Finally their car stopped further along the median and a dozen or more cars scattered in the debris behind them. Iris looked over at Charlotte and asked, "So, do you think it's safe to get out?"
"Hell, kid, nothing in life's a sure thing." Charlotte sighed and looked around the mess of a car. The kid's bags were no longer carefully tucked behind the seat but one was half hanging out the back window and the other was in the front seat. Iris had wrapped her arms around the larger bag she had dragged down last and was looking pretty shaken up.
"So what was it that you were mumbling?" Charlotte asked while unbuckling the useless seatbelt. The metal hook hit the window and surprisingly enough didn't break it. The driver's side window was one of the few windows not in pieces. Wind tore through the gaps in the car and scented the interior with mayhem. It was taking every bit of her control to keep from flying out of the car and further adding to the chaos by fanging in and quenching her driving thirst. She hated such dilemmas. Iris whimpered, picking up on her tension.
Charlotte rubbed her forehead and could feel a tingle of pain beneath her skin. Turning off the still-running engine she left the keys where they were. The car wasn't going anywhere without a tow truck at the very least. The pink car was now wedged firmly into a center concrete divider and there was another smashed truck still revving its engine behind them and trying to pull back into traffic. The motion was making a horrific sound of tearing metal but since the bumpers were completely jammed together it wasn't working. The man screaming in the driver's seat was obviously insane. He wasn't afraid. He was furious. From the flowing profanity he blamed them for being in his way. Charlotte was more curious about the blood freely flying from his encounter with his steering wheel. She felt her fangs slide down and mere wisp of points edged into her mouth reminding her how nice a meal would be given all the stresses of the night.
"It was a simple protection chant." Iris replied, distracting Charlotte back to the reality. That's right, a kid in tow, probably a bad time for a vampiric feeding frenzy. She still wanted to kill someone.
"And how did that all work out for you?" Charlotte wasn't overly impressed by the chanting thing, but for all she knew it did what Iris intended. That was if her intention was to have to walk for the next half hour not to mention the kid had to lug those big bags. Charlotte thoroughly hated walking.
Then music to Charlotte's ears came from behind them on the freeway. The sound of large motorcycles quickly eating up the distance between the mess on the road from the accident and her was making her grin. And also she was tingling because she knew that they were coming for her. The scent of burning cars, blood and guts strewn around the fragments of plastic and metal couldn't mask the two heading right for her. Iris noticed the smile and asked, "Why are you smiling?"
"Because I think I found our way out of here." Charlotte was then distracted by the idiot still trying to drag his truck free from the pink car. His swearing was ruining her pleasure. The driver's side car door refused to budge. Looking over to Iris she said, "Give me a minute here." She swiveled and used her feet to kick the mangled door open. The hard kick once delivered cracked the pane of glass in half sending the previously pristine window into the road. It spun and then rested against the tire of burning car a bit ahead of them on the median. She sighed. Brushing off the other pieces of glass covering her briskly she stood and headed towards the truck. She was in control. Sort of.
Carefully she went to the driver's side of the dark blue truck jammed into her somewhat pink car. Humans were unpredictable at the best of times and these weren't those. The man was still yelling things and pounding the dash with his fist. She walked up to the heavily dented door, complete with bondo and blue-grey primer, letting her know it wasn't part of the current situation, and she indicated he should roll down the window with a slow winding gesture.
"What the fuck do you want, bitch?" His anger was accompanied by a fine spray of spittle and stupidity. Charlotte failed to understand why men kept calling her a bitch. She smiled and gave him a chance. Given she knew who was coming down the road she could afford to be generous.
"Excuse me. But there's no need to swear at me, as it wasn't my fault that someone hit me." Charlotte graciously began to try to charm the man.
He turned his eyes towards her and she knew he wasn't going to be appeased by mere words. His bloodshot brown eyes were narrow and close set. His face was florid from his extreme rage and his hair was dark and really oily. Not from a gel or a fine hair care product but from slimy nervous sweat. There was a mist of blood in the air from wherever else he had been injured beside the cut in his forehead. Also there were streaks of blood on his puffy cheeks and some on the dash where he had been striking with his still-clenched fist. The knuckles were extremely hairy and had been sliced open from the cracks in the dashboard. That explained the spray of blood scenting the air.
"Stupid bitch, of course it was your fucking fault. You were driving and -- what -- putting makeup on or talking on your cell phone to your boyfriend?" He snarled. His eyes narrowed, and he grinned, showing a general lack of basic dental hygiene.
He was seriously pissing her off. She tried to smile nicely and found her lips refused to be sweet. She tried to keep the fangs inside her smile and that wasn't working very well either. She wanted to rip the fool's head off and be done with the conversation. Taking the moral high ground she tried to continue to reason with the man.
"No, you see I wasn't talking on the phone or putting on any makeup. Actually I was driving when some idiot decided to slam into my car. And unlike you I know when to turn off my car. Your pretty truck won't be separated by your will and punching the gas pedal. A crowbar at least will be needed." Charlotte had a little bite to her words. Damn, she was trying so much to be nice.
He began to puff up and get defensive. Charlotte could see that the human didn't feel the shift of power. He was still caught up in his ill-aimed road rage and unaware of what life had to offer. Or if she had her way -- in reality his soon-to-be death if he kept pissing her off. The deep throated vibration coming from the approaching Harleys was throbbing a core memory. Her vampire bikers were more than welcome. She savored the knowledge that Kenyon didn't know about them and she did. They were her rogues running around Southern California. Not by blood, so Kenyon couldn't read her through them or visa versa. So the poor stupid truck boy was toast. One way or another.
"Well, fuck you! Get away from me," snarling he tried to push his door open. And like Charlotte's car door had been jammed, his was also stuck from the battering it had taken in the disaster. Unlike her, however, he couldn't simply kick open the door. She tried to keep the grin off her lips.
"Do you need a hand?" She asked while seeing the large black and chrome bikes rolling down the median towards them out of the corner of her eye. It was all she could do to keep her fangs in check. The man frantically shoved unsuccessfully at the inside of his door.
His swear words were getting progressively more and more descriptive and nearly impressive with the impossibilities and physically improbabilities the man was suggesting that Charlotte could do. She wasn't going to take him up on the issue of her paternity and really didn't feel much like doing the various positions and bestiality he was spouting. When he paused, red in the face, to catch his breath she made a choice for him.
"Allow me." With that she yanked his door from the truck. Literally and completely off the hinges. She tossed the entire piece into the bushes in the middle of the freeway. Thankfully, with everyone still screaming and dying nobody saw her little display. Well, except for the now trembling occupant of the truck. Suddenly he wasn't nearly as angry. And amazingly enough he didn't seem interested in having her screw anything or anyone. A shudder and then he found his voice again.
"How the hell did you do that?" Now he was afraid -- such a human to only be aware of danger once it was nearly too late. She wasn't sure what to do with him yet, and with her biker buddies approaching she was tingling with the anticipation of what could happen. Something in what she was thinking must have shown on her face, because the man paled. Charlotte inhaled deeply his fear and trembled for a different reason. He was delightfully frightened, and she was still a bit hungry. All the earlier blood loss made a girl hungry after all -- nobody could fault her for that, she figured.
Charlotte was saved having to answer as the motorcycles rolled to her side. The man in front flicked his wrist and the throaty growl of the Harley prevented any reply from being heard. Kegs was in front and as usual wearing the completely useless skull helmet. The biker grinned showing surprisingly white teeth in his face. The beard was thick and gray on a bit of black. His eyes were light colored and twinkling.
"You called, Princess?" Two packs a day kept his voice deep and being a vampire, it wasn't like they would kill him.
She beamed back and said, "I guess I did."
Looking at the long-limbed biker pulling forward she knew it was Legs. The woman also wore one of the useless bits of plastic on top of her head but had stuck a hello kitty sticker like a bull's-eye right in the middle centered above her eyes. Two blue-black braids hung down the from under the 'helmet' nearly to her waist. Charlotte had seen them unbound only once. Her hair cascaded to her ass when unknotted. Her Native American heritage was firmly carved into her features. She didn't talk much and wasn't a close friend of Charlotte so much as she was Keg's chosen life mate, and tended to come with him whenever he visited Charlotte. Still she was happy to see Legs since she was one of the most vicious vampires Charlotte knew. Which was saying something. Legs nodded and turned her bike off. She swung herself off her bike and stood. Six feet of black leather coming off a bike was impressive. With the way this vampire stood it was something even more. Kegs called her "Princess" but Charlotte knew whatever type of human Legs had been, the title was probably more accurate for her.
"Thank you for coming," Charlotte said softly but formally to Legs.
"No problem," Kegs was still answering for the both of them. But then that was okay with Charlotte. Sometimes when Legs spoke there was an undercurrent of ancient magic in her voice. It was a bit unnerving but part of her. Charlotte would find out her story one day, but it wasn't going to be now.
"Do you want him?" He indicated to the still frozen human.
"Nope. Why, do you?" She smiled. Kegs had already told her he was there to play her game. That was a relief. Thankfully none of the jewelry she had stolen from the bank was his as far as she knew. Kegs played by his own rules for sure.
Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2007-01-29