Real Vampires Dont Wear Size Six


Chapter One

"The vampire council is all for running you out of town, Glory." Damian frowned at me, for once not bothering to put on his sexy vibe.

"No! Austin is my home now. I have friends, my business." Could I be at any more of a disadvantage? I'd just stepped out of the shower when I'd heard that knock on the door. I'd hoped it was Blade, my boyfriend, who'd been sulking since we'd almost broken up recently. So I'd thrown on a robe and dashed to the door. Now I tightened the sash on my admittedly ratty robe and jerked off my shower cap.

"That business is part of the problem, Glory. Vintage Vamp's Emporium. You know we like for vampires to stay under the radar here, and then you name your little store something like that." Damian Sabatini always made moves on a woman, even one without makeup and with bed head. The fact that he looked serious and was pacing around me like I was a piece of furniture worried me.

"Vamps are also Roaring Twenties hotties, you know that. What's up with these council members? Where's their sense of humor?" I grabbed Damian's sleeve. "Help me out here, Damian."

"I know what vamps are. I got lucky with quite a few, back in the day." Damian smiled and suddenly snapped to the fact that I was naked under my robe. "And I did go to bat for you. Explained that my sister had painted that mural of a vampire on your wall as a joke."

"Flo did." His sister, Florence da Vinci, is my best friend. She had spent a long lifetime admiring artists up close and personally. Her mural had caused a burst of publicity that had brought me business, but also some vampire rumors.

Damian's eyes gleamed in a way that reminded me his nickname was Casanova. Okay, I could use that. I locked the door and gestured to the couch. "Sit, talk to me. Tell me what I can do to fix this. You want a bottle of something?" I drink synthetic blood. I happened to have several different brands on hand for a change.

"No, thanks." Damian patted the seat next to him. "You flashed red eyes at Florence's wedding. Several council members saw them. We all know what that means and it's what really got the get-rid-of-Glory thing moving. We don't tolerate demons in Austin."

"Yes, well, I was possessed. Past tense. And my temper got the best of me that night." I collapsed next to Damian. He was a friend. We'd figured out a long time ago that we weren't going to have a love connection. Or at least I'd figured that out. I plucked his hand off my knee where my robe had parted and smiled. "As I was saying, I had a demon on board, but she's gone now. My friends arranged an intervention and Alesa went screaming back to hell. I'm all better now. Good as gold."

"I'm happy for you. But I'm not sure everyone on the council will be reassured. The best way to prove your goodness to the members would be an act of contrition. Do a favor, perhaps." Damian leaned back and I realized he was trying to scope out my cleavage. They didn't call him Casanova for nothing.

There was a thump in the hall and I jumped up. "What was that? Is there someone out there?" I looked for a weapon and came up with my hot pink umbrella. Lame, but better than nothing. At least it had a point on it.

"Relax. I have other tenants in this building, don't I?" Damian put his hand on my shoulder and took the umbrella, leaning it against the wall. "You're still on edge, I think. That brush with the demon obviously upset you."

"Of course it did! I was on the fast track to hell." I sighed and plopped into the chair across from the couch. "How am I supposed to make the council happy? I am demon-free. Ask your sister. Flo and Richard came back from their honeymoon for just one night. They're the ones who did the ceremony that got that demon out of me."

"That's good, that you have reliable witnesses." Damian sat and leaned forward.

"Blade was here too. And Valdez." I sighed. It had been quite a night. Everyone I loved. Who loved me. Jeremy Blade - Jerry - was the boyfriend and my sire, the vampire who'd turned me. Rafael Valdez was the shape-shifter who'd been my bodyguard until recently.