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sindee1982
13 March 2011 @ 08:57 pm
As promised, here is the first 5,000 word sneek peek*. Enjoy!

*The sneek peek is slightly different from the final, published version--apparently PDF don't paste so well here, so here is my original, unedited Microsoft file version.

+ Copyright 2010 by C.L. Warrington: All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles and reviews.

Chapter 1

              The sounds of the city echo all around me as I pick my way over the scarred and pitted sidewalk near the heart of downtown San Antonio. I had come to the great state of Texas only six months before, but I could already sense that this city was going to be one of my more extended places of residence. I had occupied nearly every state on the eastern seaboard since coming to the United States at the turn of the century, and the time I spent at each location depended upon two things and two things only: were there others of my kind in the immediate area, and if so, how much danger did they pose to the human population?

With very few exceptions I invariably stumbled upon them in the great cities of the world. The groups varied from grand assemblages replete with hierarchies to loose conglomerations that were nothing more than street gangs, but regardless of their size or organization, they all preyed upon the city’s human inhabitants to sustain their own lives. In every instance the groups were comprised of a Font and their progeny, human companions that had been transformed through a transfer of blood and who were now recipients of the Font’s eternal legacy.

Fonts alone possessed the power to pass on their longevity to others, and the sheer magnitude of the lives that they had consumed over the centuries transformed them into beings of considerable power that the rest of us feared and respected. While there was an undeniable bond between Fonts and progeny due to the blood transference, occasional displays of endearment did little to mask the real truth behind their relationship. When a Font created a progeny—when they shared their blood with a human—they shared a part of their life force with them. Their lives were now directly tied to one another and each progeny embodied a fraction of a Font’s overall strength. When progeny fed upon the life force of their human victims, their Font garnered the lion’s share of the feeding. If a progeny were to be killed, then their Font would suffer the loss of their lives, and if enough of them were to be killed, then the Font risked dying as a result. Fonts were therefore dependent upon their progeny and would stop at nothing to protect them.

That is, until the bond had dissipated between them.

On the surface it may appear that nurturing progeny is actually detrimental to a Font’s existence, but in essence they serve a dual purpose. For one thing, they provide their Font with sustenance via the bond they share, and secondly, they are a show of status. The ability to create others of our kind resides exclusively within Fonts, and to have a number of these progeny at one’s disposal is indication to others of our kind that they have survived for centuries and are formidable adversaries. Fonts were not born, but rather made into what they are by their own actions; each life that they consumed brought them one step closer to achieving this apex of our species, and in essence took them one step away from the bond that they had once shared with their maker. They had once started out as progeny, and only with the passage of centuries and innumerable victims did the bond between them waver and disappear. When they had accrued strength that surpassed that of their maker, the former-progeny were now powerful enough to assume the status of Fonts themselves, and the whole bloody cycle began anew.

Regardless of where I traveled throughout the world or what era I passed through, every Font that I had encountered was cruel, sadistic, and had an affinity for slaughter and carnage. No matter their upbringing during their human lifetime or the circumstances that led to their transformation, this behavior was inevitable. Countless innocents had died so that they could continue to live, had died so that their progeny could live and in essence keep them alive, and I despised them for it. My family and I had been on the receiving end of such treatment centuries ago and I knew what their victims had gone through. I knew the terror and the horror that had been their final moments of life, and I refused to stand idly by while others suffered a similar fate. No, if I had the knowledge, the means, and the fortitude to prevent such atrocities, then I would do so until every last one of them was destroyed.

I had long-since recognized the significance of the relationship between a Font and their progeny, and for the past three-hundred and twenty-eight years I exploited it to my advantage. The Fonts and their progeny—while formidable and protected—were not invincible. Like all things in this world they had weaknesses, and regardless of any allusions to immortality, they were not difficult to kill.

In order to destroy the Fonts and thereby end the whole accursed cycle of death and destruction once and for all, it was simply a matter of killing their progeny off one by one so that they could be dealt with.

Weak and disillusioned after the deaths of their progeny, the Fonts tried to escape to neighboring towns or cities that weren’t quite large enough to hide them and their hunting activities. Desperate to replenish their strength in order to stay alive, they often killed whomever they could get their hands on and seldom concealed the bodies, thereby making it easy for me to track them down. When I caught up with them I was merciless in my treatment, and when they drew their last breath I was that much closer to honoring the oath I had sworn upon my family’s memory centuries before. It was an oath that I had vowed to uphold until the end of the world, and each time that I destroyed one of them—a creature that I considered no different than the ones that had destroyed my family and forever altered my destiny—I was that much closer to regaining what I had lost.

This strategy set the precedent for how I lived my life, and I moved around constantly in this fashion for centuries while slowly driving their ranks to the brink of extinction. The advent of transatlantic travel made it possible for my kind to propagate elsewhere in the world, and I pursued them accordingly. In the century or so since my arrival in the United States I had occupied the eastern coast, and it was only when I was satisfied that this area was relatively clean, that I set my sights on the southern states.

I only knew Texas from the brochures and books that I had acquired, but I eventually chose San Antonio as my most recent base of operations. The color photos of the famed River walk and Spanish missions were oddly appealing to me and the cultural and geographical makeup of the area—the gateway to the American Southwest—was wholly different from anything I had ever encountered during my considerable travels.

The city of San Antonio has the distinction of being the second largest in the state of Texas, as well as being the seventh largest in the United States. The current population stands at nearly a million and half souls—a million and a half potential victims if my kind were to take up residence there. Something else drew me to the city other than the promise of a change in scenery or a challenging hunt, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but I had learned to trust my instincts over the years.

My exodus to San Antonio is still relatively fresh in my mind, as if it were just yesterday that I was gazing out at the vaguely surreal landscape from the smeared and grimy windows of the plane. As I pulled out of the airport parking lot in my rented vehicle and headed out into the streets, I found myself growing more and more at ease. There was something intensely thrilling about the city as I took the downtown exit and felt the ambiance of my new home wrap itself around me. The massive steel and glass structures that extended skyward were nestled snuggly amongst the remnants of the city’s illustrious past. The Alamo—the unequivocal symbol of pride and nostalgia to the natives—and the beautiful and grand hotels that spoke of bygone eras were comfortably at home alongside one another. The styles did not clash but seemed to compliment one another, creating a skyline that was both imposing in its modernity yet timeless in its features.

The neighborhoods themselves were a virtual amalgam of humanity that mirrored the unique architectural style of the city. Driving down one street, you would find yourself gaping open-mouthed at the majestic Victorian facades of the historic King William District. Turn down another street, and you could actually trace the progression from one socio-economic status to another. Corner markets run by independent proprietors with heavy bars over the windows, car washes, family-owned Mexican and Vietnamese restaurants, and the inevitable and predictable liquor store dotted the landscape. The houses here were shadows of their former selves and of their more upscale counterparts. Paint peeled away from the graying walls in heavy strips, the porches sagged under the weight of the top floors, and the ornate columns designed to support the whole structure were now held in place by large wooden braces that were deteriorating as well.

I was overcome by the passage of nearly four centuries while gazing up at these dilapidated homes. I was keenly aware that even in a city that was growing in leaps and bounds like San Antonio was that time goes on and that change is inevitable. Eventually everything will be swallowed up in the vast and immeasurable depths of time, and the vestiges of yesteryear ultimately mean nothing to the youth of today.

I sighed and turned the collar of my nondescript brown coat up to block the chill that suddenly swept down the nape of my neck. I turned and headed down the street away from the sagging remains of the house that I had been admiring while lost in my own reverie. It was in these moments of silent contemplation that I felt the loneliest, the most vulnerable. I hated feeling vulnerable and I hated the memories that accompanied such a reaction even more. I had resigned myself to a life of solitude and had accepted my fate centuries ago, however much I longed to change it. I knew that there was no value in trying to change the past. It was over, done with, finished. All that mattered was the here and now, the city before me, and the oath that I had sworn to my family to uphold until the world itself came to an end. I had come to this city, to these very streets to serve justice where it had previously been denied and to protect the innocent. This was no time for self-pity or reflection. This was a time to hunt, and I spotted my prey across the street a few yards up ahead.

I placed his age at about twenty, no more. He was gangly, medium-build, with a shock of greasy black hair falling over one side of his face. He was following a man who was obviously drunk down a sidewalk that terminated by a corner market that had closed for the night. To the casual observer he looked like he was just another young man out for an evening stroll, but I recognized the telltale signs of a predator when I saw them. The intensity that he stared at the other man with was anything but casual: it was calculating, deliberate, and analytical. He was sizing the other man up, looking for just the right moment to close the distance between them to strike. I was as sure of this as anything else in my life, and I tracked him discreetly from my vantage point across the street. I had encountered and systematically dispatched four individuals like him during my time here, and it seemed that he was going to become number five.

I knew that the presence of so many in such a concentrated area as the one that I was in meant that a Font had taken up residence here. Progeny don’t live apart from their creator, and the fact that I had encountered five such individuals within the same general vicinity meant that the Font was nearby and had chosen to occupy this particular area. It was the perfect place where people could disappear unnoticed, or the discovery of their body would only signify a jump in statistics. No mobs with stakes and torches would come charging out of the mist in search of the creature behind the killings—at the very least the police would have a little more paperwork to file because of them.

The drunk weaved and shuffled his way down the sidewalk completely oblivious to the danger that lurked only a few yards behind him. I pressed my body up against the rickety metal fence that enclosed the weed-choked lawn of the house behind me, and allowed the night to swallow me up.

I watched as the drunk sat down heavily on a low stone fence, his body slouched with the effort. His head hung heavily on his chest as he swayed from side to side muttering incoherently to himself, his hands reaching in and out of the pockets of his trench coat in a compulsive manner. The man behind him paused in mid-step as the drunk sat down and glanced around the surrounding area for witnesses. His eyes flicked across the street to where I stood pressed up against the fence.

I froze.

I breathed shallowly through my mouth and concentrated on remaining absolutely still. His gaze passed right over me and he turned back to the man who was now humming softly and stamping his feet to some tune that was audible only to him.

I frowned.

Even in pitch blackness he should have been able to spot me. The auras of our kind burn brighter and more intensely than humans, yet he hadn’t seen me at all. I kept my gaze fixed on him as he moved closer to the drunk in order to make sure that I hadn’t been mistaken about what he was.

His aura flared out around him in a hazy nimbus of muted red and gold as I continued to track his progress. He was definitely one of us, but the dimness of his aura suggested that he was weak and hadn’t been properly nurtured by his Font. This realization both puzzled and troubled me. Fonts typically choose their progeny with great care and train and nurture them for years before allowing them to undergo the transference. Numerous infusions of the Font’s blood over time allow their progeny to be able to detect the auras of not only humans—potential victims—but others of their kind who may or may not pose any threat to them. By virtue of their extensive age and power, Fonts would not risk creating progeny that were weak or who were otherwise incapable of defending themselves. Progeny were a reflection of the strength and character of their creator, and the Font who had made this one had been careless—very careless.

 Before I could consider the motives of the Font in question, the man moved closer and began to close the distance between him and the drunk. I had to act fast.

I moved away from the fence and looked both ways for oncoming traffic. I put my head down and tried to appear lost and nervous, then proceeded to cross the street directly behind the two men. I dug awkwardly in the pockets of my coat for my car keys and kept glancing anxiously around me. The man turned at the sound of my approach and his aura flared once more, obviously excited by the change in the night’s entertainment. I made sure to catch his eyes for only the briefest of seconds before looking away, and then I veered sharply to the left towards the darkened alleyway.

In the space of that single glance I saw in his eyes that he had plans for me, and that he was going to enjoy acting them out. They were hollow, soulless eyes—the eyes of a killer. 

I turned at the sound of his footsteps echoing sharply behind me and I let the fear show in my face. It was a convincing act, but an act no less.

He chuckled as I quickened my pace and attempted to outdistance him, and when I broke into a dead run he laughed gleefully and pursued me. All around me the remains of once-grand mansions loomed out of the darkness like menacing ghosts, and there were no street lamps to illuminate our progress. The moon peaked out from the soaring clouds above us, and the broken glass and scattered refuse littering the alley floor winked and glittered in the dim light. Glass crunched under my boots as I made a desperate attempt to reach a fabricated safety, and I could still hear my pursuer behind me taunting me with his laughter.

All at once a sign with the words Dead End came into view, and I couldn’t help the smile that crept onto my face. The words were fitting for more than a few reasons, as my would-be assailant was soon going to learn.

I whirled around and saw him a few yards behind me grinning with undisguised malice. His teeth were a white slash in the dark, and the smile would have been beautiful except for the intent behind it. He took a step towards me, then another, his eyes roaming over my face and body in apparent appraisal.

I was going to enjoy wiping that look off his face. He was about to learn the hard way that appearances can be deceiving.

He paused and I saw the empty, soulless look come into his eyes. “You look lost; maybe I can help you.” He took another series of steps toward me and I visibly cowered.

“Don’t come any closer!” I made myself appear as small and helpless as possible, and I got the desired response.  

The grin widened as his lips stretched almost painfully over his teeth, and I was reminded of the way a Great White looks moments before it swallows its hapless prey whole. He strode forward until he was only a few feet in front of me. “You didn’t say please.”

He launched himself at me in a blur of movement and knocked me into the overgrown lawn of a rambling red-brick Victorian, his arms gripping me in a steel-like vice as he attempted to hold me down. I shoved upwards with every ounce of strength that I could muster and we went flying backwards with the force of the momentum, striking the wall of the house with enough force to shatter bone in a normal human being.

Bricks cracked and crumbled under the ferocity of the impact as we continued to grapple for dominance, our hands locked tightly around each other’s forearms to keep as much distance between us as possible. I whirled him around until his back was pressed firmly against the wall and I head butted him viciously. He yelped and his hands flew up instinctively to protect his face, and I used the momentary distraction to unsheathe one of the knives I had hidden under my coat.

He recovered from my attack quicker than I anticipated, and with a ferocious growl, his hands shot away from his face and gripped mine in mid-strike. He held my arms away from his body and I strained to gain an inch, my teeth gritted in concentration. I could see the tension singing along his arms as he struggled to hold me at bay, and for just the briefest of moments I saw doubt flicker in his dark eyes.

I planted my feet firmly on the ground and shoved forward to loosen some of the tension, and I managed to extend my right hand towards his cheek. The blade slid along the skin and sliced into it effortlessly. Blood welled upwards in a thick, red line and dribbled downwards along his jaw. He snarled in pain and then batted at the knife clumsily with his left elbow. I laughed at his feeble attempts, and he retaliated by lashing out and backhanded me brutally.

The blow sent me sprawling to the ground. My knife flew from my grip and skittered off into the darkness, which was just fine by me. I had a spare—three actually—but he didn’t know that.

I lay on my side pretending to be hurt, and moved as little as possible. He knelt down beside me and his hands closed around a fistful of my hair. I was forcibly hauled to my feet, but I made no attempt to fight him. I was careful to keep my hands loose at my sides and away from the sheaths concealed under my coat. If he realized what I had planned for him I would quickly lose the upper hand.

“Not so tough now, are we?”

He flung me back against the wall and pinned me there with his weight, our bodies pressed so close together that barely a whisper could pass between us. He still had me by the hair and he brought it up to his nose, inhaling the scent.

I made a mental note to cut it short before the night was over.

“You smell so good; let’s see how you taste.”

I didn’t like the sound of that, but I resisted the urge to go for my second knife. The fool was so busy enjoying himself that he had neglected to restrain my arms. It was both stupid and careless, and would soon prove fatal.

He leaned closer and his tongue flicked out, wet and eager. He began to trace the contours of my lips as if his tongue was memorizing every curve, and I turned my face away from him in disgust. He laughed and pulled me closer, obviously enjoying my reaction.

By now I had managed to undo the sheath holding the knife nearest my right hand and I was slowly working it free. His fingers bit into my cheeks and chin as his hands clamped onto my face and he kissed me, rough and sloppy. His teeth grazed my lower lip and drew blood, and I squirmed despite myself. He threw his head back and moaned in pleasure as he ran his tongue across his teeth, tasting me. Our kind could never resist the taste of blood—however unnecessary to our survival it was—and I was fairly certain that he would not be satisfied with so small a taste.  

Long fingernails stroked the sides of my neck and I forced myself to remain still. I knew that he was capable of ripping my throat out with a flick of his wrist, and the last thing I wanted to do was make any sudden moves.  

“I’m going to enjoy this,” he whispered.

The nails raked harder, drawing blood in lines. The knife slid free from the sheath and I gripped it tightly in my hand, bracing for the kill.

I breathed along his mouth, “So am I.”

Confusion chased away the cocky grin on his face and was soon replaced by anger. He was used to his victims begging and pleading for their lives, and I had spoiled the fun for him. Victims were not supposed to be cooperative or compliant, but I wasn’t a victim. I had been one centuries ago, and once was enough.

The momentary pause was all the time I needed, and I brought the knife around in a slashing arc. The blade sank into the side of his neck with a satisfying, meaty thunk and he reared back screaming, hands instinctively flying to his throat. His weight shifted off of me and as his face twisted up in a mixture of rage and agony, I kneed him in the groin with everything I had. His eyes widened in surprise and he fell to his knees with a muffled grunt.

He stared up at me, and I saw the realization that he had bitten off more than he could chew cross his features. His aura flared brilliantly around him, charged and blazing with his heightened emotional state, and the myriad shades of red and gold danced chaotically within the swirling nimbus. My own body reacted strongly and violently to the energy crackling around him, and I felt the hunger rise within me. It screamed and raged in eagerness, demanding that it be sated.

I allowed myself to succumb to the primal urges sweeping throughout my nerve endings and embraced the thing that I was: vampire. To deny this would be tantamount to denying my very existence, and while the hunger may be a part of me, it was not the part that ruled my head or heart.

I longed to take the energy surging around and within him and make it mine, to take it into myself and make it a part of me forever. The hunger demanded it, the revenge burning in my heart demanded it, and ultimately I demanded it. I would settle for nothing less.

               He saw the way that I was looking at him, and he knew, knew with absolute certainty that he was going to die and that I was going to be the one who killed him.


 
 
Current Location: Headin' off to Dreamland
Current Mood: draineddrained
Current Music: Evanescence: Going Under
 
 
sindee1982
13 March 2011 @ 08:35 pm

      As promised, here is the back cover copy:              

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          

                             Not all wars are fought on the battlefield....


         “I’m going to enjoy this,” he whispered. The nails raked harder, drawing blood in lines. The knife slid free from the sheath and I gripped it tightly in my hand, bracing for the kill.

         I breathed along his mouth, “So am I.”

         Confusion chased away the cocky grin on his face and was replaced by anger. He was used to his victims begging and pleading for their lives, and I had spoiled the fun for him. Victims were not supposed to be cooperative or compliant, but I wasn’t a victim. I had been one centuries ago, and once was enough.

 

Katrina Armentani has lived and breathed revenge for the past three-hundred and twenty-eight years. Turned into a monster in the literal and figurative sense after the brutal murder of her family, she is driven by the desire to avenge their deaths and protect others from suffering a similar fate.

Katrina invariably finds herself torn between the age-old conflicts of good and evil and what it means to be human, but after a series of uncanny events sees her life turned upside down, Katrina inches ever closer to regaining her lost humanity.

 


 

 

 
 
Current Location: Home on the Range
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Killswitch Engage: This is Absolution
 
 
sindee1982
13 March 2011 @ 07:47 pm

 

Announcing the official release of Edge of the Blade: Book 1 Retribution by C. L. Warrington (a.k.a Sindee1982)!

Hello everyone!
       Since my last post, I am proud to announce that my debut novel, Edge of the Blade: Book 1 Retribution, has been officially released worldwide from iUniverse. I have already been receiving royalties from sales, and am--quite frankly--speechless about the whole thing. When I was posting fanfic for BT here years ago, I never imagined that I would one day post an announcement for the release of my own piece of work, but I can honestly tell you that had it not been for the show and its dedicated fanbase of fic readers, that it would not have been possible--I never would have ventured outside my writing paremeters of cranking out research papers, and thus would not be where I am now. So for that, I would like to thank EACH AND EVERY ONE OF MY FRIENDS (whether past or present) FOR THEIR SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT.
         I know that my posts are largely infrequent, but it still makes me happy to receive messages from some of you wishing me happy birthday or just to say "hi"--I couldn't ask for better friends :)
          To thank all of you for your support, I am not only announcing the official release of my book (my current avi is a thumbnail of the cover), but I am going to post the back cover description and the first 5,000 words. I am also going to be conducting a contest (to be announced soon) where an autographed copy of my book will be up for grabs, so stay tuned for future posts!
           For those of you who can't wait till the contest and want to check out my book online, here are some helpful websites and download information:

My book can be found on the following websites and online dealers:

www.amazon.com
www.barnesandnobles.com
www.amazon.co.uk
www.diesel-ebooks.com
www.ebookpie.com
www.iuniverse.com          This is the company I published with.
www.powells.com
www.flipkart.com
www.tradebit.com
www.whsmith.co.uk
www.infibeam.com
www.entourageedge.com
www.adlibris.com
www.booktopia.com

* A general Google search of C.L. Warrington Edge of the Blade will turn up additional sources*

My book is available in paperback and digital download (ebook) in a variety of formats, but is not available on Nook, Acrobat, Android, or Kindle (yet). However, iPad and iPhone users can download it using the "Bluefire" App. Each of the websites listed mention what it is/is not compatible with, so be sure to read all the product info when ordering.

As for pricing, well....it varies. I've seen it go from anywhere from $8 to $43, which to me is highway robbery ;) The dude selling it listed it as "Rare and Hard to Find," which is more or less the truth, considering it is print on demand. In any case, digital downloads are more price-friendly, but again, no pressure to buy :)

My next post will contain the back cover copy and the first 5,000 words, so stay tuned!


Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU once again--you guys are awesome :)



 
 
Current Location: Home on the Range
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
Current Music: Red: Watch You Crawl
 
 
sindee1982
12 December 2008 @ 10:47 pm

Whoo hoo! Finally an update on this one. I had to have a battle of wills with my muse, but I won and got this chapter to turn out like I wanted. Enjoy :)

* I do not own the BT series characters. They belong to a much-more talented individual. I am however, more than happy to take credit for characters/scenarios not featured in the books or television series. Not making any money. No copyright infringement intended*


Ordinarily Henry would have thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to talk to Vicki without the Detective or anyone else intruding on them, but as he sat there slowly sipping his water while Vicki ignored his attempts at conversation, he rethought that assertion. Vicki’s beer remained untouched on the bar while she eavesdropped on Dex and his friends with a level of skill and inconspicuousness that had been carefully honed during her years at Metro. He watched the beads of moisture forming on the beer bottle slowly ooze downward in the increasing warmth of the club and sighed wearily.

The weight of his nearly-five century existence weighed heavily on him suddenly, and he was keenly aware of just how much of an outsider he was, not only as an immortal in a sea of humanity, but from Vicki as well. No matter how much he teased and charmed her, her work and the obligation she felt towards her clients would always come first. He really couldn’t begrudge her on that point: after all, she was fiercely loyal and independent, strong-willed and unlike any woman he had ever met—and most likely ever would—and to do so would be a tremendous disservice to her.

He honestly could never forgive himself if he ever forced her to become less than what she really was, no matter how badly he wanted her to love him in return.

A loud burst of laughter erupted suddenly from the band members and beer bottles and shot glasses clinked loudly together. One of them stood up to make an impromptu toast, and he slurred and wavered on his feet while his friends cheered him on. Vicki glanced casually in their direction and cast a flirty smile at the man giving the toast. He caught her gaze and grinned slyly, raising his glass in salute, but then his eyes flicked towards Henry and he visibly paled. He hastily turned back to his buddies and his drink and looked fairly shaken up.

Vicki turned to face Henry who tried to look as innocent as possible, but his eyes twinkled mischievously.

She leaned towards him and whispered. “Henry, play nice. I need them to stay here so I can spy on them, and you getting all possessive is not helping.”

“I’m just doing my job.” He smiled against her ear and she shivered involuntarily. “Your words say one thing but your body says another. You’re flattered. Admit it.”

She tried to appear indignant. “I’m serious, Henry.” The smile on his face widened. “So am I.” They sat there eye-to-eye, bodies pressed so closely together that barely a whisper could pass between them and she suddenly had a perfect moment of understanding. Sitting there seeing herself reflected in his eyes—those ageless and oddly-fragile eyes—she saw how much he cared for her.

Vicki would never admit it aloud to anyone, but lately she was plagued by insecurity and a pervasive sense of inevitability; the prospect of one day going blind and having to completely depend upon another human being angered her beyond words, but it frightened her even more. She just couldn’t conceive of asking anyone to shoulder such a burden, but when she looked at Henry and saw the way he looked at her, she knew that he would take that responsibility—she need only ask it of him.

She sighed and bowed her head. This wasn’t the time or place to be thinking of such things, and she needed to focus all her attention solely on the case at hand. It wasn’t the promise of a substantial sum of money that initially prompted her to take the case, although Mr. Langtry’s offer had been more than generous. She took it because it was one more way for her to prove that despite her ailing vision, she was still capable of taking care of herself and didn’t need anyone to hold her hand.

When she looked up at Henry again, he was still gazing at her with that curious mixture of hopeless adoration that always caused her heart to flutter, and she found herself smiling tenderly at him. She realized in that moment that if things progressed past the point of salvaging her vision and livelihood that she could count on Henry to always be there for her—she wanted him to be there more than she had ever dared admit to herself before now.

Something flickered in Henry’s eyes in that instant, almost as if he had heard her thoughts spoken aloud. He leaned forward, right hand extended as if to cup her face. Vicki found herself moving towards him as well and her heart sped up in anticipation. The tips of his long, sculpted fingers gently brushed her hair aside, and he brought his face against hers until their lips were almost touching.

“Can I get you another round?”

And just like that the moment broke. Cursing under their breath, Henry and Vicki turned towards the intrusion and saw the bartender waiting impatiently for them to answer him. “No, thanks. We’re fine,” they ground out in unison between clenched teeth. Swiveling in his stool, Henry turned back towards Vicki and opened his mouth to speak, but she had resumed eavesdropping on Dex and his band mates.

Judging by the set of her shoulders and the almost-thunderous roar of her pulse over the din of the club, he could tell that she was slightly embarrassed by what had almost transpired, but his other senses informed him that she wanted him. If there was anything that Vicki Nelson excelled at, it was keeping an iron-grip on her control, and he had never known her to lose it before. What nearly happened moments ago was no fluke, but was intentional from both ends. He smiled. Perhaps the evening wasn’t a total wash after all, and his desire to fling the bartender against the wall for interrupting them slowly vanished.

The band members were getting increasingly rowdy and their conversations more slurred and incoherent, and to Henry, appeared to have no significance regarding the particulars of the case. The empty seats at the bar and the small scattering of tables were quickly filling up, and it wasn’t long before there was a crowd of people jockeying for position and the bartender’s attention. A couple of rough-looking men dressed in standard biker-wear loomed over them and tried to appear intimidating. Apparently they wanted their seats.

The bigger of the two peered down at Vicki and Henry, eyes flicking from one to the other and their drinks on the bar, which remained untouched. He sneered and even in the dim light of the club, the tobacco stains on his teeth stood out. “If you ain’t drinkin’, leave the fuckin’ bar. There’s plenty of us who are thirsty.” 

They ignored the man; Vicki because she didn’t want to lose her vantage point, and Henry because while he was confident that he could take him, he was hesitant to do it in a bar packed full of witnesses. Apparently the man didn’t like being ignored, because he extended one beefy hand and shook Vicki’s shoulder roughly. “Hey, sweetheart, you hard of hearing or something? I just told you and lover-boy to get lost, so get with it.” Henry bristled and felt a growl rise in his throat, but Vicki pivoted on her stool and stared up at the man passively, then slowly got to her feet, hands balled into fists at her side.  

Conversation began to slowly dwindle away as the other people seated at the bar sensed a confrontation brewing, and a few began to shift uncomfortably in their seats. Just as Vicki opened her mouth to fire back a witty and sarcastic comeback, one of the band members stood up, beer in hand. “Hey, no need for violence, man.” He took a swig of his beer and nearly fell over from the effort. “There’s plenty of room over here—me and my buddies were just leaving.” He winked at Vicki and gripped the edge of the counter for balance, then joined the rest of his friends as they stood up and shuffled towards the exit.

Vicki turned and smiled back at the man and his friend. “After you, gentlemen.” They blinked, puzzled. Once they were seated, Vicki grabbed Henry’s arm and steered him towards the exit.

“Let’s find Coreen and get out of here before we lose them.”

The crowd seemed to have gotten thicker since they had arrived, and there was a loud commotion going on over by the exit. Men in t-shirts with Security written on them were shouting against the roar of the crowd and motioning people to step back. Vicki craned her neck to see over the people jockeying for position and saw a group of men dressed in black leather carrying instruments fighting to get through the crowd. Occasionally they paused to shake hands and sign autographs, and the crowd surged and swelled against them. From her vantage point, Vicki spied one man who fought his way through the crowd with something akin to desperation. The intensity of his gaze and the way he seemed to be tracking the band through the crowd raised alarm bells in Vicki’s mind, and she squeezed Henry’s hand and motioned towards him.

Henry turned in the direction that she had indicated but sensed nothing unusual about the man. He was dressed rather conservatively for the club scene—starched shirt and slacks with a matching belt—but nothing that screamed obsessed or violent fan. Overall, the man was unremarkable in appearance, and more than a few leather and vinyl clad patrons glared venomously at him as he pushed and shoved his way through their ranks.

He reached the lip of the stage just as the band began to ascend the short flight of stairs to begin setting up and extended his hand towards them. The last man to climb the stairs reached down and shook the man’s hand and appeared to be thanking him for his support. After a few moments, they parted ways and Henry felt a chill arc its way down his spine. His grip on Vicki’s hand tightened almost painfully, and she winced and attempted to draw away.

“Henry, what’s wrong?”

He let go but kept his gaze fixed on the man who stood off to the side with a strange smile on his face. Vicki shifted beside him.

“Henry, if we don’t leave now we’ll lose them. What…?”

“Don’t ask me how I know this, but I think something is about to happen.” Henry’s instinct told him that the man in question was involved in some way with this case, though he couldn’t for the life of him say how exactly. He just knew that something had passed between the two men that whispered of magic. As they watched, the band scurried around to set up and within a few minutes, they were ready to begin their set. The man who had shaken hands with the mysterious stranger strode confidently up to the microphone and greeted the crowd, who roared and stomped their feet in anticipation.  

He motioned towards the drummer seated off to the side, and a steady beat began that was soon accompanied by the other musicians. The man at the microphone swayed and began to shake his head in time to the music, tousling his hair and snapping his fingers at his sides. When his cue came up, he gripped the microphone in both hands and leaned forward with his eyes closed and then opened his mouth.

Nothing.

The music slowly tapered off and the lead singer, looking shaken, motioned for them to start the set again. He mumbled a hasty apology and prepared for his cue again, but the results were the same. Angry mutterings and scattered boos erupted from the crowd, and within seconds the projectiles started up.

Henry sensed Vicki start beside him and immediately began scanning the crowd for the mysterious stranger, but he was nowhere to be found.

“That’s just great,” Vicki muttered turning around and squinting at the crowd. “We found our haystack, but where the hell’s the needle?”

TBC
Tags:
 
 
Current Location: Home on the Range
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Weezer: Hash Pipe
 
 
sindee1982
15 November 2008 @ 10:03 pm
* I do not own the BT series characters. They belong to a much-more talented individual. I am however, more than willing to take credit for characters/scenarios not featured in the books or television series. Not making any money. No copyright infringement intended*


“Omigod, there he is!” Vicki gritted her teeth as Coreen’s grip on her arm tightened past the limits of comfort. The gothette was practically bouncing up and down in her combat boots as she spotted Dex and his band mates camped out at the bar. So far none of the other three-hundred or so patrons seemed to recognize them. Vicki couldn’t decide if this was a good sign or not—after all, it worked in their favor while trying to observe them as inconspicuously as possible—throngs of adoring fans had a tendency to block the view—but Vicki was betting that if she’d asked Mr. Langtry the same question, he’d have an entirely different opinion. Nothing spelled doom for a band than not being recognized in a club that they had only recently played in.

“Coreen, might I suggest a couple of things?” The gothette was staring dreamily at the front man as he nervously downed one shot after another, his hands shaking so badly that he spilled most of it on the bar. Whatever he was on, it was some bad stuff and had already taken a toll on him. The other members of the band tried to joke and have a good time while enjoying their drinks, but every now and then their eyes would slide over to Dex and they would be filled with worry.

 Coreen mumbled something incoherently in response, her eyes continuing to drink him in. Feeling frustrated, Vicki shook the other girl and she hurriedly snapped to attention.

“First off, if things get out of hand, I need both arms to defend myself, so let up on the death grip. Two, no one seems to recognize them and I’d like to keep it that way, so try to keep the squealing down to a minimum.”

Coreen looked embarrassed. “Sorry.”

Henry looked bored. “As much fun as this seems to be for you ladies, I’m going to go grab a drink. Excuse me.” He inclined his head politely, then turned and began to head out into the jostling crowd of black-clad patrons where they parted before him like water.

Vicki grabbed him around the shoulders and gently spun him in the direction of the bar. “I think what you’re looking for is over there,” she motioned towards the band members who were still busy boozing it up like there was no tomorrow.  He made a face. “They’re not exactly my type even if I did like rock music.”

“Henry, could you please just have a drink with me at the bar while Coreen makes the rounds to see if she hears or sees anything suspicious from the other customers?” Eyes twinkling mischievously, he gave her a smoldering look and leaned in close to her ear.

“That sounds lovely, but wouldn’t you rather do that in private? After all, I think they may throw us out of here for necking in public.”

Vicki felt the heat rise in her cheeks and she cursed mentally at the fact that she was blushing furiously. Henry merely flashed her one of his characteristic brilliant grins and made her blush even more. Coreen looked like she wanted to sink into the floor.

“Henry…..”

He raised his hands in mock surrender. “My apologies. You know that I’m only teasing.” His words spoke one truth, but the look in his eyes spoke another truth entirely.

Vicki slowly let out her breath. “Yeah.” She didn’t trust herself to say any more, so she kept it simple.

He held out his hand to her and motioned towards the bar. “Shall we?” Still grumbling under her breath, she took his hand and he led her to two empty seats right next to Dex and his buddies. Coreen disappeared into the crowd to mix and mingle while keeping her ears open for anything connected to the band. It was a long shot, but it never hurt to try.

Vicki had almost managed to convince herself that it was an integral part of the investigation and not merely a means to give her and Henry a little privacy—or as much as could be managed in a club that was elbow deep in people.

 

 

 

 

 
 
Current Location: Home on the Range
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Current Music: Orgy: Blue Monday
 
 
 
sindee1982
13 November 2008 @ 09:16 am
* I do not own the BT series characters. They belong to a much-more talented individual. I am however, more than willing to take credit for characters/scenarios not featured in the books or television series. Not making any money. No copyright infringement intended*


“Explain to me what we’re doing again?” Henry shifted in the front seat of his BMW and stared up at the eight-story apartment building in front of them. It was a far cry from the ritzy and opulent decor of his own condo, and didn’t seem like the type of place that an up-and-coming Toronto rock band would call home. Based on Vicki’s description of their manager, Mr. Langtry, who seemed to value money above breathing, it did make a certain amount of sense. It looked like your typical case of a money-grubbing manager meets young, and over-eager musicians looking to make it big in the entertainment world.

Vicki adjusted the lens on her binoculars and answered without even looking back at him. “I told you, we’re surveying the members of the band to see if Langtry’s drug theory holds any water.” She squinted and leaned forward slightly as the front door opened and a small crowd of people exited the building.

“Bingo.” She hurriedly put down the binoculars and pulled out a map of Toronto and pretended to be lost. The crowd walked by without even a backwards glance and piled into a couple of cars parked along the curb. Henry couldn’t help but smile at the almost predatory look in Vicki’s eyes as she watched them climb into their cars through the rearview mirror. There were times when he thought that they had more in common than he had previously thought, and this was definitely one of them.

“I take it by the look on your face that you’ve spotted your targets?”  Vicki nodded and casually folded the map back up. “Wait until both cars pull out, wait about 10 seconds, and then start tailing them.”

Henry looked amused. “You know, I have done this before.” Vicki turned to face him and he couldn’t help but chuckle at her expression. “Vampire, remember? I know all about stalking prey.”

“They’re not prey, Henry, they’re our….targets.”

“Targets, prey, whatever you want to call them. Truth is we’re following them, hunting them so to speak. It’s just a matter of how you choose to look at it.”

Vicki shivered despite herself. There were times when Henry could seem so alien to her, especially when his eyes gleamed that way in the dark. Almost as soon as it appeared, the predator vanished beneath the surface and it was just Henry staring back at her, his warm and beautiful eyes locked on her face.

She cleared her throat to break the awkwardness. “The last car just pulled out.” Silently he turned to face the front and carefully pulled out behind them. They drove in silence for about six blocks before the cars made a sharp detour to the left. Vicki instantly recognized the street names and familiar landmarks.

“Looks like we’re going clubbing after all.”

“It’s a good thing I dressed for the occasion. I might get lucky tonight.” Henry’s voice had that dangerous, playful edge to it that hinted of forbidden promises in the dark, and Vicki did her best to ignore him.

“Mind out of the gutter, Henry, it’s not that type of club.”

“What do you mean….?” Just then the façade of The Underground came into view and he had to stifle a groan. The place was fine if you wanted a quick, anonymous meal on the sly, but tonight he had hopes for something with a little more class to it. He supposed that as long as Vicki was with him, the trade off was worth it.

Vicki pulled out her cell phone and punched in a number.

“Calling for backup?” Henry felt himself bristle at the thought that Detective Celluci would be joining them that evening. Was it so much to ask that he be able to enjoy Vicki’s company during the night uninterrupted? After all, Henry never intruded on them during the day, vampire or no, and that had to count for something.

“Vicki?” He recognized Coreen’s voice on the other end, and the barely-contained excitement it held was unnerving. The shit invariably hit the fan whenever the gothette was perky.

“We followed Dex and his friends to a club downtown. How soon can you meet us at The Underground?” The answering squeal caused both of them to wince.

 

 
 
Current Location: Computer Lab
Current Mood: rushedrushed
Current Music: Rammstein: Mein Herz Brennt
 
 
sindee1982
09 November 2008 @ 07:25 pm

As Vicki’s office door swung open, the faint whiff of cigar smoke assaulted her senses and caused her to back up a step. Wrinkling her nose, she pushed the door open the rest of the way and saw her client sitting at her desk. Not in the chair typically designated for clients, but her chair.

 

Wow, he’s already got two strikes against him and I haven’t even introduced myself yet, Vicki thought as she put on her best professional-looking face.

 

She strode confidently into the room and stopped a few feet away from him, arm extended in greeting. The awkward stance forced him to stand up from her chair, which was precisely what Vicki had in mind.

 

He clasped her hand and the shake was firm. “Ms. Nelson? I’m Marshall Langtry President and CEO of Ruckus Records. I believe you are familiar with us?” His cigar bobbed at the corners of his mouth while he spoke and a delicate tapping of ash fluttered down to the floor. Vicki kept her professional smile firmly in place.

 

Third strike and you’re out buddy boy.

 

“Actually I don’t. I’m a firm believer that silence is golden.” She didn’t quite hide the contempt in her voice and he seemed to pick up on it. Something flickered behind his eyes, but Vicki couldn’t quite determine what it was. He saw her watching the ash flutter down and stepped over to the wastebasket where he tapped it on the edge.

 

“Don’t mind me,” he said straightening. “Sometimes I forget that I don’t own everything that I see. Even though I do own a fair amount of property in this area.” His eyes swept the interior of Vicki’s office and she decided right then and there that she did not like him, client or not. That last remark had been a deliberate attempt to inform her that he was the one hiring her and if he so desired, he could purchase the building and fill it with new tenants faster than she could blink.

 

He settled his considerable weight into the chair stationed in front of her desk and steepled his hands on his waist. “Now then, I assume that because you haven’t threatened to throw me out of here that that means you’re willing to take the case. Correct?”

 

Vicki nodded and sat down in her own chair. “Your offer is generous Mr. Langtry, and while I am willing to take on this case, I have a few questions first.”

 

He grinned genially and spread his hands wide. “By all means, Ms. Nelson.”

 

“First, why offer to pay me so much for something that can be done for much less? Usually clients who are willing to shell out that kind of money expect results and they expect them as quickly as possible.”

 

His grin widened and he nodded approvingly. “Very perceptive, Ms. Nelson. As I see it, I’m losing money as we speak. The front man for my newest band is having some sort of crisis,” he said the word with a sneer and continued. “The longer it plays out, the more money I lose with canceled venues and rescheduling. Word gets around surprisingly fast in the underground club scene, and it is only a matter of time before I get blacklisted. You understand?”

 

Vicki did. “You mentioned that the front man is having some sort of crisis. What did you mean by that?”

 

Langtry frowned at her like it should be obvious. “I mean drugs, Ms. Nelson. The little snot had the nerve to lie to my face while his friends backed him up, but I know better. I’ve been at this longer than anyone I know, and I know drug and alcohol abuse when I see it.”

 

Vicki nodded. “So you would like for me to conduct surveillance on him to see if your suspicion is true.” She made it a statement rather than a question.

 

He looked indignant. “I know it’s true. I just need solid proof so that I can send him packing and start looking for a replacement. If I can salvage something from this whole fiasco I’ll come out the better for it, but if not, well, there are always more bands out there looking to strike it rich.”

 

And here I thought it wasn’t possible to dislike him anymore. Shows what I know. Vicki opened the file folder and stared at the publicity photo of The Minions. They looked normal and stable enough barring any questionable wardrobe choices, but experience had taught her that looks could—and usually were—deceiving. She sighed and picked up a pen to begin making notes.

 

Langtry’s eyes sparkled and he settled himself more comfortably in his seat.

 

“Alright Mr. Langtry, go back in your mind and tell me the first time you began to suspect something was wrong.”

 

He opened his mouth and began talking, the cigar bobbing rhythmically with his words.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

“……. and since that night, Dex and the other members have cancelled all their shows?” Langtry nodded, chewing on the stub of his cigar. “Six shows in all. If things keep up, they’ll take me to the cleaners. I’ve invested far too much in this band to have them tap out on me when things are golden like they are now. I won’t stand for it.”

 

The indignation in his voice had returned but his posture reflected a man who had made himself at home in his surroundings.

 

“Then it is safe to assume that Dex and the others could be anywhere. Whether it’s at home, other clubs or out enjoying the party scene.” She could already see the amount of work that this was going to entail. Following one person was one thing, but four was impossible without backup. She cursed mentally as she realized that she was going to have to keep her word and bring Coreen on board for this one.

 

The gothette had done tolerably well the last time her help had been enlisted, but Wynter and her brood of murderous insects had nearly gotten the best of her. She had made a promise to herself to never put the girl in harm’s way again, but it looked like she was going to have to rethink that assertion. If things got hairy she could always call on Henry, and if she was really in a pinch, even Mike could be trusted to have her back. Vicki doubted that Mike would take kindly to playing nursemaid to a bunch of self-indulgent rockers, but hey, they were civilians and he had sworn an oath to protect the public.

 

For the first time in years, Vicki did not resent him for still being a cop. For once, they were even.

 

 
 
Current Location: Home on the Range
Current Mood: uncomfortableuncomfortable
Current Music: Seether: Fake It
 
 
sindee1982
06 November 2008 @ 09:38 am
* I do not own the BT series characters.They belong to a much-more talented individual.I am however, more than willing to take credit for characters/scenarios not featured in the books or television series. Not making any money. No copyright infringement intended*


 

Vicki stumbled bleary-eyed into her office, silently cursing the bright shaft of early-morning sun that poured in through the windows. She definitely had been hanging around with Henry too long; her internal clock was completely thrown out of whack from all the late-night stake outs and the seemingly endless barrage of ghoulies and ghosties capering about in the back alleyways of Toronto.  

Ghoulies and ghosties that she had had to deal with personally.

She still couldn’t completely understand why that responsibility had fallen on her shoulders; maybe it did have everything to do with the marks that Astaroth and his misguided admirer Norman had leveled on her. Maybe, just maybe Henry’s observation that her being marked placed her squarely within the crosshairs of the supernatural was correct.

“Dammit.” She shielded her eyes with the back of one hand while dragging her over-stuffed bag through the door.  She had gotten home close to dawn and hadn’t had time to unpack her “equipment,” let alone shower and sleep. Coreen looked up warily from her desk and got up to help her.

“Thanks,” Vicki grunted and hauled the duffel bag up onto the desk. “I’m returning your flamethrower, by the way. “ She unzipped the bag and looked around for a place to put it where it would be out of sight for her clients but within arm’s reach in case danger came knocking. She scoffed and shook her head. I really do need a decent night’s sleep, she thought. I’m starting to become as paranoid as everyone thinks I am.

 Coreen reached out and plucked it from her arms. “I’ve got it.” It disappeared behind her desk and when the gothette straightened, there was a look of apprehension in her eyes. Vicki’s own eyes narrowed suspiciously.

“Is something going on that I should know about?”

Coreen stood there nervously tapping the edge of her desk with her red-lacquered fingernails and shuffled her feet. Vicki leaned in closer. “Coreen?” That one word carried a multitude of meanings, and finally she spoke.

Okay, so it’s impossible to keep anything from you when you’re looking at me like that!”

“Like what?” Vicki was confused but she was fairly sure that it had nothing to do with her lack of sleep or the fact that it was 7:46 in the morning, an ungodly hour in her opinion.

Coreen folded her arms across her chest. “Like that. Like the cops do.”

Vicki felt a slight twinge at the mention of the word “cop;” it was what she had been not too many years ago. What she would still be if her damn eyesight wasn’t deteriorating by the minute. She decided to let it go; she was too tired to argue so early in the day. Besides, her curiosity had been piqued—that in itself was an incentive to not lose her temper and alienate her assistant.

“Good to know I’ve still got it.” The corners of Coreen’s mouth twitched up in a grin and the tension eased out of the air.

Vicki went over to the counter to pour herself a cup of coffee. The rich, heady aroma began to stimulate her brain cells into action, and if anything could be said about her assistant, it was that she always had coffee ready in the morning.

Coreen picked up a file folder from her desk and removed a black and white photograph. Vicki couldn’t make out too much detail from her position by the counter, but from what she could see, it appeared to be professionally done with a white border around it and a name or caption done in bold, black letters across the bottom edge. She approached the desk and Coreen handed it to her.

“The Minions.” Vicki squinted at the lettering and frowned. “Rock band?”

Coreen nodded, her eyes sparkling. “Only the greatest rock band to hit the Toronto underground scene in the last decade!” She snatched the photo away and stared at it wistfully like an adolescent girl.  The adoration in her eyes was unnerving.

“O-kay,” Vicki said taking the picture back. “What does this have to do with me?” She stared at it. Nothing but your average every-day garage band with stars in their eyes and dreams of fame and fortune. Hell, the clothes they wore and the way they painted themselves up wasn’t even all that original, not to mention the name. The Minions? She didn’t have words for that one.

Coreen motioned towards the closed door of Vicki’s office. “Marshall Langtry, The Minion’s manager, is in there and wants to hire you. Something about the lead singer, Dex.” She said his name almost dreamily and Vicki found herself floored for the second time in as many minutes. Coreen ga-ga over some local band? Surely she’d seen stranger things during her lifetime.

“Coreen, I’m swamped with cases as it is! Not to mention the fact that I spend my nights chasing……suspects.” “Suspects” was their code word for all the creepy crawlies that inevitably found their way into her caseload.

“I know that Vicki, but this isn’t one of those cases, and he’s willing to pay you! A lot.”  

Vicki considered. A nice, normal case for once and a guaranteed pay day? Her landlord and her sanity would be pleased. “How much?” She hated the greedy undertone in her voice, but hey the cost of living had gone up and she was beginning to feel the heat. It would be nice to not have to worry about scraping up enough each month to get by, or wondering if next month was when you would finally have to declare yourself bankrupt.

Coreen’s eyes glittered triumphantly. “He’s upped the price to $1,000 a day, plus expenses.” Vicki nearly choked on her coffee. “A thousand dollars? A day?” It just seemed too good to be true, and if experience had taught her anything, it usually was.

“What’s the catch?”

“No catch. Just surveillance, that’s all.” Vicki didn’t look entirely convinced. Coreen stared at her hopefully, anticipation written all over her features. That was when it all clicked, and Vicki couldn’t resist the urge to smirk. “You want me to take this case so you can help me out with the surveillance, right?”

Coreen blushed so brilliantly that is shone through her pale makeup. She looked down at the floor and then back up at Vicki. “Is it that obvious?” Vicki nodded. “Open and shut case.”

“Please say that you’ll take it.” Coreen looked so desperately hopeful that it was almost endearing if not for the black vinyl corset and stiletto boots. Vicki shrugged, defeated. “Set up the account for me.”

Coreen squealed and flung herself at her boss, trapping her in a surprisingly firm embrace. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Vicki winced and gently peeled her away. “That’s the second time you’ve done that. No more warnings.”

Coreen was too thrilled to notice the threat laced with good humor and set about creating a new spreadsheet for the account. Vicki opened the door to her office and went in. It was definitely going to be one of those days, creepy crawlies or not.

 

 
 
Current Location: Computer lab
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Current Music: The Smashing Pumpkins: The Beginning is the end is the beginning -Watchmen sdtk
 
 
sindee1982
05 November 2008 @ 11:59 am
I'm probably crazy for doing this (okay that's a given) seeing as how I'm not finished with my other fics, but eff it. This story is screaming to come out and play ;) I got the idea for this one while watching VH1--don't ask me, I don't understand how a series of random music videos tie into BT *shrugs* In any event, I have this one planned like a standard ep with guest characters that don't appear later. Call it an extended one-shot if ya like ;)

* I do not own the BT series characters. They belong to a much-more talented author. I am however, more than willing to take credit for characters/scenarios not featured in the books or television series. Not making any money. No copyright infringement intended*



“Ok guys, you’re up! I want to see that crowd fired up and heads banging, you hear me?” 

Marshall Langtry, cigar clenched tightly between his teeth and round face slick with sweat, hustled the members of his latest money maker out from behind the stage and out into the screaming crowd. Their style of music left much to be desired compared to his own tastes, but the tidy profit that the previously-unknown garage band called The Minions brought in, was sweeter than honey. Every time they gave a sold-out performance in some of the bigger provinces or booked a gig in one of the more “trendy” clubs—though Marshall considered them little more than gathering places for the city’s deviants, or “goth’s” as they preferred to be called nowadays—he could literally hear the money piling up into his bank account. The little idiots had been so eager to make it big, that they had effectively signed themselves over to one of the most unscrupulous bastards in the Toronto music scene and saw very little profit. Sure they were hot, but as far as accounting went, they were losers in more ways than one.

He straightened the collar of his custom-made suit and rubbed his hands on a monogrammed handkerchief. He had practically been up to his elbows in overzealous fans that had swarmed the band as they had entered the building, and the guys, true showmen that they were, were more than happy to pose for pictures and sign autographs. It wasn’t their congeniality that pissed Marshall off, it was the fact that they were doing it for free out of the goodness of their hearts. He wanted to gag.

“Goddamn waste of valuable resources,” he muttered winding his way carefully around the sea of cables that snaked their way on the floor. “Don’t they realize that they can make a killing selling that stuff at some of their venues?” He would have to have a little talk with them after the show.

From the other side of the curtain came the sound of the guitars tuning up and preparing to get into the first track. The crowd roared and screamed, chanting “Dex! Dex! Dex!” over and over again. Dex Barnett, the lead frontman, lived up to his status and he never failed to drive the ladies wild.

Marshall grinned privately, reveling in the sound of the crowd getting worked up to a fever pitch. “Now that is music to my ears,” he whispered swaying involuntarily to the soaring guitar riff that erupted from the stage, “that is the sound of money being made.” The song built up and he expected to hear Dex’s powerful voice filling the packed auditorium, but there was only the sound of the music carrying on without him. Confused, and more than a little concerned, Marshall made his way to the curtain and peered tentatively out from the corner.

Dex stood there front and center clad in his leather pants and vest, microphone clutched so tightly in his hands that his knuckles were white. One by one the instruments began to drop off, and Chad the bassist approached him, concern written all over his face. A murmur went through the crowd, but after a few tense moments, Dex shook his head and said something that seemed to reassure Chad who went back to his place on the stage. Dex motioned for them to restart the number, and the crowd stomped their feet and cheered wildly in eager anticipation.

Dex stalked the length of the stage confidently, body swaying to the rhythm of the music, flashing his brilliant grin at some of the ladies in the front row. They squealed and screamed his name, which only encouraged him more, and when his cue came, he raised the microphone to his lips.

Silence.

Dex seemed to shrink in on himself and stood rooted to the spot, eyes glazed with the microphone in a death grip.  A scattering of boos erupted from the crowd and grew so loud that it shook the walls of the concert hall. Chad and the other band members rushed towards him, but Dex had collapsed to the stage, shivering as if he were freezing. Frantic, they heaved him up and began walking with him towards the back of the stage, where Marshall stood cursing at them above the roaring of the crowd. Visions of fame and riches slipped through his fingers like sand in an hourglass, and when the volley of shoes, bottles, and other portable items began raining down on the stage, he knew that he and The Minions were ruined.

Dex was trembling so bad he could barely walk, and his eyes were wide and staring, the pupils dilated to the size of marbles. To Marshall, it looked like he was scared shitless, but of what? Surely not stage fright—that was beyond ridiculous. It had to be something else, something that eventually affected all band members at one point in time at the apex of their career. It had to be drugs, pure and simple.

“Goddamn it, Dex if you’re strung out on me, so help me God I’ll throttle you myself!” He made a move to grab a handful of the leather vest that he wore, but the other guys held him back.

“Cool it, Marshall he ain’t on drugs, okay? Dex wouldn’t touch that stuff in a million years; he looks scared or something.” Marshall took a deep calming breath and willed the vein pulsing in his temple to stop throbbing before he gave himself an aneurysm.

“Fine. So it’s not drugs. What is it then?” He peered into Dex’s face and into his eyes. They looked haunted and hollow like he was gazing out on some nightmarish landscape that only he could see. Marshall hooked his fist under his chin and brought their faces level, then asked the question that was on all of their minds.

“Well? What the hell is going on with you?”

Dex didn’t have any answer for that either.

  

TBC
 
 
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sindee1982
04 November 2008 @ 10:33 pm
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