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November 28, 2022

Strange Bedfellows 10

By Lydia Manx

I was watching DB slowly shaking the large champagne bottle up and down while grinning softly at some internal dialogue running darkly in his mind. I could have easily eavesdropped on his thoughts, but wasn't in the mood to be distracted by his personal brand of deranged insanity. Watching his movements with the bottle of effervescent bubbly and being well versed in some basic rules on opening champagne I knew that nothing good was going to happen. The foil and wire cage had been removed from the bottle, and just as Kenyon clapped his hands together, DB pushed his thumbs upwards and popped the cork, which shot up with a geyser of liquid, smacking Jane right in the face as she turned the camera towards our area of the room. Kenyon was covered in spewing champagne while Jane was exposed to everyone's gaze.

Someone let loose with a howl and another voice added a scream of anger. Jane's shocked look was almost worth the disaster DB's popping off of the champagne cork had caused. I knew him well enough to realize he'd intentionally launched that cork directly at Jane perched up in the club's rafters for all practical purposes. And showering Kenyon with the fizzy vintage was just a bonus to him. Jane tried to hurl herself upwards while still focusing the running camera on some of the people below her. She was determined to keep documentation of the meet at any cost. With her being seen, the price was more than money transfers and blackmail if the roars from the vampires and werewolves were any measure.

From there things got a bit blurry. At first, I was trying to keep from laughing while we all watched pandemonium break out around the bar. But then something flipped and the screams of anger and the start of fur literally flying was becoming very intoxicating to me. Far too tempting and interesting, but I resisted the possibly fatal urge to go play with the vampires. A fissure of excitement raced through me reminding me that I was not in the middle of the fray for a change, and it was a good thing, because Jane's camera was still running and recording. She was trying to keep out of range from the leaps of one of the men who'd come with a vampire as a pet and was just below her at the bar. I think there was a trapdoor above her and she was having trouble with the latch.

The werewolves from our bar side table joined Renee and me while we backpedaled out of the direct line of fire. Yeah, as in gunfire -- some fuckwit had brought guns -- and from the screams around the room, loaded with silver ammo to the dance. And hearing the return fire I knew that there was more than one set of boys playing with their lethal toys. DB really hadn't checked anyone for weapons at the door it seemed and the resulting mayhem was insane. The air was scented with blood and pain. I wanted to stay and drink it all in but knew better. Kenyon used his vampiric-fed lightning speed to remove himself from the fights breaking out. All that alcohol had fueled more than one passion, and the resulting testosterone toxicity was flowing in waves out from Jane's sprawled body. I guess the minion had finally pulled her from her perch. I noticed the camera was missing. The trapdoor had been opened above her perch and it was possible she'd flung it up there before she was pulled down. The man was slapping her face trying to wake her and I could see she was still breathing but remaining unconscious.

Renee gasped as a bullet passed between us, slamming through the back of an empty chair against the wall. I looked to see who was shooting at us. To my disgust I watched Damson Barlow lope off, trying to avoid my response. My fists were clenched and my fangs were ready to rip out DB's jugular final true death -- it wasn't like anyone would pin it directly on me with all the fights breaking out.

Renee hissed out, "Natasha, why did that vampire shoot at us?"

Sighing, I looked at the back of my running my wayward vampire and Harry stepped literally between us, delaying me in crushing Damson in his tracks. I could hear him as he said very softly, "Not here, not now. Go out and I'll meet you out by the cars."

Nodding, I turned to the werewolves and saw they were growing visibly larger as they battled their own supernatural nature. Mentally I remembered the nearly full moon out last night and knew that the moon must be full by now. I could smell the musk of the various male werewolves fist to paw in the club, all hot and sweaty, about eight hundred degrees hotter and sexier than that of a locker room. It was a delicious scent and the pheromones were lush with promise. This could end so badly.

"Marcus, you guys want to skip the bloodbath?" I picked the lieutenant to address rather than the prince werewolf, Carlos, or the newbie, Lee. Lee wasn't looking very stable and a newly-turned werewolf apparently could be as dangerous as a fledgling vampire. The idea of Lee going full furry in this crowd driven by his fears was making Harry's notion of bolting sound like the smartest move available.

"Sure, you have an exit plan?" He met my eyes while pulling Carlos out of the way of a flying chair. The furniture hadn't been hidden before Kenyon had begun his interrupted speech, thus it became back up to the fists and guns being used. Thankfully the bottles and glasses had been cleaned off the bar in time because those would have been deadlier in the close quarters. At least everyone didn't have guns so the shooting was limited to a few minor characters who wanted a piece of one or another like me. My fledgling's shot hadn't hit me but I still wanted to take DB out for his attempt. I knew it wasn't the time or the place. Unfortunately the large amounts of alcohol consumed just flamed the fires of anger and mistrust between the vampires and the werewolves. I saw that more than one cluster of weres and vamps had squared off and were fighting tooth and claw.

"Something will show up," I said while walking quickly out of the pathway of a screaming vampire. I didn't recognize her but from Renee's stiffened back I knew she did.

Catching the passing vampire by her long blonde hair, Renee said, "Enough, Andrea. We don't need more bloodshed." Renee's long darkly polished nails were deeply woven through the hair and holding the vampire effortlessly. Renee was a regal vampire and I could see why Kenyon picked her as the poster child for the new vampire age. There was something otherly about her that spoke decades of fine breeding and royal lines. I didn't know her story but she was fair skinned and stunning. She reminded me of a prettier Angelica Houston. Her face was calm as she regarded Andrea in her grasp.

Andrea spun screaming and clawing. Her eyes were wide and her pupils blown large leaving only a thin line of blue to define the color. Fangs filled her face and she growled, "Renee, this is it. The beginning of the end. It's time to take a stand."

Shaking her head disgustedly, Renee put both of her hands on the vampire's face and brutally twisted Andrea's head. We could hear audible snaps of the bones and sinew in her neck and Andrea lost control of her body and slipped to the floor. Pulling a chair from a table Renee snapped off a leg and rapidly impaled the still moving Andrea.

"I can't have Kenyon's vampires killing werewolves. She won't be missed." Her tone was even and she showed no regret. Kenyon really had a winner with Renee, she had the ability to make the casual slaying of one of her own vampire clan look easy and effortless. And I hoped Renee was right because that the vampire wouldn't be missed because Andrea wouldn't be coming back for any kind of apocalyptic vengeance. The wooden leg from the chair effectively put her out of the end game. Andrea hadn't been a vampire very long and her death was fairly natural looking. Well, except for the fangs. They'd disappear but not as quickly. If Kenyon didn't toss her into a furnace for a quick bake she'd just be a forensic puzzle. Her death wouldn't be the last so I quickly covered the options still open and figured out where we had to go to escape a similar fate.

"I always have an exit plan." I replied to Marcus' query and headed for the back of the bar. We had to make our way past more than one set of fights. Depending on the degree of brutality we took the time to separate our various clan and pack members with cuffs and smacks. So far nobody else was permanently dead but that wasn't going to continue for much longer. Andrea's body was sprawled and an example of what we were capable of if pushed. Every vampire had their fangs out and were raking the werewolves with claws. So far the werewolves hadn't shifted but more than one suddenly had a full beard or extra long locks of hair. From the feral scent in the air it was just a matter of time. Both Carlos and Marcus were nearly panting and their hearts were beating strongly. I could smell the forest on them both and it was an ancient lush smell of a time long past. My inner vampire wanted to come out and play.

"Well, we better hurry. This is going to explode." Marcus grabbed a furry man and caught his hand as it was pulled back ready to punch the face of a female vampire I didn't recognize. I heard some bones grind together in the werewolf's hand as Marcus tightened his grip. Renee did recognize the vampire and yanked her out of harms way and brutally slapped her across the face saying, "Leave it, Marianne. Go back to your coffin."

It was rather interesting to hear that Kenyon still had coffins for his clan. I never had heard that in any of the notes or from DB in his reports. Obviously he wasn't very good at the fine details. I didn't think anyone made their vampires sleep in coffins anymore. Marianne stumbled holding her cheek but her fangs had retracted. Renee shoved her in the middle of her back and said, "Now."

We cleared the major part of the mess in our path and were finally at the back of the bar. We were heading to the one door I knew led to Kenyon's pleasure palace slash killing room. He wasn't exactly overly picky about the use. He had a room with a view to the dance floor I knew in the club but the room we were going towards was the one that smelt like sex and death. I couldn't even begin to imagine where the one began and the other ended. I saw Marcus inhale deeply and his eyes glazed a bit as he said, "Nice boy, Kenyon, plays with his food I see."

"Often," Renee said quietly. She redirected another vampire with a hiss, "Raul, not here and now. Go back. Leave it." The vampire bowed deeply and ran off away from the fray. She would make a good princess to Carlos' kingdom if she ever survived the night. I still didn't know what made her tick but found her fascinating. Kenyon was nowhere to be seen and we continued to head out.

We didn't say much more but quickly ran down the hall. The slaughter room wasn't where we were going because the exit was just past it. Renee nodded and went past me to the door. She put her hand on it and literally tore the knob free solving the issue of finding the keys. We ran out leaving the chaos behind us.

Once outside the sultry air hit me like a wet towel hard in my face. The night was sticky and the moon danced above us but after the warm body-filled club the open sky was more than welcome. I could feel the tension leave my shoulders as we galloped quickly for the street where I'd parked. They all followed my lead and soon we were near where I'd left the car. Kenyon was still nowhere to be seen, but Harry was leaning against his car door.

To be continued ...

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-05-25
Image(s) © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
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