Sorry about Monday, but that’s what happens when you’re writing an illicit blog post on an illicit phone during a blood bank holdup.
They moved us all into the big ass refrigerator room, and I was hiding from the other hostages between two big ass racks of blood, but my dumb ass was more concerned with making sure the other hostages didn’t realize I had a phone and start making a whole ruckus about calling the cops — Neal and Julian would have killed me — than I was about making sure the vamp guard at the door didn’t notice I was writing. Here I go once again with the super relatable content, but don’t you just hate it when vampires interrupt your social media schedule?
The vamp that found me had long red hair and he was Not Pleased. He was also not super receptive to the fact that I wasn’t making any phone calls (or that I have no one to call regardless, ha) and made a big scene out of dragging me in front of shoulder pads vampire, who’s name turned out to be Melinda.
Melinda was about ready to make an example out of me.
“Did I not warn you about the phone thing?” Melinda sighed, taking my phone from the ginger vampire. “Did I not make it very clear what would happen?” I watched her switch to my messages and realize I hadn’t been messaging anyone.
“What are you gonna do,” I said, because I’m a dumb ass idiot. “Give me some venom? Because listen in my experience that’s not so bad. Hell of a hangover tho.”
Melinda looked up from my phone. “You know what we are,” she observed. “Alright, you win. I’m curious. Who are you?”
Is a vampire being curious about your personal details a win? I feel like it’s not.
“I’m no one,” I said, back pedaling.
Melinda’s eyes narrowed, and she grabbed my wrist, pulled it to her face, and before I had time to worry this was it for me, she sniffed me. At first like a small disdainful sniff, but then, once she’d gotten the scent, her eyelids fluttered, her nostrils flared, and her lips peeled back to reveal her teeth, like a cat when they’re trying to really scent something.
When she looked at me again her pupils had gone all big and round like she was on a bunch of drugs. “What are you?” she said.
Suuuuper sick of getting that question. That’s got to be rude, right? I can’t be crazy for thinking that’s rude.
She was peering into my one black eye when the phone at the reception desk rang.
“Finally,” Melinda said. She looked up to bark at the ginger vampire. Take her back to the refrigerator, and for fuck’s sake make sure none of them have phones.”
“But —” the ginger began, obviously crestfallen because he didn’t get to eat me.
“I will deal with her later,” Melinda snapped. Then she pointed at me. “When this is done, you’re coming with me.”
“WHAT,” I said, because, and bear with me here, I didn’t want to be kidnapped by vampires. Kidnapped by monster hunters is one thing, but I draw the line at vampires.
The Hawthornes were throwing an absolute fit when I made it back to the refrigerator, banging on the doors and shouting, but they were being completely ignored, and for the first time I realized ahah — we might be in trouble here.
“Alright back up,” Ginger said, but when they didn’t, Ginger mimed biting my throat, and they both backed away from the doors, scowling.
The vampires opened the door, shoved me inside, and slammed it shut behind me.
Everyone else was huddled on the ground, shivering.
“You okay?” Julian said, tilting my chin up to get a better look at my neck.
I assured them I was fine, and told them all about Melinda, with special emphasis on her weird wrist-sniffing action and the whole she’s taking me with her thing.
Neal managed one HA and said, “that’s not going to happen.” Then he asked, “Did you see a police perimeter?”
Lol, you mean I was supposed to use that opportunity to spy on our captors? Man, that sure would have been smart of me. 🤦🏼♀️
I was only moderately certain that I saw flashing blue lights outside, but this I knew:
“She sent me back here when the phone rang,” I said. “She said finally, and got rid of me.”
“This is power play with Leopold, right?” Julian said.
“Oh yeah,” Neal said. “They’re obviously trying to get a rise out of Leopold.”
“They’d do all this for a rise out of Leopold?” I said and Neal snorted.
“Vampire politics are on a whole other level,” he said. “And if we’d been hiding our contraband phone, instead of using it to blog, maybe we could have asked Leopold for the details.” Like he was obviously just teasing me but still. Ass.
“But what’s the point?” I said.
“Leopold and his nest are very powerful,” Julian explained. “Near absolute power to the vampires turned by anyone in his nest. The only real stand an individual vampire can make is to threaten to expose them. Because the only real danger to a nest like Leopold’s is discovery by humans. So, if a vampire like Melinda wanted to strike out on her own, away from Leopold’s rules, the only way for her to do that would be…”
“To make a stand that threatens all vampires with exposure,” I said. “Okay.”
“I’m sorry,” said the mousy woman across from us. “Did you say… vampire?”
We ignored her entirely, which is funny because the Hawthornes do that to me all the time, and I hate it, and now I totally get why: literally we just don’t have time to explain to this poor mouse that vampires exist. We have problems to solve.
“Okay, so what’s the plan?” Julian said. “Do we wait or do we try to bust out of here?”
“Are you insane?” hissed the woman next to us. She was a classic Karen: the bob, the floral top, the very blue denim, that keen glint in her eye that’s judging your customer service. “They ate someone! We just have to wait until the police come and save us.”
“They must be on bath salts,” said the mouse.
“If only,” Neal sighed.
We weren’t a huge group. The three of us, a couple receptionists, and five people in scrubs. Then on top of that Karen, Mouse, a big timid man we’ll call Greg, an old lady we’ll call Margaret, a fifty year old white man in a suit who had a briefcase, he can be Robert, and a couple athletic, REI enthusiast twenty somethings who looked terrified. We can call them Ad and Venture.
“Alright, that’s enough,” said business man Robert. “No more of this vampire nonsense, we need a plan. Everyone needs to calm down.”
Robert did not sound calm, he sounded tightly wound as shit, but everyone else calmed right down and turned towards him, like little school children ready to listen.
All hail the power of a middle aged man with a briefcase, I guess.
“Who here is most familiar with the building?” Robert asked.
The receptionists and everyone in scrubs drew forward and were just beginning to put together a map of the building, when the refrigerator door opened.
“We’re looking for Shiloh Tamblyn,” said the ginger vampire. Neal and Julian both frowned.
“That can’t be right,” I said.
“We’ve got an Agent Arnold Mulligan from the FBI on the phone,” he said. “He’ll only talk to you.”
My stomach fell out of my ass.
I wasn’t sure what else to do, so I got up to follow the vampire with the phone call and Julian and Neal followed quickly.
“No,” said the ginger. “Only her.”
“I’m not going without them,” I said.
“My instructions are only you,” said the ginger.
“Then I’m not going,” I said and sat on the floor of the refrigerator. The ginger looked at me distastefully, and then picked me up, hauled me over a shoulder and, despite my kicking and screaming, carried me out to the lobby and dumped me on the floor in front of Melinda.
“You’re Shiloh Tamblyn?” she said and then sighed. “I might have known. I don’t know why you’ve got the FBI asking for you, but they’ll only talk to you, so we’re going to have to make a deal. Are you ready?”
I blinked at her.
“This is what I need you to tell them: We aren’t going to hurt anyone, so long as they get Leopold Sara on the phone and convince him that they know vampires exist. If they can’t do that we’re going to kill everyone in here. You understand that?”
I stood there with my mouth open like an idiot.
“Good,” Melinda said. “And we do mean that, right? All of you will be dead.”
“Okay,” I said.
“Good,” Melinda said. “Ready?”
I didn’t have the chance to say yes or no before she picked up the phone. She put it on speaker phone.
“Hello?” I croaked.
“Is this Shiloh Tamblyn?”
I would have known Agent Mulligan’s voice anywhere. You don’t forget the man who killed you. I sat down on the edge of the reception desk.
“Uh huh,” I managed.
“We’ve been following you for a long time,” he said. “How are you doing?”
“Uh,” I said.
“We understand you sustained some pretty serious injuries in the last few weeks, didn’t you,” he said.
“Uh,” I said.
“We’re not going to let anything like that happen to you ever again, do you understand? We’re going to get you home safe and sound. Are the Hawthornes listening right now?”
I didn’t get it. I looked at the vampires around me but they were all as blind sided as I was.
“No,” I said.
“Okay, can you tell me what the Hawthornes need so badly? We’re willing to compromise with whatever they need to get you and everyone else out of there.”
It took me a long time to understand. “What the Hawthornes need?” I said.
“They must need something pretty bad to take hostages,” Agent Mulligan said.
LMAO. PLOT TWIST.
“You think… you think the Hawthornes are the ones who are holding this place up?” I said. I laughed aloud, which was not my smoothest moment. “Why on earth would the Hawthornes need with a blood bank?”
“That’s what we’re hoping you’ll tell us,” Agent Mulligan said with exaggerated patience.
And then, and I’m not proud of this, but I laughed at him.
A bloodsucking fiend is standing right next to me, threatening my life, and this genius, this absolute fool, thinks that the danger in the building is Neal and Julian Hawthorne? Baffling, it’s totally baffling.
When I looked up at Melinda, she just reached out and slammed the phone down on the receiver, hanging it up.
Then she said, “the Hawthornes are here?”
And that’s where I’m gonna pause this story because Julian is grilling zucchinis, which I recognize is a huge departure from where we were on Monday night, but I promise I’ll get there. Just not right now because grilled zucchinis 🥰.