The pitch of night brought with it the whine of an engine and the sound of rubber peeling against the slick wet asphalt of the darkened street. Headlights flicked on to follow the fleeing person down the street, the engine roared and sped off quickly catching the dark clothed runner. The red lining of the long black leather coat looked as blood as it flew out from behind, the silver braces on the motorcycle boots flashed with each step until they lifted from the ground to hit the chain link fence at the end of the alley. As the figure climbed, shots rang out into the silent night and made the leather jump and finally the person fell backwards onto the hard unforgiving asphalt. Before the splashing water could return to its home in the puddle, the car was gone leaving the night to return to its stillness as well as the slow beating of a heart.
The bar was filled to brimming with patrons; the music pounded and moved the clothing on people too close to the tall speakers. Men of all types circled the long catwalk type stage hooting and hollering at the small woman dancing her way to the end. Her short hair brushing the nape of her neck when her head tilted back, the green of her eyes flashed beneath the dark lashes. She spun around the pole to the floor where she crawled on all fours to the rhythm of the bass, sitting up, she leaned back and thrust her hips and ran her hands across her bare breasts and then down to her satin covered apex. The men threw bills at her and chanted the name 'Memphis.' The small blond rolled backwards and came to her feet, she wrapped a leg around the pole and thrust her hips and rubbed against the cold metal, throwing a hand in the air, she let out a loud yell and sunk to the floor as the lights went out. Scurrying to the back of the stage, she took the offered bottle of water from the stagehand and offered a quick nod before going to the dressing room she shared with the other strippers. Sinking down into a chair, she sighed and finished off the bottle of water.
"Damn girlfriend you cleaned house tonight." Another stripper said as she dropped the stack of bills in front of Memphis. She tossed her long curly blonde hair over her shoulder and winked at her friend. "When you gonna retire so I can make some money?" She chuckled, wrapped her arms around Memphis' neck, and kissed her temple. Looking at their reflection in the mirror, her hazel eyes caught tired green causing her to really take a good look at her friend. "You need to take a break and recharge, you look exhausted.
"Ohh I wish I could CJ, I'm exhausted and all I want is to be able to sleep for a full eight hours." She yawned and felt her jaw crack.
"Go home and get some sleep, call into your other job and tell them you're sick. With this amount of money you made tonight you can afford to take a day off." CJ ruffled the thick stack of numerous denominations. "Be nice to yourself for once, you deserve it." Memphis smiled at her and gripped one of her hands.
"Thanks CJ, I might just do that. She leaned back into her friend and sighed. Where's your evil half at, I didn't see her tonight?"
"Ohh she's out front knocking heads together."
"Damn Kiwi's stealing wallets from drunks ain't she, one of these days Brumby's gonna get her hands cut off."
CJ chuckled and nodded her head. "As long as they leave her tongue alone I don't care." She moved from her friend and pulled her coat on. "I'll call our cab service and have a car waiting at the side door for ya, go home and sleep in, you need it."
"Thanks CJ, tell Brumby to behave herself and I'll see you guys tomorrow night."
Dressing in her normal clothes, Memphis pulled her long leather trench coat on, grabbed her backpack and headed to the side door of the bar. Pushing the door open a bit, she looked out side for the cab and sighed when the alley was empty. Pulling her coat tighter around her, she continued to watch for the headlights of the cab. Seconds went by before she saw the flash of headlights and then it was coming towards her. She stepped into the alley and waited for it to draw closer, out of the corner of her eye; she saw a dark body lying on the wet pavement. Backing up to the wall, she watched and saw that it was not moving.
"Hey Memphis you getting in or what?" The cab driver asked from the passenger side window.
"Hey Bernie, hold on a minute would you." She held up her hand, placed her backpack on the hood of the cab and slowly approached the body. Using the toe of her boot, she nudged the person's side and heard a low moan. "Would you give me a hand Bernie, we need to move this drunk out of the way." She dropped down, laid a hand on the person's chest, and jumped when her hand was caught in a tight grip. A deep coarse voice whispered to her.
Memphis pulled her hand away and saw the dark thick fluid covering her palm; she sucked in a breath and looked to Bernie with worried eyes.
"Help me Bernie, he's hurt bad!" She struggled to push the large person up and then found it easier when the bulky cab driver gave her a hand. They finally got the injured person in the back of the cab, Memphis sat with the person leaning against her. "We have to get to a hospital quick!" She yelped when her hand was put into a crushing position against the person's chest.
"No hospital?please?no hospital."
She whimpered from the pain in her hand and struggled to release it. "Ohh Gods?you're bleeding what am I supposed to do?"
"Let me go?I need to?get home."
Bernie flipped on the interior light and yelped from what he saw in his back seat. "Memphis let her go for Gods sake!" He scurried out of the front seat and pulled open the back door. "Let her go to where ever the Hell she hides!"
Memphis pulled the injured woman closer to her body and snarled. "Take me home Bernie, I'll take care of her there."
The cab driver smacked his forehead, made the sign of the cross over his chest and started praying out loud. "You have no idea what you're getting your self into Memphis?no IDEA!" He got back into his cab and backed out of the alley.
Memphis struggled under the weight of the tall woman; she pushed open the door to her house and fell against the wall with a loud thump. Dropping her backpack on the floor, she half dragged, stumbled and fell into her queen sized bed with the woman falling on top of her. "Little bastard could have helped me." She squirmed out from under the heavy body and took deep breathes. "Now what do I do?" She flipped a light on and gasped with her first good view of what she had brought home. Long raven black hair tangled around a classically beautiful face, high cheekbones slopping down to a strong jaw with a slight cleft chin. Dark lashes and brows to add to the mystery of the woman dressed in black leather. Kneeling on the floor, Memphis unbuckled the motorcycle boots, pulled them off, and set them to the side. Next came the long leather coat, when she had it removed, she held it up to the light and saw the holes showing light through the back.
"Ohh my Gods! If this has holes in it?then what?"
"I look pretty much the same." A deep voice said from behind her.
"Gods I hope not," She turned and felt her breath seize in her lungs; ice blue eyes watched her as she dropped the ruined coat to the floor.
"Please let me go?I have to get home." She struggled to her feet and fell against Memphis with a low groan.
"I can't do that and I can't take you to a hospital." She eased the tall woman back onto her bed and took in the blood soaked leather vest. With shaky fingers, she unbuckled the straps on the vest and eased it off strong shoulders. What she saw made her feel sick to her stomach, her face paled and the room started to spin. Dark angry wounds covered the woman's upper body; blood seeped from the holes and ran down towards her waistband. "I can't fix this?," She grabbed for her phone and felt a hand grab her wrist.
"Don't?just let me rest a bit and I'll be out of here."
Green eyes turned fiery, the stubbornness came screaming forth and jumped at the tall woman. "But you have bullet holes and you're bleeding all over the place!" Memphis planted her hands on her hips and leaned forward, her voice dropping a few octaves to match the growling voice of the other woman. "You're bleeding all over my bed, I'm covered in blood and you don't look any worse for wear. Explain that to me!"
"You should have listened to the cabby," She stood up to her full six foot height and looked down with a menacing glare. "You don't want to know what I am?now I'm leaving before one of us looses our temper." She leaned over, picked up her coat and boots and started towards the bedroom door. She stopped when Memphis cussed and grabbed her upper arm.
"Damn it to Hell and back!" She pulled the tall woman towards her bathroom, turned on the shower and then back to the growling woman. Ignoring her, she unfastened her leather pants and pushed them down her hips. "Now get in the shower and wash the blood off, I'm getting my first aide kit." Memphis cussed the entire time she was searching for the kit, when she found it; she went back to the bathroom and watched the form behind the shower curtain. Getting a large towel, she sat on the toilet and waited. "I must be completely insane; I bring a strange person to my home that is full of bullet holes, bleeding all over the place and now I'm about to try and fix the injuries!"
"That's because you wouldn't let me go home."
She looked up and gasped at the ice blue eyes that looked down at her. "I need what you can't give me; I'm going home before something bad happens."
"What do you need, maybe I can help." She jerked back against the toilets tank when the woman growled and bared her teeth. "Ohh my Gods are those what I think they are?" Sharp canines appeared from beneath pink lips and flashed in the bright light. "Please tell me those are those plastic caps you get at the Mardi gras shop."
"How about if I bite you and you tell me if they're real or not." She stumbled from the bathroom and began to pull her clothes back on; she had just pulled her coat on when Memphis came running into the room.
"Wait let me go with you!" She grabbed the woman's upper arm and steadied her weaving body. "You're weak and you need help, please."
"Has anyone ever told you how annoying you are?"
"All the time and its never stopped me so don't try now." She pulled her coat back on, turned off the light and helped the tall woman from her house. "Where are we going and what's your name?"
"The Elysian Fields area and its Luka, we have to hurry."
"Right, you can't be out when it gets light out." She took her arm and hurried them the four blocks to the historic area of New Orleans.
"No, I need something that I won't take from you?unless you keep annoying me."
They walked up the stone walkway to a huge creepy looking house; Memphis shivered and leaned closer to Luka. "You live here; well of course you do and where better for a vampire but a spooky house."
"You are really pushing it." Luka growled and lurched up the steps to her front door. Pulling her keys from her pocket, she unlocked the door and flipped on the lights. "SPROUT GET OUT HERE!" She yelled and then leaned against the wall. Memphis jumped at her bellow and then heard a yell come from the back of the house.
"FUCK YOU FANG FACE!"
"I'm gonna rip her head off and drain her rotten little body! Would you help me into my bedroom; it's at the top of the stairs."
Memphis was exhausted once they got up stairs; she looked around the large room and wondered where Luka's casket was, all she saw was a huge bed.
"My bed would be a good place right about now."
"I was looking for?"
"You watch too many movies, I do not sleep in a casket?," She collapsed on her bed and groaned. "I hate small dark places, gives me claustrophobia. Where's that rotten little shit?" She yelled again and then heard heavy footsteps coming their way, Memphis cringed with each footstep, she was expecting a huge vampire to jump through the doorway and drain her of blood.
"You just had to interrupt me when I was soooo close to kicking the Green Goblins ass! Sweet Gods what did you get into this time?" Sprout tilted her head sideways, looked at Memphis and clapped her hands. "You finally brought me a woman!" She ran across the floor and wrapped herself around Memphis.
Memphis struggled against Sprout and looked to Luka. "Help me here?please!" She fell backwards on the bed with Sprout still attached.
"She's not yours Sprout so let her go, she just helped me home."
Memphis grabbed on to Luka's coat to keep Sprout from dragging her away. "What in the Hell is she?" She looked down at the extremely small woman with wild dark blonde hair, pointed ears and luminous green eyes.
"I'm a demon, wanna fuck?" She flashed her fangs and humped Memphis' leg. "I'm really good, I don't bite hard and it's been so long!"
Luka smacked her on top of her head. "But I do, so leave her alone and get me my stuff."
"Damn mean old fang face, pull your teeth out when you're asleep!" She mumbled all the way back down stairs.
"Is she really a demon?" Memphis asked as she sat up and helped Luka take her coat and vest off.
"No, she's just a little freak. You know how family is, they stick you with baby sitting and you're stuck for years."
"I am not a baby!" Sprout growled and handed Luka a large glass of something red. Luka narrowed her eyes at her, clicked her teeth together and began singing.
"Baby back, gimme my baby back baby back?ribs!"
Memphis looked at the red drink and wrinkled her nose. "Is that blood in there?" Sprout snorted and shook her head.
"Nope, that's strawberry muscle builder with extra vitamins and minerals. This," She handed Luka a plastic bag with a straw sticking out of it. "Is AB positive cow blood, just like a juice box." She gave Memphis a smirk and crawled up on the tall bed beside her. "Come on gorgeous, gimme a little kiss." She licked her fangs and puckered her lips.
"I can't watch this." She covered her face with her hands when Luka placed the straw between her lips. "I really need a vacation away from the French Quarter, perverts, and every thing that creeps in the shadows. What's worse, I'm sitting here with a dwarf licking my neck and a vampire sucking blood through a straw." She fell back on the bed and slapped the hand off her breast. "It's just an Anne Rice novel I'm dreaming about, I'll wake up and I'll be in my own bed."
"Afraid not little stripper, it's all real." Luka whispered close to her ear. "And you can't tell anyone about us; it would be an instant death sentence."
Memphis looked over at her with frightened eyes. "Are you going to kill me?"
"No, but there are others out there that will if they get a hold of you, it's not safe to be out on the streets past dark."
Sprout tapped her on her chest and nodded her head. "We're the good guys in this mess; we try to take out the baddies. If they get you, they make you one of them."
"You mean one of you."
Luka shook her head at her. "We are not like them, they were made, and we were born this way." She yawned and closed her eyes. "Sprout would you take Memphis to one of the guest rooms and leave your tiny little hands to yourself." Her breathing evened out in deep healing sleep, Memphis got up off the bed and pulled the blankets over her half naked body before following Sprout from the room. Standing next to the small woman, she couldn't help but grin. She was five foot five but Sprout was about three foot tall and reminded her of a kid. Her fast gait was hard to keep up with as she took her down the hall to another room.
"Here it is, breakfast is at when ever I decide to cook, and fang face will wake you up in the morning." She leaned in close to Memphis. "Or I can stay with you and wake you up a special way." She wiggled her thick brows and licked a fang.
Memphis placed a hand on Sprout's forehead and held her back. "How about if I lock you in the closet for the night?"
"Nahh, that's OK, I'm afraid of the dark." She ran down the hallway to her own room, stopped in the doorway and blew Memphis a kiss. "Night Memphis Belle, love that white thong you wear."
Green eyes shot wide, she knew she would remember if Sprout had been in the bar to see her dance. "Just great a three foot tall pervert." She turned the light on and looked around the guest room, she was surprised by how light and airy it was. One whole wall was large windows with white sheer curtains. Against the other wall was a queen-sized bed covered in a pale peach comforter and white pillow shams. Striping out of her blood stained clothes; she walked into the joining bathroom and found everything she needed including a fluffy robe. After a hot relaxing shower, she went to the bed and pulled back the cover's, the scent of lavender came to her nose when she slipped between the sheets and rested her head on the thick pillow. With in minutes, she was sound asleep and dreaming of Luka.
Memphis rolled over and yelped at the face in front of her, large pale blue eyes drilled into her and then a dark paw reached up and rubbed a cream-colored face. She watched the Himalayan cat wash its face and then give her a wide yawn. A low voice called a strange name and then the cat was off the bed and running out the door. Swinging her legs over the edge of the bed, she stretched, yawned and grabbed the robe she had used the night before. Tying the sash, she left the room and went down the stairs to the lower floor. Sniffing the air, she smelled bacon frying and voices in the background. Following her nose, she stepped into the bright kitchen and was surprised to see Luka eating breakfast.
"Have a seat and Sprout will fix you a plate." She poured orange juice in a glass and handed it to Memphis. "You drink coffee?" She asked as she grabbed the pot from the coffee maker and refilled her cup.
"Yeah I do," She sat down and watched Luka eat a piece of bacon. "You eat regular food and drink?"
"Of course we do other wise we'd look like Kate Moss. Don't tell me, you think that all we do is drink blood from victims."
"Well, you are a vampire and that's what I've been led to believe."
Sprout busted out laughing, she placed a plate filled with food in front of Memphis and crawled back onto her little stool in front of the stove. "Go ahead and show her fang, I love when you do it." She watched her cousin get up from the table and go towards the kitchen door, throwing it open; she stepped outside into the bright sunlight.
"You're in the sun?I thought?shit." Memphis dropped her head into her hands and mumbled.
"Hey Jaywalker, she didn't see your tan lines last night did she?"
"Nope, but then with all the blood it was hard to see anything." She sat back down and grinned at Memphis. "We're what the others call Day Walkers; we can go out in the sun and do everything that you can. And unlike the others, we are very much alive. Even have pulses and heartbeats."
"But how, I mean you drank blood last night and you survived all those bullet holes?"
"I only need the blood when I've lost too much of my own, I need the hemoglobin to help my system repair its self." She pulled up her shirt and showed the angry red spots that were open wounds the night before; she stood up and showed the same thing on her back. "No vital organs were damaged last night because the bullets didn't go through me; thank the Gods that my vest took the brunt of the attack."
"This is just weird and hard to wrap my brain around."
Rage poured off the small stripper's body in waves, she clenched the phone in her hand and felt the bite of plastic in her palm. She dropped the phone onto the coffee table and dropped her head into her hands. She had called her boss at her other job to tell him that she was sick with a flu bug and wouldn't be able to make it in. He told her not to worry about it that she wouldn't need to come in ever again and then slammed the phone in her ear. Tears filled her eyes; she dropped her head down into her hands and felt the tears slipping over her lids to drip onto her thighs.
"What's the matter Memphis?" Sprout dropped down onto the couch beside her and placed a hand on her back. "Fang didn't hurt you did she?"
"No?I just got fired from my other job." She sat up, wiped her eyes and gave Sprout a twitch of her lips. "Fucking bastard fired me for calling in sick."
"Want me to go over and bite him in his leg?" She ran her tongue across her fangs and rubbed her tiny hands together. "If I jump I can get him in his ass."
Memphis chuckled and then laughed deeply; it had been a while since she had felt something truly humorous to laugh about. She gripped Sprout's hand in hers and shook her head. "As much as he deserves it you might get a disease. Where's Luka, I haven't seen her since breakfast?"
"Ohh she's out scouting around for suck faces."
"Suck faces? What in the world is a suck face?"
"The others, she goes out during the daytime to find their lairs. I've got some stuff to do in town today, wanna come with?" She ran a hand through her messy hair and grinned. "It's a real bitch being short, I have to jump up and down or crawl on the shelves to get things at the store."
The dilapidated building was in the old part of the French Quarter, the dirty windows were missing some panes of glass, debris littered the edge of the wall and spray paint in intricate designs covered the old brick walls. What caught Luka's attention were the Gypsy markings in purple paint on the curb in front of the building. It marked the building as evil and for the people to stay away. Walking along the side of the building and following it around to the back, she stopped to look through one of the broken out windows. It looked like any other abandoned building except for the glyphs near a set of stairs that led into the basement. Pushing the wooden frame inward, she jumped through the window and landed with out a sound on the concrete floor. Pulling a long bladed silver knife from her boot, she slowly walked towards the stairs and listened for any sounds. With slow steps, she made her way down the metal stairs and stopped a few steps before the floor to let her eyes completely adjust to the dimness. Thanking her heritage, she was able to pick up sensitive scents and sounds that humans couldn't.
Pulling a flare from inside her pocket, she struck it against the wall and held it out as it sparked to life. Moving closer to the large wooden crates against one wall, she used her foot to kick the lid off the first one. Peering inside she found nothing. Pulling out a small plastic bottle from her pocket, she sprinkled silver nitrate inside the crate and put the lid back on. She continued her investigation and stopped to take in the last crate. It was different from the others by way of size, it was twice as large, had handles on the sides and close to the freight elevator. Placing the bottle back in her pocket, she pushed the lid back and tossed the flare inside the crate. Screams pierced the air and two burning vampires crawled from the crate, Luka raised her knife and ran the nearest one through the heart, the second one tackled her and tried to sink his fangs into her shoulder. They rolled on the ground amongst the flames until ashes erupted and dropped around her dousing the flames. Rolling on the floor, she snuffed out the remaining flames and crawled to her knees. Shaking her head, she tried to get the ashes from her hair and sneezed from the settling dust and smoke.
"Hate when they get all over me." Getting back to her feet, she looked around the basement for other surprises and saw nothing but small flickers of dying flames. "Two down a couple hundred or thousand to go." Sliding her knife back into her boot, she headed for the stairs and fresh air.
"I hate this, I really hate this!" Both Memphis and Sprout were trying to reach a jug of kitty litter from the top shelf in the pet aisle. Memphis stopped and looked to the struggling woman and started laughing. "We really are pathetic aren't we?"
"I prefer vertically challenged," She felt Memphis' biceps and pointed to the shelf. "Lift me up there and I'll grab it." Memphis lifted the smaller woman up and froze when she heard laughing coming from behind her.
"Do you always shop like this?"
"Nope," She looked over her shoulder at CJ and Brumby. "Just too damn short and this was what we came up with." She placed Sprout back on her feet and took the jug from her. "Does Brumby have her hands glued together so she doesn't steal anything?"
"Haa, love ya too ya tiny Sheila, duct tape this time." Brumby smiled and then snorted when Sprout latched onto Memphis' leg. "Who's' the kid?"
"I'm not a kid ya kangaroo fucker." Memphis placed a restraining hand on Sprout and rolled her eyes at CJ.
"What's up guys, I thought you two had to work this morning?"
CJ waved her hand at her and pointed to Sprout. "First who's your friend there and why aren't you at work?"
"This is Sprout and I got fired for calling in which is your fault for suggesting it." She poked CJ in her chest. "Now I have to find another job to keep me from loosing my apartment."
"Find a cheaper place, that place sucks anyway, all the damn noise at all hours of the night and day."
"I like living on Bourbon Street, it's?all right so it sucks at times." Sprout tugged on her leg and gave her a funny look.
"You live on that rotten street, too many freaks for me." She looked at both of the other women. "I know who you two are, love that tiny little blue G-string and you kangaroo are the bar pick pocket."
Brumby narrowed her eyes, bared her teeth and growled; she flinched when Sprout did the same thing and made sure they saw her fangs.
CJ gripped her chest and looked at her friends amused expression. "Sweet mother of God, she has fangs! Where did you meet her?"
"She's?a relative visiting from?"
"Ward one, wanna come over and you two can dance for me?" She wiggled her brows at them. "I tip real good."
Memphis looked down into the odd eyes and raised an eyebrow. "How do you know what color G-stings we wear, I've never seen you in the bar?"
"Ohh that's easy, ya know Luka's long trench coat? I hide underneath it and get in free. Hard part is sneaking her drink, looks kinda odd for her to be putting a beer bottle down there." She grinned when CJ and Brumby coughed and looked at different parts of the area. "Ohh kinky girlies!" She flicked her tongue at them and felt her ear yanked on.
"You mean Luka comes to see our shows?" Her face flushed with the information, she had no idea that the tall woman had ever been in the place. She knew that there was no way in Hell that she would have missed her.
"All the time?well when I can bribe her into taking me there."
CJ and Brumby snickered, their friend was keeping a secret and they would get it out of her one way or another. Giving each other a glance and a nod, they stepped closer to the two women and ushered them towards a checkout. "Ohh you are going to spill your guts about this Luka and where you were after you left last night." CJ wrapped her arm around Memphis' neck and pulled her head against her shoulder. "I called you last night and this morning and got your answering machine. Where were you?"
"I stayed with friend's last night and me and Sprout have been shopping all morning." She snickered when Brumby lifted Sprout up onto her shoulders and walked out the front door. "I hope those two will be alright together, Sprout might bite her."
"More like Brumby biting her and stealing her valuables."
Luka scouted three more buildings and came up empty; she would have to hit the clubs later that night if she wanted to take out any more vampires that night. It had been a long time since she had only gotten two vamps in one day, her instincts told her that something was seriously wrong and that she would have to get in contact with her people and see if anything had been heard. Thinking of the clubs and bars that she frequented, Memphis came to mind, she was a complication that Luka didn't know how to handle. She sighed, ran her fingers through her long dark hair, and leaned her head back on her shoulders to release the tight muscles. "What am I going to do about you Mon Cher`?" Pushing off the wall of a small store, she headed back towards home to get something to eat and a couple hours of sleep. She wondered if the little stripper would still be there or if she had gone home. When she rounded the building, she caught out of the corner of her eye a dark figure jump out of sight. Taking off across the street, she sprinted down the alley way and stopped at the chain link fence that blocked the shipping area. She knew that it had to be one of the suck faces familiars watching her, that meant that they would know in no time that she had taken out two of them. They would be out in force that night to try and take her out of the picture. "Always something to screw up my night life." Checking that her weapon of choice was available if she needed it quick, she went back the way she had come and headed home.
Memphis knew that she should have gone home right after seeing CJ and Brumby and then helping Sprout get the bags of grocery's in the house but she wanted to see Luka. She found the woman facinating and was intriqued by what she did. She had pumped her tiny cousin for information and came up with rolling eyes and a shaking head. Sprout told her she couldn't divulge information unless Luka gave her permission. Memphis now sat in a large cozy den/library reading an ancient book about the vampires of Romania. She found it interesting that the gypsys often helped the vampires hide and thought that they were just cursed humans who would forever suffer eternal life without peace. What she couldn't find was any reference to day walkers, she wondered if it was just a family curse or some kind of DNA screw-up that caused Luka and Sprout to be what they were. Yawning, she stretched out on the couch and continued to read until her eyes drifted close and she sleep peacefully.
Luka came in the back door and found Sprout fixing supper, she looked over her shoulder and snorted at the fancy way she was slicing the vegtables.
"Who are you trying to impress with your prowless of sharp and pointy objects?"
"Ohh no one really, I just got bored and decided to make our food look fancy like in the resturants in town."
"Uhh huh try again little Sprout, she's not your type."
"Who's not my type?" Her green eyes flashed, she crawled on the table to be at eye level with her tall cousin. "Is the head honcho fang face staking claim on a certain blond stripper?"
Luka rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Nooo, she's not my type either, she's?"
"Most defiantly your type Fang, you and I both know it." She leaned forward and rested her forehead against Luka's. "Whatcha gonna do Mon Cher`, gonna let her defang you?"
"Aahh for the love of O'Del Sprout!" She moved away and covered her face to hide her blush.
"So it's true what mama says, you're still cherry!" She danced around the table and then jumped off to run from Luka. Squeals of laughter and the pounding of feet woke Memphis from her sleep; she swung her feet over the couch and stumbled with blurry eyes to the library door. Opening it, she jumped back when Sprout ran past with Luka hot on her heels. A wide grin came to her face when Sprout slid across the floor on her belly and found safety under a couch. Luka dropped down, reached under the couch trying to find her. Sprout scurried out the other side, ran back towards Memphis and hid behind her.
Ice blue eyes zeroed in on the space between the strippers legs, a deep growl came from her as she crawled across the floor towards her hiding cousin. "I have a tiny little box in the basement with your name on it Marica!" Sprout winced at the use of her given name; she knew that she was in big trouble.
Memphis stiffened when Luka crawled between her legs and grabbed Sprout by her feet. "Excuse me!" She felt herself falling forward, grabbed at the doorframe and ended up landing across Luka's back. She braced her hands on the leather-covered rear and moaned at the flexing muscles beneath her hands. Luka fell onto her stomach and lost her grip on the struggling Sprout.
"No wonder you're still cherry! Roll over Luka; ya ain't gonna get noting if you perform a 69 like that!" She jumped over the two women and screamed all the way through the house.
"I'm going to kill her, rotten fang faced little freak." She looked over her shoulder at Memphis who was trying to get untangled from her long legs. The sight of her tight ass brought a low rumbling moan from the tall day walker. Dropping her head to the floor, she waited until Memphis was clear before she got to her feet. "Sorry Memphis, we get carried away at times and?"
Memphis held up a hand and shook her head. "From what I heard, it's self explanatory." She walked towards the kitchen and chuckled. "Still cherry huh?" She said under her breath and jumped when Luka growled in her ear.
"I'll never say whether I am or not, adds to my mystery." She slapped Memphis on her ass and went up the stairs to her bedroom.
"Ohh boy?bite me any day." Memphis rubbed her ear and swayed down the hallway to the kitchen.
With supper finished and the dishes washed and put away, Memphis pulled her coat on, kneeled down and pulled Sprout into a hug. "Thanks for supper Sprout, next time you guys are at the bar let me know and I'll have them put a chair on the stage for you." She placed a kiss on her forehead and messed up her hair before standing.
A bright grin came to the tiny women's face. "Do I get lap dances?"
"Ohh I'm sure the girls will give you anything you want." She grinned and then went to find Luka.
With ancient texts gathered around her on the antique walnut desk, floor and every spare space. Luka rubbed her eyes and closed the book in front of her; she had gone through numerous books and old scrolls but could not find an inkling as to why the vampires had begun to disappear. She knew that she was the only hunter and that they couldn't have all move to greener pastures so to speak, so that meant something entirely dark and dangerous. At the sound of someone clearing their throat, she looked up with weary eyes and gave Memphis a small smile.
"I wanted to thank you for your hospitality and let you know that I was heading home." She stepped around the desk and gave the tall woman a tight hug. "Maybe I'll see you and Sprout in the bar sometime."
"So she narked on us huh?"
"Yep, I now know to look for a tall dark and sneaky day walker hiding a little person under her trench coat."
She winked at Memphis and spoke in a soft tone. "It's easier to sneak her in then to try and convince the guy at the door that she's 24 years old."
Memphis chuckled, she knew how hard it was for her self to get in with out being carded, and she could only imagine how it was for Sprout. "Doesn't she have an ID or driver's license?"
"Nope, neither one of us does for that fact, I just look my age so I've never had a problem."
"Uhhmm," Memphis scratched her jaw and tilted her head sideways. "Aren't you two like hundreds of years old or am I stealing from Hollywood again?"
"Plagiarism is gonna get you in trouble, and our mama's would place curses on your head for making them hundreds of years old. I'm 29, not 229 or anything close to it?well I feel that old today." She stretched out her back and shoulders with cracks and pops. "Let me call you a cab, I don't want you out walking on the streets."
"That's OK I only live about fifteen minutes from here, I'll be OK." She jumped back when Luka growled and pierced her very soul with flashing pale eyes.
"I'll walk you home; I don't want any of the face suckers to get you." She pulled her leather trench coat off the back of the chair and whipped it around and down over her shoulders. Sliding the bottom drawer out on the desk, she pulled out a long Katana and slipped it down between her shoulder blades.
"Is that necessary, I mean what happens if the police see that?"
She took Memphis' small hand in hers and pulled her from the library. "The police know better than to fuck with me."
"Why did you tear up the jailhouse before?" She jogged to keep up with the taller woman's gait. "Ohh wait, you pulled a Buffy and burned down the jailhouse to get rid of the demon police chief!"
"I really can't believe you just tossed me in with Buffy the vampire layer." She shivered and yanked on Memphis. "She fucked a dead guy for O'Del's sake, that's just EEWW!" She stopped and turned to look at the snorting stripper. "Well it is, I'm not into necrophilia, when I decide I want to have a relationship it has to be a living breathing woman." She pulled the back door open and then pulled Memphis out behind her.
"So you are gay, I was wondering about that. I should have known by you going to a strip bar but then again some women just want a horny ass guy, and not to look at half naked women swinging her tits around a pole."
Luka couldn't believe the amount of syllables the stripper could get out with out a breath. "What about you, catch any of those horny ass guys?"
"Haa funny, what in the Hell would I do with one?"
"OK, well that tells me something about you." Luka pulled her closer to her body and folded her arm over hers as they walked down the dark creepy street. They were far enough away from Bourbon Street that they hadn't seen a living soul for a quarter of a mile. "Why are you stripping?"
"That's how I pay for my college tuition, I was waiting tables in the Gator Room to pay my rent and utilities but I got fired this morning."
"What's your major and when's graduation."
"Would you believe that I'm a math and English major, I'm in my senior year which is weird because I'm much older than every one else."
"How much older?," Luka pushed Memphis behind her, pulled her sword and tilted her head to the side to listen for the tell tale noise of a suck face. The sound of one feeding came to her ears and then the rustle of leaves when it came right towards them. "No matter what, stay behind me."
"But why, what's wrong?" She froze when she saw the blood soaked vampire come running at them, she had no idea what to do but stand there with her mouth hanging open. In an instant, Luka raised the sword over her right shoulder, spun and lobbed the vampires head off. A cloud of dust flew up into the air and dropped down around them. Memphis staggered forward and dropped a hand on Luka's shoulder. "Uuhhmm?was that?"
"Yep, that could have been your new boyfriend if I hadn't been with you."
Memphis felt her legs go weak; she fell into Luka and gripped the front of her coat. "He would have killed me and turned me into one of them."
"I think he would have just killed you, only older vamps turn others. You have to be drained to near death and then drink the blood of the vampire. It kills your soul and that's something I never want to see happen to you." She wrapped an arm around the shivering stripper and moved them towards Bourbon Street and Memphis' apartment.
"Have you ever turned anyone?I mean?have you taken blood from?"
"A living human? No, I've never done that, doing that forms a bond with the victim, it takes their very essence." She became pensive for the rest of their walk and stopped right outside of Memphis door.
"How did you?you've followed me before haven't you?" Memphis stepped up onto a step so that she was at eye level with Luka. "You've been stalking me haven't you?"
She cast her eyes to the ground before she spoke. "I've followed all the girls who don't take a cab or have a ride when they leave." She looked up into warm green eyes and shrugged her shoulders. "It's the right thing to do."
"Would you come in for a few minutes?"
"I should be going; I have some places to go?"
"The only reason I'm asking is because I have to be at the bar in an hour and I don't have?"
Luka knew what she was going to say, she took her hand and walked to the apartment building door with her. "I'll walk you to work and then wait for you in the alleyway after you're done."
"Thanks, I really appreciate it especially after my first encounter with a suck face." She opened the door and led Luka up the stairs to the last door in the hallway. "I had no idea they were out there, they could have gotten me anytime they wanted. I like to walk the French Quarter after work to relax."
"I'd suggest a ride home and a good boring book after work, it's safer." She looked around the small apartment and could tell right away that Memphis lived here. Little touches of what was not New Orleans were about the small quarters. She wondered where she was originally from; her accent was weird with a slight Cajun accent. "Memphis where are you from, I know you're not a Cajun?"
She yelled from a room at the back of the small apartment and came out dressed in baggy black cargo pants and an old UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS sweatshirt. "Lexington Kentucky, I've been down here for the past ohh six years trying to work my way through college. Nothing like being a 25-year-old college student when most are from nineteen to twenty-two years old, hopefully, I'll graduate this year and be able to get a job teaching." She pulled her coat back on, grabbed her keys and her backpack and walked towards the front door. "I'm ready when you are."
Memphis came through the door to the dressing room with a goofy grin on her face; CJ gave her one look and rolled her eyes at her.
"Please tell me that goofy look isn't because of a three foot woman."
"You mean Sprout? Ohh nonono, try six foot of leather clad woman with ice blue eyes, jet black hair and the sexiest voice I've ever heard." She dropped down into a chair with a deep sigh and clutched her chest over her heart. "But I'm just fantasying that she would ever want anything to do with me, I already know that she doesn't want any kind of sexual relationship with anyone."
"You sure can pick them can't you, when are you gonna let someone in your pants?" CJ asked as she pulled her shirt over her head and removed her bra. "You wait too long and all you'll end up with is a tube of KY and a prescription for estrogen to keep you company."
Memphis undressed and snorted at the thought. "That's a lovely way of putting it; I'm already an old maid why not go for the support hose and wrinkle cream?"
"The support hose might work if they don't clash with your thong."
Luka ran down the path along the river, she wanted to get to the warehouse where the Rave party was and see if she could save some humans before they got their throats ripped out and maybe catch a familiar and torture them for information. Launching herself up the embankment, she ran towards the side of the building and slowed when she saw the line of people waiting to get in. Calming her senses, she scanned the crowd for the undead until everyone was inside, going over to the ladder that went to the roof, she climbed up and then ran over to the hatch in the roof. With in seconds, she was dropping down into the warehouse and felt her feet throb from the music below her. Checking the dark areas for lurkers, she made her way to the stairs that would take her to the catwalk that over looked the area below. "There you are, how nice that you have a hidey hole to drag innocent people into to." She launched off the catwalk and dropped down behind a vampire, pulling a silver stake from her belt; she ran him through and dropped her head to avoid his dust. Shaking the dust from her coat, she pushed through the door with the glyphs on it and took in the collection of vampires.
"I just love parties, who wants to dance?" She held out her arms and laughed when she was rushed. Pulling her sword, she dropped to one knee and pierced the first vampire. Screams echoed and died as dust filtered through the air. She jumped to her feet and lashed out with a booted foot at the closest one, punched another before spinning and taking a head off. She gasped when a sharp pain shot through her side, reversing her sword; she rammed it backwards into the vampire's chest. With her anger flaring at being hurt, she cut and slashed her way through the vampire's until only one other body was left in the room with her. Pulling a silver spike from her belt, she threw it and pinned the person to the wall by his shoulder.
"Fucking BITCH!" He screamed and tried to pull the spike from his bleeding shoulder. She threw another one and pinned his leg to the wall.
"Damn I really need to practice; I was aiming for your other shoulder." She walked slowly across the floor, pressed a spike against the man's shoulder and slowly pushed it into his flesh. "So tell me slug, what's going on around here, I've been looking for playmates and they're very scarce?"
"Fuck you Luka!"
"Such language," She pushed the spike in further and grinned evilly when he screamed. "My mama would beat my ass for talking like that. So you gonna tell me or do I make ya gator bait?"
Growling from between clenched teeth, he said. "I ain't telling ya nothing ya gypsy whore!"
"Ohh that really hurt slug." She pulled a pair of channel pliers from her pocket, grabbed his manhood through his pants and squeezed. "I could have used tweezers! Gotta remember them for next time." His scream made her ears ring, having way too much fun; she squeezed harder and jumped back when he pissed himself. "No prostate problems for you huh, now tell me before I rip it off?"
He cried like a two year old and whimpered. "Master coming, Bulgaria, week from?today."
"The master is coming, we'll see about that!" She pulled her fist back and shoved the spike through his heart. "One less pet for the suck faces." Ripping his body off the spikes, she dragged him from the room and threw his body up through the roof hatch. "Time to feed the lizards; hope it doesn't kill any of them." She jumped up through the hatch and dragged his body behind her.
Memphis stood back stage waiting for her music to start, this was her last show for the night and she couldn't wait to get home. She was tired and wanted to take a nice long bath before going to bed. She had checked the newspaper for another job and wanted to get an early start in the morning before classes. Readjusting her green thong and her half shirt, she stepped up onto the stage and waited for the lights to dim. The first three cords of Whitney Houston's I'm every woman played signaling Memphis. She took her spot on the stage with her back to the crowd; her arms held up over her head, she swayed her hips to the slow tempo. When the rhythm picked up, she ran her hands down her body, spun and started to strut towards the end of the stage. Closing her eyes and ignoring the yells, she ripped her shirt down the middle, tossed it to the floor and moved her body sensuously.
Luka stepped from the side door of the bar and looked up on the stage, with the first glance of Memphis, her heart jerked in her chest. She had seen her dance many times but now that she had met the small stripper, her effect on her was totally different. Her body was reacting strangely, a fire burned brightly between her thighs, sweat formed on her upper lip and palms. She stepped closer to the back of the crowd and watched the rippling stomach muscles as Memphis moved to the music. A deep primal moan bounced around in her chest and then a growl when a man grabbed Memphis around her thigh. Pushing her way to the stage, she clamped a hand around the back of the man's neck and squeezed until he let go. Tossing him to the floor, she stepped on his chest and kept him on the floor. Her heart picked up when the second song of the strippers set started. She looked up letting her eyes take in the defined abs, up to firm breasts right into emerald green eyes, a smirk came to her lips. The look Memphis then gave her almost sent her to her knees. Keeping her balance by placing her hands on the edge of the stage, she was not prepared for the muscular thigh that went over her shoulder and pulled her against the strippers flexing stomach. Fingers tangled through her dark hair and pulled her closer yet, she was finding it hard to breathe and felt her tongue lick the salty flesh of Memphis. She felt the leg tighten on her back and Memphis lean back away from her, she watched as she did a walk over, slide to the floor and crawl towards her. On the last note of Queen of the night, Memphis ran her finger between her moist lips and caressed a fang before she got to her feet and slowly left the stage with a seductive swing to her hips.
Brumby shook her head and started collecting the money from the stage; she walked up to Luka, grinned at her and clapped her on her shoulder.
An over heated and panting Memphis went to the dressing room, CJ was leaning against the table with a smirk on her face. Her hazel twinkling with shock and amusement, she had never seen Memphis give anyone that kind of attention. Usually she kept her distance from the edge of the stage. The small stripper held up a finger and pointed to CJ.
"Don't even start with me Catherine Jane." She grabbed a bottle of water and drained half of it in one shot.
"Ohh this is serious, you never use my full name unless?" She looked to the doorway when her wife came in and waved to someone in the hallway.
"Damn Memphis, I think those blokes were collecting pennies off the floor to give you." She handed her a thick wad of bills. "I brought your toy with me." Memphis turned and saw Luka standing with her shoulder braced against the doorjamb. A shy smile came to her lips and then a blush when she saw the pale eyes looking right to her soul. She stepped closer to Luka and ran a hand down her arm to her large hand.
"Luka these are my friends CJ and her wife Brumby, Guys this is Sprout's cousin Luka?"
Her voice deep and sultry, Luka gave her last name. "Rubidoux?Luka Adriana Rubidoux." She winked at Memphis and saw her breath catch in her throat. "I'll walk you home when you're ready, I'll wait at the door for you."
"OK, I'll be ready in five minutes." She ran a hand across her face after Luka left the doorway; looking over to her friends, she blushed.
CJ tossed Memphis a towel and crossed her arms over her chest. "Uhh huh so now we know why you weren't home last night or this morning, she is defiantly a gorgeous woman."
"Hey what about me?" Brumby waved at her wife. "I got the looks the accent and a hot bod."
CJ snorted at the hurt look on her wife's face. "And you're married and not Memphis' type so there. So what did you and the tall one do last night?"
Memphis pulled her sweatshirt on and then her cargo pants before answering. "Nothing, I stayed in a guest room and then me and Sprout hung out today until Luka walked me home."
"And now she's gonna walk you home after you molested her."
Memphis gave her friends a huge toothy smile. "Yep, and then I'm taking a shower and going to bed?ALONE. Night guys, see ya tomorrow night."
CJ and Brumby were just about out the front door when the boss came running up to them, he reached out and touched CJ on her shoulder to stop her.
"CJ I don't know who that woman was tonight with Memphis, but you tell Memphis that after her last set, we sold more drinks than ever before. Ask her if she'll do it again." He clasped his hands together and pleaded with his brown eyes. "Please CJ; this could bring me out of the hole I'm in." He brought his hands up to his bearded chin and was about to drop to his knees and beg.
"OK, I'll call her tomorrow and ask her for you, later Robbie." His brown eyes twinkled after one of his best strippers.
Luka and Memphis walked arm in arm down the street towards Memphis' apartment, both women were in a comfortable pensive state about what had happened in the bar. Memphis kept stealing glances at her tall companion and felt her face burn when she was caught.
"Uhhmm about my last set?thanks for getting that creep off me and I hope I didn't embarrass you too much. I don't know why I did that."
Luka chuckled and pulled Memphis closer to her side. "I was more?shocked than anything; I'm just surprised that a riot didn't start. I know that those horn dogs were envious."
Green eyes blinked a few times before looking up into pale blue. "Envious why would they be that?"
"Ohh please Memphis, any one of those guys in there wished it had been them you were rubbing up against."
"Well they can all just forget about me ever doing that to any of them. My skin started crawling after that guy grabbed me, what I'm afraid of now is that they may be wilder now."
Luka placed a soft kiss to her temple and hugged her close. "I'll protect you from the animals, I may have to smack a few of them but it'll be fun." They walked up the steps to the apartment building and stopped outside the door; Memphis took Luka's hand in hers and gave it a slight squeeze. "Thanks for walking me home, I can repay you by cooking you supper tomorrow night."
"I'll bring the wine, what time you want me here?"
She ran her fingers up the lapel of Luka's trench coat and gave her a small smile. "Say six o'clock or so?"
"Six o'clock it is, see you then Memphis Belle." She turned to leave and found herself stayed by small hands.
"Thank you." Memphis went up on her toes, placed a soft kiss on Luka's lips and then went through the door of the building. Luka stood a few seconds with her fingers pressed against her lips. A grin came to her face, as she thought about Memphis, unaware of the dark figure hiding in the bushes across the street from the building.
"So the day walker has a girlfriend, not for long Luka, not for long." The tall vampire moved away from his hiding space and ran through the small park towards the entrance to the sewers. He would relay the news to his boss and request to be the one to turn the small stripper.
The noise coming from the basement grated on Luka's ears, going through the kitchen and down the steps, she yelled at Sprout.
"Normal people are trying to sleep, if you don't stop that noise I'm gonna tie your ass up."
"Ohh please and use the grinder on me!" She held up the huge grinder and winked at her cousin. "I'm trying to get your pointy things finished." She gave her cousin a funny look and raised a thick eyebrow. "Ohh what did you do tonight, loose your cherry?"
Dark brows drew down over an aquiline nose. "What is it with you and my cherry?"
Sprout put down the grinder, removed her goggles and took Luka's hand. "I just wanna see you find someone, both of us don't need to be old maids. You're a good person Luka, I wanna see you happy."
"I am happy, I do as I please, get paid good money for designing PC games and?"
"Have no one to share your life with except a three foot tall day walker. Who thinks you're the sexiest damn woman to walk the earth, next to Memphis that is. I'd like ta smack our relatives around for making us cousins."
Luka busted out laughing and gave her tiny cousin a heartfelt hug. "You're something else Marica, love you little Sprout and maybe someday we'll find some good women."
"Know any tiny women or ones with legs about three feet long, ya know I'm the perfect height for something." She wiggled her tongue and yelped when it was caught between Luka's fingers.
"You're a sick little person Sprout; I'm gonna go take a shower and turn in."
"A cold shower Luka, I can smell her on you." Luka ran her hands over her face and wandered up the steps mumbling about little perverts.
In her bathroom, Luka pulled her shirt off and held the front of it up to her nose. The scent set her blood on fire and her heart to race, she wondered if Memphis became aroused because of striping in front of men or if it was something else. She hoped it was something else after the effects she caused her body to go through.
Sinking into the tub full of hot scented water, Memphis leaned her head back against the tub pillow and moaned when her muscles relaxed. After all the years of dancing, she was still a little sore at night. Worse on this night after doing a walk over move. "Or was it humping Luka?" A deep groan came from her parted lips when she thought of how aroused she became while thrusting against the day walker. On the walk home, she felt the wetness between her thighs and it became worse after she kissed Luka. "A chaste kiss on her lips and I'm gushing!" She dropped a wet washrag over her face and started giggling like an idiot. "Gods Memphis, if she ever touched you sexually it'd kill your sorry ass!"
The next morning outside of the French Quarter, Luka was walking the edge of the river towards North Peters to visit her mama who lives in the same house that she was born in some 50 years before. Set on pilings to keep the water from the Mississippi from getting inside during bad storms. Taking the small footpath through the trees, she went up the steps and called out in a strong voice.
"Where at mama?" She walked around the front porch and saw her mama coming up from the docks carrying a basket in her hands. Leaping over the side, she jogged down the path, kissed her mama's cheek and took the basket from her hands.
"My rodee` honeychile finally hauls herself down to see her mama."
"I've been busy lately, but some things wrong out there." She hefted the basket up onto her shoulder and took her mama's elbow to help her up the step incline.
"What do you mean some things wrong, it's not the peeshwank it is?"
Luka chuckled and nudged shoulders with her mama. "No, Sprout's OK, it's the suck faces."
"Feed them ta the caimons, they're like a damn disease."
"That's the problem, I can't find them like I used to."
"Maybe you've gotten them all, it's been what over twenty years of you dusting them. Maybe you can finally retire and play the Madame with some sweet thing."
"I wish I could retire mama, but I really think that something big is happening." She held the front door open for her mama and placed the basket on a stool outside the front door.
"Ohh Luka, it's probably that damn master." She pulled glasses from the cabinet, filled them with iced tea and handed one to her daughter. "I heard T Jake squalling about one of their pets threaten him about taken over Algiers. If he's comin here, they'll bring him up the river."
"That's what I found out last night, I thought it was just the pet trying to bait me." She sat down at the kitchen table and looked at her mama, she noticed that more silver hair ran through the auburn hair at her temples and that her hands were somewhat stiff as she pulled a boning knife from the drawer. "Gimme the knife mama; I'll clean the fish for ya."
"I'm making gumbo you want to take some to bebette Marica?"
She wiggled her brows. "Make it really spicy, I love to see her turn beet red and gag."
Mama grinned, her fangs peeking from beneath her upper lip. "Still trying to terrorize her I see, I heard that you caused some excitement in a strip bar last night. I bet Marica was pissed that she missed seeing a stripper rubbin all over you."
A deep blush covered Luka's face; she looked to the floor and scuffed the toe of her boot on the wooden slats. "Who narked on me, I didn't see any of the boys there."
"Ohh it was T Jake and T BeBe, they said you stomped on some guys chest and then a little blond stripper got you."
"She's a friend of mine," She looked into her mama's pale blue eyes and grinned. "She's a nice person and was only doing that because?"
"Ohh so she's sweet on you. You'd be a couyon if you didn't go after her."
"I'm a capon mama; you know what happens when our heart takes over."
"Yeah, the body follows. Luka she must know what you are, tell her what happens. If her heart is true it won't matter to her."
"But mama, we never do this outside our own kind."
"Mais, maybe it's time one of us did. O'Del knows that there aren't too many of us left walking this planet. Anyway, the gene pool needs new blood so to speak. I wanna be a Mamere before I turn to dust Luka."
Luka rolled her eyes at her mama. "Mama you have us having babies before we've even been on a date!"
Mama waved a hand at her and grunted. "That changes tonight, now go get my fish cleaned so I can finish my gumbo, and Luka, change your shirt before you go see your woman."
"Change my shirt, why?" She looked down at the T-shirt she had wore the day before and blushed.
"Because when she gets close to you, she'll know you haven't changed clothes." She sniffed the air and shook her head. "Marica has worn off on you, my daughter the big pervert."
Luka carried a pot filled with her mama's gumbo under her arm as she made her way down to the dock area of the river. She hoped that T Jake was still down there at his boat, she wanted to get as much information from her cousin as she could about what he had heard from the pet. If the master was coming, she had to figure out a way to stop him before he stepped onto Algiers. Her cousins would help her as much as they could but she did the main fight against the vampires. Her blood ran true to the day walkers where theirs thinned over the years by marrying outside of the family line. She had a physical power that surpassed her relatives, senses that had disappeared during the centuries from others and talents that were only carried on through the females of the true day walkers. Only her mama, Sprout and she were left. Stopping at the end of the dock, she waved to her cousin and jumped on his boat.
Memphis walked to the corner of Du Maine and Royal Street on her way back towards her apartment with her eyes to the ground; she had placed applications at every job she had found in the newspaper. It looked doubtful that she would find anything soon and hated the idea of having to give up her apartment and move onto campus. Kicking a stone across the street, she stopped when the hair on the back of her neck stood up. Turning slowly, the sight that caught her eye caused a huge smile to come to her face and her heart to pound in her chest. Even with the dark sunglasses covering her pale eyes, Memphis knew that Luka was looking directly at her. A twitch of lips and then a rakish grin came to her lips to show a peek of white teeth and fangs.
"Where go peeshwank Memphis?"
"I've got class in an hour, where've you been rodee` and I'm not little, fang face?"
"Yeah ya are, not as little as that bebette cousin of mine." She draped an arm over Memphis' shoulder. "Been ta see my mama," She showed the pot to Memphis and grinned. "Mama's gumbo can take varnish off wood just by the steam alone."
"Potent stuff huh? I've tried the stuff at the bar and found it lacking something." She reached up and slid Luka's sunglasses up on top of her head. "That's better; it drives me nuts to not see someone's eyes when I'm talking to them. Anyways, I'm making Cajun chicken with spaghetti tonight, is that OK?"
"Ohh it's more than alright, so what you do today?" Memphis gave her a raised eyebrow.
"Your accent sure thickened over night, I was out looking for another job. So far, I'd do better to sell trinkets on Canal Street. If I don't find one then I'll have to give up my apartment and move on campus."
"Memphis, at this time of the year I don't think you're gonna get an apartment at Bienville Hall, it's probably packed to the gills."
Memphis wiped a tear from her eye and nodded her head. "You're right; I should have gotten an apartment there instead of getting one in town. I just didn't want a roommate. Now I'm screwed and close to being homeless." Luka took a deep breath and bounced an idea around in her head, she didn't know how Memphis would take her suggestion but she would give it a shot.
"I just happen to know of a place that is open and is very cheap, you interested?"
"How cheap and do I have to run around in my thong to get it that way?"
"Ohh lets just say that if you did wear only your thong, poor Sprout would die of a heart attack, I'm kinda fond of the freak so?"
Memphis stopped, placed a hand on Luka's chest and gazed into her serious eyes. "You asking me to live with you and Sprout, you don't even know me."
"Mais yeah, and who's more dangerous you or a sex starved Sprout?"
Memphis tilted her head to the side and smirked. "Let me see if I can find a job first, if I can't, then you'll find me sitting on your front stoop. OK?"
"OK, now let's get you to class before you're late."
Luka walked down St. Anthony Rd headed in the direction of Milneburg Rd. that would take her back towards Elysian Fields Avenue and then home. She hoped that Memphis would take her up on the offer to live with her and Sprout. She would be closer to where her classes were and safer. The others stayed away from the campus because of the tight security and they knew that she was often in the area. They preferred to feed on the tourists and a freak of the night, if one of them went missing it was a while before it was noticed. Where a student not showing up for class or coming home was reported immediately. She hoped that Sprout wouldn't get too weird if Memphis did move in, she may be a tiny thing but that was the worst part. She could hide in places you would never think of and do sneak attacks. Grinning, she remembered the time Sprout had hid inside the storage area inside the headboard of her bed and terrorized her the whole night with a feather. It wasn't until morning when Sprout rolled over into the small doors and fell out on her head that she was found out. Jogging up the sidewalk to the front door, she clapped a hand over her ear and yelled.
"SPROUT SLOW THE STEREO!" She groaned when the music climbed in decibel. Going into the living room, she busted out laughing at her dancing cousin. A three-foot tall hip thrusting Sprout was more than she could take, she turned the thumping music down and handed Sprout the pot of gumbo. "That had to be the scariest thing you have ever done."
Sprout peeked into the pot and gave out a howl. "Mama's gumbo!" She pushed on Luka's leg and moved past her. "Passé, all mine Fang face, all MINE!"
"That's OK with me, I have a date with Cajun chicken and spaghetti and mama gave me a bottle of wine to go with it."
"Who's the couyon that's cooking for you?"
"A certain little hot hot stripper." She dropped down into a kitchen chair and watched Sprout put the pot on the burner. "Would you mind if she moved in here?"
Sprout almost fell off her stool; she grabbed the edge of the stove and looked to Luka with wide eyes. "She's moving in with us?" She punched a fist in the air and howled. "Dit mon la verite!"
"Ohh believe me it's a possibility, so I guess it's OK with you?"
"Ohh yeah, maybe she'll teach me how to dance so I can pick up women. Does mama know about your girlfriend?"
Luka blushed and looked at Sprout from under her dark bangs. "Yeah, mais, she kinda knew the second she got close to me." She plucked at the front of her shirt. "And T Jake and Bebe were at the bar last night, they told her what happened."
"Can I go with you tonight; Memphis said that I can sit on stage." She jumped down from her stool, crawled on to Luka's lap and begged. "Please Luka, let me go with you, I'll be good."
A dozen and a half vampires stood around nervously waiting for the boss to show up at the rendezvous point. They knew that if they were all there then there was trouble brewing. One of them stood with a smug look on his pale features cleaning his fingernails with a thin bladed pocketknife. The hum of voices stopped when a tall dark vampire stepped into the room and pushed others to the side.
"I have been informed that the day walker has taken out some more of us, this must stop now. The master will be here soon and she can not stop his take over of the Algiers." He pointed to the smug vampire with a long nailed finger. "Joaquin has seen a weakness in the day walker; she has a girlfriend who is a stripper at the Red Boar Bar. I want her and she is not to be touched!" He glared at the flinching vampires with cold dark eyes. "If she is brought here with marks on her, the one who touched her will die by my hand, is that understood?" He waved to them to leave after they agreed to the rules. Pointing to Joaquin, he waited until he stepped closer. "I want you to keep an eye on her tonight, if there is a chance, grab her."
"Yes Broussard, you can count on me." He left his boss for the moment, he knew that it was time to take him out and replace him before the master arrived. His plan was to be at the master's side when he took over Algiers and that was only possible when Broussard was dead. Going down the long hallway to where the boss stayed, he pulled a plastic bottle from his coat pocket, went over to his wooden crate and emptied the silver nitrate inside. Once Broussard got into the crate, it would be all over. To double his chances of winning, he replaced the overhead light with a high-powered ultra violet light. The second it was turned on, the boss would turn to dust. Leaving the room, he went into another one to wait. He had an hour before the boss would be taking to his crate until nightfall.
Broussard pulled a cell phone from his pocket and made a call to his slave, he wanted a tail put on the stripper and taken if possible without anyone seeing. His vampires couldn't go the same places nor could they get into her apartment without her inviting them in. His slave could without a problem and he didn't have to worry about her ending up with fang marks in her neck.
The sun had gone down with the time passed 5:30; Memphis checked the chicken and put the noodles on to boil. Her hands trembled with her task causing her to chuckle about her nervousness of having Luka over for supper. She hadn't dated anyone since she had been in New Orleans, so this would be quite a big deal for her. Finishing what she was doing, she went into the living room and froze when she heard a gun shot outside her door. Moving closer to her door, she stopped and listened to the footsteps running down the hall and then opened her door a crack. Not seeing anything, she opened it further and saw a man's body lying in the hallway. Panicking, she ran from her apartment and bent over the man's prone form.
"Hey are you OK, let me call the police." She turned him over and saw blood covering his chest. "Ohh Gods, hang on I'll call an ambulance!" As she moved away, she was knocked to her knees and smashed to the floor by the injured man.
"This was way too easy!" He growled in her ear. "Where's your day walker when you need her?" He grabbed her hair, pulled her head to the side and sunk his fangs into her neck. Screaming and trying to get away was a waste of time, his strength was more than she could handle. Her body jerked from the pain and a high-pitched scream bubbled from her lips when her blood flowed freely into his tearing mouth.
Luka took the steps at the front of Memphis' apartment building two at a time, taking a deep breath; she opened the door and went to the stairs that would take her up to Memphis' apartment. At the sound of the scream above, she tore up the steps and froze at the two struggling bodies in the dim hallway. The shock of blonde hair sent a lightning bolt to her heart; a high pierced howl came from her chest as she ran down the hallway and grabbed the vampire by his hair. Slamming him into the wall, she punched him in his face and felt the bones collapse beneath her fist. Bringing her knee up into his groin, she pulled a spike from her belt and ran him through the chest. Dust erupted, filled the air around her, and then floated to the hallway floor. Dropping to her knees, she crawled over to Memphis and cradled her in her arms. Brushing her hair back from her eyes, she looked down into her pale face and saw the blood flowing from her neck and throat.
"Ohh please no! Co faire! Co faire!" She wailed, pulled her friend to her chest and sobbed, picking Memphis up in her arms; she carried her into her apartment and put her down on the couch. Picking up the phone, she called her mama.
"Mama, they got Memphis! What do I do?" She sobbed over the phone.
"Luka calm down and tell me what happened."
"She was bitten, she's almost dead, what do I do?" She held her fingers at her friends pulse point and felt how faint it was.
"You have a choice Luka, take her to the hospital or let her drink."
"She won't make it there and if she drinks, she'll?"
"Be one of us, if she doesn't she may die. What is worse Luka, her death or?"
"What if she hates me afterward, I can't bare that."
"You have to drink from her at the same time, bond with her Luka and it'll be OK. Then get her home and I'll meet you there, hurry Luka or you'll loose her!"
Tears flowed down Luka's face as she looked at her friends pale features, dropping her head down onto a slow rising chest, she sobbed uncontrollably. "I have to do this, I'm sorry but I can't loose you." She pulled her knife from her boot and cut her wrist. Watching the blood start to drip, she moved Memphis so that she could get to her neck. Pressing her bleeding wrist to soft lips, she waited until she felt a slight suction. When the pain shot up her arm and green eyes opened, she moved to the soft flesh of Memphis' neck and slowly sunk her fangs into her. Liquid fire shot through her body at the first taste of her friend's blood, the pain in her wrist was overshadowed by arousal and something deeper. It was as if her very soul was on fire. Soft moans came from both women. When Luka felt her heart begin to slow to almost stopping, she pulled her wrist away from Memphis. The smaller woman slowly turned in her arms and looked deeply into her eyes. What Luka saw there made her heart flip in her chest, bringing a hand up; she wiped the blood from one side of her friend's neck and felt the low growl come from her.
"I'm sorry Memphis?I had to?" She fell back on the couch from the force of Memphis crawling on top of her, their lips came together in a frenzy of gnashing teeth and probing tongues. When air was needed, they came apart to lie together panting. Luka ran her fingers through silky blonde hair and cried. "So sorry baby, so sorry."
"Don't be Luka." Was all Memphis said before she lost consciousness.
Sprout ran through the house getting the stuff together that mama had asked for, she knew as soon as she heard her aunts voice calling for her that something had to be seriously wrong for her to show up past dark. With the items in her arms, she ran to Luka's bedroom and placed them on the nightstand. "OK mama, why do we need this stuff?" She crawled onto the bed and sat down beside her aunt.
"Luka called me, Memphis was bitten, I told her to bring her here."
Green eyes sprung wide, Sprout was at a loss for words, her jaw worked a few times before a whoosh of air poured from her lungs. "Bitten as in vampire bitten, oh no!" She clamped her hands over her face and fell back on the bed. "What are we gonna do, she might be one of them!"
"No, she's not one of them; she's one of us now." Mama got up from the bed and went down the hallway to see her daughter's tear stained face coming up the steps with Memphis cradled in her arms. "Put her in your bedroom Luka, I have everything in there." She watched as her daughter walked down the hallway and then followed, she had never in all her years seen someone so broken in heart as Luka. She knew that she had never taken from anyone and this was killing her.
Sprout helped Luka undress Memphis and tuck her into bed, taking her blood stained clothes from the room, she ran down the stairs to toss them in the fireplace and set them on fire. She cringed when she climbed the stairs and heard Luka crying, it had been many years since her strong stoic cousin showed those emotions.
"Luka, she'll be OK," Mama had her folded into her arms and brushing her dark hair back from her tear streaked face. "She just needs sleep and she'll be good as new. Now let's get her neck taken care of."
Sprout walked into the room, took her cousins much larger hand in hers, and held it. "It'll be OK Luka, you'll see."
"Now watch Luka, you too Sprout." She mixed ingredients in a small bowl, added water and then soaked a rag in it. Wiping the side of Memphis' neck where the vampire had bit her, the area bubbled and sizzled leaving the skin clean with a slight pink color. She then wiped the other side where two perfect holes pierced her neck and watched, as it did nothing but run down her neck. "You see our blood is pure, theirs is beyond filthy. By you giving her your blood, you washed their filth away." She covered the torn flesh with a thick paste and covered it with a gauze pad. "Take this off in the morning and check it for infection, there shouldn't be any but just make sure." Her pale blue eyes looked into her daughters with understanding. "I'm going to the kitchen to make some tea, Sprout come give me a hand." She pressed a kiss to Luka's forehead, took Sprout's hand and led her from the room. Luka pulled off her coat and then undressed to put on a T-shirt and boxers before crawling on the bed beside Memphis. Tears trailed down her face to soak into her pillow as she looked at the calm features of her friend.
"I hope you don't hate me." She mumbled as she moved closer and pulled the small woman into her arms.
Broussard stood in the hallway as one of his slaves checked his room; he flinched as a bright light flashed in his room and then went out. A sly grin came to his face when he thought about the one vampire who would see him dead.
"It's clean now, I'll get you a different crate from the storage room, yours was soaked with silver nitrate." He handed Brossard the light bulb and dragged the large crate behind him to be disposed of.
"What a couyon you were Joaquin, I never trusted you." He was about to go into his room when one of the familiars came running towards him.
"Sir, I went to follow the stripper, I found this in the hallway along with dust and blood." He handed him a gold insignia ring with the letters JB on them.
"So Joaquin fell by the hand of the day walker, you said blood, and whose blood was it?"
"The strippers, I saw Luka carry her lifeless body from the building. Joaquin went against your orders, he killed the stripper." He bowed his head and left Broussard standing in the hallway.
"Damn fool, I wanted her for bait! Now Luka will hunt us until we're all gone from this earth!" He crushed the ring in his hand and dropped it to the floor.
A low whimper came to Luka's ears; she rolled over to the nightstand and flipped on the light. Seeing the sweat drenched hair covering a pale face, she wiped Memphis brow and whispered close to her ear.
"You're safe baby, I'm here."
Memphis ran her fingers across the gauze patch, her eyes shot open and she sat up in bed with panic-stricken eyes. She scanned the room and then stopped when they fell upon a worried Luka.
"Luka?tell me I'm not one of them." Tears filled her eyes to trail down her cheeks, a low sob came from her lips when Luka looked down to the sweat drenched sheets. "Ohh Gods I am," She grabbed Luka's hands and pleaded. "Please kill me Luka; I can't live in the dark!" She fell into Luka's open arms and sobbed. Tears trailed down from anguished blue eyes to drip into wet blond hair, Luka didn't know how to explain what she had done, only one person could do that, mama. Pulling back and wiping the tears from Memphis' cheeks, she took her hand and pulled her from the bed. Handing her a long T-shirt, she helped her pull it on and then took her down stairs to the kitchen.
Mama and Sprout looked up when they heard the shuffle of bare feet come into the kitchen. Bright blue eyes met green and a smile came to mama's lips.
"I see you two are awake, come sit down and have some tea." Getting two cups for them, she filled them and placed them side by side on the table. Seeing the pain on their faces, she clucked her tongue and placed a hand on their shoulders. "It's not the end of the world you two." She held out her hand to Memphis and smiled wide enough that her fangs showed. "I'm Nicoleta, Luka's mama, you can call me mama. How are you feeling?"
"You mean besides being a vampire?" More tears flowed down her face to soak into the collar of her robe.
"You're not a vampire so to speak peeshwank, Luka saved you."
Memphis turned to look into the tear-filled eyes of her friend. "I know I was bitten by a vampire and I remember drinking his blood."
"Yes, but that was my blood you drank." Luka ran her fingers across her cheeks to dry her tears.
"You were close to death; Luka gave you the gift of her blood to save you." Mama replied and then looked to Sprout. "Go in my bag bebette and get that small box." Sprout ran from the kitchen at mama's request leaving a snickering Luka looking into the twins to her eyes.
"Must be the mama voice, will you explain to Memphis what I did?"
"Such a couyon Luka," She cleared her throat and looked to Memphis. "Luka found you after you were bitten, she cut her wrist that she has forgotten to take care of." She glared at her daughter and grinned at her downcast eyes. "You were too far gone for her to get you to the hospital, not to mention it's hard to explain that you were bitten by a suck face. The only thing she could do was to give you her blood, while you drank from her; she drank from you to form a bond of your souls."
Memphis looked at her friend with confused eyes. "You've never done that before, why did you do it for me?" Sprout came trotting into the kitchen and handed mama the box.
"This what you wanted mama?" Mama nodded, took the box and smoothed down Sprout's wild hair. "Thanks bebette, now where were we?"
Luka continued where she had left off. "No I've never done it before; I had to because I didn't want to loose you. It's my fault they knew where you were, if I had been a few minutes sooner none of this would have happened." Tears flowed over her eyes to trail down her high cheekbones. "I'm sorry Memphis." She dropped her head on her folded hands and cried softly. Memphis ran her hand down Luka's back and whispered to her.
"It's not your fault Luka; it's mine for going out into the hallway."
"Memphis, this is our family crest," Mama held out a gold disk on a chain, inscribed on its shinny surface was glyphs. "Because of Luka's gift to you, you are now part of our small family, you are a day walker." She got up from her seat and fastened the necklace around Memphis' neck. "When the people see this, they will treat you with respect that comes from being of the line." She held out her own necklace as did Sprout. "Only the true day walkers wear these."
"About damn time I had another female cousin, all those damn ugly men in our family."
Luka snorted and raised her tear stained face to look at her tiny cousin. "Don't let them hear you say that Sprout, or you'll be caimon bait."
Memphis shook her head in confusion; she looked between the three women and stuttered. "But I wasn't?born this way?how can I?"
Luka gripped her hands in hers and looked deeply into her eyes. "We are pure breeds, the last of our kind. You became one, when I gave you my blood; we are bound by both blood and soul. We are now one.
Mama and Sprout shared looks and yawned, they got up from the table to leave Luka and Memphis alone.
"Mais mama, how long before the wedding and you're a mamere?"
"Ooohh I don't think it will be too long with the way those two look at each other." She placed a hand on Sprout's shoulder and walked them up the stairs.
A slow grin came to Memphis' lips, raising an eyebrow she tilted her head to the side and spoke in a deep sultry voice. "Will I get sexy fangs like yours?"
"Uhhmm I think so," She looked down at their joined hands and rubbed her thumb across the back of the smaller one. "You think my fangs are sexy?" She looked up at an angle and grinned.
"Ohh yeah, among other things." She finished in a whisper and leaned forward to place a soft kiss on Luka's lips. "I have to call work and let them know I won't be in tonight, I can't strip when I look like a mugging victim." Luka ran her fingers across the two neat puncture holes and frowned. "I'm sorry I had to bite you."
"Luka, you saved my life. Thank you." She brought their lips together again for a longer kiss then pulled away. "Can I use your phone?"
"We'll let mama call, she has a way with your boss."
"How's that, I mean your mama doesn't look the type to go to the bar?"
"Ohh he's afraid of her, she used to beat his ass when he was little. He's one of my cousins."
"But he doesn't have fangs."
"Nope, he's not a day walker, only females are day walkers. It's part of the family curse that was put on my family centuries ago in Romania." She kissed Memphis on her forehead. "Welcome to the notorious family of Rubidoux. Let's go have mama make that call and then turn in, I'm exhausted and a little weak."
"How much blood did you give me?"
"Almost all I had."
She pulled Luka to a stop and grabbed her by the front of her T-shirt. "You mean I could have killed you?"
"Yeah but I knew when to stop you, it's alright Memphis."
"Do you need any?I mean like you did the other night?"
"No, this is different; my body doesn't need to heal anything. After a few hours of sleep I'll be OK."
"My Gods, I have none of my own blood, I have all of yours. That's what mama meant by being bound with you and why I'm now a pure blood." She watched a light blush rush up Luka's face and her head nod. "Cho, dit mon la verite Luka."
Having slept longer than usual, mama sent Sprout into Luka's bedroom to wake her. A huge grin blossomed on her face when she saw the two bodies wrapped around each other under the sheets. Crawling up from the foot of the bed, she wiggled between their bodies to get closer to Memphis. Pushing up her lip with a tiny finger, she grinned at the sight of the elongated canine tooth.
"What are you doing Sprout?" A deep gravelly voice asked her.
"She's a T Fang, little baby fangs in there." She pointed to Memphis mouth and snickered. "She gonna bite you Luka, bite you hard." She scampered off the bed and smacked her cousin on her ass. "Mama says come and eat before it gets cold."
Luka pulled the smaller body closer and buried her face against the warm neck; she had never slept next to anyone before but Memphis made her feel safe. She jumped against the smaller body when her mama's voice rang through out the house. It reminded her of when she was little and her mama would wake her for school.
"What's mama cooking?" A sleep thickened voice whispered in Luka's ear. "Smells like grits with brown sugar." Memphis raised her head and looked down into Luka's slack features. "I can even smell orange juice, this isn't normal Luka."
"Is now, makes ya wish ya had a head cold sometimes, especially down near the docks." She rolled onto her back and stretched out her long limbs. "How do you feel?"
"Like I'm about ten years old, all my normal aches and pains are gone." She rolled over on top of Luka and kissed her lips. "Come on I'm starving, we didn't get to eat last night." She rolled off the bed and pulled a reluctant Luka from the bed.
Mama and Sprout watched Memphis drag a still half-asleep Luka to the kitchen table. It was just like years ago when it was time for school.
"You'll never change Luka; still hate the mornings like always." She brushed her fingers through her daughter's long tangled hair and kissed her forehead. "My poor Beb."
"Who wouldn't hate the mornings when ya have to look at Sprout every morning." She eyed her cousin's wild hair, sheet wrinkled face and footy PJ's."
"I think she's kinda cute, especially with the pointy ears sticking out." Memphis snickered at the exasperated look on her friend's face and kissed her temple. She pulled back quickly, put a finger in her mouth and felt the sharp fangs. "Ohh is the rodee` in big trouble, now I have my own fangs to bite with." Luka looked up at her and grinned.
"Is that a threat or a promise?"
"All right eat your breakfast before it turns to concrete." Mama placed dishes in front of everyone and then took her own seat. "Babies, just little babies."
"Ohh come on take the damn line!" Luka typed away like a crazed loon on the keyboard trying to get the script of her new PC game to take. She had been working none stop for three hours setting up the battle zones with the creatures and loot and was almost finished except for the stubborn script line.
"What are you doing Luka?" Memphis asked as she leaned over her shoulder and looked at the PC monitor.
"Trying to make my deadline, but at the rate I'm going I maybe 100 before that happens."
"Uhhmm that's not what I meant, what is that?"
"Ohh I ahh?design PC games, you know the blood and gore, hack 'em slash 'em type games."
"Do you make good money doing that?never mind you don't have to answer that?I'm getting too personal, sorry."
"Ohh I make good money at it, not like I spend any except for the normal bills or anything."
"I've been thinking some things over and I want to know if I can take you up on your offer to live here; I'll pay rent or what ever you want."
Luka turned in her chair and took Memphis' small hand between both of hers. "I don't want your money; you use what you make at the bar to take care of you tuition. I want to see you get you diploma and do something other than play around designing games like I do."
Memphis leaned forward and placed a kiss on the top of Luka's head. "I don't know what I'll do once I graduate, I don't think any school is gonna hire a stripper to teach their kids. My résumé would scare most of them away. 'Memphis Andrews PhD. Stripper by night, college professor by day, will teach the bump and grind as an extra curricular activity ˝ credit for physical education."
Luka's eyes grew wide. "Did you say PhD?"
"Yeah, mais after all these years that damn paper better say PhD on it!" She sat down on Luka's lap, spun the chair around and pointed to the monitor. "Explain this to me; I'm curious about your games."
A deep voice echoed through out the office that Luka used for her computer programming, it was deep and sounded breathy. "LUK?LUK?I AM YOUR NIGHTMARE!"
"I swear I dropped her on her head one too many times when she was a baby!" Luka hit the PA system and growled. "I told you you're more like Yoda than Darth, what's your problem Sprout?"
"May the Swartz be with you Luk; I have two gorgeous women here all for myself so stay away for about three minutes while I get happy."
"I really hope she didn't lure some kindergarteners in the house again!" Luka got up from her chair and pulled Memphis down the hall towards the kitchen.
"Ohh man passé passé Luka, they're all mine!" She grabbed CJ and Brumby around their legs and bared her teeth.
Memphis stepped forward, gave her friends hugs, and looked down at Sprout. "Would you make us some coffee Sprout?"
"Only for your friends and you T Fang, Luka can kiss my little ass." She stuck her tongue out at her cousin and got what she needed for the coffee.
She snorted and patted Luka's stomach. "So what are you guys doing here?"
"We came to see if you were OK, our boss said you got mugged last night." CJ said and took a seat at the kitchen table. "So where did this happen?"
"At my apartment building, I was stupid and went out into the hall?during a fight." She looked to Luka and winked. "I lost big time." She dropped into a chair across from her friends and held up her hands. "So much for all those Kempo classes." CJ leaned over the table and saw the faint scars and bruising on the right side her friend's neck.
"What the Hell did he do to your neck, it looks sore?"
"Uhhmm I don't know what he used, he attacked me from behind." Memphis shrugged her shoulders and grinned, then her eyes narrowed and an eyebrow hitched up into her bangs. She slapped Luka on her thigh and nodded towards where Sprout was standing on her stool behind CJ. "What is she doing?" She whispered and watched Sprout do hip thrusts and dance around in a circle on the seat. Brumby looked over her shoulder and pushed Sprout off her stool, causing a loud thump. Luka and Memphis busted out laughing and fell into each other when Sprout stumbled around the kitchen.
"Ohh my Gods!" CJ pointed to Memphis. "You have fangs!" She jumped up from the table, went over to Memphis and held her face still. "You're a vampire, Brumby she got bit by a vampire!"
Luka covered her face with her hands and dropped her head to the table, she knew that people would notice the difference in her friend but she was hoping that at least it would be a couple of days before it happened.
"Hold on guys, it's not what you think. A vampire bit me last night?twice. But I'm not a vampire so to speak?Luka help me here." She ran her fingers through Luka's hair nudged her shoulder.
"Whoa there, you got bit twice! Aren't you supposed to be like hiding in a coffin or something?"
Sprout leaned into CJ's leg and winked at her. "Wanna see where I sleep, we could have a threesome." She licked her fangs, wiggled her pointed ears, and yelped when Brumby kicked her under the table. "Ohh ya two like it rough! I can do rough; I'll even bite hard if ya want!"
"Bebette, I still have that box in the basement." Luka grabbed a pointed ear and pulled Sprout away from CJ. "Behave or I'll call mama." She looked to both CJ and Brumby. "I'll try and explain as best I can as to what went on last night.
An hour later with both women shooting questions at Luka and Memphis, they now understood what Memphis had become, what they didn't understand was why she had been attacked at all and if she would have to bite people to survive.
"She only wants to bite Luuuuka!" Sprout said from her safe spot inside the kitchen cabinet under the sink. Both Memphis and Luka blushed and cast glares at the tiny day walker.
Brumby snickered and pointed at Memphis. "Well it may just work for ya with the pawing perverts, one shot of fangs and they will defiantly leave ya alone."
CJ thumped her forehead. "I almost forgot, the boss wants you and Luka to continue your little show, he said that he sold more drinks after you danced with Luka."
Memphis wiggled her brows at Luka and gave her a wicked grin. "That can be arranged, can't it Rubidoux."
Broussard grabbed one of his pets by his throat and lifted him in the air, baring his teeth, he growled deeply.
"What do you mean the strippers still alive? Joaquin tore her throat out didn't he?" Seeing that his pet couldn't breath and was close to passing out, he dropped him to the dirty concrete. "Now tell me what the Hell is going on?"
"I saw?her?she's alive!" Broussard threw his head back and laughed hysterically, wiping spittle from his chin; he looked down at the terrified pet.
"That only means one thing; Luka has done something that I would have never guessed. She turned the stripper, now there are a total four day walkers, but I have only two to worry about." Dragging his pet off the floor, he jabbed him in the chest. "Get the stripper!"
"Honest Memphis, with the lighting no one will notice the slight bruising on your neck." Memphis caught Luka's eyes in the bathroom mirror while using cover-up on her neck. "By tomorrow it should all be gone." She placed a soft kiss on silky blonde hair and left Memphis to finish getting ready for work. Going down to the basement, she flipped on the light and took in the numerous weapons arranged on the one wall. Taking her pick of throwing knives, she checked for cracked silver coating and the razor edge. Slipping them into a leather carrier at the lower part of her back, she pulled her favorite knife down, slipped it into her boot, and pulled her pant leg down over it. She had decided to for go the normal leather pants and wear black cargo BDU's instead. Slipping throwing darts and stars in her cargo pockets, she finished off her weaponry with her silver-coated double-edged sword. At the sound of footsteps coming down the basement steps, she turned and saw the look of awe cover her friends face.
"Ohh this is just?I love swords and sharp pointy things!" She pulled a katana down from the wall and spun it in one hand then brought it around to a two handed hold in front of her. Turning it on its side, she snapped it in a downward motion and grinned. "I'd say a 440 fold, hand made silver Tsubuka, and hand wrapped with goats hide."
Luka shook her head in amazement. "You would be right on all of it, its one of my favorite weapons. That one there makes the air sing and can cut with just a touch."
"Where did you get it, its beautiful?"
"Sprout made it, along with everything else down here. She has amazing nimble little fingers for the detail work and eyes that can see a bur in the blade in pitch blackness." She went over to the wall, pulled down a double leather knife strap, two razor sharp throwing knives, and handed them to Memphis. "I want you to wear this when your out by yourself, the blades are silver and deadly to suck faces." She helped Memphis adjust the strap around her waist and pulled her sweatshirt down over the knives. "One jab to the heart and you need a dust buster to clean up."
Memphis ran her hand across her lower back and smiled up into pale blue eyes. "Thanks, I just hope I never have to use them." She went up on her tiptoes and kissed Luka softly, the feeling that assaulted her body made her knees feel weak. "You gonna let me molest you at the bar tonight?"
Luka rolled her head on her shoulders, bit her bottom lip and shrugged. "Mmmm?that's a hard one, should I let a hot hot little stripper rub and thrust all over me or?"
Memphis pressed up against Luka and whispered in a sultry tone. "I'll more than make it worth your while Fang." A low moan rumbled in Luka's chest when Memphis ground her hips into her.
"OK, as hard as it'll be for me, I'll do it."
With Sprout up on her shoulders and holding Memphis' hand, Luka led them to the side door of the bar. The blaring music was enough to make her ears twitch and make her want to retreat to the quiet alleyway.
"We can hang out in the dressing room until the other girls go up on stage." Memphis offered.
"Ohhh nekkid girlies! I getta see nekkid girlies!" Sprout bounced on her cousin's shoulders and pulled on the tips of her ears.
"I better not end up with pointed ears bebette!" She slapped at the tiny hands and then lifted the tiny day walker from her shoulders. "Now you behave yourself and stay out from under the tables." Sprout gave her a salute and scrabbled out the door to go into the bar area.
"Why did you tell her that?" Memphis asked as she pulled her shirt over her head and placed it across the back of a chair.
"Because she's a pervert and looks up skirts, I would love to take her to the pub down in the Quarter and let her crawl under those tables.
"Why, is there more for her to see?"
Luka chuckled and nodded her head. "Guaranteed to send her screaming, the men where kilts." She turned her back when Memphis dropped her pants and underwear to pull on her thong.
"Ohh come on Luka, you undressed me the other night and now you're getting bashful?" She wrapped her arms around Luka from behind, pressed her breasts into the warm leather and felt her nipples harden.
"That was different; you couldn't see my red face and closed eyes."
"Well if you could see something right now it would put you on the floor!" She pulled back, looked at her hardened nipples, and let out a low moan.
"I don't want to know, I'm having a hard time breathing already." She dragged a hand across her face and wiped away the nervous sweat. "How soon before you go on stage?"
"Ohh about forty minutes or so, we can watch from backstage. Maybe keep an eye on the bebette."
Sprout walked hunched over beneath the tables until she found one with a woman sitting at it. Using a small penlight, she shinned it between the woman's legs and grunted at the sight of blue jeans. Going on her way, she moved to another table without luck. She was getting closer to having no more tables to investigate and was disappointed that no women had worn skirts or dresses. Her other option was to hide in the dressing room and watch the strippers change their costumes. Moving towards another table, she had to dodge a pair of thumping legs and ran into something under the table. Fearing that she was caught, she turned her penlight on and held back a screech. She was not the only peeping pervert in the bar; another tiny person was under the table with her own pen light.
"Hey I was here first you troll!" The other woman said and pushed Sprout.
"So I know the boss, so move or I tell!"
"Ohh that's rich, you'd tell on me and then the boss would want to know how you knew what I was doing under here!"
"I'll bite you!"
"I'll bite you back!"
"I have fangs!"
"I have a leathermen tool!" She whipped out her leathermen tool and jumped Sprout. They rolled around under the table causing all the occupants to jump up and look under the table. Rough hands pulled them out, hauled them to the front door and tossed them out on to the sidewalk.
"Just great!" Sprout yelled. "Luka's gonna kill me and it's your fault!" She jumped the tiny black woman and they rolled around on the sidewalk until a pair of hands grabbed them.
"What in the name of O'Dell are you two doing?" Luka struggled with the tiny women. "Knock it off Spout or it's the box!"
"Better than her pulling my teeth out!" She kicked out her tiny feet at the other woman.
"She deserves it for threatening to bite me!" The tiny black woman yelled back.
"Just my luck, two tiny little people, maybe we can get Robbie to have midget jello wrestling on the weekends?" She walked down the alleyway with them dangling from her hands and pushed her way through the door to place them in separate chairs in the dressing room. "Neither one of you move or I'll do the biting!" She looked over her shoulder when she heard Memphis laugh at her. "Do you believe this, there's two tiny little bebette's in this place and I bet they were under the tables peeping!"
"Was not?I was?trying to?HEY!" Sprout wiggled on the chair when Luka started frisking her body. "Ya big perv!"
Luka pulled out the penlight and shinned it into her green eyes. "And this is for what reading the labels on the beer bottles?"
"I never thought of that, damn you're good Fang face."
Luka gave the other women a glare and held out her hand. "Hand it over, I know you have one too."
"This ain't fair?I was?the Hell with it!" She handed Luka her flashlight and felt her jaw drop open when CJ came into the dressing room dressed in a leather mini and bra. "Come ta little Lia." She held her hands out and wiggled her fingers.
CJ snorted and looked between the two tiny women. "Are you two collecting little people or something?"
Memphis snickered at her friend and pointed to Luka. "Ask Luka, she's the one who found them. Hey can we put two chairs on the stage, I promised Sprout that I would do that for her?"
"Sure, I'll get Brumby to put them up there." She looked at the tiny women again and shook her head.
With the chairs in place along the edge of the stage, Sprout and Lia sat waiting for the strippers to start their show. Bouncing in their chairs when the music started to throb and the stage lights flickered on. Luka and Brumby stood behind the two tiny women protecting them from the jealous male patrons. Luka's head shot up from where she was watching Sprout's feet bounce to the beat of the music to see Memphis dressed in an emerald green sarong type wrap around her hips and a matching bra. Her heart pounded at the smoldering look that was cast down at her from green eyes accented with black eyeliner. The males yelled and howled at the sight thinking that the Memphis Belle carried the look just for them.
"Ohh Luka is in great big trouble! T Fang on the hunt!" She squealed and bounced in her chair. Shooting a look to the side, she snickered at the dropped jaw and drooling little Lia. "She's hot hot ain't she and it's all for Luuuuka!" Memphis picked up the rhythm of the sultry song; I'll do anything by Montell Jordan, her body moved fluidly down the stage towards where Luka was standing. Lifting her arms over her head, her hips swayed in a sensuous belly dancer style. Bending her arms at the elbow, her hands unclasped her bra and dropped it on to L's lap with a flourish. Cupping her breasts, she let her thumbs graze her nipples and looked into pale blue eyes for a reaction. Stopping in front of Luka, she brought her swaying hips up against her chest and pulled her head between her breasts. The males went crazy; bills flew up onto the stage and some were held over Luka's head. With one hand buried in the thick dark hair, the other pulled the knot on the sarong loose and wrapped it around Luka's wide back. Dropping down to squat in front of the day walker, Memphis pressed her breasts against a silk covered chest and moaned at the feel of firm breasts pressing into hers. Pressing her face into the warm neck, she let her fangs trail across sweaty skin and heard a moan come from Luka. Thrusting her hips into Luka's hard stomach, she growled at the sensation and felt herself getting wetter.
The lyrics started to make sense to Luka; she closed her eyes and reveled in the meaning and the body rubbing against her.
Don't you hesitate
When you have fantasies
Tell me how I can please
And I'll do it, I'll do it
I'll nibble on your negligee
Uhh, then I might just stop
And work my way down
From your neck to the floor
And lick my way up to the top
She dropped her head forward and brushed their cheeks together, the feeling was electric. Dampness formed between her thighs, she held back the natural movement of her hips and groaned when a warm tongue licked her neck and then Memphis was gone with the last of the lyrics ringing in her ears.
Tell me what you want
What you need
And I'll tell you what I'll do
(Supply every need that your body desires)
Baby I'm doing this just for you
Hey girl I said I'll do it...
Taking a deep breath, groaning and then wiping the sweat from her upper lip, she cast a sideways glance at Brumby and saw the toothy grin on her face.
"Well mate, ya need the fire extinguisher?" She threw her head back and laughed at the deep blush working its way up Luka's neck. "Come on Luka; help me carry the kids in the back." She pointed to where Sprout and Lia were sprawled out on the stage unconscious with their mouths hanging open.
"Holy shit Memphis!" CJ took her by her hand and led her over to a chair. "I was waiting for the sprinklers to come on to put out that fire you started!" She handed her a bottle of water and a robe to pull on. "Poor Luka looks like she's about to combust and the little ones fell off their chairs!" She rubbed her friend's shoulders and leaned in close to her ear. "I know there's got to be some men out there with wet crotches." She laughed when Memphis tilted her head back and gave her a glare. "Speaking of the combustible one, here she comes carrying Sprout.
"Is she OK Luka?" She jumped up from her chair and pointed to it. "Put her here and I'll get another for Lia."
"I think they both over heated out there." She glanced up at Memphis and blushed.
"Among others." Brumby remarked while putting Lia in another chair.
Memphis blushed and looked shyly to Luka. "I need some air, care to join me?"
"Ya two need more than air, a glacier would do nicely ta cool ya two off!" Brumby ducked the hand that Memphis threw out at her and snorted.
Memphis leaned up against the building, closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "Are you OK Luka?"
"Ohh nothing a glacier wouldn't solve." She joined Memphis against the wall and looked down into her flushed face. "I think half the men in the place fell outta their chairs."
Memphis turned and leaned her shoulder against the wall, ran her hand up Luka's sweat soaked silk shirt and around to pull her head down. "Can I make you fall over?" She didn't wait for an answer; instead, she brought their lips together in a deep longing kiss. They moaned into each other's mouths and pressed closer together. Long minutes went by as they searched out each other's mouths and only came apart when they felt themselves sliding down the wall. Memphis leaned her head against Luka's chest and moaned.
"Gods have mercy." She mumbled and wrapped her arms tighter around Luka's waist. "You have no idea how much I want you."
"If we didn't have to go back in there, I'd take you home and show you what I want." Luka brought their lips together and pulled back when a voice rang out into the night.
"There you two are!" Luka's cousin and Memphis' boss said from the doorway. "That was some kind of show you two put on and you Luka!" He slapped her on her arm. "Why didn't I know you were dating Memphis?"
Luka rolled her eyes and snorted. "Like you talk to me when I'm here."
"You scare the Hell outta me and everyone else in there and then Sprout and her table antics, you think I want patrons to know that I'm related to you two?"
"I see your point and I want to know where your bouncer is?"
"You know the local motel with the bars on the windows? He's doing two to five for assault and battery on his girlfriend. Wanna job?"
"OHH look at the nekkid girlies!" Sprout jumped up and down and slapped Lia on her shoulder. "All nekkid and we get ta see them!" Lia nodded her head and watched with wide brown eyes and a jaw hanging open.
"Ahhh?tits?big tits!!!" Lia forced out and then fell back into her chair. She yelped when the stripper known as Bounce straddled her, pulled her face in between her breasts, and gave her a lap dance. Sprout danced in a circle and hooted when Bounce moved away from a panting Lia. She gave out a yelp when her face was pulled into a tight stomach and large breasts rested on top of her head.
"I'd say you gave the little ones a night from their wildest fantasies." Luka whispered close to Memphis' ear and placed a kiss on her neck. "Thank you for doing that for them."
"My pleasure, I think they're cute, like little kids."
"Little monsters Memphis, little bebettes!" She pointed to where Sprout and Lia were hanging onto Bounce's thighs for dear life.
When Luka was able to breathe and walked without jerking across the floor after her private dance from Memphis, she grabbed Memphis hand and pulled her towards the side door. She had already given Sprout orders to head right home and leave the normal people on the streets alone. Taking a short cut down the alleyways, they came out one street over from home. Going around to the back door, Luka was opening the door when Memphis let out a loud yell and was yanked away from her.
"Ohh Luka, you must be slipping or is your mind some where else tonight?" Luka stepped closer and saw the man with a knife to Memphis throat. "Don't move or the other day walker gets it."
Steel blue eyes fell on the man's hand, a trickle of blood ran down where it had nicked Memphis neck. "What do you want Papon?"
"I want the stripper here, the boss wants her and if you play like he wants, she'll live?maybe." He laughed and pulled Memphis tighter to his body.
"You mean if I play nice, mais, I don't!" She stood with her hands behind her back waiting for a chance to throw her knives, she jumped forward when the pet's eyes bulged and he started to fall backwards while still holding onto Memphis. Before she could reach them, Memphis was free and the pet was suffering from an ugly compound break to his right arm. He lay on the ground gasping and looking down at the knife sticking out of his stomach.
"You killed me, you bitch!"
"Not yet you ain't dead." Luka growled and stomped on the blade of the knife. His eyes went wide and then blood bubbled from his gaping lips. "Now you're dead and gator chow." Memphis ran and fell into her open arms and held on tight to her, soft sobs were muffled in the silk of Luka's shirt. "It's alright Memphis, he was scum and deserved worse than what he got." She held Memphis tight until she stopped crying and just held onto her. "Go inside and I'll take out the trash."
"No I did it I'll help, but what are we gonna do with him?"
"Take him down to the river and toss his filthy ass in, the current will take him away from here and hopefully no one will find him before the creatures get him." Closing the back door, she looked shyly at Memphis. "Do you know how to drive?"
"Yeah why do you ask?"
"Because I don't feel like carrying dumb shit there all the way to the river and Sprout's not here to drive me."
Brows buried themselves into blond bangs. "You don't know how to drive?"
"Uuhhmm?nope, I have a nice truck but I don't know how to drive it." She gave Memphis a small grin and a shrug of her wide shoulders.
Continued in Part 2 (Conclusion)