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The club was called Woolen Cloak. While it was a very rural and almost British sounding in its name, the club was actually one of the hottest spots for up and coming movie star hopefuls, undead, and those who were around to be seen to be seen. It was a terrible play on words that took several rounds of logic to decipher. It went something like this: Sheep had wool. There was that saying ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’, which was for tricking and hiding your true self. And a lot of the people who came there dressed up as something they weren’t. Also vampires could be considered wolves in human’s clothing and they liked the club. They had sharp canines. Wolves were canines as well. It was apparently Los Angeles being clever.

Or it was Hollywood being what it thought was clever.



Theo didn’t really know one way or the other; he just knew that was getting out of his car in front of the club. A long line snaked across the block behind a red velvet rope waiting to get inside. Trever got out next him and shoved his hands in his pockets. “I feel distinctly out of place,” he said. He wore a beaten up leather jacket and loose jeans with work boots. Veena decided to stay at the hospital to make sure that Enne stayed there too.

“You do, you’re not at all fancy enough looking.” For himself, Theo wore slacks and a tee-shirt that said ‘undead do it even after the blood stops flowing’. He kept his sunglasses firmly on against the bright fluorescent lights over the door way. Even though the door to the club was currently closed he could feel the throbbing of music pressing against his temples.

“You think they’ll think we’re a couple?”

“I certainly hope not. Though Enne would find it hysterical.” He tossed the keys to the valet. The man caught it with supernatural quickness. He looked to have a tiny bit of elf in him. Enough that it made his cheekbones stand out and slant his eyes, though it could have been a face job. Those happened.

The bouncer looked at the two of them. Theo looked back at him. “We’d like in, thank you.”

With extreme exaggeration the bouncer looked at his list. He flicked through the pages pretending to read each name, occasionally glancing up at them. Finally he said. “Sorry you’re not on the list.”

This only made Theo smile a little. Perhaps he would be having too much have fun with this. He crossed his arms and said. “Oh, but I do think I and my friend do not need to be on the list.”

“And why is that?”


“This is the Woolen Cloak, is it not? The club is owned by Ronald DuMoore, yes?”

“Yes.”

“Who runs it for Ember Industries?”

“Yes.”

His smile broadened “I’m Theodred Sammeth. I own this club.”

The bouncer blinked and stared at Theo and Trever and then back at Theo. “One moment,” he grunted. He stepped inside, the music buffeted against him like a gust of wind for a moment as the door opened and then shut.

“You enjoyed that far too much,” Trever said.

“Yes. Sometimes its fun to throw your weight around like that, but don’t tell Enne I said that.”

Trever laughed. “You’re a terrible person.”

The door opened as he said that and the bouncer stuck his head outside as well as another man, unnaturally pale with pink streaked hair slicked back and glitter across his skin: a vampire.

A recent series of vampire harlequin fantasy novels had vampires that naturally sparkled. This series proved to be very popular with young, pretty girls and women so to cash in on this craze, vampires started to coat themselves in sparkling make up and name themselves after characters in the books. It’d worked surprisingly well, much to the concern of persons related to the victims of the sparkling vampires.

Theo pushed up his sunglasses so that his silver eyes showed. Both men balked and then the door shut. “I think I scared them.”

“Ya, think, mate?” Trever drawled.

The door opened again and the vampire stepped out in a slick fake wolf’s coat, dyed a dark green. Thin as a stake he walked over to Theo and bowed. “My Lord, and friend, please, come in, if I had known you were coming, I would have made arrangements.”

“It’s fine, it was a split second decision done about a half hour ago.”

“Of course, of course,” the vampire said his voice reedy and as thin as he was. “Please, this way.” He led them inside, constantly glancing back at the two of them. “Our private booth is still open. You’re very lucky.”

From the way he spoke, Theo figured that he really meant they just kicked out who ever was just in that booth. He didn’t say that though. You let the underlings underling for you. That’s what his father always told him. Let them do things for you, don’t comment on if it is good or bad. It keeps them on their toes and doing their things of their own initiative. But if they did something that was completely contrary to your desires, then you destroy them.

Theo wasn’t always sure how he felt about that one. Most of the time he was sure it was a bad thing. He knew it was a bad thing. And then something pissed him off to no end and it didn’t seem like it was a bad thing any more.

The music was even louder than he thought it would be. It blocked his ability to hear anyone speak anything. It was all one billowing noise, thumping against his skin; if it were physical it would scrape against his skin like a sand storm. There must have been muffling wards in need of repair on the doors. Wincing, he restrained himself from putting his hands over his ears. Trever made a quick gesture around his ears in a personal muffling ward gesture. Theo gave him a hopeful look and Trever did the same. It pushed the noise back into the background, giving him a chance to actually hear what the vampire – please call him Edward – said.

“Here’s our private booth. Anyone – I mean any thing you want – just let one of our staff know and they’ll get it for you. Is there anything I can help you with?”

Sliding into the black velvet covered booth, Trever shook his head. “Nah. We’re fine.”

“If we do need something, we’ll let you know,” Theo said. He smiled at the dead man who left quickly to see to other people. As soon as he found himself enclosed in the round booth, he found all the noise gone. “A fantastic dampening spell in this, here.”

“Aye. Top of the line. I can’t believe this place,” Trever said.

Theo laughed. “It’s pretty glittery.”

“From all the people, you mean?”

There were a lot of people dancing and talking. They wore glitter on their skin and glitter on their clothes. Most of them were skin tight, what little bits there were on a lot of the women and more than a few of the men.

“I kind of meant the walls.”

“Oh, the walls are sparkly too.”

“The drinks are pretty expensive,” Trever said, looking at the menu. “I think my mum charges a bottle for what they’re asking for a glass of … what is this?”

Theo looked at the menu where Trever had his finger at. There was a dot with a fifteen dollar price tag next to it. “Oh. That’s Period. They’re being clever again.”

“Period… oh. Hah. Yeah. Do they have coke?”

“I imagine so, what sort do you want?”

“Regular coke?”

“What sort of regular coke?”

“What do you… oooooh. Hah. I don’t like this place.” A girl walked by their table and smiled at the two of them before giggling. “Well… maybe… I don’t think I like the prices.”

“You have a girlfriend.”

“I can still look. I’m not engaged to Enne.”

Snorting, Theo said, “I can still look. Lord knows she looks enough.”

“Right. Right. So, do you think we’ll get some undead talking to us?”

“If I ask,” Theo said. “If I ask.” He looked around and could already see undead glancing at the two of them. They were shy and nervous, uncertain what to do with him. Most of them were around necromancers. They tended to draw themselves to the necromancers like flies to honey. Hopefully they would be nervous enough to tell him what he needed to know.

The crowd parted suddenly as a man walked into the club. Everyone’s attention drew to him without question. Even Theo found himself looking at the new person. He exuded charisma and wore a smile of a million bucks. His clothes looked even more expensive. His eyes were a startling gold, his hair a darker gold in color, everything just spoke gold and sand and sunshine: a perfect person from Los Angeles.

“Ashley Carrey.” The whisper went up around the room and silence soon filled the club, even killing the boom of the music. The disc jockey had turned it off as soon as the susurrus reached him.

The man randomly took two women from the crowd and pulled them to him as he walked towards the booth that Theo and Trever sat at. Sighs of disappointment flushed through the crowd from both the left over men and ladies.

“That can’t be legal,” Trever muttered to Theo. And he wasn’t talking about the man’s grabbing and possessing of the girls. One of them looked like she was a child actor just getting into her teens and starting her descent into infamy. He meant the charismatic tugging that Carrey exuded. “Bardic, you think?”

“Nah… doesn’t feel quite like it, it’s something else, but I can’t put my finger on it,” Theo whispered back. It didn’t seem to hit the same sort of thoughts. This was more blatant worship. Perhaps Carrey, like himself, had some divine in him.

Carrey arrived with an almost flourish at their table. He looked down upon them and Theo really wondered what Maya saw in him beyond his looks, “You are in my seat,” he declared as if such a thing were impossible to happen.

“Your seat,” Theo said back, raising his eyebrows. “I happen to know it is my seat. I do own the club after all.”

The calculating look that flashed across Carrey’s eyes was startling in its quickness. Nothing else on his face changed, the indignation stayed the same, the slightly raised eyebrows, the tiny sneer that seemed stuck on his face. “I see.”

Theo stood up and delighted to find that he was taller than Carrey by at least several inches. “However, I’d be more than willing to give the seat to you; if you can prove your claim that it belongs to you.” He heard Trever snort behind him. Yes, he knew, he was being childish. This was essentially a ‘prove it’. All that was missing was the ‘so neh!’ after it.

Despite being shorter Carrey, still had the tall presence of a man Trever’s height. He crossed his arms, his face switched to one of conciliation. “Far be it from me to send our illustrious owner away from the best seat in the house.”

“I’d be more than willing to give it up our seat,” Theo said, and he meant it. Since Carrey came in he felt an extreme desire to leave. “For a favor.” This favor would hurt his pride a little, but hopefully he could get it done quickly.

“And what sort of favor would that be?”

“My cousin is, for some reason, a fan of yours. She would like an autograph.” And a dance at his wedding, but he wasn’t going to say that here. “And I do like to indulge her.”

And then Carrey’s face broke out into a huge smile. “Anything for a fan!” he crowed. “Especially one related to the owner of my favorite club. What’s her name?”

“Maya Erikson.”

“That’s a lovely name. You should tell her I said so.”

“Of course.”

A lackey Theo didn’t see before showed up behind Carrey and handed him a pen and a headshot. With swift gestures Carrey signed the photograph and gave it to Theo. “There you go. Would you like one for yourself?”

“No thank you, but perhaps my friend would like one for his cat’s litter box?”

Trever grinned. “Nah mate, I take shit out of the box, not put it in.”

“Cute, how long did it take you to come up with that?” He then paused for a moment. “Wait, Maya Erikson, as in the daughter of Ash Erikson?”

Theo said nothing and tried not to bristle.

“Yes! I believe it is, that must make you Theodred Sammeth. Oh, that poor girl to have such an infamous father like that.” He smiled. “You know, I’m going to be playing Adrian Fraser in the movie coming out soon. I believe Ian McKellen will be playing Ash.”

“I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to hear that,” Trever said.

Carrey’s attention riveted onto him. “And you must be one of the Delvars. Cat hair. That makes you Trever. They’ve turned you into a girl for the movie I’m afraid. You know Hollywood, romances always have to be a boy and a girl.”

“I’ll know you Hollywood…” Trever said, his accent starting to thicken. That usually meant that he was about five words from starting a fight.

“Come on Trev, let’s go. I got what I needed,” Theo interceded. He tucked the photograph under his arm and walked out, leaving the crowd of people to send their attention back to Carrey. Glancing back at Trever, he saw that Carrey had sprawled in the booth they just vacated, with one of the girls on his lap. He flicked a finger towards the DJ and the music started up again. Carrey was holding court.

As he walked out the door, he turned to mention this to Trever when he got hit right in the face with a flash going off. Hissing, he blinked rapidly trying to clear the sudden blindness. He heard paparazzi screaming questions at him as other cameras flashed around them. Trever grabbed his elbow and yanked him away from the club and noise, yelling for the valet to hurry up and get the car.

“I’ll drive,” he muttered in Theo’s ear.

“Thanks.” He wanted to rub his eyes, but that would require lifting up his sunglasses and that would expose them even more to the cameras. Instead he shut his eyes tightly and tried to fight off the on-coming headache. Migraine medicine waited in the car for him. He just needed a few of those pills and everything would be fine.

Trever, he heard, stated going off in Gaelic at the reporters. Theo didn’t speak it and likely the reporters didn’t either, but it sounded insanely rude. Of course, Trever had a gift of being able to make the nicest of things sound insanely rude if he wished. Theo hoped sincerely that he was saying nice things because someone would translate it. The last thing Theo needed – the last thing the DMCM and Rhys needed – would be for Trever to get into the news for his creative use language.

He heard a car pull up and Trever tugged him forward. “Here, get in. Watch your head.”

Having long ago mastered the art of getting into the car when he couldn’t see, Theo didn’t bump his head on anything. Thankfully the seatbelts were automatic. He could hear Trever muttering irritably still as he shifted the car into gear, the engine revving under his feet. Tires squealed as he pushed on the gas pedal and they shot out down Sunset Boulevard.

“Don’t kill anyone Trever,” Theo said as he cautiously opened his eyes. Though still seeing spots, he was able to see enough to know where they were going.

“I’m not.”

“Just checking.” From his pocket he wiggled out his cell phone and dialed Maya, only because he felt obligated to let her know. The phone rang twice before she picked up. “Hey kiddo, it’s Theo.”

“Theo! I heard about Adrienne! Is she okay? I’m so worried about her!”

“She’s fine; she’ll be out of the hospital tomorrow morning.”

“Whether the doctors want her to be or not,” Trever chirruped. Maya giggled.

“Hi Trever!”

“She says Hi.”

“Hey Maya! Guess what! We met Ashley Carrey.”

Theo jerked the phone away from his ear to avoid the sudden high pitched squeal that followed Trever’s pronouncement. “Really? Really? Really? Did you talk to him? What did he say? What was he like? Was he as hot in person as he is in the movies?” Theo could hear something squeaking, she must be bouncing on the couch or bed.

“I honestly couldn’t tell you about his hotness, I’m not that great in that department. But he signed a photograph for you.”

Again he had to pull the phone away from his ear, least he damage his hearing. Maya had a very high pitches squeal of excitement. She talked so fast but he heard the words “Facebook” “Tell everyone” “Oh Migawd!!!” And then she hung up.

“Good-Bye Maya. I’m glad you like the photograph. I’ll be sure to tell the others you said hi.”

He got a snort from Trever. “Teenagers, they’re so cute at that stage.”

Theo flicked to Maya’s Facebook page where he saw, in all caps, “Ashley Carrey knows my name!” When they reached a stop light, he showed it to Trever. “At least it’s partially true.”

“You’re not going to dissuade her from her fantasies on Carrey’s personality, are you?”

“She’s in love with a fantasy, not the real person. But if he were to come with in five miles of her with impure intentions, I will ruin him.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Theo suppressed a shiver. He sounded an awful lot like his father just then.
From the glance that Trever gave him, he thought the same thing.

“I need coffee. I need coffee badly,” he muttered. He poked the GPS unit until it showed them the closest coffee place available. “Go there.”

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Ashley Carrey

January 2016

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