Last Teaser Before Release Day

It’s the last Teaser Tuesday before release day! So to gear up for the future awesomeness, here’s the last teaser to tide you over. Picking up where we left off last week:

Chapter 2

DISPLEASED, Savaunt stormed down the street. No woman had ever resisted him as Lena had. It enraged him. If she were any other woman she’d be throwing herself at me right now.

She had not revealed as much of herself as he had expected, and still her figure taunted him. At least I’ve made some progress, he noted as his temper cooled down. This will take time.

He glanced in shop windows as he continued on. Cars passed by in the street. The roaring of motors, blasting stereos, and human conversation grated on his nerves. Setting his face, he staked out his next move. I must find shelter and seek employment to blend in.

Unsure as to where to look, his thoughts were interrupted by the tinkling sound of an instrument. It poured out of a nearby restaurant. He followed the jumping melody, and hummed along as the tune drew him into a dimly lit bar. The comfortable little place seemed less repulsive than the others he had passed.

“What is this place?” he called out to the stocky man standing ready at the door.

“Rick’s piano bar.”

He nodded and looked to the stage further in. Not many people occupied the tables before the musician, but Savaunt smiled to himself recognizing a baby grand. I have never heard any piano make sounds like this.

The pianist leaned into the keys and began to sing into a microphone. Savaunt warmed to the sound. He followed the waiter to a seat, walking in time to the musical tones. “I’ve never heard anything like it.”

“Just old jazz standards. But Rick’s got a gift. He can tickle the ivories better than anyone I know.”

Tickle the ivories? He pondered the strange description. A strained note from Rick’s voice caused Savaunt to grimace, but he settled in and ordered a drink. “Bring me your
best ale.”

“No problem.” The waiter’s words were lost on him as he took in the scales of the song. By the time it ended, Savaunt had every word memorized. His waiter returned to set a glass before him and Savaunt sniffed the contents. Nodding, he took a swig. “Not bad.”

“Is there anything else I can get for you?”

He stared up at the smooth face of the waiter. “You don’t happen to have any clams, do you?”

“Sure, clams, calamari, shrimp, fish; we do well with seafood here.”

“Bring me the lot of it.”

Okay.” His waiter shuffled off.

As soon as Savaunt found himself lost in another beautiful melody, a woman approached him. “Hello there. You seem to be enjoying the music.”

“It is powerful.” He did not bother to look at her.

Without an invitation, she pulled out a chair at his table and sat with him. “That’s my husband up there.”

This caught his attention, and he turned to size her up. Her salt and pepper hair sat in a graceful up do, complimenting her elegant wrinkled face. The sapphire dress wrapped around her aged but well kempt body, offered a picturesque image.

“You’re a musician, aren’t you?”

A smirk formed on his lips. “I do sing.”

“It shows.”

Taking the opportunity, he sat back and started at her face, hopeful that his vocal persuasion would not falter this time. “I am searching for employment. You do not happen to need my talents, do you?”

A warm smile met him. Her dark eyes glistened at his words. “We’ve been toying with the idea. Would you mind joining Rick for a trial?” She gestured toward the stage.

At that moment, the waiter returned with a tray of seafood. “Hey, Gloria.” He smiled at the woman.

“Hello.” She laughed with wide eyes and cocked her head at Savaunt. “You hungry?”

“Just a bit.” He smirked, happy that his voice at least still had power over most women.

“If you have the skills, you’ve got the job. Come on.” She started toward the stage. “Food can wait.”

His stomach grumbled, but this opportunity could not be ignored. He followed and stood by as she conversed with her husband.

Rick peered at him from around the piano. “Can you read music?”

“I do not need to.” He pointed to his ears. “I can pick up anything.”

“What songs do you have in your repertoire?” Rick seemed unconvinced.

“I shall learn whichever ones you ask of me.”

“I don’t know, Gloria.” Rick scratched at his scruffy chin. He looked back to Savaunt. “Where have you sung?”

“All around the world.” This truth made him proud.

“Let’s see.” Leaning back against the piano, Rick asked, “What do you want me to play?”

With a grumble Savaunt sighed to himself. “I do not know much jazz. How about the one you just finished?”

Rick scowled at him, but he stood tall.

“All right.” Pounding out the previous tune, Rick stared at him while plinking out the intro.

The air of melodiousness washed over Savaunt. He began to push out the words with more enjoyment than he had ever known. The rhythm caught him, and he swayed to the beat. Each note came out strong with perfection and style. For over three minutes, he forgot about his worries and lost himself in song.

When Rick finished playing, his eyes were wide. “You’re hired.”

“I need full compensation.”

Rick and Gloria laughed as they looked past him to the tables littered with new faces. Not a seat stood empty. A chorus of applause met Savaunt. Surprised to be exposed to so many humans, he bowed coldly.

“Would you like to stick around tonight?”

“No,” he declined. “I can start tomorrow.”

“You’ll be working for tips, but I think that will be more lucrative for you.” Rick pointed to the women approaching the stage. “Come in whenever you can. I try to play a set every odd hour starting at one.”

Tips? Savaunt pondered the word as he descended the stairs from the stage, and walked back out onto the dining floor. A swarm of eager ladies, and a few men, held out cash, offering plenteous five, ten, and twenty-dollar bills. He took the pay and went back to his seat, but a pale, gaunt young woman sat in it.

“Excuse me,” he spoke with velvety persuasion.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” She stood up. “I just had to hear you, and this was the only spot open. Your voice is like heaven.”

The desire to ignore her and devour his plate of food had to be ignored. She may be useful for tonight. He stared up into her chestnut eyes. “Pardon me, where are my manners.” He stood and held the seat out for her. “I did not realize that there is not a seat left for a lady.”

She giggled.

Pathetic. He hid his true perception of her. Leaning down, he plucked a shrimp up and chewed it slowly. Humans and their ridiculous ways.

He worked to engage her. “I will be singing here from now on.”

“What’s your name?”

He sighed at the human’s desperate need to attach herself to him. It made him think of returning home—but then Lena’s interesting character reminded him of his goal. “My name is Savaunt.”

Savaunt? That’s a sexy name. I’m Jordan.”

He fought the urge to wince at her strange name. Reaching down, he stroked her hand and made sure to give his words an extra sultry texture. “Nice to meet you.”

Four sentences later, he had his arm around her shoulder, and the prospect of shelter for the night. In his hand he clasped a box of leftovers. His stomach would have to remain empty until he wore her out.

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