Harry went out the door, leaving me seated alone at my office desk. He came back immediately.
"Jake and Roxanna are here." He said, "Do you want to call the police?"
I told him, "No. Let me see if I can talk to them first. I don't want police cars outside two nights in a row. It'll be bad for business."
I got up from behind my desk, walked past Harry, went through the doorway and out into the Club.
It was still early. The customers were few. Yolanda stood beside the bar, speaking softly in Spanish, to Jorge the bartender. They were nervously watching Jake and Roxanna, who were seated in a booth. Both vampires had martinis in front of them.
I came over to the booth.
I spoke softly. "You two shouldn't be here."
Jake said, "Good evening to you too Victoria."
"Listen." I told them, "Do you remember, I told you about Kate Nellington?"
Roxanna said, "Yeah. 'The big blonde bitch'."
I made a hushing sound.
"Don't say that." I told Roxanna. "She was killed last night. Right outside in the parking lot. By a vampire.”
Roxanna smiled. She whispered. "Well hooray for you girl. Your very first kill."
"No. Don't say that. Someone from the Demon Chasers Agency identified both of you to the police. They could be on their way here right now."
Jake said, "Someone from the Demon Chasers Agency is here ahead of them."
He looked toward the bar and said, "Loretta."
Roxanna also said, "Loretta." in unison with him.
A black haired woman around my age was seated at the bar, dressed in a stylish white business outfit. She had a matching handbag set down beside her glass of red wine. She'd been in the Club a few times before, escorted by a stylishly dressed gentleman. Tonight she was alone.
When Jake and Roxanna spoke the name; the woman turned and looked in our direction. Then she got up off the stool and came over to us. As she approached us, she reached inside her zipped open handbag, and kept her hand there.
Jake and Roxanna both got tense. I hoped they wouldn't display their fangs.
The woman came up to the table.
Roxanna said, "Hi Loretta. How're things going with you and the Demon Chasers Agency?"
She said, "Good evening Roxy, Jake, and hello...I don't know your name."
"I'm Victoria Milford." I told her, "I'm the manager here, and I don't want any trouble."
"Nobody ever does," said Loretta, "but you had plenty last night. A Miss Kate Nellington was killed by a vampire, who was probably one of you three."
"Us three?" I said, "I'm not a vampire."
"I come from Sangreville Miss Milford, just like Roxanna; who was a friend of mine when she was alive. I am also a friend of the Vampsnuffer herself. When I attended Sangreville High…”
Roxanna spoke, “You were known as the skankiest ho in the senior class.”
Loretta said, “As I was saying, when I attended Sangreville High, I was part of the Vampsnuffer's team; so I know a vampire when I see one."
Jake said, "Well you're not seeing the killer of Kate Nellington sitting here. All of us've only been drinking pigs blood."
Roxanna said, "That's all I've had. How about you Vick?"
I looked Loretta straight in the eye and said, "I didn't kill Kate Nellington."
She asked me, "Did you vamp her?"
"I said I didn't!"
"If she was vamped," Loretta said, "then when she comes back undead, she'll be able to tell us who her killer was."
I told her, "I said I don't want trouble Loretta. Now I'm asking you to leave."
"Very well Miss Milford. I'll be leaving now; but like the former Governor of our great State has said, 'Ahl be bahk', and I won't be alone."
I told her, "Neither will I. Hasta la vista, behbeh."
“And by the way Roxanna.” The woman told her former classmate, “I was never the ‘Skankiest’ ho in Sangreville High,” she smirked, “but I was the best.”
Loretta turned around and went out the door.
Now Jake said, "Did you vamp her Victoria? Will she be able to I.D you?"
"No." I repeated, "I didn't kill Kate Nellington."
He asked, "Do you have any idea who did?"
"Wasn't it either of you?"
Roxanna asked, "Why would we? I know you couldn't stand her, but what motive would we have?"
I said, "I told you that Kate Nellington was the other great love of Jimmy Manetti's life. By killing her, you've made certain that he'll return to L.A."
"Good idea." She said, "I wish I'd thought of that. You're gonna make one really good vampire Vick."
The door opened, and Kevin Delinski, another friend of Harry, entered. He was around my age. Tonight he looked grim. He came over to me.
"Hi Victoria." He said, "It really sucks about Kate, doesn't it?"
I heard Roxanna snicker.
"Hi Kevin." I said, "Don't say 'suck'. Harry might think it's a vampire joke, and he's in an irrational rage."
Kevin said, "Who isn't?"
I asked, "Has anyone heard from Jimmy Manetti?"
"Yeah. Pete Reynolds got an E-mail from Caroline this morning. She said that she and Jim would be taking the next flight. We'll probably see them both in the morning."
I said, "So they're together again?"
"I don't know. All I know is what I told you. That's what Pete told me."
Kevin went over to the Bar, where he joined Harry, who was speaking with Jorge and Yolanda. They all turned and looked at me, Jake and Roxanna.
Jake said, "Vick's right Roxanna. Time for us to split."
My two new vampire friends got up and went out the door fast.
Harry and Kevin hurried over to me.
Harry said, "What'd you do? You let them go?"
I said, "What do you mean, 'Let them go'? What was I supposed to do? Arrest them? I'm not a cop. I told them I don't want any more trouble here. They said they didn't either; and now there won't be."