The woman’s voice shook him from his reverie. Reviewing a ledger on his computer screen, he hadn’t seen the woman enter.
She was a thin Japanese woman with long dark hair. She wore a white wool coat and a short black dress beneath it.
Her approach was so quick that the bell above the door rang a second too late. No one had ever bothered to come into his office during the time the club was open. Guests went straight downstairs, where the party waited.
Maybe, she’d followed his scent.
With her hands shoved in her pockets, she smiled.
“Yes, I’m American,” Scott replied.
“It’s great to speak English with someone. I’ve been here a while now, but my Japanese is not what it should be. Since this is the old country people naturally think my accent should be, like, perfect.”
That made him smile. “You’re from Los Angeles?”
“Close,” she replied. “And you?”
“You don’t have a Southern accent.”
“I traveled a lot as a kid. Mom drove the accent out of us though. She’s an English teacher, so it figures.” He paused. “You’re one of our clientele?”
“Of course,” she smirked, revealing her perfect teeth.
“Do you need to be shown around?”
“No, it’s been a while since I’ve been here. Bruce Green is a friend of mine.”
“ He’ll probably be here anytime . Would you like to wait for him?”
She shook her head. “I don’t wait for men.”
“Let me walk you downstairs,” he offered.
He lead her down a narrow set of stairs into the club. The music, which he never heard through the sound proofed walls of his office, was so loud that he could feel it pumping in his chest.
She put a hand on his arm, backing him against a wall.
“You’re not all human, are you?” she said, her lips touching his ear.
“No, I’m not.”
“What are you?” she asked.
“Lamia. My name is Scott Ryder.”
She smiled. It was almost sweet. Except for the feral look in her eyes.
She leaned close, and he didn’t flinch. She traced the side of his cheekbone with her tongue.
“Lamia have the sweetest skin. And the most bitter blood.”
“Sorry,” he said, “that I can’t accommodate.”
She laughed. “Are you really?”
She took his hand and lead him around to the back, to one of the private rooms.
He wasn’t supposed to fraternize with the customers. He was the manager of this den, where Wolves and vampires congregated to eat from humans. Rules were in place for a good reason.
The vampires could not drink his blood. And the Wolves just wouldn’t. They considered Lamia to be their own, as they were part Wolf. To kill a Lamia would be considered cannibalism.
A dangerous job. But he liked it.
Bruce , Scott‘s boss, would not be happy about this. Especially if this woman was one of his many girlfriends…
Scott was curious. This woman was beautiful, and he couldn’t wait to see what she was up to.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Keiko,” she said. “Sit.”
The room was empty . She pushed him onto on of the couches and climbed into his lap, straddling him.
She wrapped her arms around him, and kissed his mouth.
After that first night, they started to meet outside the club. Partially on his insistence, to keep their friendship secret. She waited for Scott in the park, beneath an old fashioned wooden bridge shaped like an arch.
She waited for in the shadows, wearing a long coat. Her gloves were satin, and closed around his fingers tightly. “You will get cold,” she whispered with a smile. “Will you be okay out here for a bit?”
“I’m fine,” he replied.
“Wait here then,” she said. “ It won’t be long.”
Her heels echoed as she crossed back onto the path, and then was gone.
After a while, he started counting the minutes.
Eight minutes, and he heard the sound of heels again.
Keiko emerged from the shadows. This time she wasn’t alone.
The girl was small, though probably not shorter than Keiko. She was thin to the point of frailty. Her hair had been chopped into what should have looked like a punk style, sticking up in uneven, spiky places around her head. Her short skirt reveled bare flesh. She wore boots but they were badly worn. The girl’s flesh was was exposed in a black bustier, and a thin leather jacket that was left open.
“Meet my friend” Keiko grinned. “Shelley.”
Shelley wore a dazed expression. Looking up at Scott, fear registered in her eyes.
“Where did you find her?” Scott asked.
Keiko laughed, and wrapped her arms around the girl, who didn’t blink.
“I caught her at the airport. I’ve been playing host to her at my house the last few days. Saving her up for some fun,” she said, and kissed the girl’s cheek.
“She hasn’t tried to fight you?” Scott asked.
“No. I compel her not to. Do you know how to do that?”
Scott shook his head. “No.”
His eyes were fastened on the girl. He noticed the scars on her neck, dried with blood. Further down, on her breasts, deeper, round gashes.
“Shelley,” Keiko ordered. “Show my friend an appropriate welcome.”
Keiko let go of her and the girl came to stand in front of him. She had to strain to reach his lips but she managed to do it, kissing him in one graceful moment.
He noticed the little bracelet she wore. It brushed his cheek lightly as she touched him. A band of mutlicolored stones on a string.
Back home, his little sister had one just like it.
Scott pushed the girl away.
“She is clean,” Keiko snapped. “I’ve been drinking from her nearly a week.”
The girl looked confused. She wrapped her arms around herself, looking from Scott to Keiko.
“Oh. Are you jealous?” Keiko said. “You shouldn’t be. We’re gonna have fun, me and you,” she told Scott, and pulled Shelley backwards with one jerk of her collar.
Keiko dug into the flesh of the girl’s neck, drinking.
Moments later, done, she dropped the girl like so much trash.
Moving forward, she placed her hand on Scott’s chest. He couldn’t have moved then, even if he’d wanted to.
Not that he did.
She kissed him, her mouth hot and sticky with blood.
©2010 Lori Titus