Tears Of A Vamp Chapters Three and Four

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Tears Of A Vamp Chapters Three and FourChapter ThreeWhen I woke clear headed enough to sit up in my bed I was surprised to find myself naked on top of the covers. I shook my head in disbelief, What a crazy dream… Then I noticed that I wasn’t naked on top of just my sheets. No, I was naked on top of the covers and on top of the plastic mat that is used to play Twister. The game with all the different colored circles. Right Hand Red, Left foot Blue… I’m sure you know the game. My memories were jumbled but I was sure I would have remembered playing Twister on my bed.I forgot about Twister when I smelled smoke. Someone had smoked cigarettes in my house. Damn it! The curtains would smell for days. The trash in my kitchen needed to be taken out. What had I thrown into my trash that smelled so bad I could smell it up on the second floor? Suddenly other smells were all around me. The wood polish I’d used on the banisters of the staircase. The smell of… sex?Oh, this just got better and better! I’d had sex for the first time in, well, a long time, and couldn’t remember it?Just then the front door opened and another smell wafted upstairs. A familiar smell. “Hey, sleepyhead! You awake yet? It’s been a week. Tonight’s when you’re supposed to wake up.”I had to clear my throat before I could croak, “Hello?”Faster than I thought possible running footsteps brought a young woman to my bedroom. Smiling brightly she almost hugged me and then withdrew with an expression of disgust.”Don’t take this personally but you still have some gunk all over you. I’ve been cleaning you three times a day and, I’ll tell you the truth, if I’d known how yucky it would be I’d never have Turned ya. Would have given you the Second Death and just called it quits.”Nothing she was saying was making sense. Seeing my confusion she shrugged, “Don’t worry about it. When I woke up I didn’t even know what century it was for a week. Doesn’t matter, this is what you’ve been waiting for.” Raising her wrist to her mouth she bit down and then offered me a bloody arm.I didn’t even think, just took her arm and bit. Sweet tasting blood filled my mouth and I drank mouthfuls while she shuddered and moaned. Even over the blood I could smell her arousal. Finally, she pulled her arm away and stumbled backwards to lean weakly against a wall. “Oh, wow, you give great wrist,” she moaned and licked the blood oozing from the wounds on her arm until they stopped bleeding.I was in shock. I’d watched her open her wrist with her teeth and then I drank her blood! Watching her lick her wrist made me want to do the same but when I reached for her arm she pulled away. “Oh, no, you don’t. That was the last of the free meals. I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do and you’ll have to do your own hunting now.”What? What hunting? Then something clicked and I began to remember. “Tiffany?””Hey! You remember my name? That’s incredible. I’ve seen just Turned vampires who couldn’t even remember how to walk. Do I do good or what when I Turn? You must be an Alpha Vamp. Of course you are. I’m an Alpha so it makes sense I’d Turn an Alpha. You’re the first I’ve ever Turned so I wasn’t sure what I’d end up with.””What the hell are you talking about? Vampires? I’m not a vampire.” Oh crap, I’d invited a crazy girl into my house. Dr*gs! It must be dr*gs. She’d dr*gged me and now I was coming down. I scooted to the other side of the bed so she couldn’t jab me with a needle or something.Tiffany held up her arm so I could see four small wounds. Even as I watched, two wounds closed and disappeared as if never made. “I only made two of these. If you’re not a vampire, who made the other two?”I shook my head in denial. “There’s no such thing as vampires! It’s dr*gs. You gave me something and made me crazy. Just stay the hell away from me. Just get out of my house. If you’re a vampire, then I rescind my invitation and you have to leave.”Instead of leaving, Tiffany doubled over with howls of laughter. “You actually believe all that shit you see on TV? Dude, authors get so much crap wrong about us that I just wanna drain ’em. I rescind my invitation,” Tiffany repeated in a poor imitation of my voice and doubled over laughing again.I was looking for my phone to call the police to get her out of the house when a pain in my stomach made me groan and doubled me over.”Might wanna get to the toilet. I sure as hell ain’t gonna clean it up,” Tiffany said dispassionately.I had to follow her advice as another wave of pain came. I barely made it to my bathroom toilet before throwing up.”Now that’s just gross,” I heard Tiffany say and then heard a zipper between heaves. “Just a sec. No way am I getting my clothes gunky.” I finished tossing my cookies and collapsed on the tile floor. The cool tile felt so good. Walking naked into the bathroom she looked at me lying curled up on the tile floor and sat on the sink counter.Tiffany leaned over and looked in the toilet. “Wonder if that’s your appendix? What does an appendix look like,” she asked. When I didn’t answer she shrugged. “Well, whatever it was it needs to go bye-bye,” and flushed the commode. Tiffany swung her legs while she lit a cigarette. “See, you’re getting rid of all the crap you don’t need no more. The buggies are pretty much done rearranging your body.” Tiffany toed me in the side. “Hey, you listening to me? This is a crash course on Vampires 101 so listen good. We don’t have much time before we gotta run.””Run?” I didn’t even want to walk.Tiffany toed me in the side again. “Crawl into the shower. It’ll be easier to clean the shower than your floor and right now you’re kind’a yucky. Go on. Go, go, go…”With Tiffany kicking me I managed to make it into my shower. Tiffany sat back down on my bathroom counter and used a washcloth to clean the foot she’d used to kick me. Between draws on her cigarette she explained, “So, as I was saying. Some really smart woman that got Turned says we got these buggies in us. That’s what makes us vampires. Says they’re like parasites or something. Since they don’t want to die, they don’t want us to die so they make us strong and everything. Turns us into vamps. We are the tippy-top of the food chain, baby.”Anyway, your buggies should be about done. Damn! I sure as hell stuffed you with enough blood that they should be done. Must be why you’re an Alpha. Vamps are the top of the food chain and Alpha Vamps are the top of the vamp chain.”Maybe it was the blood of that witch that made you strong enough to remember my name. Ohhh, she was so yummy. I get shivers remembering how her blood tasted. Must’a been that witch. It’s a rare vamp that gets a witch’s blood while they’re Turning, you know.” She seemed to be waiting. “Sheesh, a thank you would be nice.””Thank you?””You’re welcome,” Tiffany said brightly and tossed her smoked cigarette into the toilet. “How are you feeling now?””Better.” And I was. I felt much better. I had a strong desire to get clean. Standing, I turned the water on in the shower and stood under the spray. Closing my eyes I let the hot water run over me. Then Tiffany was in the shower running a soapy washcloth over me while I cleaned my hair. “This is sooo much better than having to clean you up while you were unc0nscious. I put that Twister plastic under you to keep your bed clean. So, as I was saying, the buggies make us strong so we stay alive and…”I tuned Tiffany out. I needed time to process this ridiculous story about vampires. Yes, I felt different but dr*gs could make me feel this way. How long had I been doped up. Even as I thought about the possibility of dr*gs again, I didn’t really believe it. No dr*g I knew about would make me drink blood.I finally left the shower to towel off. It was when I looked in the mirror I began to really believe Tiffany’s story. I had no gut! My body was lean and buffed. Love handles were gone and my stomach was flat. Running my hand over my stomach I looked lower and THAT sure as hell wasn’t original equipment.”Yeah, the buggies did a really great job on you,” Tiffany said and plopped her ass on the bahis firmaları counter again. Reaching over she put a finger under THAT and moved it up and down before I swatted her hand away. Laughing, she observed, “You weren’t the worst lay in my life by a long shot when you were alive, but I wouldn’t mind taking that out for a test drive.”Seeing THAT made me believe. “So I’m a vampire.””Yep.””But I can see myself in the mirror.””We’re dead not invisible, ya idiot. I swear, all those damned authors get everything wrong. I mean, that lady in the south got to interview a vampire and she still fucked it all up. Being able to fly? I tried for six months… I’d fucking drain that bitch if I ever met her.” Tiffany lit another cigarette. “You really shouldn’t smoke so much.””What? Cancer? Never gonna happen. You’ll never be sick again. Buggies take care of all that. Besides, our sense of smell is twenty times what it used to be. Believe me, you go to a party where hot, sweaty humans are packed together, you’re gonna want something to cover up the smells. All of our senses are in permanent overdrive. Buggies don’t want us taken by surprise I guess. You’ll learn how to tone them down, tune things out.””Buggies?”Tiffany swung a hand and bopped me on the side of my head. “Weren’t you listening to me? I told ya all this before! A brainy vamp says we got these microbes in us. Whatever a microbe is. That we aren’t really dead, just changed.”I put a hand to my chest. “No heart beat.””It beats. Maybe once a day. We can be hurt but as long as we don’t get our hearts taken or our heads cut off we can heal. I had a foot cut off once. Took a year but it grew back. Itched like crazy. So, important lesson! Heart and head. Don’t lose ’em.”Anyway, time to get the hell out’a here. That witch I killed? I didn’t have the time to cover my tracks. Pure chance I even stumbled on her. Was gonna go into the supermarket for more smokes and I swear she opened her car door when I was no more that five feet away. I was on her like stink on shit before she even knew I was there.””You killed someone?!””Yeah. But she was a witch and real old. Damn, she was sure yummy!””I don’t want to kill anyone!””Then don’t. I fed off you and didn’t kill you. Well, I did kill you but that was just because you got some of my blood back after I’d fed from you. Shit! Can you imagine the mess we’d make if we killed everyone we fed from? Authors getting it wrong again. Fuck ’em. Take some blood and leave the human light headed for a while and move on.” Tiffany bopped me in the head again. “Hey, would you listen to me and stop looking at your dick?””Ahh, sorry. It’s just kind of a shock.””It is pretty impressive. Personally, I like ’em circumcised. Anyway, where there is one witch there’s always more. I wouldn’t mind taking a few more down but with a newbie like you as a partner? I figure the best thing to do is just run.””I can’t go anywhere. Classes start… Wait, I’ve been asleep for a week? Damn! Classes start in eight days.”Tiffany smiled as if what I’d said was funny. “And how are you going to classes?””I live close enough to campus to walk there and…” Realization dawned. “Sunlight?””That’s something the authors got right. We don’t burst into flame or shit like that but the buggies hate sunlight. Ever rammed your toe against furniture in the dark? Pain worse than that all over your body. Pretty soon you’re blind and paralyzed. After that… Dead. And I mean dead-dead. With thick clothing, a long coat and big hat you might last the day huddled under a very shady tree. Maybe.””Will I sleep during the day?””No. Something else dumb authors get wrong. What would be the use of being tough to kill if we’re helpless for 12 hours a day? In an emergency we can stay awake for a week. But a couple of hours of sleep every other day is plenty. Hey, what do you say we go hunting? I went out as soon as the sun was down to get blood to feed you, but you just drained me. You’ve taken so much blood from me I’m hungry and you can learn the ropes.””I don’t want to hurt anyone.”Tiffany sighed. “Then don’t! Before I killed you, did I hurt you? Hell no! Leaving a trail of bodies lying around is something that draws attention. Plus, loss of too much blood would have taken the ol’ lead out of the pencil, if ya catch my drift. Here,” Tiffany said and hopped off the counter. Standing next to me she waved a hand at her perfect body and beautiful face. “Do you really think if I let a human male know he can get lucky in a car outside a nightclub he’ll turn me down? I get some blood and the guy gets a happy. Win-win. Shit, you knew me for twenty minutes and you invited me home with you. Men are so stupid.”I had to admit she had a point. With long, black hair and pale, flawless features she was beautiful. Below that beautiful face was an hour glass figure with full breasts that seemed much larger on her petite frame. But there was a flaw in her plan. “I don’t see many women I meet wanting to go outside to my car for a quickie after meeting me for five minutes,” I said doubtfully.”Course not. Women are way smarter than men. That’s why the buggies give male vamps Vamp Tears.” When I looked bewildered, Tiffany put a finger to the side of my face near my eye. “Here, where your tear ducts used to be, you now have something we female vamps don’t have. There’s a muscle,” Tiffany told me to close my eyes and concentrate on moving a tiny muscle in the corner of my eye.I was wondering how I could move a muscle I didn’t even know I had when, “Very good. Now open your eyes.”Looking in the mirror I saw a small drop of fluid at the corner of my eye. I collected it onto my finger and the drop looked pinkish. I could guess where the legend of vampires crying tears of blood came from. “What is this?””That is a Vamp Tear. The best damned date ra*e dr*g ever invented.””I don’t want to ra*e women!””Then don’t! Ya know, you’re pretty stupid for a guy in college,” Tiffany said and shook her head in disgust. “You must have a C- average or something. Look, just swipe that on a girl’s skin and it’s like her arousal meter goes from zero to a hundred in one second. If you can’t get a woman to agree to go someplace private for a snack, you just aren’t trying. Or a guy if you lean in that direction. It’s way better than any blue pill for men. Guaranteed to get any guy hard and keep him hard for as long as…””No! I mean, I’m straight.””Up to you, of course. Me? I’m bi. I get the best of both worlds. Anyway, one swipe, a suggestion to get a little fresh air and pretty soon you’re feeling her up in some dark corner while feeding. It lasts for an hour and then you move on. She’s a little light headed and has a pleasant memory of walking on the Girls-Gone-Wild side of the street for the rest of her life. Maybe she has a little something to confess about on Sunday and you’re fed and happy.”I washed the drop off my finger.I thought of something else and looked in the mirror. My teeth looked normal. Tiffany laughed at me. “The fangs are there. Just retracted behind your canines. Go ahead, you already know how.”She was right. With almost no thought I was able to make mine extend and then retract. “They’re not very big.” “Of course not,” Tiffany said. “Be real stupid to tear open a throat just for a snack. By the way, any large artery will do, it’s just that the big neck veins and arteries are close to the skin and easy to reach. But if you want to just take your time any part of the body will do. “Male and female vamps, we got something up where the teeth are that coats our fangs with something that makes the ones we’re snacking on feel real good when the fangs go in. Turns pain into pleasure. The more pain, the more pleasure. When you’re done just lick the bites. Something in our saliva stops bleeding and causes wounds to heal fast. Next morning the girl will think she got bit by mosquitoes or something. By nightfall they’re gone completely. Not even a scar. See?” Tiffany raised her wrist up for me to examine. All four of the wounds I’d seen on her kaçak iddaa wrist were gone now. “You bit pretty hard with all your teeth. That’s why I almost had a orgasm with all that pain turned to pleasure. Vamps heal a lot faster than a human but a fang bite on a human will be gone in about twenty hours.”I nodded and wondered out loud, “So wipe a tear on a girl’s skin and she’ll feel like being alone with me. Then just bite her?””Sure. Feed and fuck or just feed. Up to you. A virgin might be hard to get with Vamp Tears but how many virgins will you find at a bar in a college town?”I put my hands on the counter and hung my head in defeat. All my logic was in tatters. THAT and the fangs had convinced me. I was a vampire.I straightened up and looked over at Tiffany. That’s when I realized I was looking down at Tiffany. It finally hit me why I’d been feeling kind of off kilter. One of the reasons. Pulling her to my side I compared us in the mirror. “You’re what? Five-eight? Did you shrink or…” Good Lord! If she hadn’t shrunk then I’d grown. At least four inches. My THAT wasn’t the only thing to get up-sized. “I’m at least six-two!”Tiffany pinched my now love handle gone side. “Buggies had a lot to get rid off and a lot to work with. Guess they decided to work with what they had and gave you the deluxe package.”I felt panic creeping up on me again. Perfect vision? Contact lenses. Lost weight? A diet. Buff body? Exercise. But… “How the hell do I explain to my mom I’ve grown four inches when I’m twenty-one?!” Chapter FourClaiming she was starved because I’d drained her of blood, Tiffany tried to convince me to go ‘hunting’ with her so she could show me the ins-and-outs of successful feeding. I was still in shock from discovering I’d grown four inches. The more Tiffany tried to entice me out of my house to hunt, the more I sank into sad contemplation of how screwed up my life… Un-life?… had become.Turning me into a vampire wasn’t the only thing Tiffany had done in the days I’d been unc0nscious. From the large collection of makeup on my bathroom counter, it appeared she’d also moved in with me. I really had to say no to a murderous psycho vampire living -Unliving?- with me.Giving up on talking me out of my funk, Tiffany concentrated on touching up her makeup while I left to sit on my bed. Putting on clothes made me feel better. I had to cinch my belt all the way to the last notch to make my pants stay on my much thinner hips. Looking at my bed I couldn’t make myself sit on the covers much less lie down on them. They were covered with some crap that might have been body fat that had oozed from my skin pores. I wadded up the Twister plastic and sheets and tossed them into a corner of the room so I could lie down on the bare mattress. I sat up wanting a blanket. I’d feel much better with a blanket over my head and… Blankets… Wait… I looked at where my bedroom window would have been visible except… My quilts! My collection of hand made quilts! Tiffany had nailed one of my hand made quilts over the window facing my backyard and two more over the French doors that let out onto a small deck facing the street. NAILED!! Hand made, hand stitched quilts nailed to my walls!”Tiffany! Why did you nail my quilts up,” I asked as I got up from my bed to look closer at what she’d done.”Your curtains just weren’t blocking out enough sunlight. I didn’t want to be stuck in your bathroom with the door shut for twelve hours. I would have missed my shows.”I thought about how many windows Tiffany would have had to cover in order to sit in my den to watch TV. “Did you nail up all my quilts? Some of them are over a hundred years old and you put nail holes in them? And my walls! I’m going to have to fill all of those holes in, sand them down and match the paint. It’s damn near impossible to match paint color exactly. I’ll have to paint entire rooms, my entire house!””What’s the big deal,” Tiffany said in an unconcerned voice while looking in the mirror and applying more blush. “They’re just some old, dusty blankets and so what if you need some paint? I’m older than any of your damned quilts and you don’t see me crying because you nailed me before I killed you. Damn man, PMS much?”That Same Hour… Olivia’s HouseTaking another pull from the bottle, it took me three tries to stand up from the chair I’d been in for the last four hours. Gram’s book on vampires fell from my lap onto the floor. When I bent down to pick it up I tipped over and landed face down beside it.I think I’m drunk… Nah, I’m just a little tipsy, was my next coherent thought. I wasn’t going to let a little booze stand in my way. I had a mission! I had a vamp to kill! I crawled to the couch and used its steadying mass to get to my feet. I looked at the book still on the floor and decided it could, Stay! Stay book… Good book!I’d returned from Tennessee and Gram’s funeral only a few hours ago. Just enough time for a few drinks so I couldn’t be drunk. I knew what I needed and made my bumping-against-the-walls way to Gram’s bedroom. Picking several strands of hair from her hairbrush, I rolled them into a ball and bumped my way back down the hallway and to the basement. The Power Circle was mine now. I could have Reached and drawn Power from the Power Circle to cast the spell from anywhere in the world. For no reason I could think of, I just wanted to be in the circle for the spell.Stripping and putting on a robe this time, I almost fell down the stairs but I made it to the center of the circle before my legs collapsed under me. Even if I was a little tipsy, a Like-To-Like Spell was easy to cast. I’d done the spell before to find a missing earring. Using Gram’s hair gave me my end of the connection. The pretty, pretty golden hemisphere appeared as I connected to the Power Circle.Son-of-a-bitch, the vamp was close! Less than a mile away was my guess. I was struggling to get my legs to move the way I wanted when I found myself face down on the concrete. Oh, the cool concrete feels so good, was my last thought before I passed out.Daniel’s House…Tiffany had finished her makeup and was dressed about to leave for her hunt when I asked why her ring was glowing. I was totally unprepared for her frenzied reaction. Grabbing my arm she began pulling me out of the bedroom and down the stairs.”Dammit! Would you come on,” Tiffany yelled. “We gotta run and run now. We’re being tracked.”I stopped on the stairs and planted my feet. “Tracked? Tracked how? By whom?””Witches,” Tiffany answered as she continued to try and pull me the rest of the way down the stairs. I held onto the stair railing and didn’t budge. “There really are witches?”Tiffany threw up her hands in disgust at my obtuseness. “Yes, there really are witches and yes, they hate our guts and yes, we either run now or wait for a coven of ‘em to bust down your door and kill us!”I planted my feet on the stairs and wouldn’t budge. “I can’t run away. I start classes in a week. Besides, if they can track us here, why would running away do any good? They’ll just track us down wherever we go, whenever they want.”Tiffany tried to pull me down the stairs a couple of more times before letting go of my arm in exasperation. “They’re not tracking us, you idiot. It’s a Like-To-Like spell. They must be using something of that old witch I killed and they’re tracking her blood! The blood we have inside us! We need to run and stay ahead of them for at least a month or two until that blood is absorbed by our bodies. And FYI, they’re not tracking us, they’re tracking you!” Tiffany held up her hand where I could see the still softly glowing ring. “I forced a witch to make this ring for me. It glows if someone has cast a spell to track me and it protects me from being tracked. You don’t have a ring so you’re the one they’re homing in on.”“You actually have a magic ring,” I asked, leaning to get a better look at what looked like a simple band of gold. “That is so cool.”“Oh, for shit’s sake! Don’t tell me you’re one of those Tolkien Lord Of The Rings freaks.”“Well, I wouldn’t kaçak bahis call me a freak. I mean, I loved the movies and I’ve read the books a few times and…”Tiffany interrupted me to shout, “I don’t give a damn!”Making a conscious effort to calm down, Tiffany continued in a calmer voice. “Look, depending on how far away that coven is we’ve got minutes or at most a few hours before they show up here. If you were trained and knew what the fuck you were doing I might even stay to fight. Two Alpha Vamps versus a Coven, that’s pretty good odds especially since they’d show up expecting to fight only one vamp. But you’re not trained, you don’t know what you’re capable of and if we waste time arguing we’re both dead.”I shook my head. “I can’t just leave. I start graduate school in a week and I have books to buy and… Can’t I just explain to any witches that show up that I didn’t kill anyone?”Tiffany cupped my head in her hands and looked at me with her big, blue doe eyes. “You are a sweet, sweet idiot,” she said in a soft voice and gently moved my face closer to hers. “You’re just so sweet [kiss] and soft [kiss] and gooey [kiss] you make my fangs ache.”God, Tiffany was so beautiful with her soft, full lips parted… I thought she was pulling my head down for a final farewell kiss when her grip tightened and with a quick twist, she broke my neck.Tiffany’s Van…I regained consciousness confused about why my bed was moving. I was also confused about why I couldn’t move and why a mountain of what smelled like dirty laundry was piled on top of me. The most powerful smell was of cigarette smoke and…“Tiffany?”“Hey, good, you’re awake,” came the answer from somewhere to my right. “We’re almost to Huntington, West Virginia and I was planning to stop for fuel and snacks. I’m almost out of chips.”I still couldn’t move and my head seemed to be at an unnatural angle. A memory came… “You broke my neck!”“Yeah, so? With some vamps that’s considered foreplay. I got tired of wasting time arguing with you.”Just then my neck popped back into its normal position with a loud SNAP! “Goddammit, that hurt!”The van swerved and Tiffany yelled, “Hey! Don’t use that fucking language around me.”I was getting tingling feelings back in my arms and legs though I still wasn’t able to move. “You have the foulest mouth of anyone I know and you’re upset about a single ‘goddam…”“Stop that! No ‘G’ word!”“You’re worried about…”“If you say it again I swear I’ll pull over, stake you out in a field and wait for the sun to rise,” Tiffany yelled from the driver’s seat and then took a deep breath before continuing in a more reasonable tone. “I believe in the Big Guy. When and where I was born the Big Guy was a very personal presence to us. I know I was born with a soul. I know that beyond question. But, did my soul die when I died? I don’t know. Is the Big Guy pissed because I didn’t show up in Heaven or Hell when I died? Don’t know. Am I really dead or are people right that some genetic re-write happened to me from a microbe? I don’t know. I can’t see a microbe and I can’t see the Big Guy. Am I dead or not dead? I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t want some asshole calling His attention down on me.”I could move my head now and a finger moved a bit when I willed it. “Look, just drop me off in Huntington. I can rent a car to drive back to Lexington. I’ll just tell any witch that shows up…”“You wouldn’t get two words out before you’re dead,” Tiffany broke in quickly. “Witches and vampires have been killing each other for thousands of years. I don’t know when the war started or why, but witches hate vamps and try to kill us whenever we meet. Vamps kill witches to stay alive. And because they taste delicious,” Tiffany finished in a voice that told me she was remembering the witch she’d killed.By the time Tiffany crossed into West Virginia and pulled off the interstate to fill the gas tank of her van I was able to move though my hands and feet still tingled. No, not a van I saw as I moved to exit the passenger side of the cab. More of a delivery truck with a large box container that she’d made into a mobile apartment.“Huh… Great idea,” I told Tiffany. “You can pull over and sleep in the back while the sun’s up.”“Pull over, Hell. I can drive my baby all day on a fill up.”“How? I mean if sunlight kills us…”Tiffany pulled the nozzle from the pump and handed it to me. Walking to the front of the delivery truck she reached up and patted the very dark, tinted window of the driver’s door. “UV resistant film. Apply a dozen films on all the windows and with good UV resistant sunglasses to protect my eyes, I can drive. It’s not comfortable but I can at least drive.”Tiffany began walking towards the convenient store’s door. “Fill the tank when the pump comes on and I’ll get us something to snack on while we travel.”I filled the tank and waited anxiously until Tiffany reappeared. I was concerned what her definition of ‘snacks’ might be. I let out the breath I’d been holding when I saw she was carrying many plastic bags instead of the store clerk.I helped her put the bags into the cab and looked at their contents. Pretzels, potato chips, Slim Jims and… “Beer? We can drink beer?” Being dead didn’t look so bad suddenly.“Sure. Something else the damned writers get wrong. But we don’t get any nourishment from any of this. We need blood or we die. This stuff is just to take the edge off when we can’t get blood. Like a human chewing gum while trying to stop smoking. Oh, and FYI, nothing gets digested. What goes in, comes out the same way so chew everything up really well.”“Can we get drunk?”“On beer? Not a chance. You’d have to drink a swimming pool’s worth to get tipsy. With hundred proof or better booze? Drink a fifth really fast and you’ll get a nice buzz if you don’t puke it up. Weeds like beer. Smoke a field’s worth for a buzz. Not worth it. Me? When I wanna get trashed I stick to heroin or meth. You’ll get a better buzz faster and it will last longer. Snorting oxycontin just makes me wanna sleep.”With the last of the bags in the cab, I turned and told Tiffany, “Have a safe trip. I’m going back to Lexington and my life. My Un-life or whatever I have now.”Tiffany threw up her arms in exasperation. “Don’t you understand yet? You can’t go back with the witches tracking you. You’ll be dead, really dead, probably before the night’s over.”“I’ll take my chances. I can’t just disappear from my life or my family.” I took two quick steps away from Tiffany. “Don’t even try to snap my neck again. One step towards me and I’ll fight. I’m not as experienced as you are, but you’re running on empty as far as blood is concerned. I’m betting that you’re too weak to take me in a straight fight.”Tiffany looked ready to try and then slumped with a long out breath of air. Nodding her head, she admitted defeat. “You’re right. I’m not strong or fast enough after letting you drain me.”Climbing into the driver’s seat, she left the door open and gave me a sad look. Taking her ring off, she looked at it for a long second before tossing it to me, “Put it on and don’t take it off no matter what. At least you’ll have a better chance and I won’t feel like shit for leaving you behind. They’ll be tracking me now so I’ll lead the witches on a good chase for a month or two until I’m sure the spell has nothing to track. You’ve got a lot to learn and I won’t be there to teach you so I’m pretty sure you’ll be dead within a week anyway, but at least I’ve done what I can.”Tiffany closed the door to the cab, started the engine and began driving away. The truck only moved a few feet when the door opened and something was thrown at me as Tiffany yelled, “I guess you’ll need your wallet, also. Good luck, you fucking idiot.”I stood and watched the truck exit the parking lot before putting the ring on my little finger. It began to softly glow again as soon as it was on my finger. There was an ATM sign in the window of the convenient store so at least I could use a credit card to get enough cash to pay for a taxi to get me back to Lexington.Walking towards the store I opened my wallet and stopped. Looking through every part of my wallet before I accepted the truth, I turned towards the direction Tiffany had disappeared.“You fucking BITCH! You stole all my credit cards!”

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