Money and Vampires


"Wait," Nathaniel began, catching my arm, "I'm serious you know, about what I asked yesterday." I stared up at him, his eyes were soft, but they held mine intently.

I licked my lips. "I know Nathaniel, but you know the ru…"

He waved a hand, "screw your uncle's rule. Do you always listen to him? Are you just a puppet on his strings?"

I narrowed my eyes.

Nathaniel let go of my arm and held his hands up. "I’m sorry, I meant no offense. But, just, have dinner with me." Nathaniel shoved his hands into his pockets and gave me a crooked smile. I sighed, mostly because I had wanted this since the first time I had met him. But there was the other part of me that knew this only meant trouble.

I looked around to make sure we were alone before responding, "Fine, I will pick you up after I get off work."

Even though I knew agreeing to a date with a vampire would only lead to heartbreak.

Money and Vampires is created by Madilyn Lasher, an eGlobal Creative Publishing Signed Author.

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Chapter 1:Blood Money
DESMONDS APARTMENT POV DESMOND Traveling down the glass elevator of the complex, I fixed the gold cuff links on my navy-blue suit for the tenth time. I pulled out my phone as several people joined me in the elevator. It was mainly empty at this time of night. Most people had already checked in for the night or returned to their apartments upstairs. Occasionally the elevator would stop, and you would either see people dressed to go swimming in the indoor pool or dolled up for dinner. I kept my eyes on my phone, reading more about the wolf shifter attack down by the docks. I resisted the urge to scratch my unshaven face. I was attempting to grow a beard this winter even if it killed me. Everyone knew that the docks were primarily vampire territory, so this must have been a new wolf shifter in town who wanted to pick a fight. Most new wolf shifters in town weren't aware of the standing treaty between the vampires and the rest of New York. There was the occasional wolf shifter that tried to pick a fight with what they believed was a low-level clan and that's how they ended up dead on the docks. I felt a few people shuffle forward in the elevator and realized I was about to miss my stop on the ground level. I hastily followed the trail of people off the elevator. The lobby of the hotel was bustling with activity. People dressed in suits and tight dresses crowded around the white tables. I threw on my long wool coat and secured the buttons before tossing my scarf around my neck. I pulled on my gloves last and gasped as I stepped onto the city sidewalk. The wind was icy today and I was glad that I called a car. "Hello Mr. Blakely," the driver said as he opened the back door, "just to the bank today?" I quickly got into the car, "Yes, please. Thank you, Nigel." Nigel nodded and shut the door. Another burst of cold air brushed over me as Nigel got into the car, but soon I was wrapped up in delicious heat. "The weather seems to be getting worse out there," Nigel said. "Yes," I grunted, "hopefully our winter this year will be somewhat manageable." "Your uncle called me earlier this evening," Nigel continued, pulling out into traffic. "Oh?" I looked up from my phone, "Pray tell, what does dear uncle need this time?" Nigel sighed. "He would like you to end your shift early and meet with him and Thomas Reese to speak about the attack today." I let my head rest on the back of the seat for a moment. I dreaded every meeting with the head of the vampire mafia. I knew that Thomas only wanted me there so he could drool over me. Thomas had made every possible offer to my uncle to buy me. I was thankful that my uncle only tolerated vampires for the business and shut down every offer. I raised my head and looked at Nigel in the mirror and gave a forced smile, "Of course, I would be happy to attend." Nigel nodded back to me and continued with the flow of traffic. I went back to responding to emails and messages on my phone. The screen was lit up by clients who wanted to check on their accounts. I also quickly scanned through my uncle's instructions for the day, although it was mostly the same every day. We will be having a new girl starting at the counter soon. Despite every new girl swearing to the bank's rule of not associating with the clientele, they always end up mysteriously vanishing. GUILDSWORTH Soon Nigel pulled up to what appeared to be an abandoned building. To the naked eye, it looked like a run-down grocery store with windows boarded up, equipped with an old sign hanging askew. I thanked Nigel and walked quickly to the falsely chained door. Performing a series of knocks on the front door, a bright light soon encircled the rim of the door. This allowed me to pull on the handle and walk into Guildsworth, the most exclusive vampire bank in New York City. My shoes clicked on the white marble floor before they hit the soft, blood-red, velvet carpet near the counters. The lights were dimmed and the old paintings that hung around the room seemed to cast an unflatteringly evil shadow. I tried to keep my eyes forward when I passed them. Zeroing in on my goal and nothing else. It always felt like a few of the paintings, of what I assumed were high-ranking vampires, followed my every move. I halted at the towering, oak door that led to the back rooms, punching in the code to be allowed access. As I walked into the back rooms, I was greeted by long, pale legs in red high heels and a miniskirt. I glanced up and did not recognize the woman in front of me. "Hello," I greeted, "You must be the new girl, Cynthia, right?" The girl smiled up at me, she barely reached my shoulders, "Hello! I am so excited to work here with you." She was practically bouncing out of her heels with excitement. "I never knew places like this existed," Cynthia continued, "these rich people must have paid a pretty penny for the high tech that keeps this place out of the public eye." I raised an eyebrow as I shrugged off my coat, it seems my uncle left out a few important details in the hiring process. "Cynthia," I started, "did Mr. Gammond tell you anything about the clientele you will be serving?" I tried to keep my relationship with the owner of the bank a secret with new employees, it tended to lead people to ask me for more favors if they knew my uncle was the owner. Cynthia shrugged, "Mr. Gammond just told me they were super rich, and everything had to be done in secret." Cynthia beamed another smile up at me. I thought her red lipstick would crack if she kept that smile for her entire shift. "Right," I continued, "and did he say anything else?" Cynthia looked up at the ornate wooden ceiling, "Oh!" She looked back up at me, snapping her fingers, "Mr. Gammond was very serious when he told me I must not affiliate with the clients." Cynthia leaned in closer to me, I could smell her pungent perfume. Whispering, she said, "So, like, do we work for the mob?" I rolled my eyes but gave her a small laugh, "No, of course not. Just like you said, super rich people who want to do their banking in secret." Cynthia laughed and started to walk towards the front counters. I was just placing my coat and scarf in the back office when I heard the signature knock at the front door. I checked my watch, it was only 7:00 pm, and the sun had barely gone down. Vampires usually waited until midnight to come do business, most did not even start their day until 10 pm. I walked to the front and looked out through the booth window to see a tall, sharply dressed man. I had seen Nathaniel a few times over the summer. I particularly liked his long blond hair and sexy smile. He seemed to love using it only around me. I could see from the corner of my eye that Cynthia was adjusting her shirt a little too low, her breasts were virtually begging to be released from their confines. Although the devilishly handsome vampire seemed to only have eyes for me. Cynthia looked like she was going to pout when the vampire walked over to my counter and smiled that sexy smile at me. "Hello gorgeous," Nathaniel purred. Nathaniel had his hair tied back in a loose knot at the base of his neck. Even though it was practically arctic weather outside, Nathaniel had the sleeves of his white button-up shirt rolled up and black slacks. He was also carrying his usual black briefcase. I noticed that Nathaniel's biceps were fit to burst from his shirt before quickly glancing back up at him. I fought the rising heat that was creeping up my neck before putting on a smile myself. "Hello Nathaniel, what can I do for you this evening?" I replied, officially opening my booth. Nathaniel kept the smile plastered on his face as he rested his tattooed forearms on the opposite side of the booth, "The usual, depositing this massive amount of money and an evening with yours truly." I held my eye roll but kept my smooth smile as I motioned for the briefcase. Nathaniel lifted his arms from the booth and slid the briefcase through the window, holding my hand as I went to pull the case towards him. I felt a chill run down my back as I glanced up to meet Nathaniel's eyes. They were staring intently at me. "What do you say my dear Desmond?" Nathaniel whispered. I quickly looked toward Cynthia, but she seemed to be too interested in her phone to notice our conversation. I turned my attention back to the stunning man before me, "Nathaniel," I cleared my throat, "you know the rule that I must abide by. I'm sorry but I must decline your invitation." I collected the briefcase and started to turn to go to the back room when I heard Nathaniel huff, "One day Des, one day I will finally get to taste those soft pink lips of yours." I quickly turned back around as I felt the heat rise to my cheeks. I knew I should just shut down any attempts Nathaniel made but I always seemed to get lost in the rugged beauty before me. Of course, all vampires were stunning to look at, but Nathaniel had this old-world beauty about him. I was glad to be in the back as the counter ran through the money. I had to loosen my tie to release the heat that was gathering underneath my shirt. Once the counter had finished, I wrote down the amount on his receipt and, carrying the now empty briefcase, I brought the slip of paper to Nathaniel to confirm the amount. "Is this correct?' I asked, sliding the paper toward Nathaniel. Nathaniel held my gaze for a few more, slow, seconds before scanning the number. Nathaniel's eyebrows furrowed, "This doesn't look right." I raised an eyebrow, "Is there supposed to be a different amount? I can go count it…" Nathaniel waved a hand, "No, this number looks nothing like a phone number." Nathaniel grinned as I stood, flustered. I could no longer fight the heat creeping up my neck and I gave a small laugh in response, "No, of course, it is not my phone number. But I hope the real number is correct. I wouldn't want to cause any trouble with Mr. Reese." Nathaniel's smile slipped slightly at the mention of his boss, but he folded the paper and put it in his pocket, "You're right, can't have the big boss man missing money. The number is correct. Thank you, Des, and I look forward to seeing you again." I nodded as I slid the briefcase back through the booth, not minding when Nathaniel let his hand linger a little too long. "I look forward to your next visit as always, Nathaniel," I smiled as Nathaniel waved goodbye and left back out into the cold night.

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