Authors: Candace Blevins
Tags: #Fiction, #Horror
WARNING: This book is not transferable. It is for your own personal use. If it is sold, shared, or given away, it is an infringement of the copyright of this work and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
This book is for sale to ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY. It contains substantial sexually explicit scenes and graphic language which may be considered offensive by some readers. Please store your files where they cannot be accessed by minors.
All sexually active characters in this work are 18 years of age or older.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Cover Design: Jasmine Black
Safeword: Storm Clouds © January 2011 Candace Blevins
All rights reserved
Safeword: Storm Clouds
Kendra walked into The Billiard Room, locally known as TBR, and looked around. There was a big crowd tonight so she headed towards the security room to start out by checking the security feeds. It had been decades since she'd sought out a human companion, but it was time for her to begin hunting in earnest. As she made her way through the party-themed billiard room towards the security office she saw two guys who looked like they were about to come to blows. She casually stepped a little closer, tuning into an argument about one of the men flirting with the other's girl, and the other denying she was the first guy’s girl. Kendra rolled her eyes and then quickly glanced at those watching the developing scene to see if she could see the girl in question and... bingo, there she was, standing off to the side, wringing her hands and looking guilty.
Kendra quietly moved to the girl's side. "Is there an easy way to get the two of them to back off?"
The girl looked at Kendra and then back at the guys and then back at Kendra. "I don't know. Jake won't take no for an answer, even though I've told him I'm with Kye now. Kye thinks he's defending my honor, but Jake is going to kick Kye's ass. I don't know how to make them stop, but I'm really scared for Kye."
Sizing the guys up, Kendra could easily guess which was about to get his ass kicked. She realized things were about to escalate and it was time to do something, so she stepped towards them and away from the girl in question.
"Jake, explain to me what you think you are about to accomplish here."
Both of the guys stopped arguing and looked at her as if she were an alien with green antennae. No big surprise that it was Jake who spoke first. "Who the hell are you?"
Kendra smiled at the one she assumed was Jake. "Think of me as your guardian angel. Answer the question Jake – what are you going to accomplish by fighting with Kye?"
Jake decided to be belligerent with her. "I don't have a fucking guardian angel, and this is none of your concern. Kye thinks Angel belongs to him, but she doesn't. I'm just trying to explain that to him. End of story, now beat it."
Interesting, the smell of a lie and the truth together. He‘d almost convinced himself of it, but there was a doubt in the back of his mind. Kendra decided to try the logical approach first. "I doubt Angel
to anyone. Slavery has long been against the law in this country, you can't own another human being. If Angel has not promised her time to you, and if she has chosen to spend time with Kye, then that is her decision. It doesn't mean she belongs to anyone. Has she asked for your protection? Or has she asked you to back off?"
She could sense the answer before he said anything, so she quickly said, "Shouldn't you do as the girl asks, and back off? Let her make her own decisions about who she spends time with? She doesn't belong to anyone, she's her own person."
"No, no, no – see, if Kye will just leave Angel the hell alone, then she and me, we can be happy together."
Shit, she should kick his ass just for that sentence alone. But, he said it with the smell of truth. He actually believed that if Kye went away then Angel would come back to him. Kendra noted that a few of the surrounding tables were starting to pay attention to them, so it was time to put an end to the discussion. It was doubtful Jake was going to listen to reason anyway, so it was time to get his attention another way. She stepped up close to him and spoke in a low voice. "You think you can beat Kye up and then it's you and Angel, happily ever after? No, you beat Kye up and Angel will help patch him up, hold ice on his boo-boos, change the dressing on his wounds, and give him lots of TLC while he heals. They'll grow even closer in the process, shutting you even farther out. But that's not really the point right now. The point right now is that you're causing a disturbance in a place of business, and we'd really rather you not do that. So you've got a choice, you can either nicely walk with me out the door and get in your car and leave, or I can escort you out the door and have a nice police officer write up a report about how you are disturbing the peace."
Ah, the stench of anger and belligerence. And his words matched the smell. "I ain't disturbin' nothin',
. And I'd like to see you try to walk me out ah here."
Kendra had no problem with that, though she wasn't actually going to call a police officer. That was a bluff. The less police reports written up around a nightclub, the better for the nightclub – too many of them and the city would take away your liquor license. She said his name firmly to get him to look straight at her, and when he did, his mind was hers. "We're going to walk outside, now."
He nodded and she reached for his arm and walked out with him. She asked him what he did for a living on the way out, he said he was working construction right now. Once they were out of the building she instructed him to walk to his car and get his keys out, which she promptly took from him. It was time for her to give him some suggestions, the first being that since he'd wisely agreed it was time to leave, there had been no arrest. Next she gave the suggestion that Jake thought Kye would be good for Angel and he was glad they were happy with each other. And the last suggestion, that Jake was worthy of his own happiness, that it was okay for him to be successful, and that he needed to find a trade he enjoyed and then work towards becoming an apprentice and mastering that trade so he could get a good paying job and become a contributing member of society. Most of her vampire friends made good natured fun of her for the way she gave humans suggestions to make themselves better people while she was giving them suggestions to resolve a conflict. But then
Men in Black
had come out and Will Smith did the same thing, and she'd felt a bit vindicated. She wasn't the only person on the planet with the idea. It was a
. Of course, now she occasionally had to put up with being called Agent J, but it was only ribbing and she was okay with that.
As she walked back into TBR, she thought of how many Jakes there were in the world, and wondered how many of them she was going to have to go through before she found someone she'd like to groom as a human companion. She was better than that at picking men, but still, even with her good judge of character, and her ability to smell a lie, there was still no guarantee that she wouldn't find someone who seemed perfect and then learn that they had some serious personality flaw somewhere down the line. But, it was a risk she'd have to take, because sometimes the benefits outweighed the risks.
Before blood banks, most vampires had taken on a human companion – someone that they cared for and kept around as a food source. In this particular territory the human companions were never hostages, they stayed of their own free will. That was the way Kendra preferred it, but it also meant it took a good bit of effort to keep a human companion happy enough to stay around in the relationship. But in recent decades it had become possible to buy bagged blood, and most vampires had enjoyed the freedom of not having to deal with a human companion. Some of the women vampires were starting to go back to the old practice though. They were finding that after a few decades of bagged blood, they were still hungry even after feeding – something was missing from the bagged blood. When you drink from a human companion that you care for you don't just take on their blood, you take on some of their life force as well. When you drink bagged blood, you only get the blood. Nourishing, but unfulfilling. Kendra had loved the freedom of not needing to be dependent upon a human companion, but now she was looking forward to the intimacy and the extra
a relationship could provide if you found the right person. She wanted that sense of feeling alive again, and she wanted to find a man who enjoyed life to the fullest who could give her that feeling.
So tonight Kendra was on her way to the security room of TBR to look at the camera feeds and see if there was someone who caught her fancy. TBR was a large multi-room nightclub owned by her friend Abbot, who just happened to be the Master Vampire over most of the southeastern United States. Abbot and Kendra had been friends for millennia, and Kendra was currently his third in charge. Abbot owned a number of clubs, but only a few had special secret rooms for vampires complete with bartenders who could dispense blood cocktails. TBR was one of them, though of course the humans had no idea.
Kendra stepped into the camera room and one of the human employees looked up. “Good job with him, I don't know how you do it. No one ever even knows there is a problem when you're the bouncer. It's like you've got a magic touch with people or something. Maybe it's the difference in a girl and a guy doing it, but I've never been able to walk someone out so casually that no one else in the room realized someone was being escorted out."
"Thanks, but I'm not actually working tonight, I just saw a problem and dealt with it since I was close. I'd like to look through the feeds, and then I'll get out of your hair."
He nodded and stepped back so she had access to the controls and she stepped forward and looked across the monitors, flipping for different views here and there, hoping someone would catch her eye. As Abbot's third in command Kendra had access to go anywhere in any of his clubs, and could make most any decision in his name when he wasn't around to do so. When one of the club managers was out she was sometimes called in to fill in for them, but tonight she wasn't there to work. Kendra spent a few more minutes looking back through the feeds and no one really jumped out at her on the black and white video feed. She'd gone to several of Abbot's other clubs over the past couple of weeks, half way looking for a companion, but now that she'd gotten serious about looking she realized TBR seemed a more likely place to actually find someone she might like. She didn't especially want someone who was going out to a bar to try to meet people, and she noted that men seemed to come here to just hang out with their friends. Specifically, they avoided the party billiard room, and the dance room, and headed to the laid-back billiard room when they were here with their guy friends just to hang out. So that is where she headed.
As she walked past the billiard tables towards the bar in the quiet billiard room, almost every man in the room noticed her. Kendra hadn't been a particularly attractive human – when she'd been born several thousand years ago she'd been tall and lanky. In an age when the tallest men were likely to be five feet ten inches tall and most were a good bit shorter, she was five feet seven inches tall. When the social customs said that fat was sexy and that skinny meant you were too poor to be able to afford food, she'd been skinny no matter how much she had eaten. Even as recently as one hundred years ago she hadn't been considered attractive by the standards of the day. So she was more than pleased that she happened to fit the current ideal of what was beautiful –she was tall and she wore a size three. And the tanned look seemed to finally be out of fashion as well, so even her pale skin was considered attractive now. She usually dressed in stylishly classic and flowing clothes, and she was more likely to wear pastel colors than black. She had long dirty blond hair and vibrant blue eyes, and her makeup was done tastefully. She used a hair stylist who made regular trips to California to stay up on the latest hair styles, and she made an appointment every spring and fall with a make-up artist to make sure she didn't get stuck in an old fashioned way to put her make up on.
Tonight she was wearing flowing charcoal pants and a tight and clingy lavender sweater. And her shoes, well, her shoes probably cost more than what many of the people in this room made in two or three weeks. So it was no wonder that when she walked through the room towards the bar that almost every man in the room noticed her. She walked behind the bar and asked the bartender a few things before pouring herself a drink, wanting to make it clear that she wasn't just a patron. She picked her drink up and walked back around to the front of the bar, easing herself onto a corner stool so she could observe most of the room.