Home > Vincent (Vampires in America #8)(4)

Vincent (Vampires in America #8)(4)
Author: D. B. Reynolds


“What about the other one?”

“Unknown.”

“Shit. I don’t want to go to Mexico City.”

“Have you ever seen the sister? Does anyone know what she looks like?”

“I saw her across the room at a party once after a council meeting in Malibu.”

“Is the sister like a female version of Raphael?”

“That would make her one very big woman, Mikey.” Vincent snorted. “No, Alexandra’s a tiny thing, especially by today’s standards. No more than five feet tall without shoes. She’s got black hair, like he does, but that’s all I could make out. I don’t think I’d recognize her on the street, but I might be able to pick her out from a photo. I’m guessing you have a shot of the female vamp who caught that flight?”

Michael thumbed through his cell phone and held it out. “It’s grainy because of the distance.”

Vincent took the phone and frowned down at the image. It had obviously taxed someone’s zoom lens to the max, but . . . “That’s not the sister,” he said. “Hair color can be changed, but the body isn’t right. This woman’s too big. And the look’s all wrong. It’s not Alexandra.”

“So Raphael’s sister is either dead or in Mexico City. What the fuck, jefe?”

“I wish I knew.” Vincent pinched his nose between his thumb and forefinger, wondering if he should call Enrique and ask what was going on. On one hand, if there was a plot afoot that involved Raphael’s sister, Enrique should be told. On the other, if Enrique was part of the plot . . . well, fuck. There was nothing in the lieutenant’s manual that said Vincent had to follow his lord as far as suicide.

“Is there someone in the South we can tap for information?” he asked Michael. “If Raphael was in Texas, Anthony or one of his people must have known about it.”

Vincent’s working relationships with vampires in the South were far better and more extensive than those in Raphael’s territory in the far west. This was because the southern territory shared a huge border with Mexico, with a lot of traffic back and forth, both legal and not-so-legal. Vampires didn’t involve themselves in human affairs, but that didn’t mean they were immune to the violence and social disruption that sometimes occurred. The U.S./Mexico border had been very uneasy of late; uneasy enough that Vincent and his counterparts in the South had consulted with each other often.

“I’ll reach out,” Michael said. “In the meantime—” He broke off when a scream sounded on the far side of the compound, from the direction of the public nightclub, which was also a blood house. Almost on top of the scream, all three phones started ringing—Vincent’s cell, Michael’s cell, and the office phone. Vincent was still holding Michael’s phone, so he hit Answer.

“We got trouble, Mike,” a male voice said. “We need Vincent—”

“You got him,” Vincent snapped as he and Michael headed out of the office at a run. “Be there in two.”

The nightclub was down the block from Vincent’s office, and it was designed to be the very opposite of subtle. Music pounded from inside, so loud that not even the best soundproofing could contain it. The heavy bass sounded like the heartbeat of some slumbering leviathan lying within the building. Four nights a week—Thursday through Sunday—a long line of humans showed up ready and eager to be blood donors, and sexual partners. The two went together. It was evolution’s way of making sure vampires got what they needed to survive. They were the perfect predator.

The line started at the bouncer’s station at the front door and trailed well past the twenty feet of velvet rope to wind around the side of the building to the parking lot. If the vampires had wanted, they probably could have generated the same crowds every night of the week, but those living in the compound needed a break from the teeming humanity in the city all around them. Or, at least, Vincent did. He liked humans well enough. They sustained him in more ways than one. But they were noisy and always seemed to want something from him, which was odd when you considered that he was the one feeding from them.

He’d made it clear when he took over the Hermosillo compound that the club would be closed three nights a week, and no one had objected. At least not within his hearing.

When he and Michael raced up to the entrance, he noticed that the club was crowded as usual. What wasn’t usual were the screams emanating from inside and the humans trying to shove their way out through the single open door. Or for that matter, the roars of angry vampires coming from inside.

Fuck. This wasn’t good on so many fronts. Good thing I wore black jeans tonight, Vincent thought. They didn’t show the blood as well.

“My lord!” the bouncer shouted when he caught sight of Vincent. He was struggling to maintain some sort of order among the fleeing humans, trying to keep them from trampling each other as they fled the club. “What can I do?”

“Stay on the door,” Vincent growled. “And get rid of them,” he added, pointing at the line of club goers still waiting their turn to get in. They were craning their necks and gawking at the screaming and frenzied humanity rushing out of the club, yet none of them appeared ready to surrender their place in the queue. If anything, they seemed more excited than ever at the prospect of getting inside.

“The club is shut down for the night,” Vincent ordered, then spun around as the humans closest to the door overheard and groaned a loud protest. Almost as one, they backed away from his cold stare, their eyes wide, their little, mortal hearts going pitty pat with fear. Except for one pretty little blonde whose wide eyes were filled with an entirely different emotion. Vincent wanted to roll his own eyes in disgust. Humans. Some of them had no sense of survival at all. It was amazing the species had flourished as well as it had.

But he didn’t have time for a lesson in survival, or even a horny blonde.

He yanked open the second of the double doors, shattering the bolt holding it closed. A few humans immediately tried to use the new wider escape route, but after getting a fang-baring snarl from him, they shied away, clearly deciding that he was a greater threat than whatever they were running from.

Vincent strode into the club and stopped. The thumping bass of the music was so deep, it made his teeth ache. His vampire-enhanced vision could see well enough despite the intentionally dim lighting. Shadows were cultivated in here to give the illusion of privacy. Sex was pretty much always the result when a vamp took blood from the vein, and in the sexual rush triggered by the vamp’s bite, no one worried overmuch about where they were or who might be watching. Unbridled sex, whether in the corners or right out on the dance floor, was pretty much the norm.

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