That night I went home and washed the cup and I had a glass of wine. Then the next morning, when I met up with my Bubbles and Bitches Sunday Brunch Squad, I realized that the sun was too bright and the day was too hot and my stomach was too empty and, oh yeah, I kind of wanted to drink someone's blood.

But I felt fabulous, let me tell you.

Becoming a vampire is ah-mazing. Like, the best health plan. Suddenly I felt powerful and confident and sexy. I couldn't see my reflection anymore, but people kept commenting on how good I looked. Plus I had sway, and I could read people's thoughts, and everything just worked. No more numbness. I was amazing, and of course I wanted to share that feeling. Caught up in the frenzy of the moment, I wanted to provide the same amazing sensations to my only true friends, my Bubbles and Bitches partners: Hannah and her roommate Lisa, and Jacen (my artist and my muse). I brought them into my circle, and that  was perfect. That was a lock. Good people, great mix of personalities. We could have been happy forever — if I'd just stopped.

I wish I'd stopped!

If I'd been smart, I would have destroyed the Grail or buried it or stuck it in a safe-deposit box.  We had it so good! Five undead friends in the city, we were sharing my condo, grazing off the humans, being oh-such fabulous bitches.

Dead sexy and gliding through bedazzled night, our shoes tapping and our clothes popping, we were the Forever 21 Squad.

OV — Original Vampires.

But I didn't stop. Things were going so well I couldn't say no when Hannah asked for Vince (and Vince asked for Chester). I didn't see the harm. I thought, what's two more people? I mean, we were flying! The new gods. Beautiful predators. How could anything go wrong?

Yeah, well, lesson learned.

Suddenly we were too big for the condo, looking to upgrade to the Hacienda, and Chester was bitching about everything.

Then there's Santos.

He's where things really started to come unhinged. Santos was a total accident. He was a spontaneous act, an impulse purchase. I shouldn't have turned Santos, but he just looked so good in that cage at Bareback Buck's, his abs glistening with sweat and oil, his cock so thick and magnificently wrapped in red Speedo as both boys and girls reached in to nest it with cash. I had to have him, so when he came back to party at the Hacienda, I let him drink from the Grail and I turned him and I made him an OV.

I brought him into our circle.

But is he a good fit?

I don't know. It's so hard to say. He's so aloof in so many ways. I can't decide if he's really committed to the clan. 

Oh well. That's why this meeting will be good. Maybe it will help resolve some issues, make me feel more in control again. And if it all goes well, I think next week I should start scheduling regular team-building exercises. That could help with our cohesion—build some camaraderie and sense of community. I make a note to look into some ropes courses, or maybe we could try glamping ... I've seen some great ideas on Pinterest. Glamping may be the way to go. That would be fun.

I make a note: Start pinning glamping photos.

Then I go back to browsing Amazon. I find a nice Liza Keith planner with a chevron cover, but the pages are a bit too cutesy for my tastes. The font is much too whimsical. I need something a bit more serious. Maybe I should start a line of scheduling products for stay-at-home moms. Call it Chief Household Executive or something.

I make a note: Chief Household Executive ... give it some thought.

"Hey Lisa," I yell, but don't get any response. Maybe she's out tending to the garden or something. Making sambuca.

I wander into the kitchen, where Jacen is preparing the snacks I picked up while I was at Whole Foods. He looks very sexy in a plaid flannel shirt and Carhartt pants, and has arranged four chairs on a plastic tarp, where he is now using duct tape to secure the humans in place.

"Do you think that will be enough for six of us?" I ask. Jacen shrugs and steps back to survey his handy work. He was thoughtful enough to use tape to hold the BDs' heads back, making their throats more accessible.

"Everyone's out grazing right now," Jacen says, "so I imagine this will be enough to hold them over for a while."

"Yeah, good," I say, but I have this sense of foreboding nonetheless. I can't really afford for things to go badly. There's too much at stake. I go to the fridge and I pull out the beer I bought and begin arranging the bottles in a stainless steel tub that I had personalized with our names and the letters OV. Hopefully this not-so-subtle message will remind everyone of our bond.

I place the tub on a stand in the living room and fill it with an assortment of locally crafted beers: Mighty Ram IPA, Bat Rastard Golden Ale, Longhorn Orange Milk Stout, Fourth Acre Farmhouse Ale, and Tannenbomb Pilsner. I'm sure there are reasons Chester will fault one or all of these choices, but the Whole Foods consultant assured me this selection would cover a variety of beer preferences.

"Have you seen Lisa?" I ask.

"No, I don't think so." Jacen is wrapping a bit more tape around the ankle of one of the siphons. "Not since I woke up."

"She's supposed to be helping me with a project." Lisa said she'd help me with an experiment I've been interested in conducting, but when I glance out the window, I see that she isn't working her garden and I'm a little disappointed she flaked out on me.

Oh well. I guess I'll move on alone. The way I always do.

I open the garage door and step into the makeshift livestock pen I created last week. It isn't much to look at so far — twenty metal chairs with humans shackled to them. Beyond the chairs, there's a sheet-metal pen where I walk the humans to give them exercise.

This is my hobby farm. Lisa and I have been talking about creating one basically from the moment I turned her. It's a small thing right now—not nearly large enough to sustain our household—but it does provide a renewable source of blood to use in our cooking. I'm excited to have it completed, because it will be nice to have a functional blood farm to cut down on our grazing needs.

Long-term, it would be amazing if we could create a completely self-sustainable household, but I don't think that's a realistic goal at this point. We would just need too many humans—hundreds of them, if not more. Humans just don't regenerate blood quickly enough to meet our demands. If you consider we'd need one neck per vampire for every full meal, keeping them on a six-week rotation to allow their red blood cells time to replenish, we would go through more than 21 siphons per night!

For six weeks!

That's nearly nine hundred siphons that would need to be kept and fed and watered — at a minimum — so we would need some massive warehouses to keep them all, and that would be tricky, since humans tend to notice things like massive enclosed pens full of other humans!

So, for now, we're keeping our operation small.
Small but active.

I go to the chair of Mr. Rapey, who isn't having nearly as many rapey thoughts about me these days. Instead, he's spending most of his time trying to think of ways to get away from me, the big mean vampire lady who keeps looking into his eyes and making him believe I'm about to snip his penis off and set it on fire. He doesn't like it when I do that.

On a tray next to Mr. Rapey, I have arrayed a collection of tools that I should need for my first extraction: blood collection tubes, alcohol, cotton balls, a rubber tourniquet, and needle.

I've never drawn blood before, but I've watched enough YouTube videos by now that I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing.

Mr. Rapey isn't happy to see me. He's hopping around in his seat, kicking his feet and straining his arms, trying to break free of the duct tape. The muscles in his chest and shoulders quiver, and he hollers into his gag as I tap one of the tubes and prepare my syringe.

I'm sure he wonders what the fuck I'm up to, and to be honest, I kind of wish it were something more diabolical, but I really just need Mr. Rapey's blood to use as an ingredient in a few recipes I've been dying to try.

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