Prince Roman Versillis sipped his drink and watched the patrons in the bar. The smell of sweat, sex and desperation seemed to fill every nook and cranny.
“See anything you like?” He turned his head to stare down his second in command. The man raised his hands in defense and grinned.
Roman sighed. “Everyone here is the same as the one next to them, it’s pathetic and sad.” He set the drink down on the bar. At this point he didn’t think even a bottle of scotch would help.
“My Prince they are only human, literally, they operate unaware of half the world as it spins around them.” Caden shook his head.
Roman knew he was dancing on a knife’s edge. He was one of the oldest of their race and one of the signs of turning into the undead was a loss of interest in life. He knew that Caden would die for him, but this was a battle he could not help him fight.
Suddenly something caught his attention. He felt his mouth twitch. Then twitch again. Was that a smile? Out of the corner of his eye he saw Caden follow his line of sight to a small human female, dancing. Horribly. Roman felt a spurt of hope as he watched her small body move completely out of sync to the music.
“Do you think she is moving that way on purpose?” Caden frowned at her jerky movements.
“She looks like she feels utterly free.” Roman picked up his drink and watched the female intently.
She spun around, bopped her head, and did a mini electric slide between the two tables her friends occupied. They laughed and cheered her on. For the rest of the night he watched as the dancer moved as if she were freeing her soul.
When the lights brightened signaling that the bar would soon be closing Roman watched as desperate human males made last ditch efforts to take the single females home. Roman stiffened and barely concealed his fangs as two human males approached his little dancer and started man handling her. Caden hissed softly. They moved as one towards the woman.
“Let me go you assholes!” Bellowed the tiny woman as she twisted her body back and forth trying to free her arm.
Roman walked up and grabbed the hand that was gripping the woman’s arm. He started to slowly squeeze the wrist smiling in satisfaction when he heard something crack. The large man howled and released the woman. She quickly stepped back rubbing her arm. Caden had the second man by the throat.
“We don’t have a problem here do we gentleman?” Roman allowed his eyes to shift to red. His voice sounded cold and distant even to his own ears. The small woman’s eyes widened at his voice.
“No man, no, we were just leaving!” Roman dropped his wrist and Caden released the other man’s throat. They immediately took off for the exit.
“You sound like you’re dead inside.” The woman declared suddenly. Beside him Caden’s eyes widened.
“I find it difficult to smile anymore.” He admitted.
“Then I’m glad I made you smile” she looked up at him.
Roman looked down at the woman shocked. She stood over a foot below him, her hair was messy and what wasn’t matted to the sides of her face with sweat was sticking up at every angle, her face was flushed and her shirt was buttoned wrong. Her hips were rounded and her tan freckles provided a stark contract to her creamy skin. She was almost extraordinary in her ordinariness. But to him she was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen.
“Please tell me your name.” he glided gracefully towards her.
“Well since you asked nicely, my name is Jo.” She stuck out her hand. Prince Roman shook her hand and pulled her flush against him.
“You danced just for me?” he ran his thumb along her spine. She just nodded looking down at where their other hands were joined. She shook her head as trying to free herself from a dream. She looked back up. His dark eyes smiled down at her, his grin predatory.
“You looked so sad that I thought I’d try and make you smile, and you did. I know I saw at least one.” She looked triumphant.
“Sir, it’s nearly morning, perhaps we should get going.” Caden gently reminded him. They needed to leave soon, otherwise they were going to end up crispy fried.
Prince Roman kept her gaze. “Will you come home and dance for me?”
“Only if you promise to bite me later.” She winked.
A stunned expression took over his regal features before he threw his head back and laughed.
He heard Caden sigh in relief, maybe things were going to be okay after all.