Prologue: Every Girl Needs A Loving Father
All fathers hate their teenage daughters.
Some hide it well.
Some fathers avoid their daughters as if they were always on their periods and leaving trails of blood on the floor. Whatever side of the room the daughters were on, their father was on the other side keeping his distance.
Some fathers abuse their daughters- always emotionally, usually verbally, sometimes physically. And it’s always easy to see- the more black she wore, the more attention she craved from older men, the more promiscuous she was- those were the signs of a young woman who’d been abused by her father.
Some fathers put their daughters on birth control and shipped their asses off to boarding school. Someone else’s problem. Thousands of dollars a month just to get rid of their damned daughters- whatever it cost so long as they didn’t come back pregnant and ruin the family name.
And, sadly, a lot of fathers simply left their families- divorce and child support and good goddamn riddance. For however strong and noble and patient a man was, he still needed a peaceful home, and if there was anything teenage daughters were good at it was shitting all over the sanctity of a peaceful home. Hateful little bitches. They were no different than lazy cats in heat- destructive, hateful, noisy and hell-bent on getting pregnant. It didn’t help that by the time a man’s daughters were teenagers his wife had gone menopausal. It was like having another teenager.
But Victor Belmont was not like any of those other fathers. He made no effort to hide his abuses, and was quite proud of them. Although his wife had held him back to an extent. Then she fell ill eight years ago and his abuses increased. Then she died three weeks ago, and he did not mourn her loss. And now that their mother was out of the picture the time had come for his worthless teenage daughters to be of some use to the Belmont family.
Victor Belmont was many things: handsome, strong, intelligent. He could command a room of a hundred men with his deep, resonating voice. He was a Member of the House of Lords, a Statesman, and a Veteran of the Indonesian Wars. He was also England’s leading Vampire Hunter. He, and his two brothers, and his two sons, and his brother’s sons, were the only reason the good men and women of England could sleep peacefully at night.
He sat at the dining room table with his brothers and sons. The table weighed three-hundred pounds and was made of solid oak and polished into a reflective mirror. His two sons, Justice and Valor, sat to his right, and his two brothers, Kyle and Vincent, to his left. Three pair of handcuffs were on the table. The metal glinted in the gray, half-day rectangles of British light. Chains and locks laid in a heap beside the handcuffs. And on the porch, three metal dog cages.
Also on the table, in front of Victor, were three neatly stacked blue folders.
Lots of locks, but no keys. Though for as strict as metal cuffs and chains and cages were, it was the agreements in those folders that would really hurt his daughters.
The first thing those agreements did was make the Belmont family richer. That was truly something that his daughters were incapable of doing on their own. The second thing the agreements did was get them out of his house. Victor was a single man again and he needed a new wife. A young one. Preferably a mute one. He wanted a woman from the country with wide hips and milk jugs for tits who could cook and clean and give birth to new sons year in and year out. And nothing would complicate finding a new wife more than teenage girls. No. If those girls stayed Victor would never have another wife, and never have another son.
They heard they sound of tires over gravel, and Victor turned in his chair and looked out the window: a black Mercedes came up the drive, followed by two black vans, a beat-up truck, and a Lincoln.
Victor and Vincent stood- they looked like twins, and dressed like twins- brown leather upland hunting pants, the bottoms shoved into tall leather boots with brass buckles, and an open cotton shirt showing their broad, oak-barrel chests. Victor motioned to the cuffs- “Go get your sisters.”
Justice was just like his father: tall, broad-shouldered, barrel-chested. He had dark, wavy hair and a dashing five o’clock shadow. He even dressed the same. He grabbed one pair of cuffs, and a length of chain and a lock and motioned to Valor.
Valor grabbed the rest, put the locks in his back pockets and looped the chains over his shoulder. He twirled a pair of cuffs around his finger.
Justice walked out of the dining hall, through the marble kitchen, around a corner, and up the stairs to the second floor. “I’ve got Maria,” he said, and looked back.
Valor pushed his hair out of his eyes and knew why his brother said that- he knew Justice intended to do more than just cuff his sister. Their younger sister, Maria, was twenty-one. She turned twenty-two tomorrow. And she was, by far, one of the prettiest women in all of England— dark hair, big breasts, tight stomach, wide hips, smoking ass, and her mouth was always just slightly open showing her two top teeth, as if she was waiting for someone to shove something in. If only she had a personality to match her looks she might be worth something. “Don’t rape her,” he said. “Or mess her face up.”
“Who said anything about rape?” Justice hated his sisters as much as their father: they were stupid, worthless bitches. He stopped at the landing and looked back, grinning. He had no intention of raping his sister. He wasn’t a bastard. He wasn’t evil. No, instead he intended to cuff her, chain her to the wall for a minute, pull her shirt up and her pants down, fondle her tight body, and take pictures of his naked sister. Something to remember her by. His Leica R4 was in his back pocket with a full roll of film. He had deleted pictures off his phone to make room for more. “You want to get a couple handfuls before she leaves?”
Valor shrugged. “I’m getting a few handfuls later; it’s hard for me to look at her and not want to hit her.” He didn’t want to touch his sisters; he couldn’t stand them. And he really didn’t care what his brother did with them, so long as he didn’t ruin this for their father. Valor was leaving on a hunt tomorrow, and as soon as this was over he was going to London to spend time with his girlfriend.
Kyle watched his nephews walk away; he listened to their voices break at the corners and mute at the stairs, then he stood. “I’ll let them in.”
Victor heard car doors shut, and feet on the gravel; he heard birds chirping, and insects humming. Warm, sunny days were rare in England— even when it wasn’t raining the skies were usually gray, but today’s weather was surely a sign from God; surely the sun and the bright sky meant the Almighty approved of what he was about to do. “It’s too nice a day to be cooped up inside. Let’s go out.” He picked up the three blue folders, clapped his brother on the back, and walked to the side door.
Vincent stretched, grabbed an ink pen out of a drawer, and followed. “You know, a hundred years ago the women of this family were actually worth a damn,” he said, holding the door.
Kyle followed, and agreed- a hundred years ago the Belmont women fought and killed vampires. And now? They read romance novels and slept all day and listened to shitty music all night. About the only thing those girls were capable of doing was creating messes and spending money.
Clover Belmont was fifteen, and one of the folders in Victor’s hand contained an Adoption Agreement that allowed a wolf pack to adopt her, then whatever wolf wanted her could marry her at eighteen. The Agreement stipulated that sex, or intimacy, of any kind was illegal until she turned eighteen. But the brothers, and the wolves, and even their lawyer, knew what was about to happen and it wasn’t their concern. The pack paid a hundred thousand for her- they could do whatever they wanted and neither Victor, nor his brothers, nor their lawyer, cared.
Clovis Belmont was his middle daughter, at seventeen. Her Agreement sent her to an internment camp for female wolves far to the north. She would work ten hours a day, every day, for the rest of her life and what little money she earned would support the Belmont family name. Victor knew the work would break her. And even if the work didn’t, the wolves would.
And then there was Maria, his oldest. He knew her bags were packed. He knew she intended to leave tomorrow as a free woman. He knew she had a plan to adopt her sisters. Well too damn bad. Victor walked out onto the porch and looked at the dog cages, and then the flatbed truck. There was a dead body in the back of the truck- a burned and blackened lump covered in tarps and blankets cooking under the sun, and he smiled. He smiled at the cage, and he smiled at the dead body, and he smiled at the bright blue sky. How perfect. How suitable. How fitting that his oldest daughter would serve the family in such a uniquely painful way.
The sun was high over the trees and the sky was bright blue from end to end. He heard one of his daughters shout from inside, then another. He heard their cussing. He heard the clink of chains. Victor’s goal in life was to hunt vampires. That was it. Simple. Hunt and kill vampires. That was why he wanted a new wife— so that when he was too old to hunt, he could train his sons, and they would carry on the proud Belmont name.
Shouting behind him, and he stepped aside as Valor tugged Clovis through the door and forced her to the ground, and into one of the cages. She kicked, and spit, and cussed, and Victor smiled at the day.
“Let me go! Let me fucking go! You bloody fuckin’ sod! Right- get your hands off me!”
All fathers hate their teenage daughters.
Some hide it.
Victor certainly didn’t hide it. Not on a day like today. He looked down at his seventeen year old daughter- her brown hair was a mess and she was still in her pajamas despite it being noon. Lazy. Worthless.
Maybe a vampire or two would die. Maybe a lot of vampires would die. Maybe he would become more famous. Or maybe all that would happen is he would make a little money, and finally have a peaceful house, and a new mute wife. Did the reasons really matter? He hated his daughters, and had been trying to get rid of them for the last seven years. And hate, by itself, was more than enough reason to throw their stupid, worthless asses to the wolves.
With curious eyes at each sunrise,
We watched her day by day,
And wondered if each one of us,
Would end the self-same way.
For none can tell,
To what black hell,
Our sightless souls may stray.