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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Meet Akua

From the book inspired by Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter:

I knew Akua, of course. Or more properly, Akua Nyaméama Pereko Nsia. Since she was the major power in the vampire underworld of San Fransisco, I would have been seriously remiss if I’d underestimated her by not researching every damn thing I could about her. I knew what all her names meant, when she had died, when she had risen. Pereko meant fierce, that she wouldn’t back down. In all the years I had known her, she never had.

Luckily the elevator in her downtown high rise stood empty at this time of day. Everyone had already scurried off to their conference rooms and offices. In some cities vampires stuck to the fringe, running strip clubs and dive bars in places the law wouldn’t bother to look. Not Akua. Nothing would do but to run the biggest, most powerful company she could. She’d always been rich, thanks to the slave trade, and she intended to stay that way now that the world had moved on. Considering she had her fingers in dozens of very profitable pies, it certainly seemed like a more than attainable goal.

Men in cashmere suits strode past me as I headed for Akua’s office. Their stares reminded me that I hadn’t exactly dressed for the occasion, though I’d made an effort; I’d had to go out and buy the blue and purple silk skirt and top special. It made me feel like a flower bud wrapped tightly in its own petals. That’s not a good thing. I had to take tiny little steps, though considering I was wobbling on my high heel shoes that was probably a plus...

...The only thing more impressive than the office was Akua herself. She stood looking out over the city, hands clasped behind her back. Her flawless black skin caused many a mortal woman a sick amount of envy, and her impeccable oiled curls, treated with a light dusting of pure gold dust, did the same. She turned towards me, and her perfect face struck me dumb. I had some defenses against her glamours thanks to being a witch, but nothing could protect me from her sheer beauty, or the tightly controlled, simmering menace in every deliberate movement. That was all lust, not magic, and I was on my own.


I knew it was presumptuous of me to refer to her that way, but I wanted to remind her that I did represent the law around here. Even though the vampires enjoyed sovereign nation status, it didn’t mean they could do whatever they liked. Akua’s cupid’s bow mouth curved in to an amused smirk. As mercurial as any vampire, at least this time I’d managed to impress her in some small way. I’d hate to find out what would happen if I insulted her.

“Morgandy.” Her voice shivered along my arms and back, the same sensation as putting on a ruinously expensive fur coat and nothing else. I thought of those old time fashion photos of dolled up women in nothing but bolts of raw silk, reclining on velvet fainting couches, all of whom were just ugly ducklings next to Akua’s swan. Her ball gown rustled as she moved; she wore whatever conferred status, with no prejudice as to time and place. One day it might be her traditional Akan garb. The next, it might be a dress worthy of Marie Antoinette, with the feather festooned wig to match. Hell maybe it was Antoinette’s dress. I wouldn’t put it past Akua to have that kind of reach. “You dressed up for me. How sweet.”

“Don’t toy with me today, Akua.” I said, gruffer than I intended to be. She pouted, a wholly affected expression that didn’t fool me for a second. Akua could play at being a lamb all she wanted. I would never forget that she was really a leopard. “I’m here on business.” 

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