tagNonHumanRough Tongues and Sharp Teeth

Rough Tongues and Sharp Teeth



It had been a long night; the bar was filled with rancid smoke and lazy bodies. I was clearing one of the tables that had recently given up on staying all night. It seemed that most of the people sitting around, sipping their drinks were staying so long just to torture me. I despised all people who insisted on leaving half of whatever messy meal they were eating on the table behind them. I despised food. I hadn't eaten in forty years, and having to deal with the leftovers of other people's bodily needs made me want to yack. I remembered the last time I had had food. It was new year's eave. I was with my boyfriend at a concert. A Rolling Stones concert. It was awesome. We had some beer, a little weed. We were feeling good. Maybe a little too good. After the concert we stumbled out into the rode and I was promptly hit by a car. It wasn't a particularly glamorous way to die, but that's how it happened. We didn't know it then, but there was a group of vampires that simply loved the Rolling Stones. We didn't even know that vampires existed then. Boy, things have changed.

Anyway, these guys gathered no moss in getting me off the road. I was mostly gone by then, so they didn't even call an ambulance. They just brought me over. Now I was a Vampire in Boston, working at a blood bar sitting on the edge of the Charles. I had found my niche and it was a tight fit. I hated my job, but I had nowhere to go, so I stayed where I was.

At least I wasn't at the bottom of the dog pile now. It had been forty years and I had worked my way up in the standings slightly. I was Jared's second. If anything ever happened to him I would be in charge of this bar, and this quadrant of the city. Considering the options, I had a better stance than most of the vampires in the city. At least I wasn't working in some grubby hole in the wall where the guys would slap my butt and I would have grease stains on my clothes for weeks. Bloodbath was actually a pretty high class joint. We had a bar, a dance floor, and a separate dining room. It was this last that I truly hated. I was on waitress duty every Tuesday night in there, and I despised every Tuesday because of it.

My favorite nights were Fridays. That was when I got to tend the bar. I could talk to some of our dead patrons and scare the living daylights out of the living ones. The entire point of a vampire bar is to give the curious little humans a place to gawk without any direct threat to their bodily health.

Ever since we vamps had come out of the closet, so to speak, we had had to play by the human's laws and that meant no killing if a human got on our nerves. It was annoying, but it was time that we came out into the open. Thanks to the new Chinese sudo-blood (the only artificial stuff that could sustain us) we were able to live without needing to take human lives. That doesn't mean we didn't want to, but we could co-exist with them, at least from sun set to rise.

There were still some groups of crazed evangelists that would hunt us down, but we claimed our right to defend ourselves, and few of the attackers lived through their first raid. Our bar had been raided once. There had been four of us here at the time: Jared, Makiel, Alicia, and I. We had taken out the twenty attackers within two minutes. We hadn't been attacked since.

Jared was the oldest of us, there fore the strongest, and the highest ranking. His background was shady, but I'm pretty sure that he's pre-1200s. How he came to be in Boston, I do not know. He had that whole Anglo-Saxon, pre-Irish thing going on around him. He kind of gave you the idea that he had once been part of pagan fertility ceremonies in England, before the Romans came. Yah, he was totally a Celtic prince. Occasionally I would find myself watching Roar and wondering what Jared would look like with a little ponytail and a large sword. Anyway, he was twenty-two when he died, only a couple of years older than me. He treated me like a sister, I'm just glad he didn't look down on me like an underling.

Makiel was circa 1300, china. He, we had guessed, had been killed by one of Kahn's cronies. He had some of the most awesome tattoos I have ever seen on a guy. These were the real kind, the kind you would only expect to find in history books. They (and he) were gorgeous. He was about thirty when he died. He had high cheekbones, and a flawless body. He was a quiet guy. He would have been Jared's second, but he refused the spot, saying that power didn't suit him. I didn't question.

Alicia was the new kid on the block, and I do mean kid. She was only eighteen when she died. That was two years ago. She had been caught in the crossfire from one of the bigger raids in NYC. They had salvaged her from the wreckage with just enough life left in her to bring her over. She hadn't bee really happy working at the scene of her death, so they sent her up our way, and we were grateful for it. She was like the little sister I never had. I taught her the rules of the road and she got the worst jobs in the house.

Back to the plot line.

I had just finished this train of thought as I brought the last of the dishes into the kitchen. Alicia was in there, helping out our human cook. I put the plates down and washed my hands. I hated having food residue on them. Things had slowed down a bit. There were only the few really drunk people left at the bar. I chatted with Alicia and our cook Joe. Joe was getting married. His fiancé must have been blind. No offence to the guy. He was really golly, and all that; but he was this big fat Italian guy that I could easily picture in a big read suit depositing well wrapped gifts under some little kid's Christmas tree. He was a great friend, I just couldn't imagine even thinking about wanting to marry the guy. He would have happy kids though. He would make a great dad.

I finished up in the kitchen and went out to the pit to sit with Jared. The pit was what we called our dance floor. It was slightly below floor level, with a stage area (empty at the moment) sticking out of one corner at the same height as the rest of the room. There were couches at one end of the pit, pressed up against the little step. They were black leather, just like everything else in the place. There were black lights, and leather chairs, mahogany tables, strobe lights when the music required it, and black curtains everywhere.

The music had a good thumping beat to it. Alicia had put on some techno sound track. There was one seriously drunk couple staggering out on the dance floor. I sat next to Jared and he didn't even blink an eye. He was sprawled out in the crook of the couch, no shirt, tight leather pants, shaggy light brown hair, and stunning green eyes. He wasn't wearing shoes either. He thought it was ridiculous that he was expected to wear shoes when he was supposed to be eye candy for any old person walking by. He felt unbalanced when he had shoes on, but practically nothing else. If he had been a girl, he would have been wearing satrapy black sandals, but he was a guy, and the only pair of satrapy black sandals he owned, I had given him as part of a dare about fifteen years ago. I don't want to say anything beyond the fact that he looks great in a red spandex mini-skirt.

It would be my turn to be eye candy tomorrow night. Until then I got to keep some of my modesty. I was wearing black slacks and a black sleeveless mock-turtleneck with the bar's symbol on the back: A bat with blood pouring over it. I tucked my heels under me and played with his hair.

"How ya doing?" I asked sadly.

"I despise this job." He had, apparently been running this one sentence through his head for the past couple of hours. My guess ever since that girl with the fake fangs stroked his chest.

Oh, his chest. He was lithe, not body builder built, but like a swimmer, or like he had worked on a farm his entire life. His chest had only a thin coat of light feathery hair that narrowed and stopped at his belly button. I had dreamt about that chest before, and the back that went with it, and the bulge in the crotch of those tight leather pants. But I had pushed all those thoughts away; he was my superior, and my friend.

"Oh, come on. You just hate this one part of your job. It's not your fault that you attract every possible customer from this side of the Charles. You're just too hot for your own damn good." He smiled at me and wrapped his arm around my waist. He squeezed me and let me go.

"It's almost closing time, why don't I help you kick these people out of here and close up, Rose." He tapped my nose and stood, stretched, and went off to tell our few lingering customers that their time was up.

After the last of those terrible people were gone from my place of work, Jared called a meeting in his office. We all gathered around his desk, sitting in his big chairs, or standing if we got there after the chairs were already occupied. He sat in his stereotypical leather, high backed, comfy looking, swivel chair behind his mahogany desk and stepeled his fingers. I almost had to laugh. He was the perfect picture of authority, with his expensive suit, and all the classic big-boss furnishings. Any one who didn't know him would think he was some kind of mob boss, or something. I knew better.

He leaned forward and wrested his lip against his pointer fingers.

"We will have a new arrival tomorrow night. He is being transferred from the UK. His name is Ivan. He died at twenty, and was turned about four years ago. Before you ask me, I won't tell you why he's being transferred. Don't ask." With that he nodded and that was our signal to go. It was interesting news. We weren't short of staff, but I was always glad to have someone to take some of my clearing days. I'm sure he would be welcomed into our little family. A short while later we all returned to the Nest to die for the day.

The Nest was an old building. It used to be a mansion, but now it was just a graceful old heaven in the middle of a hectic city. There were twenty-five vamps, or so, that were our nest-mates. I headed straight for the basement once I got to the house. I was one of the few that still liked the old fashioned tradition of sleeping not only in a lightproof box, but also underground. I had something set up in the basement that was like a small six-sided bed, unlike the coffins of old. I undressed, crawled into my box, and promptly said goodbye to the world.

It was half a day later that when we were called again to Jared's office. This time one of the chairs was occupied even before the first of us arrived. It was filled by a small boy. Well, he wasn't really a boy. He wasn't really small either; he just gave you that feeling that he had a record of being beaten. He looked fragile.

He was tall, thin, brown haired, blue eyed, and extremely handsome. He had a boyish countenance, one of the things that made him look so helpless, that made you just want to cuddle with him. He looked up at us with those big blue eyes and I was utterly reminded of a small creature with a large head and limbs that were too big for it. I had to force myself from "Aww"-ing.

I took up my place, standing beside him, and waited for Jared to instruct us.

"Ivan, this is Rose, Makiel, and Alicia. My name is Jared. Welcome to our family." He smiled. It was a warm smile. I bet he had been practicing that smile all evening.

"Hello." He had a slight British accent and it just made me want to hug him. He smiled timidly, barely showing the fangs that gave him that not so innocent quality. I reminded myself that this was no mere boy. This was an animal, a man that would kill easily.

I nodded to him slightly and smiled. My compatriots did the same. Jared rearranged our stations and we went out to work. I was now very happy about our new arrival. He had taken my Tuesday dining-room shift. I was working as eye candy tonight, so I put on my "uniform." I slipped into spiked heel black leather boots, black fishnet stockings, a black spandex skirt that came to about mid-thigh, and a black tube top that covered my boobs, and nothing else. I also wore black fishnet gloves that stretched up to my shoulders and cut off at the fingers, allowing room for my sharp black nails. I was wearing black lipstick and way too much black eyeliner. The final touch to my Goth outfit was my absolutely straight black hair that trailed down over my shoulders and glinted purple when I moved.

I sat on the leather sofa in the pit and sipped my glass of sudo-blood.

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