Clod had a girl named Wanda on his lap with her hand in his pants. He had gotten hard, but it was the stiffness reserved for deep sleep. Having a full bladder or a lovely dream. Wanda knew this as much as she knew that playing with the man garbed in black wasn’t a far cry from playing with a stick of dynamite. When she was alive, she had seen Clod’s hand disappear into a man’s chest and reappear with the man’s heart. When she was alive, she didn’t see a human male. She saw a hurricane condensed into the halls of her former whorehouse. There had been a clatter and a crash and that had awoken her in her whore’s crib. She had untangled herself from a fat man who had been too drunk to get in up. She had stopped to empty the man’s pockets and if she hadn’t she probably would have remained alive.
As it was, she stole into the hall with nothing on but a pair of panties. The fat man’s money was clenched in her fist as she hurried down the hall, expecting the commotion to be a rowdy drunk who had too little money and not enough sense to walk away. The commotion kicked up louder and women were screaming. Maybe the drunk had a gun. Maybe he’d start shooting. She hustled along and realized, too late, that she had hustled in the wrong direction. Wanda stopped in her tracks and her fingers went slack, pouring the fat man’s money onto the scoffed wooden floor. One of the men that the whore house employed to keep things civil came flying through the door Wanda was planning to go through. He laid stretched out in a heap of broken door and splinters. She then saw Clod as the hurricane. She saw him throw his hand into the man’s chest and rip his heart out. He flung the heart away and turned toward Wanda. Wanda began to run in the other direction and so she didn’t see the other, Rein, coming behind her. She later learned that Rein hadn’t intended to turn her. He had just gone into a kind of frenzy, tasting a little of everyone. He left her half-drunk on the floor and then took her in when she turned up sobbing and confused one night.
“Pretty, pretty girl.” Rein had said, holding up her cheek and smiling. Rein had given her a still-live baby and she hadn’t felt bad when she drunk it. Rein had told her to wash Clod. She knew that Clod wasn’t a vampire, but she also knew that he wasn’t exactly human. She also knew that she wasn’t allowed to drink him. That was part of the reason she wanted him. When she took him by the hand and led him into a tub, the water turned a deep scarlet. All that blood. It had just dried on his skin and she kept wanting to put her mouth on him. She had blood to drink, but she wanted to know how he tasted. She settled for tasting his skin instead of his blood. She put her head in his lap at first, but got a kick in the ass by Hess, another one she couldn’t drink. It was a senseless bit of meanness and he plopped himself in a high-backed chair as if he were gloating. Possibly, he was gloating. He hadn’t told her to let Clod alone and she had played with men while other men watched before.
Clod’s member shriveled in her hand and she realized that he was looking at her. She didn’t have time to read the emotion on his face. She saw his wide, blue eyes and then he snatched her by her hair and pulled her away. She tumbled to the ground, but he hadn’t released her. He was pulling her, jerking her back and forth and she was afraid that he was attempting to part her from her scalp.
“What is this!” Clod screamed across the room at Hess.
“Somebody Rein made.” Hess sounded scared.
“Back alley trash. I’ve ascended to god-hood and you offer me trash. You’ve brought me whores and vagrants. I do not operate in the shadows, not anymore. You shall not either.” Wanda was sobbing and shivering, but she didn’t attempt to run. She figured that this man, this new man, had forgotten about her and if she attempted to move or fight, he would snatch her life away.
“I’ll do better. We’ll do better.” Hess said, sounding more and more like a scared child.
“Out in the open. Something shocking. Something horrible.” This new man seemed to have relaxed slightly, although he hadn’t loosened him grip on her hair.
“Yes.” Hess said quickly.
“Children. I want children. The men, with their guns, will come for dead children.” The new man said, drifting off into his own thoughts.
“Yes.” Hess said, just as quick.
“Keep this one. She’ll be a reminder. Never again.” With that, his hand went slack around her hair and he actually helped her to her feet. She wanted to run away at that point but her legs wouldn’t obey her. He turned to her and she knew what he was going to do before he did it. It was impossible to know, but she still saw it coming. He put his hand on her cheek with his thumb stretched out onto the bridge of her nose. It might have been mistaken for a tender touch but all of a sudden, there was a heat like the top of a hot stove. It burned and blistered her skin and when he took his hand away, there was a black handprint surrounded with deep purple and throbbing red. She knew that vampires could heal, but she also knew that this would never.