Working the afternoon shift in her grandma's voodoo shop was a nice normal routine. Only believers and locals dared to come into the unmarked shop just off the French Quarter of New Orleans. Kitty watched the front desk while her grandma was in conference. Popping a piece of candy in her mouth, she scrolled through the day's reports on the computer.
"I saw that." Nisey's stick figure of beauty sauntered in from the back.
Kitty rolled her eyes at her cousin. "So?"
Nisey and her sister were the true voodoo descendents who'd take over for their grandmother one day. Born into full voodoo families with strong gifts, they were also tiny and beautiful.
On the other hand, Kitty was curvaceously plus sized. Her mom was a Catholic, which left Kitty out of the full voodoo bloodline.
She didn't mind that at all. Kitty had no desire to be the leader of a religion or a voodoo queen casting spells. For a while, there was doubt she really belonged in the family. Finally, Kitty had convinced her grandma she had a gift when she'd killed a vampire without even touching him.
Nisey leaned on the counter. "All those calories aren't good for you."
"I didn't ask." They could eat the same thing, and her cousins would be rail thin and Kitty would be a size eighteen, bounce up to a twenty then try to get back into a sixteen, which she hadn't seen since high school.
"Fine. Don't care about your health or finding a man. With your long blonde hair and perfect blue eyes, you could be beating them off with a stick."
"Did you come in for a reason?" Kitty asked.
"Callieann is checking on a third incident this week. Another body. Looks like your vamp king isn't holding up his end of the bargain. There were two last week and three more this week. It's only Wednesday. You need to whip him into shape. Those drinking parties clearly aren't keeping the violence down."
"He's not a vampire king. He's the leader, but he can't control everyone. Besides deaths are down a lot since the parties have started. Less idiots going after vampires in back alleys and fewer vampires snatching humans off the street." It had been one of Kitty's better ideas. Bring in the humans who wanted the vamp experience; let the vampires feed on them in a controlled situation. Sex was frequent, but no deaths happened from over-drinking. And no turning humans, either.
Nisey's phone vibrated. She looked at the screen. "It's confirmed. Vampire drained a guy. Callieann staked him in the morgue to be sure."
"Okay, I'll go. There's a party tonight anyway. Are you okay with covering here?" Kitty slid off the stool and grabbed her purse.
"That's why I'm here." Nisey sat and posed like a model. "I wish you could just kill all the vamps and evil things. It'd make our lives easier."
Kitty smiled. "I can't do that. Without evil, there's no good. You have to keep a balance in the world, or it doesn't work." Her gift wasn't voodoo related, but Grandma believed she'd been brought into the family to handle the paranormal creatures and bring balance to all of New Orleans.
Necromancy wasn't a common gift, and it gave Kitty a unique status in the community. She had no fear of the vampires since she could control them or kill them with her thoughts alone.
While not everyone had come back after Katrina, the vampires had never left and their power had grown. She'd worked hard to get the undead population under control. Kitty didn't like that there was a rogue vampire on the loose, and Christian, the leader of the vampires, had some explaining to do. Anxiety stirred in her as she left the shop. She wrote it off as upset over the deaths--but she'd avoided Christian as much as she could. He was so old fashioned.