Ricky checked his watch. He was late, but luckily the band was becoming more punctual. It had been awhile since he caught them napping or rambling about in search of prey when they should be getting set up for a show. The sight of the equipment van in the alley reassured him and he waved at one of the werewolf crew before pushing through the service door.
His first order of business was to check in with the manager and exchange the standard pleasantries. Finding no one in the office, Ricky headed toward the club to see how the setup was coming along. The manager would probably be there, and if he wasn’t, someone might know—
“There you are.” Kalila said, appearing out of nowhere like the damnable djinn she was. “We have a problem.”
Ricky looked at her. “Please tell me Bo didn’t already seduce someone.”
“Only one of the cleanup crew.” She waved a hand to dismiss the matter. “No, I’m afraid this is more serious. Lazaro ate—” she called into the darkness of the drummer alcove. “What was his name, again?”
“Ken Blakely!” Lazaro shouted back.
Ricky leaped onto the stage, stomped past Vic and Nevin, and found the drummer placidly hanging a cymbal. “You ate the venue manager? This is a joke, right?”
Lazaro shrugged his big shoulders. “He came back here and messed with my drums.”
Vic stopped adjusting a microphone. “It was his own damn fault. He went back there to look at the drum setup, tripped like the clumsy primate he was, and knocked over the hi-hat.”
“Genuine Zildjian cymbals,” Lazaro muttered.
“But…you don’t avenge simple human mistakes like that. This is totally inappropriate and—”
“Better watch it,” Vic said, baring his fangs. “You know what he’s like in this kind of mood.”
Regrettably, Ricky did know. “Well …did you at least hide the remains?”
“Of course,” Lazaro snorted. “I’m not stupid.”
“We’re not worried about your human laws and morals,” Kalila said, walking across the stage and picking up her guitar. “And we’re not concerned about tonight. Places like this practically run themselves.”
Ricky ran his fingers through his hair. “Okay, so if you’re not worried about any of the things a normal person would worry about, why did you ruin my day by mentioning it? You said there was a problem.”
“Oh, there’s definitely a problem, human,” Vic said.
Kalila nodded. “Now that the manager is dinner…”
“Please don’t call him that.”
“More like a snack, anyway,” Lazaro said.
“I don’t need to hear—”
“Get over it, human,” Vic snarled.
Ricky turned back to Kalila. “Just tell me what you think the problem is.”
Kalila blinked as if the answer were obvious. “How are we going to get paid?”