Take a Bite Outta Crime – Part 35

So, another person, this time a human, has disappeared from a photo shoot. Gene Schwartz, the gaffer who spoke to Tommy, is the latest victim of the bizarre plot. Now, however, they have something to go on. Someone pretending to be a driver, has been responsible for spiriting people away.

 “Carley has a point, old sport. We do have an early day tomorrow. May I see you out?”

“This won’t be forgotten, Nunne.”

“I know, memory like an elephant,” Kirk said, tapping his forehead. “Oh, you meant you!” He chuckled. “Andres, lighten up. What you said was snooty and condescending. If you want back in that girl’s good graces….”

“And her bed,” Drea added cattily.

Kirk nodded at his wife, accepting her amendment. “You’ll need a hell of an apology.”

“It wasn’t that bad!” Andres fumed.

Kirk shrugged, leaving the angry vamp to his wife. Drea sauntered up to him, holding his lapels as she gazed into his eyes.

“Blood sucking fiend,” she said quietly. “Demon spawn. Death bringer, evil one, creature of the night. These are all terms that have been used to describe us. There are other, more colorful, less polite terms applied to us, as you know. What you said was more offensive than any of those. Shut off the lights on your way out.”

She followed her husband to their room.

* * *

The following day, the vampire contingent was greatly on edge. So far, the only people who had been abducted were vampires. Yesterday, a human had disappeared. Before going to bed the night before, Kirk and Drea had reported Gene’s abduction to the police. Of course, since it was a human, Andres hadn’t thought to do so.

Thoroughly annoyed with Andres, Carley went to the shoot with them instead of waiting for Andres to send the car for her. Besides being furious with her lover, she was worried about being alone in the car with a driver. She had no idea of knowing which one was actually abducting people. She hated to admit that she had no more idea what he looked like than Andres did. The fact here was no one but the driver made him anonymous, just like Tommy said. She wondered how often she did that to people.

Carley hadn’t grown up rich. Her father had made a comfortable living, but there wasn’t that much money in fish. They hadn’t had servants, not even a guy to mow the lawn or clean the pool. She hadn’t been raised as a snob, but had certainly become one. Being a super model, fawned over, spoiled, catered to…. She’d turned into a diva and it irritated her. She wanted to kick herself.

When she wasn’t on camera, Carley spent time talking to Kirk and Margo or hanging around with Tommy. She felt safe with the three of them, not something she could say about the rest. She’d even dismissed her makeup and hair women in a huff. If it hadn’t been for Margo, she wouldn’t have been ready on time.

“I started out doing makeup,” Margo said proudly.

Carley admired her handiwork. Margo had done things with the makeup that gave her an entirely different look. She liked the result.

“Of course, that was back before it was this elaborate. All of us had more than one job. One day, a model didn’t come in as scheduled. The photographer turned to me as I did the makeup of one of the other girls. ‘Hop to!’ He yelled at me. ‘I need another body and yours is better than most!’ That’s how I became a model.”

“Was it hard for you?”

“Hard how?”

“Did people take you seriously? You’re beautiful, a woman—blonde….”

Margo laughed, rocking back and forth on her chair. “It’s in the attitude. If they talk down to you, you turn it on them. Condescension can go both ways. You’re the face, dear. They can’t get very far without you. Yes, there are other models out there, but you’re here. They need you. Of course, having a diva fit isn’t very becoming, I’m not saying do that. But they can only hurt you if you allow them to. I never did.”

“You’re so much more brave than I am.”

“Watch me, precious. The lighting director had it in for me yesterday. Doesn’t like blondes because we’re too hard to light, especially platinum blondes like me. He made some comment and I shot him down. He swore revenge.” She giggled and wielded the brush with a flare. “Done.”

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