It took two coffee dates for Maxwell to convince Katrina to come sing at the bar on opening night.
He rather enjoyed the time alone with her, but he had wished it was for other reasons.
Katrina knew she was going to sing at the club before Maxwell suggested meeting over coffee. She had hoped he would want to discuss more than the bar, but he never strayed. She thought about holding off giving her answer for another date, but she was afraid he would stop asking. She had forgotten how his deep voice made her weak and how she longed to be held within his strong arms, but the two nights having coffee together brought everything back. He was the one man she saw as a potential mate, but he never expressed romantic interest in her.
She had confided in her mother years ago about how she felt about Maxwell, but her mother discouraged it. He was only a quarter la gente de botella, she would say with disdain. His mother chose a human for her husband because she wanted her son to be more human than like us. She knew, as I knew, if she or I had full blooded la gente de botella children there will come a time when they must stand before the evil and slay it. I did not shrink from my duty, Katrina's mother would say. Bonnie, Maxwell's mom, did.
Now Katrina understood what was at stake. Her mother was dying from the evil draining her essence. The secret bottle had been stolen and Katrina's mother was at the mercy of the one who held her bottle. Her essence being absorbed. Katrina knew the fate of her mother and those of the town was in her hands, but that did not dampen her desire for Maxwell.
Armando, the mayor, spent the week visiting every person in town telling them about the reopening of Max's. He virtually commanded that they come out on opening night. He mentioned Katrina was home and would be the singer. They had to support Maxwell.and help a local business and stop throwing money away the K Club.
Opening night finally arrived.
Max's place was packed. Katrina stepped out on stage and the lights went up.
Slowly and sweetly a sound as smooth as silk rose from her lips. With each sound, her essence intensified. A perfume sweeter than life filled the room.
Armando had noticed Mr. Kemp had entered the bar, but he stood in a dark corner. Armando smiled. Just as he had hoped, Mr. Kemp would come to see what the fuss was about. As Katrina belted out each note and her perfume chased away the air, Mr. Kemp stood enchanted. It was if he was in a trance. Armando knew his plan was working.
Than Katrina reached out her hand and her fingers seemed to point directly at Mr Kemp. Her eyes found his in the velvet night. They locked onto his. Her stare seemed to pull at his soul. Her voice coursed through his veins and her perfume drugged his senses.