Ricky glanced at the time but said nothing as Nevin meandered into the room, late for the meeting, and perched on the edge of a plush chair. Bo flopped on the sofa and began flipping through his latest issue of Illicit Incubus magazine while Lazaro sat on the floor and tapped out a rhythm on the coffee table. Kalila came in last and paused to examine the papers in Ricky’s hands. Seeing that the top page was full of numbers, she sighed in disappointment and pulled up a chair. “I don’t know why you insist on showing us our budget,” she said. “In spite of the economy, our investments are doing fine.”
“That’s no excuse for poor fiscal management,” he informed her. Ricky looked around. “Where’s Vic?”
“He’s on a date,” Nevin said.
“Since when did vampires go on dates?”
Bo looked up from his magazine. “That’s what I said. Food is food, so why waste time?”
“This one’s special, though,” Nevin reminded him. “She’s a phlebotomist.”
Ricky paused to think. “You mean one of those people that draws blood?”
Kalila nodded. “He figured they had something in common, so it might be worthwhile to get to know her.”
“And then bite her,” Ricky added. “Nice. I suppose they have a common occupation, but I have a bad feeling about this.”
Lazaro quit drumming on the table. “You say that about everything we do.”
“It’s true,” Kalila said. “You’re very tedious that way. Now are we having a meeting, or not?”
Ricky handed out copies of the previous month’s expense summary. Nevin frowned in bewilderment, Lazaro shredded his, Bo crumpled his copy and threw it across the room, and Kalila, after examining the paper as if it were toxic, burned it to ashes in her hands.
Undeterred, Ricky handed out information about the status of their charitable endeavor to save the wolves. Kalila read the report carefully while Nevin asked if the wolves had names. Bo wanted to know if they were breeding, and Lazaro’s only concern was if the wolves had gotten any smarter. Ricky answered their questions as best he could, then handed out information about upcoming gigs. This garnered nearly an hour of discussion and argument, and at the end of it, Ricky was more than happy to skip some of the other issues he had wanted to bring up and let the band rehearse.
He was still in the lounge, checking his email on his BlackBerry and debating which of his smaller acts to go see tonight, when Vic strolled in. “You missed the meeting,” Ricky informed him. “How’d the date go?”
Vic gave a noncommittal twitch of his shoulders. “Type B-negative. Not my favorite, but I’ve had mostly As lately, so it was a nice change.”
“I see. And did you have a lot to talk about?”
Vic sat down. “Not really. It turned out she wasn’t into discussing her work, and when she did, it was all about needles and lab tests and no mention of the blood at all.”
“So…I guess that means you’re incompatible?”
“Well, she did end up having something I wanted.” Vic fumbled in his pocket. “Check it out.”
Ricky looked at the card and key in silent incomprehension.
“She works at the blood bank,” Vic said, a slow smile creeping across his face. “And now I’ve got access.”
“You’ve got some nerve, you know that? It’s going to be big trouble if you get yourself arrested.”
Vic stood up and dropped the items back in his pocket. “You worry too much, human. It’ll be great not having to break in. Just like a cafeteria.”
“So does this mean you won’t need to go on any more dates?”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Vic gave him a sly look as he headed toward the door. “Sometimes it's worth your while to take your dinner to a movie.”