Exhausted, but determined to stave off the nightmares as long as possible, she sat up, grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. With any luck, a couple hours of Duck Dynasty after the news should lull her into a good, hard sleep.
Reaching for her glass of water, it was almost to her lips when what flashed across the screen caused it to slip from her hand, drenching the sheets. Terror turned her blood to ice. She could only catch every few words the news anchor uttered, as all her senses were focused on the beautiful young face staring back at her. Begging for help.
“…missing…week…Northwestern…Sarah Hill…notify authorities.”
Sweet. Baby. Jesus…this cannot be happening again.
The missing girl on TV—Sarah Hill—was the one Kate had been dreaming of.
“Thanks, darling.” Dev gave her one last kiss before he ushered her out of the private room.
“It was my pleasure, my lord,” she purred. Hmmm…yes, it was her pleasure indeed. He was nothing if not a generous lover.
“Can I service you again, my lord?”
“No, Delia. You know the rules and you know your way out.” His voice was unnecessarily hard. He only took a lover once. Human females tended to get attached rather quickly and that was a complication he just didn’t need. He only wanted one woman attached to him, but he’d yet to find her. He’d be sure to tell Ronson, the manager of his new club, Dragonfly, to ban Delia from returning. All the courtesans were to be screened thoroughly. Apparently Delia had grander illusions in mind than simply providing her body…and blood.
Devon Fallinsworth was a very successful businessman. He owned a series of fashionable nightclubs and high-end restaurants in the Midwest. Expansion was underway in several more cities, including San Antonio, Texas, and St. Louis, Missouri. His latest club, Dragonfly, had only opened two weeks ago and was already a huge success.
His clubs were his greatest accomplishment and his biggest success. The general area, always located on the main level, provided a traditional bar to his human patrons. The underground, however, provided a much-needed and controlled service to the vampires in his Regent. He offered a very pleasurable and well-paid job to human females and was able to create a safe environment for vampires to feed. Human females were revered in his clubs; they were not used and abused. They were safe and everything that happened in his feeding rooms was consensual or the offending vampire was banned from the premises for good. He’d had few incidents over the last century since he’d opened such rooms.
Dragonfly’s underground rooms, or Dragonfly UG as his vampire patrons referred to it, were highly secured to avoid accidental discovery by unknowing humans and looked just like the main level, with two major differences. The entire staff was vampires. And the back portion of all his underground clubs contained small private bedrooms, in the event a couple desired privacy. Many vampires could care less if they copulated in front of others, but some humans weren’t quite so open-minded.
“She seems clingy.” Renaldo, his lieutenant and best friend of over three hundred years, stood guard outside the feeding room. At six foot six, Ren stood an inch taller than Devon’s impressive six foot five frame and wouldn’t let him go anywhere without protection. Ren was enormous and strikingly GQ’ish handsome, earning him the nickname “Pretty Boy” among his men. Few dared saying it to his face, though. Dev did often.
“Stage eight, at least. She definitely needs to go. I think I might have heard wedding bells ringing in her head as I walked her out.”
“I could see the stars in her eyes, man.”
“Jesus Christ, that’s all I need. Make sure she gets her last check and isn’t allowed to return. I’ve got a few hours of work to do, so I’ll see you back at the house.”
“Sounds good. Manny, Thane, and Giselle are there. I’ll see you in bit. There’s a new little redhead that started last week. I think it’s incumbent upon me to determine if she’s a natural redhead.”
Dev laughed. Ren had a weird obsession for redheads. Dev preferred brunettes, himself.
“See you later, pretty boy.”
As he flashed, he heard Ren reply, “Fuck off, my lord.”
Colors of deep rich burgundy, chocolate brown, and opulent gold adorned his office, the favorite space in his house. Overly large picture windows lined the left side of the study and ceiling-to-floor bookshelves spanned the rest of the walls. Shelves were full to the brink with precious artifacts and books, old and new. He enjoyed reading and was well educated. Of course, he also had to keep up with the changing times, technology, and strategies for his many business ventures. He had to admit, he certainly preferred the technology of the twenty-first century. The Internet and his iPhone were invaluable.