"Ouch, why the hell did you hit me?" The human still wasn't grasping the complete situation and all three of them looked at him agog.
"Because, my dear, stupid husband," she wasn't wrong -- he was stupid -- but they waited to see what she had to add, "they are blood-sucking freaks!"
"We are not!" Julia felt determined to clear their names -- as if Jerry even cared.
The woman demurred and said, "I didn't mean to offend."
"Hello, 'blood sucking freaks'? Like seriously?" Julia jumped in front of the woman's face and her fangs emphasized her opinion.
Julia obviously didn't care much for the tag. Jerry Cooper on the other hand thought it was mildly amusing coming from the two bottom feeding leeches in front of them. He'd found from the husband's mental humming that he'd been stealing from his boss and society for as long as he could remember. He was always looking for a new con, and his wife was nearly identical in nature. A match made in prison, from what he'd heard. The man had been in for check fraud and she'd been visiting her old boyfriend who ran a string of hookers down in Miami and Fort Lauderdale for some not-so-nice folks who'd volunteered the low level scumbag when the cops came looking for them. Yeah, the perfect Ozzie and Harriet couple all right.
"Okay, like, you are vampires right?" Again not a real question but then she didn't seem to completely grasp her current situation.
"No, we're aliens from the planet 'Get-A-Fucking-Clue'," Julia was nearly spitting in the face of the woman. Jerry nearly laughed aloud.
The man finally found a set of balls and said, "You can't talk to her like that!"
A wrong move, but Jerry didn't kill the man but instead flashed his fangs and said, "Want to bet?"
A dark line of wetness ran down from the man's zipper to the floor quickly followed by a puddle of pee on the ground. Jerry gathered that the man didn't want to bet. The human amused the fuck out of Jerry, but he didn't say a word given the pee in a puddle beneath the man on the floor. If he gave the man enough time he'd probably slip in his own urine and land ass over teakettle on the floor. These two were just a regular comedy act.
"I guess not," Julia felt obligated to chime in since she didn't care how the humans thought of her. She was starting to get into the vampire life, for which Jerry was very happy.
The woman bristled and looked at her husband with a curl of distain on her face. "Fuck, you are like totally a tool. Vampires just can't come inside without being invited. You never pay attention. It's totally like a rule. So those are like the fake teeth that sick fucking humans use to look like 'real' vampires. Don't you know that they have like dental implants? I mean, don't you like ever watch the news?"
She was shrill and completely wrong. Hollywood did an amazing job of spreading misinformation and at times it was nearly orgasmic to 'real' vampires. Real vampires had their world and Hollywood created one to suit the viewing public with their own spin. At times vampires knew that some of their kin were helping spin the legends and superstitions not part of the vampire world. Nobody bothered to research anything older than the last news bite, and for that supernaturals were grateful. Every now and then a human bothered to read something older than last year and would figure out that the supernatural world actually did exist, but those people were quickly subdued, mocked and put into mental institutions if not outright jailed. Despite all of that, Jerry nearly applauded her effort at convincing her husband that they weren't real vampires. He pondered if he wanted to inform her that dental implants were popular in some circles but Jerry and Julia were sporting real ones.
Julia arched an eyebrow at Jerry and asked, "Can't I just drain one of these idiots?"
"Not yet, but maybe after they finish cleaning this dump up." Jerry really didn't like untidy homes, but beggars couldn't be choosy. The lack of light other than the candle didn't make the place more 'romantic' but dingy and dust-filled. Julia had gotten rid of the immediate clutter and crap but there was still a miasma of dirt lingering. He wondered if they even had a bottle of bleach to wash the walls and floors with. If not he'd send Julia out into the complex to dig up some more supplies. Add in that the smoke wafting around was also giving him a slight headache -- or the two humans -- either way it was a toss up and he needed to think clearly.
"Fine. We'll do it your way, Sire. But after?" She grinned widely. Julia was really getting the vampire vibe, and at the same time her fresh face reminded Jerry that he'd taken on more than he'd bargained for when he'd turned her.
"Afterward is after ... so not now." He gave her a flash of fang and a wink.
She giggled and said, "Nice."
Jerry slipped into the female's mind and nearly screamed in agony. She was beyond drunk and thankfully not nearly as stupid as the male appeared, but definitely on the low end of the IQ spectrum. He didn't see how he could easily guide the stubborn human when something dawned on him. He didn't need to push the woman -- he could have Julia do it.
And with that, he slipped into his fledgling's mind and guided her on how to become a puppet master. Laughing, she actually felt his intrusion this time and let him help. Soon both the humans were busy cleaning the crap out of the home they'd nearly deserted before Jerry and Julia had wandered into their lives. It turned out that the woman had temporarily worked for a cleaning service, and stolen cases of high-end cleaning supplies that had been stored in a closet unused. Well, in short order Julia had the boxes opened up and the contents were being used liberally. Laughing Julia said, "And they don't even seem to care! This is amazing."
"Don't get too comfortable. If you do this when the Vampire Council are around you'll run the risk of breaking one of their stupid rules." Jerry informed her softly.
"The 'Vampire Council'? What the hell is that?" Jerry didn't know that he hadn't mentioned the Council to Julia, but he thought that she'd understood the hierarchy of vampires innately with her ritual turning. But then it wasn't something he really wanted to discuss given his strong desire to destroy all of their enforcers to start.
Shrugging he decided to give Julia the short version.
"The Vampire Council are self-appointed guardians of the vampire lore and supposed Master Vampire territories. They impose rules that are enforced by other vampires. They arbitrarily make laws that are pretty much archaic, and not only that but unenforceable by most reasonable vampires. They go above and beyond to push their views on all vampires with or without permissions." Jerry would love to say more but figured they didn't have that much time before the meet between Ben and the unnamed Council messenger. He looked to the large sliding glass door that led to the second story balcony overlooking the Camino Real bridge and wondered if any vampires had begun to position for the meet. The husband was busily spraying foam glass cleaner and using a torn t-shirt to rub off years of filth on the inside of the door.
He didn't feel any vampires in the area yet, but then the vampires in the immediate vicinity of five hundred plus miles were nearly null since his completely unauthorized conversion of Julia into the vampire world. He still couldn't believe how far the rogue spell had spread. The last time he'd used the ritual there hadn't been nearly as many vampires around, and that proved to be amazing. The energy flowing back to him was epic and unbelievably powerful. He was feeling like he was on top of the world and nothing could stop him. At the same time he knew such feelings could be the true death of him.
Julia nodded and asked, "Why do you hate them so?"
He hadn't realized that he'd revealed his anger towards the Council, but from his fledgling's face it was more than apparent she knew something of the depth of his feelings. He contemplated if he was willing to explain it all to her or simply let her wonder.
"Because they tried to destroy me for no reason other than that they could. Vampires have been legion for centuries, and the Byzantine bullshit these new vampires shovel has been widely accepted and allowed by the cowardly vampires here. We never voted on this supposed Council, and they swept through the country using their might and horrific torture techniques to create their reign." Jerry spoke softly but sincerely. He knew firsthand how the Council operated and it still could make him break out in a cold sweat. That he'd survived their torment said more about him than the enforcers. Thankfully they'd been under-informed about him and his talents.
"Why do the other vampires allow this Council to rule?" Julia asked sincerely.
"Because they fear them. The Council makes arbitrary rules and their thugs enforce those rules and infractions in the early hours of dawn when vampires are the most vulnerable. They use lies and tricks to trap the supposed rogue vampires. Sometimes they warn a vampire ahead of time. The Council at times sends a messenger with a note telling the vampire what rule they allegedly broke. But not always; they keep vampires off balance with the inconsistency. A few days, hours, seconds later all hell breaks loose." Jerry sighed. The humans were still busy scurrying around their home cleaning and tossing trash into a large black plastic bag. Jerry sincerely doubted that the home had ever been as clean. He'd never received any warning from the Council, but then he was positive one of his own fledglings or minions had betrayed him, so it was quite possible that any such inkling wasn't given to him. Because another little side of the Council was that they were perfectly happy to allow the offending vampire to offer obscenely huge monetary bribes and other rogue vampires in trade for their lives.
Julia looked at Jerry with large eyes and he didn't ask what she was thinking. It didn't matter because Jerry knew perfectly well what she was worrying about and decided to tell her, "Yes, the Council caught me. They used a very pretty Southern vampire and my own blood to trap and imprison me for months. Eventually I got free," he didn't bother to explain that there were humans that had rescued him and he'd killed them for their effort. To this night he wasn't sure if he had really needed to kill them or if it had been his vampirism robbed of humanity by being captured and locked inside the coffin that caused him to kill his rescuers. Spilt blood as it was and he couldn't turn back the clock, but at times he did wonder. His nature being vampire didn't always give him a ton of options.
Nodding, Julia didn't talk but let Jerry work through his past. It wasn't always easy but the fledgling seemed to understand that he was trying.
"Enough about me. We need to get set up for the meet." Jerry stopped sharing his past and looked to his future. The two humans were still scrubbing and dusting like their lives depended on it -- which oddly enough, it really did.
Earlier Jerry had opened up the apartment allowing the gray skies to filter into the room while studying the view. The sliding glass door was bolted on the top and a wooden dowel was shoved into the base proving that the humans weren't completely stupid. The winds had picked up since the vampires had headed inside and they watched a potted plant sail off another tenant's balcony from above and fly out into the parking lot below. A moment later a car alarm began blaring and Jerry concluded the five-gallon planter had landed on the hood of a car down in the paved lot for the building right below them. The sound continued blaring into the evening without any signs of stopping. The incessant noise was driving Jerry nuts, and from the screams he heard in the building there were more than a few residents who weren't fond of the sound