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Authors: Lynn Viehl

Stay the Night

BOOK: Stay the Night
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Table of Contents
 
 
Praise for the Novels of the Darkyn
Twilight Fall
“The pace is fast and the characters strong . . . whets the appetite for more.”—Monsters and Critics
 
“Flawed characters are Viehl's forte, and when you mix in rapidly paced plotting, the story shines with intense and dangerous emotions. This is one highly satisfying read!”
—
Romantic Times
 
“[An] intelligent and breathtaking addition to the incomparable Darkyn series.”—Fresh Fiction
 
“Viehl scripts an excellent story in
Twilight Fall
. . . . There are also some revelations that will shock longtime readers of the series.”—ParaNormal Romance
 
“An electrifying addition to this top-notch series . . . a definite must-read.”—Romance Junkies
 
“[A] continuation of a really good series . . . excellent.”
—
Affaire de Coeur
 
Evermore
“The plot is full of exciting twists and turns. Viehl tells a self-contained, page-turning story of medieval vampires.”
—
Publishers Weekly
 
“Dual cases of unexpressed love have kept two potential mates dancing around each other. Add in guilt and remorse, and this is a recipe for emotional disaster. Thankfully, Viehl knows just how to liven things up: by adding danger, treachery, and betrayal to the mix. Things never run smoothly in the Darkyn world!”—
Romantic Times
“Lynn Viehl sure knows how to tell a hell of a story.”
—Romance Reviews Today
 
“One of my favorite, if not
the
favorite, Darkyn book to date.”—Romance Readers at Heart
 
“Another highly satisfying chapter in the Darkyn saga.”
—Vampire Genre
 
Night Lost
“Viehl continues to weave an intricate web of intrigue in this contribution to the amazing series. . . . I became completely engrossed in this compelling story. [She] had me hooked from the first page. . . . Exceptional . . . I definitely recommend this marvelous book.”—Romance Junkies
 
“Fast-paced and fully packed. [Viehl] does an excellent job of world building and provides characters who continue to be explored book by book. You won't regret spending time in this darkly dangerous and romantic world!”
—
Romantic Times
 
“Fans of the series will agree that Lynn Viehl is at the top of her game.”—Alternative Worlds
Dark Need
“Thrilling. . . . What makes the Darkyn novels so compelling is the dichotomy of good and evil.
Dark Need
has a gritty realism and some frightening and creepy characters that will keep you awake late at night. Balancing the darkness is the searing heat and eroticism that is generated between Samantha and Lucan.”—Vampire Genre
 
Private Demon
“Lynn Viehl's vampire saga began spectacularly in
If Angels Burn
, and this second novel in the Darkyn series justifies the great beginning. Indeed, it is as splendid, if not more, than the first one.”—Curled Up with a Good Book
 
“Strong . . . a tense, multifaceted thriller. . . . Fans of Lori Handeland's Moon novels will want to read Lynn Viehl's delightful tale.”—
Midwest Book Review
 
If Angels Burn
“Erotic, darker than sin, and better than good chocolate.”
—Holly Lisle
 
“This exciting vampire romance is action-packed. . . . The story line contains terrific characters that make the Darkyn seem like a real species. . . . Lynn Viehl writes a fascinating paranormal tale that readers will appreciate with each bite and look forward to sequels.”—The Best Reviews
Other Novels of the Darkyn
If Angels Burn
Private Demon
Dark Need
Night Lost
Evermore
Twilight Fall
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
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First published by Onyx, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
First Printing, January 2009
 
Copyright © Sheila Kelly, 2009
eISBN : 978-1-440-66109-9
All rights reserved
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
 
 
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
 
PUBLISHER'S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
 
 
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For Edward.
Love endures.
I too pass from the night,
I stay a while away O night, but I return to you again
and love you.
 
Why should I be afraid to trust myself to you?
 
—Walt Whitman, “The Sleepers”
April 17, 1408
 
Only Death is immortal. Everything else, no matter how powerful, inviolate, or deserving, must come to an end. As we set out on our journey, I tried to remember that.
The reports sent to me were not exaggerated; wherever we traveled I witnessed their truth. The cities are being abandoned, ships deserted to rot in dock; whole villages stand empty. The bodies of the mortal dead are left wherever they dropped. We saw them in the roads and doorways and on the steps of churches; we could not escape their stench.
There are too many to bury. They will have to be burned.
I met with the others near dawn at the road leading to the convent. Under the circumstances, I had expected some of them might abstain, but no, they all answered my summons. Tristan brought a petition from her remaining blood Kyn, begging for leniency. Boons were offered; promises were made. I bade him read it aloud to the others.
Of her innocence there is no question. The father blamed himself for her elopement, and pledged to keep her confined. He offered his men, lands, and wealth as restitution if we would but spare her. His pleas were moving, and his appeal to our sense of justice a righteous thing, but none of us were swayed.
The stink of mortal decay had poisoned more than the air.
We marched on the convent. All of the sisters had died or fled; we found her praying in the chapel. She was radiant, lovelier than the statue of the Blessed Mother before whom she knelt. I called her name, and she rose and walked to us. She did not speak or resist. I told her of what had to be done, and why.
She did not weep.
When we left the convent she came willingly, and I had thought her reconciled to my judgment and what her fate had to be. At the glassworks she finally spoke, making her last confession and asking for absolution. Sevarus himself performed the last rites, and Cordoba prayed with her before the furnace.
She looked upon our faces, marking each one as if to commit it to memory. She smiled like an angel. Then she said: “I have saved my last tears for you, my lords.”
I bade the others flee as I drew my sword. They remained at my side, their own blades ready. In that moment we knew ourselves to be dead men, but we would not go alone into hell. We dared not.
She retreated to the mouth of the furnace, all the time laughing, the madness glowing like fever on her face. I expected her to change her direction and try to run from us, but as the scarlet tears ran down her cheeks, she turned and cast herself into the fire. Zhang slammed the door shut and barred it. We heard her laughter turn to screams. We heard her fists pounding.
No one approached the door.
We stood vigil at the glassworks for three days and four nights, until the furnace's flames burned away. Then we set fire to the place itself, and waited again until it had been reduced to ashes.
I alone remained behind as the others gathered their men and returned to their lands. I paid for laborers to haul the ashes and the blackened debris by cart to an old Roman mine, where they dumped each cartful into the deepest shaft. I then had the shaft filled with rock and sealed.
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