He walked through the front doors of the blood bank and stepped up to the counter. A pretty, human receptionist sat behind it. She looked to be in her early twenties, wearing a pale, pink blouse and wingtip-framed black glasses.
“Are you here to make a donation?” she said, “If so, you’ll just need to fill out—”
“Actually, I’m here to make a withdrawal,” Jonas said, in a friendly, matter-of-fact manner.
The girl cocked her head and glanced at the glass doors.
She’s probably wondering how I managed to get here in broad daylight, Jonas thought.
Shaking her head, the girl said, “Can I see your ID, please?”
Jonas put his backpack on the counter, pulled out his ID, and handed it to her.
She frowned and looked at the ID, then back at Jonas, and back to the ID.
“Is there a problem?”
“Oh, no,” she said, looking up. “For a second, I thought you might be related to our night manager, but that’s—”
“She’s my mother.”
The girl paused, looking confused, then shook her head and typed a few words into her computer. When she slid the ID back across the counter, Jonas knew she wasn’t going to give him what he needed.
“I’m sorry, Jonas, but the system says you’re not to be served. Mr. Fangston—”
“Yeah, about that… you see, Mr. Fangston and I are having a small disagreement right now. So, I’d appreciate it if you’d—”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t—”
“Stacy?” Jonas said, interrupting, his voice pleasant but firm. It was the same voice he’d heard Fangston use when they’d first met.
“How did you know my—”
Jonas leaned forward so none of the other people in the waiting area could see his face. He smiled, tensed his jaw, and extended his fangs. “I’m a vampire, Stacy. I can read your mind. Have you met my mother?”
“Yes,” Stacy said, leaning back, her eyes wide and fixed on his teeth.
“And do you know, Stacy, who loses when a car runs a red light and smashes into another car in the middle of an intersection?”
“I’m not sure I—”
“The pedestrian loses, Stacy.” He slapped his right hand loudly on the countertop, making the young woman jump in her seat. “The poor, young woman who was just trying to cross the street, to get home to…” he paused to skim her mind, “… to Adrian, her husband of just four months.”
Stacy was now quite pale, biting her lower lip, her hands trembling. Jonas, on the other hand, felt like he was six-feet-tall – ready to take on an entire football team. I can’t believe this is working, he thought.
“Now,” he said, putting his ID back into his wallet. “I would really appreciate it if you would fill this bag for me.”
Jonas arched an eyebrow and glanced at her neck.
Her hand instinctively went to her throat. “I mean, of course, Mr. Black.”
Want to read more? Check out Black Fall in the Books section.