"Okay, Charlotte, what say we get this show on the road? Your blood donor at the base of the stairs can go up and cover up the cameras. Then once we are given the all clear, Toby and Kegs can head up and decide if we will bring Jim down from the harness or if we should leave him there. We then get to choose if he should live or die depending on what he can tell us. That work for you?" Eddie wasn't really asking as so much as pretending to give Charlotte a choice.
Nice but unnecessary. She trusted him enough to make the right decision about Jim. She didn't hold out much hope for Jim giving them any sort of information, but it was a cute idea. Her thoughts simply enough ran to the letting one of the boys take the heat from Kenyon by fanging in and finish the near death draining earlier dished out by Kenyon over at Dark Whispers. She would really love to fang in and finish him off herself but no need to totally piss off Kenyon -- yet.
"Sounds like a plan." Charlotte tossed Hank a mental command and he began painstakingly to pull himself leg by leg up the stairs. He was still a bit wobbly from the bloodletting and massive amounts of alcohol running through what remained of his blood but he held fast to the railing and didn't fall. She had to give him points for that. Naturally Toby and Kegs followed at a safe distance in case basic gravity won out over poor footing of a human buffoon. Hank was definitely a bit unsteady but making the valiant effort to appear normal -- obviously something he'd learned by years of successfully drunk driving.
Toby had out one of his many guns just in case he needed to slow someone down. They wouldn't necessarily kill a vampire but with the right shot or three would keep the creature down. Toby tended to fill his ammo himself and he was pretty well known to pack a wallop into his bullets. If that didn't slow the vampire or human down Toby kept a few wickedly sharp knives sheathed on his body. He wasn't very picky about how he killed but well prepared. And something interesting was that his ammo could well take down a vampire if used properly, but Charlotte pretended to not know that little known fact. Toby had worked with some of the master vampires over the centuries and had plenty of time to perfect the mixtures.
"So, Timmy, where'd you say your Aunt Maddie went?" Charlotte hadn't let him up from the wall while she attended to Hank and his body betrayed his interest. Casually she punched him solidly in the stomach. She aimed for the meaty part and avoided cracking a rib. That would slow him down and she wasn't sure how much they'd need him in the next few hours. Humans were pretty fragile when it got right down to the basics and she was aware of their breaking points -- well, mostly. She pushed out the stray thoughts of a few mistakes made recently and in the not so distant past. Mentally she shoved those thoughts even deeper and concentrated on the matters at hand.
"What the hell'd you do that for?" Tim groaned out once he was able to speak. She was pleased to see Tim lose his arrogant demeanor and tone, not to mention other standing up bits and pieces. He really wasn't paying close enough attention to what could happen to him given his current situation. He wasn't cute enough to be that stupid, but Kenyon did tend to pull in humans he could control.
"Getting your focus where it belongs, lover boy." Charlotte waited for him to catch his breath. That took a few deep breaths and some minor moans. She hadn't pulled her punch much since she figured he'd been around Kenyon enough to build up some strengths. Besides he was a big boy -- he could take it. If not, Toby would toss him in with the other humans he must have scheduled to be picked up back at Eddie's Bar.
"And answer the lady's question," Eddie commanded with a slightly menacing tone.
"Yeah, my aunt." His voice trailed off and he looked disturbed. The conflicts were quickly playing out over his face for all the vampires to see and it wasn't pretty. Charlotte would've loved to play a few rounds of poker with this human and she wouldn't even have to cheat to clean out his wallet and bank account.
Glancing over to Charlotte, Eddie said, "Either he starts talking faster or I will fang in and just drink it down from him."
Eddie had to know that Kenyon had been fanging into Tim for quite a while because it was like a neon sign to strong vampires. Most vampires left chunks of themselves scenting a human minion in a territorial type of supernatural marking and Kenyon really liked to keep his various boys and girls blood-tied without giving them much in the way of useful powers. So the blood markings were critical to Kenyon to control his minion humans and keep track of them in the world. Tim had some minor levels of vampiric strength and little else at this point, as he waited in hopes Kenyon would choose him to be a fledgling while drinking from him infrequently.
When master vampires tainted their meat there was a slight trace back to them if anyone fanged in, which Eddie knew just as well as Charlotte. It was just like with the vampire fledglings but not nearly as strong a connection, given that they were still humans. Being humans, they could do many things for the vampire and also they could die inelegantly and easily given their rather disposable nature as far as most vampires were concerned. The mortals' seventy or so odd years were nothing by comparison to master level vampires' hundreds of years. Eddie nevertheless wasn't willing to wait too long for a response given the time clock was ticking on the aunt showing back up. It was much easier to extract Tim and Jim, leaving the household seemingly normal than playing a game of chasing down neighborhood witnesses and killing or erasing their images. Nevertheless Eddie was perfectly willing to risk Kenyon feeling that human's vein tapped, if need be, in order to get the necessary information.
Charlotte grinned and said, "Yes, your aunt. Where did she go?"
He shook and said, "She didn't tell me where she was going."
"That wasn't my question now was it? My question was where'd she go?" Charlotte knew Tim had an inkling where his aunt had gone.
It was one of those things that she as a vampire did automatically. She lightly read the humans around her without much thought, as it was part of her vampiric nature to safeguard her from harm. Even though she knew that Kenyon usually neglected that element in training his human minions, Tim was a bartender -- he too paid attention to people and patterns. His aunt was a focal point in his life. He knew where she'd gone. She'd stake his life on it.
He flushed in embarrassment and rolled his eyes slowly up to hers. Tim adopted the subservient pose readily and she knew quite intentionally. There still was far too much energy dancing around him giving lie to his being really submissive to her. He had learned to game well and stupidly assumed she wouldn't know the difference. She smiled fangs exposed and slapped him open handed across the face. Blood rushed to fill in the shape of her hand on his white cheek. Since her palm tingled she was under no illusion Tim hadn't felt that blow. His eyes rolled back in his head briefly and again she watched his body pulse with need. She should have sucker-punched him again because that seemed to kill his libido rather effectively. He was one sick puppy.
"Forget it, he's yours, Eddie." She drew back and Tim flinched at her words quickly saying, "No, don't! I'll tell you where I think she went."
Eddie now stood in front of Charlotte since they had switched places while Tim had cringed and jerked as far back from her slap as he could without physically moving. She stood off to the side and watched Eddie, a fang's breath away, go in for the kill. It really was up to him. She was done playing. Humans often forgot they were little more than cattle for vampires -- to be fed, raised and slaughtered as needed. There were always humans readily able to breed and produce so plenty were available. Tim was in the position where he should well have known this but his world was so upside down that he didn't pay enough attention to reality. And Charlotte knew that reality was now seconds away from Tim's neck.
He paled and gasped out, "To the club -- Dark Whispers! It's because she's never been there. She said it was because she wanted to see where I worked. Which is a lie! It's just that she wants to meet Kenyon again. She wants Kenyon to make her like him. She doesn't know what he is just that he's different. Hell, what she really wants is to fuck him."
The last bit came out on a sob. Charlotte gathered that Tim didn't share his dear old auntie very well. Given the video she's seen it wasn't a big shock. But that said it was on so many levels beyond just disturbing, but it wasn't her problem. She wondered if Tim had subconsciously realized his boss would appeal to his aunt and intentionally kept them apart. It was a distinct possibility, Charlotte thought. He probably had seen plenty of both of their sexual conquests to realize that his aunt would want to play nasty little sex games with Kenyon. If you didn't know he was a scum sucking bottom dweller of a vampire, apparently he could be quite charming. Not that she'd ever seen it.
"Of course she does. But does she know that he's a vampire, Timmy? And did you tell her what Jim was? What you thought you would be?" Eddie spoke slowly and with the strength of his position. Tim shuddered and shook his head. The human hadn't missed the past tense on his becoming a vampire. He just wanted to survive -- they all read that without letting any of his free flowing emotions ruin the moment. Tim's fears were delicious and feeding both Eddie and Charlotte.
"No, she suspects something. But she wants to screw him and dominate him. He got her excited -- no surprise there. Kenyon was probably in full charm mode -- we all have seen that now, haven't we? And I certainly know how she gets when that mood strikes her. She won't let up until she has him under her complete control." Tim was still quivering slightly but starting to get angry. He knew his aunt pretty well, it seemed. No shock to Charlotte after she'd seen the videos online. He somehow missed the point that Kenyon wouldn't let any human be dominant, but then that wasn't for them to explain.
"Charlotte, your call." Eddie was poised to fang in and finish Tim off if need be damn the consequences.
Charlotte looked around the entry hall and mentally weighed the consequences of her choices. She so hated the domination games of humans nearly as much as vampires. Sighing she figured the lesser of two evils and if she had to she'd take Tim out with a snap of the spine and go from there. Kenyon wouldn't know for sure who'd done it -- spine snaps on human minions were decidedly fatal but without taking blood, Kenyon would logically figure it was Jim. She'd keep that option open in the back of her mind. That little notion gave her a warm and fuzzy feeling.
"Let's head upstairs and see what the boys have found. Tim, you flinch wrong Eddie will zombie you. You getting me?" She put an edge into her voice and waited.
Tim had been around Kenyon's club long enough to have seen the humans drained past death. They were referred to as human zombies. Not the voodoo-styled creatures but something just as scary. Shells of flesh used sexually and violently then tossed around to other vampires for the same all the while in their minds they screamed for final death. They had no free will and no voices. Because they hadn't been brought over to a vampiric life they were frozen between nowhere and final death. Mostly they slowly decayed and ended up leaving with Kenyon's cleanup crews. Occasionally one would attempt to kill itself and find out that was just not allowed. They were tattered and soiled reminders of why it wasn't nice to screw with vampires.
"Yes, mistress." Tim was well trained, and other than the fear now totally soaking the area surrounding Tim there was no sign he knew how close to death he was. So she'd saved her spine-snapping option for now. No need to tip her hand so early in the game. The best part of being a vampire was time did tend work in her favor.
Naturally they allowed Tim to go up the staircase first -- followed closely by Eddie. At the top of the landing they saw Kegs standing guard by the door and they all heard Hank talking in a soft voice. His raspy voice drifted to them as if he was whispering into their ears. The door was opened inward but they all were frozen in the hallway because how Kegs was standing they knew not to go any closer.
"Whoa, you aren't a teenager!" Hank obviously was still hoping for the teenage slut scenario he'd spun in his mind with Charlotte's prompts and his warped desires.