1

My name is Victoria Milford. According to The Sunset Heat, a local newsletter, I'm "The 24 year old, dark haired, sexy part owner, of the Sunset Strip nightclub; 'Climaxes'."

We serve drinks, and we have live entertainment on the weekends. On weeknights, 25 year old Harry Edelstein is in the D/J booth.

Around 9 P.M. on a Tuesday night, business was slow. Less than half the tables were occupied. The recorded music blared, but not loud enough to drown out any conversation.

I was seated at the bar, going over some paperwork, when a guy sat on the stool beside me.

"Evening Victoria." He spoke cheerfully. "Can I buy you something to drink?"

He was Jake; a mean looking dude in his late 20s, wearing a black leather jacket. He had a firm build and curly, light colored hair. He'd been showing up almost every night, for the past two weeks, with a ditzy blonde chic named Roxanna. She also had a mean look to her, but neither of them had caused any trouble. Tonight he was alone.

"Thank you Jake." I told him, "Maybe you haven't heard, but I'm part owner of the Club. I'm the one who buys drinks for customers. Not the other way around."

"Then I'll have my usual."

I said, "That was slick, but you're the one, who has to pay for the drinks first."

Then I asked, "So where's your girlfriend, what's her name? Roxanna?"

"She's on ice."

"'On ice'?" I said scornfully, "You mean you haven't broken up with her, but you're now on the prowl?"

"That's partly correct."

"What part?"

"When I said 'She's on ice', I meant that literally. Right now she's hanging upside down and naked, inside a freezer, with the lights off."

I laughed. "If that's what dating you leads to, forget it. I don't mind a little bit kinky, but risking death..."

"That wasn't a joke Vick."

"Yeah. Right."

"You see, our employer doesn't take any lip, from any of their employees."

"Don't you think that's kind of excessive? Every now and then, I have to give somebody a good talking to, and that's enough."

"I said I wasn't joking. We are employed by the Legal Department of Vidamort Corp. Our employer enforces Company rules, in a way that we employees never forget."

I said, "Legal Department? You don't look like a lawyer to me; and Roxanna just doesn't seem like someone who could pass any kind of a bar exam."

"Roxy and I aren't lawyers." He told me, "She and I enforce company policy, in a way that our clients never forget."

I said, "Enforcers?"

He said, "Vidamort Corp. wants me to explain Company policy to you Ms. Milford, in a way you'll never forget."

I looked at Jake's face. That night he looked more than mean. He looked dangerous.

I told him, "You get out of here right now, or I'll call the police."

"Go ahead." He told me, "I'm sure they'll be interested to learn about the time, when you pretended to be pregnant by a married man, who you had a fling with. You then got him to pay for a fake abortion, along with hush money. The law calls that fraud and blackmail, for which you can do an unhealthy amount of jail time."

I told him, "You can't prove that."

"Vidamort Corp. can, along with providing evidence of your involvement in a murder."

"Murder?"

"Maybe more than one."

"What's this all about?"

"We know for a fact, that you allow gambling and drug dealing inside this club, with you getting a percentage of every transaction."

"Oh I see." I said, "And your employer wants a percentage too."

"Meet me outside, in the parking lot, in 15 minutes," he said, "and be sure you come alone."

15 minutes later I was out in the parking lot, with a loaded pistol in my handbag. Jake stood beside a car, at the dark end of the parking lot, furthest from the street. I came over to him.

He opened the front door on the passenger side, and told me, "Get in."

"Forget it Mr. Tough Guy. I'm not getting in a car with you."

"All right cautious lady." He shut the door. "Stand there."

"Good enough." I told him. "Now tell me what's the deal."

"You're a very bad girl Victoria." He said, "I come from Sangreville, which is full of very bad girls."

"Sangreville? Vampire Town?"

"And do you know what happens to very bad girls in Sangreville?"

"I've heard that they get killed and eaten by vampires."

He said, "Exactly."

Suddenly his arms were around me. He pulled me up against himself, and put his mouth against my neck. He had a pair of sharp, heavy fangs, which he stabbed inside my neck.

Then my mind vanished.