Thursday, March 28, 2019

Take a Bite Outta Crime Part 16 by Dellani Oakes

After hearing what's got Phillida upset, Margo and Drea agree that Andres is making a serious mistake by asking Carley to be his bride and queen.

"Why do you take this as a personal insult? He is seeding his wild oats...."
"Wild oats? Is that what you think this is about? You old fool! Wild oats, my ass...."
"Madam, your guests are here are requested," the Tweedle Twin said quietly.
"Yes, thank you."
Phillida turned her back on Heinrich, ignoring him as unimportant. A look of pure loathing filled his face, which he did nothing to conceal from Kirk and Margo. Even the Tweedle Twin said nothing to Phillida as she continued to rant and pace. Heinrich and the twin had not been dismissed, nor had Kirk and Margo. They weren't in a position to do much but wait. Anything else risked incurring Phillida's full wrath, and none of them wanted that. The silence, punctuated by her cursing, grew long.
Hoping to avoid a tongue lashing, Kirk cleared his throat quietly. Phillida looked up, surprised to see him. A sort of smile flickered across her lips and faded
"Kirk, darling. How good to see you." She held out her hands to him, kissing his cheeks when he took her chilly fingers in his.
Shocked by such a friendly greeting, he merely smiled. Margo nudged him and he spoke haltingly.
"Lovely—to uh, see you—too, Phillida. You look radiant this evening."
At least he was able to say this his honestly. She did look very beautiful. She was dressed in a beaded gown of the palest gold, so light a hue, it looked white until the light struck it. The beads were silver, gold and vivid red depending upon the angle from which they were viewed. Her dark hair was pulled into an elegant knot at the back of her neck and her head was spangled with jewels that matched the bead work. Her makeup was, as always, perfect, her complexion cold, but flawless. She was, without doubt, the most beautiful woman Kirk knew. Her beauty left him cold, for she was as cruel as she was gorgeous.
"That is a magnificent gown," Margo said, coming up beside Kirk. "You look devastating, Philly."
She got an equally surprising greeting from the vampire Council leader. Phillida clung to Margo's hands desperately.
"What am I going to do?"
"About what? Andres?" Kirk wanted to laugh, but something about Phillida's demeanor held him in check. "It will pass, Philly. It always does."
"No. This time he is serious, Kirk. He means to make her his bride. He is planning an engagement party to be held next week. They are to be wed in a month. On my birthday! And you can ask how I find this a personal rebuke?" she addressed Heinrich over her shoulder.
"I was not privy to that inf....."
"Shut up, you idiot! Go away! When I want your sniveling, I'll send for you." She waved her hand impatiently at him.
Heinrich bowed and left, the look of loathing again in place as soon as Phillida's back was turned. Kirk frowned at him, shaking his head very slightly as Margo diverted Phillida's attention, asking about her gown. They chatted about it for a moment. Kirk took the opportunity to indicate to Heinrich he wished to speak to him later. Although not close friends, they were not enemies either. Heinrich was also a major power on the Council and someone in authority needed to know about the trouble he and Drea were having.
"You may go, Petrov. I shall be fine with Kirk and Margo."
"I shall be right outside, Mistress."
He nodded, closing the door behind him. Phillida paced, though Margo tried repeatedly to distract her and get her to sit down. She alternated between cursing and weeping. Kirk finally stepped in front of her, halting her mid-stride.
"Phillida, dear, I have never seen you so upset. You must calm down or you will make yourself ill. Come, sit beside me and tell us all about it. Perhaps we can talk some sense into Andres."
"Everyone has tried!"
"Not us," Margo said.
"Why are you being so nice? You hate me! Both of you! Are you working for him?" She grew suddenly suspicious.
"Don't be silly," Margo interrupted her new rant. "We knew nothing of this when we arrived here. We are completely in shock. As to why we're being nice, I don't know. I hate to see anyone as upset as you are. Perhaps it is because I have been badly hurt in my life that I have such sympathy with you. I do know how you feel, Phillida."
The other woman took her hands, holding desperately. "It will do no good, but I shall tell you what I know of their meeting and subsequent courtship. Strange things have been happening in our community of late. Disappearances of some of our members led Andres to go out and investigate personally. Several of our members have pets who are models at the same agency as that girl." She said this with such loathing, Kirk recoiled slightly from her.
"He started going to their parties, hoping to find a lead. Several of our people disappeared after attending the nightly soirees. At first, it was all business. Then he met her—and it all changed. She's a complete ninny, a girl with no morals. Do you know she slept with him the first night they met?"
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Take a Bite Outta Crime Part 15 by Dellani Oakes

Leaving the women with Phillida, Kirk visits the kitchen, to find an old friend.

"I meant Margo. You thought I meant you?" He chuckled. He had meant Kirk, but he wouldn't in a million years let him know that.
Margo giggled, smacking his arm. "I did train you well," she said, her accent coming through stronger than usual.
"My love, you trained me well in everything." He kissed seductively all the way from her hand to her shoulder. "You took a dirty pig boy and made him the premier chef in Her Majesty's service. Ah, Vicki was quite the lady, she was." He continued to kiss her hands, her arms, her neck. "What are you doing these days, my love? What amuses you?"
"Better not to go into details, Silas." Her face closed off suddenly. "Suffice to say I am well satisfied."
"Does he like to play games with three players?" He raised an eyebrow as he kissed the inside of her arm from her elbow to her armpit.
"I'll ask."
"You'll let me know?"
"Dear Silas, of course I will. But don't get your hopes up. He's young and very attached."
"Well, bugger! But I know you didn't just come here for me. Hey, did you see his nibs new lady?"
"Yes, she's a friend of ours."
He leaned over, hissing somewhat as he spoke. "Best spirit her away. It ain't safe here with herself around. She's a pretty thing, sweet, kind... I'd hate to see anything bad hap...." He turned abruptly back to his kitchen, clapping his hands loudly.
"Oi, then! Check the tables! What's low, what's missing? Does anyone have half a brain among them? No, sweetheart, that's not the serving dish. You cannot take it out of this kitchen in that condition!"
It took Kirk only a moment to realize there was someone standing behind him. One of the twins had entered while they were talking. Kirk couldn't tell them apart. He didn't remember their names without effort, even 150 years later. He detested them both, and they him. He thought of them as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. Their personalities augmented and accentuated Phillida's. He often wondered how they had been before meeting her. He suspected they had been vain, haughty and cruel even then. She was always attracted to that type. Andres was cruel, haughty and vain personified. He had his better qualities, few though they might be. He had the capacity to love. Kirk strongly suspected that Phillida did not.
"Mistress wants you," the twin hissed, his accent something dark and growling.
Tweedle Dum, Kirk guessed.
"Does it ever occur to you to say please?" Margo asked him.
He glared at her. At one time Margo had amused herself with one of the twins. Kirk suspected that this was the one. It made his presence moderately less tolerable. He'd treated her abominably.
"Follow me." He bowed slightly to Kirk. "Please," he added with a leer at Margo.
Margo patted his cheek none too fondly as she passed. "Your personality hasn't improved a bit, Petrov. You're still just as grumpy as you were. Are you getting laid on a regular basis? I hear it's marvelous therapy."
He growled slightly as she walked ahead of him out of the room. Margo waited for Petrov to get ahead of her. She never liked being the first to greet Phillida. One could never tell if she was in a throwing mood. Given the presence of the lovely and nubile Carley, Margo judged that she would be in the vilest of humors. She wasn't disappointed.
Phillida was in full voice as Petrov led them to the library. Margo and Kirk could hear her yelling several yards away. At first, her words were indistinguishable, then an all too familiar litany developed.
"The bastard! The slimy, two-faced, lowlife, stinking, slug brained, worm-dick bastard! I'll kill him! I swear, I'll drink him dry. I'll kill him in his sleep!" The crash of an expensive decorative object echoed down the barren hall. "Then I'll rip her throat out. No, I'll turn her as he lies there bleeding. Then her first meal can be what's left of him. I hate him! I loathe him! I will get even if it's the last thing I do!"
Kirk thought he heard another voice inside and hoped it wasn't the second twin—Tweedle Dee. For some reason, they were inseparable, although they didn't seem to like one another very much. They stood aside as Petrov tapped on the door just as another resounding crash filled the hallway. Petrov flinched.
Kirk smiled. At least there was something that got under the enigmatic veneer. Kirk had to admit that Phillida in full anger would be enough to make grown men tremble—even vampires.
"Come in!" she bellowed.
Petrov opened the door, flinging it aside without actually entering or getting in Phillida's direct line of fire. Kirk entered warily. Phillida was not alone, but it wasn't the other Tweedle Twin inside. Heinrich, another of the Council members, Phillida's staunchest supporter, was trying to talk her down as she continued to screech.
"Phillida, this is not the end of the world. Andres has had his little flings before. This is no different."
"But it is! Don't you see? Can't you understand? He wants to marry her. Make her his queen. Have an heir with her! Did he ever once offer to marry me? Or any of the others? That is the difference, Heinrich. Could you really see taking orders from her? She's a child, even by human standards. It is to insult me."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Take a Bite Outta Crime Part 14 by Dellani Oakes

At Andres' mansion, it's obvious that something is wrong. Phillida is out of sorts and on the warpath.

The woman smiled at Drea, holding out her hand. "We've already met, Andy," she said with a laugh. "You don't recognize me, do you? It's me, Carley Sampson. Jay's daughter."
"Oh, my God!" Drea gasped, her hand springing to her throat. Perhaps it was a tad melodramatic, but she couldn't stop herself. "What are you doing here? How on Earth?" She couldn't put together a coherent sentence.
Patting her hand on his arm, Kirk took up the thread of conversation. "Carley, we hardly thought to see you here. We had no idea that you and Andres were acquainted."
"We met recently," she said, smiling happily at him. "At a party that the modeling agency gave. I didn't know it, but I've been working for him over two years. And we never met!"
Drea's eyes narrowed. Andres never went to any of the agency parties and rarely admitted he owned half interest in it. In fact, it was rather a well kept secret that he often contributed designs to their shows. All under aliases of course, and very hush-hush.
"Really? How amazing that you met like that," she said, giving her sire a pointed look.
"I'm surprised to see you here," Margo said. "Given the circumstances."
"Oh, you mean Phillida? Well, she's been very upset...."
Margo frowned, casting a confused look at Drea and Kirk. "No. I meant in light of your father's death...."
"My father's—what?"
"Haven't you heard? Didn't the police call you?"
"I've been here with Andres for the last week."
Kirk took her hand, drawing her away from Andres. Though his wife knew her better, it seemed natural that he be the one to give her comfort. Drea stood by Andres, placing her hand on his arm. With a look of alarm, he gazed into her eyes. They had known one another long enough, nearly 500 years, that they didn't need to speak to understand.
Carley burst into tears, throwing her arms around Kirk's neck, burying her face in his shoulder. Unable to keep away, Andres went to her, taking her gently in his embrace. That one, small gesture told Drea that this was no mere infatuation on his part. He truly cared for Carley. There was no doubt in Drea's mind that her sire was falling in love.
Andres held Carley as she wept. His eyes heavy with pain. Having been a soldier in many lives past, he had seen more death, causing much of it, than the rest of them combined. But this beautiful child hadn't the experience of a 914 year old vampire lord. Though he was quite jaded in many ways, callous in others, he had always been sensitive to the emotional pain of the women he loved. Drea knew this, for at one time he had loved her. They had grown apart since she met Kirk, and were dear friends, much like father and daughter. But there would always be a place in her heart that only Andres could fill. He might be an evil, blood sucking fiend, but he was her dark lord and always would be.
Because of that, or perhaps in spite of it, she approached Carley and Andres, putting an arm around each, speaking quietly. Kirk took Margo aside to the refreshment table. He was pleased to see that Andres' chef had either learned to cook or been replaced since their last visit.
"The food might actually be palatable now," he commented dryly as he picked up one of the hors d'oeuvres.
Margo sniffed a petitfour dubiously. It merited a taste. "Not bad. If I didn't know better, I'd swear we'd made these. They're delicious."
Kirk grinned, nodding. "I know this work."
He headed toward the kitchen with Margo trailing behind.
"Where are you going?"
"To say hello to an old friend."
He noticed that Rolf stayed with Drea, but Theo followed him. They entered the kitchen and heard a familiar voice bellowing loudly.
"You stupid little twits! What've I got to do, stand on my ruddy head to get you to do this proper? Oi, mate! No! You can't take that tray out like that. Look at this mess. It's bloody awful." He continued in that vein for several seconds before realizing he had an audience.
"What're you doing my my kitchen?" He demanded, before he recognized them. "Kirk? Margo? Damn me, if it's not two of my favorite cooks of all time. When're you gonna come work for me, love?" He asked Margo after kissing her lavishly. "Surely he ain't paying you enough to put up with him?"
"Her put up with me?" Kirk looked offended, but shook the huge, red haired man's beefy hand. "More my putting up with her."
"She still has those temper tantrums?" He nearly broke Kirk's fingers when he took his hand.
"But of course, I am French! I would never expect a mere Englishman to understand." She tossed her head grandly.
"Good to see you, Silas," Kirk clapped the bigger man on the shoulder. "I'm glad to see that Andres finally got himself a more than adequate chef."
"Trained with the best," he said with a grin.
"Why, thank you, Silas."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Take a Bite Outta Crime Part 13 by Dellani Oakes

The vampires make plans to go to the vampire council. Tommy wants to come, but Margo and the others are adamant.

Drea made a trip to the cleaners just before it closed. She brought back a magnificent suit for Kirk and a fine evening dress for herself.
"I forgot these were there," she said with a contented sigh. "At least the buggers didn't get them when they trashed our apartment."
"We'll meet you at your place at nine," Kirk told Margo. "And Tommy?"
"I know, chef. I'm not coming. I promised."
"No being the curious, stupid, heroic type, right?"
"I promised that too, chef."
"You're a good kid, Tom. For your own protection, you can't be anywhere around."
"I told Margo I wouldn't come," he said emphatically. "How bad can they be, though? You three are the best people I know."
"They aren't like us there," Drea said, her eyes wide. "There are factions who hold to the old ways and those who hold with the new. We are of the new breed. Sometimes even we aren't welcome. If they think that our involvement in Jay's death has put the rest at risk, they will shun us, cast us aside without a thought. We risk everything by being day dwellers, striving for normal lives. Phillida and her followers would cut us loose without a thought, but they don't dare."
"Why not?"
"Because my sire is our leader," Drea said.
"He's the one who turned you?"
She nodded, not wanting to look at him. It wasn't something she was particularly proud of. One of the most bloodthirsty vampires of all time, Andres Cavedo, was her sire. He and Phillida were among the first and oldest in the country. He was the leader, but she sat at the head of the Council. Phillida could not abide Drea, but unless she wanted to risk the wrath of her lover, she did her no harm. Since he was probably among the few who could, or even would, dare to give her the true death, she obeyed his rules.
"He's a cold, heartless bastard," Drea said quietly. "But for some reason, he cares about me. He has done much to protect us over the years because of it. However, I do not willingly cross him. Andres has his limits and he is not a patient man."
"But it's Phillida you're going to see?"
"She is head of the Council. Andres is their ruler, but even he must follow the laws, many of which he put in place. The Council is like the British Parliament. They make and pass laws, but Andres has final say in most things."
"Is he an old vamp or a new one?"
"Andres is rather more progressive than some of the others. It is his innovation that came up with the artificial blood. He also developed the sunscreen and the medicine we take. He's an absolutely brilliant scientist."
"But not a nice guy," Tommy concluded.
"No. I'd say that nice guy was about as far as you could get from his true personality. I think the words evil, blood sucking fiend would describe him better," Kirk answered.
"I'm decidedly staying home," Tommy said with finality. "And I may never leave the house again," he added. "You've just added greatly to my paranoia," he told them.
"He knows nothing about you, Tommy," Margo tried to make him feel better. "He will leave you alone. Don't worry." But she didn't feel very sure of herself.
Margo came by as planned and the three vampires went to Andres' mansion together. If it was possible for a vampire to feel butterflies in her stomach, Drea had them. Clutching Kirk's hand, she walked up to the front door with Margo close behind. The door opened before they got to the front porch. Inside, twin male vamps bowed deeply to Drea, less so to Kirk and Margo. They had been pets of Phillida's before she turned them twenty something years ago. Handsome, buff, sexy, they were no less wicked and nasty tempered than she. Drea hated having them behind her, but could do little about it.
They were joined in the foyer by friends of theirs. These men provided security for Andres, though they had also accompanied Drea in her early years. Both of them were more loyal to her than to their master and sire, but neither of them advertised it. Drea didn't feel as worried about the twins with Theo and Rolf at her back.
"He is in a good mood," Rolf murmured as he hugged her. "She is not."
"Lovely," Drea whispered. "It's her I need to speak to."
"Not tonight," Theo said, shaking his head a tiny bit. "Been a bad week, with one thing and another."
"What's wrong?" Margo asked softly.
Theo started to tell her, but was interrupted by Andres' entrance. More specifically, Andres and his entourage. He never went anywhere without at least six others, mostly female. Drea noticed that Phillida was not among them.
"Drea, my dear!" He called from the stairway across the huge expanse of foyer. "To what do I owe this unexpected visit?"
He greeted the three of them effusively, hugs and kisses, compliments and smiles. Of course, they had to greet each of his entourage as well. Drea knew most of them, some she even liked. He had adorned himself with the four most beautiful women in the coven and the two least attractive men. One of the women, the one on his right arm, was unknown to Drea. She had too much color in her cheeks to be a vampire. Drea assumed, rightly, that this was his new pet. Now she began to see why Phillida would be in a snit. This young woman was far more lovely than she had ever been.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Take a Bite Outta Crime Part 12 by Dellani Oakes

The police officers have left, and the caterers talk a little bit about their lives before being turned.

"We have to tell the Council," Kirk said quietly. "Phillida has to know."
"You're right," Drea said. "We'll go tonight."
"I'll come too," Margo said. "Phillida always liked me better than you."
"Can I come?" Tommy asked innocently.
"No!" Margo said rather more loudly than intended. "No, my sweet darling. Phillida isn't like the rest of us. She refuses to take the medicine. She feeds from artificial blood, mostly. But sometimes, if the blood lust is strong, she takes—brutally—efficiently. I would not lose you to one such as she. For you are my own, my heart." She stroked his cheek gently. "For your safety, you'll stay home."
Tommy's kiss was as ardent as it was innocent. "As you wish, my love."
"In the meantime," Drea said, wiping her eyes. "We have work to do." She and Margo walked into the kitchen, discussing the jobs of the day.
"That we do," Kirk said absently. He took out his cellphone.
"Who you calling, boss?" Tommy asked.
"Jay's daughter. Maybe she can shed some light on why her father was murdered. If not, I intend to find out. If he was killed because of us, I want to be the instrument of that justice."
"Should you really get involved? I mean, if it's because of you, don't you think you will just make things worse?"
"I don't know, Tom. But one thing I've learned, sometimes a man has to make things worse before he can make them better."
Tommy shrugged, spreading his hands. "What do I know? Maybe you're right. I don't want to see anyone else hurt, that's all."
"Me either." He dialed his phone, waiting for an answer. "That's the last thing that I want." He waited a moment for someone to answer, then walked a few paces away from Tommy.
The young man headed to the kitchen after the women, knowing that Kirk wanted to be alone. He had no idea what Kirk was going to do or say, but hoped it helped. He couldn't bear the idea of losing Margo. In the short time he'd known her, he had come to love and admire her more than he had ever thought possible. In fact, he was closer to this diverse trio than he was to his own family.
"What do you need me to do?" He put his arms around the shoulders of the women, smiling broadly.
"For now, stand there looking handsome," Margo told him. "Then you can start prep for the ratatouille."
"Gee, thanks," he said with a smirk.
"You're so welcome. Now, Drea, about tonight's visit. What do you plan to wear?"
They walked into the cooler, leaving Tommy alone in the kitchen. He knew better than to get involved, but he was curious. What would the vampire mansion be like? Would it be like the movies, where they lounged around feeding off enslaved humans? Or were their pets more like he was, willing participants? Were they normal looking? Did they flaunt their fangs? Would he recognize one if he saw one in public? Would they recognize him as the partner of a vamp? Was there some sort of sign? A signal? With these questions and more whizzing around in his brain as he worked, he nearly cut his own fingers off several times.
The women came back out a few minutes later, each holding ingredients they would need for their various dishes. Tommy tried to ignore them, but they were still talking about their visit to the mansion.
"Are you sure you don't want me to come?"
"No," they answered in chorus.
He tried asking several more questions, but they refused to answer. Eventually, he stopped asking. As the day wore on, he had another thought. He could always follow Margo there. After all, how bad could the other vamps be? Margo, Kirk and Drea were like him, only stronger, smarter and healthier than anyone else he knew. He could follow and stay hidden, never been seen, and have all his questions answered.
He started humming, whistling, then singing a ridiculous song by Tunng. Although he had a good voice, the song he chose was particularly irritating. "We're catching bullets in our teeth...."
Margo swaggered up to him, carrying a butcher knife casually in one hand. "Don't," she said, laying his hand on the cutting board. "Even think about it. Do I make myself very, very clear?" Placing her hand over his, she stabbed the board between their thumbs and forefingers, nicking his skin while splitting hers. She lifted their bleeding hands to her lips, sucking gently on his. She held her own hand up, showing him how the cut healed before she licked the blood off her thumb.
"Stay away, Tommy. I mean it. If anything happened to you.... Stay away. Promise me." Her eyes held more emotion than he had ever seen. Even when she had her kitchen meltdowns, she didn't exhibit this much pain.
"I promise," he whispered.
"Thank you. Now be a good boy and prep that eggplant, would you? Ratatouille for two hundred doesn't make itself."
"Yes, chef," he replied, swallowing hard.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Take a Bite Outta Crime Part 11 by Dellani Oakes

The police pay another visit, this time in reference to the creepy visitor.

"Oh?" Drea and Kirk exchanged a look, both wondering if it was anyone they knew.
"I did some checking," Eddie Scott said. "Did you know that your buddy's death wasn't the only weird thing that happened at the fish market?"
"Really?" Kirk couldn't help asking, leaning toward the police officer. "What else?"
"Well, the entire crew quit a few days ago. They were having odd things come up missing, then they were being haunted."
"At a fish market." Kirk couldn't believe it.
"Yeah, strange howling, odd noises, people seeing things. Your pal Jay didn't mention this to you?"
"No," Drea said with a frown. "He never mentioned a thing."
"I heard that weird noise like someone pulling a knife behind me," Kirk said. "Anyone experience that?"
"Matter of fact, the first guy who quit. He kept hearing that sound behind him, even when he was alone. Then he felt a blade at his throat, but there wasn't anyone there. There was no blade there either," Eddie added. "Just the sound and the feeling."
"The brain can make things seem very real," Kirk said. "Like phantom pain from a severed limb."
"Oh, I know," Eddie said. "We kind of pooed that idea, but more than one person heard the blade behind them. And they hadn't talked about it to each other, which made it more credible."
"So the guy quit over that?"
"That was the last straw," Sandra said. "There had been other things, break ins, robberies.... Believe it or not, yours is not the only business persecuted like this. The rental place down the way, the florist, even Betsy's Cleaning Service."
All businesses that the caterers used. Drea and Kirk exchanged a look. The two police officers didn't miss it.
"What?" Sandra sat forward, concerned look on her face.
"It's just," Drea paused, wringing her hands. "We know all those people. We do business on a regular basis with them. I have more face to face with them than Kirk, but we know them."
"Do you think we're the common factor?" Kirk asked. "I mean, that could be coincidence."
"How often is the florist going to need fish?" Drea snapped. "Of course it's us! And after that creepy man was in here earlier, how can you say it's not?"
"What creepy man?" The police officers chorused.
Drea told them. She left out her suspicions about his reasons Let them make their own conclusions. In the meantime, they had an investigation to conduct and the caterers a business to run.
"He sounds like a real loose screw," Sandra said. "What could he possibly want?"
"There's no telling. It was like he was speaking some kind of bizarre code. I told him to go away and left the room."
"If he comes back, be sure to call me," Sandra said.
"Thank you. It would make me feel better knowing that someone believes me."
"With all the strange things going on, I'd love to find a quick fix," Sandra said. "But I don't expect to be handed to me. If you're right, if you two are in the middle of this thing—why?"
"Beats the hell outta me," Kirk shrugged. "Honey?"
"No idea," Drea said. "I can't imagine why anyone would be after a couple simple caterers like us. We're harmless."
"Completely," Kirk agreed.
"Well, if you think of anything else, you'll call?" Eddie asked.
"Absolutely. Thank you so much for coming by," Kirk said.
"Come by when you're ready to talk menus," Drea said with a smile for Sandra. "Who's the lucky fellow?"
Sandra's eyes flickered over to Eddie. "I'd tell you, but I outrank him." She winked at them and they left together.
Drea managed to keep her calm resolve for a moment after the police officers drove away, then it crumbled to nothing.
"Why is someone doing this to us? What have we done to deserve this?"
"Nothing, love. It's not for what we've done, but for what we are."
"We're people. Just like anyone else," she said with a sniffle.
"No, we're not, boss," Margo said as she walked out of the kitchen. "Except for Tommy, none of us is normal."
"I thought that for once we'd managed to find our niche," Drea said, wiping her eyes. "I thought that for once we'd shown the world we aren't dangerous."
"Darling, there will always be those who hunt us simply because we're different."
"But we don't hurt anyone! With all the modern advances, we don't even need to feed on humans unless it's consensual. With our medicine, we can control the blood lust. It's simply not fair!"
"Life isn't fair, Drea," Margo said with a tone of concern. "You, of all of us, should know that the best. Your life was taken from you long ago, snatched away by a monster. The rest of us, we agreed. You didn't turn Kirk against his will, nor me either. It was what we wanted. I would have died without you. The disease that was eating away at my body, my soul, was cured when you turned me. You and Kirk can be together forever. And if Tommy ever decides this is the existence he wants, then I'll turn him too. But only if he wants it. In the meantime, we have one another."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Take a Bite Outta Crime Part 10 by Dellani Oakes

Drea has had a creepy visitor, which really upsets her. Kirk tries to calm her down.

"What if he was a Hunter?" Her question cut through the calm he tried to create.
"Then we deal with him on his own terms. The way we always do." His lips continued to caress her hands.
Drea shivered, a tingle running up her spine.
"What if he won't take a bribe?"
"The choice is then simple—turn or die."
"He could kill us, Kirk."
"We are not without skills and resources, my love. The Council...."
"The Council will throw us to the dogs. Look what happened to Jasmine!"
"She was careless," he replied gently. "Sloppy. We would have dispatched her ourselves, had it not happened."
"How can you be such a heartless bastard?" She asked, jerking her hand away. "Jasmine was our friend!"
"Perhaps, but she put us all at risk. She was too outrageous and obvious. Showing your fangs in public, even as a Halloween costume, is bound to attract the wrong kind of attention. Then taking up with that group of depressed teenagers. What was she thinking?"
"She was lonely." Her fingers touched his cheek, brushing his hair gently. "Just as I was—until I met you. Turning you was the best idea I ever had."
"You did it for the sex," he said, taking her wrist to his lips.
"At first, but then I fell in love with you. I have loved you for so long now."
"Four hundred years," he said, nuzzling her palm.
"Four hundred and one."
"Together, yes," he said, nibbling the base of her thumb. "But married four hundred. And you look as beautiful now as you did that first day. So young, vibrant...."
"Even so...." His eyes turned dark, stormy as he continued to caress her arm.
With a flick of his head, his mouth opened wide, clamping down on her wrist. His teeth sank into her arm. Drea gave out a shuddering sigh, a shiver of pleasure running up her spine as he fed. Not to be left out, she took his arm, doing the same. Soon, their lips met, their blood mingling between them.
There was a tapping on the door.
"Chef?" It was Margo. "Are you busy?"
"Moderately," he said, his voice low and husky.
"I'm sorry," she said quietly. "But put 'em back in, the police are here."
"Shit!" He hissed. "We'll be right out."
"Let them taste the new hors d'oeuvres you're experimenting with," Drea said, wiping blood from Kirk's lips with a damp towel.
He did the same for her, checking their wrists and sleeves for any traces of their encounter. The scars were gone, no telltale blood on skin or sleeve. Fixing her hair, Drea took the lead. Kirk shifted his chef's uniform around his lean, muscular frame.
Officer Scott and a female police officer they had never met, were waiting in the front. Margo was feeding them the new pastries she was working on. Each of them had a glass of sparkling water at hand.
"These are delicious!" the female officer said excitedly. "I'd love the recipe."
Margo giggled, taking up the tray. "Thank you for the compliment, but I don't have one. I toss in whatever seems like it would be good. I don't measure."
"Oh, then you have to make these for my wedding reception," the woman said. "I'm getting married in two months."
Margo grinned, batting her eyelashes. "Talk to the boss!" She waved to them, taking her tray with her to the back.
"May I introduce Detective Sandra Perelman?" Officer Scott said proudly. "She's in charge of your case."
"Our own detective? Why are you in uniform?"
The young woman shrugged, shaking their hands. "I just got promoted. Until today, I was a beat cop, Eddie's partner."
Officer Scott wiggled his fingers. "I'm Eddie."
"I just found out I passed, so Ed's telling everyone I'm a detective, though it's not official until tomorrow."
"But your assignment on the case is?"
"Yes, it's genuine. Eddie's taking me around, filling me in on details, introducing me to everyone."
"Oh, I see," Kirk said, not sure he did at all.
"I apologize for not calling in advance. We were in the neighborhood and decided to drop by. Some pretty crazy stuff has been happening in this part of town lately."
"Be fair," Sandra interrupted. "Not just this part of town. Actually, all over town. We've had a string of weird, unrelated crimes. Or they seem to be on the surface. But the same names keep cropping up."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

Old Time Religion ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 5

"This is Ms. Whitley. Her mother's a parishioner at St. Blase. I'm filling in for Father Charlie today." "Yeah, I h...