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He's sitting at the bar, the grey haired, middle-aged man. He was wearing an old fashioned suit, like the workers over at Costume Emporium. Every now and then, he would glance around the room and then look at his pocket watch. He was waiting for someone. He took a sip of his brandy and then repeated the process five minutes later.
I watched him for nearly an hour. He would make small talk with the bartender when the crowds dispersed. He flirted with the waitresses but not in an overly creepy way. He looked once again at the people in the tiny smoke filled bar. His eyes caught mine for a brief second then I turned away. No need for him to think I was watching him. He turned back to the bar and looked at his watch once again.
I twirled my pencil with my fingers, thinking. I was still staring at the man. Anyone who didn't know me very well would think I was into him. I wasn't. Really everything about this man made my hair stand on end.
I saw after a while that he was watching me. He was looking from the mirror behind the counter. I turned my head to watch the progress of the young man who was serving the drinks. Keeping my eyes where I could still see the man in my peripheral vision. After a while he looked around the room, pausing a moment on me, then opened his watch again. He snapped it shut, irritated.
Sonya, my waitress came over to refill my glass with coke. She noticed my gaze, which still pointed at the barman. She gave her wide grin at me and winked saying "That's Steve, the one you’re looking at. A cutie pie ain't he," I nodded my head. Wishing she would go away.
Keeping my eyes focused on the man, while trying to keep my head pointed at the moving guy, Steve did she say? She giggled, "Ahh to be young like you again." She walked off to check on the few other costumers that hadn't left yet.
The man took one final look around the bar and gave up. He paid for his drink, leaving a generous tip by the look of the bill in his hand. He moved gracefully across the room. He looked at me as he passed; I ignored him, keeping my eyes on Steve. He walked on.
I let out a gush of wind when he was out the door. I took a deep gulp of the coke, loving how it felt on my throat, cold and burning. Then I sighed as I looked up to see Sonya talking to Steve and seeing him look at me, grinning.
I looked at my watch. It was time to leave before things got too messy.
I got up. I paid for my drinks and left before he could come talk to me.
I walked to my car as fast as I could without running. Running could only make matters worse in this neighborhood. Even as I walked to my black Mercedes Benz, I heard catcalls from the many drunks and disgusting men, all hidden in the dark alleyways. Two of them were in front of my car talking about it.
"I'm telling you Kyle, it’s a Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren." Kyle looked at his friend, skeptical. " What would a guy who could afford something like that, be here? It’s a fake. Has to be." He looked hard at the guy who had correctly guessed the model of my car.
Kyle's friend looked down shamefully. "Yeah your probably right." His voice was huffy. "Ah hem." I made it loud. They spun around taken unawares that someone had been listening. They grinned a little when they saw me. "If you don't mind I'd like to get to my car." I pointed to it. They looked from me to the car and back.
When they didn't understand what I was getting at, I made little sweeping movements with my hands, indicating to move to the side. They did, still staring at me as I opened the door. Before I slid in I pointed to the one who had guessed the car and said," You’re right about the car by the way. It is a SLR McLaren," I turned to his friend, "not that its anyone's business what I'm doing in this neighbor hood, but I'll have you know that my car is NOT a fake. It cost more then you'll ever make in a lifetime.
I swerved my head back to his friend. I gave him a smile, which he tentatively returned. He reminded me of someone I used to know. So I decided to warn him of what was about to come.
"FYI this place just got a lot more dangerous. I suggest you run home and don't come out till you see sun beams." They did as I said. Well maybe not the coming out till morning but the running they did do. I only laughed and started my car.
I could see how they were intimidated by me. My long dark hair fell to my lower back, looking wild and untamed, my almost clear gray eyes looking as if they could see through you. Even my friends said they had nightmares about me.
Maybe it’s that they felt the danger in the air. Same as I did, I sniffed the air, smelling danger in the thick fog surrounding the street. They wouldn't know why it was dangerous just like most people won't. It’s not something that normal humans can notice.
I wasn't going to stick around long enough for the blood that would soon taint the air. I got my car into drive and pulled out of the bar's lot. I hit the highway with enough speed to leave tire marks.
I woke up with a crick in my neck. I hated the pillows in this hotel. They were too flat and soft. I opened the door to see a food cart outside, filled to the brim and a newspaper. I looked around and saw no one. Just as I had asked for. I rolled the cart in, grabbing the newspaper and a bowl of strawberries I went to the terrace.
I would have preferred having a lower key place to sleep but the other places in this town were downright disgusting.
I opened the paper to see that the bar I was at the night before on the front page. The headline read: MURDER AT PUP'S BAR- A young girl found behind the dumpster.
So, he had been there.
I was just too late, he already found his victim.
Who was it? Who had been there last night, and what reason had he to kill the girl? Those would be the questions that Louisville Police would be asking themselves right now and only two people knew the answer.
The killer was one and I was the other.
I tried to tell the cops once but they thought I was a nut. Nearly had me thrown in an institution.
So I won't be telling the police and neither will he. It is up to me to stop him.
I thought back to last night, going over it with my mind.
I took a drink of juice to get rid of the bile that had crept into my mouth.
Maybe, I saw the old man in my mental vision, we aren't alone. Who had he been? Did he know something? Did he have anything to do with the murderer? If he did, I hoped he kept his mouth shut. That killer wouldn't give a thought to killing someone on his trail. As I knew well, I'm surprised I've made it this far.
I thought back to 4 months earlier. My life was simpler, when I didn't sleep in lousy motels. When I didn't follow a murderer.
Suddenly a staggering feeling came over me. I fell into a chair. It meant that the murderer was moving out of town, again.
He was making his stays shorter and shorter. Perhaps he knew that I was here. Maybe he knew that I might be following?
I stopped questioning myself. There would be no time now. When he moved, he moved quickly and silently. I had to keep focused or I'd lose him.
New town, new state all within a 7-hour drive.
I looked down at the map again. I had followed him and once again I couldn't find a pattern in his choices. I was starting to wonder if he picked things out at random. I had tried everything I could think of, trying to pinpoint the guy's next move. I needed to find some advantage, something to work with to bring the psycho down.
I pulled off the main highway, into a small town called Baville. It was the place to find the sweetest Blackberries. Or so said the welcoming sign.
I drove the town, then doubled back toward what seemed the only motel in town, The Wet Lanes Lodge.
I pulled my GM Acura MDX into the lot. I had switched out my McLaren the town over from the last location. Covering up as much of my tracks, not wanting to leave a trail. I wouldn't want him to think too much about being followed. And let's face it, you see too much of a car like my Benz someone is bound to notice.
Grabbing the door to the main office, I got an overwhelming feeling. I knew I couldn't go in yet.
Impulsively I got back into my car and clutched the wheel. Not understanding exactly why but I've learned to listen to my instincts. They have yet to fail me.
The door swung open not even two minutes later. Revealing a man in dark overcoat and an old homburg style hat. The kind you see in those old 50's movies. He glanced in my direction and my heart stopped beating for a few moments.
It was the man from the bar. But how?
My eyes followed him as he walked to his room, 314. Maybe I could break in when he was out and figure out who he was. What was he doing here? Did he see me?
I didn't know the answers but I would soon.
I walked calmly into the office even though my mind was in complete turmoil.
"Hi," I said sweetly, turning my face to look as innocent as I could.
"Hello." A voice much too deep came from the boy behind the counter. He couldn't have been over 15; he was making his voice husky to impress me.
I rolled my eyes mentally, and batted my eyelashes at the kid. He turned pink, "Can I help you?" He probably meant that to come out silky smooth but it sounded more as if he had just been chocking and had asked for a glass of water.
"Why yes you can. Yes you can." I paused he looked expectantly.
"I'd like a room. Double bed."
"Double?" He looked behind me as if looking for who had came with me.
"Oh yes, a double. My boyfriend is suppose to be meeting me here." I made my eyes brighten as I said boyfriend. "You see I haven't seen him in 2 months now." I gushed, and the poor boy's face fell. "See he just got out on leave from the Marines and he's coming to see me." I felt bad for lying to the kid but I didn't want any problems either.
"Oh," His voice went back to a normal harsh sounding voice that seemed to fit the kid. "Yeah sure, here you go."
He placed the key in my hand, "room 316."
"316?" I asked confused. I hadn't meant to say that aloud. The kid looked up at me, "Yeah is there a problem with that?" he watched my face suspicious
"Well no, but its just that I just saw a man go into 314, what happened to 315?"
"Somebody earlier came in and requested that room. Who knows why? The room was suppose to be remodeled last summer after a customer left the window open during a massive storm. But my dad never got around to it. It’s a mess, but when I tried telling the man, he just kept saying that he didn't mind. He always stayed in that room. As if, I never saw the guy before."
He seemed to like talking about it. He probably would have gone on if I hadn't yawned widely in front of him.
"Sorry. Its just that I haven't slept since I found out I would see Steve." I pulled the name out of my head and laughed inwardly. "I think I'll go freshen up before he gets here. I hope to see you soon...uh I didn't quite catch your name."
"Its Lucas," I'm sure he would say more so I interrupted quickly.
"Lucas, it was great meeting you. Maybe I will come back in the morning and introduce Steve. He would like you. You seem so nice. Not like many boys your age. Always trying to flirt with girls too old for you. See you."
I was out the door quick as a flash but not before I heard him reply, "Yeah love to meet your Marine boyfriend and have him strangle me."
I laughed to myself and entered my room. I did a detailed search of the room. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff I have found in motels. This one was clean though.
I found a local cafe. Fortunately I didn't have to ask Lucas. I saw it on my way through the town. I ordered a burger and two orders of curly fries.
I hadn't stop for lunch, I was starving by the time I hit the 5-hour mark. However, nothing would drive me away from my goal.
"May I join you?" I looked up to see the man from Pup's Bar. I nearly choked on my mouthful of fries.
He didn't wait for a reply. Just sat down with a bowl of tomato soup. He noticed me gaze at his food. "I'm on a special diet." He chuckled. I gulped at his choice of words.
He seemed to notice. "Not that kind of diet. But how odd you took it that way."
Every nerve in my body was telling me to run. Run now and not ever look back.
"And tell me darling," He leaned across the table, "How did you learn about the existence of Vampires?"
I glanced around the room quickly at the word. Nobody was looking at us, no one was pointing at us, whispering. I looked back at the strange man. I stared for what seemed ages but was only a few moments.
In those few moments though I knew that I could trust him. He was like me. Alone with a world of vampires.
"How did you know?" I asked shaking my head. He smiled knowingly. "My gut told me."
I knew what he meant.
Henry spent two hours explaining who he was and what he was doing following the vampire.
Its his job to track vampires. His bosses would pay top dollar for vampire heads. Why anyone would want it for a job I don't know.
"So why are you following this vampire?" He asks me, I'm not sure if I should tell him the truth. Even he wouldn't believe the truth.
Maybe I've kept it in for too long because I find myself blurting out the entire story.
"There was a colony back in my home town. Demetri had been one of them. They decided to take over the town. They set up a citywide treasure hunt; the prize was you ended up as lunch. By the end, almost everyone in the town was dead. A few of us that escaped took out most of the vampires. Demetri is the only one left from that colony."
"Demetri was a leader wasn't he?" I looked at Henry. He already knew the answer.
"Do you know how much of my family members' blood he drank?" I said agonized. "I'm going to get rid of him. If it brought me against all the vampires, so be it. Bring on the Lord's of Night, so long as I can have Demetri's head."
"You are a girl on mission aren't you? But don't think you have to go in this alone. Let me call for back up. I can have men here in under 3 hours."
I just laughed, "I've been tracking him for months now. He's almost caught me several times and you think you can bring in a bunch of men and not have him high-tail it out of town as fast as his feet can take him?"
Henry's face told me he was contemplating what I said but I went on anyways. "He's got some sort of power to tell when someone's too close for comfort. He'll leave and I'll never revenge my family and friends."
"Alright. We'll do this your way. You seem to know a lot about this creature."
"I should. I've been tracking him for so long it’s hard to think about what I'll do after I kill him."
I breathed deeply. Glad to be talking about this with someone who didn't call you crazy. I mean honestly, who would think its crazy to go after a vampire who killed your entire town and is now looking for a bite to eat as I sit here.
I wanted to laugh hysterically at my situation but I was in better control of myself than that.
Henry went to fetch his weapons and draw up an idea of what our next step should be. I was starting to think he hadn't been hunting vampires too long. He didn't think things out well enough to have ever gone after anyone as powerful and strong as Demetri.
I climbed out of my car, thinking I'd get some sleep before I had to wake up and deal with tomorrow’s problems.
That’s when I remembered what Lucas had told me earlier.
Room 315, he always stays there. Lucas had never seen the guy but he had always stayed in that room. Things clicked in my head for maybe a millisecond before a loud boom made me crash to the ground.
The boom hadn't really been too loud, because no one came to investigate the sound. I had only assumed it was loud because it had been next to my right ear.
Demetri had landed perfectly crouched on top of the car. He stared predatorily at me. I was stunned. I had been so carefully kept myself sealed from him. And I ended up in the room right next to his.
He sniffed the air, smelling no doubt my confusion and slight intimidation. I had only been this close to him once. That was when he killed my little sister in front of me.
Remembering her brought me to my senses.
"Demetri," I spat put his name as if it burned my tongue.
He smiled, making his pale face even more beautifully, brutish and carnal at the same time. He reminded me of paintings so old that you felt if you'd touch it, the paint would peel off.
"You've been following me for long time, querido" His voice was almost purring, he had a light accent. "Who knew I was so special. Do tell me why you've thought it so important to follow me."
I watched him carefully as I pulled myself up off the ground.
"Do you remember me?"
"Of course little one. Your sister was delicious. I only wish I hadn't finished her off so quickly. I won't be making that mistake with you."
Part of me want to shred him to pieces, another wanted to run away screaming. Another part of me stayed in control though.
"You're right," He raised his eyebrows in surprise. "You're not going to finish me off at all."
He laughed, "I'm intrigued my you, espirituoso. Rarely have I met a human quite as brave and sharp tongued, as you seem to be. I wonder... suppose I was to," His eyes gleamed and I threw myself to the left not a second to late. He had jumped from his position on the car to where I had been standing.
I cast him a dirty look. He only widened his grin.
I wanted to strike him with every ounce of my body but something told me to wait.
"Why did you come after me, little one? When you saw what I had done to all those people. Why come after me? Please don't say revenge because that would just be foolish."
I couldn't wait any longer. I swung my fist at him as hard as I could muster. He didn't even blink. Just grabbed me and wheeled me around, grasping me casually against him.
"Tck-tck. Now we can't be having any of that."
Then he was gone, standing about four feet away from me. Cautiously I drew myself up. When I remembered that only by out-thinking Demetri was the only chance I had a t killing him I spoke.
"If you think I'm here to revenge my town you're right. That’s not all of it though, and I think you know that."
His face contorted for only a second, but in that second I knew, I had gotten to him.
"What would that be, little one?" He was going to play along. He knew the real reason I was here. The one I didn't even tell Henry because it would turn him against me.
I shifted my sleeve to reveal my forearm.
There were two perfectly round shaped scars. Bite marks, from when Demetri tried to kill me.
I had gotten away and started to feel the affects of the bite. Mostly at night but it was growing stronger everyday.
"You're starting to turn aren't you?" His voice had silky qualities that Lucas' voice hadn't been able to produce.
"I never meant for you to become like one us. You have too much willpower to be a very good servant for me. So let me finish you off now so you won't have to bear the pain any longer."
His voice was beaconing to me. Luring me into a perfectly laid trap. I would have fallen for it had he not killed my family, if I hadn't wanted to kill him so long.
"Thanks but no thanks. I think I'll find my own way out of this mess. It includes me staying alive and not turning into a monster."
Anger flashed across his face. "Monsters! That is all you think we are? I've tried to get along with your kind but all they wanted was my heart on a stake."
"If you want sympathy you're going to have to look some place else. You have shown your true face to me, Demetri. You cannot lie to me as you did to my sister."
He laughed, throwing back his head and let it resonate through the streets.
"Perhaps I should let you change, querido. I would make you my queen. With you by my side, I could become a Lord of the Night. Maybe even the King of Vampires"
"In your dreams." I brought out the small, bone dagger from a concealed pocket. It was all that I had left to remember my sister.
"Tempting as your offer is, I have other plans."
"You really think you can kill me?" His voice was bewildered. "You know maybe you’re not as strong as I thought. Maybe you're just crazy. Did I break that feeble little mind of yours?" His grin was firmly back in place.
I flinched when he said the word crazy. I was done being called crazy.
Slowly I looked him in the eyes, straight on. A small, smile formed on my lips. I brought the dagger's blade to my hand and slowly drew it through the fleshy part of my palm.
Aromas of blood filled the air. I saw hunger cross Demetri's face.
He licked his lips. "I remember your taste, little one. You're even more exquisite than your sister. You are much more delectable. I'm going to make your blood last for as long as possible."
He was starting to advance, as I knew he would. He was on in seconds. His arms became like chains around me. It made it hard to move. He pried the knife from my hand and tossed it away.
Gently he pulled my bleeding hand to his lips. He tasted, swirling my blood in his mouth. "Better than I remember." he murmured softly to himself.
He was about to cinch his teeth in when suddenly he jerked. I looked at him. His arms went loose around me and I pulled free of him.
An arrow was sticking out of his chest. Looking up I saw Henry holding a crossbow. I smiled in relief.
"Well that’s not how I planned it but whatever works." Henry muttered to himself as we burned Demetri's body.
I looked at him as the last of the body burned into ashes.
"How did you know he was there? That he was attacking me,”
He laughed, almost bitterly. "Just another gut feeling."
I laughed too. "Of course I should have known."
He turned to me. "Why did you to that?" He pointed to my bandaged hand. "If you didn't know I was behind him."
I smiled to myself as I thought about it. "I suppose you could say I had a gut feeling too.