Lying ThRough Her Fangs
After a few long moments of laughter and condescending remarks from the woman who was supposed to be my best friend, she agreed to help me with my little problem. Our work was cut out for us, especially as she wasn’t in town.
Just before Christanna had hung up, she’d said, “Xylia, I’ll check out the escorts as I know which ones to avoid while you see if there are any male options on your side of the line.”
“How do you know which ones are sleazy? Wait, don’t answer that,” I replied as I shook an image from my head of my best friend looking over a naked male lineup.
I could wait to see what Christianna came up with on her front, or I could try to find a man to compel on my own. Never one to sit by the sidelines while waiting to be rescued, I got ready for bed and made notes of places I could find a gentleman who would be acceptable before my femme fatale best friend lined up a male revue from her frequent flyers miles.
“She better not hook me up with one of her seconds, just to be generous,” I said to the empty bathroom as I brushed my teeth.
The mere thought of being with a man who would have seen her in various stages of undress was enough to have me blushing. And even well-fed vamps can’t blush. Was it any more demeaning to have her cast offs than it was to seek out a man off the streets? Or in this case, a website where men flaunted pictures of their bare chests to get women to order them with a side of hot sauce?
“How did I get myself into this? Oh wait, because I almost feel sorrier for my love life than my friends do.” I fluffed my pillows with more energy than was necessary.
Somehow I knew that there would be little sleep while the sun owned the sky for the next several hours. Propping myself up with all the pillows I loved on my bed, I slipped the notepad onto my lap so I could jot down my options. I wanted to have a plan in place by sunset, when I’d be able to escape my well-decorated prison again.
“Dear Abby, where does a single vampire female meet men of outstanding quality in Atlanta when she can only seek them out in the dead of night? Signed, Desperate And Dead Debbie.” I mimicked a slow southern drawl that would have made Scarlett proud.
1. Liquor stores
2. Movie theaters
3. Grocery stores
4. Book stores
“Okay, now the real world will intrude as I narrow down these choices I have,” I said as I ticked off the ones more valid than the others.
1. Liquor stores - Men there would be looking to get drunk and get laid. Drunk people are more difficult to compel, so that option seemed like more effort than I was willing to put in.
2. Movie theaters - The darkness would be a blessing for compelling the man but most men are there on dates. If a single man was in attendance then my speaking to him would probably have an usher being called to escort us out for being an annoyance.
3. Grocery stores - If I found a yummy specimen in the bread aisle, checking out buns, how would compulsion work with people possibly smacking us with shopping carts or unruly kids screaming for cookies?
4. Book stores – With my current strain of luck, I’d find a guy in the romance aisle and he’d be gay. Guilt would have me running a tab with a local therapist if I made the faux pas of accidentally forcing my way on a gay guy.
5. Park - Worst of all choices would be if I made eye contact with a mysterious man who turned out to be a rapist or psychopath. Yep, he’d be the one where you only saw one of his hands in full view, and his lower half behind a bush. My brain imagined the bush shaking like out of a horror flick. I shuddered.
For the love of all Type O, there had to be a venue where conversation and compulsion were options away from prying eyes. Sure, I could work some mad mojo on a man who fell into my gaze like a swimmer to a welcoming pool, but where?
Then the answer hit me like a glove covered slap to the face. There was only one place that I could think of where a single person could peruse more than just window dressings and cheery kiosks. A place I could go to on an overcast afternoon or during late afternoon hours and have plenty of convenient back hallways where two people could disappear without security being instantly called.
No matter how juvenile and how far below normal my standards were, I would be getting up in approximately seven hours to go to the mall in Buckhead to look for the stranger that would be the new man of my life.
“Let the embarrassment of my life begin,” I proclaimed to the world as the sun came up and I forced my eyes to close.