That’s the thing about magic. It’s always so damned unpredictable and in my opinion, it makes those who practice magic, fucking nuts. If I’ve done no other good my entire life, I’ve done one thing – I’ve stayed away from mages, witches, wiccans, practitioners, or whatever the hell they call themselves - that is until recently.
You’d think I’d been intelligent enough to stay clear of anything related to Izzy’s witchy drama but oh no. I just had to get involved. It would have been easier and less stressful if I had ignored Samantha instead of acknowledging that I could see her but it’s not every day that a ghost appears in the over-the-bed-sex-mirrors and starts talking to me when I’m having sex. Granted, vampires see ghosts all the time but we ignore them - it’s what we do, but she scared the hell out of me. My pupils contracted while my eyes changed to Ice Blue and my fangs dropped down. It was a domino effect, Samantha scared the vampire into me and I scared the hell out of my hired uh, let’s call her, help.
Once Samantha realized I had seen her, there was no convincing her otherwise even though I tried ignoring her. She showed up in my mirrors, hid my stuff, pinched people’s asses as I walked by and scared all of my dates. I swear her favorite thing became waiting until I was intimate with someone then show up claiming to be my murdered ex girlfriend seeking revenge. As you would guess, that didn’t go over so well with my companions and thus, after a year of celibacy caused by persistent ghost nagging, I had to get laid. So, I gave in and agreed to help her. I figured it couldn’t be any worse than her randomly showing up and talking at me for hours on end. She was getting in the way of my getting laid and feeding.
“Tam?” Ash gently shook my arm. “Did you hear a word I’ve said?”
“Yeah.” I lied. I’d been lost in my own thoughts trying to ignore Samantha pestering me.
“Are you sure she can’t see me?” Samantha asked for the quadrillionth time while she made funny faces at Ash.
Ignoring Samantha, I leaned toward Ash and sighed. Ash had agreed to meet me to discuss how Izzy’s dreams were still affecting me.
“Izzy refused to admit she plagued me with the dreams of us being lovers.” I slapped the table for effect and noticed the patrons of the quaint, little coffee shop went quiet as all eyes focused on us. Ash raised a brow and nonchalantly shook her head showing her disapproval. I knew better than to draw attention to us. Once you got the look from her, you’d never forget it or its meaning- trust me. She has this way of scrunching her brows while raising one side and just slightly puckering her lips. Not a pretty face.
I blamed it all on Izzy. It was because of her that I had to find a new coffee bar, and I had a pain-in-the-ass-ghost that made me swear secrecy about trying to find her killer.
“She insisted the dreams were mine, and that I put them in her head,” I continued. “Can you believe that?”
“Yes. Yes I can,” Samantha blurted out. “Izzy’s my best friend and all but she is stubborn and shit!” She snapped then her form suddenly started to dissipate as her words trailed off into a depressing tone.
Oh Good. Maybe Samantha would finally leave and give me a break from her yapping. I leaned back in my chair, took a sip of coffee and continued. “The other day, Izzy walked by me at the mall and whispered, in your dreams, as she passed me. I’ve done my best to stay away from that witch, but in spite of my best efforts, she seems to show up where ever I am or vice versa.” I cradled my hands around the warm cup and took a long deep breath inhaling the fresh smell of French Vanilla Coffee.
Ash sat stoically staring at me.
“What the hell am I supposed to do?” I paused, then whispered. “She’s everywhere! The mall. The clubs. The bank. I’ve even seen her stopped at traffic lights. Hell…” I looked around taking in the older more upscale clients this coffee house attracted. This wasn’t one of my usual hangouts. I typically hung out with the much younger college crowd where nothing short of murder would draw attention to you that is except for Izzy walking by where I was seated and screaming liar every time she saw me. So I found a new coffee bar on the opposite end of town, practically in a different county before I felt comfortable sitting out in public for an extended period of time.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if she walked in here!” As the words left my lips, Samantha rematerialized in good spirits and I quickly turned to glance at the front door. Damn it! I thought I’d be done with the ghost for a short while.
“Really, here?” Sam beamed with joy. “Today? You think so, really?” Her translucent figure ecstatically zipped around the table. “Really?”
Ash giggled and I snapped my gaze to her.
“Okay. Okay. I hear you.” Ash uncrossed her legs and leaned forward breaking open a sugar packet and pouring the contents into her cup. “This is only a suggestion, but have you thought about asking her out?”
“No!” I barked as Sam immediately stopped zipping and shook a threatening finger at me.
“I’ll cut you if you hurt my Izzy,” she warned.
Oh, please. You’re dead witch! I thought. Samantha was lucky Ash was sitting across from me it’s the only reason I held my tongue.
“She’s already dreamt of us having sex in every position under the sun, and the moon for that matter.” I looked at Ash and hoped Sam would pick up on the fact that my answer was intended for her as well.
“Tamara, I said, ask her out, not screw her. Jeez!” Ash snickered. “Will you ever stop thinking with your dick?” For years, Ash had referred to my clit as an undeveloped penis. “Anyway, you know the old vamp tales,” she said, stirring her tea.
Ash had gotten Samantha’s full attention. She leaned in close to hear every word.
“Once we meet our soul mate,” Ash continued. “Which I think you have, not only can that bond never be broken, but fate will continue to put the two of you together until you relent and accept each other as lovers and...” Ash laid her spoon on the folded napkin, took a sip of tea, smiled and added. “…I’m sure Izzy’s probably feeling the same way about you, too.”
Samantha stood straight up, puffed her shoulders out and using her index and middle finger motioned from her eyes to mine several times mumbling, “I’m watching you,” then she huffed and disappeared. I guess she didn’t like what she’d heard.
One of our vampire folklore claims that once a vampire finds their true love, an unbreakable bond forms between them and the vampire, that would be me, would do anything, even face true death to protect their soul mate. Well, considering the fact that I faced true death in several of the dreams Izzy forced upon me, I wasn’t keen on the idea of her being my soul mate.
“I thought it would never leave,” Ash whispered while nonchalantly pointing to where Samantha had stood only moments ago. “It has been following you for weeks. Really, I don’t know how you do it, Tam.”
“It’s been longer than that and that is Izzy’s dead best friend, Samantha.” I rolled my eyes. “I’m ready to slit my wrists.” I knew Ash could see Samantha but I wasn’t about to give away that secret. Oh, no. Ash would have to tell her or Samantha would have to figure it out on her own. Can you image what life would be like for us if ghosts knew all vampires could see them? We wouldn’t get a moments rest and we tend to live very long lives.
“The two of them are very much alike,” I continued. “I can see why they were best friends. They’re each in their own right probably thinking how else they can make my life miserable. Samantha’s complication is that she’s dead and she doesn’t want Izzy to know she’s come to me for help.” I cocked a brow making a funny face. “She probably can’t help herself being dead and all, but Izzy’s a cold-hearted witch. I should have left her with the damn Were and let him have his way with her,” I mumbled while the makeshift security bells hanging over the door jingled.
“Speaking of, what did you do with the puppy?” The puppy was a snarky way of referring to a Werewolf. “Shall we add another notch to your scabbard?”
Ash was the only person alive that knew my darkest secrets and one of them was that I notched my scabbard after a kill. Vampires are extremely sentimental and delicate beings. One of our weaknesses is that after years of blocking out our conscious, the ghosts of those we killed start relentlessly tormenting us until we go crazy. In an effort to avoid insanity as an elder, I’d decided to remember every kill, now. Fuckers.
“Oh, heavens no.” I snickered. “I let this one live. I waited until he changed into wolf form then captured his mangy ass and had him neutered.”
“That’s diabolical.” She laughed. “The pack will never accept him if he can’t produce cubs,” Ash paused. “You’ve outdone yourself, Tamara.”
“Oh, my God!” A familiar voice screeched over our laugher. “This is too much!” An invisible energy crawled at my back. I immediately knew who it was. I didn’t need her power trickling down my spine to announce her presence. Trust me. I couldn’t forget her damn high pitch, eardrum busting, rat-repelling squeal if my life depended on it.