Vampire Dawn Online - J.R. RAIN





Chapter One

It was early afternoon and I was vacuuming.

Others like me were, undoubtedly, sleeping contentedly in crypts or coffins or castle keeps. Me, I was vacuuming up bits of pretzels and popcorn. Last night was movie night, and the kids had picked Captain America, and I did my best not to drool over the bowl of popcorn I pretended to eat. Yes, I have to pretend to eat around my children. Since I’m unable to eat any real food, I’d become a master of hiding my food in napkins, in the bottom of sodas, and even on others’ plates. More than once little Anthony had turned to look at something that I pointed at, only to discover that he had, remarkably, even more fries in his Happy Meal. Miracles do happen.

As I vacuumed, I caught snatches of Judge Judy wagging her finger at a cheating young man who looked like he was on the verge of tears, but then again, that could have just been wishful thinking. After all, there’s something special about watching a strong woman reduce a dirtbag to tears.

Maybe it’s the devil in me.

Or the cheated-on wife in me.

At any rate, I had just put away the vacuum and straightened the pillows on the couch when the doorbell rang. I flipped down my sunglasses and, after mentally preparing myself for the short blast of sunlight that I was about to experience, I opened the door.

I always gasp when I’m exposed to sunlight, and now was no exception. Even with the shades on. Even with the sunscreen I wear indoors. Even with all the layers of clothing I presently had on. I always gasp. Every time.

Standing in the doorway was a big man. Not as big as Kingsley or even my new detective friend, Jim Knighthorse, but certainly big enough. Detective Sherbet of the Fullerton Police Department was one of the few people who knew my super-secret identity. I hadn’t planned on telling him what I was, but the detective was no dummy.

So I had decided to come clean, and he had proven to be a true friend. Not only had he maintained my secret, he sought my assistance.

Like now, apparently.

I absently adjusted my hair. For someone who was insecure at best, not having full use of a mirror was a major setback. Although I could make out the general shape of my face in a mirror if I was wearing enough make-up, my hair, strangely, didn’t reflect.

I mean, what the hell is that all about?

I knew the answer, but that didn’t make it any easier to accept. On that accursed night seven years ago when I was forever changed, my body had somehow crossed from the natural world into the supernatural world. A world where mirrors were no longer relevant.

“You look fine, Samantha,” said Detective Sherbet. “Quit worrying.”

I stepped aside as he moved past me. He was carrying a greasy bag that looked suspiciously like donuts. I quickly shut the door behind him.

I turned and faced him, recovering from the shock of sunlight. “Why did you say that?” I asked.

“Say what?” he asked, easing his considerable bulk down onto my new couch. The couch was one of those L-shaped deals that a mother and her two kids could get comfy in. At least, that was the theory. In practice, getting comfy with Anthony invariably meant dealing with a steady onslaught of gas.

“That thing you said about not worrying.”

Sherbet was already rooting around for his first donut. “Because you sounded worried.”

I leaned a shoulder against the door. “Except I didn’t say anything, Detective.”

Sherbet plucked a pink cake donut from the depths of the bag and, looking imminently pleased, was just bringing it to his mouth when he paused. He didn’t look happy pausing. “Yes you did, Sam.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“You were talking about your hair not growing, make-up and not seeing your hair in the mirror—and I gotta tell you, kid, you nearly bored me to tears.” Now he happily resumed consuming the donut. Watching such a big man, such a distinguished man, eat a little pink donut was, well, cute.

I moved away from the door and crossed the living room, noticing for the first time a pair of Anthony’s dirty skivvies jammed into the corner of the couch, maybe two feet away from Sherbet. How and why they got there would be an interesting conversation between Anthony and me later.

For now, though, I sat next to the toxic undies, so close to Sherbet that I was nearly in