Back to Bedlam. Really should try to edit this book at some point. If I’m really going to publish this one then I need to give it at least a once over. Let’s get on with the fun.
Handing their beads to a quiet man at the door, the pair wait for him to meticulously count the payment. When he walks down the stairs toward the entrance, they fear that they have mistaken a guest for an employees. They breathe a sigh of relief when he bends down to pick up a fallen necklace and hurries back to open the door. Entering the hotel, they are met with a brightly lit lobby that is decorated by silver urns and centered around a large piece of art that resembles a collection of ornamental caskets. The old man comes around to the new guests and hands them a set of keys that are on a butterfly ornament. After delivering their payment to a black-clothed woman behind the front desk, he goes back to his post.
“Please tell me that we get to sleep in a coffin instead of a bed,” Lloyd says as they approach the elevators. A pop makes him jump, but he sees that it is only a bottle of champagne being opened in the dining room. “Think you have a point about passing out before eating. My stomach is rumbling a little, but my nerves are shot. Had to ditch most of my pills, so I need to get some rest before I have an episode. That’s the last thing we need. Besides, it isn’t like anything is going to happen here.”
Cassidy glares at her friend and smacks him in the arm. “You said that on purpose. I know you want to get into trouble. Can we please get through a day where raising our shirts is the only highlight?”
The front door is knocked open and the doorman tumbles through, a swarm of people in a variety of clothes falling in after him. Some of them are hunched over and move in a strange hopping gait while they move across the lobby. Hisses and growls roll from the gang’s mouths, causing the guests to scream and start to panic. The last one to come inside stops to put a steering wheel lock on the door handles, preventing anyone from leaving. Moving quickly and with purpose, the gang spreads out to lock down the building and herd the guests into the dining room. Two women with dark skin and brown hair drag a bald man to the lobby’s centerpiece. Dressed in a black robe, the battered figure is tied to one of the caskets and spat on by the twins. The one wearing tight clothes and stiletto heels loses her temper and repeatedly smacks the prisoner in the face until her more sensibly dressed sister pulls her away. Adjusting her ruby necklace, the more aggressive twin remains only a few feet away from the man, her eyes rarely moving away from him.
When all the preparations are complete, a young man jumps onto the front desk and blows a kiss to the blushing receptionist. He is wearing a black suit and red dress shirt, which look strange with the white sneakers and a dark blue cape that goes down to his waist. A bat-shaped necklace is in place of a tie and he knocks on the wall with a large ring made to look like a crude wolf’s head. Flashing a wide smile, he draws attention to his surgically implanted fangs by rubbing them with his tongue. Several guests scream and cry while the chained man stirs enough to begin shouting Bible passages.
“Shit, I was hoping to avoid the vampires,” Cassidy mutters as she kneels among the other patrons. Hearing a sucking breath, she groans and prays that her companion is not going to make a scene. “Don’t do anything because this isn’t our business. Just wait for an opportunity to escape and take it. Why are you pouting?”
“You knew there were vampires,” Lloyd says, his voice tinged with mock pain. He watches the intruders move about, his eyes searching for any sign of supernatural powers. “Give me one good reason why you didn’t tell me.”
“Remember what you did when I told you about the Half-Dead?”
“You squealed about zombies and wanted to find the damn thing. Practically wanted to give it a hug.”
“This is entirely different. Vampires are sexy.”
“All I want to do is keep a low profile and-”
The clan leader claps his hands and points in Cassidy’s direction, his yellow eyes narrowing into slits. “Bring me that blonde woman with the denim jacket. I shall converse with her in the ballroom.”
“Fuck my life,” the mercenary says, scowling at the parents who try to shush her. “Oh, like your kids haven’t heard or seen worse in this city.”