It's Sky Morgan's 22nd birthday. He's unemployed and just had an awkward dinner with his dad. There wasn't even any cake, and Sky loves cake. Angry and morose, he decides to go out for a drink and randomly chooses the Grotto, a nearby gay bar.
The Grotto's clientele is different from the rest of society in more ways than one. However, they are very kind to Sky. He has a most comforting chat with Everest, an old drag queen, who is the first person ever to understand how awkward family can be. And then she introduces Sky to Slade, a mysterious and attractive young man. The chemistry between them is instant.
But is Slade a young man? He's more different than just being gay. Just how different, Sky finds out during daylight hours far below ground. As Sky's feelings towards his new friend mount, he learns they have more in common than he could possibly imagine.
Sky yawned and cuddled closer to Slade. It had all been so strange, yet so familiar in a way. He hadn’t realized this until now, and thought maybe it was the bed chamber that looked familiar. But, as he untied his shoes, he thought, No, it’s more than that. I feel like I’ve been here before. How strange.
They dropped down onto the bed and finished undressing, leaving their shoes and pants where they fell. They turned to each other, and Slade yawned. Then Sky yawned again. Then they both lay down, legs and arms entwined, relaxing into one another. The cats joined them in the bed -- now that it seemed safe to do so. Crackers jumped up and curled up at the foot of the bed.
Sky thought of the few secrets he had. His uncle Lysel, his aunt Merrit. He’d never told anyone about them. He’d written fiction stories for tenth grade English about his uncle Owain and his cousin Madoc though. He’d gotten only an F because the teacher thought it was too far out even for fiction. The idea that a Welshman had visited and thrived in the United States back in 1170 A.D. was ridiculous. Sky had had his father write a note that yes they had visited the Devil’s Backbone, which was located on the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky, and yes, it was an ancestor of their family, if not a direct first-degree cousin as the teacher might have thought, who had settled in the area, but still it was probably true. The teacher, however, had still given Sky that big fat red F on his paper and had refused to change it.
Still, truth was stranger than fiction and all that. Sky wasn’t sure he could manage being a vampire though. He’d tasted his own blood when he’d broken some baby teeth falling out of a tree, and didn’t like it. He’d thrown up. No, he’d make a lousy vampire. Someday he’d have to ask his dad about the middle name thing, Aberthol, meaning sacrifice. What exactly did his father think? Did he have wicked, evil plans, or had he known about this particular side of the family, cousin or not, and his home here all along? The cat that was now curled around his head purred, and Sky relaxed, ready to drift off to sleep. This was one hell of a birthday, the best one of my life. He wondered if Madoc had celebrated such a birthday in what was to him, the New World.