The Invitation is a Darkness Rising short story set during the events of The Gathering, it is narrated by Rafe Martinez. It can be read for free on the Darkest Powers website and was also published in The Complete Darkest Powers Tales. It gives some backstory on Rafe's actions during and prior to The Gathering.
Rafe is unsure of Maya Delaney's reason for inviting him to her sixteenth birthday party, worrying it might be pity. Rafe believes it shouldn't matter as it well help him to find the other Skin-walker girl in Salmon Creek. When Rafe first met Maya in the principals office during The New Guy he hoped it was Maya he was looking for as she was the only Native teen girl in town and he was interested in her anyway.
Rafe knows from his mother that Skin-walker families hid by interracial marriage, Rafe's own father was mostly Hispanic. Rafe believes the girl he's looking for might look Caucasian based on what his mother told him but he tried to approach Maya multiple times anyway and was shot down. Maya saw through Rafe's charms and he eventually gave up on her.
Now though he has reason to believe that Maya might be the girl he's looking for. Rafe is in the cabin he shares with his sister Annie Martinez and has decided to attend Maya's party. Rafe wants to talk to Annie but can't because of her regression, Rafe confirms for her that he's going to Maya's party and Annie tells him she hopes Maya is the one. Rafe isn't sure he hopes that.
Rafe makes his way to the party, being held at Daniel Bianchi's. Rafe follows the trail of papayas into the backyard, envious of the Salmon Creek kids for having grown up together and having in-jokes. Feeling comfortable and secure in a community is something Rafe has never had. Rafe hears Corey Carling and Hayley Morris, he feels bad for wishing Hayley wasn't there as she isn't his type and acknowledges that he feels bad for leading her on.
Rafe watches Daniel and Maya on the climbing wall, feeling jealous of Daniel and finding the fact that a teenage boy and girl can be best friends. Rafe suspects Daniel's feelings are more than friendship though. Rafe wishes Maya would joke around with him, as he can barely coax a smile from her. Rafe watches the races on the climbing wall for awhile before making himself known, wanting to race Maya as the winner gets a kiss.
As they get ready to race Rafe considers recent events that have made him suspect Maya might be the Skin-walker he's looking for. Rafe doesn't want her to be though because he wants to 'chase' Maya because he likes her, not because she might be the key to helping his sister. He knows if he does get to date Maya he'll have to find out if she has the Skin-walker birthmark and then he'll have to tell her the truth about them and that he lied to get close to her. The story ends with Rafe getting into his harness, ready for the race he has with Maya during The Gathering
|Darkness Rising Series|
|Novels||The Gathering, The Calling, The Rising|
|Short Stories||The New Guy, The Invitation, Atoning, Branded|
|Compilation Novels||The Complete Darkest Powers Tales|