His Captive Mortal A Vampire Romance - Renee Rose
The moon hangs high in the night sky when I exit the Tucson Center for Developmentally Disabled. I walk slowly, wincing. My grey-with-white-polka-dots ballerina flats are super cute, but they’re brand new and need to be broken in. Besides, any shoes I wear on a twelve hour shift that ends at midnight would leave my feet aching.
“Aurelia, wait up!” My coworker Gwen bounces out of the building and falls into step beside me. Her hair is high in a fresh ponytail, and her feet are encased in heels. I hurt for her.
“Girl, I don’t know how you have so much energy after a shift.” Although I can guess. Gwen’s younger than I am and part time, interning here before starting her master’s degree next fall.
“I’m a night owl, I guess.” She shrugs and extends her arm, keychain in hand, and unlocks the shiny new VW Beetle her dad bought her for Christmas. I wouldn’t have chosen bright banana yellow as a color for my car, but I have to admit, it suits my bubbly coworker. Added bonus for those on the late shift: it glows in the dark. “Hey, wanna go with me to a club?”
“Now? Are you serious?”
“Yeah,” Gwen pauses beside her car to redo her perfect ponytail. “There’s this new place I want to check out. Everyone says it’s straight fire.”
“What’s it called?” I ask politely, though I have zero intention of going anywhere tonight besides my bed. Maybe a short stop in front of the fridge if I’m feeling crazy.
Tingles run up my spine, and goosebumps rise on my arm like a cold wind just blew past me.
Gwen seems unaffected, blithely reapplying her shimmery lip gloss. I shudder, hard, and she notices.
“Yeah.” I rub my arm. “Someone just walked over my grave or something.”
Gwen gasps, her half glossed lips parted in horror. “What?”
“Nothing. It’s something my nana would say. It’s an expression. When you experience a chill--someone just walked over your grave.”
“Ewww,” Gwen says, but she doesn’t seem too worried because she finishes applying her lip gloss and drops the tube back in her purse. “So...club tonight?”
“Rain check? I’m pretty tired.”
Gwen pouts. “You always say that.”
That’s because it’s true. “I’m getting up early tomorrow. Work and school.”
“So boring,” Gwen says.
“Yep, that’s my life. Not all of us can be as glamorous as you.”
Gwen bites her lip. “I’ve been trying to get Chad to take me there for ages.”
I arch a brow, wanting to ask why she didn’t just ditch Chad and go herself. But Gwen would look aghast at me suggesting she ditch her perfect fiancé for a night.
“Hey, I know!” she brightens. “I can ask Chad to bring a friend for you.”
“Oh, please, no.” A blind date arranged by Gwen? “That’s so sweet, but no thank you. I’m not really looking for anyone. And if I were, I doubt some random guy I meet one night will turn out to be ‘the one’.” I do fake quotes around the one. It’s a concept she and I have talked about at length.
Gwen believes we get one true love. I don’t.
I know I’ve made a mistake mentioning the one when Gwen’s eyes grow wide and out sparkle her lip gloss. “You never know. He’s out there, looking for you. Fate could be trying to bring you together.”
“Well, Fate is going to have to send him straight to my apartment cause that’s where I’m going. Night, Gwen.” I turn to trudge home.
“Wait, you’re walking?” Gwen calls after me. “You don’t have a car?”
“Nope. It’s fine. I live close.” Five blocks—not that close, but close enough to walk. I walk faster in the opposite direction, declining Gwen’s offer of a ride with a wave.
The prickle on my neck persists, and I rub my arms as I walk. This is nothing new. For the past few days, I’ve gotten the sense that I’m being followed. So weird.
Out of the corner of my eye, something flickers. A ghostly white shape flutters towards me, and I jump five feet in the air before I realize it’s only a piece of paper. It lands at my feet, and I snatch it off the ground. I can read it clearly in the light of the full moon. “Black Tie Affair. Ladies Get in Free.”
It’s a flyer for a club. There’s a logo in the corner, and when I read it, I get another full body shiver.
Club Toxic. This is the club Gwen was talking about. If my nana were here, she’d say it