Shadow Passion PDF

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By Tony-Paul de Vissage

New Orleans welcomes its newest inhabitants when the Strigoisti come to town.

Now owners of Stryker’s, the Big Easy’s latest and most trendy restaurant, vampire Marek Strigoi and family continue their search for their father’s killer with the assistance of the city’s aventurieri leader.

The post-Katrina atmosphere seems peaceful enough, but looks can be deceiving. An old flame from Marek’s past appears with startling news. There’s a love affair for Dan when the Strigoi cousin at last makes his sexual choice. The Southern sectiuna believes Marek’s the vampire savior…and there’s Maggie, a lovely redhead who’s eerie familiar though Marek swears they’ve never met.

Even more dangerous forces are at work in New Orleans’ bayous as Mircea Ravagiu enlists human thralls to destroy his enemies, and targets Dan as his first victim.

The Strigoisti are now in the Twenty-first Century and they’ve brought their Nineteenth Century desire for revenge with them.

Is New Orleans ready for a storm of another kind?

Genre: Dark urban fantasy/Horror
Sensuality rating: 3

Cover Art by James Robinson

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Description

Chapter 1

 

Stryker’s

New Orleans, Louisiana

Late winter

 Marek Strigoi, ex-assassin…restauranteur…vampire, walked among his human clientele.

“Welcome to Stryker’s,” he told the young couple sitting at the lace-draped table near the broad archway to the dining room’s entrance. “Having trouble making a selection? Try the crawfish etouffée. It's tonight’s Spécialité.”

Moving on as they looked up his recommendation on the menu, he spotted two familiar faces.

“Margaret, Charles…” He gave the man’s name the French pronunciation. “How good to see you again. It’s your anniversary? Married forty-eight years? Let us help you celebrate. Robert…”

He called to a waiter walking past.

“Champagne for Mr. and Mrs. Gautier. On the house, and some of Henri’s decadently rich chocolate eclairs. Non, chérie,” he replied to Margaret’s protest. “Absolutely no calories, I assure you.”

Lifting her fragile, aged hand, he brushed his lips across the backs of her fingers.

“After all, it’s not everyone who can boast of being together for nearly half a century.”

There was a brief, searing moment of grief.

Sometimes a year is all one gets. Sometimes not even that long.

“May you and Charles have forty-eight more.”

And then…his own bitter thoughts added the words like a benediction…may you die in each other’s arms and never feel the despair of loss.

Turning away, he nodded to another returning customer, acknowledging a greeting from a trio heading into the bar. Making a note to ask Henri how their supply of seafood would last since the current BP situation had put a hold on their getting any fresh catches, he moved toward a table where four young women sat, one of whom, a tall brunette, was looking expectantly in his direction.

Mademoiselle Griffin…”

Suzanne, please.” She smiled, displaying a dimple at the corner of crimson lips. “I’ve come here so many times, we should be on a first-name basis by now.”

“Suzanne, it is, then.” He gave an acquiescent bow. I’d like to be on more than a first-name basis with you, chérie. Just name the night and the place.

Turning so his uncovered eye was toward the others, though he could see them all perfectly well through the inner transparency of the patch over his left one, he looked around the table at her friends.

Another brunette was so busy stuffing herself with banana cream pie she couldn’t speak, merely acknowledged his nod with one of her own. A little blonde sat with an empty dessert dish before her, and…

For a moment, he actually couldn’t speak as he stared at the red-haired girl sitting across the table from Suzanne. A wave of something swept over him, a sensation he recognized as having felt once before, but where or when, he couldn’t remember, or perhaps didn’t want to, because he associated it with pain. For the briefest instant, he thought he knew her, but…no, he was certain he’d never before seen this girl with her glorious copper hair and aquamarine eyes.

     Women through the centuries…perhaps not so many, but…I’d definitely remember this one.

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