Three nights later, I entered the Climaxes Nightclub, about a half-hour after sunset, carrying a six pack of bottled pigs' blood in a brown paper shopping bag. There were only a handful of customers, all seated at the bar.
Harry Edelstein was setting things up in the D/J booth. He looked at me angrily. I figured that was because I'd been away for three days, and been unable to send any messages to anybody. I waved at him. He shook his head and returned to work.
At that hour, only one waitress was on duty. She looked at me uneasily, and greeted me without smiling. "Good evening Miss Milford."
I figured she was angry with me too, for the same reason as Harry.
"Hi Yolanda." I said, thinking that the sexy Mexican Girl's neck was very appetizing, and I'd have just loved to try out my new fangs on her; but I had no trouble restraining myself.
I've got my bloodlust under control, I thought. Nobody I know has to find out I'm a vampire.
I went into my office in the back, and shut the door. I put the pint bottles of blood in a knee-high fridge that I keep in one corner. Then I locked the fridge. Roxanna had got the six pack for me. She said it was pigs' blood. I decided to take her word on that. She also said that if I warmed up one pint a week, in my office's microwave, I could survive on that. I hoped so.
On the other hand, Yolanda did have a very appetizing neck. Come to think of it, so did my D.J. Harry, along with a few of his closest friends, including Harry’s girlfriend Julianna, along with Peter Ramsey, and most especially Pete Ramsey’s fiancée, who was also Harry’s step-sister, Miss Kate Nellington.
I sat behind my desk and thought, Kate Nellington? Hmmm? Ahhh!
No! Forget it! I'd just spent the last three days, learning how to handle the urge to kill people and drink their blood. I'd also learned when and where to go hunting. Roxanna had told me of certain places in Mexico, where vampires can go to safely satisfy their bloodlust; so while Yolanda's neck would be safe from my fangs, I'd still have a good number of Mexican necks to choose from.
What I didn't have, was any idea of how to get Jimmy Manetti to pay protection money to Vidamort Corp.
I also had no idea of where Jimmy Manetti was. The last time that any of us had heard about him was six months earlier. Pete Ramsey had received a letter from his sister Caroline. She'd said that Jimmy, the true love of her life, was with her in London. He'd stayed with her about two months. After that none of us had heard anything from or about him.
I'd told Roxanna about him. She and I had been seated in the Vidamort Corp Cafeteria, having a lunch of warmed up blood, in porcelain mugs. She'd said we were drinking "The good stuff."
That was when I'd told her, "Jimmy's spent an average of two months with every girlfriend he's ever had. Before he was with Pete’s sister, he spent two months dating her best friend, a bitch named Kate Nellington, who is now dating Pete."
Roxanna laughed and shook her head. "I don't believe it. Haven't any of you ever heard of 'Stand by your man'?"
I told her, "That's how it usually is, among me and my Sunset Strip friends. It's hard to keep track of who's fucking who. Kate Nellington, Jim Manetti and all the others all seem to have an endless number of partners, who they ditch after two months or so; like it's some kind of game."
Roxanna the vampire said, "That's a very cruel game. When I kill someone I'm quick, so my victims don't suffer for long. Don't you have any friends who aren't crueler than me?"
"Oh yes. Harry’s girlfriend Julianna Collins is a very nice girl. She doesn't want to play games; but she's always ending up with those same kind of Sunset Strip type guys, who aren't capable of any long lasting relationship.
"You know what I'm thinking Roxanna? I'm thinking that if I ever do become a practicing vampire, I can benefit the entire community, by killing them off. If I did, Julianna's the only one I wouldn't bite. No. She's the one who I'd kill first, and then bring her back as a ‘Very nice girl’ vampire.
“Then she and I can take turns at killing Kate Nellington, Jimmy Manetti, along with the rest; and not bring any of them back. All of L.A. would be better off."
Roxanna said, "Forget that! Here in L.A. a novice like you shouldn't bite anyone, until you know who the people you should watch out for are."
I'd said, "Then tell me who they are."
She'd said, "The Police obviously. There are also some street gangs that hunt vampires, and mostly there's the Demon Chasers Agency."
She'd told me that, while I was still at Vidamort Corp Headquarters.
Now back at the Climaxes Nightclub, there was a knock on my office door.
I called out, "Come on in!"
Harry Edelstein entered the office. He looked angry, and he was also very distressed.
He spoke sharply. "Where the hell've you been Val?"
I said, "Nice to see you too Harry."
He shouted, "Where were you?"
I told him, "I became a Vampire on Tuesday night; and I've just spent the last three days, learning to control my bloodlust; so I won't kill you, for talking to me like that!"
"Why are you joking about it Vicky? That's really sick!"
I asked, "What's the matter?"
"Oh. You haven't heard?"
"It's Kate. She's dead."
"They found her body this morning, in the backseat of her car, right outside in the parking lot. My step-sister, Kate Nellington, was killed last night, by a vampire."
Talk about mixed emotions.
I made sure that my fangs were very firmly retracted.
Then I said, "Oh Harry! That's awful! A vampire? I apologize for the joke. I swear I didn't know."
"The police said they found a pair of deep bite marks in her neck, and she was drained of blood. They want to talk to you Vick."
"Me? Why? I’ve been away."
"Just routine questioning. Just in case you've seen anyone around here who's been acting suspicious. They told me that known vampires have been seen hanging out here. You know Jake, that guy in the leather jacket, and his girlfriend Roxanna?"
I said, "They're Vampires?" Then I asked, "How do they know that? Who identified them?"
"An employee of a security agency. Demon Chasers. One of their people was here today. He said they know how to deal with vampires. He also said that in case we'd like their help, you should contact them. He left their card."
Harry reached in his shirt pocket, took out a business card and handed it to me. The card had a picture of a hand firmly gripping a sharp wooden stake, beside the name “Demon Chasers”, along with the Agency’s address and phone number.
I said, "'In case we need help'? Now he tells us? They knew that vampires were in here, but they didn't say anything, 'til after Kate was dead? If they want us to hire them forget it. I'm sure I can get help from another Agency that's actually competent."
I picked up a telephone book on my desk, and leafed through it until I came to Security Agencies. There must have been hundreds listed.
I slapped the book shut.
I said, "I don't know what I'm looking for Harry."
He told me, "They asked me to call, as soon as you came in. Like it or not, someone from the Demon Chasers Agency is on his way here right now, so he can talk to you."