Warning! This is a horror/dark fiction story so may be disturbing to some. There is strong language and sexual situations.
Vince Wright sat in his Jeep scanning the list of seventeen large canines he had compiled as the result of his slow and frustrating patrol around the northern perimeter of the lake. For the most part, the animals were well-trained household pets kept in securely fenced runs or inside the owners’ homes. From what he could tell, there wasn’t a vicious cur in the lot. People dogs all, none of them had threatened him with anything more sinister than muddy paw prints on his uniform trousers en route to giving his face a thorough licking. He had looked them all over anyway, closely questioning their masters about their activities and those of their animals on the night of the killings.
Of course it had all been a colossal waste of time. Coroner’s report or no Coroner’s report, Vince knew what he had seen in the Kramer cabin and he was certain that no dog had done it. Certainly not one of the tail wagging suspects he had just finished interviewing. Fortifying his growing conviction was the fact that of all the animals he had thus far seen not one had been white or, with the exception of a beautifully matched pair of golden retrievers, even light colored.
He glanced at his watch. Nearly two-thirty. If he got a move on, there should be plenty of time before dark to check out four or five of the isolated cabins up behind his own place. Unwrapping the double hamburger he had purchased at the drive-thru window of the Condor Lake McDonalds and clutching the strawberry milkshake precariously between his thighs, he started the Cherokee’s engine and pulled out into the sparse weekday traffic stream on the lake road.
“You want me to do what?” Rollo Castle was sweating profusely, glittering drops of nervous perspiration clinging to the pads of fat ringing his dark Gypsy eyes, staining the armpits of his dark blue shirt. The same deathly-white creature–the thing with the deadly yellow eyes–stood before his desk again. And another fat envelope; a heavy nine by twelve manila job this time, lay tantalizingly on the scarred Formica, inches from his pudgy fingers.
“I wish for you to witness the vows,” the creature said in his low, persuasive voice, “to seal the marriage pact that was agreed before your ancestor.”
“Yeah,” said Rollo, peering around the frightening presence in order to get a better look through the mirrored window at the girl, who was idly flipping through a stack of sale items on the floor below. She looked normal enough. In fact, except for the dark glasses and her pale complexion–and after the skin cancer scares of recent years, pale was “in” anyway–he would have passed her in the street without a second glance, except maybe at those long legs, legs at least as good as Marissa’s, maybe better; and Marissa had one hell of a set of great legs on her.
The vampire gazed patiently, awaiting his reply.
“Is the, uh, young lady, uh, of age?” Rollo asked delicately. If the weirdo on the other side of the desk wanted to give him a whole shitload of money in order to officiate at some half-assed wedding, the bedspread king wasn’t going to say no. On the other hand, if this was some kinky sex thing, he didn’t want to end up on a morals charge for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
“The female was born in the year one thousand, five hundred and eighty six, as reckoned by your Gregorian calendar,” said the creature without flinching.
Shit! This was just too fucking weird. Rollo decided he would take the money–there had to be at least a hundred grand in the envelope–and move his ass to Vegas permanently; set him and Marissa up in a nice apartment someplace near The Strip and to hell with the bedspread business. “What do I have to do?” he asked.
“I will show you,” said the creature.
Summer stood on the bare cement floor of the barn-like structure, pretending to examine the rectangles of fabric that were stacked everywhere in huge piles. After escorting her into the habitation and instructing her to remain where he had left her, the prince had held a brief conversation with a young, dark-skinned human, then disappeared through a doorway in a roughly painted wall.
She was still trying to assess her impressions of the prince, the one for whom she had waited so long. There was little to assess. Aside from the exciting scent of musk clinging to his lean body, he had offered no insights to himself or his history, while she had been made to reveal everything about herself. Except for the few clipped questions he had put to her in the vehicle during the long journey from Bobby’s apartment, he had said nothing at all, curtly ordering her out of the car upon their arrival at this strange place and instructing her to wait.
Bobby had not been like that, telling her everything about himself and his life, sharing his hopes and dreams for the future….
An image of his smooth muscled body and smiling face filled her mind and she felt sick with longing; a sickness she had not experienced since the loss of her mam so many seasons ago.
She did not, she decided, like the haughty young prince.
She most decidedly did not wish to couple with him. To be his bitch, bound to follow his orders; to birth and tend his squalling younglings.
She wanted Bobby.
Her eyes darted about the ugly human habitation. The wide glass doors stood nearby, leading to the bright sunlit world…. Bobby’s world. She had only to bolt through them and she would be free….
“All is in readiness.”
She looked up to see the prince regarding her. He had slipped up behind her in her desperate musings. Of course she must do as he bade her. Her sire had made a pact.
She allowed him to take her arm and guide her up a dark wooden staircase to the level above.
They entered a small room where a fat human who vaguely reminded her of the majestic Oracle of old stood sweating behind a broad table. A gold medallion gleamed over the fabric of the dark garment stretched across his swollen belly.
Something cried out within her.