Excerpt for Fallon: Taste in Men (Tales of the Executioners) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Tales of the Executioners


Taste in Men

A short story

By Joleene Naylor

First Smashwords Edition, 2017

Copyright 2017 by Joleene Naylor

Published by Smashwords

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Interior images by Joleene Naylor & Zanatlija

Cover images courtesy of Canstockphoto

Cover by Joleene Naylor

Find Joleene Naylor on Smashwords at:

Ramblings from the Darkness at

You never know what you’ll find in the shadows…..

Other books by Joleene Naylor:


0: Brothers of Darkness

1: Shades of Gray

2: Legacy of Ghosts

3: Ties of Blood

4: Ashes of Deceit

5: Heart of the Raven

6: Children of Shadows

7. Clash of Legends

8. Masque of the Vampire

9: Goddess of Night


Vampire Morsels Collection: 17 Short Stories

101 Tips for Traveling with a Vampire by Joleene Naylor

Heart of the Raven Mini Prologue Collection

Tales from the Island: Six Short Stories

Thirteen Guests: A Masque of the Vampire companion

Road to Darkness: A short story companion to Brothers of Darkness


Tales of the Executioners

Thanks to Bonnie Mutchler and Chris Harris for their ninja-like proofreading skills, and Michele Taylor for her keen eye.

Also, thank you to Sheilagh Lee, Sherry Hamby, Dyrk Ashton and David Harvey for the names Lara, Warren, Fletcher, and Orson.

What is an Executioner?

The Executioners are the vampire’s equivalent of special police. They go on “assignments” that The Guild (the vampire government) sends them on, and they don’t have a reputation for being very nice. It’s a reputation that is often well deserved.

For more on Executioners and the universe they live in, check out the Amaranthine series by Joleene Naylor.

This is the thirteenth in a collection of short stories, Tales of the Executioners. Each story is about a different Executioner from the Amaranthine universe.

Fallon became an Executioner in Heart of the Raven, replacing Greneth. This story takes place in 1985 while he is still a greater guard.

This story may contain violence, strong language, sexual content or other disturbing scenes and is not intended for a young audience.


“…And they call it puppy love…”

With a grunt, Fallon kicked the record stand. The arm jumped, the needle skipped, and the syrupy music died.

“Hey!” Laura jerked up from her magazine, chocolate eyes narrowed. “What the hell was that?”

Fallon readied to kick the stand again, but she leapt to her feet and pushed him back. “You’ll scratch it!”

“Good. I’m sick of that song.” He flopped on the couch and dropped his head back. When he spoke he could hear the soft southern drawl, more pronounced with his irritation. “I’m sick of all your music. Can’t you get something new?”

Laura fussed with removing the record and carefully replacing it in its sleeve. “I don’t like the new stuff. Music peaked-”

“In the fifties and early sixties,” he finished for her. “We’ve been stuck there for twenty years. Isn’t it time to give that crap a rest?”

She shot him a dark look, then gently placed another record on the player. As a doo-wop song by the Platters echoed through the room, Fallon made a show of burying his head under a pillow. “For the love of God. I go on duty in two hours. Can’t you wait that long?”

“Fine!” She jerked the arm off the record with a huff, then dropped back to the floor and her magazines. “We can just sit in silence for two hours. Is that better?”

He didn’t bother to reply. It didn’t matter what he said, he couldn’t win – not against his sister. She always found some way to twist things around. If she couldn’t, she’d resort to pouting.

Just like when we were kids.

As the quiet settled around the little apartment, the snip-snip of the scissors seemed too loud. His curiosity piqued, he dropped the pillow and leaned forward to see what she was doing. He looked from a pile of random magazine images, all neatly cut out, to the current heart shape she so carefully clipped.

“Another collage?” he asked finally.

“You don’t need to sound so disparaging.”

“I wasn’t disparaging. I just asked-”

“I was the way you said another. Like it was a waste of my time.” She stopped cutting to look over her shoulder. “I’ll tell you who doesn’t think it’s a waste of time: Warren.”

At the name, Fallon ground his teeth, and mentally conjured a vampire with dark hair and a leather jacket; something straight from Laura’s fifties rock ballads. A bad boy with a chip on his shoulder. He was just missing the motorcycle.

“I thought we discussed him.”

Laura scoffed and went back to her work. “No, you discussed him. I said I liked him, and you said-”

“That he’s trouble. He’s not the kind of guy who’s going to appreciate you making a collage for him.”

“That’s what you think.” Snip-snip. “He likes them. He thinks it’s artistic and creative. There’s more to him than you think.”

“Right. And after he’s gotten what he wants-”

She set the scissors down and drew a steadying breath. “Fallon, I am one hundred and forty years old-”

“One hundred and thirty-eight.”

“Close enough!” she snapped. “As I was saying, I’m more than an adult, and I don’t need you to look out for me.”

“You’d rather I just sit back and watch you get your heart broken, again?” He saw her stiffen and regretted his words. “I’m sorry. But-”

“Why don’t you go to work?” she asked through clenched teeth.

“My shift doesn’t start for…” He realized escape was the best option. “Yeah. Good idea.”

He scurried to his bedroom and changed into the black uniform of a greater guard. A quick brush of his hair yielded the same results as usual; it went where it wanted. He flicked the blonde curls that brushed his shoulders. If he’d only had time to grow it longer before he was turned.

Or cut it shorter.

The curls were his curse to bear through eternity, just like Laura was his curse. Except he sometimes got a break from her for a decade or two.

Dressed, he trooped back through the small living room. He quipped a goodbye that was ignored, then headed out into the carpeted corridor. He knew he’d made her mad, but he’d meant well. He really didn’t want it to be like the last mess.

With that thought, he headed to the office. A group of five guards waited in a knot inside, while another named Noris sat behind the desk, on the phone.

“Look, I need one more to send to Malick…He wants to choose Executioner Griselda’s support himself this time…You know how he gets when he’s bored…I doubt he’ll choose you-” He broke off when he met Fallon’s eyes. “Never mind. Lucky number six just walked through the door.”

Fallon held up his hands. “I’m not on duty for another hour and some.”

Noris hung up the phone. “I don’t care. Report with the others to Malick’s chambers. He’ll choose some of you to accompany-”

“Executioner Griselda,” Fallon said irritably.

“Right, right. Off you go.” Noris motioned them with a wave of his hand, then turned to paperwork, as if he was just too busy to be bothered.

Fallon bit back his argument and followed the others out the door. Though they were from a different shift, he’d worked with them before on different things. He fell into step next to Fletcher. Vampires were pale by nature, but Fletcher gave the word a whole new meaning. His black hair and dark eyes made the effect worse.

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