Santiago's party. As I bowled through them, I took my claws, which had just painfully reformed, jabbed them into the eyes of the largest guy, and pulled out against the side of the sockets. I don't think I killed him, but I did bring the orbs back, skewered on the ends of my claws. I slowly and surely teased them into my mouth, slurped them off, and swallowed them. I plopped my fingers out, smacked my lips, and made a big "Yum, yum".
I needed to get as far away from the hotel as possible, so when I came out the lobby, I pulled a cab driver out of his ride and stole it. I knew I couldn't go far in it, but that was just fine with me. I went a couple of miles and ditched it in the parking lot of another hotel. I crossed the street and entered another hotel. I headed straight to the restaurant, ducking into a restroom at the last minute. Inside, I quickly changed into some light slacks and a loud tropical shirt.
The wallets had some ready cash and I only started grinning after I explored the bag. Evidently the gang used it to smuggle drugs and money. I found $10k in small bills snuggled between two uncut bricks of cocaine. My choices were to either ditch the drugs and launder everything here in Mexico at a loss or smuggle the stuff myself into the US. I needed some time to think.
I didn't want to let my guard down again - the local Federales were probably not as stupid as most Americans wanted to believe. I had the money and the density of tourists in my favor, but I had no documentation. I needed a place to hide for a few days while I planned my entrance to the US. As I washed up, something caught my eye in the mirror - the hotel was also on Cozumel.
I hopped onto one of the many buses and went down to the ferry in Playa del Carmen. Once I got to the island, my main problem was still my lack of a passport. But, I had been absorbing the dialect on the ferry except for the couple of minutes I had spent in the bathroom. I had found a mirror and I willed my blond hair to be both thicker and darker. As it started to change, I also started on my tan and a slight ethnic fold to my eyes. Soon, I was the spitting image of Santiago, whose Mexican driver's license was still in his wallet.
I checked my fingernails, no sign of hunger. I knew the nanomites must be sated, but I didn't know how much energy the transformation was going to take. At all costs I wanted to avoid feeding on the ferry and the island for that matter.
So I spent a couple of days lounging in the sun as Santiago, plotting my return to my homeland. I found I still enjoyed human food, it seemed to fuel the original body needs. I knew it was time to plan moving on when the succulent swordfish started tasting slightly like sawdust.
My plan was simple, I would ape the vampire portrayed in Hollywood and feed at night. During the day, I would travel and be a gentleman adventurer. I could not hunt during the day, too many people were awake and it would be too easy to get inadvertently caught.
My fiasco with Santiago and his buddies had taught me the valuable lesson that while I might be next to immortal, I was not next to invulnerable. But, I could use the vampiric myth to direct attention away from myself.
I knew where I could get fake US identification, even down here in Cozumel, but I instinctively knew that was a bad idea, that whomever had created me would follow those trails. Likewise, crossing over as Santiago was a risk I was not willing to take; I wanted some room to breath, to get a head start on my pursuers.
So, I spent my nights in the bars near the airports until I found my
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