Synopsis : Angel is the vampire with a soul. He is also in charge of Wolfram & Hart, the most powerful (and evil) law firm on the planet. With a lot of power and money at his disposal, and many gorgeous men and women around him, what's a bisexual vampire to do? Seduce them of course! Angel seduces men and women without discrimination. That's what being a vampire is all about.
"Punk-ass," he said.
He practiced looking mean in the cracked and clouded mirror over the dresser that came with the furnished room. Totally hard looking, he figured, though his hands trembled. He needed some rock. It had been a day or two since he last had any, and he'd had to beat a kid for that. He knew someone would be gunning for him; no way that black kid sold his own dimes.
Coughing, he let himself fall back on to the squeaky old bed. Overhead, cracks in the ceiling blended with the shadows of cobwebs. It was hard to tell which was which in the harsh light of a bare bulb. Man, he hated this fucking flophouse. What he needed was a good score. Then he could head down to L.A. and get some work with his cousin. The boy had a chop shop down there and paid cash under the table.
Tonio couldn't believe he'd ended up broke and desperate in the Tenderloin, San Francisco's grittiest district. When he'd first got to the city, he'd been something of a golden boy -- under eighteen, holding rock for dealers. The worst thing that could happen if he was popped was juvie -- boy's jail. He hadn't counted on being tried as an adult under a new state law. Then all his homies vanished like a bay mist on a warm day.
He was sent off to CYA for two years. His cell-mate was a big black fucker with arms like tree trunks, arms that held Tonio down against his will. If Tonio tried to struggle, he was beaten. Afterwards the fucker would give him cigarettes, like Tonio was his bitch.
He paced the floor of his room, slamming his fist into the palm of his left hand. The thing that was fucked up about living here was that there was no money. If you rolled a bum, you'd get maybe a buck in change. If you jacked a car, the piece of shit would break down after two blocks. Sure, the big dealers had some green, but if you robbed them, you'd be dead before the week was out.
It was midnight, according to the room's digital clock. Tonio put on his Raiders jacket and took the stairs down to street level. A cold wind was blowing up from the waterfront outside. That was another thing that was fucked up. When summer came, it actually got colder. What kind of a place got colder in the summer? You wouldn't see that shit in L.A.
A black cat darted out in the street, and Tonio tried to give it a passing kick, but it fled before he could boot it.
"Hope you get run over," he said to it. "See you in hell."
A long late model Caddy swung around the next corner, pulling on to the street. Tonio jumped into an alley; he wasn't sure who it was. If it was the muscle looking to find the guy who beat up their rock boy, Tonio didn't want to be found. He preferred walking around in one piece.
The Caddy eased down the street like it wanted to memorize every detail. Tonio crawled in behind a dumpster. The car passed his alley, and he heard the soft squeal of brakes. He got up and looked around the corner. Two black guys with handguns stepped out of the car and walked into his building. They knew where to look, Tonio thought. It's time for a change of address.
Tonio backed up behind the dumpster and waited. He thought about that queer little night clerk, and how he'd had a bad dream about the fucker. It was like he was awake, lying on his bed in his flophouse room. But it was sort of like the bed he'd slept in when he lived with his mother, too. And he was laying there, two places at once, staring at the ceiling, and there was this black smoke drifting in through the window and rising over him. The smoke came together in the form of a person. Then Tonio could make out that it was the night clerk, and he was wearing a tuxedo.
Then something happened that Tonio knew he could never tell anyone, no matter what. The night clerk descended to him and kissed him on the lips. Tonio woke up with a piss hard-on and self-loathing.
"Goddamn faggot," he said, getting up to take a leak.
Al's Liquor was two blocks away. Tonio opened the glass door with security bars, and metal bells jangled. There was a battered old drunk buying some Mad Dog wine at the counter; Tonio could see the night clerk ringing it up. Palming his switchblade, he walked over to the magazine rack and pretended to browse. When the wino had left, Tonio approached the counter. He flicked the knife open.
"The money in the till," he said. "All of it, mother fucker."
Instead of recoiling, as Tonio expected him to, the clerk leapt up on to the counter. Only he didn't jump; nobody could jump like that. It was like he had just risen up on to the counter. Tonio stepped back.
The clerk smiled and arched his eyebrows. His incisors seemed to have grown longer as he stood there next to the register.
Tonio backed into a rack of potato chips, knocking it over. The bags cascaded to the floor with a swish and a clattering.
The clerk stepped off of the counter and began to descend slowly toward him.
Tonio had a severe case of the shakes, and not for the usual reasons. He was
too terrified to even try to flee, which would have been useless, in any case.
So it was almost a relief when the clerk mounted him, and he sighed when the
fangs sank into his yielding flesh.
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