Prim & Proper


A formal vampire reception is just that- formal. There are rules. There are expectations. There are certain security measures that must be taken.

The list of things that should not occur includes, but is not limited to: duels for subjugation, bar brawls, and accidental, er, unintentional, well, not-meant-to-happen-at-that-moment demon calling.

Drinking from other master vampires, turning new vampires without permission, and reliving your first kiss, which happened to be with a serial killer are absolutely inappropriate.

Having your demon-vampire-husband-master end up with an incurable case of vamnesia adds another level of complexity to the festivities, not to mention your marriage.

But Eva Prim has caused…experienced…survived, yes, that’s the word. Eva and Stefan have survived other difficult challenges and she’s confident they’ll laugh about this some night. She thinks. Maybe.

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“This is Penelope Proper.” Tarek grabs her wrist and shoves it toward Stefan.

“Delighted to meet you, Penelope. We thank you for coming to our region.” Stefan makes a slight bow, then lifts her hand and places a kiss on her knuckle.

She all but blushes. Vampires typically don’t blush, but honestly, I think her cheeks tinged.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Master Papadopoulos.” She stands perfectly still and ramrod straight, shoulders dropping back, chin up. “Thank you for inviting us to your region. We’re delighted to visit New England.”

My head cocks to the left. Penelope has deep green eyes, much, much darker than Tarek’s, nearly a hunter green, and she’s wearing her hair tied back into a tight little bun that makes her eyes pull to the sides.

She’s not dressed formally. Instead she’s wearing a navy-blue button-down shirt, tucked into a tea-length black skirt, both of which are clearly starched to the point of being able to stand on their own. She has on a black patent leather belt and matching pumps.

Basically, she’s modeling 1958 television show mom attire.

“My wife, Chrysanthemum.” Stefan slips his arm around my waist and nudges me forward.

“That’s Chryssie.” I reach to shake Tarek’s hand.

“Don’t touch him!” Penelope slaps my wrist.

I gasp and feel myself yanked back against Stefan’s hard frame, his arm locked firmly around my waist. “It was an accident, darling. Let’s not make more of that than it was.” The words fly from his mouth before I can register that he’s moved us across the room.

“Penelope!” Tarek jerks her backward.

Without thinking, my fangs descend. “She hit me!” I growl, and my body tingles as I begin to shift into my other self.