By: Patricia McCarthey
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Hanging back in the shadows, under the soaked canopy, at the south entrance to her favorite Thai restaurant, Gertrude watched closely as the shorthaired man cracked a fierce walloping slap across the young girl's face. She cowered under his power as he hit her repeatedly with a sharp backhand, turning her cheek into a puffy, swollen, red mound of quivering fear. He was dressed slickly in black cowhide leather, a long overcoat hanging beyond his knees, and finely polished, gold tipped shoes. Gold rings covered each finger, reflecting off one large, dangling, gold emblem worn around his neck. Gertrude immediately surmised he was a pimp, dressed to the nines, no doubt bought on the back of the girl's extra-curricular activities, while she contended with cheap, torn rags. She had watched him before, observed his iron-fisted approach in dealing with women, from atop her bedroom window. Her apartment was across the restaurant, where often Gertrude would select suitable take-out meals from the irregular clientele.
Calmly, deliberately, Gertrude stubbed out her cigarette and sauntered down the short flight of stairs, exiting out the back door, walking toward the pimp, who was yelling obscenities at the young girl, threatening to lock her up in a basement dungeon until she turned over every penny. Gertrude lightly tapped his shoulder, startling the man. He whipped around and unleashed his violent anger, hurling threats in her direction. Gertrude barely registered a response. Her eyes locked on the terrified, bewildered stare of the girl. "Why don't you leave, honey? Your big daddy is going to become my midnight snack in a few shakes!" The young girl inched away, giddy with the prospect of escaping. Gertrude's interruption was enough to distract the man, whose hand was now clamped around her neck, impressing upon her the importance of minding her own business. "You lookn' for a blade to be stuck in your belly, b-e-e-a-t-c-h?" Gertrude found the colloquialisms mildly amusing in the city she called home. "Now, now, my friend, is that any way to address a lady?" He smiled a broad, dashing smile of manicured teeth, closing tighter his grip around her neck. "Leave now!" demanded Gertrude to the girl. Her eyes changed, no longer the color of sky-blue he originally had seen, now transformed into blood red, vengeful animosity. "Say goodnight, darling," urged Gertrude to the pimp, who merely laughed at her gesture, clenching his fist, pulling back his arm, readying himself to haul off a sucker punch to her face. It was all the instigation Gertrude required. In a blink, without forethought, without remorse, without doubt, her body rose, forward, gracefully toward his exposed neck, puncturing his dark skin with canine-like teeth, the ends pointed and razor-sharp. She plunged her venomous desire into the main artery and gulped, draining the essence of his life force. It was over within seconds. Gertrude stood erect as his body dropped to the cement; his eyes wide open in utter disbelief. She wiped the excess blood from the corner of her mouth and grimaced. "You smoke too much...or rather I should say you smoked too much.... past tense, after all." She chuckled to herself and noticed the young girl had slipped away.
Constable Kevin McCarthy witnessed it all, eating Pad Thai from his back table, adjacent to the window. "How extraordinary," he silently mouthed the words, pressing upon his crotch, keenly aware the power of this woman had instantly aroused in him; an animalistic urge to follow. He pulled out several bills from his wallet and tossed them onto the table, dashing out. Gertrude had already turned the corner. It was late. Her nighttime activities could begin, typically characterized by two to three feedings, generally outside the city boundary. She never wanted to draw unnecessary attention to herself, if it could be helped at all. But Constable McCarthy was an undercover narcotics officer, accustomed to quick-thinking pursuit. He caught up to Gertrude and walked behind with heavy footsteps. He wanted her to notice him. Gertrude ceased walking. Constable McCarthy stopped. His heart palpitated. His eyes were transfixed on the brunette beauty before him. Her hips were sublime. Her hair fell in curly wisps on her shoulders, leading to her small back. Her blouse clung tightly to her body, inches above her rotund exterior. He wanted to gaze upon her robust bosom. Gertrude sensed his presence. She spoke, "...a man who follows is like a curious cat.... better be careful." Constable McCarthy placed his hand overtop his gun, feeling the heavy weight, concealed behind his jacket. He had no intentions of using his weapon. He only wanted to comfort himself that it was there if needed. "I saw what you did at the restaurant," he said, "...unbelievable...and wow!...that's all I can say. I think you're stunningly beautiful. Can I buy you a coffee?" Gertrude was amused. "You mean to say can I buy you a doughnut?" He laughed, nervously. "That's a common myth about us cops," he replied. "Myths are my specialty," pointed out Gertrude. She eyed him up and down, beginning at the tip of his head, observing his thick, dark, coarse hair, dropping her gaze lower, passing across his muscled torso, dropping even lower to his enlarged groin, and finally resting on his shoes, soft, dark, crushed suede. She liked his looks instantly.
The coffee shop was practically vacant. "I don't normally do this," said Constable McCarthy. "Usually I'm very fussy about meeting women. In my line of work, I have to keep a low profile.... I deal with the dregs of society, the worst that life has to offer." He scratched his chin. Gertrude was impressed with his clean-shaven face; his eyes were vibrant. "What a coincidence! I, too, come across the scum-bags of life in my line of work." She tossed back her hair and laughed. "I'm almost afraid to ask.... what line of work is that?" He didn't blink when he asked such a direct question. "Why the work of a hungry, heroine vampire, of course." Gertrude spoke matter-of-fact, making no bones about her unusual persona. She looked him straight in the eye and as she smiled, her hand dove under the table, resting on his lap, inching toward his man o' war appendage. Constable McCarthy straightened his back. He looked toward the counter; to reassure himself no one was within earshot of her conversation. His voice lowered to a whisper. "Sweet Jesus.... that's what I thought I saw but I didn't want to really believe it.... I mean...come on.... how is it possible?" He reached his hands across the table and touched her. An electric current pulsed, running up his arm, tingling in his ear. He wanted this woman. He wanted her in the worse way possible. He would kill for her. He would do anything for her. "There are things in this world that no single philosophy can comprehend. I'm an anomaly and have been for almost two centuries. I kill only those who have no respect for life, or those who make other's lives a sheer misery. The world is in a constant state of flux, people dying and being born by the thousands each day." Constable McCarthy was swimming in his head; his thoughts returned back to the restaurant. He had to tell her. "I got rid of the body for you." He leaned further across the table and touched her with his other hand, while Gertrude's probing fingers unzipped his jeans and snuck inside to the awaiting prize. "That's excellent and very thoughtful of you. Generally, I just leave them where I drop them. A fuss is rarely made over the demise of one criminal." Constable McCarthy swallowed hard. He realized it would be difficult to stand up in the coffee shop for obvious reasons. Her warm hand was wrapped around his eager boy, squeezing as she talked, stroking as she looked. "You're not planning on killing me are you?" asked Constable McCarthy. Gertrude laughed heartily. "Good heavens no! That would be counter-productive to my raison d'etre...to rid the world of scum. Isn't that the primary reason why you became a law enforcement officer? I must tell you I'm particularly fond of police. It must be the uniform or the fearless nature...I don't know which it is...I just know I find your kind irresistible." He warmly reached over and planted a passionate kiss, inwardly realizing by the end of the night, his arms would be wrapped around her voluptuous body, his heart and soul becoming hers. Gertrude had a special feeling also about this man, who showed no fear for her. As a general rule, few men or women rarely matched Gertrude's cunning behavior.
Sergeant Stickler was enraged with Constable McCarthy, who had failed to check in at his regular time. McCarthy was on stake out at the Royal Thai House, having spent six months trying to get close to Wilfred Blizzard, a notorious street pimp who sidelined in crack cocaine, as well as racketeering and gambling. The Department had made promises to the Mayor to clean up the streets, and Sergeant Stickler's reputation was on the line. He was going to demote McCarthy to desk filing if his prize-case was thrown into quandary. He dialed his cell number, aware that his blood pressure was crawling upward. The ring registered four tones before being answered. "Greetings and salutations!" came the warm-hearted, female voice on the other end. "Where the Hell is McCarthy!" He was enraged. "I believe he's just about to step out of the shower. Shall I pass the phone to him?" Gertrude got up out of bed, naked, the blinds were firmly shut, keeping out sunlight, as she strolled toward the shower. It was early morning. Both her and Constable McCarthy had spent a phenomenal night together, culminating in protestations of love and an exchange of vampire power. It happened naturally as would the turning of blooming flowers to sunlight in morning. He gave himself to her, gave up his human existence, and gave up his ability to walk in broad daylight, for the love of a woman he had barely known for less than half a day.
Constable McCarthy spoke into the receiver. "Lemme guess.....Sergeant Stickler, I presume. What a lovely surprise." His voice dripped with sarcasm. McCarthy leaned out of the shower and touched the svelte figure of his new love, Gertrude, brushing his hand across her convex belly, sticking his baby finger into her button and poking. Gertrude laughed. "We should get ready for sleep soon, my love. The day shall never be yours again but the nights will become your domain of unimaginable power." He barely heard the screaming, ranting and raving of Sergeant Stickler on the other end. "You stupid bastard...you screwed up the stake out and now I've got the Mayor riding my ass because a dead body was found in the dumpster, Blizzard's body!" Again McCarthy's mind was focused entirely on Gertrude. "Yes, my love, I'm yours for the night eternal. I'm turning in my badge this very minute." He let the cell phone slide out of his hands, falling into the tub, crashing against the porcelain with a loud clang. An irritated voice was barely heard through the suds circling the drain. McCarthy stepped out and presented his new vampire body to Gertrude. She observed his puncture wounds and leaned up to kiss them. He, in turn, turned over her wrist and kissed her puncture wounds where he fed earlier that night, to incite the transformation. "I never thought I'd be hit with the thunderbolt of love, an unexpected gift. But I don't think I've never been any happier in my life."
Gertrude grabbed a towel from the rack and draped it around his waist, pulling his body into hers. She dropped to her knees and slipped her head under the towel, between his legs. McCarthy looked down at the bulging mound and smiled. "I couldn't have wished for a better partner!"