Vamp: 13 Shots


Evan is impressed by Sandor’s Python application. Sufficiently impressed that he wants to hire him. Evan talks to Dean and Dean tells Mary to make it happen. Sandor will share an office with Rina, the one located next to Evan’s.

Sam sees two positives in the unfolding situation: Sandor has found an interest to keep him occupied, and he’ll be doing it under her own watchful eye as she stays on at BubbleTrendz in her Sam guise.

Dean stops by Sam’s desk to let her know he’ll be in New York all day tomorrow, then back in the office on Friday.

“I’m meeting with some potential new customers. More finance guys. I may be faxing you some forms. I may need you write up some letters.”

Sam listens to Dean with a serious, energized expression, deepening her brand as Little Miss Responsibility. But, it’s also time to probe for some information. Looking up at Dean, she asks as innocently as possible, “Did anyone mention to you that the Star Rock website became inaccessible to us, to the developers, on Monday afternoon? It was only about twenty minutes, but Gil said it never happened before. I thought you’d want to know.”

Dean shrugs. “Evan told me, and he’s on top of it. Star is aware of the issue as well.” It’s clear that he’s a little surprised, even annoyed, that she would ask him such a question. It’s not related to her duties as an office admin.

Sam ponders Dean’s reaction after he leaves. Even discounting for the touch of chauvinism in his dismissal of her question, he didn’t seem genuinely surprised or concerned about the apparent denial of service attack on his most important customer, or that it had occurred while his own programmers were accessing the inner workings of the Star website.

~

After work Sam takes Sandor to Somerville, to show him her one-bedroom apartment there.

“This is where I normally stay during the work week,” she tells him. “I use the big place on the ocean only on weekends.”

“I like the ocean better,” he says, surveying the small place, “but this is close to work. I think I’ll be working many hours there.”

“When I’m in town, I stay in full guise.”

“Even your teeth?” he asks her.

She nods. “I keep bottled blood stashed in the kitchen.”  Sam surveys the living room. “The futon folds out into a bed, and this can be your room. I’ll buy you a good laptop of your own, too.”

“I’ll have a computer at work. And, I can save my money and buy my own laptop.”

“Sandor, let me buy you a gift, okay? Consider it your welcome-to-Boston gift.”

Sandor gives her one of his rare little smiles. Sam reminds herself that she must call her Romanian uncle for better-fitting caps for his teeth. She looks at him brightly.”And, speaking of gifts, let me treat you to some new clothes. There are some nice shops in Harvard Square. We could go now if you like.”

~

Marty Gaynor sits at the bar looking glumly at the pint of draft beer in front of him. He’s wearing a wool turtleneck sweater which hides the wound on his neck.

“I’ve gotta take shots for a month,” he tells the bartender, “and they don’t even know what bit me.”

“Don’t mess around with rabies.” The bartender shakes his head as he opens two bottled beers for customers.

Marty let’s out a small sigh under his breath. “I’m s’posed to be in Florida next week. Got a job with my cousin on his boat. He can’t wait all this time while I’m gettin’ shots.”

“How many shots do they give you?” the bartender asks.

“I got some kinda booster shot today. But I still need four more. And the doc says they gotta wait between each shot. It’ll take a month total.” Marty’s tone is discouraged.

One of the customers, an older man, turns toward Marty. “At least they don’t do them in the stomach anymore. Boys, those must’ve hurt something awful.”

Marty looks at him with alarm. “My doc says they’re just in the arm, like any shot.”

“That’s what I’m talkin’ about. You’re gettin’ off easy, compared to how it was.”

Marty turns back to the bartender. “Did that redhead ever show up again?”

The bartender gives Marty a teasing look. “That was your lucky night, all right.”

Marty doesn’t continue the banter. “She was strange, Mike. If she walked in here right now I wouldn’t even talk to her.” He lowers his voice and touches his neck. “I can’t prove it, but I think she had somethin’ to do with this.”

“Are you sayin’ she had an animal bite you?” Mike, the bartender, looks perplexed at Marty.

“Maybe she bit me.”

“What kind of weirdo would do that? Anyway, I thought you said the lab report proved it wasn’t human-caused.”

Marty takes a sip of his beer. “I don’t think they’re tellin’ me everything. Why couldn’t they just say it was a snake or a bat or a-”

“I don’t think the Commonwealth has vampire bats,” the older customer volunteers.

The man next to him smiles and joins the conversation. “Maybe we’ve just got plain old vampires?”

The older guy nods cynically. “Sure, just like they had witches in Salem.”

“That gal was somethin’ the other night,” Mike tells the older man, then directs his eyes at Marty and smiles. “I guess you thought so, too.”

Marty looks a little rattled and says nothing.

— to be continued —


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