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Chapter 7.5 - I REMEMBER YOU

The second door on the ground level opened out to another narrow corridor. From this, three more doors bled off from the hall, two of which were locked. Content there was nothing untoward behind those doors, Cain moved swiftly to the last one and tried the handle, expecting no entry, but surprisingly, it opened.

He crept through another narrow passage. It opened out to the staging area within the club. Cain gauged the expanse before him trying to locate where the vampires lurked. A handful was close by.

The light-deck activated - Cain turned to see who was there, but the area was empty, no-one to be seen. Dazzling multi-coloured lasers skewered the dark interior, roaming in never-ending figures of eight around the vast dancefloor.

The odd glimpse of seating, booths, tables and the upper walkway was afforded from dimmed trails left by the lighting. At the back of the expanse was the bar, it’s length lit by a thin line of fluorescents. Mirrored backdrops reflected the optics and various shelved bottles, shakers and glasses. Large coolers stood sentinel at its central point, the canned beers and mixers all regimental, well-stocked.

Sniffing the air, Cain soon tracked company. His eyes shot to the walkway where he picked up on a hand curled around the chrome handrail. It vanished quickly, its owner slinking back into the shadows.

He could smell more dotted around the large room - another stalked the walkway to the far left, two lurked in the umbrae nearby.

And one more.

Cain’s eyes focused on the man who sauntered, nonchalant, into the centre of the dancefloor. Seeing him again, he remembered clearly. Unmistakably Magpie - Luke Dubois. Primped and preened, this one not only reeked of nefarious intent but also a most flagrant vanity.

“Hello...Dad!” Luke said, a smug smirk playing on his lips.

Cain stiffened, hackles rising, but he moved out from the side entrance to the stage and neared the edge of the dancefloor. “Your father is where he belongs - six feet under!”

Luke’s eyes narrowed a little. “So, you know me; you remember? That’s nice. Equally, I have never forgotten you.”

Cain’s inner fury was threatening to rise, but not only toward the overly confident man who stood riddled in laser beams but also at himself for failing to rid the world of this pup fifty years ago. Instinctively, his nails started to extend, cuticles giving way, tearing. Fangs lengthened, sharp and deadly, nicking his bottom lip. “Yes, I remember you. Every drop of toxic blood holds a memory - and never is it a pleasant one.”

Magpie laughed - the sound tainted, wounded, though he tried to disguise it. “Yet you spent time with me, almost every day.”

“Not through choice! You were like excrement on my boot - foul, and hard to scrape off.”

Luke’s eyes looked polychromatic in the laser show, yet Cain could detect a flash of anger, a sliver of resentment. The young buck guffawed. “And I thought you were better than Theodore,” he said, bitter.

“And you thought you were different from your family.”

“I was!” Luke spouted, his arms spread theatrically. “And my father hated me for it.”

Cain stood his ground, his eyes flitting, monitoring the activity around him. The others remained out of clear sight, but he knew they were there, waiting. “You readily accepted the lifestyle he could provide; revelled in it, always looking for more. Never did you spare a thought for those who suffered because of the Dubois’ ‘empire’.”

“He disowned me, cut me off!”

“Did you think because you did not deal the drugs, or pimp the whores, that you were not accountable? You clicked on quickly your father’s aversion to your sexuality could be employed as a form of blackmail. He didn’t want people to know his son was gay, so you made sure he paid you to be subtle. Yet, still, you bragged. And you scoffed about the people whose lives became insignificant - so your family could live the life of Lords!”

“He threatened to kill me! Those bull-necked minions of his would have snapped me like a twig if he told them to.”

“And yet, he didn’t. More’s the pity.”

Luke fell silent. He started to pace in tight little circles, agitated, flummoxed. Suddenly he stopped, looked askance at Cain and pointing at him, accusingly. “Are you defending him? That bastard who ostracised his own son?”

Cain growled. “I never defend the scourge of the Earth; I was merely stating the fact which you so obviously overlooked.”

The rattle of chains drew Cain’s attention, and he looked above. He noted the suspended lighting rigs running under a glass-domed ceiling which presided over the dancefloor area. Something else was hooked up there too. A mesh of some kind, if he was not mistaken. He grinned.

Fergus and Tony headed out of the office, striding towards the exit for the ground floor. They had already descended halfway before they realised Cole still standing at the doorway, his attention diverted.

“What’s up?” Fergus called up to him.

The watcher shook his head, dismissive. “Nothing. I’ve just forgotten something. You two go ahead, I’ll be down soon.”

Fergus nodded and continued down the stairwell, Tony close behind.

Cole closed the exit door, quietly. He thought he’d heard something along the hallway and remained still, alert, listening. There it was again! A whisper, incoherent, but somewhat desperate. Slowly, the watcher made his way along, harkening to the slightest noise.

A grunt followed by a hushed, ”Fuck!” brought Cole to a stop outside the women’s toilets. He leaned towards the door.

“Are you OK?” A woman’s voice.

“I think so. Are you?” Riley’s voice, unmistakable.

“Of course I am, Cain would never hurt me.”

Cole felt a strange rush course through his entire being, a wave of undefined emotion. The woman had to be Becky. And she intimated Cain was already here in the club. His hand gripped the handle and taking a deep breath, he swung the door open.

Riley was lying on the floor with Becky kneeling beside him. Their heads snapped up, startled by the intrusion.

“Fuck!” Riley grunted, trying to push himself upright.

Cole locked eyes with the Becky. A look of fear crossed her face, but a labyrinth of confusion replaced it, then, utter astonishment. Her expression perplexed the watcher, his brow knotting, furrowed.

“I remember you! This - this is not possible!” Becky gasped.

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