Viktor was let into Simon’s office by the receptionist Jill. Her job was a position of honour given to all of Simon’s Spawn after they were turned. Simon Silva’s office was a few blocks from the beach, on the seventh floor of the finest building the Silva’s owned. Simon was standing behind his desk, back to the door, admiring the city through the large window. Simon was wearing a plum three-piece suit.
“Jill, get Viktor a drink.” Simon didn’t turn around.
“Yes, Sir.” Jill left the room before Viktor could tell her what he wanted. Viktor sat on a chair in front of Simon’s desk.
“I assume you want to know why I asked you to help me abduct humans that visit your shop.” Simon turned to face Viktor.
“It crossed my mind,” Viktor said.
“A few years back, I was sitting here enjoying the view, thinking about how far I have come.” Simon sat down in his chair. “I had an idea, that would cause my name to enter the history books; I could sell blood to vampires.”
“The Society already does that.”
“They give us just enough to live. I am planning on giving Vampires extra.”
“And break every law that was created to prevent our extinction.” Viktor retorted. “The Society was created to govern and protect us. We need to follow the rules they set to keep our Kind safe.”
“This city is a trial. Once we are done here, we will find a scapegoat for the crimes we’ve committed and move operations elsewhere.” Simon walked over to his mini-fridge and pulled a small bottle of blood from it. He placed it on the desk in front of Viktor.
“It’s concentrated due to a human drug my researchers mixed with the blood. Are you prepared to finally feel like a Vampire should?”
“Why are you showing me this?”
“I need harvesters, but I also need sellers,” Simon said. “It has come to the point where your loyalty might start to sway. Maybe you are starting to feel guilty, or that announcement about a Society taskforce ready to investigate our crimes has you on edge. These are examples of the messes we have had to clean up over the last few days. It was decided that the harvesters would no longer be left in the dark. This, as you have realised, is not a normal progress meeting.”
“They’ll lock me in permanent isolation for this. I won’t be granted the mercy of execution, and now I can’t claim ignorance about the number of humans I’ve sent to slaughter.”
“So, you have no moral objections to the situation. You are just worried about your own skin?”
“If you do not do this, I will cut funding to your shop. You are not making a profit, the only reason I am funding you is because I need harvesters and now I need sellers.”
Jill walked back into the room with a tall glass of water and placed it before Viktor.
“It goes down better with water, we are still trying to perfect the recipe.” Simon held the bottle out for Viktor to grab.
“You want me to have some?” Viktor took a deep breath to lull his unsettled stomach.
“It was where I was leading when we got sidetracked, lucky it allowed Jill enough time to arrive with the water.”
“And if I refuse? You said it’s not perfected.”
“I need feedback to perfect it. We have such a nice arrangement I would hate for it to end. What would your precious brother say? Losing that money he invested in your shop would not impress him. Would it?”
Viktor picked up the chilled bottle and examined the red text on the white label. “How do you know my preferred blood type?”
“The Clair’s were kind enough to let me examine their records after I gave them a sizable donation to their campaign fund for next year’s election.”
“They run a licenced feeding venue; it’s illegal for them to reveal client records to the public.”
“Lot of illegal things happening around here. As it turns out, the right amount of power can get you anything you desire. How about you open that bottle and drink.”
Viktor placed the bottle on the desk. “Why do I have to give you feedback?”
“I believe once you taste the product, I am trying to sell, you will understand. Pure Blood, that is what I have decided to call it, a brand for the masses. Viktor drink the blood as I have ordered. You have never refused me before; I thought we had an understanding.”
“I could get one hundred years in jail for drinking blood I know is illegally procured.”
“If I stopped funding your shop, I would not have anything to hold over you. What would stop you from going to the authorities and getting a plea bargain?” Simon raised a dark eyebrow at Viktor as he smirked. “I think we have an understanding.”
“We have an understanding.” Viktor picked up the bottle and opened it. He took a breath before he drank from the bottle, downing all the blood with one gulp. Viktor felt as though he had woken from a deep sleep, fresh and alert.
“You like it, I take it,” Simon spoke, hardly able to wipe the smirk from his mouth long enough to speak.
Viktor realised he was licking blood from his teeth; he stopped and swapped the bottle in his hand for the glass of water. He used the water to wash the sweet, sweet poison away. “I think I would like one more bottle. I’ll be your very best seller if I can have one more bottle.”
Simon walked over to his fridge and pulled a plastic case from it before he placed it on the desk with a binder of documents. “You must pay for more. Put them in the fridge when you get home, the seller instructions are in these documents. You may go now.”
Viktor stopped his van once he reached a roadside park a few miles from the office. He hopped from his van and stuck a finger down his throat, vomiting the tainted blood into a bush. After it was done, Viktor walked over to a drinking fountain and took a long drink. That had to be enough to dilute what was left in his stomach, right?
He was shaking as he pulled his phone from his jean pocket, he stilled his finger and dialled a number saved under a fake unassuming name. “We need to meet tomorrow night. There’s been a development with Simon.”
“I’ll be there.” Was the only response Viktor received from the woman he called before she hung up.