He smiled to himself turning back to the crowd gathered tightly around the neonlit stage. Todd was gyrating his near naked form for the screaming women. Hand lashing out in hopes of yanking a hair or two loose from his platinum streaked mane.
He flung his hair out to them, jerking back just as they mobbed one another to try for a grab.
It had been the rage for the past few shows… who could get a few luxurious hairs form the beautiful dancer to gloat about. Todd pranced in nothing but a very snug thong. Swinging his hips as he made to dive off the edge of the stage, stopping himself mid motion to again fling the silken mass at the grappling girls.
Leon sighed as a fight broke out in the front of the crowd. Two ecstasy infused girls going at it over some of that hair. He nodded to the three burly security guards across the stage front.
One of them pulled the screeching girls apart like hissing cats, ushering them gently to the bar to cool off. It was rare anyone was manhandled in the club… so often full of the delicate humans. Zander made it law to defuse fights as gently as possible until no other option presented itself.
Often the case with the otherkin and vampires. But that was a different situation altogether.
Todd laughed gaily. Wrapping his body around a neon lit dance pole. The bright pink and orange flashing off his sweat slick skin as he swung himself to the top. Clinging to the pole with naked thighs he dropped the rest of his body to reach out towards the crowd, shaking that huge mass of shimmering hair as the women and some men screeched in excitement.
His eyes caught the subtle motion of a girl far back by the bar. He could see she was clutching books with a confused expression on her pretty face. She looked as if the school bus dropped her off at the wrong place. He lowered himself to the floor in slow arching swings around the pole. His eyes still on her as a bouncer harassed her for ID.
Making several wide bows to the delighted crowd he gave them a back arching view of his silk clad crotch, bringing another wave of screams as he dashed from the stage into the back hall of dressing rooms.
He had to see who that girl was… rushing to fling a satin robe of black across his shoulders. Heading for the bar where he last seen her.
The sleek black car pulled smoothly up to the crumbling curb of the red light district. An odd place for a book-store of legitimate sorts. But Barlow’s book -store and antiquity shop had been there long before the neighbourhood went south.
Oddly no one was inclined to disturb the store or Mr Barlow for that matter. Perhaps the locals knew he was protected by the type of people you didn’t want breaking your door down at three in the morning with glowing eyes and flashing fangs…
But several heads did turn when the well dressed man stepped confidently out of the sports car. Two ladies of the night honed in on him like a million dollar mark.
“Hey sugar how about spreading the wealth and I might spread my legs?” A lovely, but jaded, thin pale blonde sauntered towards him. The cute brunette pressed up next to the leggy blonde. “You’re in luck, honey, you get the two of us for the price of one.
“Not tonight, luve”, Jason replied, walking past them towards the book-store. The hookers’ smiles faded and the two continued to scan the street for the next poncer.
Jason knew the place pretty well by now, having been sent there to retrieve Barlow for Zander on a number of occasions. He had no idea of why the Master Vampire was so eager to question the keeper of the old book-store that he paid Jason a total of 36 000 dollars, and he didn’t care. It was a legit job. No one was getting hurt although Barlow had been complaining and bitching about it. He didn’t bother to knock. The store was open after all.
Dawn felt as if she had been thrown into a whirlpool of flashing coloured lights and dancing bodies. She had managed to get herself to the bar and now she was forced to argue with the bartender.
“I don’t want a drink!” She was screaming to make herself heard over the music and the holloring crowd. “I just want to call a cab! The bus broke down a couple of blocks from here! I just want to go to Barlow’s Books!”
“We don’t serve those under the age of 18 here”, the bartender responded as if he hadn’t heard her. “Take a hike, kid.”
Dawn felt anger rise within her. She had been running late as it was, and now she was going to be really late. It was her third week working extra in Barlow’s Books and she needed the money. It probably wont be a fourth week, she thought gloomily turning away from the obtuse bartender.
She took a deep breath and prepared herself to fight her way through the crowd once more when a voice said: “Can I be of any assistance?”
Dawn turned to find herself eye to eye with the exotic dancer. He was now wearing a black satin robe that shimmered in the colourful lights coming from the lamps that swirled overhead. “You seem to be a little lost.”
Though he was by far the most beautiful man she had set eyes on, there was something in his demeanour that spoke of kindness and genuine warmth.
“Please”, she managed, feeling a blush colour her cheeks as if she was a schoolgirl. “I just wanted to call a cab. I am late for work.”
Todd could feel the crowd pressing in on them as he gazed on her delicate form..she was so different…
Someone called his name as they realized he was amidst them and barely clothed at that.
He caught Leon frowning gaze and knew he had to do something quick before the frenzied crowd literally mobbed him. Grabbing one of Dawn’s hands away from her clutched books, he pulled her suddenly through the gathering people. heading towards the back of the club, where the dressing rooms were among other things.
Dawn felt panicked, unsure of the handsome dancers motives she jerked back hard, spilling her books and papers to the polished marble floor.
She felt tears burn her eyes in fear and frustration as Todd knelt quickly to help her pick them up. Adding to her embarrassment as his robe gaped open giving her some serious insight to his scantily clad assets.
“Just leave me alone please!” She voiced as she dropped her eyes, colour scorching along her pale cheeks.
“I’m sorry “, Todd said softly, Gently grabbing her hand in his so she would look at his face.”I’m not trying to do anything to you …I just have to get away from my fans”
She smirked angrily at his words .”Oh so I’m the flavour of the night… the poor sop you will make fun of later once you have your way with me?!”
Todd couldn’t look any more shocked as he shook his head quickly. “No… it’s not like that I swear… I just need to put on some clothes on so I can give you a ride.”
She gave him a shaky dubious scowl as once again the crowd was pressing in on them. “You Promise?” She had to yell to hear herself.
He smiled kindly taking the books quickly into his arms. “Scouts honour, my lady.” They rose together and made for the heavy black doors. Staff Only boldly inked upon them.
A skilled bouncer got them through while easily holding back the crowd. Todd didn’t look at Dawn again until they entered one of the many doors. Waiting for her to hesitantly enter she blushed immediately as a beautiful naked girl walked past without a care in the world to the showers at the far end of the dressing room.
“Nice dance tonight, Todd.” The lithe girl murmured with a coy smile in passing, barely giving the girl next to him a glance.
He gave her a brief nod, turning to offer Dawn her books back.”I am sorry you thought I was trying to lure you into.. ” He cleared his throat nervously. “What is your name?” Todd asked softly, tightening the robe around him to make her more comfortable.
“Dawn”, she replied.
He extended his hand to her. “Hi, Dawn. I’m Todd.”
She gazed on his hand and for a brief moment Todd thought she would pull back again but then she took it. He shook her small hand gently.
“So”, he asked, slipping behind a screen to dress so not to embarrass her further with blatant nudity. “Where is it you want to go?”
Dawn had turned to the large vanity covering almost the entire length of the room. “Barlow’s Books”, she replied, glancing over her shoulder. The screen was semi-transparent now that Todd had turned on a lamp behind it and she quickly averted her eyes, heat rising to her cheeks.
“It’s a couple of blocks from here”, she continued. “Have you heard of it?”
Todd peered out from behind the screen. “No, but I don’t get out much”, he gave her a charming grin. “I hardly believe that”, Dawn said. “You seem as if you could get out and around as much as you liked.”
Todd stepped out from behind the screen, dressed in a pare of black leather pants, soft from long use rather than having been washed in chemicals. A silken shirt that shimmered in blue and green and gold accentuated his colours. He grabbed a leather jacket from a chair.
“The screaming mob? I’m a dancer, Dawn, not a prostitute.”
The colour on her cheek intensify. “I am sorry”, she mumbled. “Forgive me if I where rude. I just…”
Todd gave her another smile, wanting to take the edge of his words. “It’s al-right. It’s been a long night, for both of us I think.”
She smiled back at him then, grateful. “It has”, she admitted. “I hope Mr. Barlow will be as understanding. If not, then I’m out of a job… again.”
Jason didn’t miss a thing as he looked around, ascending the store and the one customer looking over some books in the far corner. Behind a worn oak counter amid a continuous line of books was Bernard Barlow hunched over a book he was cataloguing as Jason took his time in approaching. The meek appearing elder man looked up over horn rimmed glasses as Jason walked up on stealthy feet.
“Mr Hunter,” The man croaked softly as he went back to writing numbers on a reference card.”You seem always to pick the most inconvenient times to interrupt my work.”
Jason quirk a lip as he watched the old man continue scratching on the card. “You know the drill, Mr Barlow, if you would please lock up shop and we can be on our way.”
Barlow slammed the book shut in defiance and began standing up. It was hard to believe the mild little man was indeed even a vampire. Jason caught the flash of gun metal in his perpetual vision. The ‘customer’ pulled a sawed off shot gun from within his coat and started moving fast as he aimed for Mr Barlow and pulled the trigger. The old man was simply not there as books exploded into the air in confetti rendered pieces.
Nether was Jason Hunter .Already low behind the far edge of the counter he pulled his sleek hand gun as he listened for the footfalls of the attacker. Another loud blast and another spray of leather bound confetti. Jason cursed when he caught sight of the old man move like an Olympic runner for the back door. “I know this game, Bernard… your boy is only going to get hurt if you don’t call him off …now!” He prepared to go for a roll and fire that would most certainly drop the fool that continued walking wide open right for the counter.
It was time to act. Jason rolled to the left, then rose with the lightning speed of a striking cobra. He didn’t bother to shout a warning or order the man to drop his shotgun, he simply pulled his trigger, hitting the other man in the shoulder.
The man screamed and fell back. So not a full-blooded vampire then. Jason kicked the shotgun away, drew a long-bladed knife from within his jacket. It gleamed beautifully in the soft light coming from the old Tiffany lamp. The blade was gleaming silver. Then it turned crimson as Jason plunged it into the young half-blood’s chest, piercing the heart.
The creature shrieked then trembled and started to transform, drying out, turning into dust.
Jason didn’t bother to stay and watch, instead he was out the back door, running down the street in pursuit of the old vampire. But Barlow had managed to get enough of a head start and disappeared.
Jason knew better than to run around and try and hunt him down. All he needed to do was to wait. Barlow would return to his beloved books sooner or later. Jason rummaged through the professor’s fridge finding a good bottle of wine .He knew the old man entertained from time to time… He stopped when he noticed a few of those plastic cups of yoghurt and some bottles of flavoured juices.
Jason rose up with the wine and took a better look around. He found a a flower decorated notebook on the Professor’s old desk. Noticing a soft lingering scent there. Someone had been doing cataloguing and research by the books and papers neatly stacked across the dusty old desk.
“I’ll be damned”, he murmured to himself as he breathed in the scent of a young woman. “The old codgers got himself a little fresh assistant.” He smiled to himself as he poured the wine, taking a seat in the old man’s favourite easy chair to sip from the old tulip glass, and waited.