Authors: Lynn Viehl
Tags: #Vampires, #Romance
Incarnatio ~ Lynn Viehl
Cover art credit:
A novella of the Darkyn
by Lynn Viehl
For Christopher and
James, my hastati.
Copyright 2008 by Lynn Viehl
note: this e-book is not intended for sale, and is not to be used in any
form to generate profit. Readers do have the author’s permission to copy and
distribute it freely, or use the contents for non-profit educational
First Electronic Printing December 2008
enim, quasi ad colloquirum cum Deo admissa, pro actuosa peculiaris officii
sui conscientia, non de re quadam adventitia, sed de saeculorum negotio, ut
praeclare est Verbi incarnatio definita, actuose ac libere consentit.
—Pope Paul VI,
And without controversy
great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified
in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in
the world, received up into glory. (1 Tim 3:16 KJV)
vincit amor: nos et cedamus amori.
Mystery of Mary
Luce wanted to live up to
her name tonight. She’d just turned twenty-one, started her new job, moved
into her own place last weekend and finally,
goddamn privacy. Her life was her own and tonight she intended to start
living it on her terms.
No more Mom watching at
the living room window and coming out to chase off a date who kissed Luce
too long. No more nosy brothers and sisters getting into her stuff or
listening to her phone calls and tattling to Dad. No more parking on golf
courses and twisting herself into a pretzel to screw in the backseat of her
Mustang. She was an adult now. She could go where she wanted, when she
wanted. She could cruise the clubs every night, and bring home whatever guy
she wanted and no one could say shit about it.
There would be plenty of
them, too. Luce needed sex, thought about it, craved it all the time.
Nothing made her feel as beautiful or powerful as when she made it with a
She’d planned to start
the evening at
, the goth
club that her friends always raved about, but she couldn’t find an open
parking space within five blocks of the place. With Christmas only a week
away, it seemed as if everyone had come out to party early. She drove south
until she found a spot and wedged her car between an Escalade and a Hummer
across the street from the Sunset Sails Hotel. Her mom and dad had
honeymooned at the place, she remembered, and they’d been all broken up when
it had closed. As Luce crossed the street and looked up at the peeling paint
windows of the ageing hotel, she felt a surge of disgust. The place had
become an eyesore that needed to be torn down before the junkies turned it
into a crack palace.
Luce turned to start the
long walk north toward the lights and noise of the clubs, and stopped as a
very cute guy almost walked into her. “Excuse me.”
The guy didn’t say a
word, but went around her, stepped over the chain across the drive, and
walked up to the front doors of the hotel.
“Hey, it’s closed,” she
called after him, and frowned as the door opened and he disappeared inside.
“I mean, it’s supposed to be closed.”
Luce looked around before
she stepped over the chain and started up the drive. The glass doors had
been boarded up, but someone had sawed through the two-by-fours, right down
the middle. Red light glowed in the thin gap between the raw ends. As she
got closer, Luce smelled something deliciously hot and sugary.
Here’s a bat.
At the same time she
heard the whispering voice, another, cuter guy brushed shoulders with her as
he walked past and went inside.
“What is going on?” Luce
moved to the door and tried to peer through the gap. “You having a Christmas
party in there?”
She wasn’t stupid; no way
was she walking into what could be a flop house or meth lab. But while she
couldn’t see anything but red light, she didn’t hear or smell anything
scary. It was all quiet, warm and sweet.
“I’ll say I’m lost,” Luce
muttered to herself as she curled her fingers around the door handle. “That
I need directions to the club.”
The first thing Luce saw
inside were hundreds of hurricane lamps made of pretty red glass with a
rainbow sheen – carnival glass, her mother called it. Every one of them had
been lit, and filled the deserted lobby with soft rosy light. No Christmas
decorations, but someone had recently been working in here; paint-stained
tarps cover the reception desk, the lobby furniture and part of the floor.
Nowhere did she see the
two guys or another soul.
“Hello?” Her voice
bounced off the walls and rang, high-pitched and nervous, in her own ears.
“Is anybody in here?”
here. Here’s a bat.
“What?” Luce still
couldn’t make sense of the words the voice kept murmuring. “I don’t see any
Here’s a bat.
No bats appeared, but the
two cute guys came out from doors on either side of the desk. They stopped
and stood a few feet away from her, not looking at her or anything in
“Hey.” Luce tried to
smile at the cutest of the pair, but his empty expression made her uneasy.
“Sorry, I was going to ask . . . sorry.” She backed up a step and spun
around, prepared to run. Only the voice began whispering again –
pretty girl, here’s a bat
– and her legs went numb, and her head began to spin.
The voice wasn’t saying
here’s a bat
realized. It was one word, like a name:
strange name. “What do you want?”
The whisper echoed her
words with slightly different emphasis.
Luce’s fear drained away
slowly, leaving a blessed emptiness. “Guys,” she heard herself say in a
drowsy voice. “Sex with guys. A lot of guys. As many as I can take, all
night, every night.” No one came near Luce, but she still felt a cool hand
curl around her throat. “
will give you what you want, pretty girl. What will you give in return?”
“Anything.” The smell of cotton candy and gratitude warmed Luce’s cold
heart. “Everything.” #
“This belongs to Missing
Persons,” Homicide Detective Samantha Brown said as she tried to hand the
file she’d just been given back to the records clerk. “We only get them when
they’re found deceased.”
“Came from upstairs,
detective, sorry,” the clerk said. “You want to bounce it back, talk to your
captain first. Merry Christmas.” He pushed his file cart back out into the
“Thanks a lot, Santa.”
Sam dropped the file on top of the stack of paperwork she had yet to read,
partially tipping it over. She glanced over at her partner, Rafael Suarez,
who was typing up a witness statement. “Did someone cut the budget again and
forget to tell us?”
“Medrano is on holiday
until the new year, and Colley had to transport a juvenile back to New
York,” Rafael said absently. “According to yet another memo that you didn’t
read, we are to fill in.”
“Marvelous.” Sam opened
the file and skimmed the top report. “Luce Figueroa, twenty-one, last seen
by parents on December fourteenth, car towed from Bahia Mar parking lot on
the morning of the fifteenth.” She reached for the weekly morgue report and
checked it. “We haven’t had any Jane Does come in since August.” She kept
reading. “Looks like she just got a new job and moved into her own
“Perhaps she was
overwhelmed by the responsibilities, and decided to take a street trip,”
“Road trip.” Sam flipped
over to the next statement. “According to the parents, she just moved into
this place the end of November.” As her phone rang, she reached out and
groped until she found the receiver under the collapsed file stack and
answered it. “Homicide, Detective Brown.”
your lord and master,” a man with a low, vaguely-British accent mocked.
“What are you wearing?”
She laughed. “My badge,
and a fully-loaded nine millimeter.”
“One would hope so.”
Lucan, Sam’s lover and the lord paramount who ruled the southernmost Kyn
territory in America, had a voice as velvety as the gloves he always wore.
“But what are you wearing beneath them?”
“You should remember.”
She glanced down at her tailored burgundy blouse and black trousers. Both
were made of light, obscenely comfortable silk. “You had to redress me
before I left the lair.”
“You kissed me,” he said.
“Under the circumstances, I cannot be held responsible for any garments I
may rip from your body.”
“Which is why I make you
buy all my clothes now.” Sam closed the Figueroa file. “So what’s on your
“Aside from thoughts of
making love to you until you promise to stop using that ridiculous nickname
for me? Nothing at all.” He sipped something. “Our beloved seigneur,
however, has asked a favor of us for the holidays. As much as I would enjoy
telling him to bugger off, I could not refuse.”
Sam rubbed her forehead.
For centuries Lucan had despised Michael Cyprien, who as seigneur ruled over
all of the suzerain in America, and his feelings had been reciprocated. Now
that Michael had made Lucan one of his suzerain, their relationship
vacillated awkwardly between strained, reluctant and hostile. “What does he
“It seems that Jamys
Durand, Thierry’s son, needs some time away from his blood kyn,” he said.
“He is travelling here to spend Christmas in Fort Lauderdale. Michael asked
if we would look after the boy for a few weeks.”
Sam tried to remember
what Burke had told her about the Durands. They were an old French family
somehow associated with Cyprien. “Why didn’t Jamys call and ask himself?”
“He’s mute,” Lucan said.
“He was tortured by the Brethren. They tore out his tongue.”
“Had nothing to do with
it, I assure you,” he said. “But there is some hope for him now. Alexandra
has operated on him and repaired the damage.”
Dr. Alexandra Keller, a
human reconstructive surgeon who had been accidentally turned to Kyn by one
of her immortal patients, had changed many lives. Her skills had repaired a
great deal of the damage done to the Kyn, and Lucan had even used her
transformed blood to heal a gunshot wound that should have killed Sam.
“Since we heal instantly,
why isn’t he talking?” she asked. “Or did Alex mess up?”
“The surgery was a
success, but the boy will not speak,” Lucan admitted. “I spoke briefly to
Alex, and she believes Jamys is remaining silent out of fear that the
results will disappoint his father and family. I’ll wager sending him here
for the holidays was her suggestion.”
“Makes sense.” Sam eyed
her partner. The Darkyn followed strict customs and rituals, most of which
had been practiced during medieval times. Whenever one of the immortals came
into another’s territory, all sorts of elaborate, formal introductions had
to be performed. “Do you need Rafael back at the club for the meet and
“No, Burke is handling
the arrangements. Young Jamys travels alone, and should be no trouble.”
Lucan’s tone changed. “Of course, if you could see your way to leaving work
early, we could spend some time in our bedchamber, discussing how we might
entertain the boy.”
She eyed the slumped pile
of case files. “Not tonight.”
“I could make it worth
your while, Detective.”
Discussing anything with
Lucan in a room with a bed generally resulted in no discussion at all. The
man was insatiable. “We’ve got a missing girl to track down, so stop trying
to seduce me over the phone.”
echoed. “Samantha, I am your liege lord, your life companion and your lover.
I do not have to
He sounded so profoundly
offended that she laughed. “I think we’ll discuss this later, Romeo.
Good-bye.” She hung up the receiver. “You can stop smirking,” she said to
Rafael. “Any time now.”
His smile didn’t waver.
“Yes, my lady.”
One of the drawbacks to
working the night shift was arranging interviews with victims, witnesses and
suspects. Most mortals were asleep by midnight, so if Sam and Rafael didn’t
hit the street early in the evening, they usually ended up rousing someone
from their bed.
Eduardo and Carmen
Figueroa were not sleeping at all, from the look of their strained, shadowed
faces. They invited the detectives into their modest North Miami Beach home
and then sat, silent and still, as Rafael questioned them about their