The black sedan pulled up to the curb as heavy traffic rattled by. This part of town was extremely busy this time of day as shop works and shoppers alike went in search of nourishment. Department store and office building intermingled with cafes and bars. Life teeming with the ebb and flow of the seas. Humanity unaware of the underworld that surrounded them.
Abel opened the car door and stepped out into the rush of bodies. A lady in a red jacket jostle him as she passed by, the smell of her perfume reminded him of winter in the alpine forests, a year he went in search of his brother. Willow came to stand next to him as Evan opened the trunk of the car.
Evan had been a last-minute recruit. He had seen Abel in the command hub and learned of the mission. Expressing that 8 hands are better than four and 4 heads are better than 3, Abel had let him join the expedition.
Geezer joined the group as he pulled on a dark gray Crombie jacket, the type you see in the gangster films. His silver knives sparkled at his hips before they were hidden. Abel had told Willow to leave her bo-staff at the institution as this was more of a diplomatic mission, and something she needs to learn as well. He had told her that: Fighting might save your life but diplomacy could stop the fighting from ever happening, the Regent had shown that with the agreement.
The club was sandwiched between two ordinary office blocks, the metal studded door looked batters and worn and could have been taken for the entry to their basement. Most of humanity would have made that mistake, but the members of the underworld knew that the symbol carved into the recess of the doorway meant it was far from it.
Evan pulled at the handle and the door rattled, the sound of the shoot bolts announced their presence.
“God damn it.”
Abel nodded once, Geezer turned willow around so their back was to the door as Abel followed suit. Evan glanced side to side waiting for a thinning of the crowd before he heaved a kick at the door. The door stood defiant and strong, Evan readied himself for another blow but Abel grabbed his shoulder.
Evan took Abel place shielding the scene from passersby before a loud crash sounded behind them. The group turned and filed through the doorway. The two doors swung back and forth in the wake.
A red light shone at the bottom of the stairs casting everything in a ruby haze.
The ticket office to the right was empty as was the cloakroom to their left.
Two glass doors inlaid with the clubs name “Allium” stood before them.
Geezer reached for the door and pushed one open. The sound of workmen drilling filled the entrance hall.
“No wonder they never ‘heard us knockin’.”
Geezer smiled and replaced his daggers pulling close the dark jacket. Evan nodded and walked through closely followed by Willow. The doors opened to a polished concrete floor, again the name was emblazoned on the floor. A long thin bar lit with neons hugged the wall to the left and a small dance floor with a sparkly disco ball splayed out on the right. The back of the club seemed to disappear in a series of mezzanine floors.
Workmen in overhauls stood high up on scaffolds were attending to something on the ceiling. At the foot of the scaffolding, a man in his early forties with thin graying hair and glasses held on to the aluminum poles. His worn black jeans and t-shirt bear caused the group to mistake him as he was craning his neck up to the heavens. He turned and surveyed the uninvited guests. A picture of a wolf and a basketball stared back at them from his chest.
“I wasn’t expecting an inspection until tomorrow but seeing as you’re here now.”
Abel stepped through the door and saw Constantine.
“Nice place you’ve got here. Love the name, looks like vampires do have a sense of humor after all.”
Constantine tipped his head at the acknowledgment and turned back to his workers. He tapped at the scaffold with a ringed finger and three men descended from the blackness above.
“Take a break boys, you’ve earned it.”
Constantine smacked a worker on the bottom as he walked by, the workers face turned red with a mixture of embarrassment and anger as his workmates laughed. One brushed by Willow, the smell of burnt metal and body odor clung to him.
“And why do I have the pleasure of your presence at my humble club Abel?”
Constantine reached up and pulled off his thin-framed glasses and sighed. He didn’t really need them since his change, but he has worn them, because he had done so them for 40 years of his human years, and the fact that, he still liked wearing them.
“We just wanted to make sure that the new owners knew the agreement. But seeing as you were one of those that signed the agreement, I don’t have to worry, do I?”
Constantine put a long-fingered hand on his chest in mock embarrassment.
“Me? forget, Come now Abel, we are much more sophisticated creatures. All that creeping about in the dark is so 18th century.”
“Well, the Regent wanted us to pay a visit and now we ave, so don’t worry your pretty little ‘head.”
“Oh, I see you’ve brought me a little British bulldog Abel, how kind.”
Constantine stared into Geezers eyes and his head started to go fussy, slowly his thoughts turned to summer fields and picnics in the long grass, the breeze smelling of newly cut grass and the sunshine. Geezer was sprawled out on a red tartan blanket, a basket of fruit by his side. Constantine laid by his and pressed a grape to his lips.
Geezer’s mind snapped back to reality, the feeling of bliss drained from his chest and he felt his face lose its stupid smile. Anger snarled from the pit of his stomach and leap to take its place.
“What the ‘ell did you do to me you damn Campire.”
Constantine laughed and clasped his hand together.
Abel grabbed Geezer’s shoulder and turned him round to look at him.
“Go wait upstairs, the fresh air will do you some good.”
Geezer started to protest but Abel forced him to leave.
Willow watched as Abel spoke to the Englishmen. Constantine turned his attention from Geezer to her, slowly his smile faded and a look of puzzlement settled over his face. Willow felt a pressure on her mind. – but shook it off and returned his stare.
Abel turned again and took a few steps toward the vampire. Constantine faulted and took a step back.
“Listen here, as long as you don’t break the agreement you won’t see us again. But as soon as you do, we’ll come down on you like a ton of bricks. Understand.”
Constantine’s eyes flickered between Abel and Willow as he replies.
Abel glanced over his shoulder to his daughter and sighed. He turned and walked back to the group.
“Come on. Let’s go.”
He gestured for them to move, Evan walked to the glass doors and held them open as Abel approached.
Willow hadn’t moved, neither had Constantine. The pair seemed to be locked in a staring contest, Abel gently pulled at Willow’s shoulder and she finally twisted her head away.
“Time to go.”
Willow nodded and followed Evan up to the stairs as Abel watched the vampire’s expression.
“She has Sarah’s eyes. Be careful that she doesn’t follow her footsteps.”
Abel was at Constantine’s throats within a heartbeat. A small sharp silver blade at his Adam’s apple.
“Don’t you dare bring her into this.”
Constantine nodded and held his hands aloft. Abel held the knife there for a few moments more before returning into the sheave in his sleeve. He turned and stormed back to the stairs and out into the daylight.
Constantine straightens his T-shirt and rubbed at his neck where the silver had burnt his skin.
“You already have.”
A sound at the bar made Constantine turn just as a figure silhouetted the door behind the bar. Cain walked out and reached for a bottle of scotch. He poured the yellow liquid into a small tumbler and raised it to his nose all the while looking at Constantine.
“She is not to be harmed. She will become my greatest achievement.”
Constantine lowered his eyes as Cain’s stare bored into him.
“Yes my lord, and what about Abel.”
Cain lowered the glass of spirits and tossed to the floor where it smashed.
“Do what you must.”
Constantine walked to a fridge behind the bar and opened it. He withdrew a blood bag and offers it to Cain as ancient vampires brow knitted tighter and his red eyes became slits.
Cain flicked out a hand quickly and knocked the bag to the floor.
“Do not insult me again.”
“Sorry my lord it’s just that I thought…”
Cain sneered and held out a hand.
“Stop your excessive dribble, bring me a human, I am not an animal to be fed from a plastic bag.”
Constantine nodded but hesitated.
“We have no one here my lord. But the workers will be back soon. Maybe after they have finished their job you could sake your thirst.”
Constantine smiled and raised his eyebrows, hoping that it would be enough to placate the murderous vampire.
Cain shrugged and turned back to the door.
“So be it.”