Part 2 of teaser Friday (posted on Saturday…sorry) is a piece from the novel itself in which Dori is coached by her sire.
“So,” he began with an upbeat tone, “let’s begin. Pretend you’re sitting at a bar and a man takes the stool next to you. What do you do?”
“Is he drunk or sober, married or single?” I asked, meeting his eyes.
“For your sake, I hope he’s rip roarin’ drunk and married to a shrew. What the f*** difference does it make? He’s your next meal, sweetheart. That’s all you need to care about.”
“I don’t mess with married men and I don’t like taking advantage of alcohol-impaired ones.” I lifted my chin a little. He might dress me up, but he couldn’t change who I was inside.
He slammed his fist on the desk and leaned forward with narrowed eyes. “Dori, I’m not in the mood for this tonight, which reminds me, did you break into the blood bank again?”
“Uh…yes,” I said in a small voice. “See, I almost had this one guy, a mugger, was chasing him through the park, but he stole a bike, hopped on it and rode off. Got away. Poof.” I sounded more glib than I felt.
“No more. You can’t keep doing that. You’ll get caught and endanger all of us. Stay away. Do you understand, Dori?”
I nodded but crossed my fingers behind my back.
“Okay, so back to our scenario. What would you say or do?”
“I..uh…I guess I’d ask him where he was from?”
Donovan rubbed his chin and shrugged, “That’s as good a start as any. So he says, ‘I’m from Omaha. I’m here for a shower curtain ring convention.”
A giggle escaped me. “Shower curtain ring? Ha ha.”
He frowned, “You got a problem with shower curtain rings, lady?”
“Why no, Dell Griffiths, I’ve no problem at all with them,” I quipped.
“Who’s Dell Griffiths ? My name is Jerry Donovan .” He flashed a huge grin at me but kept his fangs retracted. I did the same, hoping mine stayed out of sight. I didn’t know how to retract them yet. “Can I buy you a drink, Miss….”
“It’s Dori, Dori… Santiago .” I extended my hand as if to shake his.
“Okay stop there. Two things. Don’t make fun of what they do and never give your real name, not even a part of it.” He raised his brows at me then rose and strolled to his bar and poured two shots of whiskey. After depositing one in front of me, he returned to sit with an expectant look on his face and said, “And who is Dell Griffiths?”
“Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”
“Dell Griffiths was a shower curtain ring salesman from the movie of that name,” I explained. I took a sip of the whiskey but it burned my throat and made me cough.
“Ah. You were making fun of me. No, Dori, bad.” He downed his shot with a toss of his head then hissed as it slid down his throat.
“I know. You’re right. Sorry. Let me try again.” I straightened in my chair then launched into a new spiel that I knew he’d like. “Nice to meet you, Jerry. How long are you in town?”
Donovan nodded then stood and moved to the front of his desk where he perched on the edge in front of me, his arms crossed at his chest. “Well…Dori…I’m here for a few days and I hope I will get to see more of you.” He wiggled his eyebrows at me and I couldn’t help but giggle.
“I live right around the corner, you want to get out of here? I have some award-winning etchings that I’d like to show you.” I winked at him then smiled.
“And Jerry has now ducked out the back door after telling you he needed to make a quick trip to the little boys’ room. You showed me your fangs,” he said with utter seriousness. He rose and picked up the bottle of whiskey and poured himself a second shot then topped my glass off. “But other than that, you did okay. Cheers,” he said then clinked glasses with me.
“Gah! I forget about them every time. Let me try again.” I cleared my throat and collected my thoughts then stood and moved to his side. Walking two fingers up his chest, I glanced at his face and moved my lips near his ear and said, “So… Jerry …I need new shower curtain rings. Do you, uh, do private consultations? I live just two blocks from here” I pulled back and lifted a single eyebrow, my mouth pursed into a moue.
Donovan froze and peered at me, a quizzical look on his face that slowly melted into a lop-sided grin. “Very good. You see? You can do this if you commit yourself to it.”