Winter had arrived and I was glad of it. I knew that with the snow and cold it would cover up all the ugliness the earth dared to show. I was truly wondering if this was the end of the world, because the more I thought about it, the more I would have to agree with my thoughts…just then Arch came to mind.
As irresponsible as he was, he was a good friend to me and to have to die the way he did wasn’t right and someone, who that was I still had no idea, but that someone would have to pay for it and pay with his life. I pushed the vision out of my head, for at least now, I had time to cope with it and the loss, but at the moment, after months of questioning and searching for answers I needed a break. Hell, the police were in no hurry to find the killer, at least that’s what it seemed like to me. Bastards.
Bundled up in my warm winter coat, I was out, searching for a job, any job seeing how I left mine high and dry, but then could you blame me? I was beginning to wonder if all men were as disgusting as those in that bar. Thank God for Lenny, because as far as I could see, he was the only sane man on earth, all the rest of them could just go to…I’ve been angry lately can you tell?
There wasn’t a whole lot out there that offered what I felt was good pay and the idea of going to work in another bar gave me pains in the pit of my stomach. I couldn’t do that again, not if you paid me a million bucks.
I turned and was faced with a woman, I’d say in her early to mid-fifties. Short, gray hair sprinkled about, but what caught my attention was that not only was she middle aged, but she was stunningly gorgeous. She put me to shame. I looked down at myself and wanted to crawl in a hole.
I answered her. “Yes?”
“You look to me as though you need a job, am I right?” She studied me with her bright, crystal blue eyes. I was wondering what she was thinking and wishing I was telepathic, but no such luck. Then she smiled.
“Do I know you from somewhere?” I was beginning to feel uncomfortable. I mean, anybody else who’d of seen me on the street wouldn’t have thought I needed a job, so how did she know?
“I don’t think so….” She paused. Thinking about the question I assume. “No.”
Ok she was beginning to annoy me and I was getting cold. I had to get back to my walking and soon before I would say something I would regret. I thought I’d give her two more minutes of my time before I would walk away. I wasn’t going to be rude, but still, could we be more evasive?
“I don’t mean to be rude, but I am cold, so if you are offering me a job, I wish you would just come right out and say it.” Ok, that was blunt and to the point, and rude. Tough.
“So, you are telepathic I see, even better! I have a need for someone such as you.” Again, not really saying what I wanted to hear and yet, I still didn’t want to leave, not yet, but soon.
“No I am not telepathic, it’s just that you had asked me if I was looking for a job and so I assumed you were offering. Look, lady just get on with it, I’m cold and this isn’t helping me get a job.”
“You are impatient, which doesn’t suit me, but I like your style. You don’t put up with a lot of crap do you? Not that I can see. I’ll give you half a million to start and if you do well…then we’ll talk of something higher. You interested?”
Did I just hear her correctly? I stared down at her, my mouth gapping wide. I still had no idea what she wanted me for, something told me it was dangerous.
“What makes you think I’d take you up on this little deal of yours? How do I know that it’s not illegal? I mean, offering a person that much money, and on the street no less…I see red flags here.”
“Are you not a Dhampire? Because if you’re not, then I have made a huge mistake, but I’m usually spot on when it comes to people of your kind. I can sense them a mile away and your scent was very strong. So, what is your answer?” Still standing her ground and still evasive as ever, I was hesitant.
“Who are you? What are you for that matter?” Anyone who could smell what I was, had to be a threat. Being short and older didn’t always mean that they weren’t lethal. I was always told that great things come in small packages, and it always turned out to be true, so I wasn’t going to pass her off as something meek and mild. She was more than what she presented herself to be and I was going to find out just what that was.
“Can we go somewhere, preferably where it’s warm, because I can’t feel my toes anymore?” A shiver were ran up my spine and my teeth began to chatter.
“My house is just up the road a bit, do you think you can make it that far or should I call for my limo to pick us up?”
Limo? This little woman has a limo? The more she spoke, the more I became interested in this little deal she was offering. I figured she didn’t look threatening, and I wasn’t getting any bad vibes off of her, so I figured why not.
“No, I can walk, save the gas.”
We headed up the slight incline, up Richardson Street. I never been up that way, so I was wondering what her house looked especially if she could afford a limo. The wind began to whip up and nipped at my exposed nose and ears rendering them cold and very red. I looked like Rudolph the red nose reindeer by the time we crested the top of the street, apparently it dead ended and before us stood this enormous house. Shoot, mansion I’d say by the looks of it. It was something out of the South, Tara came to mind when I saw it. The house was all white with one door which was Emerald green set in the center of it. It had two floors, this much I could tell from the outside because there were two large windows on the first level, one of either side of the door and then three smaller windows just above. But what awed me the most was all the pillars that went around the whole perimeter of the house, tall, white and very Roman like in style, with caps at the tops of them. In fact, it reminded me of the pillars that Thomas Jefferson designed for his Monticello home in Virginia. Truly a vision to behold.
“You live here? “
“Yes, this is my home. Follow me and we’ll get you warm in no time, then we can discuss…business.”
She smiled at me, but it wasn’t a warm smile, it felt more like I’ve got you now type of smile. I was leery and began to re-think my going in. This may be a mistake, but then again that was an awful lot of money and I could use it right now. I hate being indecisive.
She rummaged through her pockets till she found her key and unlocked the front door. Marble flooring greeted our entrance to the foyer and with it a whole array of expensive and tasteful decorations caught my eye. I took off my shoes, especially when I saw the white carpet everywhere. That’s one thing I didn’t need to do, getting mud and gunk on something that I deemed as…expensive flooring.
“Oh, you don’t need to take your shoes off, it’s perfectly alright. Just make yourself at home and I’ll have James bring us some hot herbal tea. Does that sound alright to you or would you prefer something else?”
I still took off my shoes. Thank God I had reasonably new socks on. My usual ones always had at least one toe sticking out of them. “Tea would be fine, thanks.”
Slowly I made my way over to the, again, white couch and sat down gingerly. I felt like one big dirt clod with all this pristine white décor. As she sat down in front of me in a rather impressive chair, I could tell she was eyeing me up.
“So, this is the deal…Oh James Miss…”
“Jones, I mean, my name is Hadley.”
“Miss Jones and I would love some herbal tea; you know the kind I like.” He nodded without a word and left us to discuss business.
“I need to find something that was taken from me. It is my prize possession and without it, my life when it is over will be lost. I will be doomed to walk this earth forever.”
I was confused as to what she lost in the first place that would make her stay on earth even after she died. The only thing I could think of was her…
“Wait, you lost your…”