Thomas Flood lands in the city by the Bay, fresh from the farming fields of Indiana, determined to write a great American novel. He rents a cot from a Chinese entrepreneur named Wong and finds himself living with five other Chinese gentlemen all named Wong as well. The Wongs are excited because they have recently learned that it is legal for two men to marry in San Francisco. Thomas has something they really, really lust for
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She leaped out of bed and went into the living area, not stopping to turn on the light. She checked the answering machine: no messages. All the time she thought about what Tommy had said about sharing, about being with someone who could understand what you saw and how you felt. She wanted that. She wanted someone who could run the night with her, someone who could hear the buildings breathe and watch the sidewalks glow with heat just after sundown.
But she wanted Tommy. She wanted love. She wanted the blood-high and she wanted sex that touched her heart. She wanted excitement and she wanted security. She wanted to be part of the crowd, but she wanted to be an individual. She wanted to be human, but she wanted the strength, the senses, and the mental acuity of the vampire.
She wanted it all. What if I had a choice, she thought, if that medical student could cure me, would I go back to being human? It would mean that Tommy and I could stay together, but he would never know the feeling of being a god, and neither would I. Never again. So I leave; what then? I hate being alone. She stopped pacing and went to the window. The cop from the night before was out there, sitting in a brown Dodge, watching.
The other cop had followed Tommy. Call me. But how to get him to tell? Seduce him? Use the Vulcan nerve pinch? Sleeper hold? Maybe I should just go up there and knock on the door, Rivera thought.
How was it? Who did it? Did it piss you off? He was trying to pace his smoking. No more than four cigarettes an hour. He rolled down the car window and something caught him by the throat, cutting off his breath.
He dropped his coffee, feeling the scald in his lap as he reached in his jacket for his gun. Something caught his hand and held it like a bear trap. The hand on his throat relaxed a bit and he sucked in a short breath. He tried to turn his head and the clamp on his throat cut off his breath again. A pretty face came through the window.
She loosened her grip on his throat a degree. You sure? Your partner followed Tommy last night. Do you know where they are now? On the seat next to him, the cell phone chirped. She released his arm, snatched the gun out of his shoulder holster, flipped off the safety, and pointed it at his head, all before he could draw a single breath. Elijah Ben Sapir watched the red dots moving around on the video screen above his face. He was hit with an emotion so rare it took him a while to recognize it.
It felt good. The dots on the screen were moving around on the stern of the boat, scrambling in and out of the main cabin above. Every few seconds a dot would disappear off the screen, then reappear. They were getting in and out of a raft at the stern. The vampire reached up and flipped a series of toggle switches. The big diesels on either side of his vault roared to life. Another toggle and an electric winch began grinding in the anchor. Tommy waited at the stern of the yacht with Drew.
Troy Lee, Lash, Jeff, Glint, and the Emperor and his troops were already in the raft, trying to find room to move around the paintings and statues. Tommy threw the statue down to the Emperor, who caught it and went to the floor of the raft with its weight. Tommy threw a leg over the railing, and looked back.
He watched the flame follow the trail for a few feet, then stood and joined Tommy at the rail. The raft lurched and righted itself. Tommy fought for breath to give a command. The Animals began to beat the water with their paddles. There was a loud clunking noise from the yacht as the transmission engaged and the raft was rocked as the twin screws engaged and began pushing the yacht away from them.
It fired bullets roughly the weight of a small dog and kicked like a jackhammer. One shot could reduce a cinder block to gravel. The raft had just made the dock when the explosion went off. Tommy leaped onto the dock and watched the mushroom cloud dissipate. The shock wave rolled in and Tommy reached back to the raft and caught the Emperor before he went into the water.
Debris rained down around them. A pool of fire and unexploded diesel fuel spread out across the water, illuminating the whole area with a dancing bright orange. Tommy stood aside and watched the burn. Nice mix, Drew. The Emperor said. I would recommend a speedy retreat. This would be great on acid. He looked past Troy Lee, who was wrestling up the heavy frame, and said, "Whoops. Jeff nodded past him and the Animals turned around. Cavuto had a very large, very shiny pistol pointed at them.
The spearguns were stacked on the dock. Glint held the shotgun loosely at his side as he prayed. He dropped it. He should get extra credit for that. On your faces. Lazarus barked. The Emperor stepped forward. The Emperor dropped to the dock with the Animals. The screens went dark an instant before he was slammed against the side of the vault. He tumbled inside, feeling his flesh burn on the steel with every turn.
After a few seconds the tumbling stopped. The vampire was jammed into one end of the vault, his face against his knees. His skin was stinging and he tried to will it to heal, but it had been days since he had fed, so the healing came slowly.
He located the lid by finding the smashed CRT and radar screens. Salt water sprayed in a fine mist from behind the screens. He felt for the latches and released them, then heaved against the lid with force that would have crumpled a car fender, yet the lid stayed fast. The heat of the explosion had welded it shut. I should have killed him last week, the vampire thought. This is what I get for indulging my pleasures.
He reached into the broken CRT, looking for the source of the spraying water, then concentrated his will and went to mist.
The transition was slow, weak as he was, but when he had finally lost his solid form he followed the path of the water and wormed his way through the pinhole to the open ocean. The vault lay on the bottom in a hundred and twenty feet of water and as soon as the vampire escaped, the pressure of four atmospheres condensed him to his solid shape.
He tried to force himself to mist, failed, then swam toward the orange glow at the surface, thinking, The boy dies first, then a new suit.
She leaped out of bed and went into the living area, not stopping to turn on the light. She checked the answering machine: no messages. All the time she thought about what Tommy had said about sharing, about being with someone who could understand what you saw and how you felt. She wanted that. She wanted someone who could run the night with her, someone who could hear the buildings breathe and watch the sidewalks glow with heat just after sundown. But she wanted Tommy.
A Love Story Series
Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story (A Love Story #1)