Authors: Glenn Bullion
"How are you holding up?"
He pulled a cup of water out for himself.
Do you think this is the last night?"
Kevin not only spent the past two nights at the Vermilion, but also moving about the clubs nearby.
He spread his healing magic however he could.
Offering water to thirsty mortals was the easiest way.
But ice carried the magic as well.
Victoria wanted to help, but Kevin truly didn't need it.
An invisibility potion, followed by tampering with the ice machines, made every drink handed out a healing potion.
But the healing only lasted so long, hence the dark circles under his eyes.
He'd been running rampant.
They'd also made special stops to every mortal in the Vermilion's records.
It took some effort to track down addresses, but luckily the regulars of the Vermilion were getting to know one another.
Once one address was known, typically they could direct Victoria and Kevin to another.
Vampires had made a drug to kill other vampires, using mortals as the conduit.
But Victoria had the cure, sitting next to her.
She hesitated in answering his question.
There hadn't been any further word of vampires dying mysteriously.
Between the Vermilion, and the surrounding area, she was confident they'd eradicated most of Patrick's attempts to
But she knew she was paranoid, and overly cautious.
"Yeah, we can be done," she said.
"But could you handle being on call, in case I need you?
Just for another day or so?"
"Yeah, I can handle that."
"What's the matter?" she teased.
"You don't like staying at my house?"
"Your house is great."
A smile touched his lips.
"Except maybe for you running around naked."
His cheeks turned red once again.
"I didn't mean it that way.
You look great.
It's just…you know what I mean."
She squeezed his shoulders and kissed him on the cheek.
"Yeah, I know what you mean."
I could tell.
You cared about that vampire.
His name was Patrick?"
She would always be amazed by Kevin's compassion.
"I'll be fine.
After four centuries, you learn how to handle loss."
It was a lie, and they both knew it.
Later they would talk in greater detail, just the two of them.
Kevin went quiet, his thoughts far away.
Victoria noticed him going into his own world the past few days.
She had a guess as to why.
"Is everything okay?" she asked.
"They've come for me twice now.
I thought I was ready this time.
I'll get you a new coat."
"The coat's fine.
I just have to come up with something else.
I have to be
For anything, anywhere.
But, still…is Jack right?
Am I taking it too easy on people who only want to kill me?"
She never got to answer.
Jack emerged from the back, poking at his smartphone.
"Victoria, it's about time I take my leave.
Things are smooth here, and I want to get home to see Tiffany off to school."
"Thank you," she said.
"For helping me.
He lowered his head and opened his arms.
"Bring it in."
They embraced in the lobby of the Vermilion.
Behind them, the doors opened, and Zoey finally emerged from room number three with her partner, Sarah.
Sarah gave Zoey a friendly hug and helped herself to a cup of water before leaving.
"How did it go?" Victoria asked.
"Did you have lesbian vampire sex?" Jack added.
"Hey!" Zoey hissed, embarrassed.
She glanced at the bystanders in the lobby.
"You want to be a little louder?"
These people here?
You think they care?
They're here to do their own freaky shit.
They don't care about you."
"It went fine.
I told you, I know what I'm doing now.
And no, there wasn't any sex.
Damn, just shut up."
"Yeah, but mortals get off on that," Jack said, smiling deviously.
"How many times did she—?"
"Jack!" Victoria said.
"Weren't you just leaving?"
Glinda, take a break.
There's this strip club I want you to see before I head back.
They got a bartender that will make you forget all about blonde what's-her-name."
"Her name's Leese.
And, uh, I'm not sure I want to go—"
"Sure you do."
"But I'm not twenty-one.
Would they even let me in?"
"You're twenty-one when you're with me.
Kevin stood up, unsure of himself.
Victoria shrugged and gave him a smile.
She probably should have helped him out, but it was fun to watch him squirm.
Zoey tried to give Jack a farewell hug, which he blocked with his forearm.
"No, no," he said.
"Maybe one day.
But I don't hug strays."
She rolled her eyes and moved past to hug Kevin.
The pair were on their way to becoming close friends, bonding over the battle they had.
Combat could temper friendships.
It was one of the backbones to Victoria and Jack's relationship.
"Thanks for saving my life," Kevin whispered.
"You saved mine," Zoey said.
"I want to meet your girlfriend and sister.
We need to hang out."
It'll be fun."
"Yippee, life is precious," Jack said.
Victoria and Kevin shared a knowing glance that Zoey didn't pick up on.
Kevin and Jack left, the sounds of the club above filling the lobby for only a moment.
The two vampires were finally alone.
They sat next to each other near Kevin's workstation.
One of the mortal men smiled at Zoey across the room, flirting with his eyes.
Zoey waved back and returned the smile.
"You're done for the night," Victoria said.
"I know, I know.
Thank you for setting all this up, for practice.
I know it probably wasn't cheap."
"Don't worry about cost.
Listen, now, don't get too excited about this.
He said it will take a while to gather everything.
But…Kevin's working on a potion for you."
A daylight potion?"
Zoey didn't take the news like Victoria thought she would.
There was no jumping for joy, no teenage squeal.
There was a small smile, then she went deep in thought.
"But, Victoria…you were right.
I'm not ready."
Victoria arched an eyebrow at words she thought she'd never hear.
"I need to learn how to live like I am first.
Hiding from the sun, it's not fun.
But it's going to make me stronger, smarter.
It's going to make me appreciate even more when I can walk in the day with you.
Maybe you said it right."
"I have to pay my dues."
For a moment, Zoey's smile had a wisdom beyond her years.
It was a look Victoria knew she'd have to get used to.
She smiled as well, and nodded toward the door.
"Let's go have fun," she said.
"Then we'll head home."
"Yeah," Zoey said, rising to her feet.
"Home sounds good."
I like to write. I also like to be very mysterious. One day I'll hire someone to say a bunch of cool things about me to put on this page.
Visit my website at http://www.glennbullion.com
Total works by Glenn Bullion:
A Witch To Live