Billy laughed weakly and looked at both of us with his puppy-dog-like wrinkled brow worrying into his usually pleasant features. He definitely wasn't in the best situation. What with having stabbed his lover during rough sex and now having his wife find out. Well that and his damn lover hadn't the courtesy to die -- instead she was now busy giving him grief. He still had yet to cough up a name for the woman.
"Well, hell, I don't think that's a good idea," he trailed off on the last word as he caught my look. He knew I had the key to all of his secrets and wasn't too proud to use them to blackmail his ass. His family was more than a tad conservative, and Billy wasn't so pure, and since we'd been together forever I had all the ammo I needed. My skin itched with something. I don't know why I was bristling so. But it was odd for me to challenge him; maybe I wasn't fitting my skin anymore. Maybe this was all just a step too far off the middle road of any sort of normal life. But he easily read my thoughts and the anger radiating off of me; he reluctantly replied. "Okay, then well, Josie, this is Babette."
He coughed softly then added, "Babette, meet my wife, Josie."
His lip curled. I don't know if it was for her or me. Babette took the direct approach.
"Billy, you ass, I already know her name. And I doubt she really wanted to formally meet me now or ever." She was looking even healthier than before. I guess a wooden spoon wasn't close enough to a stake to kill her. That was, if she was actually a vampire.
Since it seemed like Babette wasn't just human, I really needed to look up some vampire tales and find out what was true and what was fiction. And from the looks of things pretty damn fast. Billy smiled lamely at me while I pondered what I should do. This was one of the worse days on record in our marriage and I needed to figure out what I wanted and fast.
"That'd be a cold hard fact." I really didn't need formal introductions to Billy's current toy. Babette was not what I'd expected, but somehow I wasn't overly surprised he'd found such a stunning playmate.
No matter, I didn't bother to keep the distain out of my voice. I wasn't the one in someone else's bed with someone else's husband. There wasn't much I could do. Babette had a dreamy smile on her face. And considering she was still pretty much completely naked I had to admire her composure. She'd half-covered her unnervingly healed chest. Her hand was fragile looking holding up the lightly flowered cotton sheet while still hanging onto my wooden spoon. The woman's blood coated my spoon giving lie to her now unmarred skin. I don't know what she was but nobody normal healed that fast.
"Josie, I realize that this is somewhat uncomfortable and awkward." Billy was trying to appease me.
Stunned, I looked at him and said, "No, Billy, this is beyond "awkward". That woman isn't dead nor she looking like she's even a bit uncomfortable being in our bed."
"I'm not. It's a very good bed." Her voice was still dreamy and she wasn't being sarcastic. That irked me more than knowing she had been bouncing and spanking my dumbass husband just a little while ago. Admittedly I was stupid for the man but this was beyond was I thought as socially acceptable in my own little circle of hell.
"Thanks, you can take it with you on your way out of my home. Billy, since she doesn't need burying, I will just head back to the office and let you take care of cleaning up this little mess," Grabbing my purse, I stomped out of the room, stunned by the twist my life had taken.
"Wait!" Billy called to me as I cleared the doorway. I don't know what he was thinking I was going to do. Like stay and take pictures? Participate? I couldn't believe how far I'd sunk. For the first time in my memory I didn't slow for him.
I slowed instead for the huskily whispered, "Wait."
Spinning, I saw that Babette was standing up next to the bed. Her hand holding the sheet was still doing a half-assed job but I noticed that she had dropped the spoon. Instead she had her fingers around Billy's throat. He was clawing at her with both hands unable to dislodge her grip. She held him loosely above the floor with her arm outstretched and upright towards the ceiling. Her height afforded her the ability to keep him almost completely off the ground, which at my size I wouldn't have been able to do. I never would've been able to wrap his throat with a single hand much less lift him. She used every one of those inches and his feet were barely tiptoe touching the ground.
Billy's eyes were wide and he wasn't getting any air in from the blue coloring around his lips. Something had flipped over in my brain -- like a switch. I knew that I should've been screaming at Babette to stop or maybe even gone over to her and physically tried to help my husband. I didn't move. I watched and waited. After all she'd asked me to wait.
"Well, Josie, what do you say? Should he stay or should he go?" Babette's tone was amused. She was serious. She shook him lightly like a cat playing with a mouse. Not giving him enough room to flee, but a few sips of the air.
I had a choice? Billy's eyes flew to mine and he pleaded. I saw tears well up and something fluttered inside me. It wasn't a feeling of sorrow, but rather like my heart filled with joy. That scared me more than the gal hoisting my hubby up.
"Drop him." I said dryly.
A self-protective instinct coupled with my innate desire to please Billy allowed him to fully catch a breath. Babette laughed and complied. She kicked him as he fell.
"You really are an asshole. Josie is far sweeter than you ever deserved. And you aren't a good enough lover for that sort of loyalty. But I will give her a gift," with that I watched Babette lower her head and stare directly into Billy's eyes. She mumbled something I couldn't hear. He shuddered and sobbed from the ground.
Nothing sparked inside me. I felt nothing for him. Looking at Babette I asked, "So you going to erase my memories too?"
She looked stunned by my question.
"How'd you know what I did?" Her eyes met mine intensely.
"Given he's not dead and you are what fiction writers refer to as the 'undead' I guessed you didn't exactly want him out babbling his 'conquest' to his jerky friends in the bar." I was well aware of all of Billy's weaknesses. Her eyes dropped as she digested my reply.
Billy wasn't doing much but cowering at her feet. Babette stood proudly above him and firmly met my gaze again saying, "You aren't the stupid bitch Billy told me about, are you?"
Confused as to how I'd answer that without looking even stupider I just remained mute.
Laughing at my lack of response she added, "Ever thought about immortality?" My brain thankfully worked faster than my mouth for a change. I kept my lips shut as I contemplated what she was asking. Funny, when I remembered that just a few minutes ago she wasn't moving and she had a wooden spoon in her chest. I'd puzzled out my basic anatomy and concluded Billy had missed piercing her heart completely, but hit just enough to stun her. Thus 'immortality' wasn't hers to offer. Billy was still gasping for air and looked up and whined, "Babette, you said you'd make me a vampire!" I guess she wasn't as good at wiping memories as she'd thought.
Babette giggled and said, "Billy, you'd barely make it to the local landfill if I have my way." She bared fangs and watched him cringe. I guess Billy was going to be mentally scrubbed again at this rate. That had to be bad for a person, but then I wasn't much caring how Billy was doing since I'd arrived home.
I just laughed. If she'd wanted me dead I doubt I'd be still standing. I respected her fangs now that I'd seen them but wasn't exactly sure how sharp she was. I mean after all, she was screwing Billy. I could at least claim he was my first, while I sincerely doubted that was something she could say.
"Babette, I thought you wanted Billy." Yeah, I wasn't nice. But then she'd asked me to wait. That's what she got.
The vampire, I pretty much had to give her that now, hissed softly and said, "That was before he fucked up and put your spoon through my chest."
I decided to keep my thoughts inside my head and dropped my eyes. Billy was still making some feeble noises and Babette was throatily laughing. Her voice was decadent and thrilling, and despite her abuse of my husband, he chanced a glance up at her with a look that was pure desire. He'd do her again if given the opportunity. She'd dropped back to sit on the corner of my soon-to-be burned or tossed bed and looked at Billy still scrunched up at our feet.
She casually leaned over and slapped him hard across the face.
"Billy, you fucked up. Admit it. You thought you were better than me. But who's the fool now?" Her laughter was intimate and warm.
"It's not my fault," he whined. I wondered how he figured a dead vampire was going to be able to make him one. But then when Billy was 'busy' he rarely thought. Add in that he was still infatuated with her. That scared me more than Babette's casual abuse of Billy. Her hand imprint on his face to his mouth was a stark reminder of her power. She wasn't looking at me, yet I was drawn to her. She wasn't only talking to Billy but romancing me to her side. I could tell, yet there was something primitive about her and she exuded sexuality. I didn't swing that way, yet another fault of mine according to Billy, but I could see why he was still lusting after her.
Despite her brutal slaps both verbal and physical, he was smiling, while a touch of blood welled up on his lower lip. It was then I figured that she must have split his lip wide open. Babette reached over and wiped off the droplets, and carefully holding her index finger upright before those pouty lips, her tongue snaked out between those sharp fangs and laved off the red with a precise concentration that was nearly hypnotic. Her eyes rolled back in her skull and she sighed.
"What a waste." Her voice was lazy and she stretched out her words. I figured even a taste of blood was like a drug to the vampire.
"Make me one of yours," Billy pled through his broken lips, "Babette, please forgive me for hurting you."
I felt like I'd never known him. I'd seen him abase himself for years, but this was somehow different. He wasn't mine anymore. The tie that bound us through thick and thin was severed by his 'date'.
"You didn't harm me in the least," I could hear the lie in her words even if my husband didn't, "Besides you aren't mine, Billy, I borrowed you from Josie. And Josie has the final say." Babette laughed at the fear in Billy's eyes.
I knew she wanted me to declare something, but I saw the trap in that. Once I said a word one way or another about what this monster should do with Billy she would then have power over me. Billy was far more stunned by the switch in personalities of his lover. He hadn't expected me to be pulled into this. Whatever they had going, he was under the mistaken impression he was in control. Talk about a runaway ego.
Laughing, I edged a bit further from them and wondered what I had to combat this creature. I didn't exactly have a convenient vat of holy water to douse her in or even a sizeable yet handy stake, but it appeared that spoon was still available if I wanted to go for round two. The fang-defined smile on Babette's face shot down that idea.
Something was bugging me about this vampire. She's supposedly all-powerful and yet she's boffing my hubby. It wasn't like he was a bad lover despite her dig, but to me it seemed that if she could sway anyone with her vampire powers why did she pick him? My brain did a little smart-ass hop, skip and a jump then I decided that she was like some fringe idiot vampire. For all of her bravado she wasn't very high up in the vampire land. That sat well inside my brain and I found a smile curving my lips.
Then I did a mental start as I realized I had fully embraced the idea she was an actual vampire. I wasn't going to say 'living breathing' because she obviously didn't have to do that little exercise from what I'd seen. Billy had switched over his damned honey brown doe eyes to me and I could see that he was desperately trying to think of something witty and winning to say to me. He was having more than a bit of trouble with that. He wasn't utterly stupid and knew I was more than a tad upset with him.
"Josie, my love, you know that I never meant to hurt you."
Oops he picked the wrong line. Nobody means to hurt someone but screwing a beautiful woman in my bed wasn't exactly a minor mistake. His sincerity wasn't exactly overwhelming me. The low rumbling laughter from Babette confirmed her agreement with my take on Billy's pleading. Ignorance wasn't an excuse, and after all our years together my husband should have known better than saying something so brainless. "Well, Josie, what do you want to do with Billy?"
I was back on the hot seat.