Ricky glanced around the room. It had been hell rounding up the band – demons weren’t inclined to come when called. “I think it’s time we talked about something that’s very important to humans.”
Bo quit pouting and looked up with a grin. “Sex?”
Vic smacked him on the shoulder. “No, you idiot. Blood. Their kind can’t live without it.”
“Actually,” Ricky said, “I thought we’d have a little discussion about ethics.”
Nevin nodded and adopted a thoughtful expression. Kalila conjured a dictionary and began flipping through the pages. Lazaro yawned, and the others gave him blank looks.
“I realize this may be a new concept for you,” Ricky went on. “But what I’m talking about is standards. Morality. Human expectations of behavior.”
“According to the twins I was with half an hour ago, I met all their expectations,” Bo said. “I don’t understand why you think there’s a problem.” He glanced over his shoulder at the drummer, who was dozing off. “Unless you’re referring to Lazaro.”
“Well, that’s part of it. Will someone wake him up, please?”
Vic yanked on Lazaro’s chair and sent him tumbling to the floor. “Pay attention, stupid. The human is lecturing us about morality.”
Lazaro sat up and rubbed his head. “Oh. Was that her name? I guess I should’ve hidden the body better.”
Ricky took a step toward him. “I thought the only one you had tonight was that bar back.”
“His brain was no good. The girl was much better. Ph.D. candidate.”
“Dammit, Lazaro! This is exactly the sort of thing I’m trying to explain to you. This is wrong, it’s immoral, it’s certainly illegal, and—”
By now Kalila had found the dictionary entry she was looking for. “Ethics: the study of standards of conduct and moral judgment; moral philosophy. The system or code of morals of a particular person, religion, group, or profession.”
“Yes,” Ricky said. “That’s exactly it.”
Vic flashed him a dark look from underneath his brows. “We’re a rock band. If we cared about moral codes, we’d have joined a symphony.”
“And I still don’t see what any of this has to do with me,” Bo added. “Can I go? I promised the bar manager and his cousin that we’d act out some of my favorite scenes from Hot and Horny in Halifax.”
Kalila nodded wisely. “The dictionary is very clear, Ricky. Ethics can be relative to a person, group, or profession. Just because you think it’s wrong that some of us eat brains, drink blood and have indiscriminate sex, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong for us.” She vanished the dictionary with a wave of her hand, stretched out her long legs and sighed. “Is this discussion over now? We’re exhausted.”
“Not all ethics are relative. There are some things that are absolute, every time, everywhere.” Ricky tried to give them each a stern look, but Lazaro had dozed off again, Vic was yawning, and Bo was getting agitated.
Kalila gazed up at him with sleepy, sultry eyes. “And what’s your point?”
Ricky hesitated. He wanted to go on, to explain all the ways in which the band was failing to meet basic standards of behavior, but he had a feeling the moment had passed. “Fine. We’ll take this up again some other time.”
Some battles just couldn’t be won in a day.