Contents: Sexual imagery, porn mention.
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I fell quiet for most of the ride in the car, my teeth clenched while I watched out the window for signs of where I was being taken. I was pissed. I was just trying to live my fucking life, and now here I was in a goddamn hospital gown in the backseat of a cop car with no clue where I was being taken. Oh, and the best part? Matthew wanted to kill me.
It didn’t make any sense, though. Matthew hadn’t even tried to contact me since 1996. I had always thought he’d forgotten about me as soon as he could. Why did he care now?
I grabbed onto the caged divider between me and the cop. “Are you really not going to tell me where the fuck we’re going?”
He glanced at me in the rearview, but put his eyes back on the road.
I growled and shook the cage. “Fucking answer me!”
All that got out of him was an ugly smirk. He made a smooth turn, and with a sigh, I released my grip on the partition and sunk back into my seat, taking up wedging my finger between my wrist and my hospital bracelet while I went back to pondering while I stared out the window. Shit, I could use a smoke.
I watched a brick building getting closer while the car slowed. It looked like it might have been an old school building, but it had no signs aside from an address on the front. It had to be the donor station, right?
“Wait, I can’t go here. Matthew’s here,” I said.
“Mr. Castagnier has assured me Mr. Solak will be out,” the officer said. Finally, some fucking words out of his fucking stupid mouth.
“So why couldn’t you tell me that shit before?”
He grinned at me in the mirror and parked the car. “You ever been to one of these places, Mr. Martire?”
I stared at him flatly.
He got out and then let me out of the back.
“You’re going to love it,” he said with a strong hand on my upper arm to pull me out of the car. He was not doing a good job of making me feel like this was some sort of buddy road trip.
I stood there in my hospital gown with my ass exposed to who-the-fuck-ever wanted to see it, I guess. I blinked at him. “Just tell me what I’m doing here, man.”
“It’s dinner time.” He took hold of my bicep again and led me into the building. Did he think I was gonna bolt? I tried not to seem like I wanted to resist so maybe he’d finally let go.
Once we were inside, he finally released me. I let myself fall a few steps behind just to spite him. To the left there was a congregation of chairs, some of them with people reading magazines or staring someplace else, most of them empty. A TV played a syndicated sitcom on a low volume. Straight ahead sat a receptionist behind a high desk. The cop led me all the way up there, and my ass drew attention from the people waiting nearby. When I noticed a man staring, I pulled the gown aside to purposefully show off an ass cheek and squeezed it while I winked at him. He frowned and shied away, grumbling something inaudible under his breath.
The cop, I still didn’t know his name, so let’s call him Fuckin’ Jim, leaned on the desk with crossed arms in an awkward, but flirty position to talk to the woman trying to check me in.
“Name,” she said, eyes bouncing between us.
Fuckin’ Jim patted me roughly on the back. “Anonymous.”
Her eyes glanced to me and back to him. “What account am I charging this to?”
Fuckin’ Jim rattled off a series of numbers I didn’t recognize and definitely wouldn’t remember. While he answered a few more of her questions, I took another look around. My guess was that the facility had to run as a blood bank. Blood donors must have gone there knowing they were going to donate blood, but without fully understanding what cause they were supporting. A man’s name was called, and he went back, and soon after, a different woman walked out with a large purse on her arm, but she paused to take something out of it—a sealed bag of blood—and she inspected it before putting it away and heading out the front door. I watched her until I couldn’t see her anymore, and then I found the sign over the hall she came from.
“STORED BLOOD” it said with an arrow indicating that you could get your stored blood down that hallway.
Fuckin’ Jim finished getting rejected by the receptionist and pushed me unexpectedly. I tripped over my feet a bit, taking a few steps back to regain my balance, and fixed him with a scowl. I got his hint, though, and I went to go sit in the waiting room area, taking a seat on the far wall so I could keep watch. For what? I wasn’t sure. Was I that paranoid of Matthew? What if he didn’t want to kill me?
I sprawled out in my seat, letting my feet stretch out in front of me, and my eyes scanned the selection of magazines on a low table in front of me. With a sigh, I decided against touching any of them, and then my gaze became fixed on the door directly across from the waiting room. It said “Donors Only” and an LAPD police officer stood outside of it like he was posted on guard. It made sense, I suppose, if you were going to allow a bunch of vampires in a building with people donating blood, maybe you didn’t want anyone just picking off the people willing to give. But I had to wonder why they didn’t just donate during the day.
Then the Donors Only door opened, and I could hear several people chatting inside, with a sweet melody of a woman’s laughter being cut off again by the door coming to a close. A young woman had stepped out.
The chick was skinny and white with long black hair and heavy eye makeup, smoky and black in contrast with her bright red lips, but I didn’t notice any of that until after I had spent a minute checking out the black and red lacy lingerie-looking shit she was wearing: garters, stockings to her thighs with little red bows. Cute and sexy. Petite. She smiled at me, and I smiled back, feeling the need to sit up straight.
“Hey, excuse me, but…”
Someone had sat next to me without me noticing. I slowly dragged my eye contact away from the flirty grin I was sharing with the lingerie chick and fixed the new dude with an unhappy scowl. I raised an eyebrow. “Excuse you but what?”
The guy looked to be in his early 30s but shy and fidgety. “You just look familiar, that’s all.”
I glanced him over. I had to assume he was a vampire, though his heartbeat might have tricked me with its pace, nearly that of a human—but really just that of an anxious vampire. I looked back for the little lady in the lingerie, but she was gone.
I sighed quietly through my nose and sank back into my previous posture. “That probably means you watch too much porn.”
He laughed, but it faltered when I didn’t laugh along with him. “You’re joking, aren’t you?”
I shrugged. “Look up Jack Asstronaut and tell me if I’m joking.”
Someone was coming. I could hear high heels clacking against the tiled floor for the whole journey from the receptionist’s desk to stand next to me.
“He’s not joking,” the woman said dryly.
I turned again to find her in a set of nice-fitting, tan dress pants, strappy gold heels, and a partially unbuttoned, collared powder pink dress shirt.
“Jacqueline,” I said, a smile growing. That was Ras’s girlfriend. I still didn’t know how the fuck he’d managed to bag that one. “You’re overdressed.”
She had her long brown hair in a high ponytail, and a clipboard rested across her forearm, a pen in her opposite hand. “Laisellus. Come with me.”
I rolled my eyes and hissed out a frustrated sigh. “Fuck, you’re not supposed to use the full name.” I stood up and took a step before spinning back around to Porn Dude. I leaned my hand onto the back of his chair and spoke lowly in his ear. “Cowboy Orgy 9. Look it up. Definitely the best one.”
When I pulled back, I winked at him. The guy’s nervousness turned into a cute blush. He waved me away and wouldn’t look at me anymore. Aww.
I followed behind Jackie down the hall, which was not a bad position to be in.
She twisted to see me over her shoulder. “Why are you wearing that?” Jackie asked.
“Costume party at the bingo hall later.”
Jackie scoffed. It took a minute to get to the room she led me to. Seeing the way the halls intersected and how big some of the rooms seemed, I confirmed my suspicion that this was once a school building. Jacqueline stopped with her hand on the door.
“I hope you’re hungry,” she said flatly. She opened the door and let me inside. This room had more of the hospital feel to it, with a computer and a loveseat. There were cotton balls and gauze and a bin for sharps.
“Don’t suppose you’ve got a cigarette?” I lifted the lid to the sharps disposal. “Ras said this wasn’t a hospital.”
Jackie smacked her hand down on top of the container—and my fingers—and hit me with the warning look. “It’s not.”
I took my hand back to rub it. “Okay, so what am I doing here?”
“Micah’s treating you to a fancy dinner.” Jackie’s tight smile told me she thought that was funny. A joke, I guessed. She nodded to the loveseat. “Take a seat. You’ll see soon.”
“Can’t you just give me a bag of blood and send me home?” I plopped my bare ass on the couch and sat back.
“Is the bagged blood your preference?” she asked, sounding distracted while she entered some info into the computer. “I can cancel the live donor then. But you’re not going home.”
“Hold the fuck up. What? So am I under arrest or what? And what do you mean by live donor?”
Jackie sighed and took a frustratingly long, silent moment to finish using the computer. “All of the donor information should have been in your Welcome Package. The one you got when you signed up…” she clicked the computer mouse. “Twelve years ago?”
“Yeah, well your marketing team must fucking suck.”
“Or you’re just an idiot.” She smiled. “And you’re not under arrest. At least not in the way you would expect. Micah has a plan for you.”
“Am I being recruited to the CIA of Vampires right now?”
“We don’t recruit idiots to the CIA of Vampires.” She shook her head, but even though I was mostly behind her, I could still catch a hint of her smile.
“Would be nice to actually get to know what this plan is that I’m a part of,” I said.
“How did you feel about Lacy?” Jackie asked. “The one in the lingerie. I noticed you took interest in her in the waiting room.”
“I’d hit that.”
She looked at me over her shoulder, and her eyes bore straight through my face. “Keep it in your gown, asshole.” She typed a little bit more, smacked the enter button and then turned around on the chair to face me. “You’re not allowed to fuck the donors.”
I faced my palms to the ceiling and my hands froze in something akin to an indignant shrug. “So what’s with the lingerie?”
“Competition for the best clients is a bit stiff. Everyone around here does what they can to make sure they’re the most attractive candidate. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how sex sells.” Jackie stood up and shifted to fix me with an arched-brow piercing gaze, placing a hand on her hip. She was tall and gorgeous and her presence radiated confidence and her sharp face radiated all of the sass. She lifted her chin, and I felt compelled to do the same while I drank her in.
“What do you see in my brother?” I asked.
Her lips tightened and turned down at the corners, just slightly, but enough for the sass to morph into full-on bitch.
“What does he see in you?” she asked. Her hand slipped off her hip as she headed for the door. She grabbed her clipboard on the way. “Lacy will be here soon.”
I watched her go, not feeling very apologetic as she stormed off. A police officer met her when she stepped out. The door shut behind them and their voices faded down the hall after a few seconds.
I dropped my head back against the couch and sighed, taking a moment to rub my face and figure out what the fuck I was even doing at this place. What could Micah have wanted with me? I was a little afraid to find out. But since I didn’t have any fucking answers to any of that, I wondered what Lacy would be like instead.
I was hard and halfway through a fantasy of rubbing her clit while she rode my dick in that pretty lingerie, when a polite knock came at the door and it finally opened. I hadn’t meant to lose touch with reality for any amount of time, but I hadn’t even realized I was jacking off until the opening door jolted me back to life. Hopefully Lacy wouldn’t be put off. Hopefully Lacy would be so excited to see my hard dick she’d tear off the hospital gown and blow me before she said a word to me. But that wasn’t what happened.
Because it wasn’t Lacy.
I gathered up the hospital gown in front of my dick, not because I really cared if anyone saw, but because I knew that if Micah got wind of literally anything, he’d blow his fucking stack, and I wasn’t interested in getting beheaded next.
The door had already shut by the time I realized the person who had walked in was a man, but while watching him make sure the door had latched, my stomach dropped. I recognized the way he moved, with graceful precision, and the angle of his jaw, now highlighted neatly with a narrow line of beard hair. He styled his hair differently now, but it was distinctly modern, the type with the shaved sides and the meticulously messy length of black hair on the top. He was like a more golden-brown version of Micah. Like if Micah was a biscuit and you baked him for the perfect amount of time and then told him he wasn’t allowed to wear pink.
He turned back to me with a bright, beautiful grin and dark, gorgeous eyes.
I swallowed hard. “Matthew,” I said.
With his hand still on the door knob behind himself, he locked the door. “So you’re what Micah’s been hiding from me.”