Darkness shrouded the city at all hours of the day, but the lights were always on. Springfield lay high above the earth below. A floating city that orbited the devastation below, it was the new sun, moon and stars for those who lived below. Spirits were high around the club, a new band was playing. You could hear the music drifting from the doors as they opened up to allow new customers in. The Feeding Grounds was a popular club in the undercurrents of humanity. Sandy Duran had never been to the Feeding Grounds before, she’d never experienced the undercurrents herself, but her friends raved about it. They had finally talked her into coming down to the club, just this once to see the new band.
Sandy and her friends had finally reached the front of the line. It was a chatter of girliness that never seemed to pass no matter how old they got. They were excited, relaxed and Sandy was unaware of what was really around them. The door opened releasing the loud music and a couple arm in arm, nearly coming out of their clothes as they walked, it was obvious where they were going. The red rope lowered and the girls were admitted into the club.
The darkness outside seemed light compared to the atmosphere of the club. Lights in blues and reds shined down on to the crowd, tinting clothes and hair unnaturally. The stage off to the right was filled with instruments of every kind that could make noise and be considered music. Four men pranced around behind one lone female singer as the band played on. The crowd was bouncing to the music as if entranced. Sandy looked around, her friends had slipped away and she couldn’t see them anywhere. They had left her to her own devices. She wandered up to the bar and ordered a drink, rum on the rocks.
Sandy sat on the bar stool with her back to the bar to watch the crowd. Her drink placed at her side on a white napkin. She thanked the bar tend and turned back around to face the crowd. She still could not find her friends. Men were approaching women. Women were approaching men. There was even same gender approaching each other. Sandy watched as the people mingled with one another. One girl held her arm out to a tall pale man, he pulled it to his cheek and the girl nearly fell over as she swooned over the gesture. Sandy began to wonder if the undercurrents were really for her, but she couldn’t leave, she came with her friends and she wasn’t the driver.
Sandy watched as a woman next to her was approached by another woman. The woman who arrived pressed her face to the woman’s neck in greeting and the other woman tilted her head to the side. And before Sandy knew what was going on they were gone. She’d only turned to grab her drink, and then they’d left.
Time passes by slowly when you are lost or confused. Sandy wasn’t having any fun and it showed on her face. A woman in dark clothes with fiery red hair sat down on the empty bar stool next to her. “You’ve never been here have you?”
Sandy looked at the woman, “Is it that obvious?”
The woman smiled. “From someone who sees it everyday, yes. Are you looking for anything in particular?”
“No, not really, my friends brought me here to try new things. I’ve yet to see anything new.”
The red head smiled. “I’m Cari, and if you are interested I can bring to you what your friends here are offering you.”
“No, that’s okay, I’m sure they’ll find me and we’ll be leaving soon.”
Cari nodded and stood up. “If you change your mind let me know.” And then the strange woman was gone. Sandy wondered what had been the point of that conversation.
An hour later Sandy was still at the bar, her friends were no where to be seen. But a man, came up to her and nuzzled her neck like the woman had done before to the other at the bar. He whispered, “You smell nice.”
Sandy smiled and turned towards him. He laid a kiss on her neck and the warmth of his lips made her feel that tight sensation only a man could bring out in her. He bought her a drink, and then another, and as the night wore on Sandy was ready to leave with him and spend an exciting night in his bed. They left the club together, Sandy was glad things had gone the way they had.
Cari watched as the new letter walked out the door with a strange vampire. But it wasn’t Cari’s job to know the vampires, that was Jake’s job. Cari could never bounce a vampire, not even one who was attracted to her. Their extraordinary strength and speed only made her a pawn to their queen. It seemed that her friends had after all shown her the way of donors even if they’d abandoned her to the clubs ambiance.
A man came and sat down next to Cari. “I see the fledgling left with a vampire.”
Cari smiled. “Yeah, it seems she was after something after all.”
“Deigo wants to see you after your shift.”
“Thanks Jake, Deigo always wants to see me after my shifts.”
“It’s your turn after all.”
Cari smiled at him. “I know, Sam and Rita both flaked on him last night, he had to find another.”
“You’d never flake on him would you?”
Cari smiled. “Mind if I take a few minuites and freshen up a bit before our shift ends?”
It was Jake’s turn to smile. “By all means go gussy up for the boss man.”
Cari went into the lady’s room and did just that, she freshened her make up and took mindful consideration into her attire, removing articles of clothing that could get in the way of her desires for the night. Deigo was her lover, and she was his letter. She willingly gave him her blood in exchange for sex. It was prostitution of sorts, but that was the culture of the Feeding Grounds. Letters, the willing blood donors to vampires, gave up their life blood in exchange for something. Some choose sex, others money or drugs. Cari’s choice was sex. And she was a one vampire Letter, only Deigo could take from her. She’d been with others vampires before but that was before she’d met Deigo and started working as the female side of the bouncer inside of the club.
Deigo’s office was in the only room upstairs, it had a large bay window that overlooked the club. As Cari walked out of the lady’s room she saw Deigo standing at the window. He wasn’t a large man, but he was beautiful in his own right. His features stood out against his pale skin, dark eyes with hair that framed his angelic face. Cari walked up the stairs to his office and knocked softly. “Come in my dear.”
She opened the tall door and walked into a warmth of lights. The bay window was tinted to hold out the light from his office. It was like walking into a sauna, it was hot and humid and Deigo watched as a bead of sweat rolled down the side of her face. “I’m a bit hungry.” He walked up to Cari with grace and placed his cold lips to her warm skin. It sent shivers down her skin. Deigo kissed Cari’s neck before sinking his fangs into her vein. A soft moan escaped Cari’s mouth and the courting ritual would begin.