The pulse of the slow, dark music swept though and around Robbie like a wave, making him feel like he was a part of the sound. Tilting his head back, he downed another shot of tequila, setting the glass next to another just like it. His chest rose and fell with a sigh as he turned from the oak bar to look out over the gathering at the club. Brushing a long strand of blue-tinted, curly black hair away from his face, Robbie found himself disgusted with the familiarity of the scene at Club Sanguine. For years he had been coming here to “get away” from the hell that was his life. Working for his father at the liquor store in his small home town outside of Phoenix wasn’t exactly his dream.
Black lights and strobes flashed over the large, crowded dance floor while conversations went on at tables and booths between the mixed sub-cultures that gathered every night. Gothics tended to stay together, although the occasional punk or metal head could be spotted in their midst. Robbie could never seem to fit in anywhere, much less into any of the groups that came here, although he tried.
He leaned back and rested his forearms on the marble bar top, trying to look as if he didn’t give a damn. Nothing could have been farther from the truth, but if he let his emotions out, he’d never live it down. Instead, he passed the time looking at the girls in their micro-mini skirts, leather and vinyl dresses, and form-fitting tops. Robbie wished every night that he had the courage to go up to one of them and introduce himself, but he knew that if he did he would only end up looking like a fool. Better to imagine them all naked rather than get turned down by one.
Robbie’s gaze stopped across the room as his amber eyes fell upon the one person in the world that could make his heart skip a beat. Angela. He self-consciously straightened his leather biker jacket and slipped his hands into the pockets. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath, willing his heart to slow down. When he opened them again, Angela was seated at a table not far from him, near the dance floor, with a group of her friends. She tossed back her long mane of golden blonde hair and laughed as one of her girlfriends told a joke.
“Great,” Robbie muttered. Nothing was worse than trying to impress a girl when she was around friends. Resigning himself to wait until he could get her alone, as he had done countless times before, Robbie turned to check his appearance in the mirrors behind the old-fashioned, 18th century bar. He saw there the same, lonely visage he had always seen.
With a sigh, he searched his ripped blue jeans for money to pay the bartender then moved across the room to find a seat away from the liquor. The thud from his Harley Davidson boots hitting the hard stone floor was smothered by the industrial sounds of Ministry.
Taking a seat at a table where he had a clear view of Angela, Robbie kicked his feet up on the table and tried once again to relax. He spent the next hour looking at his one desire, always glancing away when she looked in his direction. Once or twice he could have sworn she was looking right at him, but he wouldn’t allow himself to believe that was possible.
He closed his eyes again, envisioning Angela, as he often did, trying to remember every detail about her. With flawless clarity he saw her jade green eyes shadowed with black, her straight, long blonde hair that she wore halfway down to her waist. He pictured her soft, full lips and the crimson lipstick that she seemed to prefer, accented with a thin outline of black. Her pale, smooth skin sent shivers of desire up his spine and the full curves of her body were burned into memory, something Robbie couldn’t help but notice since Angela rarely wore anything that didn’t fit her body like a glove.
He opened his eyes again and turned to gaze at her, smiling to himself as his memory of her became reality. His thoughts matched every aspect of her perfectly. Gradually, Robbie became aware that something had changed. He let his eyes unfocus as he tried to figure it out. Then it hit him.
Her friends were gone! She was alone at her table. Robbie’s heart began to race again; he could feel it beat against his rib cage. He placed his hand quickly over his white T-shirt, as if the beating of his heart was something he needed to hide.
He quickly looked away from her, staring at his table as thought raced though his head. This is it. If I’m ever going to meet her, it’s got to be now. Fighting down his doubt, Robbie was about to stand when he felt a soft pressure on his right shoulder. He looked up quickly, but was not quick enough to hide his surprise as he discovered Angela standing next to him, her hand resting on his jacket.
Angela simply smiled. “Come with me,” she said, her voice as peaceful as a gentle breeze. Robbie stood obediently although his mind was still in a haze. She led him out of the club and into a side alley. Robbie stopped as his mind cleared and he realized where she had taken him.
“Why are we here?” Robbie looked around the dark alley, his eyes adjusting quickly from the low lighting in the club. He was surprised at the emptiness of the alley. Only a few dumpsters backed against buildings cluttered the space.
“This,” said Angela, turning to face him, “is our turf.”
“Yes. My clan owns this club. The alley is where we take care of business that’s not suited for inside.”
Robbie was confused. “Like what?”
“Unwanted visitors,” Angela moved closer to him, “disputes... and initiations.” Her eyes seemed to glow as she leveled her gaze with his.
“Which one am I?” Robbie held his ground. Half of him was filled with anticipation and excitement at her presence, while the other half was telling him to run.
“I’m hoping you’ll join us,” Angela grinned. “Otherwise, you’ll be going home hurt.”
Robbie was shocked as his mind tried to process what was happening. This didn’t seem at all to him like Angela, the happy, laughing, smiling, goddess of beauty he saw almost every night.
“I’ve noticed you watching me. And I must admit, I do find you attractive.” Angela smiled seductively, resting her left hand on his chest.
Robbie nearly fainted.
“I’m hoping your clothes aren’t just a show, and that you can take care of yourself. Can you?”
Robbie replied shyly, “I’ve taken some martial arts.”
Angela nodded. “Good.” Her foot flew out towards his thigh.
Reflexively Robbie blocked her kick with his hand.
“Now, try to hit me.” Angela prompted.
“What?” Robbie couldn’t believe his ears.
“I don’t have all night, Robbie. Do it.” Angela’s hand flew out, faster than Robbie could react and raked his cheek with her nails.
“Shit! What was that for?” Robbie’s hand moved to his cheek where he felt blood trickling from the wounds she left.
“Shut up and fight.” Angela said impatiently. She moved in and swept Robbie off his feet, moving swifter than he had ever seen anyone move before. He found himself on his back, looking up at her.
“I could kill you right now,” she said, as she kneeled and straddled his chest, pinning his arms to the ground with inhuman strength. “But I think that would be a waste. You just need to learn to act before you think.”
“I can do that. Honest. Please, just let me go.”
“And you need to get a stronger spine.” Angela frowned. “Shit, you’ll never do. I was fooling myself.” She bent over Robbie quickly, her lips pressing against his neck.
Robbie gasped, then shouted as he felt two sharp points break the skin of his throat. Angela’s hand covered his mouth as she retracted her fangs and let the blood began to flow. Robbie panicked for less than a minute before Angela’s deadly kiss began to have a euphoric effect on him.
He tilted his neck, needing her to drink more from him. She obliged and sucked deeply, draining him swiftly.
“Thank you,” Robbie whispered, as he felt his consciousness slipping away.
Angela’s tongue flicked over the wounds on his neck, causing them to vanish.
“Good bye, Robbie.” She stood and watched as the life faded from his eyes, then lifted his body and placed it in a nearby dumpster. Shaking her head, she walked slowly back into the club.