A short little Halloween story:
MUTTON DRESSED AS LAMB
By Katherine Tomlinson
Vannetti sighed when Bruce knocked on the door of his study. He could tell from the sheepish look on Bruce's face that the reason for his unannounced visit was not anything good.
It was Bruce's first Halloween after his second birth and Vannetti had hoped he was out on the town, making the most of his new status and moving about freely, his pale skin and red-rimmed eyes dismissed as just another costume by the human revelers.
"Yes Bruce?" he asked, irritated by his passive body-language he displayed, more appropriate to prey than to his position as an alpha predator.
"Um," Bruce said, which annoyed Vannetti even more. He hated indecision of any sort and verbal hesitancy drove him mad. He'd been born into an aristocratic Venetian family that had valued intellectual rigor. He'd been thoroughly trained in the art of conversation by his father's courtesans and his mother's priests. Of all the changes that had occurred in the long years since he'd been born into the blood, Vannetti mourned the decline of meaningful discourse the most.
"I have a problem," Bruce said and Vannetti sighed again, which is actually not that easy for someone who doesn't need to breathe but a useful trick he'd found to communicate his emotions noverbally.
"I need to show you," Bruce said as he retreated from the doorway in the direction of the Grand Hall.
Vannetti wanted nothing more than to return to the book he was reading, but he knew Bruce would give him no peace until he attended to whatever drama had been created.
There was a masked woman standing in the Grand Hall.
Her figure was sublime, enhanced by a tight, long-sleeved gown of peacock silk that was wrapped around her like a present.