American vampire, p.1
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       American Vampire, p.1

         Part #3 of Vampire for Hire series by J. R. Rain
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American Vampire

  I was in the same parking lot where a young lady had been killed not too long ago in connection with a case of mine. A case that had involved Kingsley.

  The parking lot was mostly empty. It was late Sunday night, so no surprise there. I was in a spot that afforded me a perfect view of the parking lot's entrance.

  I'm really doing this, I thought.

  I was a few minutes early. To my right was an alley that ran behind the restaurant. The alley was clean and dimly lit and led to the back entrances of the stores that ran along Harbor Boulevard. Potted plants were arranged outside the bar's back door, and a nearby fire escape appeared freshly painted. The alley itself was composed of cobblestones, like something you would see in an English village. I remembered the way the girl's blood had soaked between the stones, zigzagging rapidly away from her dying body.

  The moon was bright, but not full. Clouds were scattered thinly across the glowing sky. Glowing, at least, to my eyes. A small wind made its way through my partially opened driver's side window. I couldn't keep my hands from shaking, and so I kept them there on the steering wheel, gripping tightly, my knuckles glowing white.

  A car turned slowly into the parking lot, making a left from Chapman Avenue. Its headlights bounced as the vehicle angled up the slight driveway and into the parking lot.

  I'm really doing this.

  I hadn't expected to be this nervous. Fang knew everything about me. He knew my dirtiest secrets. So what did I know about him? I knew he was a lady's man. I knew he had a massive fascination for vampires. I knew he was mortal.

  And that was it.

  In a way, I loved Fang. He was always, always there for me. In my darkest hours, he consoled me. He lifted me up and reminded me that I was not a monster. I shared with him my heart, and in return he accepted it with tenderness and compassion. He was the perfect man. The perfect confidant.

  I didn't want to lose what I had with Fang.

  The car continued moving through the parking lot. I could hear its tires crunching. The car, I soon saw, was an old muscle car. A beautiful thing. Not quite cherried, but obviously well taken care of. It gave off a throaty growl, not unlike the growl of the werewolf the other night.

  I didn't want to lose Fang. I love what we have. Our connection was so rare, so helpful, so loving, so sweet, so important to me.

  I can't lose that.

  I wrapped my hands around my keys, which were still hanging in the ignition.

  This was a bad idea. I should never have agreed to this.

  "What am I doing?" I whispered, feeling real panic, perhaps the first panic I had felt in a long time. Far worse panic than when a nine-foot-tall werewolf approached me in my hotel room.

  And what if Fang isn't who he says he is? What if he's someone completely different? Someone untrustworthy?

  What if I have to silence him?

  I started rocking in the driver's seat. The throaty growl of the muscle car reverberated through the empty lot, bouncing off the surrounding dark buildings. The car pulled slowly into a parking space two rows in front of me.

  We were now facing each other. The windshield was tinted enough for me to have a hard time seeing inside. Still, I could see a single figure. A man.

  The driver turned the car off and the parking lot fell silent again. A moment later, the muscle car's headlights flashed twice.

  My heart slammed inside me. My right hand was still holding the keys. I could start the car now and get the hell out of here and forget this night ever happened, and Fang and I could go back to what we had.

  I could. But I didn't.

  I reached down and flashed my headlights twice in return. A moment later, the muscle car's driver's side door opened. A booted foot stepped out.

  Close to hyperventilating, I went to open my door but stopped short. Shit, I had forgotten about my seat belt. I hastily unfastened it and opened the door.

  I'm really doing this.

  As I stepped out of my van completely, the person opposite me did the same. The night air was cool. Sounds from the nearby bar reached us. Laughter. Music. The low murmur of a handful of conversations going on at once.

  I stepped around to the front of my minivan, and the figure in front of me did the same, stepping to the front of his car. He leaned a hip casually against the front fender. When I saw him, I stopped and gasped and covered my mouth with both hands.

  Fang grinned at me. "Hello, Moon Dance. "

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