Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Tuesday Teaser

Time to meet Kage, y'all! Still don't have a damn title for this, but it's coming right along. I'm at 20K, which is chapter 9 for my books. My chapters tend to be a bit on the long side.

Chapter Two - Kage

SITTING IN the backseat of his Rolls-Royce, Kage stared out of the window at the night sky. A full moon played hide and seek the with towering skyscrapers of San DeLain. 

Definitely not the best night to be out, but anything worshipping that chunk of rock in the sky normally was on packlands by this time of the month. 

That was not to say a few rogues weren’t in the city, prowling the dark alleys, looking for entertainment. Such was life. You were either the hunter or the hunted. 

He watched the expensive retail shops, exclusive museums, and posh restaurants that lined a street nicknamed Millionaire’s Row in San DeLain flash past. 

Humans thought they were at the top of the food chain. Adjusting his Patek Philippe 1518 watch, he grinned. Little did they know what they welcomed into their businesses and social circles.

His driver maneuvered the car into the private parking garage located below Apex, a nightclub Kage owned. Once the car was in its designated spot, Harrold got out and opened the rear passenger door. 

Kage slid out and smoothed his hand down his shirt. “I’ll be a couple of hours.”

“Yes, sir.”

With a wave, he stepped into the private elevator and leaned against the wall, mentally checking through the list of things he needed to accomplish over the next few days. The many businesses’ he owned required so much time, even with the staff he employed. 

The elevator stopped and opened into the ground floor of his club. Everywhere he looked people danced. He sniffed discreetly. The majority of the patrons were human, but there were definitely paranormals in attendance. 

The vampires were easily identified thanks to their otherworldly beauty and slight metallic scent. Since anything that shifted was busy tonight, vampires were the most popular with the humans.

Salt and brine rode the air currents. Glancing about, he spotted a few merpeople. Their androgynous features marked their species. Like the vampires, they needed blood, but unlike the vampires, it didn’t have to be human. 

A couple of magic users moved in and out of the human throng on the dance floor. They tended to smell of ozone even when not using their powers. They blended in with the human crowd the easiest. 

A lone gargoyle sat at a table, his earthy scent tangy and fresh but also sharp. Seeing him was a surprise. They didn’t often leave their territories. 

Kage moved through the crowd. As he passed those he was acquainted with, he nodded. His destination was the secluded booth at the very back of his club where there was more privacy and the music wasn’t so loud. 

A handsome man with long auburn hair sat there, sipping what appeared to be red wine. 

There were paranormals, then there were the dragons, with their scent of burning leaves on a fall night and never-ending arrogance. In his opinion, they were the most dangerous. Well, outside of his kind. 

“I was beginning to worry you got lost, my friend.” 

Kage sat and a server appeared immediately. “I’ll have what he’s having,” Kage said, pointing to Hudson’s wineglass. 

“Yes, Mr. Dargan,” the waiter said quietly. 

Hudson watched the waiter walk away, licking his lips. Kage had to admit, the waiter was a tasty little morsel, as far as humans went. He’d probably end up in Hudson’s bed tonight. 

The asshole across from him was his best friend and sometime partner-in-crime, so to speak. They had several joint ventures that paid nicely, and they shared similar tastes in both stock and bonds… and men and women. 

The two of them together were striking—Kage with his olive complexion, scruff, and dark hair and eyes, and Hudson with his lovely deep red hair, green eyes, and pale skin. 

Even he wasn’t sure how old Hudson was, but he was an Ancient. Which meant he was an old and damn powerful dragon. They’d met when Hudson had fished Kage out of the River Thames during the late eighteen hundreds. Ah, the Victorian era. What fun that had been.

Within moments, Kage was sipping a dark and sweet red wine. “Mmm. Nice. Good choice.”

“I thought so. It came from your private stock.”

Kage laughed softly. “Of course it did.”

Hudson just smirked. 

“I’m surprised you beat me here, since your home is so far away,” Kage said, leaning back in his chair.

“Took the helicopter.”

“Ahhh. No wonder then. I had traffic to deal with.”

“You mean Harrold had traffic to deal with.” Hudson lifted his wineglass and toasted Kage with it. 

“Very true. There’s not enough money in this world to deal with this traffic. That’s why I pay Harrold his weight in gold.” Not really, but it was close enough. Harrold had proved his worthiness a long time ago and Kage took care of those he trusted.

They kept the talk light because with that many paranormals around with keen hearing, nothing was ever a secret. Besides, this was not a business meeting. 

Once a week they met for no other reason than the enjoyment of each other’s company. There weren’t many Kage trusted enough to lower his guard, and Hudson was one of the precious few. 

“There’s a private showing for that new Cruise movie,” Kage said, taking another sip of his wine. “Want to—shit.”

Kage placed the wineglass back on the table with a thump. Every nerve in his body lit up as the summons pulled at the very core of his being. Anxiety hummed through his bloodstream.

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s Austin. He’s calling me. Fuck, he’s scared.” Kage’s voice trembled with anger. “There’s something wrong. He’s terrified. I need to go now.”