~Except from Edge of Darkness, #1 in the Dragons of San DeLain (We're skipping on to chapter 2 now)
Chapter Two - Connie
THE TWO days following the attack on Austin, Kage notified all the leaders of San DeLain of Nox’s death. He also told them what Nox had done to Austin.
He and Hudson had visited Kage and Austin, of course. Kage’s protectiveness was in overdrive like he warned, and the tension around his mouth and eyes were hard to miss.
Connie felt for him. It was obvious Kage was struggling, even though he tried to hide it. Having his mate hurt was bad enough, but Connie couldn’t imagine growing up thinking he was an only child only to find out he had a sibling who was damned and determined to destroy him. And had targeted Kage’s mate to maximize the damage.
They didn’t stay long since they didn’t want to impede Austin’s recovery. The sun was setting as they drove away.
“Are you hungry?” Hudson asked as they left the Dominion.
“I could eat.” Connie was a dragon. There was never a time when he didn’t want to eat. “What do you have in mind?”
Hudson stopped at a red light and tapped his fingers on the steering well. “Hmmm. Club Nomadic is open.”
“Feeling energetic, are we?” Connie gently poked Hudson in the ribs. “Sure you’re up to it, old man?”
The light turned green, and Hudson accelerated. “I’ll dance your ass into the ground, then later through the mattress.”
“Oooooh, a challenge. I like it. Yes, let’s go play with the vampires—see what they have going on tonight.”
Club Nomadic was a well-known queer club that was very popular with the hip, trendy set. The building was located downtown, right in the middle of San DeLain’s nightlife and was owned by a vampire, Raven St. Clair, who was the Master of the City.
Hudson availed himself of the valet parking and followed Connie to the entrance. There was a line snaking around the building, but fortunately someone must have given the bouncer a heads up, because he and Hudson were immediately escorted inside.
The outside of the place looked like any other modern building, but inside was another story. Club Nomadic was an intriguing conglomeration of Goth Victorian and steampunk, with vampire-like elements thrown in for good measure.
There was exposed brick, concrete floors tinted black, open stairwells heading up to the second and third floors, awnings throughout, and private nooks enclosed with long, velvety drapery.
Heavy, ornate black leather furniture was scattered throughout for people to sit and visit. Tables had low lighting to eat by. Black, ornate chandeliers hung throughout the building. Décor pieces were made from vintage leather, driftwood, old lanterns, and wrought iron.
A rolling fog creeped along pathways and onto the dance floor. The massive bar filled the entire back wall, and a had a huge mirror behind it. The vibe was creepy but sexy.
Dress ran the gamut from Goth Victorian, to steampunk, to regular clothes, which he and Hudson wore. But clothing wasn’t what made Club Nomadic interesting—it was the vampire element.
Everywhere Connie looked there were humans wearing fake vampire teeth and red contacts. Some wore makeup to make themselves even more pale than what they naturally were.
Well, the humans had it partially right. Vampires did have fangs and pupils that turned red, but their forehead and brow area thickened when they took their true form.
There was a television show from the late 90s that accurately depicted vampires. Raven had not been happy, but the show had been so popular there wasn’t much he could do about it.
That was not the only television series that correctly portrayed certain paranormals. The gargles also got in trouble with a TV show, but it was a cartoon that time.
But what was really surprising were the vampires who showed their true nature. Of course the humans didn’t know they were among predators.
That was half the fun.