Hematophagy, Pt. 12

It was a quick drive to the Peppermint Schnapps. I rode in silence, trying to keep my mind on the road and the task at hand, and off the itchy cuts all over my skin, the insect-like hum of the car’s hybrid engine. Manny’s guards would be trained, smart enough to pat me down, even if Manny wasn’t smart enough to think of it himself. Getting a weapon inside the club and past the goons would be difficult. I likely wouldn’t need a weapon to get the answers I wanted, but I’d have felt safer armed than not.

Thirty minutes after I left the hotel, I pulled up to the club, neon signs burning even in the midday sun and promising girls girls girls, live dancers, nude, and the best lunch buffet in town. The unpaved parking lot was surprisingly full of cars, so either the men in town were especially sad and lonely or else that bit about the lunch buffet was true.

I parked the car and hopped out, grateful that I wore sensible running shoes and athletic apparel and not patent leather and suits as some in my profession are wont to do. A reputation and an image are one thing, but when a job falls apart, you don’t want to look sharp; you want shoes you can sprint in and clothes that can’t be grabbed on to. Beyond that, the parking lot was half-dirt and half-mud formed from vomit and beer and piss and God only knew what other fluids, and I’d be irritated if I ruined a nice set of clothes walking around in them.

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