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
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