Title: Guilty Pleasures
It took everything I had not to step back from him. but damnit, undead or not, he was still Willie McCoy. I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction.
He said “You ain’t human any more than I am.”
I moved to open the door. I hadn’t stepped away from him. I had stepped away to open the door. I tried to convince the sweat along my spine there was a difference. The cold feeling in my stomach wasn’t fooled either.
“I really have to be going now. Thank you for thinking of Animators, Inc.” I gave him my best professional smile, empty of meaning as a light bulb, but dazzling.
He paused in the doorway “Why won’t you work for us? I gotta tell em something when I go back.”
I wasn’t sure, but there was something like fear in his voice. Would he get in trouble for failing? I felt sorry for him and knew it was stupid. He was undead, for heaven’s sake, but he stood looking at me, and he was still Willy, with his funny coats and small nervous hands.
“Tell them, whoever they are, that I don’t work for vampires.”
“A firm rule?” Again, he made it sound like a question.
There was a flash of something on his face, the old Willy peeking through. It was almost pity. “I wish you hadn’t said that, Anita. These people don’t like anybody telling them no.”
“I think you’ve over stayed your welcome. I don’t like to be threatened.”
“It ain’t a threat, Anita. It’s the truth.” He straightened his tie, fondling the new gold tie tack, squared his thin shoulders and walked out.
I closed the door behind him and leaned against it. My knees felt weak. But there wasn’t time for
me to sit here and shake. Mrs. Grundick was probably already at the cemetery. She would be standing there with her little black purse and grown sons, waiting for me to raise her husband from the dead. There was a mystery of two very different wills. It was either years of court costs and arguements or raise Albert Grundick from the dead and ask.
Everything I needed was in my car, even the chickens. I drew the silver crucifix from my blouse and let it hang in full view. I have several guns, and know how to use them. I keep a 9mm Browning High Power in my desk. The gun weighed a little over two pounds, silver bullets and all. Silver won’t kill a vampire, but it will discourage them. It forces them to have to heal the wounds, almost human slow. I wiped my sweaty palms on my skirt and went out.
Craig, our night secretary, was typing furiously on the computer keyboard. His eyes widened as I walked over the thick carpeting. Maybe it was the cross swinging on its long chain. Maybe it was the shoulder rig tight across my back and the gun out in plain sight. He didn’t mention either. Smart man.
I put my nice little courderoy jacket over it all. The jacket didn’t lie flat over the gun, but that was okay. I doubted the Grundicks and their lawyers would notice.
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Copyright (c) Laurell K. Hamilton, 1994. All Rights Reserved.
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