Ramos had never listened to the drums before Alisa crossed his path, nor did he cross the path of the demon who he shared his town with. However, when Alisa came to help her sister, something about her drew him. He had to keep her safe even though the demon had first claim.
Alisa just wanted to help her sister fix up the new house she bought. With the townspeople acting weirder and her sister going a bit whacky, Alisa turns to the only man who can help her. Ramos. Together they face the darkness in the town. When the drums start, Alisa is drawn to them to learn how she is the key to defeating the demon even if it means paying with her soul.
He spread the cloth over the bar to buff out the water rings left behind by the beer glasses. A few lingering patrons remained. A couple nursed a drink. A man poked at his food. The click of pool balls from the pool table caught his attention. He hadn’t realized anyone was still playing on one of the three tables they had toward the back. The constant hum of the fridge let him tune out as he moved down the bar and readied it for the next shift.
He glanced up into Tania’s shiny blue eyes and never ending smile. Nothing fazed her. Her attitude remained upbeat when fights broke out or someone grabbed her ass. She bopped along and took it in stride. Her bubbly tone made him want to stab an icepick through his ear just to drown her out. Instead of causing himself harm, he stopped wiping and forced a smile. “Yes, Tania.”
“I need a Jack and Coke.” She leaned over the bar with her tray pressed against her chest.
“Last call was a half an hour ago. The bar is closed,” he snapped.
“Come on. Julie does it all the time.”
His eyes narrowed. The irritation he felt rolled through him, but he ignored the urge to grab her by the throat, pull her across the bar, and wring the life out of her until the light died in her eyes. “I’m not Julie. And she knows better. Thanks for the tidbit. Next time I see her, I’ll remind her that last call means last call.”
Her bubbly exterior cracked for a split second when the fear entered into her eyes. “I-I didn’t mean anything by it. Please don’t take what I said to get her into trouble. I would never…”
Ramos laid his gaze upon her and put a little bit of his power behind it. Tania’s inner rabbit must have sensed the threat; she scampered away. He went back and focused on his tasks and closed out the bar register. Tania’s hands shook when she handed him the money. Her eyes never left her hands. At least she got the hint. As he locked up the bar, a cool wind wound around him. It brought with it the coppery scent of blood. Gamey. Not human. It made his mouth water. His fingertips tingled. It would be so easy to become one with the night and find the source. It had been a while since he had hunted. Ramos pulled the key from the lock and licked his lips, thinking about what was coming next. It wouldn’t take him long to get to the next town or the city. There he could feed in peace. The necks of those in this town were protected. Unless a few tourists wandered in.
And fewer still knew his true secret.
Just as he was about to release his physical form and bleed into the darkness, the bright beam of car headlights nearly split his skull in two from the illumination. Blinding him. He hissed and drew back into the shadows. The car pulled into the parking lot with a squealing halt. The brakes shrieked as they ground metal to metal. Smoke poured out of the hood. The front fender was dented along with the side panel. The woman driving had her hands gripped on the steering wheel. She was shaking. He licked his lips at the aroma of blood. Human this time.