Home > Kissing Coffins (Vampire Kisses #2)(9)

Kissing Coffins (Vampire Kisses #2)(9)
Author: Ellen Schreiber

"You look disappointed," he said in a seductive voice, forcing me to gaze back at him. "You were expecting to meet someone else?"

"Yes. I mean...no."

"Hoping for someone to bond with for eternity? Someone who won't run away from you?"

"Aren't we all?" I snapped back.

"Well, I just may be your man." "I think Romeo was confused," I said. "I was looking for someone who made a phone call from here. An older, bald man."

"Really? He doesn't seem your type."

"I was obviously mistaken--"

"One person's mistake is another man's destiny. I'm Jagger," he said with a piercing glare that made my blood boil. He stood and offered a pale hand.

"I'm Raven, but--"

"You are looking for someone who can help you fulfill your darkest desires."

"No, I was looking for...," I began naively.

"Yes?" Jagger asked, with a cunning smile.

Something didn't feel right. Hadn't Romeo already told him who I was looking for? Intuition overcame me. Jagger seemed too eager to hear me name someone.

"I've really got to go," I said, clutching my purse close like a shield.

"Please, join me." He grabbed my arm and pulled me onto the couch. "I believe we have a lot in common."

"Maybe next time...I really have to go--"

"Romeo, get the lady a drink," Jagger commanded. "How about a Death Sentence? It's the club special."

Jagger inched toward me and gently stroked my hair away from my shoulder.

"You're quite beautiful," he said. I avoided his gaze and clutched my purse in my lap while he continued to eye me. I sensed that this seductive good-looking goth was no more my friend than Trevor.

"Listen, you have been--" I began, trying to stand up, when Romeo returned with two goblets.

"Here's to new blood," said Jagger with a laugh.

I hesitantly clinked my goblet with his. He took a long gulp, then waited for me to do the same. With a guy this nefarious, I could only imagine what the drink might have been laced with.

"I've gotta go," I said, standing up.

"He's not like you think he is," he said.

I paused, almost frozen. "I don't know who you are talking about," I replied, and turned to leave.

"We'll find him together," Jagger said, and rose from the couch to block my path.

He winked at me, and then grinned, revealing sharp vampire fangs that glistened in the candlelight. I stepped back, and then realized that in the Coffin Club everyone had fangs.

There was only one way to confirm who or what Jagger was.

"Okay. I'll give you my number," I said, turning away from him. I reached into my purse and sheltered the compact from his view. "Just let me find my pen."

My fingers shook as I opened Ruby's compact and angled it in his direction. I closed my eyes and hesitated. I took a deep breath and opened them.

But Jagger had already disappeared.

Chapter 6 Dracula Delivers

I returned to the Village Players Theater just in time for curtain call. I hurried backstage, where I was greeted by a worried Lucy in the dressing room.

"I didn't see you in the audience!" Aunt Libby said in a tone that resembled my mother's.

"Aren't you supposed to be concentrating on the show?"

"How could I concentrate when all I saw was your empty seat?" she snapped.

"A woman next to me kept falling asleep on me," I fibbed, "so I moved to the back row. But you were wonderful!"

"So you did see it," she responded, relieved.

"Of course!" I gave her a big squeeze. "Wild vampires couldn't pull me away."

I fiddled through her makeup kit while she greeted a few fans in the hallway. I couldn't shake my encounter with Jagger from my head. Had I met a second Dracula? Or was Jagger just some tattooed teen thirsting for a date?

"You have to meet Marshall," Aunt Libby called when she returned to the dressing room.

I was peeking beneath the window shade at a lone figure lurking in the darkened alley by the Dumpster.

"Raven!" Aunt Libby called. I turned around to face the Village Players version of Dracula-- a malnourished, overpowdered, middle-aged man with slicked-back, gelatinized gray hair, ultra-red lips that resembled Bozo the Clown's, and oversized press-on fingernails. He wore a traditional satin cape.

How could an overaged, uncharismatic man play the sexy, seductive Dracula? He must have been a good actor.

"I'd like to introduce you to your biggest fan," Aunt Libby told him.

My mind was still on the figure lurking outside. "Aunt Libby, we really should--" I began.

"I've come to suck your blood!" Dracula said in a ghoulish voice, lunging at me.

I had to keep from rolling my eyes.

There was a time not too long ago when meeting an actor who played Dracula in a professional production would have been the highlight of my existence. I would have become a gushy groupie in his presence and kept his framed autograph on my bookshelf. Now it was more like meeting a shopping mall Easter Bunny.

"Libby has told me so much about you," Dracula continued.

"Nice to meet you," I said. "We were just--"

"Come, sit down," Aunt Libby suggested, offering a folding chair to the ghoulish lead.

"Your aunt tells me you are obsessed with vampires," he said, draping his cape over the chair and sitting down.

Actually, I'm dating one, I wanted to say.

"Have you been to the Coffin Club?" he asked me. "She's too young," Aunt Libby reminded him as she sat in her dressing-room chair and began taking off her makeup.

"Have you?" I asked eagerly.

"Yes. For research purposes only."

"Did you see anything unusual?" I inquired, like a gothic Nancy Drew.

"Everything there is unusual." He laughed. "Kids walk around wearing medieval cloaks and vampire teeth, with metal spears piercing through their eyebrows and lips, and amulets of blood hanging from their necks. I think I was the only one there above thirty. Except for one other man."

"Older than you?"

"Well, stranger, if you can imagine."

"I didn't mean--"

"I know. He stuck out, too. But not in the way I did. He could have played Renfield."

"Creepy Man?" I blurted out. "I mean, was he creepy?"

"Well, I guess he was."

Unfortunately it must have been this dime-store Dracula, and not Alexander, whom Elvira had spotted talking with Jameson.

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