Sunday, September 25, 2016

(27) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir



(Del)

I can’t believe what Trev did. I’m going to be, well not famous but at least someone else will see my work besides me and him. Of course that doesn’t mean that anyone will like it. But damn.

I signed the contract and with his help took more of my pieces to the shop, even some more of the paintings. He was funny. He kept looking at the paintings, trying to pretend that maybe he liked them after all but I could tell he didn’t. I hope it’s just him. Time will tell I guess.

I like him. He’s fun to be with though I don’t think I’ll ever tell him that. He’s got this ‘don’t touch me’ attitude he puts on when he doesn’t know I’m around, or when we’re out in public. He rarely smiles which is too bad because it makes him look more human when he does.

Yes, I know he’s human, well half human technically. But he acts like he’s got only one reason to live and that’s to kill the Vampyres, so that part of him comes out too much. Sometimes even when we’re together. I watch him eyeing everyone when we go out to grab something to eat. I know he has that sword of his with him. And I know if he sees one he’ll forget I’m even there in his need to go after the creature and kill it.

I also know, though he’s never told me, that he sleeps with anyone he can snag. My kind, tourists, any one he goes after that will let him. And hell, who wouldn’t let him? He’s sexy as hell and when he lets his guard down a nice man as well. Again, nothing I’d ever tell him to his face. I don’t want him thinking I like him as more than a friend because that’s all he’ll ever be.

I don’t want a man in my life, not that way. I never met one that wasn’t either a bastard, a cheat, or out to get what they could from me. Except…maybe...him. But I know if I let my guard down too much around him he’ll leave. He’ll have his way with me and then leave because men do that with hookers—male or female.

So we’re just friends. And we’ll remain so until one or the other of us move out of here. And who knows, it might be me if my art work sells. Move out and perhaps even go back to finish school. Dream on, I know, but still, it could happen.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Come visit 'The Diner' - out today.

The Diner
http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29_105&products_id=1880

A mysterious man has come to Spirit Falls. Does he have something to do with the new diner, or maybe the disappearance of the town's mayor? Sheriff John Darkman needs to find out the answers to both questions.

Noah Graham is also curious about the mystery man and the new diner. Then he meets the man, Arik Dalca, who offers him a job as a waiter there.

When the mayor reappears and begins to sicken, John and Noah discover the real reason Arik has come to town. Shocked and horrified, they are drawn into what is happening in their town.

In the process of trying to stop the horror, Noah begins to fall for Ewan, one of Arik's team members, and John is drawn to Arik himself. Can the four men -- and the town -- survive what is to come?

EXCERPT:
    With the permission of their respective bosses, Noah and Cody had joined in the search for the mayor. The team they were with was responsible for checking the north side of Spirit River from the top of the falls down to where it went under the bridge, a quarter of a mile from the Irish Rose, and entered the town proper.

    "I really, really hope we don't find him," Cody said as he studied the rocks along the side of the falls. "I mean ..."

    "I know what you meant," Noah assured him. "We want him found, but alive. Not here or at the bottom of the falls, torn to shreds by the rocks."

    "Exactly." Cody shivered.

    They continued their trek, moving slowly; afraid they could miss something if they didn't. At one point a shout was heard over the roar of the water. They turned in unison to look back at one of the two other men on the team. He was kneeling on a rock, peering down into the water. A moment later he stood, shaking his head and waving them on.

    "False alarm," Cody said with a sigh of relief.

    Noah nodded, glancing toward the top of the falls. "Who the hell is he?" he asked, pointing up. "I saw him there yesterday."

    "No clue," Cody responded. "Never saw him before that I know of. What's with the hat? It makes him look like something out of Solomon Kane or Indiana Jones."

    "Except he's not wearing a longcoat, or whatever it's called, if he's going for the Kane look."

    As they watched, the man turned abruptly, stepping off the rocks onto dry land and vanished into the trees.

    "Just like he did yesterday. There one minute, gone the next."

    "He really is a vampire hunter and he staked Mayor Dunn then took him up there and threw him over the falls," Cody said with a grin. "Naw. The mayor goes out in the daylight. Scratch that thought."

    Noah chuckled. "You, my friend, have some strange ideas. I guess we'd better get back to looking for him and pray we don't find his body."

    * * * *

    By early evening all of the search teams had returned. There was a mixture of emotions -- dejection that they hadn’t found the mayor somewhere, alive if injured, and relief that they hadn't found his body. But above all else was puzzlement.

    "He can't have just walked away, or run away," one of the men said, stating the universal feelings of the others.

    "Agreed," John replied. "However --" he spread his hands in resignation, "-- we also know he's nowhere in town because we searched any vacant buildings or presently unoccupied houses. If he did hike off on his own into the mountains for some reason, and fell into an old mineshaft or had an accident, I'm sure one of you or your dogs would have found him."

    "Then what the hell happened to him?" another man exclaimed.

    "Rollie, believe me I wish I knew. We have an APB out on him in all of the towns within fifty miles of here. We know he didn't drive out of town, at least in his own car, since it was at Ms Miller's place. Of course there's the possibility that for some reason he was kidnapped."

    "Wouldn't Maggie have gotten a ransom call if that was the case?" one of the women asked.

    "One would presume so. So far, she hasn't. I've been checking with her almost hourly just to see how she's holding up."

    After a few more questions along the same lines, none of which John had answers for, people started drifting away. The majority of them headed home while a few others made their way to Mike's Bar. John was tempted to join them but knew if he did he'd only have to field even more questions, or listen to off-the-wall ideas about why the mayor had disappeared without a trace.

    So instead, he went home.


Friday, September 23, 2016

(26) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir



Sneaky. I hope Del doesn’t kill me. Waiting till he’s gone. Retrieving his key from its hiding place. Taking three of the sketches and one small painting. Back to my room to wrap them. Carefully. Just as carefully stowing them in my pack.

Twenty minutes later. Parking the bike in front of a shop. Inside. Looking around for the owner.

“Can I help you?” A voice from behind a counter. A head pops up. Pretty, older woman.

Ask for the owner. It’s her. I take Del’s art from my pack. Unwrap it. She studies each piece. Tapping her fingers on her lips. Frowning.

“Yours?” she asks finally.

“A friend’s.”

“They’re very good.” She looks at me. Chuckling. “Do they know you brought them here?”

“Well, no. No he doesn’t. I was hoping. He's good isn’t he?”

“Very good. I’d like to show these and more if he has them.” She goes behind the counter again. Hands me some papers after filling them out. “He has to sign this. It’s a contract. He’ll get whatever these sell for, less my commission.” She asks if she can keep what I brought. When I hesitate she says, “I’ll put them in the safe. I can’t show them until he signs that.” Tapping the contract. “But it will save you, or him, having to bring them back again if he does. If not you can pick them up any time.”

I nod. Put the papers in my pack. Head back to my place.

Walk up the stairs to find a pissed off Del. Arms crossed. Foot tapping.

“What did you do with them? I know you took them.” Glaring at me. “Why?”

Don’t say a word. Just hand him the contract.

He reads it. Looks up at me. Reads it again. “This is for real?”

“Yes Del, it’s for real. I knew you wouldn’t do anything on your own but damn it they’re good. The lady wants them and more.”

“Seriously?” His eyes tear up. But he’s smiling, too. Beaming. Suddenly he’s hugging me. Laughing. Crying. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“It was nothing.” Feeling embarrassed. “I just…”

“You just, nothing. First you save me from that man. Now this. You’re the best friend I ever had, Trev.”

“Tit for tat, Del. You saved me too. I guess that’s what friends do. Help each other when help’s needed.”

He smiles up at me. Wiping away his tears. “Yeah. I guess it is.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

(25) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir



Del turns on the light. Not sure what I expected but not this. The walls are covered with sketches. Paintings.

I look at him. “Yours?”

He nods. Looking shy and maybe a bit embarrassed.

I walk slowly around the room. Stopping to study them. One by one. The paintings are okay. Too modern for my taste. But the sketches. He’s amazing. Most are portraits. Street people. Hookers. One or two I think are pimps. A couple of them, I recognize the faces.

Done. Turning to him. He’s fearful, nervous.

“The sketches are fantastic, Del. Damn. Why are you hiding them away here? They should be in one of the shops in the Quarter, or an art gallery.”

He wrinkles his nose. Shakes his head. Then smiles in relief. “You really think they’re good?”

I look around at them again. Nodding slowly. “Yes. I think you’re very talented. Why haven’t you done something with them?”

“I’m scared. What if no one really liked them? I mean, well, you’re my friend. You have to be nice about it. But…” He takes a deep breath. Frowns. “The sketches. You don’t like the paintings?”

I wince. But I have to be honest with him. “It’s not that I don’t like them but they aren’t my style. I think maybe because I like pictures that look real. Do you get what I’m saying?”

“Yes.” He’s still frowning. “So you think they…they're not that good.”

“No Del. I think they’re fine. Really. Just not my thing. But you should show them to someone who knows about art.”

“Maybe. Someday.”

Monday, September 19, 2016

(24) Trevor Wallace - Dhampir



Life goes on as usual now.

I don’t move away from here. Not that I like the accommodations. But I feel a need to stay. Perhaps because I have a friend here.

I haven’t given up my search for vengeance. Night after night. Out on the streets. Finding, killing, Vampyres. The hatred still lives in me. It always will.

In all this world there is only one Vampyre that I might leave alive. Not a friend. Far from it. But perhaps not quite my enemy either.

When I’m not hunting. When Del’s not working. Sometimes we spent time together. Just talking. Perhaps catching supper, or more often breakfast at some sleaze dive in the neighborhood.

His pimp has come to accept that I’m around. He’s not happy about it. But I let him know, one evening soon after saving Del, that he would have to live with it. Or die. But I didn’t add that. Didn’t have to. I think he got the message without the words being said.

When I leave town. And I do that on occasion. I tell Del that I’ll be back. I miss him when I’m gone. My one friend. That’s all he is. Just a friend. I still find my release with the men or women on Bourbon, hookers or tourists. I won’t ruin what I have with Del by using him the way I do them. But I don’t tell him this. Just keep things as they are. Friend to friend. And he doesn’t ask.

Tonight something special happens. I think it’s special anyway. I’ve been in Del's place. Not often. But sometimes. It’s bigger than mine. Two rooms. One for his ‘entertaining’ his johns. One for him alone. Until tonight I’ve never seen the private one.

We’re just talking. Del on the bed. Me sitting in one of the chairs. My feet on the bed. Suddenly he’s looking at me strangely. I can see him thinking. He gets up. Goes to the door of the other room. Nods once then opens it. Walks through, crooking his finger for me to follow.

I’m wondering what’s going on. Following.