The Caretaker of Showman’s Hill – Vampire Romance
Cassie Briggs is a reporter who is looking for her missing sister. When she ends up in the cemetery at night on an assignment she comes across Basil Wensilton III, the caretaker of Showman’s HIll Cemetery. What she doesn’t know is that he is a vampire and her life is about to become very dangerous when she moves into his lair.
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Excerpt from The Caretaker of Showman’s Hill:
Basil made his way from the cemetery up to The Bat House – the tavern he’d run for damn well near the last two centuries. He’d planned on sticking around the gravesites and waiting for that reporter named Cassie to come back but his hunger won out. Still, he knew he’d have time to get his meal and make it back before Antonio and the rest of the gang woke up. It was only dusk and they weren’t able to show their faces anywhere until the blanket of darkness covered the sky.
He swore he was getting more human every day. Fifty years ago he didn’t dare venture out before the sun had set. Now he was able to come outdoors when the sun’s rays were very weak, just as the sun set on the horizon. Three coats of sunscreen 30, long sleeves, long pants and dark glasses did the trick. His skin only tingled slightly, and the weak rays no longer bothered his hair. He prided himself on the fact he no longer needed to wear a hat.
His stomach growled as he threw open the back door of the Bat House and strolled into the kitchen. The smell of fresh borscht tickled his nostrils as he made his way to the stove. He’d learned to supplement his feedings with borscht and seaweed soup when the blood supply started running low.
Helga, his cook, stood over the pot slowly stirring the brew. Basil loved teasing the old, plump woman and came up behind her, slapping her on the rear end.
Helga shrieked, jumped, and held her hands over her heart. “Oh, Caretaker, ’tis only ye.”
“Who’d you think it was, Helga? The milk man come to seduce you?” He threw his sunglasses down on the counter.
“Master Basil, must I remind ye, there’s been no milk men now for decades?”
“Sorry, Helga, I keep forgetting. Pour me a cup of borscht, will you, sweetie?”
Helga turned back toward the pot and ladled a spoonful into a glass bowl. “‘Tis proper of a laddie tae eat from a bowl and with a spoon. If ye plan on goin’ out in public someday ye’d better work on yer manners.”
“I’ve no intention of keeping up with the times, nor going anywhere in public. Ever.”
He pushed open the swinging door that led to the bar area and scanned the surroundings. The usual men were sitting at the bar, awaiting the entertainment of the three girls that worked the place.
“Where are the girls, Helga? Already upstairs so early?”
“I don’t know, Caretaker. I couldn’t get a word out of La Roux. She’s the only one out there working the floor. Her and Andre who’s tendin’ bar that is.”
Basil wasn’t happy. Things were not in order. Plus, La Roux was looking very pale lately. “Has La Roux eaten anything today?”
“Not that I know of,” answered Helga.
Basil swore under his breath. “Get her in here Helga before I have to go out there and drag her off the floor myself.”
“Aye, Caretaker.” Helga handed him the borscht, wiped her hands on her apron and waddled out onto the floor. The door swung shut behind her.
Basil fumbled with the spoon, trying aimlessly to balance the hot liquid atop it and bring it to his mouth in one motion. Too many years away from the ways of man could make one rusty. It also made him realize, he didn’t really care. He threw the spoon on the counter and brought the bowl to his lips. He’d just taken a sip when he heard cat calls from the other room. The men were raising a ruckus and it most certainly wasn’t over Helga.
His nose picked up the new scent right through the kitchen door. It wasn’t the scent of roses or perfume. It was the scent of new virgin blood. It was something he hadn’t smelled in a very long time.
He balanced the bowl in one hand and leaned his shoulder against the swinging door to open it a crack. It was her. That snoopy reporter. She had the camera around her neck and tape recorder swinging from the waist of her tight blue jeans. Basil watched her breasts bob up and down as she made her way to the bar area. Her nipples showed right through her white tank top. He felt a strange excitement at the fact she wasn’t wearing a bra.
He closed the door and brought the bowl to his mouth for another sip but stopped in the process. Suddenly beet soup didn’t seem to fulfill his needs. Cassie’s body was tempting him in a way no one had done in a long time. He felt the bulge in his pants and realized he was more human than he’d thought. Vampires weren’t supposed to feel this way about women. Vampires’ urges were a bit different indeed. Her body wasn’t supposed to excite him, her blood was.
Just the thought of her sweet, fresh blood brought him back to his other needs as well. He licked his lips and ran his tongue over his teeth. Sure enough, his fangs were starting to emerge.
“Damn that woman!”
Suddenly the door swung open, knocking into him and spilling the soup down the front of his white chambray shirt.
“What the hell,” he swore. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Cassie, wide eyed and open mouthed. Her eyes were focused on his chest and the blood red stains. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and realized there was soup all over his face.
He turned away quickly and grabbed a towel from the sink, wiping off his mouth and shirt, keeping his back to her all the time.
“Master, this is Cassie Briggs,” came Helga’s voice from the door.
“You call him Master?” Basil couldn’t help but hear the humor in her tone of voice. He felt his fangs retract and he turned around to face them.
“You’ll have to forgive Helga. She’s from the old world and a bit old fashioned.”
“Me, old fashioned? Hrumph!” Helga’s brows raised and she crossed her arms over her ample bosom.
Cassie’s eyes widened when she saw his face. “It’s you!” She grabbed her camera and raised it up.
“I warned you before not to do that.” He pushed his command into her head by the use of his mind alone. Cassie obediently lowered the camera.
“What are ye talkin’ about?” asked Helga. “Do ye already know the girl?”
“I asked you to get La Roux for me, Helga. Now do it before I lose my temper.”
“Aye, Caretaker.” Helga swung her wide hips back out the door.
Basil unbuttoned his shirt, slipping it from his body and throwing it across the room. He toyed with the Egyptian ankh that hung from a chain around his neck. Myth had it that crosses repelled vampires, but Basil could verify that wasn’t true. Or at least the version of an Egyptian ankh didn’t bother him. Still, he always wore it under his shirt as the sight of it did seem to upset Antonio and the boys.
“I told you to stay away from here.”
She flashed a sarcastic smile. “You said to stay away from the cemetery.”
He noticed Cassie’s eyes roam to his bare chest. Just the feel of her gaze sent a tingle flitting across his skin. “Same thing.”
“I don’t think so.”
“What are you doing here?” he asked, irritated, but rather pleased she’d come back.
“I blew out a tire and that woman Helga said there was a nice man in the kitchen who might be able to help me.”
“Well she was wrong.” Basil stepped over the puddle of soup and walked to the other side of the kitchen.
“Wrong about what part? That there was a nice man in the kitchen or that you could help me?”
He turned around to see her putting her camera and tape recorder down on the counter and picking up the towel. He then watched her cute bottom wave back and forth as she wiped up the spilled soup.
“Like I said,” he answered, “she was wrong.”
Cassie stood up with the blood red towel in her hand and stared him in the eye. A daring action to look a vampire in the eye, giving him the power to control her. Gullible, but yet courageous. If only she knew.