Kitty's Big Trouble Page 3

I clicked the line to a different call. “And that’s enough of that. Moving on now, next call please. Hello, you’re on the air.”

“Hi, Kitty, I’m a big fan of the show,” said a female voice, cheerful and outgoing. Suze from L.A. “I just wanted to say, isn’t most of history based on eyewitness accounts? People reporting what they saw? We should have evidence somewhere of people talking about this. But I’m not sure how you’d go about proving something that no one ever talks about.”

I was right on the edge of whipping out that FWP transcript—a report that had lain buried and forgotten because no one believed it. I wanted my proof before I brought it into the light.

Instead I said, “Or maybe people have been talking about it, writing about it, whatever, but those accounts were buried because no one believed them. Which leads me to a big question: How trustworthy are eyewitness testimonies? We depend on them for historical accounts, memoirs, battlefield reports, so of course this is going to be high on the list. But is one eyewitness’s story enough? How about two, for corroboration?”

“The more the better, I guess,” she said. “But you still have the problem of separating truth from fiction.”

“Exactly. Part of the reason I’m always trying to get vampires on the show is I figure they’ve got to be some of the best eyewitnesses out there. They’ve been around for decades, for centuries. Not only have they seen a lot, they often seem to be in the front row, watching events play out. But I gotta tell you, they don’t seem particularly interested in sharing what they’ve learned. I think they really like keeping secrets from the rest of us. That’s why we haven’t had any vampire celebrity tell-all books yet. Oh, and if there are any vampires out there writing a celebrity tell-all book, please let me know. Thanks for your call, Suze.”

Matt flagged a call on the monitor—from a vampire. Ooh, was I going to have my wish granted? I liked nothing better than to feature an exclusive. What were the odds?

“Hello, you’re on the air.”

“Kitty, if we keep secrets, perhaps it’s for your own good.” The woman had a faint accent, probably European, topped with a touch of finely aged arrogance.

“So you’re a vampire,” I said. “May I ask how old you are?”

“You may, but I won’t answer.”

The usual response; it didn’t surprise me. “Oh, well, I always have to try. Thank you for calling. My second question for you: Why do you get to decide what should be kept secret? Don’t you think everyone has a right to the truth? Even a dangerous truth?”

“Your attitude about the truth is a bit naïve, don’t you think? The truth isn’t an artifact you can put in a box and study.”

“But I don’t want to be lied to outright,” I said. “I especially don’t want to be told I’m being lied to for my own good.”

“Tell me this: What if you did find the definitive proof you were looking for—a DNA test for lycanthropy for example, or a photograph of someone shape-shifting, or proof that someone was killed with a stake or a silver bullet. What would change? Why would it matter? The events surrounding that person’s life wouldn’t change. Their identity wouldn’t really change—just your knowledge of it.”

Ben’s question again. I kept saying I just wanted to be treated like a human being—that vampires and lycanthropes of any stripe should be allowed to live normal, law-abiding lives. Would exposing any supernatural secret identities damage that? Make them freaks instead of the historical figures they were?

“I guess I’m looking for a connection,” I said. “I’ve been floundering, wondering where I fit in the world. Would having a role model be too much to ask for?”

“I thought being a role model was your job,” she said, with that haughty amusement that only vampires could manage.

“Oh, heaven help us all,” I replied. “But I have to say that yes, it is important. Being a werewolf is an important enough part of my identity that I’ve been basing a show on it and writing about it for the last five years. If I’m going to be an authority on the subject I really want to be an authority. And that means speculating like this.”

“As long as you’re aware that you may never find the answers you’re looking for,” the vampire said.

“Yeah, I’m used to that. Maybe the important thing is to keep asking the questions anyway.”

And get other people asking them, too. Keep knocking on the door until someone answered. Or until they hauled me away and locked me up.

* * *

AFTER THE show I invited Rick, Master of the local vampire Family, to meet me at New Moon, the bar and grill that Ben and I owned. I was careful not to say anything like, “Let’s go for a drink,” or “How about we grab a bite.” Not that Rick would have taken me literally, but I didn’t want to open myself up for the kind of teasing I’d get. Rick was a vampire, feeding on the blood of the living, although I was pretty sure he only drank from volunteers and just enough to stay functional. Still, you had to be careful about what kind of invitations you offered to vampires.

Rick was a friend, and I trusted him. That didn’t mean he told me everything.

He was handsome, with a hint of old-world aristocracy to his fine features and straight bearing. From what I could gather, he came by it honestly—he’d been the younger son of a Spanish noble family who traveled to the New World seeking his fortune in the first wave of immigration in the sixteenth century. I didn’t know if he ever considered his fortune found. He wore an expensive trenchcoat even in summer, a button-up silk shirt, and well-tailored trousers. Perfect, elegant. You couldn’t help but respect him.

“Hi,” I said, letting him through the glass front door. “I’m not even going to ask if I can get you anything to drink.”

“I’m fine, thanks,” he said, glancing around. “Business seems to be doing well.”

The place wasn’t crowded—not surprising at this late hour—but enough people sat here and there to create a friendly buzz.

“Lack of pretension,” I said, guiding him to a table in the back, where my beer was waiting for me. We took seats across from each other. “I think that may be the secret.”

“I think you may be right,” he said. “Now, what’s the problem?”

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