The New Client
Vincent checked his reflection in the mirrored windows of the building he stood next to. He was perfectly presented. As always. But it never hurt to check before meeting a new client.
His suit was immaculately tailored, an understated elegance matched by his shoes and overall attire. He did not have a hair out of place, and the brown eyes that stared out through the close-fitting glasses he wore were bright and alert.
Not that his eyes were brown, but even when not glowing red with bloodlust or anger, a vampire’s eyes were still not something most humans would be comfortable with. Vincent’s eyes were grey, but not a shade any living human would ever possess.
His skin was pale as was true of all vampires, regardless of their colouring before they’d been turned. Vincent’s friend Jake sometimes joked that all vampires looked as if some time in the sun would do them good… despite knowing full well it would destroy any vampire foolish enough to try. Jake had that sort of humour.
Satisfied with his appearance, Vincent moved towards the doors to the office. It stood in a pleasant part of town, well lit by street lights despite the dark night, and as safe from night crime as anywhere could be. That was always a relief. Not that Vincent had anything to fear from would-be muggers, but dealing with the confrontation was always unpleasant… and, if things went the wrong way, messy.
Darkness had only fallen two hours before. It was still early enough for those Vincent was meeting to consider it a late evening meeting. For him it was as early as he had been willing to make it.
Vincent didn’t often take on new clients, but from time to time an existing client would recommend him to someone new and he’d find his caseload becoming heavier. It was no great problem. As a vampire he didn’t truly need to sleep and could happily work all night and then throughout the next day, as long as he remained at home or in his office. Both locations were carefully screened against any possibility of his being exposed to daylight.
The sign on the doors read S Ak’ers. The spacing was strange, almost looking as if the name wasn’t complete, but both the sign and the building it was on were shiny and new so that seemed highly unlikely.
Vincent shook his head. Probably someone trying to appear trendy. A slightly worrying sign, but that was fine. He was here as much to evaluate whether he wanted this company as a client as they were to decide whether they wanted him as their lawyer.
The initial discussions over the phone had gone without a hitch. They’d accepted his rather unusual stipulations, that he would only meet with them at night or, in very rare circumstances, in his own office during the day. They’d already been told of his severe allergy to sunlight by the client who referred him so that wasn’t a concern. On the phone Mr Akers had actually jokingly said just like a vampire.
Vincent had chuckled a little, and replied saying didn’t all lawyers like their drop of blood? That made Mr Akers laugh, and the moment had passed. There was no way he could know Vincent had used that same line… well, far too many times to count already.
Vincent pushed his way through the doors then approached the young man sitting at the security desk.
“You must be Mr Sanderson,” said the young guard. “Pleased to meet you, sir. Mr Akers is waiting for you on the top floor. You can take either of the elevators.”
Vincent smiled and nodded. He thanked the guard and headed for the elevators, one set on either side of a small lobby. The elevator on the left arrived first. He appreciated the fact he could take the lift as the building had seven floors. Not that seven flights of stairs would even slightly tire him, but that very lack of exertion might have caused comment. He walked into the lift. The doors closed behind him and he pressed the button for the seventh floor.
* * *
Very few things can kill a vampire. Sunlight. A wooden stake through the heart. Fire, though only if it was intense enough for a long enough period of time. And that was pretty much the end of the list. Even being crushed by a massive weight or being dismembered tended to only be a temporary setback.
Knocking a vampire out was equally difficult. A massive blow to the head might do the trick, but one with the force of a falling boulder rather than a cricket bat swung by a human. A large enough pulse of electricity could do the trick as well, but only if it was strong enough to kill several adult elephants.
The blast of electricity which flooded the lift as Vincent touched the button was that powerful. Vincent only had a moment’s awareness something was very wrong… then darkness closed in.
* * *