How Not to Date a Vamp
How Not to Date… Series
by Stephanie Burke
eBook ISBN: 978-1-60521-727-7
What do you get when your greatest strength lies in not dying easy? If you are lucky and no one confuses you with a pop culture vampire, and if you diet and exercise to keep your weight down, you just might get the girl. But first you have to avoid the hunters on your trail, the cost of replacing your clothing, and get over your phobia about wood.
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“Taxi!” Barb shouted and waved her hands, jumping up and down like a fiend. It was difficult to get a cab to stop at night in Baltimore’s Fells Point, let alone getting one to stop for a woman wearing a sequined, fringed gown circa 1940 and five-inch heels. Now that was mission impossible.
But she was doing her best to get that yellow cab to notice her so she could stimulate the economy just a little… and get her ass home before something else happened to it.
Today had been one of those days that made her wish she could be an ass instead of a kind and considerate member of the human race. What she wouldn’t give for a license to cuss a bitch out! And today would have been the perfect day to exercise that right.
It started when the bass player had a small argument with his bartending girlfriend. This was usually par for the course with the two, but today had been different. It wasn’t a guy who had been flirting with Randy the Bassist’s girl — it had been one of the most butch women Barb had ever seen. And being a singer, she had performed in some places where she thought she’d seen everything! The private party that had consisted of furry midgets who wanted her to sing Las Vegas-style show tunes during a scritching session came to mind. But this woman had to have been on steroids or something.
She looked like she could bench press cars. She was growing facial hair and walked like she had just spent a lot of time on the back of a bike, or like her cock was hairier and sweatier than Randy’s.
That wasn’t the problem, the pissing contest aside. The problem was that Velma, Randy the Bassist’s girlfriend, seemed to be flirting back.
It was kind of hard to sing “Cotton Club Blues” when your bassist was muttering about murder and threatening to cosh a six-foot woman with facial hair over the head with his instrument.
After two sets, Barb had had enough.
She pulled Randy to the side and had him go out and cool his head. She had no idea Velma had gone out for a cigarette break and had run into the butch, female bear.
The argument that ensued had sent the keyboard player running in to get Barb, the voice of reason, and she wound up racing out into the night, in her costume and heels, to stop a potential bloodbath.
But what she found instead was a bit more disturbing than a woman with back hair. Randy was sticking his tongue down the hairy chick’s throat while sliding a hand down the back of Velma’s pants. It appeared all his posturing and argumentative behavior was just a way for Randy to show his jealousy and attraction to the female, who was frankly more masculine than him.
Barb took a moment to take it all in, and honestly, who wouldn’t? It wasn’t a sight one saw every day! And then she proceeded to tear a strip out of her bass player.
How dare he make her miserable evening more miserable with the disgusting power plays, and didn’t he know better than to conduct a threesome right in the middle of the street?
After she had her say and sent the slightly subdued threesome on their way, she tried to make it back to the bar, only to realize it had closed while she was trapped outside in her costume, carrying a small clutch bag.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if the weather hadn’t exercised the Baltimore Rule. If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute. It’ll change. And boy, did it change. It went from a nice, balmy fall day of about seventy to a winter chill of about forty-five degrees.
She ran back to try and catch Randy, but he, his girlfriend, and their hairy conquest had beat feet and had already left the area.
She wasn’t concerned about her street clothing — they would be safe inside her dressing room — but now her pale ass was cold, and there was a decided lack of individuals on the street.
So now she was mixed in with the other poor slobs in Fells Point who were trying to make their way home after an evening of drunken debauchery.
Only she was not drunk, not debauched, and was freezing her butt off.
So she waved her hand again, bellowing and jumping up and down like a jackrabbit, trying her best to catch the attention of a cabbie who wouldn’t think she was about to vomit in his car.
What a life.
She was seriously considering starting to hoof it home in her stilettos when a cab actually pulled up in front of her.
“Thank God!” she gasped, opening the door and pasting a smile on her face.
She was about to enter when a voice spoke in her ear — a very deep, very masculine voice. “Nice dress.”
Barb turned around, eyes wide as she looked at the man who had paused to give her such a nice compliment. And smiled.
While standing out on the corner, she had gotten catcalls, offers of solicitation, and a lot of strange looks. But no one had complimented her on the fringed and sequined 1940s-style gown she had made herself.
So, naturally, she preened a little and took the time to check the discerning man out.
And then she deflated a little. Sure, he had one of the sexiest voices she had ever heard outside of a studio, but the guy’s whole appearance just screamed nerd.
He was wearing a nice enough full-length black velvet coat, however. The soft looking fabric seemed to envelop his short body almost like a cloak. But that was where the Ohhh factor ended. He was wearing a pair of thick, black, square glasses, the kind that never looked good on anyone. His shirt was a blinding white and buttoned up so high it looked like he was choking. The man’s jeans were a little too baggy for her taste and looked like they’d come out of the bargain rack at Walmart at least five years ago. And, of all things, he was wearing a red and blue-striped tie. There were some kind of work boots on his feet, and his hair was a tangled, brown mass that covered half of his face.
Okay, forget nerd — he kind of looked like a serial killer.
“Thanks?” she offered, shaking her head and turning back to the safety of her cab.
“You are welcome.” He had an accent of some kind, but it was not really interesting enough to even try and place it.
Barb shrugged, the conversation over in her mind, and made to enter the cab — just in time to have to door slam shut in her face.
“Hey!” she called out, beating on the window while bending over to see who was being so damn rude. “This is my cab!”
A man in a business suit grinned back at her and waved as he leaned forward and gave the cabbie instructions.
Shrugging, the cabbie hit the gas, tearing off down Ann Street and — Rip!
“Oh, my God!” Barb shrieked as her skin was hit with a sudden blast of cold.
The man had not only stolen her cab, but it seemed he had stolen her dress as well.
Her dress had to have gotten caught in the door when the gentleman — and she was using the term loosely — hopped inside her rightfully hunted conveyance. The result was that the thin concoction of taffeta and fringe ripped completely off her body and took off down the street with her cab!
That left her standing on the corner with nothing on but a nearly see-through French-cut camisole, tap pants, and a pair of heels — damn her need for authenticity — with her dress forlornly waving like an abandoned flag as the rear lights disappeared into the night.
“Oh, shit!” she gasped, breaking out of her frozen stupor to take the classic debauched maiden pose of one arm wrapped around her breasts, the other trying to cover her groin as she hunched over.
It was not a pretty picture, she thought as she looked around the dark streets, watching clouds of white puff up with every rapid, frightened, and frustrated breath she took. What the hell as she supposed to do now?
Before she could concoct a plan, something warm and soft wrapped around her shoulders, cloaking her whole body.
She blinked and looked over her shoulder to see nerd boy standing there. He had a concerned look on his face as he carefully wrapped his own coat around her nearly naked body.
“Are you okay?” he asked, stepping up to her, and Barb realized that in her heels she could look him right in the eye. That put him at around five feet six inches tall. It was odd to find a man so short, she decided, but at least he was being a gentleman.
“My dress,” she stammered, her bottom lip quivering as she tried to blink back tears.
She had just gotten her dress ripped off her body, her new and most favorite dress, and she was standing on a street corner in her underwear. That was worth at least a tear or two.
“I saw,” he said as he began to button the million black buttons that seemed to line the front of his coat. It was almost like a gothic version of a priest’s coat, she decided as the scent of the thing teased her nostrils.
He smelled like freshly baked pastries.
“My dress…” she tried again as the man stood up, and she caught a good look at his eyes.
They were so green. They were an acid green, almost glowing in the night as he adjusted his glasses and peered curiously at her.
“I got the name and car number for you,” he informed her as he popped the cowl-like hood over her head. “You can call and sue if you want. I’ll be your witness.”
Suddenly every uncharitable thought she ever had about the man disappeared in a puff of mental smoke. He had covered her pale ass, and that was a wonderful thing from where she was standing.
“Th-thank you,” she stammered, blushing harder as she slid her arms into the sleeves of the coat, admiring its full cut. “I — I –”
“You don’t have to say anything.” He smiled, and it suddenly changed his status from nerdy to hotty! Though some of it might have come from him coming to her rescue.
She nodded, her head dropping as she suddenly felt shame at her previous thoughts. That goes to show you never judge a book by its cover, she thought, frowning at her own actions.
“Hey, hey, hey,” he stammered, placing one deceptively large hand under her chin and lifting her face so he could meet her eyes. “None of that. So I saw you in your underwear. They were clean.”
His line, given with an incredibly cute, crooked smile, served its purpose. Barb began to snicker at the whole situation.
“And it could have been worse. You could have been wearing a thong…”
At that thought, Barb exploded into laughter.
“Like –” she choked out through her laughter, “– like a Lady Gaga video gone wrong?”
“More like old-school Madonna.” He laughed with her. “You don’t have crazy crap glued in your hair.”
And that set her off again.
Actually, it was a drunk stumbling by, staring at them both laughing like they had just been told the greatest joke ever, that sobered them up. Especially when he started mumbling about crackheads making it unsafe for a man to move around at night.
“So, can I see you home?” he finally asked. “I don’t think it’s safe for you.”
“Well…” she waffled. She didn’t know the man, and did she really want him to know where she lived? But, on the other hand, he didn’t have to come to her aid at all. And he could have pulled her behind any one of the dark buildings into an empty alleyway and done things to her. Yet he hadn’t.
“Oh.” He slapped his forehead with his palm and rolled his eyes. “I am so sorry. I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Virgil. Virgil Deren de Vampe. I have ID and everything.” He smiled and patted his butt, probably looking for his wallet, Barb decided, but then he frowned.
“Um, you might want to reach into the right side interior pocket…”
Now he was blushing, and Barb grinned when she understood his meaning.
“I got your wallet?” she asked, a grin in her voice.
“And my keys, my credit cards, and my cash.” He looked a little forlornly at her. “Are you going to rob me now? I am now at your mercy… until you give me my coat back. Um, you are going to give it back, right?” He looked over at the vicinity of her stomach. “It looks like you are getting real attached.”
Barb looked, then groaned as she realized that, while he had been patting himself down and looking for his wallet, she had been petting the material of his coat.
“But if you want to be alone with it, I understand. I find myself petting it all the time. It likes the attention.”
Her blush deepened yet again.
“You can walk me home.” She smiled. After all, her instincts — and they were very good instincts too — told her she could trust him. And she did have to return his coat. Besides, she could kick his short, cute, nerdy ass if he tried something. Those spiky heels she was wearing were good for more than making her legs look killer. They neatly doubled as weapons. “And thank you, Virgil de Vampe. Is that German?”
“Why, yes, it is, madam.” He clicked his heels together and gave her a rather formal bow. “My family hails from the Fatherland.”
“But that is not all?” she asked, taking in his dark skin and unusual eyes.
“No, I have family from Africa.” He smiled. “And not South Africa, if that is what you were thinking, but I have visited Johannesburg many times.”
“You’re part black?” She grinned.
“I am. If that is an issue…” He frowned a little.
“Not an issue.” She reached out to touch his arm. “I’m just trying to put together all your features and your accent.”
“I’ll help you out.” He grinned. “I am indeed, as you in America say, black. But I am also German and Italian. My ancestors moved around a lot.”
“And your accent?”
“Comes from travel in my youth.” He offered her an arm, like a true gentleman. “I can tell you of it as we walk, if you trust me to see you to your door.”
“I do.” She took his arm confidently, definitely attracted to the man now. His nerdy exterior was misleading, or at least it hid a fascinatingly unique individual.
“Then I will speak.” He patted the arm that was looped around his. “My earliest memories were of my father’s home in Germany. I believe I was watching him and my mother practice English. It is not my first language, you know.”
“Well, if you were running around in Germany, I would think that you would speak German.”
“Sarcasm?” he asked.
“Just a little.” She snorted.
“You know…” He paused to look at her, that devastatingly handsome smile crossing his face as he tossed his hair back. “I think I am going to like you.”
Changeling Press ‖ ARe ‖ Kindle ‖ Nook