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Cover Art © George Cotronis

Editor: Angela Brown


MASTER, Book 7

Roll out the red carpet…

Silver-screen darling Gabriel Colin comes under fire after his costar’s body turns up horrifically brutalized, but he’s too busy fleeing a far more personal crime scene to ponder the potential death of his career. At the movie premiere of Luna Sunset, Gabriel’s presence triggers a bloodbath Hollywood—and humanity—won’t soon forget.

In the interim, Justus, Gabriel’s dark-triad abuser, takes every opportunity to flaunt the actor’s raw heartbreak; at the same time, his deceitful wife Naomi stakes a claim to Gabriel’s welfare. As Naomi reaches her supernatural potential, Justus seeks to permanently oppress her. Defying Justus’ totalitarian regime, Naomi and Gabriel, along with Raiden, their bloodsucker-in-arms, engage in a gladiatorial battle with their archnemesis. Is the master vampire still too powerful to overthrow or will Naomi’s long-plotted coup d’état materialize?

As this full-throttle series hurtles to a breakneck conclusion, it’s kill or be killed…or perhaps, in some cases, both.


Warning: MASTER is intended for adults only. It contains graphic violence, explicit sexual situations including rape and sexual assault, psychological abuse, substance abuse, strong language, and other material readers may find objectionable. Reader discretion is advised.

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Need to read Crimson (MASTER, Book 1) first? Download the eBook for free. MASTER is available on digital platforms worldwide and in paperback on Amazon.


Read an Excerpt

Warning: The following excerpt contains SPOILERS for the MASTER series; in addition, it features graphic content including strong language, sexual situations, violence, and abuse. Reader discretion is advised. 


After she was certain Gabriel had fled, Naomi could not fall back asleep. Every minute that ticked by without Justus discovering the actor’s absence marked a minuscule victory. Though she shut her eyes, after a while she ended up scrutinizing the room. What caught her particular interest were the deer heads; the longer she stared at them, the more they took on human characteristics. The eyes widened; the irises shifted from ochre to ember; the lips filled out, softened; and the teeth grew crooked, the incisors and canines lengthening, sharpening, becoming more pronounced. That could be my head on the wall, she thought, forgetting to sequester herself. Gabriel’s too.

Gabriel’s what? Justus sleepily murmured.

Naomi’s pulse pounded. He’s not here, she covered.

Suddenly awake, Justus bolted up and pounded his fist on Gabriel’s vacant side of the bed. Where is he?

I don’t know, she answered. Maybe he went for a walk.

Justus let loose an enraged howl.

“Follow me,” he snarled, dragging her out of bed. “That halfwit made a run for it.” After manifesting to the foyer, Justus swept up Naomi’s coat and footwear and flung them at her, nearly conking her in the head with one of her Moncler hiking boots.

How do you know he bolted? She threw on her coat over her nightgown. He might have needed some air. Struggling into her shoes, she was caught off guard by the iron grip on her fist.

You let him go, he accused. You knew! He dragged her to the door, jerked it open, and tossed her butt-first onto leaf-covered stoop. Move your arse and bring him back!

She manifested at a sprint across the clearing, feet disappearing into drifts of pine needles. A few times she looked over her shoulder, but the evergreens crowded too closely together; she could not tell how far behind Justus trailed.

I could keep running, she thought in her mind-room. If I could just outpace him—

Faster, Justus snapped, entering the lobby like a blast of subpolar air. He’s too far away for me to get a scent.

Hearing Justus’ faint, crunching footfalls, Naomi shook off her despair in favor of focusing on the good news: Gabriel had escaped. This isn’t the path he took—he went the opposite direction. Justus assumed he’d leave out the front door, but he didn’t confirm it … He hasn’t yet noticed we’re not following any tracks. He’s floundering.

Even as she ran, she almost hugged herself with joy. Gabriel might have made it to a vehicle by now. Maybe even a plane. She backtracked when she glanced at her wristwatch and noted the time: Gabriel had only been gone for a maximum of two hours, likely less. Though he might have access to a car, catching a flight was far-fetched. But he’s a celebrity, she reminded herself. Doors open to him that would otherwise stay shut.

Where the fuck are you going? Justus’ laborious breathing was audible as he drew nearer to her. I don’t sense him.

You told me to run, so that’s what I’m doing. She pushed herself to manifest faster, drawing Justus farther away from the cabin. We should catch a scent soon.

Stop! Justus roared inside her head. His inner voice was so loud, she screeched to a halt and clamped her hands over her ears as if he had screamed directly into them. We’ve lost him.

She turned around; he was already upon her. He sucker punched her in the mouth, loosening a couple of front teeth. She spat blood at him, spraying his face.

“It’s not my fault,” she gasped, licking lukewarm copper from her lips. “My senses aren’t as developed as yours.”

“He didn’t come this way.” Justus yanked her by the hair and slammed her into a sequoia. “And now I can’t fucking find him. I can’t get into his head. Where is he?” He knocked her into the trunk until she saw four of him spinning around like a Ferris Wheel in fast motion. “Did he off himself? Did you assist him?”

“No!” she shouted in his face, dizzy from the effort but viciously satisfied by his reflexive flinch. “He didn’t say jack shit. He just left while we were sleeping. He didn’t even say …” She let her voice break. “… goodbye. He left me here. All alone. With you.” Snarling, she lunged forward and bit him on the chin, then kicked him in the stomach as hard as she could.

Eerily he did not react but watched her beneath hooded eyes, body rigid as if he had anticipated the blow.

“Fight me,” Naomi seethed. “Fight me like you always do.” She rained punches on his chest, neck, and face, but he stood unmoving. “Fucking fight me, you coward, you bastard, you wife-beating psychopath! I’ll resist you with my last breath!”

Then he did the worst thing: he put his arms around her. “Shh. There, there, darling.” With tenderness so perfectly simulated it made her heart ache with unfulfillment, he said, “I’ll never leave you.” He held her closer and dropped a kiss on top of her head. Eien ni. “Together forever.”

That’s your move, she telepathed. Fake love and false compassion: well-played. She burst into tears, sobbing into his exposed chest, twisting her fingers into his nightshirt as he opened his coat and shared his scant body heat. For a moment’s blip, she surrendered to the fantasy; believed the lie. Then her pragmatism pulled her back to reality. Resist. Still, she clung to him out of habit, fear, and a self-destructive desire to exist in the comforting numbness of denial.

After a while, Justus rubbed his nose against her cheek. We’ll do an early checkout, he purred. When he kissed her earlobe, she shuddered in repulsed arousal. We’ll swing by the cabin, grab our gear, and head back home. Don’t get too comfy. His hand strayed to her breasts. Softly he massaged them, eliciting a moan from her self-betraying mouth. We must reclaim what’s rightfully ours. Gil’s our family—he belongs with us. Don’t worry, love: I have a plan. He brushed tears from her face with the pads of his thumbs and licked the salt from his skin. With that milk-carton face, he’s a walking whipping boy. Come now. He kissed her lips, briefly sliding in his tongue. Daddy will escort you. Holding out his hand, he added, But he won’t say please.

Hating herself, but too exhausted to refuse, Naomi intertwined her fingers with her captor’s and let him lead her back to her jail cell.


Three mornings later, they were at LAX, carry-on luggage in hand, sunglasses spiffily donned. Justus looked as vampiric chic as ever, with a three-piece double-breasted midnight-blue suit courtesy of Jean-Paul Gaultier’s winter collection, accented with a burnt-orange pocket square (“A nod to Raiden’s fiery end,” he had said with a wink) and monogrammed gold cufflinks. According to the grapevine, aka the intimate network of celebrity-dirt journalists-cum-undercover-paps who frequently stalked A- to D-listers and sold puff pieces about their comings and goings to whichever tabloids made the highest bids, Gabriel had last been spotted in one of his Benzes leaving his LA condo, the one he shared with Ken Laurent. When accosted on his way out the gates, he had ducked into the upturned collar of his Ralph Lauren duster and peeled out, leaving the bloodthirsty sharks choking on fumes in his fuel-scented wake. Though the Luna Sunset star was not yet a wanted man, according to the back pages of local celebrity-centric publication Crop Top, the LAPD considered him a person of interest in the murder of his costar Fagan.

Justus had an in with one of the paps; after seeing the story about Gabriel’s sighting on E!, the master vampire had influenced the photographer to reveal what he knew: a private-airline worker, who often sold celebrity dirt to the paps, had spotted Gabriel boarding a red-eye chartered plane to Detroit, and there had been no other passengers on said flight.

“Must have cost him a pretty penny,” Justus grumbled while he and Naomi waited in the boarding area to embark upon their one-way trip to Detroit Metro Airport. “Probably didn’t make a dent in his fortune, though.” His lips quirked. “Our fortune, as soon as we lead our cash cow to the slaughter.”

“Slaughter?” Naomi peered at him over the rims of her cat-eyed Cynthia Rowley shades. “I hope you’re joking.”

“He’s a traitor, love. An eye for an eye when the punishment fits the crime.”

“He’s not a traitor,” Naomi demurred. “He’s confused. Remember how you felt when you lost your maker?”

Justus’ tone took on an edge. “And what would you know about that?”

“Nothing, I suppose.” She touched his wrist. “I didn’t mean to assume.”

Snatching away his hand, he snapped, “Then don’t presume to flap your fat tongue about subjects revealing your ignorance.”

“I’m sorry,” she mumbled. “I just don’t see why Gabriel’s on your kill list.”

“He’ll keep making money long after he’s worm food,” Justus said. “Film residuals, advertisements, syndication, DVD sales—the list goes on. Once I’m named the cosigner of his accounts, we’ll be sitting pretty for the rest of our unnatural lives.”

“I thought you wanted a family. You said—”

“Plans change, darling.” He cupped his ear. “Hear that? They’re calling our section. First-class boarders—that’s us.” With a gallant grin, he offered her his elbow. “Let’s order a drink to celebrate our future windfall.”

She took his arm, remarking, “Surely you haven’t made up your mind yet.”

“It depends on how Gil plays his cards,” Justus replied. “It’s possible he’s overwhelmed by grief and therefore lost his head. But if that noggin doesn’t right itself once we’re all together again, I’ll have no choice but to separate it from his neck.”

Naomi broke out in goosebumps. “For my part, I’ll try to persuade him to see reason.”

“That’s where you’ve got it wrong, love.” As they joined the queue, Justus shifted his hand to the small of her back. “Your strength lies in emotional appeal. However, I’m our best bet at changing his mind.” Though he was already speaking vampire low, he further dropped the volume. “A good friend is hard to find, but a hard dick trumps friendship every time.”