Mike’s grip on the steering wheel had already warned Crandall that his mind was elsewhere, and Crandall, waiting for him to get around to saying it, passed the ride to Blood Moon staring out the side window, thinking about vampires, their hunters, and the unrighteousness of it all to be stuck looking over his shoulder every night when he couldn’t care less if the Fangs prowled the streets of Boston preying on those stupid enough to be caught unaware.
“I’m still going to get jealous,” Mike said.
“Yeah, I figured.” Crandall rolled his head. His neck crackled. Fucking vampires kept him so damn tense lately.
“It doesn’t mean I don’t trust you. I just…I don’t think I can watch you flirt with her.”
“Fuck, Mike, I’m not going to be trying to get in her pants. Just… I don’t know. Nice, or something. I can’t be nice to girls now?”
Mike sighed. “I want you to be nicer to people. You know that. She’s got a thing for you though, and that I don’t like.”
“You should. Make her jealous. You get to take me home every night. You win without even trying.”
“Oh I try plenty,” Mike grumbled.
“Stop being an asshat.”
Another sigh. Then, “Okay, I warned you. Do what you will with it.”
“I’m going to ignore it.”
“And you call me an asshat.”
Crandall rolled his eyes, though with his gaze on the traffic, Mike probably didn’t notice. “If the shoe fits,” Crandall said.
They fell into a comfortable silence despite the name calling. As far as Crandall was concerned, nothing more needed to be said. Mike didn’t like it, but he trusted Crandall, and Crandall expected he’d get the information they needed without much effort on his part. Just a little friendliness — it went a long way, or so that saying went.
When Mike finally pulled the Mustang into Blood Moon’s back lot there weren’t many cars, but one immediately caught their attention: A black panel van with dark tinted windows all around, including the windshield.
“Isn’t that illegal?” Mike said, glaring at the vehicle parked near the back door.
“And how do they get from the van to the building? An umbrella? Sunblock? A fucking coffin?”
“You couldn’t transport many coffins in that thing,” Mike said. “Maybe it’s for emergencies.”
Crandall swung his door open. “Maybe they stay here. The only windows on the building are all blacked out.” He pointed up the side. “Including the ones that don’t open onto the club floor. That’s probably the office.”
Mike studied the side of the building. He hadn’t noticed the windows previously. They only visited in the daylight once, for that first fateful audition. He mentally mapped out the brief visit up to Angelo’s office after their initial gig. “Yes, I agree. Though it’s probably best not to ask,” he said. “Let’s go.”
As they approached the back door, Crandall made a rude gesture. Mike followed his snarling gaze to a small black semi-sphere mounted above the door. Security camera. He grabbed Crandall’s arm and lowered it. “Do you have to aggravate them?”
“Yes,” Crandall said. “They piss me off every fucking night.”
The door swung open and a tall vampire towered over them. The trio studied each other in silence for several seconds. The vampire wore his ashy brown hair long and it hung straight down his back and over his shoulders to mid chest. He had sharp features and hazel eyes that bore into Mike and Crandall as if his expression alone could send them on their way. If they had been normal humans, it would’ve, but instead the urge to destroy the Immortale raced through their veins and Crandall pulled his hand away from Mike’s grip to close his fingers around the stake on his belt.
“Who the fuck are you?” Crandall asked, his voice low, wary, and dangerous.
Mike stiffened, torn between keeping a close eye on the vampire and stepping in front of Crandall to force his lover to refocus and control the hunter instinct.
The vampire smiled, but it was far from friendly. “I know who you are,” he said.
“So fucking what.” Crandall pulled his stake half out of the holster.
Without taking his gaze from the vampire, Mike rested a hand on Crandall’s and said, “Let’s get on with this.”
Up Next: Push