I touched on a leaf of a bush before the public toilet on `P' Street near the underground entrance at DuPont Circle and extended my senses for a skinhead presence. It sagged under my weight and I climbed quickly further onto the twig holding it.
One skinhead sat on the concrete ledge above the underground immediately across from me. Another lounged against the `P' Street wall of the apothecary that faced on the Circle. I would have smiled if a bat's snout allowed me that when I recognised him as the youth who sated my hunger almost a month earlier.
I remembered then I sent him to the Christian Circle headquarters. I had not found him in Joe's memories, however; and I wondered how he managed to break my command.
Pushing the thought away for later exploration, I searched for the third skinhead I had learnt to expect. He was two blocks away, leaning against the apartment building facing `P' Street beach, watching men enter a leather and levi bar across the street. I took wing immediately. Dinner was served.
Alighting in a bush at the edge of the park, I hopped to the ground and changed into wolf form. Come to the park, I projected to the skinhead. Come.
He looked around suspiciously as if searching for a body to put with the voice in his mind. Come! I told him, putting immediacy into my command. He cast a glance up the street to where his companions loitered unseen two blocks away and pushed away from the building.
Enter the beach, I commanded.
He crossed the street and descended the steps into the park the locals called a beach. I made my way silently down the hill through the bushes, following him.
I yapped at him in greeting and trotted across the open grass toward him, my tongue lolling. I felt his suspicion as he watched me for a moment before looking at the steps to the street now between us. Don't fear, I told him. I'm just a dog. A friendly dog.
"Here, pooch," he called softly to me, holding out his open hand in welcome.
I licked it as he knelt and the fingers of his other hand scratched between my ears. He was pimply-faced and pasty-skinned. A teen-ager already going to fat. I sniffed his crotch and nearly reeled at the scent of unwashed sweat and the dried remains of a day-old masturbation.
I touched his thoughts and found sullen anger he couldn't beat up some of the queers he was seeing on the street. His orders were to watch and intimidate, even though he didn't know where those orders came from. His mind gave me the image of the youth sitting on the ledge above the underground as his leader.
I opened my jaws as my snout ascended his body from his crotch. He fell backward as I pushed against him, his eyes rounding in surprise. My jaws snapped closed over his jugular before he could scream. He gurgled, weakly trying to push me away as I lapped greedily at his pooling blood until he was afloat on the Styx.
Gorged, I flew back to the Circle and found the blond skinhead who fed me in the toilet. I couldn't approach him in bat form and dared not return to the wolf shape of moments earlier - any more than I could appear before him in human form. As a wolf, I would be connected to the dead man I had left on `P' Street beach; as a man, I would be naked. I alighted on the roof of the apothecary above him.
He was bored. He was also horny. For a fortnight, he anticipated sex with the man who would remind him of his lost friend, the growing anticipation blotting out interest in the mousy girls he usually used to relieve himself. He hung around the Christian Circle every afternoon the past two-weeks but he had not seen the man he needed to satisfy what I awakened and intensified. Two gay men strolled past him, ignoring him, and he grew tumescent at the unbidden thought of a three-way.
You'll have it tonight, I told him. All of it. I strengthened his lust, expanding it to cloud his every other thought. The skinhead was a clothed sex organ straining to explode when I was through with his thoughts. Go to your leader, I told him. Convince him to join you. Ride the tube to the Eastern Market exit. You'll be more satisfied than you can imagine. Both of you will.
He grinned as he pushed himself from the face of the building and started across `P' Street toward the underground exit. He reached into his pocket feeling for tokens as he loped across Massachusetts, skirting the Circle and rounding the Riggs Bank building to turn onto Connecticut.
I flew home and dressed. Only then did I imagined myself at the Eastern Market underground exit.
They rode the escalator to the surface, standing out in their skinhead trappings, my skinhead's companion still demanding why they were leaving their position on the circle without their companion and before their relief arrived.
Seeing them together, I saw the other youth was more attractive than the skinhead I was directing, cleaner cut compared to rougher-hewn looks. This was going to be more fun than I first imagined - once I had them back at the house and Joe McCarthy awake, two pretty boys were going to be ravished before the night was over. Joe might not be much of a virgin, but taking these two would definitely leave him ravished nonetheless. And these stormtroopers? They too would never be virgin again.
And, to coin an American expression, fuck condoms. These two and Joe were monsters. They deserved to get AIDS if it was present to infect them.
You're horny, I told the better-looking skinhead. Your friend is taking you to get laid. He looked around, his eyes widening as his groin reacted to my command. I gave the rougher looking skinhead directions to the house and left him to his lust that I could turn back to his companion.
At my urging, the youth fell back a step and watched his companion's buttocks flex as they started along Pennsylvania Avenue to Sixth Street. He was confused, unable to understand why he was looking at the other skinhead's backside and thinking of riding it. And wanting it. More than anything he had ever wanted before.
It's all right, I told him, soothing his confusion. You're going to have it. All the ass you can hump. Tight ass to drain your balls - better than any pussy ever. He smiled tightly, letting the thought take hold in his mind. His smile widened as the two of them turned onto `E' Street and moved into the residential neighbourhood behind Pennsylvania Avenue. He rubbed his crotch in anticipation.
I opened the electronically-locked gate and left the front door ajar. In the sitting room, I melded into the shadows behind the naked Joe McCarthy. I wanted to laugh. I almost did but resisted the impulse because it was too early for Joe to awaken.
"You sure of this?" I heard the good-looking skinhead ask the rougher one as they entered my property.
"Why the fuck you think the gate's open? We're expected."
"So's the door," the good looking one announced moments later. "You think we oughtta go in?" The door pushed open and I heard two sets of boots entered the hall.
The fun's through the first door to your left, I told the rough one, preserving him as the leader on this escapade. Leave your clothes in the hall and get ready for the time of your life.
I could hear them undressing on the other side of the door even without my unhuman hearing. "You got a cute butt," the good looking one said, giving voice to his thoughts.
"You think so?" his companion asked hesitantly.
He snorted nervously. "Let's see what's in this room. If it gets wild enough, you might even get a piece of it."
"Only, I'm going to have some of yours too. Just remember that if you keep getting ideas about my butt."
I grinned broadly. You could instil hate in a boy, but you couldn't take his curiosity from him - even when you had made a monster of him.
You're going to wake up to all the sex you can want, I told Joe. Hard dick at both ends. It's safe; Jesus sends it. Just for you.
Joe McCarthy was tumescent and rubbing sleep from his eyes as the rough-looking skinhead pushed the door to the sitting room open.
"You look ready for some fun," he told Joe as his companion moved in close to peer over his shoulder.
The first skinhead jerked and quickly glanced behind him at his mate who grinned back at him, his manhood pressed against the soft mounds of his ass. I made both of them see the groaning pleasure that was to be theirs when they had a cock ploughing both their nether-fields.
The skinhead grinned. "Later," he told his companion. "We'll let that be your desert."
I sent the first one to make Joe's intimate acquaintance. The leader of the Christian Circle didn't disappoint me. He raised his legs and spread them before the youth was half-way across the room. "Fuck me," he breathed to the skinhead who went to his knees before the sofa and leant into Joe. "Take me all the way to Jesus."
The good-looking one held back, watching as his mate slipped between Joe's legs and pushed himself into him. His eyes widened and his hand instinctively gripped his manhood, beginning to stroke it in synchronisation with his companion's movement in Joe.
You want it, I told him. You want your friend's backside. His fingers gripped his arsecheek as he continued to pump himself. And stepped across the room to stand behind his companion.
He knelt and rubbed himself across the first man's flexing asscheeks, his eyes becoming glassy.
Put it in him, I told him. Just take it slow so he adjusts to you. I grinned and showed the first youth's instinct how to open himself.
I touched the second one's thoughts as he ground his groin against the insides of his companion's cheeks and found waves of pleasure washing over him. Diving beneath those, I searched for the person who directed him when he wasn't having fun.
It was truly interesting what I learnt when I was having fun - especially about myself. I almost didn't realise the dawn creeping across the Maryland farmlands between the District of Columbia and Baltimore. The skinheads had Joe straddling them, taking them both at the same time.
Poor Joe. He hadn't even flailed himself into another ejaculation when, at my suggestion, he stood up, disconnecting himself from the lads beneath him. All three of them were automatons as they proceeded to dress. The skinheads immediately forgot the house and how they had happened to come there.
Poor lads. They'd remember their first time together and with Joe. They would never remember me or my house. I left the newly acquired sexual awareness with each of them as well as the willingness to get together with Joe any time. Outside on the street in Joe's car, they would give the head of the Christian Circle their names and phone numbers; he would invite them to Bob Treman's house tomorrow night. And I would have access to their minds for everything they saw or heard. Just as importantly, I had enjoyed my directorial debut.
I lay in the reinforced dark of the bedroom Emil and I shared with Thomas MacPherson, a satisfied smile covering my face. As I shut my eyes, I resolved to find the Negro youth I saved in the winter as yet another spy. Between Joe's and Broussard's sex partners, I would know everything that went on at Treman's house.
What bothered me as dawn streaked across the sky above me was I knew I would never learn how the different heads of Koughlin's Hydra fit on the body - not from the orgies Joe and his friends would have. I would still not know what sinews connected them to it. Regardless of what I eventually decided to do with what I learnt, I needed to know those sinews. Without them, I was but another Cassandra moaning my litany into the wind.
I sat up in the bed as the room lightened about me. I should be thrown naked into the growing sun-light, I was so dense! I had forgotten my thoughts of going to Zürich and enlisting Herr Eichmann's aid.
Joe McCarthy had handed me the means by which I could make every connection I would need and I had failed to understand the significance of his knowledge. He had looked upon a room-ful of computers and had Koughlin tell him that they connected his various efforts and brought them all together. Koughlin's operation had even duplicated everything Joe McCarthy's Christian Circle had on its membership and activities.
I knew the man who could unravel the mysteries of Reverend Pat Koughlin's operations. I had made the connection earlier and promptly forgot it as I gave myself up to my libido.
I would invite Marcus Eichmann to America.
I lay back on the bed and closed my eyes, inviting Morpheus to visit me. I was going to have fun at the preacher's expense.
"Gott im Himmel!" Eichmann yelled as he looked along the naked man in whom he was imbedded and saw me standing at the curtains on Sunday night. His thrusts died as his body went rigid at the sight of me.
"Don't stop!" the man he ploughed cried and ground his ass against the fat computer hacker's groin.
Sleep, I told the man. Now. He was snoring before he had lowered his head to the bed.
"My Prince?" Eichmann greeted me as he withdrew himself from the sleeping man and made effort to cover himself with his hands.
"I'm only staying a moment," I told him, "don't bother to dress for me."
He remained on his knees on the bed staring at me as he lost his erection.
"What do you want?" he demanded. "My Prince," he added deferentially.
"When is this school term over?"
"It ended last week, mein Herr."
"Good." I smiled. "I would have you come to America tomorrow."
"America?" If a human voice could actually howl, he would have done so at that moment.
"I have to have a passport, money-"
"You've used all the money I paid you?"
"I've got most of it, my Prince." He smiled. "I live a frugal life."
"Then be at Dulles in Washington Monday evening at nine."
"You don't have one?"
"There's a problem getting a visa to most places-" He saw the blank look in my face. "My grandfather and his connections," the fat, bespeckled man explained.
"You can come under an assumed name-"
"That takes several business days, my Prince - when bureaucrats work."
"I shall see you Friday then, Herr Eichmann - at 2100 hours eastern at Dulles."
"As you will, mein Herr."
I began to concentrate on my return to Washington. "My Prince!" I looked back at him. "Don't leave before waking him up."
"He's the same one as last time, isn't he?" I asked smiling. The hacker nodded.
Wake up, I told the sleeping man and dematerialised in Zürich.
My week-end had been a productive one as I made myself comfortable on the bed as Monday's dawn began to streak across the eastern sky. True, I had learnt that my winsome personality had failed to convince Reverend Pat Koughlin of my sympathies with his plans for America. But my failure with him was my only one. And I suspected I had circumvented it nicely.
Joe McCarthy was in love with me - as much as a psychopath could be said to know love. I had placed two well-endowed, young, and nearly inexhaustible America youth with more stamina than intellect inside Treman's orgies reporting everything they saw and heard back to me. I knew Treman was more than a defiler of pre-pubescent boys, though I wasn't sure what it was yet. Best of all to my way of thinking, I had arrived at a plan that used both the information I already had and would glean from my spies to discredit the preacher and his American fascists.
I slipped into what writers of purple prose once called the sleep of the just.
I woke to the sense and sounds of violence. Beyond the tight louvers on the windows, I sensed hot sunlight beating down on the house and violence on its grounds. |Help me, Karli!| Sergei called to me in anguish.
Even as I pushed back the bed covers, my body was already changing. As a wolf, I bounded from the room and flew down the stairs. A kaleidoscope of images flitted through my thoughts, Sergei's touching mine.
Two skinheads had him inside the grounds behind the tall bushes that trooped along either side of the drive. One black leather-clad tough held Tom's arms as the other hit him - in the face, in the stomach, in the chest. His jaw was a mass of pain and he was on the verge of losing consciousness.
I willed the front door to open as I neared it and rushed through it almost before there was room for me to do so. All four of my paws left the veranda at the same time as I propelled myself over the azaleas along its border into the yard beyond.
Heat hit me, burning me even through the coat of fur that covered me. Steam rose along the nearly hairless ridge of my snout and streamed past me as I raced across the yard.
"Son of a bitch faggot!" a rough voice hissed as my paws touched the macadam of the drive.
"Hit him again!" another voice egged the first one on. "Kill the fucking queer!"
I broke through the last column of bushes. And sprang. My jaws snapped closed on a leather-clad arm drawn back in preparation of delivering another blow. Teeth tore through leather and sank into human flesh.
My flesh burned. I shook my head, holding the arm in my teeth, ripping its leather and flesh further. I let it go, turning to face the other skinhead still holding Tom. Beside me, the one I had wounded sank to the ground, shock growing across his mind as he stared down at his mangled arm.
"Nice doggy," the youth behind Tom and holding him said, fear palpable in his voice. I growled. He reached for a knife at his waist as I stepped toward him.
"Sweet Jesus!" the tough groaned, dropping Tom and stepping back as he tried to pull his knife free. I sprang, my jaws open, aiming for his throat.
His windpipe was crushed as he fell under me. I pushed away from him and turned to his companion. Steam rose along my spine and a clump of fur and skin fell from my body. Only my fury saved me from feeling the pain of my beginning cremation under the hot mid-afternoon sun.
I stopped, staring from the bleeding skinhead to Tom struggling to rise to his feet. "Get inside now!" he commanded me. Sergei commanded me.
His voice brought me to my senses - and to the pain. "Leave them," he told me, taking a cautious step toward me. "Get out of the sun now."
I didn't want to. I wanted to kill the second intruder. I wanted death to claim these two who would enter my property and attack this man I loved. But awareness of my pain grew as more skin blistered under my fur. I groaned awareness of that pain to him. And started toward the house.
I was impossibly weak and growing weaker. The veranda looked impossibly far away. "Move it!" Tom growled at me. I slipped through the branches of the bush and left fur behind as I crossed the hot tarmac. I felt the heated macadam sear the pads of my paws. I whined in pain.
I was too weak to run. I gasped as I left half my tail on a branch of another bush on the other side of the drive. I saw the steps then. Impossibly lighted by the sun, gleaming white across impossible meters of grass.
Pain. I had never known such pain. I could barely move.
One foot forward. Then another one. I fell. Skin and flesh pulled from my hands, exposing bone.
I was in human form again. Naked. Crawling on my hands and knees toward the veranda. Toward the house. I told myself my body would repair itself - if I could but reach the house.
Skin fell from my back and ass, crackled on the grass and burnt into nothing. Fleshy fat sizzled across my exposed backside.
"Come on!" I heard Tom's voice grunt above me as I felt his hand reach around me and grasp my chest.
I fainted. My mind seeking the relief that shutting down brought it in the face of the pain of death.
His jaw set, Tom pulled me toward the veranda, ignoring the door of my burning flesh, his mind refusing to see bared muscles as skin stretched and broke across my shoulders and flanks.
He was Sergei infusing Tom's mortal body with unnatural strength to carry me, pulling me into the blessedly dark interior of the house and, lifting me into his arms, toting me back to the bedroom and laying me on the bed. He was still Sergei when he called to Emil across the width of America, strong and clear - and demanding. |Come home now.|
Sergei. Not Würther. Not Tom. The immortal soul who had played with me when we frolicked together across an innocent Europe and who kept me sane through ninety years of insanity with his love for me. Sergei, the Prince of Odessa.
I was unconscious. My body burnt beyond the ability of human medicine to save - had I been mortal. But I was a vampire, an evolutionary advance upon mortal humanity. Immediately, my body was out of direct sunlight, it began to repair itself. Cell by cell, sinew by sinew.
I remained unconscious, kept that way by a body that would re-build itself from even worse damage than this. A phoenix rising from its own ashes.
Sergei remained with me, refusing to leave me, the three days and nights that followed in which what I had been again was.
And he was still Sergei when I opened my eyes the first time since I stumbled and collapsed on the grounds under the hot sun of late May.
His face was drawn and his eyes feverish from lack of sleep, but he smiled at me. "You were close, Karli," he told me in accented American English.
I didn't understand. I remembered nothing after lying down Monday and seeing the streaks of light spreading across the eastern horizon. He chuckled.
"You very nearly died in your attempt to save me, dear one," he explained. Weaker than I could imagine being, I brought my hand to my face and felt the new soft skin that had grown there. And felt no eyebrows. My fingers moved to my scalp. I felt only stubble but no hair.
He reached out and took my hand, pulling it from my head, his face was a comforting smile. "It burnt off."
"My hair?" I managed to ask, still grappling to understand.
"Exposing one's nude body to direct sun-light was always the favoured method of suicide among vampires in the old days, Karl-" He smiled. "At least, until Dr. Guillotine perfected his painless method of decapitation. You came close to dying Monday; another minute out there and you would no longer be with us."
It took me long moments to work through his explanation and there were wide gaps in my understanding. But I did comprehend the one reality that explained the strangeness I felt in him. "You're Sergei, aren't you?" I asked.
He nodded. "You needed me, Karli. Emil wouldn't have known what to do; and Tom was in a state of shock, his jaw broken."
He chuckled. "I had need to repair it that I could tend you, dear one."
"Will you remain with me then?" I asked, an old and nearly forgotten hope growing again in my heart.
His lips curled into a tight smile. "I can't. Not like this - not in total control of this body as I am now."
"Why?" I felt strangely tired - and weak - as I collapsed against the pillows, the cloth feeling strange against my bare new skin.
"I am Tom - just as Würther is. We are but different faces of the same person, different aspects of the larger personality. He is, however, the sum total of our experiences and his own. He has things he must experience still - events that force him to grow - a growth that is his alone, though it affects us all."
He smiled ruefully. "There are events that require his knowledge of things and methods unknown to me in my time. If I stay as myself, there is only stasis." He smiled again. "And life doesn't exist in that kind of void."
There was a timid knock at the door. |Enter!| Sergei called without turning and Emil cautiously opened the door to look in on us.
"Is he awake?" Sergei nodded and Emil entered the room.
He stared at me from the foot of the bed and I could see in his eyes how horrible I had to appear. |Will he make it?| he asked Sergei.
I smiled at his telepathic query. Emil, so young and innocent still, had no idea his mind's broadcast could be heard by anyone with telepathic ability.
"He'll make it," Sergei answered verbally.
"I guess we'll just have to become used to him being bald," Emil offered, forcing a smile to his lips. "Actually, it's sort of sexy-"
"It'll grow back," I growled with a sudden flare of anger.
"Is everything taken care of in Baltimore?" Sergei asked, changing the subject.
Emil nodded, his face drawn. "I had no idea the noise - or the mess - a gun could make-"
"What's this?" I demanded.
Sergei sighed. "It's been an active three days since you fell asleep on us, Karl. The skinheads who attacked me Monday - they were sent from Baltimore."
"Baltimore?" I looked blankly from one to the other of them. "I thought they didn't even have an organisation over there?"
Sergei smiled. "They don't show themselves there. But the Gruppenführer for the east coast had his headquarters there. The old Ukrainian proverb applied: you don't shit where you eat. They controlled the street toughs there but kept them from looking or acting like the skinheads elsewhere in the country. So - voilá - no skinheads."
"Sergei picked through the brain of the one you didn't kill and found the man who gave him his orders-"
Sergei had? I stared at Tom MacPherson's tired but still lithe, young body sitting on the edge of the bed beside me. "You can't read minds! You're-"
"Not a vampire?" he finished and grinned impishly. "I had that dubious distinction several lifetimes ago and, though mortal synapses are gods-awfully slow and unwieldy, I have learnt how to make them function like ours."
I peered at him in disbelief. "I was able to call to you back in the winter, remember?" I nodded slowly. "And I called to Emil here - he teleported in from San Francisco only moments after I had you into this bed."
I remembered waking up to his being attacked then. I remembered it all and wished I could have at least forgotten the pain of my body melting away from me. "What happened to the men attacking you?"
"You killed one. At least, he was dead when I got back outside to clean up the mess we made-"
He chortled. "This is the city, Karl. An American city in 1997. People don't call the Polizei - even when they're watching a murder being committed. Besides, I suspect people were at work - the joggers and strollers who'd have made a 911 call. I simply made the one you left alive carry his friend's body into the basement."
"The basement?" I asked numbly.
"I tied him up and Emil rid us of the body that night-"
"They found him floating in the Anacostia River Tuesday morning," the Swiss youth offered and snorted. "Actually, the police are now looking for the pack of wolves killing drug pushers and skinheads in Washington."
He grinned widely. "I hear there's a new group formed to save the animals as they're only killing off the rubbish littering the streets."
"The live one?"
Sergei snickered. "He's still down in the basement but has lost his mind. You're going to need to feed soon and you're in no shape to hunt. Emil or I will kill him and drain him for you."
He didn't shudder as he said the words. He didn't even frown. If nothing else had done so, this statement proved he was Sergei to me. Imminently practical Sergei. He had a sick vampire on his hands; he also had a living piece of drek in the basement with more than enough warm, living blood to feed his sick vampire. Voilá!
I hoped the spiritually developing Tom MacPherson didn't know what Sergei was doing. He'd be what Americans were apt to call one sick puppy.
"What happened in Baltimore?" I asked quickly.
"Actually, it was Towson," Emil said. "A suburb of Baltimore."
"So, what happened?"
"There weren't any wolf attacks in Baltimore, Karl," Emil said, stringing me alone.
"What happened?" I demanded.
"There was a cowboy killing in Towson last night, Karl," Sergei offered.
"Cowboy killing?" I looked from one to the other of them suspiciously.
"It's how drug people remove their competition," Emil offered much too blandly for my tastes.
I struggled onto my elbows and wondered at how mortally weak I was. "Tell me everything!" I demanded.
Emil shrugged and grinned. "I went in and shot up the place, blowing four people away-"
"What?" My non-existent brows arched in shock.
"Let's start at the beginning," Sergei offered quietly. "This Gruppenführer is - was - a preacher at a small fundamentalist church - small enough he had too much time on his hands. Emil went in last night and killed him and his senior lieutenants."
"With guns blazing," Emil chuckled. "Want to live through an instant replay?"
"One automatic machine pistol actually - an Israeli uzi."
I stared at the Swiss. "I shall take that instant replay," I growled as my thoughts touched his. His face went blank as his mind opened for me.
I stood in a darkened church, pews on either side of me and a dais with a pulpit and two large, heavy chairs before me. To the side of the dais was a closed door - and light found its way under the door, beckoning me. I heard voices beyond the door.
I smiled, Emil's lips stretching thin, as I stepped to the door and, holding the uzi in both my hands, envisioned it open. My smile broadened, my lips disappearing into mere lines, as I stepped into the room and saw the three men standing around a battered desk and the other one sitting at it. I felt no other presence than those of us in the room.
"It's been two days and they haven't reported back, preacher," one man grumbled to the seated man.
"They aren't important, Deacon. It was just a favour the Überführer promised one of the Preacher's inner circle - and the spiders were expendable ones. If they failed, they can't be traced back to us."
"One of them was in my Sunday School class last year," the man mumbled. "I recruited him."
The seated man smiled condescendingly. "That was last year. Boys go bad all the time, pick up daddy's gun, and start shooting up the school. They'll never trace him back to us - not to tie him to us."
My finger tightened on the trigger and I couldn't believe how violently the machine pistol jerked. Or how loud its noise. It took all my strength simply to hold it steady as I sprayed the desk and the men about it.
My ears continued to ring. There was blood everywhere. And holes. In the desk. In the bodies. In the chair. Even the wall. I stepped across the room as I searched the four mortal minds for life.
The Sunday School teacher still lived and I turned him over to find the exit wounds of the Uzi's bullets. I tore the man's shirt open and lapped at the blood and gore that oozed from the wounds, knowing the man knew I was feeding on him as he died.
I pulled a wad of currency from my jeans and laid it on the desk. I reached into my back pocket and pulled five small bags containing white powder.
"Where did you acquire the machine pistol?" I demanded as I withdrew from Emil's memory. "And that much money?"
"I've been feeding on drug dealers, Karl," he answered, a shy smile touching his lips. It's not difficult to come by good weapons - or money and drugs."
"Money?" I asked dumbly.
"Several tens of thousands of dollars these past few months - I left a thousand laying around the church basement and enough cocaine to send police dogs into terminal shock." He stretched languidly, proud of himself. "It will be seen as a drug killing which embarrasses the fundamentalist movement in Maryland because of the church involvement - and there's no connection to us."
"It also disrupts the east coast operations of the American fascisti for the next several months," Sergei opined approvingly.
"Gott im Himmel!" I groaned and collapsed back against the pillows. "Genüg!"
Definitely enough. I had definitely had enough for one day.
I was still weak. Even weaker than I was after sleeping fifty-four years. I who had not been ill since I laid on my deathbed and accepted Sergei's immortality. I could barely lift myself on the bed, and that was a struggle - leaving sore new muscles in its wake each time I adjusted my position.
My bed smelled of putrefaction where skin and flesh had fallen on it immediately after Tom's rescue of me, when my body was still sloughing off burnt and destroyed pieces of me. Even with air conditioning, meat and body fluids go bad after five days in summer heat. My bed stank.
Tom had returned to being Tom by the time I sent him and Emil to meet the Swiss hacker at the airport. Knowing I had survived and was mending proved enough to permit Sergei to relinquish his hold on the mortal body that had stayed beside my bed the three days it had taken me to return to consciousness. A night's sleep had given the American his unbridled youth back as well.
It was Emil who fed me the next two days. My hearing had heard the skinhead's screams reverberating through the house as my former rent boy student from Zürich become vampire, lover, and university graduate opened a vein and drew blood from him as had barbers of old.
Tom studiously and squeamishly avoided being near the house either time Emil practised his barbering skills, and I found myself wondering just how much alteration to that mortal body Sergei had left behind when he finally gave it back to his present incarnation.
He should not have been able to hear the rubbish's screams. But, then, he should never have been able to call Emil back from California either - not as a mortal. He seemed to breathe a day-long sigh of relief when Emil finally drained the skinhead enough there was nothing for his heart to pump and removed his body to the Anacostia River to join that of his companion.
Both of them cleaned our bed in the first scent of dusk that Friday; afterwards, they helped me to the shower. While Tom stood under the water with me, lathering me and scrubbing where I couldn't reach, Emil removed the lovely black satin sheets and even the mattress and took them somewhere they weren't to be found.
Emil and Tom met Marcus Eichmann's airplane at Dulles Friday night. Though I was not overly fond of the overweight grandson of the SS Colonel, I kept finding uses for him. And I enjoyed blowing his mind as middle-aged Americans are wont to say.
From the confusion I found in his mind once he was at the house, I would have thoroughly enjoyed myself greeting him at the airport with the boys.
The plump German sausage stared down at me, but both my youths stood close to him - just in case. "Gott!" he finally exclaimed, exhaling the breath he held longer than most mortals can. "What happened to you, Fürst von Muribor?"
"I made the mistake of taking the sun," I told him, trying to make light of it. There was certainly no reason to give the man more information about me than he already had.
"You look like death."
"I felt like it too." I glanced at my lovers and asked him: "You shall need equipment?"
"My simple little assignment?" I nodded. "I need more information on what you want, mein Herr."
"There is an organisation with offices nearby in Arlington and even larger offices perhaps 500 kilometres away on the coast."
"A suburb - across the river," Tom explained before I could answer.
"This organisation operates from Arlington and Tidewater in Virginia. It has, however, many tentacles spread across America, controlling other organisations-"
"An octopus, nicht wahr?"
"And you want the sinews that hold these together from cyberspace? Names and addresses. Passwords even?" I nodded again.
He grinned. "I'll need a computer, monitor, and modem - a telephone line as well."
"Emil?" I turned to look at him. "Will you take him to buy these things?"
"Office Shack," Tom offered. "You can get everything you're going to need at one of those."
"Perhaps you'll join us?" Marcus Eichmann offered, eye-ing the American lasciviously and not hiding his interest well at all.
Tom looked questioningly at me. "Will you need me to stay here with you?" he asked, making sure he established my possession of him for the fat man's benefit.
Have I specifically mentioned just how ingenious the grandson of the Wansee monster was?
Before he and the boys were across the Potomac River into Virginia, Marcus Eichmann knew everything about my project - as a journalist is supposed to know the whos, whats, wheres, and hows of a subject that he might write a Pulitzer-winning article of it. Worse, he knew everything about the attack on Tom and my near cremation before they were back across the river.
My dislike of him was not based on who his grandfather was - too many young, innocent Germans, Austrians, and even Frenchmen would have black marks ticked off beside their names, if that had been my consideration. Just as the young of most of Europe and the Americas would have for their grandparents' failure to force their respective countries to accept Jews when the mad corporal was still willing to permit them to leave his Reich.
My dislike derived from his grandfather's politics, however. Or, perhaps, it came from his initial plans for me while I had still been caught up in aristocratic ideas of the proper relationship between the commons and their betters. And I had used my hatred for his grandfather to smear him with the same onus. But Herr Eichmann - Marcus now he was living under my roof - proved to be more a democrat than I could ever hope to be.
It was never discussed - at least, not between him and myself - but Marcus Eichmann was a complete repudiation of the bigotry of the regime his grandfather had served so exemplary. He did not take direct orders well nor would he give them - except those within the narrow confines of a B & D sexual encounter.
He proved himself not to have his grandfather's racist views as well by becoming smitten in his first exposure to gay Washington. Tom couldn't wait to tell me about the man's drooling after a Negro he met during their visit to a gay bar.
But his most endearing achievement was how quickly and completely he broke into the computers of the Christian Circle and, with that providing him direction, stripped Reverend Pat Koughlin's organisational computers in Tidewater of everything they knew.
He brought a cardboard box to the bedroom at dusk the Monday after his arrival, waking me as he struggled with its weight.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" I demanded in German and tried to look fierce.
He looked at me startled. "I forgot, my Prince," he groaned. "You don't wake up before night."
"That's usually the way it is with vampires," I allowed, amused by his embarrassment. "What's this you bring me?"
He grinned, his round face growing rounder. "You wanted everything your piglets had on themselves, yes?"
My eyes widened. The damned box had to be a meter in height. "All of that?" I groaned.
"They're very organised, my Prince - much like-" He paused and blushed.
"Like the Nazis?" I asked and watched him jerk his head in a short nod. "Your grandfather was one - the man in charge of the final solution to the Jewish question." It was not a question. And the thoughts that flooded the forefront of his mind told me what I already knew.
"You knew?" he mumbled, his eyes on the box in his hands and unwilling to come up to meet mine.
"Yet, you came to me-?"
"You were the only hacker recommended," I answered, unable to restrain the grin that formed on my lips.
"And you didn't kill me?"
"I needed your help."
"Afterwards, I mean, my Prince."
"I'm gentile, Marcus. There also was little interest to visit vengeance for the sins of the grandfather on the grandson."
"But you aided the Jews of Vienna-"
"And lost my lover to your grandfather's Gestapo."
"And you didn't kill me-"
"You did nothing to warrant that - except, perhaps, your demand of sex as part of your payment."
"I'm truly sorry I ever suggested that, my Prince." He managed to appear chagrined.
I laughed. "Especially after you found out how I use my canine teeth, yes?"
He had remained flushed through our parley to that point. He blanched at the thought of the food that entered my mouth.
"I thought Tom and Emil took you to visit the gay bars - when? Saturday night?"
"They did, my Prince."
"How have you had time to do all this?" I asked, indicating the box still in his hands.
"This was easy. All their passwords are New Testament words or-" He grinned, comfortable now he was again in his field of knowledge. "If it was an important file, they took the first letter from each chapter of one of the books there to make a password. Of course, they used the King James' version. Their security program was so simple a child could see what they were doing."
"Leave it on my desk, Marcus. Now we know who is who in their organisation, it should be easy enough to destroy it."
"Are you going to kill them all, my Prince?" he gasped. "There are thousands of people doing things for them - all across this country."
I laughed. "I'd rather tie them to what they've done and let the media and police do their jobs-" I paused and he turned to find me watching him.
He blushed again. "Have I said or done-?"
"Nothing wrong, Marcus. Tom tells me you found someone who interested you at the bar Saturday night."
His colour darkened. "I did, my Prince."
"Well, when do we meet this young man?"
"He is black, mein Herr," he mumbled softly.
"A Negro? What's wrong with that?"
"I didn't know how you felt-?" he started, then hesitated in embarrassment.
"Are you already ashamed of him?" I demanded, enjoying my play with him.
His eyes widened behind his glasses, their lenses magnifying their size. "Gott! Ich-? Never, mein Herr!"
"So, you shall bring him to dinner - when? Make it Saturday."
"Of course, Sir." His eyes squinted as an obviously uncomfortable thought occurred to him. "Would we be the only ones eating?" he asked finally.
"Tom is a mortal and needs dead flesh to live as you do-" I finally allowed myself a full laugh. "Besides, we vampires pretend very well when in a social setting, Marcus."
Emil's face was covered with blotches as he remained at the closed door and watched Tom sit on the bed beside me. "Our boy found out who heads the skinheads nation-wide, Karl - but he's kept it from me this past week," the American said, smiling across at the Swiss youth.
"Who?" I demanded even as I moved my head with its fuzzy patches of new hair to look directly at Emil.
"He's a Congressman, Karl," he allowed, shifting his feet as more blotches appeared on his face.
"Who is it?" I demanded again.
"A man named Henry Broussard," he mumbled. "They call him Hank, I think-"
"Broussard?" He nodded. "Verdammte!" I hissed.
"He ordered the attack on Tom; but, from what I could get out of that preacher's mind in Baltimore, he's completely in control of what they call the `Spider Fraternity' - he reports directly to Koughlin in this Tidewater."
My face was covered with nearly as many blotches as Emil's. I had watched Hank Broussard happily sandwiched between his two Negroes too many times to imagine him as the racist skinheads' Überführer.
But it was too believable when I forced myself to consider what I knew. Joe McCarthy was only marginally better than Broussard; at least, I didn't know of any deaths he ordered for the glory of the preacher and God. He certainly liked an endowed spear deep in his ass. And Bob Treman, the Congressman who was keeping the pre-pubescent child prostitute on permanent loan from the FBI was probably just as bad. I hadn't yet gone through the organisational charts and listings Marcus Eichmann had brought me and found his connection to something unsavoury yet. Then there was the FBI man who procured young boys and men for his agency's spy programs as well as the pleasure of his fascist friends.
There was no reason Congressman Hank Broussard couldn't like boys as much as his friends and still be Reverend Pat Koughlin's principal social disrupter across the face of urban America. Röhm had certainly done so for Hitler with his storm troopers until he became a liability in 1934.
Tying these men's fascism to the power of American fundamentalism was the chasm sanity sought to avoid. Religion was the bit of honey that made their medicine palpable to the masses while it frightened away the fourth estate when it should be investigating and exposing them for what they were.
If religion was but a cloak behind which they hid themselves, the virulent homophobia of the religion and its leaders was but another smokescreen behind which to hide many perversions, including child prostitution.
Hitler's men had done the same thing in the twenties and thirties. Sending homosexuals to work camps which became death camps while they prowled the working class districts of Berlin for young boys for their amusement. Towards the end, they had even begun the process of cloaking themselves in religion as their American successors had succeeded in doing.
No. Broussard's being the head of Koughlin's equivalent of the SA wasn't unbelievable. What was unbelievable was that he and the others had not been exposed for the pigs they were.
"Why didn't you eradicate that piece of drek as you did the preacher and his gauleiters in Towson?" I asked.
Emil tried to smile. But he was a vampire, and nervous vampires don't hide their emotions well. "He's one of the major members of your fuck club," he offered, consciously peering at me and avoiding Tom's face.
My face did show my embarrassment then, with more blotches than the Swiss youth at the door had ever dreamed of having. I forced myself to look at Tom, feeling his eyes on me, staring at me. "I-"
"Don't start," he told me, his voice strained. "Just tell me one thing: did your involvement with this sex club begin before I got off my high horse and decide to socialise with you two?"
"Before," I answered, happy for a modicum of truth to put behind my words.
He nodded slowly and I felt the effort he was making to keep his anger in check. "I'll accept that," he said finally and glanced at Emil with a tight smile holding his lips. "But I'll never understand how you could allow him to do it."
"Tom!" he groaned, wilting under the American's scrutiny. "I didn't go with him - the only two men I've had sex with are you and Karl."
"But you knew he was fucking everything that'd pull its pants down for his big-assed dick."
"I was trying to find out about Koughlin and his fascists," I told him, interceding for the Swiss now under his attack. "That includes the skinheads who almost beat you to death."
"By fucking them?" His voice rose and he wrenched his control over it tighter. "Those goons hate homosexuals - you're going to go around screwing every guy who doesn't like us? I don't think that'll make them as queer as we are."
I stared at him for long moments, trying to decide how much of what I learnt to tell him and where to start and attempting to decide if my one time with Joe was a defence.
Finally, I knew what I must do. I said: "Can you put Sergei alone completely in control of your mind - like when you were nursing me last week?"
His eyes were troubled as they met mine. "Why?"
"He can read my mind completely, Tom. I want you to know everything I know - it'll be so much easier than trying to explain everything from the beginning." I snorted and glanced over at Emil. "Even Emil didn't believe some of the things I told him. He had to see it happening to believe the insanity growing in this country. You can do that if you read my thoughts and know everything I know by becoming Sergei."
He looked down at his hands. "Or I can become a vampire myself and read them as myself." His anger was gone, replaced now by discomfort and confusion.
"Do you want that?"
He glanced beseechingly at Emil and then back at his hands in his lap. "I don't know, Karl. I'm almost at the point I was when I climbed into your bed with this. Only, If I do, I know I can't get up tomorrow morning and go back to eating good, juicy hamburgers again. I could with doing queer stuff, but not this."
He turned back to face me, his eyes blazing from an inner fire. "If I do decide to become one of the undead, I want to know that there's only the three of us - in bed and out. That's gotta be true for the present and the future. Do you understand that, Karl?
"No fucking more street kids or Congressmen or preachers. No making more vampires. Just the three of us together."
"Become Sergei. See as deep and as much as you will. My mind is yours," I told him.
"Read mine too, Tom," Emil told him quietly and crossed the room to join us. "I want you to know me as completely as you do Karl-"
"Why?" the American asked, looking up at him in surprise.
"You have suspicions. How I feel toward Karl - and, perhaps, you. Why I went along with what Karl was doing with those fascists." He smiled at Tom. "Even why I want Karl to enter the gay porn field." His smile broadened. "If you join us, we're going to be together for a very long time. We need to be able to trust each other."
"Okay." The American shrugged and began to smile. His brows knitted slowly together as a new awareness settled over him. "Only I'm not sure how to call Sergei in and let him take over the controls."
"Sergei?" I said, my voice flat, calling to him vocally even as I directed a mental summons to the dead Ukrainian who was still so much a part of the very much alive Tom MacPherson.
The American chuckled, his eyes twinkled. "You called, Karli?" Sergei asked in German.
I took a breath - a deep one. I didn't relish Sergei digging through my memories as if he were an archaeologist hot on the trail of an untouched Egyptian tomb. There were private things - things we never discussed in our life together. But I would not allow Tom to choose death over immortality - not again.
"He is a strange one, mes amis," Sergei opined. "One moment, he is far more uninhibited than I ever could be; the next, he sounds to be Saint Thomas Aquinas trying to determine the largest sitting arrangement of angels he can put on the head of a pin."
Emil laughed, red tears misting his eyes, the tension built between Thomas MacPherson and us finally broken for him.
Youth! It takes so little to make them happy.
"Start with me," the Swiss offered.
Sergei smiled. It was the American's face - his skin and muscles and bones - but it was the smile I remembered from Odessa. "Süßer Emi," he said, "I only wish it had been me making love to you that evening you became one of us-" He chuckled. "But, then, Karl was always the luckier of the two of us."
A moment later, Emil's face went slack and his eyes glazed; I shivered as I watched the physical reaction to one's thoughts being carefully sorted through and then experienced. I slipped off the bed and hobbled across to the desk where Marcus had left his box of computer print-outs.
I skimmed through page after page of the Koughlin organisational structure, idly looking for names I recognised as I waited my turn under Sergei's mental microscope. Joe McCarthy was there, the preacher's organiser - Hess as well as his propagandist Goebbels. Hank Broussard was there as well, clearly delineated as the trouble-maker who would hasten the fall of America. Man after man I didn't know followed as did their organisations, tentacles stretching across the face of Lincoln's and Roosevelt's America.
I almost passed over it. Bob Treman, married with teen-aged children. He headed the legislative operations for the Christian Circle, orchestrating the newly-elected Republican Congressmen who were the CC's fifth column in both their professed party and their country and using his seniority to tie up bills the preacher didn't like in the back rooms of the Congress. There were twenty Congressmen and three Senators in his list, all men and all from the South. I smiled as I realised Luke Renfroe, the Speaker of the House, wasn't one of those Koughlin trusted to be one of his own. The man was too smart to commit himself for all the world to easily see.
"Karl?" Sergei called me. I turned to face him and remembered why he alone possessed Tom MacPherson's body.
"Sheiße!" I growled.
Though three-storey, Congressman Treman's Capitol Hill house was barely visible from the sidewalk over the privacy fence that blocked so much from the neighbours and the curious. I growled softly.
I was padding along on my own four feet beside Emil. I was as hungry as the American horse of lore, and I was going to feed myself. Emil had demanded Broussard, taking for himself vengeance for the attack on Tom. I contested that with him but eventually surrendered, accepting that he too loved the third member of our menage-a-trois as much as I. I accepted with easy grace I would take the preacher's legislative liaison as my serving at tonight's feast.
Tom had wanted to come and was more than slightly perturbed we both told him to stay home with Marcus Eichmann. Our reasoning was partially that he was mortal and he was squeamish. Watching us tear through the Treman house and killing people, would not leave him with an overwhelming desire to join us.
The primary reasons for leaving him behind, however, had been those on which Emil and I were in complete agreement: mortals left fingerprints and footprints. Mortals could not change their shapes - even a mortal under the command of Sergei, Prince of Odessa. And mortals died much too easily.
We had also agreed the prostitutes and hirelings who might be in the house were not game for our hunt. I wasn't willing to kill someone whose one crime was strictly man-made, that of prostitution. Also exempted from meeting the man on the white horse were those who might believe as Treman and Broussard did but were not personally involved in the creation of the fascist state.
Government officials following bureaucratic orders were also exempt - even if those orders included putting children into prostitution.
The agreed prohibitions included the two skinhead spies I put with Joe McCarthy - if they were in Treman's house. I had found no suggestion either of them had harmed another person; Emil and I both agreed that afforded them protection enough from us. Hopefully, they were accommodating the needs of the leader of the Christian Circle in safer surroundings than those afforded by Congressman Treman's Capitol Hill hideaway.
We would send anyone we found there back to the streets with no memory of our visitation - except Broussard and Treman.
Neither of us had mentioned Joe. I suspected neither of us wanted to think about him - not after having Sergei probe our thoughts about him. He had become an unmentionable for us in the week since the attack on Tom and my near immolation.
I changed into a mist and rose slowly over the privacy fence. I sensed Emil do the same beside me. We touched the well-watered lawn in front of the house and, in unison, changed back into our wolf forms.
The shape of our attack, too, had been discussed and decided between us. It was assumed we would have to attack our dinners, and the canine form was more suited for both speed and attack than was the human. There would be enough people who would be difficult to control in human form to keep them out of our way; controlling Treman and Broussard sufficiently that they permitted us to kill them would be impossible.
I had never truly appreciated the freedom life was. As we raced across the lawn under a full moon, I understood how lucky I had been - and enjoyed the physical exercise of our movement.
The front door opened to my mental command. |Where?| Emil asked, looking blankly around the front hall from the staircase directly before us to the closed doors of the rooms off the corridor in both directions.
|They usually meet in this front room,| I answered, moving toward the closed door to my left. I halted before it, extending my senses to the room beyond.
Hank Broussard grunted. The sound was low, not carrying even to the door for normal ears. His mouth seemed full from what my senses could tell me. I felt but two other mortals in the room and their senses were sexually directed as were Broussard's.
|This one's yours,| I told Emil as I commanded the latch of the door to pull back. Emil pushed it open with his snout.
"Jesus shit!" a voice cried at the other end of the room. I looked in that direction and found the Negro youth I saved at `P' Street beach staring at Emil and myself. His eyes were huge, he was naked, and his manhood was buried deep in the Congressman's face.
No one's going to hurt you, I told him as Emil loped toward them, his teeth bared. You and your friend are safe.
Even with my mental reassurance, the lad stepped back into the wall and began to collapse to the floor, his legs no longer able to hold him.
Another Negro was moving hard and fast against the Congressman's arsecheeks, his breathing ragged. His glazed eyes moved from his friend sliding down the wall to look over his shoulder at us, his body close enough to ejaculation it was unwilling to stop.
His eyes rounded, fear spreading over him as a fire in a wind, but his hips continued to hump against the Congressman. Hank Broussard was too involved in his body to have noticed either man.
"I'm almost there!" he grunted as Emil neared him and opened his jaws wide.
Pull out! I commanded the second Negro. Move to the other side of the room. Do it now! I added, reinforcing the command.
The Negro youth blinked, stared down at his connection to the Congressman for the remaining moment it took Emil to reach them. He pulled out, staring as the wolf grabbed Hank Broussard's throat and started throwing his head about.
Broussard was unable to make a noise. By the time he knew what was happening to him, his windpipe had already been collapsed. Fighting to pull air through his tearing throat, the Congressman from Mississippi stared at the Negro crouching against the wall and then at Emil's fur-covered back.
Get dressed, I told both of the young men as Emil began changing into human form, his face pressed to the dying man's torn throat.
I admired their slim, hard, muscular bodies that held no hair except for their pubises. And I smiled as they both danced to pull pieces of clothing over themselves, hurrying to follow my commands. Fear oozed from their every pore as they both avoided looking back to where a naked human Emil continued to gorge himself on a dying Congressman.
I felt recognition flood over the taller, slimmer Negro. His eyes opened wide in memory as he stopped pulling on his socks and stared at me, then at Emil. "You ain't no damned dogs!" he hissed. "One of you saved me back in the winter this same way. You-" He glanced toward Emil and quickly pulled his eyes back to me, his dark-brown face a dull ashen reminder of his natural beautiful colour. "Both of you - you're vampires."
The other youth finished dressing and stood silently against the wall. Leave, I told him. You will remember nothing of this. Leave.
We - the lad I had saved and I - watched him slip through the door and disappear.
Leave, I told the remaining man.
"Doggie, I'll get out of here, but I ain't too likely to forget you."
Inside his mind, I found a resistance to my commands that was stronger than that of most mortals.
I changed into human form and stood before him. His eyes were filled with his fear, but he continued to hold his ground. I smiled tightly.
"You!" he groaned.
"You need to block this from your memory," I told him.
"Why, man? Shit! You saved my life once. And you don't seem in a hurry to kill me now."
"Dead bodies bring police investigations," I answered. "I doubt you want them sniffing around you."
"I sure as hell don't," he agreed. "I can keep my mouth shut and I'll have ten brothers swearing I was hanging from their joints if some cop starts asking me questions. But I want to remember you."
"Why?" I asked puzzled.
"You saved my fucking life, man!" he offered in simple explanation.
"Leave then," I told him with a quick shrug.
Treman was in an upstairs bedroom with the child on a desk - moving between his legs. Boyd, the FBI man, was in a chair with the young Arab prostitute who had been so willing to give himself to me the first night we met between his spread legs and sucking on his testicles.
I gulped as best a canine throat could perform that act. I had forgotten the FBI agent; he was remarkably unmemorable. He was a policeman who knew me barely before I could become involved with the fascists. He had offered to provide me one or more under-aged partners the evening after I made Joe McCarthy's acquaintance. He was an agent of the American government tied closely to the queens who acted to bring Koughlin's new order to power. A man who was more organised than most even while he was nearly unreadable. And I had forgotten him.
And Joe. I had hoped he would not be here as Emil and I exacted our revenge.
Joe McCarthy knelt in the centre of the bed between the two skinheads I ordered to service him.
None of them heard the door open nor saw the two wolves Emil and I were enter the room. I circled the room, moving toward the desk and a better angle from which to take Treman. Emil stayed at the door to guard it. Of the seven mortals in the room, only one was going to die; but we didn't need the other six running out into the night screaming and bringing the police before we were through.
I padded silently across the carpeted floor, smelling the raw sex that clung to the room, permeating it.
Treman was oblivious to anything but the child under him and the orgasm growing in him. The boy, too, was engrossed in their coupling - his eyes closed, his breathing ragged, and his body taut as he pulled hard on a palm-sized penis that had yet to grow into a manhood.
I took several fast steps and leaped as I neared the desk, my jaws open in anticipation.
My upper teeth met soft skin and began to sink beneath it into muscle and sinew as I closed my jaws. As my nearly fifty kilograms continued across their arc, I heard Congressman Treman's neck snap.
I was pulling Treman's body down with me, pulling him from the child with the spread legs as my jaws closed on his neck.
The boy screamed from above me as I tore Treman's neck open on the floor. Emil growled in warning to the others from across the room. More screams echoed through the room as I changed back to human form to feed on the now still Congressman from Maryland. Dress! I heard Emil tell the others.
I gorged myself even after Treman's heart stopped beating. His blood was warm and I hated him for what he would make legal and what he felt free to take.
Joe was staring at me with eyes rounded in fear as I stood up, my face smeared with Treman's blood. Forget this, I told him and his two skinhead companions. You cannot remember it. Go home and enjoy yourselves. Now!
Their eyes glazed, they filed unseeingly past Emil sitting on his haunches, watching them.
I turned to Boyd and smiled when he shuddered. I suspected the man, at that point, wasn't even aware of my nudity, but the Arab rent boy who had been sucking on him when we entered was.
Leave, I told the Arab. Both of you, I added, including the child Treman had been using. You won't remember this. You were nowhere near this house tonight.
Both boy's eyes glazed as their minds began to delete their memories as I commanded them. Leave!
"What about me?" Boyd demanded quietly after they were gone. He was the only mortal left alive in the room. I was surprised at his calmness.
"You procure children for this rubbish," I growled.
"That's my job. Anytime there's an investigation involving homosexuals, I get to produce the boys who get the suspects to open up."
Emil changed into human form and stepped across the room. "Investigation?"
The FBI agent nodded, alert to us even beneath pasty skin and an overdose of adrenaline in his blood. "We investigate any organisations that might be a threat to the United States."
"With whatever it takes to infiltrate, mister. It's a simple matter of getting through the weakest link."
"Infiltrate?" I asked suspiciously.
"Sure. We do it with the Klan, all the hate groups - the American Indian Movement. Even did it with the commies - any group that's a potential threat to our country." He chuckled even as his eyes remained on both of us. "I do ever more love turning the screws on those Iranian bastards."
I touched his thoughts and knew he was telling the truth. He considered himself bi-sexual and actually enjoyed the procurement aspect of his job. But he was intent on worming his way into the higher echelons of the Christian Circle and exposing it if there was anything dangerous about them. Everything else paled before that goal.
I sat on the edge of the bed and stared at him dumbfounded.
"Why did you bring that child to them?" Emil asked, not yet ready to forgive him.
"That kid? Shit! His old man balls his ass every morning before school. Week-ends, he's even likely to bring in a couple of buddies to fuck the kid for breakfast-"
"Where's his mother when this happens?" Emil shuddered.
"At work. She's a waitress."
"Even if he's being abused at home, it doesn't mean you should have procured him," I said, some of my pent-up hostility at him returning. "How old is he?"
"Eleven. Look, Prince, that boy was hanging out at the car park at the `Peake downtown when I found him - selling his buns for twenty-five a fuck."
"Gott!" I groaned.
"They're all already into prostitution when you recruit them?" Emil asked quietly and shuddered when Boyd nodded.
I stood, forcing back the revulsion I had held in check for so long. I forced myself to accept that this was simply the way the American government did things. It wasn't that different from what the Europeans had done in the thirties and I imagined were still doing.
"What're you going to do with me?" Boyd asked.
"Do with you?" I asked.
"I know you're - what? Something supernatural. My best guess is that you're both vampires." He snorted. "The old legends have it you don't leave mortals around who know about you. Still, though, you don't seem to be in any hurry to kill me and the others all looked to be hypnotised when they left."
I thought for a moment. When we entered the room, I had been content with sending him on his way with his memories of us and the happenings in this house removed from him. But that was before I knew he was involved in a FBI investigation of the CC and Reverend Pat Koughlin's political activities.
"What would you say if you knew I had a complete break-down of their leader's organisational octopus - names, addresses-?"
"I'd sure like to see it." He appeared hungry.
"I would be unhappy to think those records might disappear into the bowels of your country's bureaucracy."
His laugh startled me. "It might happen too. Old J. Edgar was as right-wing as they came - even if he did wear tutus at some private parties. Some of his boys are still there close to the top; Koughlin could have found one or two who would go along with him."
"And you don't have the ability to control where and how the information is used?" Emil asked.
"Nope." He shook his head. "That's too high up for me - I'd only get a nosebleed. You two want to know how I'd play this scene?"
"Speak," I told him.
"I've got some pretty graphic videos of the orgies I've been to here, that I've brought the boys to-"
"Is Hank Broussard still alive downstairs?" Emil shook his head. "You let his black boys go?" Emil nodded.
"Okay. Let me get a couple of the tapes from my house - Treman balling the young kid, Hank with his black boys, McCarthy with his skinheads-"
"You knew what they were?" I asked in surprise.
He nodded and grinned. "We'll put the vids on the VCR's in these two rooms and call the police in anonymously. That'd take some of the wind out of their sails-"
"It should destroy Joe," I offered, imagining the publicity.
"And leave the CC hanging out to dry while Koughlin tries to clean out its homosexuals."
"What about our information?" I asked. "I don't intend to turn it over to you and the FBI to be hidden - I want the American public to know about it so there won't be a cover-up."
"That means the press, Prince. And those boys have been pretty well cowed by the right-wing - ever since it got religion."
"Why?" Emil demanded.
"They've been painted red and liberal ever since Senator McCarthy put on his show back in the fifties," Boyd explained. "They exposed Nixon and his crooks and the haters hated them even more. This new crop of crazies covered themselves with religion. The press figured it was better to print who's sleeping with whom than to really investigate."
"Are there any reporters who still have some balls?" Emil asked.
"I know one I think does. She writes for The Washington Blade-"
"The gay paper here?" I asked. He nodded. "Will something she writes get into the mainstream?"
Boyd laughed. "Shit! Those reporters are all like vultures - just circling around and around a dead body - waiting for the bravest among them to land and taste. This woman breaks the story this week and The Post will be on it like stink on shit the next day!"
"This woman - does she have the female equivalent of testes?" I asked.
He laughed. "She's something even better. That bitch doesn't need a dose of testosterone, not with the hate she's got on for her brother. She'll do it - and love every goddamned minute of it."
"Her brother?" Emil asked.
"He's the Speaker of the House, mister. And she does ever more hate his fat ass."
"And you'd set up a meeting between her and us?" I asked.
He chuckled. "If she'll let me read over her shoulder."
"And how about you and us?" Emil asked quietly.
The FBI man gazed over at him, a wistful smile playing across his lips. "Are you asking me if you ought to hypnotise me or kill me?"
"You know what we've done here. You know Karl, and you know what we are. That makes you especially dangerous."
His smile broadened. "I don't suppose you'd trust me?"
"Perhaps we shall," I told him, returning his smile. Mental control of mortals came in different gradations. The simplest was what we did to the boys and Joe McCarthy. The hardest would be what I decided to do with him, pinpointing a single command to protect us.