Authors: Carrie Vaughn
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are
used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright © 2009 by Carrie Vaughn, LLC
Kitty’s House of Horrors
copyright © 2009 by Carrie Vaughn, LLC
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced,
distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written
permission of the publisher.
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First eBook Edition: March 2009
RAVES FOR CARRIE VAUGHN’S NOVELS
KITTY AND THE SILVER BULLET
“A wonderful story and great characters . . . the best novel in the series.”
“Fun paranormal chick lit.”
Midwest Book Review
“Entertaining . . . a fast-paced, exciting urban fantasy populated with both likeable and realistic characters.”
“This book totally delivers.”
“Carrie Vaughn is on my auto-buy list . . . If it’s a Kitty Norville book I know I’ll love it. This time was no exception.”
KITTY TAKES A HOLIDAY
“Strong on characterization, Vaughn creates characters worth visiting time after time in this compelling world.”
“Standout entertainment . . . truly memorable.”
Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
“Vaughn’s universe is convincing and imaginative.”
“With the expected wit, action, and romance, Kitty takes us on an enjoyable jaunt through a life most entertaining . . . a
captivating urban fantasy.”
KITTY GOES TO WASHINGTON
“[A] fun read.”
Kansas City Star
Kitty and The Midnight Hour
will be pleased with this fast-paced follow-up.”
“The cunning sneakiness and courage that Kitty shows is something that most females strive for. This book is definitely a
page-turner and well worth picking up.”
“Carrie Vaughn is a real gem, and she’s definitely on my playlist.”
KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR
“Engaging . . . funny . . . very entertaining.”
“I relished this book. Enough excitement, astonishment, pathos, and victory to satisfy any reader.”
New York Times
“Fresh, hip, fantastic . . . Don’t miss this one. You’re in for a real treat!”
—L. A. Banks, author of
The Vampire Huntress Legends series
“Entertaining . . . a surprisingly human tale.”
“Kitty is a lively, engaging heroine with a strong independent streak.”
BOOKS BY CARRIE VAUGHN
Kitty and The Midnight Hour
Kitty Goes to Washington
Kitty Takes a Holiday
Kitty and the Silver Bullet
Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand
Kitty Raises Hell
To Kitty’s Pack of Readers,
Eric Burdon & the Animals, “Paint It Black”
KT Tunstall, “Hold On”
Thompson Twins, “In the Name of Love”
Pretenders, “Day After Day”
Oingo Boingo, “Just Another Day”
Squirrel Nut Zippers, “Soon”
The Cardigans, “Happy Meal II”
Abby Travis, “Blythe”
Duran Duran, “View to a Kill”
They Might Be Giants, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” (
Severe Tire Damage
Garbage, “As Heaven Is Wide”
Cyndi Lauper, “All Through the Night”
had to admit, this was pretty cool.
Rick had gotten us onto the roof of the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver. We sat near the edge, by a railing on a catwalk near
the exclusive upper-story clubhouse. From here, we had a view of this whole side of downtown: Elitch’s amusement park to the
west, the interstate beyond that, Coors Field to the north, and, to the south, Mile High Stadium. It felt like the center
of the universe—at least, this little part of it. We could look downtown and see into the maze of skyscrapers. At night, the
sky of stars, washed out in an evening haze of lights, seemed inverted, appearing around us in the lights of the city, in
trails of moving cars.
When Rick had escorted me through the lobby and to the elevator, the security guards didn’t look twice at us. He had a passkey
for the elevator. I’d asked him how he got that kind of access, the key and security codes—who he knew or what kind of favors
he’d pulled in—but he only smiled. It wouldn’t have surprised me to find out he owned a share in the place. Vampires were
like that; at least the powerful ones were: prone to quiet, conservative investing, working through layers of holding companies.
They had time.
A constant breeze blew up here. I tucked the blond strands of my hair behind my ears yet again. I should have clipped it up.
The air had its own scent, particular to this place and nowhere else: oil, gas, concrete, steel, rust, decay—usual city smells.
But under it was the dry tint of prairie, a taste of air that had blown across tall grasses and cottonwoods. And under
was a hint of cold, of ancient stone and caves that sheltered ice year-round. The mountains. That was Denver, to the nose
of a werewolf. Up here, I could smell it all. I closed my eyes and tipped my nose into the breeze, drinking it in.
“I thought you’d like it up here,” Rick said. I opened my eyes to find him watching me.
I sighed. Back to reality, back to the world. We weren’t here sightseeing. City sounds drifted to me, car engines, a distant
siren, music from a bar somewhere. We had a view, but I was afraid that what we were looking for was too good at hiding for
us to find from here.
“We’re not going to see anything,” I said, crossing my arms.
“You may not see anything. I’ll see patterns,” he said. Rick appeared to be in his late twenties, confident yet casual. He
tended to walk tall, with his hands in his pockets, and look out at the world with a thoughtful, vaguely amused detachment.
Even now, when Denver was possibly under assault, he seemed laid-back. “Traffic on I-25’s thinning out. Downtown’s a mess,
as usual. It’s like a tide. In an hour, when the theaters and concerts get out, the cars’ll all move back to the freeway.
You watch for things moving against the tide. Pockets of motion where there shouldn’t be anything, of unusual quiet.”
He pointed to a hidden corner of the parking lot, tucked near Elitch’s security fence. Two cars had stopped, facing each other,
the drivers’ windows pulled alongside each other. The headlights were off, but the motors were running. Hands reached out,
traded something. One car pulled away, tires crunching quietly. A moment later, the other pulled away, as well.
I had a few ideas about what that might have been. It still didn’t seem relevant to our problem. “And what does that have
to do with Tiamat?” I asked.
Not really Tiamat, which was an ancient Babylonian goddess of chaos. According to myth, newer gods, the forces of reason and
order, rose up against her in an epic battle and destroyed her and her band of demons—the Band of Tiamat—and thereby created
civilization. Really, I was talking about the whacked-out cult of her worshippers that I had pissed off on my recent trip
to Las Vegas. Last week, I found the word
burned into the door of the restaurant I co-owned. I figured the pack of were-felines and the possibly four-thousand-year-old
vampire who led them had come to Denver on the warpath.
We hadn’t learned who left the message on the door, one of the cult members or someone they’d hired. Rick, the Master vampire
of Denver, and I had been keeping watch for another attack, but nothing else had happened yet. I was getting more anxious,
“That? Nothing. I’m just showing you how much can happen under our noses. You said a vampire leads the cult. If a vampire
is planning an attack in my city, I’ll see it.”
That was why Rick had gotten involved at all—the cult may have targeted me out of revenge, but Rick would take any invasion
by another vampire personally. I was happy to have another ally.
I scanned all the way around, searching buildings, skyscrapers, parking lots, roads filled with cars, people walking to dinner,
concerts, shopping. Someone laughed; it sounded like distant birdsong. Maybe Rick really could sense the movements of another
vampire from up here, but I wasn’t having any luck. I didn’t have much room to pace, but I tried. A couple of steps along
the catwalk, turn around, step back. I couldn’t stand the waiting. The modern Band of Tiamat was trying to kill me with anxiety.
“You know what the problem with this is? Wolves hunt by moving. I want to be out there
for them. Tracking them down.”
“And vampires are like spiders,” Rick said. “We draw our quarry in and trap it. I like the image.”
I suddenly pictured Rick as a creature at the center of his web, patiently waiting, watching, ready to strike. A chill ran
down my spine, and I shook the image away.
“What do you really expect to see up here?”
Absently, he shook his head. It wasn’t really an expression of denial. More like thoughtfulness. “If anything else out there
is hunting, I’ll see it.”
I gave a crooked smile. “I can see you sitting like this in the bell tower of Notre Dame cathedral, looking out over Paris
like a gargoyle.”
He gave me a sidelong glance, then turned his gaze back to the city. “I’ve never been to Paris.”
Which was an astonishing thing to hear from a five-hundred-year-old vampire.
I sat next to him. “Really? No family trips when you were a kid? Didn’t do the backpacking-around-Europe thing? Did people
even do that in the sixteenth century?”
“Maybe not with backpacks. But New Spain sounded so much more interesting to a seventeen-year-old third son of very minor
nobility with no prospects in 1539 Madrid.”
This was more detail about his past than he’d ever mentioned before. I didn’t say anything, hoping that he’d elaborate. He
going to tell me the whole story?”
“It’s more fun watching your expression when I give it to you in bits and pieces.”
“I can see it now. It’s going to be the end of the world, everyone will be dead, all that’ll be left are vampires, and you
won’t have anything to say to each other because you can’t stop being mysterious and secretive.”
He smiled like he thought this was funny.
I looked at my watch. “Not that this hasn’t been fun, but I have to get going. I have the show to do.” I headed back toward
the roof’s access door. “I’ll find my way out. You keep looking.”
“Break a leg,” he said.
“Don’t say that when I’m standing on the roof of a very tall building.” Werewolves healed supernaturally quickly from horrible
injuries, but I didn’t want to test if that included the injuries sustained from falling that far. “Let me know if you find
I left him on the roof, scanning across the night, perched like Denver’s very own gargoyle.