Vampire nights, p.1

vampire nights, page 1

 part  #2.50 of  Vampire for Hire Series

 

vampire nights
 


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vampire nights


  VAMPIRE FOR HIRE:

  The Short Stories

  Teeth

  Vampire Nights

  Vampire Blues

  (Plus Bonus Material)

  by

  J.R. RAIN

  Acclaim for the novels of J.R. Rain:

  “Be prepared to lose sleep!”

  —James Rollins, international bestselling author of The Devil Colony

  “I love this!”

  —Piers Anthony, bestselling author of Xanth

  “Dark Horse is the best book I’ve read in a long time!”

  —Gemma Halliday, award-winning author of Spying in High Heels

  “Moon Dance is absolutely brilliant!”

  —Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, author of Understanding the Planetary Myths

  “Powerful stuff!”

  —Aiden James, author of Plague of Coins

  “Moon Dance is a must read. If you like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, be prepared to love J.R. Rain’s Samantha Moon, vampire private investigator.”

  —Eve Paludan, author of Letters from David

  “Impossible to put down. J.R. Rain’s Moon Dance is a fabulous urban fantasy replete with multifarious and unusual characters, a perfectly synchronized plot, vibrant dialogue and sterling witticism all wrapped in a voice that is as beautiful as it is rich and vividly intense as it is relaxed.”

  —April Vine, author of The Midnight Rose

  OTHER BOOKS BY J.R. RAIN

  The Lost Ark

  The Body Departed

  Elvis Has Not Left the Building

  Silent Echo (coming soon)

  All the Way Back Home (coming soon)

  A Small Sea Rises (coming soon)

  VAMPIRE FOR HIRE SERIES

  Moon Dance

  Vampire Moon

  American Vampire

  Moon Child

  Christmas Moon

  Vampire Dawn

  Vampire Games

  Moon Island (coming soon)

  SAMANTHA MOON SHORT STORIES

  Teeth

  Vampire Nights

  Vampires Blues

  Vampire Dreams

  THE JIM KNIGHTHORSE SERIES

  Dark Horse

  The Mummy Case

  Hail Mary

  Clean Slate (coming soon)

  THE SPINOZA SERIES

  The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo

  The Vampire Who Played Dead

  The Vampire in the Iron Mask

  THE GRAIL QUEST TRILOGY

  Arthur

  Merlin (coming soon)

  Lancelot (coming soon)

  WITH PIERS ANTHONY

  Aladdin Relighted

  Aladdin Sins Bad

  Aladdin and the Flying Dutchman

  Aladdin’s Odyssey (coming soon)

  Dragon Assassin (coming soon)

  WITH SCOTT NICHOLSON

  Cursed!

  Ghost College

  The Vampire Club

  Bad Blood (also with H.T. Night)

  Spider Web

  WITH AIDEN JAMES

  Temple of the Jaguar

  OTHER SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS

  The Bleeder and Other Stories

  Vampires Rain and Other Stories

  SCREENPLAYS

  Judas Silver

  Lost Eden

  AS EDITOR

  Ghost Soldier

  Ghost Fire

  Ghost Hall

  Ghost Tattoo

  Ghost Town

  NON-FICTION

  The Rain Interviews

  Vampire for Hire: The Short Stories

  Published by J.R. Rain

  Copyright © 2012 by J.R. Rain

  All rights reserved.

  Ebook Edition, License Notes

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to your favorite ebookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  TABLE OF CONTENTS

  Teeth

  Vampire Nights

  Vampire Blues

  Deleted Scene #1

  (from Vampire Moon)

  Deleted Scene #2

  (from Vampire Moon)

  Moon Dance: Rap Sheet

  Reading Samples

  About the Author

  Teeth: Fang’s Story

  A “Vampire for Hire” Short Story

  The defense attorney circled the witness box and studied the killer. The young man, with his head bowed and hands clasped loosely before him, looked as if he were in a confessional. The attorney nearly chuckled at the image.

  “Forgive me, Father, for I have sucked my girlfriend dry.”

  He stopped circling and now stood directly in front of his client. As usual, the young man ignored him and stared down into his lap.

  Remember, Aaron, thought the attorney. Your fate rests with me. I’m your friend here, not the enemy.

  The crowd was silent; so silent, in fact, that the attorney actually heard a pen drop, clattering loudly on the polished tiles. The lawyer, however, was not so delusional as to believe that those in the courtroom were holding their collective breaths and waiting for him. Indeed, he knew they were spellbound by the young man. The killer. Hell, the whole damn world seemed spellbound by the young man, whom the pressed had dubbed the American Vampire.

  The attorney removed his glasses dramatically—he always removed them dramatically—and spoke loudly enough for all to hear. After all, this was his big moment, too. This case would make his career.

  “Aaron, you have been found guilty for the murder of Annie Hox. Now a new jury must decide your punishment. In particular, they will decide if you are worth more alive than dead. The ball is in your court, Aaron.”

  The young man continued staring down at his hands, almost petulantly, like a scolded kid.

  A hell of a scolding, thought the attorney.

  Aaron Parker had always been a quiet young man, the very definition of introverted. Long ago he had learned never to trust anyone, especially not to open up to anyone. Now, sitting here for all the world to see in the witness box, he felt uneasy at best. The uncomfortable chair didn’t help, either.

  As Aaron shifted again, the lead defender paused in front of him, smelling of expensive cologne and looking, if anything, like he was enjoying himself. Aaron hated him. Aaron hated most people, but he especially hated his own attorney. The polished man looked like the older version of all the kids in school who had made fun of him. All the good-looking kids who had it good and easy.

  Aaron never had it easy. Ever.

  And so he hated the man, just like he hated all the others.

  Despite himself, Aaron inhaled deeply, drawing in the man’s cologne. Aaron always had a thing for scents and smells. In fact, he often thought of all his senses as being highly attuned. Especially his sense of taste.

  He looked past his attorney, his small darting eyes finding the faces of those sitting in the courtroom beyond. Hundreds of faces, belonging to everyone from family members and friends, to the media and the damn curious. Expressions ranging from revulsion to amusement to horror. And all were staring at him. Everyone one of them.

  Just another freak show, he thought.

  As he gazed at the crowd, as he watched those watching him, he did what he always did, what many in the crowd had noticed throughout the course of this outrageous trial:

  He opened his mouth, just a little, and the tip of his tongue poked out as he unconsciously ran it back and forth along his upper in
cisors. He did this for perhaps ten seconds—

  And then he opened his mouth a little more, as he always did. Now his roaming tongue stopped at his massive canines—teeth that projected down from his upper jaw like mighty ivory stalagmites—

  Wet, gleaming tongue sliding down one of the freakishly long stalagmites—the right one, in fact—down, down this massive fang, stopping finally at the tip. There it paused, and, like an elephant’s curious trunk, gently tapped the tip of the tooth. Tapped it hesitantly, as if testing it. Tapped it carefully, as if fearful of it. Tapped it again and again and again....

  “Aaron, can you please recount for the court the events that led to the killing of Annie Hox?”

  The long tongue retracted like a frightened turtle and his lips slammed shut and the young man turned his attention away from a frowning older woman sitting in the second row—a woman who seemed to be staring at him almost sideways, as if afraid to look the devil in the eye. Aaron Parker settled his gaze onto the smooth-shaven face of the defense attorney.

  “Where would you like me to begin?” Aaron asked shyly, speaking in such a way that his lips barely moved, a way that completely concealed his teeth.

  “At the beginning,” said the attorney.

  “The beginning...was a long time ago,” said Aaron.

  “Remember, Aaron, this is a new jury. They haven’t heard your case.”

  The young man chuckled softly. “All they had to do was turn on the TV.”

  “Please, Aaron, just tell us your story.”

  The young man inhaled deeply and motioned vaguely to his mouth. He said, “I suppose it all started when they grew in.”

  “They, Aaron?”

  “My teeth, of course.”

  “Thank you, Aaron, now will you please display your teeth to the jury?”

  Aaron felt his pulse quicken. He was always aware of his own pulse. Vigilantly aware. And it quickened now because showing his teeth went against his every instinct. Showing his teeth inspired questions. Showing his teeth induced ridicule. Showing his teeth had often gotten him beat up, and worse.

  “Please, Aaron, this is important.”

  Dance for us, monkey boy, thought Aaron.

  Not wanting to see their reactions, he closed his eyes and turned his face toward the jury box. And opened his mouth. He might not have seen their faces, but he heard the gasps. And he heard their fervent whisperings.

  I am more than my teeth.

  “That’s quite enough, Aaron,” said his attorney. “Thank you.”

  Now they know you’re a freak, thought Aaron.

  Yeah? So what else is new?

  He closed his mouth and slumped back in the chair, trying unsuccessfully to hide, and found himself staring up once again at the defense attorney. The man was indeed good-looking: muscular neck, strong jaw, square shoulders. Aaron went back to his clean-shaven neck, which was roped with thick muscle. And he kept on looking, searching really....

  Ah, there it is.

  The man’s jugular vein, pulsing steadily, strongly. Aaron’s stomach growled. Loudly.

  The attorney heard the young man’s stomach growl, saw the laser-focused intent in the young man’s eyes. He paused in mid-pace.

  Jesus, he’s staring at you again, he thought. No, he’s staring at your neck.

  The attorney, despite himself, swallowed.

  But Aaron was no longer thinking of the attorney. Indeed, as he gazed upon the man’s neck he found himself thinking of Annie Hox. Specifically, her blood. Her sweet, salty, precious, delicious blood.

  The young man felt an immediate swelling in his pants.

  The attorney, who found the young man’s gaze disconcerting at best, stammered slightly as he spoke again: “So your problems began, Aaron, when your teeth grew in?”

  “Yes.”

  “In particular, the canines.”

  “Yes.”

  “The canines—often called cuspids, dog teeth, or fangs—are generally the longest of the mammalian teeth. Most species have four per individual, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower, all separated by the shorter and flatter incisors.”

  Aaron almost smiled. “If you say so.”

  “Would it be accurate to say that your adult canines grew in too long?” said the attorney.

  This time Aaron did smile. “I would say so.”

  The attorney now moved over to the defense table, picked up an index card, and read from it: “Abnormal or excessive canine growth is a rare phenomenon, afflicting one in eleven million. It’s considered an atavism, or a throwback gene, something that was necessary to our species hundreds of thousands of years ago, but not so much now.”

  “Lucky me,” said Aaron.

  “How old were you when your adult canines grew in, Aaron?”

  “Seven.”

  “Did the other kids ever call you names?”

  “Of course.”

  “Kids can be mean,” said the attorney, frowning, nodding sympathetically. Personalize the examination, he thought. Humanize the killer. Reach out to the jury. “Cruel, even. What sort of names did they call you, Aaron?”

  The young man had spent a lifetime trying to forget the names, trying to forget the nightmare that was his childhood. But here, in this courtroom, there was no forgetting.

  Not after what you’ve done.

  And so he dutifully answered the question: “Aaroncula was a favorite. So was Scarin’ Aaron. But mostly they just called me Fang.”

  “Did not the kids at your school come up with a song?” asked the attorney.

  “Yes,” said Aaron. And thank you for reminding me of that, asshole.

  “Would you sing it for us, Aaron?”

  As the young man cleared his throat, the crowd leaned forward. This isn’t ‘American Idol’, people, he thought. Now, ‘American Vampire’ is a different story....

  He grinned inwardly and in a sort of sing-song voice, he sang: “Vampire, Vampire with his teeth he popped a tire.”

  The attorney smirked, and some in the courtroom actually laughed.

  Yes, funny, isn’t it?

  When the attorney seemed to remember that he was in a court of law, his expression returned to one of dour professionalism, and he asked, “How did you feel, Aaron, when the other kids made fun of you?”

  “Like a mutant. I felt hideous. Kind of like I do now.”

  The attorney held his gaze. “Did you believe them, Aaron? Did you believe you were a vampire?”

  “No, not at first. Hell, I didn’t even know what a vampire was. I went home one day and asked my mom what the kids were talking about and she told me. As she did so, I remember seeing the hurt in her face, and the shame of being poor and not being able to fix my teeth.”

  “You had no dental insurance?”

  “We did, yes. I think. But nothing cosmetic, from what I remember. The removal of the teeth was a personal choice and the insurance wouldn’t cover it.”

  “So you had to live with them? Your teeth, that is.”

  “Yes.”

  Aaron spied a small woman sitting alone at the back of the courtroom, huddled to herself and weeping silently. His mother. She caught his eye and tried to smile bravely. He nodded to her reassuringly. His teeth weren’t her fault, after all. One in eleven million. Dumb luck. But he knew she blamed herself for his deformity.

  “And the kids continued to make fun of you throughout school?”

  “Oh, yes.”

  “Would you say relentlessly?”

  “Yes,” said Aaron. “Everyday. Dozens of times a day, if not hundreds.”

  “And,” said the attorney carefully, turning to the jury, “like a child who’s told he or she is stupid or wouldn’t amount to anything—”

  “I began to believe it,” said Aaron.

  “You began to believe what, exactly?”

  Aaron knew the attorney knew the answer. This show was for the new jury. Just play along, thought Aaron. The man’s trying to save your life, after all.

&nb
sp; “I began to believe I was a vampire.”

  The lawyer let the words hang in the air. Aaron didn’t move, didn’t need to turn or look up to know that he had everyone’s attention.

  The lawyer, he knew, was building an insanity defense. I’m not insane. I just love blood.

  Slowly, he licked his teeth....

  “How old were you, Aaron, when you started to believe you were a vampire?”

  “Fifteen.”

  “Was there one defining event?”

  There was, of course, and the attorney knew it, and Aaron walked the courtroom through it, as well. It had happened one day when he cut his finger. Aaron was making dinner for his family. He liked to make dinner, liked to cook. Hell, he liked doing anything that kept him indoors and out of sight. He was chopping onions and wiping his eyes and not paying attention—when the blade went straight through the side of his index finger. It hurt like hell. The cut was to the bone. And there was blood. Lots of it. And as he bled, he just stood there at the kitchen sink, dripping, doing nothing to staunch the flow of blood.

  “And what happened next, Aaron?” asked his attorney.

  “I tasted it.”

  The attorney sucked in some air—and so did a lot of other people in the courtroom. One or two even turned their heads.

  Wimps....

  “You drank your own blood?”

  “Yes.”

  “Did you enjoy it?”

  “Oh, yes.”

  The lawyer paused and turned again to his notes, and Aaron’s tongue darted out between his canines. Like a snake’s tongue. In and out. In and out. Another bad habit, and one his tongue had seemingly evolved to accommodate, for it was itself now long and narrow. If Aaron wanted to lick the bottom of his chin he could.

  “So what did you do next, Aaron?”

  “I began cutting myself.”

  “And sucking your own blood?”

  “Yes.”

 
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