How to Elude a Vampire (VRC Vampire Related Crimes #2) - Alice Winters
Sometimes, I wonder how I’m still alive. I don’t think I’m necessarily reckless, although some might say that having a partner who is a vampire and joining a vampire-only police department makes me seem like it. But I honestly feel safer now than I’ve ever felt in my life. I’m surrounded by men and women who are faster and deadlier than any human, yet I feel like I’m covered by a security blanket. A blanket with fangs and grumpy personalities.
Growing up, my security came from me relying on myself—my mother did little to protect me—so I learned how to care for myself and keep myself safe. But now… now I have Marcus to watch over me and it’s oddly comforting.
“What are you contemplating over there?” Marcus asks.
I smile at the handsome vampire who is looming next to me. “How you got so lucky to end up with me.”
“I literally just asked if you wanted sprinkles on your ice cream and you got this far-off look on your face like you had to contemplate how sprinkles came into existence.”
I narrow my eyes. “Don’t get sassy with me,” I growl.
Karsyn, who’s in front of us in line at the tiny ice cream shop right next to the city’s main park, slowly turns to look at us. “Disgusting,” he growls, Russian accent coming through thicker because of his tone. The poor sweet man is just sexually frustrated because the man he spends all day ogling doesn’t seem to notice nor like him.
“So?” Marcus says.
“So?” I ask, unsure what we’re “so-ing” about since I might have gotten distracted by Karsyn’s rancid, yet kind of cute, attitude. I love it when he gets really fired up and starts spitting shit at people in Russian. It makes me feel worldly to be surrounded by such diverse people.
“Sprinkles. Do you want some motherfucking sprinkles?” Marcus asks.
“They fuck mothers?” I ask, acting aghast.
A mother who is two people ahead of us turns creepily slow to glare at us. She gets one look at Marcus and quickly turns back around. Marcus can be a bit menacing before you get to know him. And then once you know him, he’s adorable.
“I’m just going to get him a bowl,” Karsyn decides. “An empty bowl. And he can hold his empty bowl and forlornly regret being a smart-ass. He’ll be all like ‘Please, sir, I want some more’ and I’m going to laugh in his face.”
There are still three people ahead of us in line, so I have time to kill while harassing my two favorite people.
“I feel like you’re especially snarky today, Karsyn,” I say as I step forward and wrap my arms around his body. He instantly stiffens and starts barking stuff in Russian as I squeeze him tightly. I’m positive he’s saying stuff like “I love you” and “Hug me harder.”
“I think he’s liking it,” Marcus says. While Marcus, my boyfriend of six months, hates me interacting with anyone who could even remotely like me, he does love it when I harass Karsyn. We both do. It’s kind of a bonding experience. We bond over torturing Karsyn and Karsyn bonds with us because he must secretly like it.
“Get. Off. Me,” he growls, but it makes me squeeze him tighter. And then he’s spitting Russian words at me again.
“Marcus, I’ve been studying Russian and he just said he loves me!”
“Aw!” Marcus says, which sounds weird coming out of the often brooding and grumpy vampire, but again, it relates to annoying Karsyn, so everything’s game.
When I first joined the Vampire Related Crimes unit, or the VRC, after leaving homicide, a lot of the vampires really didn’t like me. Even Marcus, who now confesses his undying love to me every time he sees me, tried his hardest to get rid of me. Karsyn, on the other hand, downright hated me for a good month or so while the others tolerated me. They weren’t used to working with a human partner, since the VRC had never had a human employee before. Thankfully, with my amazing skill of suckering people into liking me, I soon had them all declaring our best friendship.
But out of it all, the thing that mattered to me the most was the way Marcus’s relationship with me changed. While I had plenty of things in my past that made me very grateful, no one has ever made me as happy as Marcus has.
“I’m going to teach you Russian someday so you can understand that I was telling you how irritating