a bad story.”

“How bad?”

“Quite bad,” a stunning Asian female Vampyre informed me. “Back in the 1920s a band of Vampyres thought it would be amusing to change a circus freak show.”

“Suffice it to say it wasn’t funny at all. It was horrific and cruel. Most of them didn’t make it,” Venus explained. “They were given no choice and were treated brutally.”

“Oh my God, did they catch the Vampyres who did it?”

“Oh yes,” the stunning and increasingly scary Asian Vamp said. “They were tried and eventually put to a death as brutal as the ones they caused.”

Her excited smile creeped me out. I moved closer to Venus.

“Our Warrior Prince will not tolerate atrocities,” a pale, but beautiful male Vampyre said.

I noticed many bowed heads. It was like the Warrior Prince was some kind of god-King. Weird. This whole monarchy thing seemed a little outdated to me, but I stayed quiet. He was due to visit the Cressida House soon, and as a new Vampyre, I would be granted an audience with him. Whatever.

Some of the freak-Vamps, which was their term, not mine, still worked in fringe carnivals, but most like Muffy and Paris Hilton had tried to blend in with society . . . some with more success than others. They had their own Houses—Lucern and Aurora. They had been invited to join the Cressida House, but decided to form their own instead. Neither Lucern nor Aurora had recruited a new member in over fifty years. No surprise there.

“Really they’re harmless, except for the massive property damage they cause everywhere they go,” a lovely dark-haired Vamp explained.

“How many are there?” I asked. Why did I find this so morbidly fascinating?

“At last count there were thirty-eight or forty freak-Vamps, depending with whom you are speaking,” a sexy Vamp with a Spanish accent informed me.

“Oookay,” I laughed, “Can’t Vampyres count?”

“No, no, dear child,” a blonde Vampyre named Crispin that looked half my age chimed in, “it’s rumored that the Siamese twins separated themselves, and being immortal, they each just grew back another twin.”

What the fu . . . ? I tried not to let my jaw drop on that one, but trust me, it was difficult. Even a couple of the seasoned Vamps looked like they had a tough time with it.

“I do find it interesting that you were changed without consent,” Crispin added, sipping on his blood-laced cocktail and making me uncomfortable with his scrutiny.

“Give her time,” Venus cut in quickly, moving me away from Crispin.

“We’re a secret. You can only share this with people you would trust your life with,” Venus said, leading me out of the ballroom.

“What happens if I slip up?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

“Revealing the existence of Vampyres is punishable by permanent death.”

Alrighty then.

“There is one other thing you need to know,” Venus said. “There are Rogue Vampyres in the area draining and killing mortals. We do not tolerate this kind of behavior.”

Well, that was certainly good to know. Apparently there was no reason to kill a mortal to eat. Ever. This Rogue issue seemed to happen every fifty years or so and was of course punishable by death. Not my idea of wholesome Vampyre fun. I was to report anything unusual.

What in the hell did that even mean? Everything in my life was beyond unusual now. I realized when I’d left I hadn’t told them about Pam. Something had held me back from sharing every corner of my life with them. Maybe next time.


My house was too clean. Something was wrong. What in the hell was that smell? Pine Sol, bleach, and stanky vanilla room deodorizer? Good God, what did she do? I was only gone one night.

“Pam, where are you?” I called.

“In here, sweetness,” she called back. Sweetness? I am so screwed . . . she either killed someone and buried them in the backyard, or she blew my entire savings online betting.

“Pam, I’m getting a little queasy here,” I said, rounding the corner to my destroyed den. “You usually swear at me within twelve seconds of my arrival.”

“Fine, Assbag, get in here. We’ve got company.”

Please help me God, could it get any worse? Yes . . . yes it could. Was Paris Hilton back?

Pam was alone. Thank you, Jesus. She was sprawled out on my semi-broken couch. Clearly the Vampyre fix-it crew hadn’t shown up yet. She was reading my email. I supposed she’d finished my diary.

“Did you have a lovely field trip, jackass?” she asked, closing my laptop and patting the couch beside her. I plopped down and curled up next to her.

“Yeah, nice butt by the way,” I said, referring to her moon and Pam cackled. “I joined the Cressida House. They seemed fairly normal for Vampyres, and I made a new friend named Venus. Where did you go last night?” I asked her accusingly, “I thought you were my Guardian Angel.”

“I am and I was here,” she replied in a serious tone that I had never heard. I looked at her for a moment and decided to let it drop. I also decided that this was not the time to explore why none of the Vamps could see her.

“Where’s the company?” I asked.

“It’s in your bedroom,” Pam smirked.

“What do you mean by it and why in God’s name is it in my bedroom?” I shouted. Shit, Pam’s love of volume seemed to be rubbing off on me.

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