}); The Vampire Chad (Part 19) – Blinds-Eye View

The Vampire Chad (Part 19)

So, the home that we had to furnish, stock, and move into was a flat in the Battery Park City neighborhood of Manhattan.  It was a relatively upscale and crimefree section of the city.  Not as ritzy as some we looked at, but it fits our demographic a bit better.  Anonymity is key, especially when you’re trying to go unnoticed.  The few “nicer” neighborhoods were more populated with families and people in their 50’s and 60’s.  Chrystal being an ashen-faced, 217-year-old hottie, and me being an ashen-faced 21-year-old not-so-hottie, we really didn’t fit the norm.

And trust me, our “step down” was not a very big one, at least not considering the typical New York neighborhood.  We still came off as kings and queens, which suited Chrystal nicely.  Growing up in the land of rural dairy-air, it was all a bit much to me.  But as long as she was happy, so was I.  At least with our living arrangements. It was when she tried to get me to dress like a gentleman that we butted heads.  I didn’t really care that I didn’t fit in with your typical Manhattanite, wearing my sweatpants and polo shirt.  As I saw it, I’d already upgraded from my typical t-shirts.

Chrystal would just shake her head and pretend she didn’t know me in public.  That is until I’d make some big public scene professes my undying love for her, thanking her gratuitously and obnoxiously for gracing me with her courtship.  This usually earned me a severe glare, or a punch in the crotch if nobody was looking at the time.  What can I say?  The woman was mad about me.  I held her captive with my manly charms and stunning physique.  Even when I was buckled forward groaning from a good crotch shot.

Truth be told, it was definitely obvious who was head over heels and the drooling pup in our relationship.  I’d already pretty much given up my life’s blood to her; Twice in fact.  Sometimes her hold over me almost frightened me.  Just look at the transfixing hold Marcus had over her before she learned the truth about him.  Vampires are an alluring daemon, to our prey and to their Neophytes.  Was it so crazy for me to wonder now and then if her hold over me was more than love and lust?  Could it be preternatural and intentional?

It wasn’t an all-consuming fear of mine or anything; Just something that crossed my mind now and then.  There had been several instances in the months that we’d been together when I had witnessed the effect of her preternatural charms.  Yes, being the young-looking, sultry feline that she was probably had something to do with it.  All men are subject to what I’ve always referred to as the “Power of the Boob.”  If she has boobs, she can always get what she wants from men.  Good looks make it even easier, and vampiric charms just tip the freaking scale the whole way over with a BOOM.

One particular time which stood out was when she used it on The Mechanic;  My first kill the night after my birthday?  He had awoken, and she had made him fall back asleep simply by brushing his cheek and whispering “Hush.”  That definitely looked like mind-control to me.  I asked her about it once or twice, but she always just brushed me off, or she gave the slightly cryptic answer.  “He just gave in to my preternatural charms,” and then she’d laugh it off and change the subject.  I wondered more and more just how much truth that the last answer held.

I finally decided I truly wanted an answer to the question.  I was getting nowhere by outright asking Chrystal about it, so I decided to go another root.  She and Marcus O’Reilly may have been the only vampires I knew back then, but they weren’t my only source of vampiric knowledge.  There was another back in Pittsburgh, PA.  A man with a tome which I should have stolen before leaving the steel city; Tash Vandlo.

The question was, how was I going to get it without Chrystal finding out?  I truly hated doing anything behind her back, because I did truly love her, I just needed to know, for my own sanity’s sake, if it was “just” love or if there was some form of control at work there as well.  And to do that, I needed the rest of the potential knowledge in that tome, without her own knowledge of the whole affair.  That meant either bringing Tash and the tome here to New York, or me making a secretive visit there.

As convincing Tash to bring the book almost 400 miles to New York didn’t seem very plausible, that left two options.  I could arrange for the book to be stolen and shipped/brought to me, or I would just have to get it myself.  Not liking or trusting middlemen to such a delicate task which could be potentially riddled with problems, that left me.  I just needed to figure out how to get to New York, steal the book, and get back without Chrystal being the wiser.  Talk about necessary finesse.

After several hours of calling airline after airline, I finally got it all figured out.  Remember, these were the days before the internet, and being able to choose what exact seat you wanted to sit on during your flight.  You have no idea just how spoiled you all are these days.  No idea!

Anyways, I could schedule an 8:30 pm departure from La Guardia, so I could actually be awake and seated with the rest of the passengers instead of traveling as checked luggage.  The flight was just over an hour and a half, so I’d be arriving at Pittsburgh International at 10:10 pm.  I would have five hours to get the book and get back to the airport for my 3:10 a.m. return flight to New York.

Again, I’d be enjoying the luxuries of first class rather than traveling with Rockland, Delsey, and Samsonite underneath.  The plane would be arriving back at La Guardia at approximately 4:50 a.m., leaving me ample time to get home before sunrise.  All in all, I’d only be gone one full night; Relatively easy to explain away to Chrystal.  This was going to work.

As luck would have it, there was an upcoming all-night screening of the four Star Trek movies.  Yes, there were only four at that moment in history, folks.  This was when it was the cast of the original series.  Next Gen had start started airing on TV the fall before.  Yeah, I admit it, I’m a Trekkie. I’m even willing to admit that I had really been looking forward to sitting there in the theater watching those movies all night.  It was the perfect opportunity and cover though.  I had to take it.  The screening was from 8 p.m. till 5 a.m. with a  few small intermissions.  Even us 20th-century folk gotta pee.

And trust me, there was little to no chance that Chrystal would want to join me in this geeky venture.  On this one, we were definitely divided.  Aptly, she was more into the horror movie genre than science fiction.  You’ve never seen someone who’s so obnoxious at a good B-rated vampire film.  One minute she’d be booing and arguing how unrealistic the vampires were, the next she’d be rooting for them.  She got quite a few stares at the theaters, but she loved every minute of it.

Getting back to the matter at hand though, she just scoffed when I invited her to join me for the overnight trek-fest, telling me to say hi to all my nerd friends for her.  My cover story secure, I booked the flights and a rental car in Pittsburgh for the night of the event.  Everything was set and ready to go.

Phase One of that night went flawlessly.  Saying goodbye to Chrystal before I left, I caught a taxi to La Guardia.  Airport security back then was a joke, it being 13 years before 9/11, so it took me no time to get to my terminal.  The plane departed right on time, and in just over an hour and a half, I set foot back in Pittsburgh, PA.  I picked up my rental car at the airport and headed for Tash’s shop in short order.  This is where things could potentially become unpredictable.

Parking and locking the car about a block from the shop, I nonchalantly made my way down the street at 11 pm.  Not the safest neighborhood to be in after dark, at least for a mortal.  I personally just didn’t want any distractions.  Tearing a bunch of gang members who thought they’d found an easy mark just wasn’t in my time frame tonight.  Maybe some other time fellows, okay?  As it was, the block was relatively thug free that night, so I needn’t have worried.

I approached the front door of the shop and took notice of the buildings light.  Only a few random flickers from the downstairs shop, probably just the emergency lights, and two lights in Tash’s apartment above.  One in the living room and one in the bathroom, if I recalled his apartment layout from my numerous visits when he was teaching me meditation.  Hoping old Tash was dropping a nice deuce during the commercials while watching his favorite show, Cheers.

Walking to the back of the building, I easily forced the storeroom door open with a quick but strong vampiric jerk on the door know.  I was half expecting the knob to come off in my hands, which would have been hilarious, but the humor gods were as quiet as the streets obviously.  The door came up with a slight crunch of the lock being forced.  I was in!

I crept to the front of the storeroom where Tash and I had done our Soul Seering and snuck quietly to the small bookcase he’d pulled the book from.  The large books that were on either side of the small tome were there, still covered in an inch of dust.  The tome itself was not.  Fuck!  Now what?  A quick search of the storeroom, and then the sales floor produced the same results; No book.  If it was still here, it was either in the basement or Tash’s apartment.

Finding the key to the basement door under the cash register, I searched down there.  A ton of Tash’s old gypsy paraphernalia, clothing and such, but still no book.  I was hoping to avoid a confrontation here, for both Tash and times sake, but it looked like it was going to be unavoidable.  I had to go up to the apartment.  Up from the basement, across the front of the storeroom again towards the apartment steps, and there was my old gypsy friend sitting at the table by the bookcase, tome in hand.

“You are looking for this I assume, young Chad?” he stated more than he asked.  “Please, indulge an old Romanian Seer one last time before you kill him,” he waved to the chair across from him, beckoning that I sit.  Confused by his sudden appearance, not to mention his words, I obliged him and sat down.  This wasn’t exactly on the night’s itinerary, but when did anything ever go according to plan in my life?

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