A guitar player sat on the street corner, playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue and making it sing.
He had a strong scent of pumpkin pie and whipped cream. Ambrose was drawn to him.
The man’s fingers danced through a convoluted tangle of notes.
“You play very well.”
He glanced up at Ambrose and kept playing.
“I know how to make you play so much better.”
The man stopped.
“Are you interested?”
“I’m always interested in learning how to advance in my abilities.”
Ambrose managed to keep himself from drooling. “Then, come. Come with me.”
“Let me pack up my instrument first. This thing’s my livelihood. I can’t afford to have it stolen or broken.”
Ambrose came close to screaming from impatience and hunger. “Of course. Take your time.”
So, he took his time.
I should just grab him and run.
The scent of black licorice and lime grabbed his attention from the guitar player.
Raven? He glanced around the busy intersection.
Panic jolted him as a sound filled his head. It wasn’t a scream or even a shriek. It was nothing but the sound of wordless, voiceless fear.
Ambrose ran out into the street and glanced around, trying to pinpoint the source.
Cars sped around him in impatient, blaring flurries.
The sound grew louder, shriller.
There! Ambrose ran across the street and into the alley near The Red Envelope. “Raven!”
At the far end of the alley, a hunter held a red and black Bossman 375 to Raven’s chest.
“I didn’t do it, sir.” Raven said softly.
Ambrose smiled. so hungry
He ran at the hunter, grabbed him by the throat, and shoved him away from Raven and up against the wall.
The hunter pulled the trigger, but the bolt went wild.
“Raven. Get out of here.”
The other vampire didn’t waste time with questions or answers. He ran out of the alley.
Ambrose dug his claws into the hunter’s neck. “Just so you know, I had a lovely meal all laid out in front of me, just waiting for a bite. And you interrupted me. You with your cheap twenty-five cent garage sale whore cologne scent.”
“Cry me a river, monster.” He raised his weapon to Ambrose’s chest.
Ambrose smirked. “Really. I don’t know why you waste your time with the 375. The 550 is a far superior product.”
“How would you even know that?”
“Years of experience. The 375 is just a cheap amalgamation of scrapped car parts. It jams up so easily. Like right now. This one’s all jammed up.”
“No, it isn’t.”
“It is. The 375 is reliable up to 15 shots. After that, you might as well throw it away. Even if you manage to unjam it, it will be good for only two more shots before it acts up all over again. If you don’t believe me, open your weapon. See for yourself.”
“I could do that. Or I could just shoot you.”
“And it will be jammed up. Trust me. I know.”
“You’re trying to play with my mind.”
“Maybe. You want to take that chance that I’m not?” Ambrose released his neck. “Go on. I’m waiting.”
Judging by his expressions, the hunter had some fierce internal monologue going on.
just check it already
The hunter gave in. He unfastened the back of the weapon.
All of his attention was diverted.
He smashed the Bossman 375 out of his hands. It hit the ground. The hunter started to react.
But he was all too late.
Ambrose tore the hunter’s coat open, pushed him against the wall, and dug his fangs into his neck.
“No. No! No!” He flailed his arms in a useless fashion. “Stop!” His hands twisted and curled. “I don’t want to…I don’t want to…”
All of his objections were muted by the blood high.