Author's Note: Just so we're clear, I love Twilight. I just … love Josef, too.
"Have you seen this?" Josef pushes the book across his desk, frowning in a manner which means only terrible things to Mick St. John. Wary, the P.I. glances down and reads the title. He frowns.
"Twilight? The latest teen romance novel?" He asks. "Josef, you read this crap?"
"It's all the rage with women these days," Josef tells him, getting to his feet. "And you know how I feel about women, so I thought I'd do some research. I read it last night." He pauses, shaking his head. "Frankly, I'm mortified. This is the worst thing since Interview with a Vampire, that monstrosity with Brad Pitt. I mean, really, how are we supposed to live up to standards like that?"
Mick blinks, turning the book over in his hand. He didn't understand what about some teenage romance novel could possibly get Josef this riled. "What are you talking about?"
"The book, Mick! The book! Vampire meets human, vampire falls in love. Oh, that's fine. That's just good for business. But this! He can read minds, Mick. And we're strong, but—this Edward fellow defies reason. Not to mention his sister, who can see the future, and his brother who can control people's emotions, and on top of that, they play sports. I don't play sports, Mick. It's undignified." Josef takes a deep breath, finally turning around. He keeps his eyes pinned firmly to the ground, and when he speaks again, his voice is weak and trembling. "And all that money. Mick. He's—there's—I mean… all that money, and it isn't mine. I'm getting nauseous thinking about it."
Mick doesn't bother trying to cover his laugh. "Are you … are you jealous? Of a fictional character?"
"You must understand how bad this is. What freshie is going to want me when she's got a picture of Edward Cullen in her head? I mean, for the love of the blood, Mick, I'm a handsome bastard but have you seen Robert Pattison? I would have sex with him."
Mick doesn't answer. The thought strikes him as oddly logical. Freshies are abundant because human women are sucked in by the mystery, the danger, the idea that they will be the forbidden love of some rich vampire who will turn them and love them for eternity. What do they know about the differences between real and fake vampires? And once they find out the truth, they'll be disappointed that vamps aren't like those invented by Stephanie Meyer. Especially those like Josef, who view the possibility of spending eternity with one women the way they view losing their head or getting into a fight with a flamethrower.
"Something's got to be done," Josef declares firmly. "You're a P.I. I'm hiring you. Make this Meyer woman stop."
"I can't kill her for writing sappy love stories, Josef."
"Why not? I killed my interior decorator for suggesting I buy a gold bedspread." The vampire snorts, disgusted. "A gold bedspread! That's just tacky."
"Okay, notice I said I can't kill her for writing sappy love stories. Moral compass, all that. You do what you think needs to be done. I mean, arguably, this woman is endangering all of us with these books. Like you said, people start believing in vampires…things get noticed."
Josef is silent for a long time. Then he sighs. "Well, it'll have to wait, anyway. Maybe this whole thing will blow over."
"Wait? Why does it have to wait?"
Josef coughs into his hand. He doesn't look up as he says, "Well, I mean, we have to find out how it ends."