James’s Note: I love the idea of vampire nightclubs. It’s just a trope I never get tired of. I also love casting my character’s as different actors in my head. Caesar would definitely be a young Micheal Clark Duncan. I think Ryan Reynolds would make an awesome Witcher Man.
In a show of proof that the universe is indeed kind and benevolent, our furtive conversation was interrupted by the arrival of the two vampires we had apparently come to see. One of them was huge. His head was cleanly shaven, and his skin was as black as the simple, sensible t-shirt and jeans he wore. He casually took up a position leaning against the wall. The other was an almost total contrast. His skin was fashionably vampire pale, his black hair tied up in a man bun he no doubt thought made him look like a samurai, but it made him look more like a soccer mom. The fact that his vintage leather bomber jacket looked uncomfortably like mine was making me question my fashion choices.
Israel nodded to the lighter, and indeed smaller, of the two. “Thanks for seeing us, Dean. This is my friend, Daniel. He just wants to ask you a few questions about Elder Morgaine’s death.”
I noticed as Israel spoke, he watched Dean’s face carefully. Apparently I wasn’t the only one interested in what Dean’s reaction to this news might be.
His reaction, as it turned out, was to light up like a kid on Christmas. ”Wait, wait, wait, you’re telling me Conchobar is dead? Someone actually managed to off that worm-eaten old rot bag? Hot Damn!”
He clapped his hands together triumphantly.
“This calls for a celebration. Jewel, tell the bartender to give everyone a round on the house.” Dean motioned to the red-headed bartender. She nodded professionally and disappeared into the back.
Dean turned back to me grinning. He was showing fang, which is usually either a sign of over-excitement, or just a younger vampire who’s not learned how to control his bodily functions yet. “So, who did it? I want to send him a bottle of scotch, or a hooker, or a hooker carrying a bottle of Scotch. Whatever’s his preference.”
“They think we did it, or they wouldn’t be here” The vampire pushed away from the wall. His voice was deep and resonant, which matched his aesthetic perfectly. This guy might be young too, but he was already working on that vampiric class.
The look of shock on Dean’s face was transparent. “You think we offed the old bastard?”
He actually snorted. “I mean we would have, but we never got the opportunity. Someone beat us to it.”
“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’m pretty sure you guys couldn’t take out someone like Conchobar. He’s a little out of your league. But someone sure wanted me to think it was you and I’d like to know why.”
Dean’s eyes hardened suddenly. Oh great, I was dealing with a hot head. “Look here, blood bag. You think we couldn’t whack a master? One day soon the revolution’s going to start, and then the blood of the masters is going to fill the streets.”
He was trying to intimidate me. He took a step forward and tried unsuccessfully to loom. I crooked an eyebrow and didn’t even get up from the couch. “Good luck with that whole revolution thing, but if you had tried to take on a vampire like Conchobar, the only blood would have been the blood he wiped off his mouth after he was done with you.”
Several things happened all at once. Dean lunged forward no doubt intending to seize me in a show of vampiric might. He was fast, but I saw the move telegraphed way ahead. It doesn’t matter if your opponent is faster than you if you start the race before they get in their car to drive to the track. Besides, he was vampire fast, not master vampire fast.
I had my hand on my revolver, prepared to introduce Dean to a type of bullet of my own invention, but I never got the chance to finish pulling it. In a blur of motion far too fast for the eye to see, Israel had risen from the couch, struck Dean like a thunderbolt in a reasonably priced suit, and had him pinned up against the wall by the neck with one hand. Dean was struggling, but Israel was barely exerting himself.
Israel’s expression was cool and exhausted. “Dean, I’m going to explain this to you again. The non-aggression principle states that we only use violence to prevent violence. Touching a human who back talks you is a No-No. Your use of force, justifies my use of force.”
His eyes went steely for just a second. “So calm the fuck down before I rip your goddamn head off.”
Dean’s eyes were wide with fear as he nodded. The other vampire, who I would later learn was named Caesar, hadn’t moved from the wall he was leaning against. Apparently Dean getting strangled wasn’t a cause for concern. I could understand that.