I spent the rest of that night in my office at the Climaxes, stretched out on a cot that had been collecting dust in a supply closet. After my escape to Sangreville and return from there, along with everything else that had happened during the night before and in the daylight hours, I was totally exhausted. I asked to be left alone.
I’d got rid of the bookies and the dealers. Loretta’s displayed crosses would be keeping the vampires away, and I figured that the staff could handle any of the usual problems that might happen on a typical Saturday night.
Whatever else happened at the Club, on that Saturday night, no one on the staff knocked on the office door.
Of course they wouldn’t knock! Who in their right mind’s gonna do anything to disturb a vampire who’s in a grumpy mood?
I couldn’t sleep. It was night time, and I was a vampire, so I wouldn’t be able to sleep until after sunrise anyway. I just lay there on the cot trying to relax, but there were still too many things to worry about; like where was I going to live? (“unlive”?) I’d been renting a room at the Ramsey’ house, but now, with my new fangs, there was no way that Peter would allow me to stay there any longer. Neither would anyone else.
I could always rent an apartment. As long as I didn’t let any prospective landlord see my fangs, renting from one shouldn’t be a problem. I’d also have enough sense not to show them to any of the neighborhood kids.
I just lay there, listening to the muffled sounds of that night’s hired entertainment, coming through the door.
About 10 minutes after 1 AM, my cell phone began to ring. I’d left it on my desk. I got up off the cot, went over to the desk, picked up the phone and switched it on.
I wondered if this was from Kate or Pete. If it was, I thought, I’ll tell them again, ‘Repent you sinners and be born again.’”
“Hi.” I groaned, “Who’s calling?”
“Hi Victoria. It’s Roxanna.”
I wondered, Vidamort’s not wasting time, are they?
I asked, “What is it Roxy?”
“Listen. I’m outside the Climaxes Nightclub, just down the street from the parking lot.”
“I can’t get in. I have no idea where you’ve gone into hiding, but while you’ve been away, someone has nailed crosses above all your entrances, so none of us vampires can enter.”
I wasn’t sure what I should or shouldn’t tell her.
I said, “Crosses?”
“That’s right, so whenever you decide that it’s safe for you to come back to L.A., you won’t be able to enter your own Nightclub either.”
“I see.” I asked, “Do you know who gave the orders?”
“Well Loretta Carolton and a few other people from the Demon Snuffers Agency, are patrolling your parking lot. When I drove in, she came over holding a stake, along with a cross of her own. She told me that they’ve been hired to clean house. They’ve even ordered the dealers and bookies to stay away from the Climaxes. I drove out of there fast. Now I’m parked down the street.”
I asked, “Did Loretta say who hired them?”
“That guy who you said was your partner. James Manetti.” Then she asked, “Do you want me and Jake to handle him for you?”
“No.” I told her, “I want you, Jake and any other vampires, along with anybody else from Vidamort Corp., to stay away from me, and from Jimmy Manetti, and from all the Club’s employees and customers.”
“You mean you agree with them nailing up the crosses?
“I’m the one who authorized them to clean house.”
“You? But you’re a vampire.”
“That’s not all I am Roxanna!” I spoke sharply, “I am a vampire who also owns a Nightclub on the Sunset Strip! Having known vampires hanging around would be bad for business!”
“Vicky.” She repeated, “When you come back from wherever you are, you won’t be able to enter your own Nightclub either.”
“Yes I will Roxanna, and I have.”
“You have? You’re now inside? You entered while there were the crosses over the doorways?”
“That’s right.” I told her, “You see, while I was away, I went to Sangreville.”
“That’s right. Yours, and Jake’s and Loretta Carolton’s hometown. While I was there this afternoon I met a local practicing Bruja named Pilar Mendoza.”
“Pilar Mendoza? I know she’s a vampire. She’s also a Bruja?”
I said, “I was told that she’s a very close friend of Sangreville’s local Vampire Snuffer named Justine Salinski; and Ms. Mendoza’s services were recommended to us by Loretta Carolton herself.” Then I asked, “She’s a vampire?”
“That’s right.” Roxanna told me, “It happened when we were in high school. She was another one of us very bad girls from Sunnydale High, who fuck vampires and end up with a pair of fangs.”
I asked, “Pilar had fangs when she was a teenager? She didn’t have them this afternoon.”
“You met her this afternoon?”
“Yes. She was walking around outside in the daytime, and she was breathing.”
“In the daytime? Breathing? But she was as undead as you are and as undead as me.”
“The only way I can explain it,“ I told Roxy, “is that Pilar Mendoza is an even more powerful Bruja than I could have possibly imagined. It looks like ‘The incantation is mightier than the fang’; even more powerful than the one she spoke this afternoon.
“This afternoon she spoke an incantation over the Consecrated Shrunken Head of a Snuffer-Vampire-Snuffer, and my soul was restored. Now I can stand in the presence of the cross, and go in and out my own nightclub. I can even attend Church; but unlike Pilar, I can only attend evening worship services.”
“Pilar spoke an incantation?” Roxy repeated, “Over a Consecrated Shrunken Head?”
“That’s right.” I said, “’The Consecrated Shrunken Head of the late Snuffer-Vampire-Snuffer, Señorita Juanita Obregon, of Guadalajara Mexico’.”
She sounded startled. “Juanita Obregon?”
“That’s what Pilar Mendoza said her name was.”
“Juanita Obregon is dead?”
“Yes; but her head is very well preserved.”
Her cell phone clicked off. I received no more phone calls from her that night.
I went back to not being able to sleep. I hoped nobody else would call.