TITLE: Black Rose
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Inside the crowded club, the smell of humans hung heavy in the air. Behind the counter, I stood with my back to the customers waiting for service, bit my finger and held it over my coffee cup. Three round red drops of blood plopped into the dark liquid below. I licked my finger, sealing over the two puncture marks and turned around to watch the room. As I sipped the coffee, the scalding liquid hit my stomach with the force of a cyclone. The infusion of blood would make sure it stayed there.
People swung and gyrated on the dance floor to the hypnotic sound of salsa music. Sweaty and panting, they came and stood at the counter demanding water, beer, munchies and just a bit too much attention. Their scent permeated everything. My clothes, my hair, even the gleaming mahogany of the bar. The monster inside me threatened to uncurl, wanting to luxuriate in the smell. Inhaling deeply from my coffee, I shut my eyes, concentrating on the slightly acrid odor. You don’t feed from humans, I told myself, the ever-deriding voice inside my head stern and edged with anger. The voice—sounding way to much like my master—taunted me, telling me I was a fool to think I could run a club catering to humans.
When I opened my eyes, Nikolai reclined on a barstool across from me—a trick only he could pull off and make it look comfortable.