Inside room 103 of the Sangreville Motor Lodge, a cellphone rang. The muffled ringing came from inside a handbag lying on the bed closest to the door. Kate and Vicky stopped playfully teasing Pete and Jimmy with their fangs. They all turned their attention to the ringing sound.
Kate said, “That’s mine.”
She moved away from the door she’d been blocking, and went over to the bed. She picked up the handbag, reached inside, took out her cellphone, and put it too her ear. She retracted her fangs.
“Hello.” Kate asked, “Who is this?”
“Hi Kate.” The caller said, “This is Harry.”
“Hi Harry.” She looked at the others.
Vicky exclaimed, “Don’t tell him I’m here!”
Over the phone, Kate’s stepbrother’s voice was tense. “So how are things going?”
“It’s hard to say.” She told him, “Someone who calls herself a Bruja just spoke some kind of ‘incantation’. Now I won’t be cringing at the sight of a cross.”
Pete, Jimmy and Victoria all looked tense.
Harry asked, “You mean you’ve got your soul back?”
“I really can’t say. I’ve still got the fangs,” she hesitated, “and the temptation.” She looked nervously at both guys in the room, who appeared to be as nervous as she. “The temptation is just as strong.”
“But you’ve still got the pigs blood with you?”
“Yes. I’m sure the packaged blood can last at least a few days.”
Harry asked, “Tell me Kate. Is Jimmy with you now?”
“Yes. He’s here.”
“Could you put him on? There’s someone here at the Club. He has some business he wants to discuss with one of the owners.”
“Jim.” She held the phone out to him. “Harry says there’s someone with him now, who wants to discuss some Club business with you.”
Jimmy came over, took the phone from her hand and put it against his ear.
“Yeah. What is it Harry?”
There was tension in the Club D/J’s voice. “There’s a lawyer here named Lawrence MacKenzie. He wants to talk to you. He says you spoke with him earlier today.”
Jimmy said, “Put him on.”
Vicky repeated nervously, “Don’t tell him I’m here.”
The voice Jimmy’d heard earlier, now spoke over the phone. “Mr. Manetti?”
“Lawrence MacKenzie here. Listen carefully.”
“You have my full attention.”
“I spoke with your business partner, Miss Victoria Milford earlier today. I also spoke with her on the night when she first revived as a vampire.”
“When she first revived?”
Jim looked over at the very tense Vicky.
“Yes. On Tuesday night, she was brought to my office at Vidamort Corp. Headquarters. She and I made a certain agreement concerning her part ownership of the Climaxes Nightclub.”
Jim asked Vicky, “You made an agreement about the Club with Vidamort Corp?”
She nodded and looked away from him. Pete and Kate also looked troubled.
Mr. MacKenzie continued, “The agreement is that either she signs over her entire interest in the Climaxes Nightclub to Vidamort Corp, or the police will be informed about the illegal drug dealing and bookmaking that’s been going on in your establishment, Mr. Manetti.”
Jimmy, who’d been away for months said, “Illegal drugs and bookmaking?”
The Lawyer told him, “Along with Miss Milford getting a percentage of every transaction.”
He looked at Victoria. “A percentage?”
Victoria again looked away from him, and now didn’t look at Pete or Kate either.
“I see.” Jim spoke with a grim tone. “Extortion. You’re running a protection racket.”
Kate gasped softly, exchanging a troubled look with Pete.
The man on the phone had an amused tone in his voice. “We at Vidamort Corp prefer to call it ‘Insurance’.”
“So what do you want Mr. MacKenzie?”
“What we want is for Miss Milford to come to Vidamort Corp. Headquarters anytime tonight, and sign over her interest in the Climaxes Nightclub to us, Mr. Manetti.”
“Her interest? Tonight?”
“Any time between sunset and sunrise.”
“And if she doesn’t?”
“Then Miss Milford will be only the first of your employees or customers, who will have a new pair of fangs. One employee or customer will be vamped every night, until she comes in and signs.”
Jimmy said, “Miss Milford just happens to be in hiding. Nobody knows how to contact her.”
“We understand the situation Mr. Manetti. Since she is unavailable, we’d like you to come to Vidamort Corp. Headquarters, in her place. I’m sure we can make some kind of arrangement, that will be agreeable to both yourself and to us, and perhaps to Miss Milford also.”
Jimmy heard Lawrence MacKenzie’s phone click off. Then he removed the cellphone from his ear.
“Jimmy.” Kate nervously pointed to the cellphone. “I’d like to talk to Harry, and make sure that he’s all right.”
“Sorry.” He handed the cellphone back to her. “This Mr. MacKenzie just hung up.
“Vicky!” Jimmy spoke sharply to the trembling vampire woman. “You’ve been allowing bookmaking and drug dealing at the Club?”
Kate and Pete both looked at her. She looked away from them.
“Oh!” Pete said, “Is that’s what’s been going on? I’ve noticed that some of the new regulars look like people who it’d be best to avoid.”
Vicky spoke with a trembling voice. “Sorry.”
Jimmy spoke sharply. “You’re ‘sorry’? He said that you’ve been getting a percentage of every transaction.”
“Not any more.” Now her voice was firm. “It’s over! I was killed because I was involved in it! And I went to Hell because I was involved in it too! That was enough for me! Now I’ve been given a second chance; so the Club’s not gonna be involved in any of it from now on!”
Jimmy told her, “Not according to Lawrence MacKenzie. He wants you to go down to Vidamort Headquarters tonight, and sign over your entire interest in the Club to them.”
“Forget it!” She repeated to them all, “It’s over!”
“It isn’t over. You’ll be getting other people killed by vampires, if you refuse.”
“If I do sign over my interests, they’ll be getting killed by them anyway Jimmy!”
Jimmy shook his head and sighed. Then he spoke.
“You were right Victoria.” He told her, “I am your business partner. Whether I like it or not, ‘Mr. Spoiled Rich Guy’ here, should have occasionally shown some interest in the Club."
They were now all quiet, for a very long, uncomfortable moment.
Finally Pete asked, “Mr. Manetti. Since Victoria refuses to sign over her interest in the Club to Vidamort Corp, is there something else you can do, to keep your employees and us customers safe from vampires?”
Jimmy nodded. “Shut down the Club.”
Victoria shouted, “Shut it down? No Jimmy, you can’t give up just like that! Maybe you can afford the loss, but I can’t. Neither can Harry, or Jorge or Yolanda, or everyone else who’s employed by us!”
Pete said, “She’s right. You can’t.”
Kate nodded in agreement.
“Then tell me Vic,” Jimmy said, “and both of you; what do you suggest I do to assure the safety of all of our employees and customers?”
There was another long, uncomfortable moment of silence. Then Jimmy spoke.
“Kate.” He said, “Do you want to call Harry back? I’d like to talk to him again.”
She took her cellphone and dialed Harry’s number. Then she handed the device back to Jimmy, who held it to his ear and waited.
“Hi Harry. It’s Jimmy. Are you okay, and is that MacKenzie guy still there?”
“No.” Harry spoke with a peeved tone. “He’s gone, and I’m okay. Nobody’s been hurt, and nothing’s damaged, at least for now.”
“Listen.” Jimmy told him, “Mr. MacKenzie just informed me that drug dealing and bookmaking have been going on in the club, during the time that I’ve been away.”
“Well Jim…You see…”
“You don’t have to tell me anything. Just listen. If you just happen to know any drug dealers, or bookmakers, I want you to inform them that none of them will be welcomed inside the Climaxes Nightclub, beginning tonight.”
Harry sounded very uneasy. “Me? Tell guys with Underworld connections that they’re unwelcomed? Yeah-right. Like they’re gonna listen to me.”
“Tell them that if they continue to show up, they’ll have to deal with the Club’s manager, Miss Victoria Milford, who is now a vampire; along with Miss Kate Nellington, who also has a brand new pair of fangs that she’s just aching to try out.”
Kate smiled. “I’d just love to take a ‘bite out of crime’. Wouldn’t you Val?”
Vicky smiled and nodded. “Wouldn’t feel bad about it later, like I would if it was Pete or Jimmy, or any of the other…”
“Okay.” Harry now spoke very nervously. “I’d like to wait, before I say anything to the bookies or dealers, until at least one of those girls is actually here, on the premises.”
“Could you hold on a minute?”
Jimmy spoke to Vicky and Kate. “Now that both of you’ve got your souls back, will it be safe for either of you to go outside in the daylight?”
The women looked at each other, shook their heads and shrugged doubtfully.
“I’m not sure.” Kate said, “I’d rather not take a chance.”
Vicky nodded, “Me neither.”
Jimmy spoke into the phone again. “It’s okay Harry. Me, and at least one of them will be back at the Climaxes, with her fangs on full display, before 9 o’clock tonight.”
“That’s tonight Jim. What about tomorrow, and the rest of the nights following?”
“Listen.” Jimmy told him, “I’d like you to call that Ms. Carolton again. Tell her that Mr. James Manetti and Miss Victoria Milford would like to hire the Demon Snuffers Agency, to provide security for the Climaxes Nightclub, of which we are part owners.”
Vicky was startled. “I would? Hire ‘Demon Snuffers’?”
Over the phone Harry said, “Hire private security? Good idea.”
“Okay. You call them, and have them call me back.”
Jimmy hung up and handed the cellphone back to Kate.
He said, “I have no idea what I’m doing. Vicky, do you think that this Demon Snuffers Agency, along with two sexy vampire gals, will be enough to stop Vidamort Corp. from harassing our customers and employees?”
“That depends just how serious they are, about taking over the Climaxes.”
He looked at Pete and Kate. “Do either of you have any suggestions?”
Kate suggested, “I don’t know if this’ll help. Do you want to also hire that Bruja who was just in here? Have her come with us to L.A. and bring the shrunken head with her. She might be able to restore the souls of all the vampires who work for Vidamort Corporation.”
“That’s right.” Victoria told him, “Make them as harmless as Kate and me.”
Jimmy asked, “And just how harmless is that?”
Kate smiled, again displaying her fully extended fangs; so did Victoria.
“You and Pete” Kate said “are both still alive.”