Regan watched as Paul Wright, one of the only humans she had seen interacting with vampires, slip an arm around his “prize”, a sweet blonde who she only knew as Miss Harper. The arrogant snot had “won” a night of her company in a game of cards the night before, and here he was lording over the girl as though she were little more than a nice car, or sweet puppy. Regan could feel an anger in the core of her stomach at his smug grin, and his utter disrespect for his fellow human.
She was torn between lashing out with a fist, trying to talk him out of the whole affair with her gift of gab, or simply storming away from all of it. She had never been one for conflict; it was always easier to slink back to her desk and then exact her revenge by cutting back funding for someone’s project, or by filing a report with the CFO about an overage in another budget. Even when she had been born again she had opted to go along quietly rather than fight for freedom, or flee to safety.
“Look,” she started. “Have you really done a fair opportunity cost analysis in relation to how you’re spending this evening? After all, time, once spent, is lost forever, and given your mortal status can you really afford to be wasteful with a limited resource?” This had worked before. As long as she focused on financial matters her power of persuasion was unparalleled, it seemed. Even as she had tried to start up her own consulting firm, clients had, across the board, routinely expressed profound respect for her suggestions, and had accepted every suggestion and offer she had made. Where she used to spend weeks grooming someone for a tough decision, now the matter was handled in fifteen minutes over coffee.
She was also able to charge rates three times what she knew was common, and every client had practically fallen over themselves at the opportunity to pay them.
Paul grinned back as his hand slipped down from Harper’s waist to her rear. The girl did not react, but continued to stare submissively at the floor. “Let me stop you right there. I’ve been around your kind for a while now. I know you think that if you just start talking to me, I’ll be putty in your hands, but you don’t get to be the Earl’s favorite artist without learning how to both recognize vampire mojo and how to resist it. So why don’t you save yourself that breath you really don’t need, stop talking, and let me and my date enjoy our evening.”
Regan blinked, momentarily struck speechless. Paul began to guide Ms. Harper past her into towards the door.