Home > Christian (Vampires in America #10)(7)

Christian (Vampires in America #10)(7)
Author: D.B. Reynolds


No matter what happened, he would never live there.

“Christian?”

He was pulled out of his dark thoughts to see that Marc was parking in front of what appeared to be a very busy nightclub. There was a long line of people at the door, and the parking lot was nearly full.

“Have you been here before?” he asked.

“A couple of times last week, with some of Anthony’s guys. It’s not a blood house, but the owner sees the benefit of having vamps hanging around. The ladies do love us,” he added with a grin.

“Dress code?” Christian asked, retrieving his black leather jacket from the back seat.

“You got your boots on?”

“Of course.”

“Then you’re dressed enough.”

Christian laughed as he pushed the car door open. “You know,” he said conversationally, as the two of them started for the front door, “it was pure serendipity that we ended up in the South, but I think I’m going to like it here.”

“No argument from me,” Marc said, and then turned to greet the doorman. “Hey, Wilson,” he said. “Big crowd tonight.”

“Big crowd every night since you all started coming around,” the doorman agreed with a smile. “The ladies come to see you, and the guys come to see the ladies,” he explained and unclipped the velvet rope to admit the two vampires. A group of twenty-something guys near the head of the line muttered in protest. But the women standing in front of them eyed the two vampires up and down, their stares bold and inviting.

Christian walked past with nothing but a polite smile. His only purpose in being here tonight was to feed, and he preferred the more anonymous encounters afforded by a dark and crowded dance floor.

Marc slipped a hundred dollar bill to the doorman as he and Christian entered the club, walking down a short, musty hallway to a pair of padded double doors that opened onto a landing directly above the club’s main dance floor.

Christian stopped long enough to draw in a long, slow breath, taking in the scents of perfume and alcohol, along with the ever-present aroma of human sweat and a touch of marijuana. Cigarette smoking was prohibited in most restaurants and bars in the Houston area, but someone had apparently decided weed didn’t count.

“This is what I call a target-rich environment,” Marc said, flashing a grin worthy of Tom Cruise.

Christian gave his lieutenant an amused glance and shook his head. Marc loved American movies. He’d lived the last two and a half decades in France, but he’d been born in the U.S., and he was thrilled that Christian had decided to challenge for a territory here.

“Does this mean you’re going to sing for your supper?” Christian asked him dryly. The movies might be Marc’s obsession, but Christian had spent hours watching films with him. If nothing else, it was a good way to practice his American English.

“Nah, you won’t sing with me, so it’s just not the same.”

Christian laughed. “I don’t think you’re going to have a problem,” he commented, noticing the number of speculative looks he and Marc were getting.

It always surprised him how certain women in places like this seemed to recognize the vampires almost instantly. When Christian looked in the mirror, he saw a man like any other. Better looking than average, perhaps, certainly healthier, but that alone wasn’t extraordinary. So how did these women identify them as vampires? Maybe he should ask one of them someday. Before he sank fang and banished any semblance of rational thought from her mind, that is.

“Just a quick bite, Marc,” he cautioned. “I want to stop at the house and change before my meeting with Anthony.”

“In and out, it is. And I mean that in the most culinary sense.”

“Go,” Christian said, laughing. “Meet me back here in an hour, but don’t leave the club. I have a feeling Houston is about to become a dangerous place for us.”

“You want to stay together, then? Double up?”

Christian weighed the idea, but rejected it almost right away. He and Marc had shared their women more than once, sometimes one woman between them, and sometimes a pair of women, whom they’d take back to their house or hotel, and then trade off partners during the night. But as enjoyable as that was, it was also time-consuming.

He shook his head. “There’s not enough time to do it right.”

“One hour then,” Marc agreed and, taking the two steps down to the dance floor, quickly melted into the crowd.

Christian lost sight of him almost immediately, but he could still sense him nearby. Marc was his child. They had a connection that could only be broken by final death—the kind that ended in a pile of dust, a possibility too painful to contemplate.

Reminding himself that Marc was a strong vampire who was more than capable of defending himself, Christian turned to his own purpose in being here. And that was to feed, to gain strength before his meeting tonight with Anthony. A meeting that was important to both his and Marc’s future on this continent.

He scanned the crowded room. Several women returned his assessing gaze, but most were too aggressive for his taste, too blatant in their invitation. Christian liked intelligent women, even bold women, but bold didn’t mean brash. He preferred subtlety in all things.

His eye fell on a lovely young thing standing with a group of friends. The women were all casting glances his way, whispering among themselves. Most stared openly, their hunger for what he offered transparent. But the one who’d caught his attention dared only fleeting looks before lowering her eyes. It might have been an artifice, but he didn’t think so. And, frankly, he didn’t care. He wasn’t going to mate the female, he only wanted to sink his fangs into her neck, and take what he needed. And, of course, leave her trembling in sexual ecstasy in return.

Christian captured her gaze the next time she ventured a look. It took only the smallest hint of his power. She wanted him; she was simply too shy, or too frightened, to demand it the way the others were doing. He descended to the dance floor, the crowd parting before him like a bow wave.

One of the club lights was shining almost directly down on his target, gleaming off her cap of short, dark hair, her big, brown eyes as round and startled as a doe’s as she watched him approach. Her friends preened as he drew close, but their excitement gradually turned to disappointment, and in one case, anger, as they realized who his target was. The angry one, a bottle blonde with big hair and deep cleavage, tried to insert herself in front of him, but she withered before his cold stare.

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