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June 17, 2024

Get Political: The City That Never Sleeps

By Lydia Manx

Brady Luliana paced nervously around the plush room while his wife, Tami, sat on the bed, licking her fingertips clean.

"Baby, you sure you don't want some of these?"

She offered her man a taste from the frilly gold box nestled in her lap. The sugary boxes of confections were her single addiction that they kept well-hidden from the public. It wouldn't look good for the press to show her to the public up to her wrists in sweets and blood. These weren't the chocolates of the deliciously pricey Godiva or New York's own Jacques Torres treats. No these were handcrafted with care for her favorite filling -- blood. Most vampires weren't crazy about food, but Tami couldn't give up her vice, and Brady knew he had to keep her happy so she didn't wander.

"No, my dear, I am not hungry." He would on occasion nibble one to appease her but today his stomach churned with unspoken fears. He didn't know how to break the news to her. The television blared in the background with a streaming information bar rolling on the bottom with totals and predictions.

Tami pouted sitting up and sighed, "Oh, honey. Stop watching the news. I mean, after all, those stupid caucuses are just plain old boring. Like some hicks in the Midwest have a clue how to run a city much less a country?"

Rough laughter, and he shook his head at her. She always knew how to brighten his mood.

"Were it so easy. My running a city was far easier and less costly than running this misguided campaign. All your cunning talents and attributes have got me further than my stupid staff." She grinned at his compliment, her fangs slipping out as she waited for the rest. His pacing had only quickened while he spoke. She knew there was more. With him there always was more. His slim body and sharp features were tight.

"Why are you so worked up?" Her voice had a softer cadence than the public ever heard. She'd tempered her words using little air so the whisper reached only his ear. His face broke into a smile at the intimacy. She was his and he was hers.

"We're running out of money too quickly. I don't know how many ads we can run next week." He felt broken telling her about the failing.

Her laughter was light.

"So then let me run down and find some contributions. Aren't we going to have another 'donation dinner' tonight?" Tami sat up, cheered up at the freedom inherent in the dinner party. He needed money and she never had any trouble parting the money from the pockets of the partiers.

A pained look ran over his features, "There are some city folks showing up that are coming to cause troubles."

"How do we know this?" Sibilant hissing on the last word revealed her anger.

"Carnie reported there were a few guests on the list that aren't necessarily our fans." The trusted staff member had just told Brady this little bit of news before running away to help greet the guests in the dining room. They had about a half hour before they were expected to make their grand entrance.

"Why are they here then?" Tami had got up from the bed putting her chocolates down.

"They are the guests of people we invited. Some of them possibly really big contributors. A few corporations we haven't plundered." His voice was getting annoying. Even he knew it.

"Leave it to me, Brady. I'll get us some more money and tap a few veins to erase their memories." Tami carefully covered the box and went to the suite's safe. Opening it up, she removed her jewelry case and placed the blood-filled chocolates inside. Fund raising had always been one of her specialties. Well, that and shopping. The necklace she pulled from the distinctive blue box was one of her recent buys, and Brady smiled and went to help her with the clasp.

"Fine, but I need to work on my speech a bit more."

She hurried up and dressed while Brady kept pacing and jotting down ideas.

"How's this sound?" he cleared his throat and began reading from his notes.

His eyes narrowed through the thin glasses as he fumbled through the words.

"I'm an American who believes firmly we should be in control of our own destiny. We don't need more taxes, we need conservative and informed leadership. I've proven my strengths and firmly acknowledge my weaknesses. I am strong Republican and have a solid understanding of fiscal responsibility and that we all need to work together." He gestured while talking and pacing.

He cleared his throat and met Tami's eyes. She beamed back at him and motioned for him to continue.

"After the horrific events in our city's past, you know I roll up my shirt sleeves and willingly join anyone in working to keep our city safe. That safety and sense of unity is what I will bring to the office of the president. I know how to improve security and safeguard our rights and liberties guaranteed by our constitution. I have cleaned up a major city of corruption and lowered taxes without damaging the infrastructure."

She began to giggle.

"What's wrong?" He looked over his glasses while staring at his young wife.

"Like it matters? I mean come on, honey. My vampires were out there slaying until you and I became an item. We just moved cities. Detroit won't be much more than a memory if we don't let them back into the city soon." She was right. His wife brought more than beauty and bloodletting to the party. She controlled a number of murderous vampires. Once she redirected them, his city had become far less murderous.

Sighing, he explained, "When I become president I won't ever have to be the mayor again, so I don't care what happens to the city. They can come back with all their kindred. Besides it will just give me a better platform on which to build my army."

"You aren't the mayor anymore, can't I just let a few come back now?"

"Sure, honey. But we need to head downstairs soon." She grinned and ran to him. Kissing the top of his thinning hairline, she'd miss him when he died. He didn't know yet that she had no plans of making him a vampire; he was far too old, but he was entertaining. All his worries about money were comical. It wasn't that hard to get blood from a stone. Just took some sharp fangs and a pretty smile. Besides, she was so looking forward to being the First Lady.

"Tami, you ready yet?" Brady was edgy. Something was bugging him. She waved her hand at him to head out and let him run downstairs so she could make an entrance behind him. Brady loved it when she ran after him like a teenager. She never told him her true age because he would have freaked. Her teen years were far behind her despite her youthful face. Vampirism had its strengths, she readily admitted to herself.

A few minutes later her cell phone rang and she picked it up, seeing it was one of her newspaper friends. The press was always to be treated like best friends or they'd carve you up and serve you raw, she'd discovered early in her life.

"Hi Lonny, what's up?" She was grinning. He was one of her favorite paparazzi. He'd always let her know if something was wrong and was happy to take the best shots of her and Brady. Vampires did photograph, but only when they wanted to, and she liked her picture taken.

"Oh, my God where are you?" he was screaming in her ear. Holding the cell from her face she regrouped and figured out something was wrong.

"In the hotel room. Why, what's up?" She pulled her bra strap up off her shoulder and patted it back underneath the stylish dress. Her shoes were quickly popped on her feet and she pushed her cell to her face to hear what Lonny had to say.

"Why is Brady saying he's dropping out of the race? You promised me exclusives on this sort of thing!"

She hung up without answering. Her fangs filled her mouth unasked. Automatically she picked up the remote for the room's TV and clicked a channel to see her husband's face filling the screen with 'breaking news' running along the bottom.

"Yes, you heard it here first. Candidate Brady Luliana just announced that he was bowing out of the race for President. He stated his wife's ill health as the reason for his dropping out. Tami Luliana was not by his side for this shocking announcement. After his announcement, he quickly left to be with his wife." More words followed but Tami wasn't listening. She heard the racing heartbeat of her husband heading for the door. Fangs out she turned to see Brady sweating as he burst into the room.

"I have something to tell you!" His voice was tight.

Smiling she walked towards him and shut the door decisively saying, "So I heard. When were you going to let me in on your dropping out of the race?"

"What? How could you know that already?" He was pale. She planned on making him even more so.

"Must be my illness. It is a blood disease after all." Fangs out she went to her husband. He was clueless how angry she was.

"I had to say something other than nobody liked me!"

Grinning she said, "I don't think you'll have to worry about that for much longer."

Deciding that if she couldn't be the First Lady, she really didn't have much use for him anymore, she fanged in and took a pint from Brady. Not wanting to make him immortal, she stopped and snapped his neck. Staging him in a tragic bathroom accident wasn't nearly as much fun as the call she placed to Lonny the reporter, screaming that Brady had fallen and couldn't get up. She wondered how long it'd take to disappear again and start over. The life of a vampire was harder than anyone knew.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2008-02-04
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