Dark Whispers even later
Kenyon was at his desk going over some figures when the phone rang. The numbers weren't adding up and he was getting angry. Unfocused he grabbed the receiver and automatically answered.
"Hello?" His brain was still concentrating on the pages before him and he was really wondering how such a popular club could be hemorrhaging cash at such a fast rate. Even in his office he could hear the sound of the bass throbbing through the walls and feel the energy of all the live warm bodies in his club. It wasn't a slow night. Something was definitely wrong.
Silence on the other end.
"Hello?" He was impatient. In the back of his head he was trying to figure out which of his employees was stealing or stupid. There was only breathing on the phone. The sound of air being brutally sucked into a human's lung then expelled, "Mr. Hudson?"
A timid male voice half-whispered his name into his ear and it immediately irritated him. Giving up on concentrating on the financial mess on his desk Kenyon dropped his pen. He briskly answered and asked with a word, "Yes?"
"It's Tim." Kenyon was drawing a total blank. Tim who?
Shaking his head it dawned on Kenyon it was Tim the bartender who just a few hours ago he had sent away with Jim, his enforcer vampire he'd nearly drained to death to make a point. He had completely forgotten about Tim and Jim.
"Yeah, what's up Tim?"
"Jim's gone." Tim was whispering again.
"What do you mean 'gone'? Did one of his bitches spring him?" Kenyon focused rapidly and he tried to feel Jim. Since he was blood-bound to both Tim and Jim it was something he was able to do. But before he could fully link through Tim he had to stop worrying about the damn money. Which was much easier said than done.
"He sorta stopped." Tim's teeth were chattering so loudly Kenyon nearly didn't understand him.
"What do you mean?" Kenyon snarled.
"He's not moving or breathing." Again the sound of Tim deeply inhaling went along the lines buzzing in his ear.
"He's a fucking vampire. He doesn't need to breathe you idiot!" Kenyon replied slowly while keeping his temper barely in check.
Then it dawned on him. Tim was being vampirically tranced by Jim. Besides Jim wasn't dead because Kenyon would have felt it. Pulling himself together and pushing aside the worries about the missing cash, with Tim on the phone, he mentally reached for Jim and found him. Yes, he was still a vampire. Granted nearly a dead one but not gone by any means.
"Damn it. He's not 'gone' -- he's still alive. Where are you?" Kenyon growled while trying to keep from scaring the human.
Tim stuttered, "At my aunt's house."
"Tim, focus here. Where does your aunt live?" Kenyon wanted to rip Tim's face off for being so scared. But he couldn't do it long distance so he needed meet up with them and besides that Tim was feeding Jim with his fear. Hell, he was making Kenyon thirsty and he definitely had his fill of blood earlier between Jim and the cute female cop.
Stumbling over his words, Tim quickly babbled out directions. The aunt, it turned out, lived in the northern part of the county which meant Kenyon had to cross town and do it damn fast given how frightened the nearly dead vampire had the man. The drive was going to be a bitch. Kenyon hated how cluttered and congested the roads and highways had become with each passing year. Damn town turned into a city without his notice. Kenyon told Tim to sit tight and he'd be right there.
Purposefully Kenyon paced into his club. The wall of sound was thicker once he was out of the secure sound resistant comforts of his office. Ginger Matthews, surprisingly, hadn't fled after finding him in and she was leaning close to a young man with a fierce intensity. She saw him exit his office and was staring directly at the vampire with a frown etched between her eyes. He had to resist the urge to eavesdrop physically or mentally on the conversation. He just didn't have the time. Damn it.
His cell phone chirped the tone he'd once found entertaining and naturally that time had long lapsed. The irritating sound now was an ice pick through his skull. Annoyed he flipped it on after checking the caller ID screen on his phone. Unsurprisingly the word restricted was in the phone screen. But then that wasn't overly unusual in his world. Most vampires didn't want to be tracked. Technology scared the crap out of ninety-five percent of the fang set, Kenyon had discovered. It was like having a phone number displayed meant they could immediately be found. Smarter vampires knew that it took a bit more technology than that and the phone number wasn't even necessary to track a cell phone down. Not that he shared that information with the technologically reluctant vampires.
"Hello?" He continued prowling through Dark Whispers noticing it was pretty full for a week night. That ate at him. Just knowing he had to find the cause of the missing money was another stupid item on his growing to do list. He had to find out who was stealing from him and eradicate the fool.
A flowing caramel waist length colored swatch of hair with a small girl underneath spun from her friends and slammed full into him giggling. The cascade of luxurious hair and a pixie-faced girl would normally have distracted him but he had to get to Tim. The silky tresses that Kenyon would love to bury his fangs deep into were tempting but he resisted.
Not catching that Kenyon was on the phone she curled her fingers around the nape of his neck and pressed her body fully into his. The petite girl bit her lower lip while batting overly mascara thickened lashes, "Wanna party?"
He hated that expression. Party used as a verb. To him it was yet another sign of the decline of humanity.
She didn't even acknowledge he was on the phone. Her fingers were busy dashing and exploring his body. Then he noticed that her eyes were glazed with something other than alcohol and she smelled like food.
A deep voice laughed, "Want me to call back in fifteen minutes, Kenyon?"
Kenyon still couldn't place the vampire's voice. He swung the girl from his body while saying into the phone, "Just give me a minute."
"You do work fast," the laughter richly rolled over the airwaves. The hammered girl tugged his face to hers and she licked his face saying, "Oh, Baby, I'll need more than a minute of you!" Perhaps that would have meant something had her eyes not been spinning in opposite directions.
Kenyon looked around for one of his bouncers. The club was completely packed and he didn't see anyone in range but self-absorbed patrons in various stages of abuse. Alcohol and drugs flowed freely in his place. So nobody was even watching the girl crawl all over his body. Her hands were frantically tugging at his shirt. Whatever she was on left her with zero inhibitions. Any other night she would be the flavor of the hour, deliciously so, but now he had to find out what was going on with Tim and Jim and track down Charlotte before she caused any more damage.
It was then that he saw Donnie moving through the crowd like the people weren't even there and he plucked the spacey girl off of Kenyon saying, "Delia, come on and let's find you a new dance partner. Take your hands out of Mr. Hudson's pants. There you go. Let's see if you can stand. Okay, try to keep both feet on the ground. Can you not lick my chest?"
Kenyon worked his way towards the outside saying into the phone, "You still there?" The music drummed through the sound system nearly drowning out the voice on the phone. Vampire hearing didn't always help.
"Sure am. So Delia wasn't to your taste?" There was a knowing mocking laughter on the other end. Kenyon tried to hear any background noises but his club was too loud. Frustrated he paced past more dancing drunks.
"Do I know you?" He finally hit the door and went to the parking lot walking quickly while waiting for the caller to reply. The air was brisk and a bit of a bite to the night chased away the sounds trailing him as he hit the sidewalk.
"No, but I know you, Kenyon. And you have a bit of a problem." The unknown vampire was amused.
Kenyon spotted his car and pulling the keys out of his pocket, he hit the remote unlock button. The chirp of the alarm going off and the click of the doors unlocking reassured him all was right in his world. The voice taunted him with, "Car's ok? Nobody scratch the paint job?"
The unseen vampire was starting to piss Kenyon off. It was like the man was in his head or watching. Trying to appear casual Kenyon mentally ran his brain around the parking lot. There weren't any beating hearts or vampire scents in the wind. It was then he looked up and caught the glint of reflection off something next to the parking lot lights. Instantly he knew there was a camera up there -- not one he had that fed into his club but something new. There was a foreign feeling to the remote piece of machinery that seemed tainted. He wanted to take a baseball bat to the offending lens. A tickle between his shoulder blades and slowly he turned to find there was another one pointed at the entrance to the parking lot.
"No, but if my car had been damaged I assume you'd share the license plate with me?" Fury raced through his body as he knew someone else had placed cameras on his property. Not only was the club being robbed but whoever had stolen from him had also allowed cameras to be placed on his property. Heads would roll for this when he found out the name of the offender.
A dry mocking chuckle was the vampire's response. Kenyon was still no closer to knowing who it was on the phone. He had little time left to get to Tim and stop him from letting Jim free. That was logically the next step for Jim. Get Tim close enough to drain him dry and then he'd be in the wind. Kenyon nearly hung up on the anonymous caller. Curiosity wasn't just a human trait and Kenyon had his fair share. Reluctantly he kept waiting for the purpose of the vampire's call.
Holding the cell to his face he started the engine and left the lot while silence stretched between words.
"So, Kenyon, you have some tough choices, are you going to rescue your pet bartender or stalk the lovely Charlotte some more?" The mocking tone finally asked. Kenyon hadn't even thought of checking on Charlotte. That this vampire knew about her and Tim was unnerving.
"Why don't you tell me?" Kenyon punched the gas as he hit the freeway. Even though it was nearly midnight the roads were crowded. It was the middle of the week and he was forced to slalom in and out of stupid humans. Didn't any of these people have normal jobs anymore? The night was no longer just predators and prey but also soccer moms and hard working grunts with bad shifts that never satisfied his thirst.
"Well, from where you are now I would say you are heading for the human servant to make sure Jim hasn't stuck a straw in him and drained him dry." Again that feeling of being watched brushed against Kenyon but he didn't see anyone following him on the highway.
Just to be sure Kenyon kicked the car up to ninety and flew up the freeway weaving in and out of the cars and trucks. There weren't any signs of any odd cars keeping up with him in his rearview mirror. A sigh escaped Kenyon and the unnamed vampire laughed again, "Aren't you worried about catching a ticket?"
Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2007-06-11