“Did you know her well; or was it just the one meeting?′
“Just the one meeting... your father... was highly unpleasant.” His Scottish accent came out in a thick brogue, and his lips curled back in a snarl as the memory of their meeting surfaced. He should have gutted the insane human for his crazy and cruel experiments when he had the chance. Unfortunately, he taken the high road, telling the bastard to shove his experiments up his ass and do to something anatomically impossible to himself.
She nodded, knowing exactly what he was talking about. “He turned my mother, me, my daughter and his bastard son into animal hybrids. My mother sent me away when I was a baby; so, I didn’t have to endure the experimentation or training. She committed suicide shortly after... I only met him once he kidnapped my daughter. I had no idea where I came from, who he was or what he was doing until I was forced to go to that awful island.”
Her voice had gone choked and breathy. Her eyes had a hard distance to them and for a moment, he wondered if she were going to cry.
“I’m sorry about your mother; I hope she finds peace wherever she is.” He paused before continuing. “Can I ask what happened to your daughter?”
“She was killed by my father’s crazy wife; for revenge for him turning my half-brother; her son; into a murderous, horrible, mutant creation. She gave Elara the poison that everyone on that island had so they couldn’t escape.
I killed her; I shredded her to pieces... JB thinks I don’t remember it, but I do... I remember it like it was yesterday.”
She took a deep breath, trying to clear her head of the memories that surged; waiting just below the surface, like sharks waiting for prey. Her fingers phased between metal claws and human fingers.
It was fascinatingly eerie to watch. He could sense her muscles coiled tightly, the animal ready to spring or flee. He waited for her calm down, and decided not to push those memories anymore. After all, he had his own dark and dangerous past he didn’t want to have surface.
“Your father was Sirius Develanka? And your mother... Samantha Carson?”
It was more a statement than a question, but she nodded all the same.
“My turn; what’s the amulet for?”
“It’s an amulet of speed. It allows the wearer to move swiftly, as fast as light almost. It’s a vampire made, and worn amulet of immense power. It was created in the year 4000 B.C; as an advantage against the Blades.”
“And you know this... because... you’re a vampire?”
Jayson nodded; startled she had come to the realization so quickly. She took the news surprisingly well. Her eyes remained impassive; a spark of recognition at the mention of the Blades, but for a human she didn’t seem surprised.
She had gone quiet and seemed to be thinking over this latest information; clearly, she was more interested in the amulet than in telling him her story.
“This JB; he was your partner... what happened?”
She sighed; “I get the feeling this is going to be a long night...”
“If you have somewhere you need to be, I can walk you home and wait until next time.”
“No; it’s fine. My apartment is on the other side of town anyway. It’s a long story that’s all. When he had been alive; we were partners. Married; had a daughter, lived a happy life for a while. Than after Athena killed Elara, JB and I.... well things were never the same after. We were on a mission to find Pandora’s Key; well, after we found the Key, we were transported to Pandora’s Planet.
“This is a planet full of robots, controlled by a scientist who wanted to use Pandora’s Key to move from world to world. JB and I got captured, and JB got downloaded into his mainframe computer. That’s where he died... I couldn’t even bring his body home to bury.”
He marveled at her strength to overcome such traumatizing events. Over the course of the past hour, the cafe had emptied and now only a few people sat sipping coffee and reading books. Quiet classical music could be heard in the background and he sipped his coffee, which had cooled considerably.
“What happened after?”
“I came home; spent a year alone and the year after JB came back... He made a deal with Hades; god of the underworld to come back.”
Eryn’s eyes had gone hard, but he could see the underlying fear in them. Something about JB scared her.
“He came back changed... didn’t he?”
Eryn nodded, a haunted look came over her and she closed her eyes; fighting the demons that haunted her dreams. He wondered why it was that she was afraid of her ex-husband; what had happened that scared her so much.
“Is it just the one amulet, or are there more?”
“There are more; there 7 in total. A ring for Strength, an ankle amulet of Speed, a pendant of Toughness, a bracelet of Endurance, earrings of Charisma, a brooch of Speech, and a watch of Stealth.”
“Do you have them all?”
He shook his head, seeing the spark of adventure and the determination he had seen in her eyes before. “I have the pendant of Toughness, you have the amulet of Speed, and my lieutenant Bryan has the watch of Stealth. My enemy Ace has the ring of Strength.”
She was taken off guard by that, she hadn’t expected him to be so forthcoming. Intrigued she went over the information in her head carefully before voicing her next question.
“Who are the Blades?”
Jayson coughed into his coffee; having gone cold over the past couple of hours. He frowned into the liquid blackness of his cup, debating how much to tell her about them. What the hell, he had already told her about the jewelry, she might as well know about the monsters that were after them. That and she had already killed one earlier that night.
“The Blades are the rival clan of mine; the Blades have set out to destroy humanity. The Armies of the Night are my clan; we carry on the legacy to protect humanity.
The legacy that was born from my mentor: Johnny the Blade; the vampire who founded the Blades. Since Johnny got killed by Ace, I took over his crusade to protect humans from the world that they don’t see around them; the world that we don’t want them to see because it would terrify them.”
Her stunned expression told him she hadn’t expected to hear that much about them. He smiled at her, and shrugged in response.
“Why do your claws become metal?”
“Military experimentation and enhancement. Because of my unstable DNA, the metal I touched became part of my DNA and as a result, my claws are now metal instead of bone. Why are the Blades after the Amulets?”
“Power mainly; take every dictator in the world, combine them into one and you get Ace of Blades. Or so the son of a bitch has come to call himself.”
“Wow... That’s kind of cool. Where are the others?”
“Still trying to figure that one out.”
“Where were the last known locations?”
“Hell; if I know... why?”
Jayson realized she might want to go after them the moment before she suggested the idea to him.
“No, it would be incredibly dangerous and stupid for a human to go after them. You found that amulet purely by luck.”
Throughout the night, over the course of the conversation, his voice had gotten thicker and lower. She gave him a hard-cold look, debating whether she should ask him about finding them with her. This opportunity was just too good to pass up. As an explorer, it was her right to find things.... or at least that was what she told herself most times. She turned back to the handsome vampire across from her and regarded him and his story. Her watch beeped the hour.
“Wow... it’s 2 in the morning... what happened to the night.”
“Does that bother you? For me the night is still fairly young.”
“Not really, being part panther means I’m more of a nocturnal creature anyway. But I should probably get home to feed the cat.”
She chuckled to herself and moved to get up. Moving with the inhuman speed of vampires, Jayson was suddenly right behind her, pulling her chair out and helping her into her jacket.
“Let me drive you home, it’s a long way back and my cars just around the corner.”
“And they say chivalry is dead. Besides I’m the baddest thing out here…” She smirked giving him a challenging grin. “But if you insist...”
He chuckled; there was something about this girl that he liked.
“Well, I wouldn’t say you’re the baddest thing, but you can definitely handle yourself in a fight. Come on, my cars this way.”
He led her out the door of the cafe, and down the street to his waiting sleek, shiny, black 1972 Ford Mustang.
Jayson leaned over slightly, smirking.
“Fully restored, original engine, original leather interior, heated seats and mirrors. Precision targeting, computer enhancements, dual fifty caliber machine guns, 40mm grenade launchers in back. Oil release under the muffler, and napalm trigger right beside it. And most of it controlled by this...”
He rolled up his left sleeve, revealing a five-inch wrist computer. She gasped; classic cars with weaponry had always been a secret favorite of hers. She walked around the car impressed with how well he kept it; clearly the man knew his classic cars and weaponry.
Any other sane person would have been afraid of him and what he could do, she wasn’t; more so, she wanted to go ride with him and hear that engine growl as it ripped up the street, shaming every other car within a ten-mile radius.