After Dark (The Vampire Next Door Book 2)

After Dark (The Vampire Next Door Book 2) by Rose Titus Read Free Book Online

Book: After Dark (The Vampire Next Door Book 2) by Rose Titus Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rose Titus
The streets at night were filled with hooligans and armed bandits. Very few people could read well enough to spell out their own names.”
    “Sounds like things don’t change much,” her voice was barely audible, she stared down at the floor and became stiffly silent again.
    “So, anyway, people lived in mud huts, and dressed in ragged clothing, and stole chickens to survive. It wasn’t like King Arthur and his glorious Knights of the Round Table, like how you see on TV with pretty damsels in long dresses and everyone else on a white horse and all covered in shining armor, living happily in a castle, forever after, and so on. Basically, life sucked. Then they all just died, and usually they did that by age twenty nine. And so, back then, if you lived to be like two hundred fifty, that was considered magical, or something like that.”
    “Dying at twenty nine sounds fine to me, but then I might have to wait a few years,” she mumbled.
    “And, so anyway, there was this village.”
    “And they all were miserable, then they died.”
    “I’m telling this, okay?” he got up to toss his things into the dryer. “Now, these people in the village weren’t starving like most poor idiots, because,” he went to the change machine to get quarters, then put them in the machine to start it. “Very important, remember now, watch the socks.”
    “Because why?” she demanded. She was finally interested in hearing about something besides her own problems.
    “Because, they were all getting free food, leftovers, specifically venison, after the hunter was done with it. He would hunt in the moonlight, shoot a deer with a bow, drain it, use the blood, he had no need for the meat. There were not many of his kind nearby, only a few. Some of the local people were used to them, and had no problem with his being there. Not until...”
    “What happened to the princess?”
    “I’ll get to it, okay. Oh cripes. I forgot the fabric softener.”
     
    Martin carried a single bag of groceries up the stairs to his apartment. He tried to hurry up the stairs, he did not want to run into her. She usually left for work at the time he returned home.
    But there she was. He looked up; she was at the top of the stairs, looking down on him, ready to descend.
    He kept going; he would try to ignore her.
    But he couldn’t.
    She brushed by as she quietly passed. “Wait,” he said, and he stopped when he reached the top. “Wait a minute. Is it okay if we talk?”
    “I don’t have much time,” and she kept going.
    “Alexandra, wait a minute. Look. I spoke to your brother the other night. Surely someone must be able to tell me something.”
    “We have nothing to do with it!”
    “Look,” he tried again.
    “He saved your life, and this is how you treat him? We know nothing! And if we did, we wouldn’t tell you. Because people like you have no respect!” She stalked down the stairs, swiftly getting away from him.
     
    “Why did you not finish your story?” she demanded as she began to walk away from the Chinese takeout window.
    He paid for it, even though she had money, and she was surprised. “Because,” he began, “the teenage girl without any clothes on got off the phone and would hear what I was saying, that’s why. Now, the derelict, who would listen to him?”
    They got into his Pontiac and headed down the crowded street back to the art gallery. “But you didn’t finish the part about the spoiled princess.”
    “Yeah, well, I’ve got to leave you hanging. It gets you to worry about something else besides the right way to do laundry.” And killing yourself.
    But he couldn’t say that.
    “Well?”
    He guided the long convertible into the small yard behind the old Victorian house that served as both his home and art gallery. She followed him up the back steps, carrying her food, and into the total darkness of his home.
    “Can I see some of your paintings some time?”
    “Sure. Some time.” He paused to turn on a light for her as

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