Scott didn’t know if it was the two glasses of alcoholic blood—it had been two years since he had anything to drink—or Josie, but as he kissed her, he felt a little light-headed and almost… thrilled. In fact, he felt as he had the first time he and Josie had had sex. Perhaps it was just the thrill of doing something—feeling something—that he hadn’t felt in years.
The show had barely resumed when Scott heard a faint buzzing noise, and Josie discreetly checked the phone in her lap. She looked at Scott, pointed to the phone as if to say, “See, I told you,” then she turned it off and slipped it back in her purse.
Scott grinned at her.
After the show, Josie wanted to leave quickly, lest Mrs. Lebovitz find them again, so Scott paid and they hurried out.
“What do you want to do with your life, Josie?” Scott asked, as he drove them back to Clarksboro.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I assume, when you were a little girl, you didn’t one day dream of being a lawyer’s secretary.”
She laughed. “Oh, that. No, I want to be a writer.”
“Yeah. I’ve been working on my novel since college, but it’s just not going where I want it to go.”
“So you’re just doing this until you can make it big as a writer?”
She laughed. “I don’t think I’ll ever ‘make it big’ as a writer. I wouldn’t mind writing for a living, but it’s not something you make lots of money doing. You do it because you love it—and because you have so many things to say, so many stories in your head, you have to let them out.”
“What an interesting way of putting it.” Then he laughed. “Think of the story you could write about you and me and the craziness that happens at the office.”
Josie laughed too. “It’d be like a freaking soap opera.”
“Or a cheap romance novel,” he said, shooting her a grin.
“That goes without saying,” she said, smiling too. “Soap operas are cheap romance.”
She looked at him. “What about you? Did you always want to be a lawyer?”
“No. I like numbers and budgets and reports—boring, nerdy stuff. That’s why I majored in business and became a manager.”
“Then… why did you go back to school to become a lawyer?” she asked, sounding confused.
“Because what Maggie did to me really pissed me off. I didn’t ever want to be in a position where I could get railroaded again. And I didn’t want other people to have their kids taken away from them, like Clarice was taken from me.”
It was after midnight when Scott pulled into Josie’s driveway.
“Hey, you want to hear something funny?” she asked.
“What?” he replied.
She reached into her purse and pulled out her phone. “My mother called me a total of five times.”
“Wait, it gets better; there are voicemails.” She pressed a few buttons. A moment later, an older woman’s voice came out over the speaker. It practically squealed with delight.
“Josie, who are you at dinner with? At least text me a name! And an occupation!”
“Josie, are you out with your boss?” The voice sounded confused and unsure now. “Tina said she thought she saw him drinking a glass of blood. And isn’t your boss’s name Cunningham? Are you entertaining clients? Text me!”
“Josephine Myra Fein,” the voice said, aghast, “tell me you are not dating your boss. Tina said you were kissing that man you were with. Please, please, please tell me that’s not your boss. He’s not even Jewish, is he?”
“Josie, it’s midnight. Are you not home yet? Please reassure me that you’re not on a date with your boss.”
You have no more messages, the phone announced.
Josie looked at Scott. “What did I tell you?”
He grinned at her. “Lucy, you gots some ‘splaining to do,” he laughed.
“No shit,” she said, chuckling.
“So, are you going to lie or not?”
“You know, I’m tempted to tell the truth in such an outrageous manner that she thinks I’m lying. Best of both worlds.”
Josie began typing with her thumbs. “Yes… my… boss,” she said, as she typed. “You… said… you… wanted… a… lawyer… or… doctor. …So… what’s… wrong… with… him? …Vampires… are… a… turn… on… for… me. …I… like… it… when… he… bites… me. …He’s… not… circumcised… but… I… think… it’s… kind… of… sexy. …Definitely… different. …I’ll… talk… to… you… tomorrow… after… he… leaves.”
Scott watched her in horror. “Are you really going to send that to your mother?”
“Yep. Already sent,” she said, with relish, before turning off her phone and sticking it back in her purse.
“She’s going to come down here and find a way to kill me. Or your father will, one.”
She laughed. “No, she’ll think I’m just saying all of that to be a smart-ass. She won’t believe any of it.”
“Do… Jews circumcise differently from everyone else? Because I’m circumcised to most people’s standards.”
She laughed again. “No, you’re properly circumcised. I just said that to aggravate her.”
He shook his head. “What’s going to happen when she finds out you’re really dating me?”
“She’ll have a fit. And, just to warn you—before we get really serious—they’ll hate you—my mother especially.”
“They haven’t even met me.”
“Doesn’t matter; they’ll still hate you. My brother dated a shiksa in college for a little while and my parents were not afraid to enumerate her shortcomings in front of her, hoping to drive her off. Which was a shame, because she was a really sweet girl, and she certainly had the patience of Job to put up with it for as long as she did. But she and my brother eventually decided to just be friends. Even though my parents had nothing to do with it, you’d think they had won World War II when they found out.”
She looked at him. “Think you can handle that?”
“I… don’t know,” Scott said honestly. “How much time do we have to spend with your family?”
“A few holidays a year. But my brother and sister are cool; they’ll like you and you’ll like them, I think. We’ll have to go out with them sometime.”
“Okay,” he said.
“What about your family? Are you close?”
He shrugged. “Not as much as I thought.”
“What do you mean?”
“They don’t want me showing up at the holidays.”
Josie’s face fell. “Oh,” she said, looking at him with pity.
“I talk to my mom and dad a few times a month on the phone, and I keep up with my brother and his family on Facebook. It’s not that they don’t want to have anything to do with me—not like Maggie—but they’re afraid to be around me. It’s like I’m a leper.”
“I’m sorry,” she said.
He shrugged again. “It’s okay.”
“You’re alone, aren’t you?”
“I have been.”
“But now?” she asked, perking a brow.
He smiled at her. “Not so much anymore.”
She smiled in return. Then her look became more mischievous, as she reached for the handle of the car door. “Would you like to come in for coffee?”
Scott grinned. “I’d love some coffee.”
He followed her into the house, shutting the door behind him. She turned around to face him, still grinning wickedly.
“So, what kind of coffee do you have?” he asked in a low voice, sliding a hand around her waist and pulling her close.
“Mm, a Jewish brand.”
“Kosher, I presume?”
“To a Conservative standard, at any rate.” She reached up and unhooked the lace collar around her neck, and threw it on the couch. Scott could see the half-healed bite marks on either side of her neck.
“You know what?” he murmured, leaning in to kiss her just under the jaw.
“What?” she whispered, tilting her head back.
“I think I’m going to pass on the coffee tonight. But I wouldn’t mind enjoying the coffeehouse.”
“I thought you wanted to taste me to see how I compared with the stuff in the bottle?”
He kissed her softly on the lips and received the same thrill he had gotten earlier. “I think, tonight, I want both of us to pretend I’m human.”
And there was something in her eyes that said she understood.
Read the entire series–The Bloodsuckers: Vampire Lawyers of Middle Tennessee